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Stories by Paul Venezia

First look: VMware vSphere 5 looms large

As we rapidly approach yet another VMworld conference and the general release of VMware vSphere 5, it's clear that VMware hasn't been resting on its laurels. The newest version of vSphere builds on the strong foundations of vSphere 4.1, showcasing new management and automation features and levels of scalability.

Written by Paul Venezia23 Aug. 11 20:10

Virtualization shoot-out: Citrix XenServer

Citrix XenServer is a commercial implementation of the open source Xen virtualization solution. Citrix has extended the base Xen engine with management tools and tightened up various components related to implementing and managing Windows and Linux virtual machines, not to mention integrating the whole shebang with the company's virtual desktop initiative, as well as its foundational server-based desktop and application delivery solutions.

Written by Paul Venezia14 April 11 00:22

Rack-mount QNAP storage server packs a wallop

There's an area of the NAS landscape where the lines between consumer and corporate use are blurred. While high-end NAS arrays cost plenty of money, they also provide essential features like redundant power supplies and superior performance. At the lower end are the truly consumer-grade devices that might seem like they'll work in a corporate environment but fall short of meeting the essentials critical to infrastructures. They are, however, very cheap.

Written by Paul Venezia23 Feb. 11 02:47

How to move from a physical to virtual infrastructure

After finally getting the go-ahead to proceed with a project to virtualize a small business infrastructure, it may seem that the hard part is actually making it all happen. In many cases, however, the hardest part is getting the budget together to acquire all the hardware and software necessary -- actually making the switch is the easier task.

Written by Paul Venezia20 Nov. 10 11:21

Cisco SA 520 firewall disappoints

There are two ways to look at the Cisco SA 520 network security appliance. On one hand, it offers a solid array of features: 65Mbps IPSec VPN throughput, 100Mbps overall throughput, integrated firewall (limited to 100 rules), built-in filtering for common services like IM and P2P networking, SSL VPN, IPS, DDNS, and multi-WAN support. On the other hand, it has nearly no relation to the rest of Cisco's security solutions.

Written by Paul Venezia10 Nov. 10 03:28

New MacBook Air: The best ever

After all the hype about the new MacBook Air releases last week, all the oohing and aahing over the engineering that slipped a significant amount of power and capability into such a tiny package, I was ready to be somewhat disappointed by the new 13.3-inch MacBook Air that arrived on my doorstep earlier this week. I've used every MacBook Air since it was originally released, and I still use an 18-month-old Air for hours and hours every day. What could impress me about the new one? As it turns out, plenty.

Written by Paul Venezia29 Oct. 10 21:14

Dell AIM automates today's data center

Corralling the myriad physical and virtual servers that exist in IT shops of any size is a daunting task, and management tools that ease the burden are in hot demand. Naturally, all of the big guys are out to win this "adaptive infrastructure management" sweepstakes. HP threw its hat into this ring with HP BladeSystem Matrix in the first half of 2009, and Cisco entered the fray with Cisco UCS later in the year. Now it's Dell's turn.

Written by Paul Venezia30 Sept. 10 05:44

Dell's VIS vision takes shape

Dell's Advanced Infrastructure Manager (AIM) is designed to automate a wide variety of common administration tasks, from server provisioning to failure management. Thus, it stands to reason that Dell also aims to reduce the overhead of service procurement, but that is not a job for AIM alone.

Written by Paul Venezia29 Sept. 10 20:10

Five-year plan: 8 problems IT must solve

There's a reason that so many businesses create five-year plans: If they're reasonable, they're achievable. Setting goals within that timeframe allows room for prioritization and opportunities to deal with the unexpected.

Written by Paul Venezia27 Sept. 10 20:08

Making the leap to virtual desktop infrastructure

The utopian vision of a fluid and easily managed desktop infrastructure has floated around IT since the dawn of the desktop era. There have been many attempts at corralling the desktop hydra, but none have provided a universal solution. Microsoft Terminal Services, Citrix XenApp, and a host of others have found markets, but the quest for desktop salvation continues.

Written by Paul Venezia16 Sept. 10 20:12

Set Up a Virtualization Server

If there's one technology that can greatly improve computing environments of any size, it's virtualization. By using a single physical server to run many virtual servers, you can decrease operational costs and get far more bang for your buck. Whether your company is a 2-server or 2000-server shop, you can <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/187391/how_a_virtualized_server_saved_one_small_business.html">benefit from server virtualization</a> in a variety of ways. The best part? You can do it cheaply and easily.

Written by Paul Venezia21 July 10 23:57

Apple iPad surprises, disappoints

So you've probably heard about the iPad. Apple is once again making headlines with the release of a consumer-focused computing device, and the level of hysteria surrounding the iPad is fascinating from an anthropological point of view. But is the iPad really worthy of this craziness? Yes and no.

Written by Paul Venezia06 April 10 02:02

Small business storage finds a new gear

I continue to be very impressed with Synology's small business storage products, and the new DS1010+ is no exception. In fact, it elevates my opinion even more. This feature-packed, speedy, and remarkably affordable five-bay storage array supports just about every file sharing protocol available, can scale up to 20TB of raw storage, can be expanded on the fly, and has a great GUI. It can be purchased for $1,750 with 5TB of raw storage, and it can push 100MBps streaming writes and 110MBps streaming reads. Sure, it's not an enterprise-class device, but look at the price. What's not to love?

Written by Paul Venezia16 Feb. 10 05:29

Cisco UCS wows

Revolutionary. Cutting edge. State of the art. These are words and phrases that are bandied around so very many products in the IT field that they become useless, bland, expected. The truth is that truly revolutionary products are few and far between. That said, Cisco's Unified Computing System fits the bill.

Written by Paul Venezia11 Nov. 09 05:55

Citrix XenApp 5 Feature Pack 2

The leader in application virtualization shows us why with the addition of VM-hosted applications, plus usability and manageability enhancements, in XenApp 5 Feature Pack 2

Written by Paul Venezia01 Oct. 09 10:13