• United States
Senior Editor

Towards smarter, faster, better nets

Aug 05, 20033 mins
Data Center

* Kickoff of Network Optimization Newsletter

Welcome to Network World’s newly named Network Optimization newsletter, formerly know as the Web Acceleration newsletter. Let me re-introduce myself: I’m a senior writer at Network World, and in my job I cover all things management. (You may remember I filled in for my colleague Senior Editor Jennifer Mears on this newsletter in the past.)

In my day-to-day reporting, I come across a lot of tools and tips for getting more out of networks. From the applications running on nets, to the servers and infrastructure supporting the apps, to the products and services supplied by outside providers, IT professionals need ways to make their nets work smarter, faster and just plain better.

While the author has changed and the focus of these twice-weekly newsletters has been expanded, those of you seeking the latest news and best ways to get the most from Web applications and sites need not worry. The Network Optimization newsletter will not only address speeding Web applications and improving sites, it will also delve deeper into enterprise networks to reveal how to get more from the infrastructure you already have.

We’ll look at getting the most from bandwidth, tuning hardware, profiling applications against networks, tweaking servers, handling more and different traffic, and understanding how and where you should spend IT dollars to get the optimal performance out of your network.

We’ll cover traffic and bandwidth management products from the likes of Packeteer and Peribit, and route control products from companies such as RouteScience and Proficient Networks. Also on the agenda are tools from newer companies such as Packet Design and Ipsum Networks, which separately deliver appliances to detect paths that application traffic would travel and to alert network operators to the best routes available.

Another area I’d like to focus on is usage – usage of servers, switches, routers, applications and services. Several companies – such as Opticom, a service-level management software maker, and Opsware, which makes automated service provisioning and change management software – provide usage reports in their separate products. The information goes a long way toward deciding which vendor gear works best in your infrastructure and how certain applications affect productivity.

While my list of things to cover in Network Optimization can go on, I am sure there are more topics out there that I may miss. So please send me your thoughts on what you think should be included in a newsletter focused on making your networks work smarter, faster and better. Send me a note at