Networking blogs: Analysts talk data best practices and IBM Watson

Networking blogs: In this week's round-up, analysts discuss big data best practices, network topology and New Year's resolutions.

Top 10 data best practices for the new year

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Nik Rouda shares his top 10 big data best practices for the new year. One piece of advice: "turning a new leaf" to use data in different ways and gain new insights. He also suggests making new friends within the business, IT and data analysis departments in your company. Since problem solving works best in teams, it is necessary to collaborate with different groups. Finally, he says learning new technology is crucial to improving your organization's capabilities, especially when it comes to simplifying user interfaces.

See all 10 of Rouda's resolutions.

Which topology is right for your network?

Packet Pushers blogger Orhan Ergun gives us a long and detailed look at network topologies, ranging from ring topologies to mesh topologies. The type of network topology that is used depends on several business factors, such as traffic flows and applications. Once those have been identified, Ergun says to focus on modularity and hierarchy to help with maintenance, predictability and troubleshooting. It is important to plan your topology based on your company's needs. For example, different topologies would be used for a company where many people work remotely than for one where people work at a central office location.

Read more about the details of different network topologies.

IBM Watson unveiled

Enterprise Management Associates Research Director Evan Quinn discusses IBM's newly minted Watson group and its potential impact on IT. Specifically, Quinn examines three factors: ecosystem, process and time frame. With 2,000 employees, $1 billion in research and development and a possible $100 million in ecosystem investments, IBM Watson has positioned itself as a transformative leader in the computing world. This has the potential to change the entire structure of the IT industry, Quinn writes, although IBM's track record from some of its other shiny investments hasn't always yielded promised results.

Read more about the potential impacts of IBM Watson.

The next phase for networking prices

Ethereal Mind blogger Greg Ferro asks several important questions about networking pricing and value and whether networking is headed toward a future of white boxes and component commoditization. Ferro says, for example, that networking customers are looking for ways to avoid purchasing expensive equipment -- price matters more than ever before. Another contributing factor that may lead to commoditization: Enterprise managers don't see the value in IT that they once did. Ferro says that having expensive equipment does not directly affect the growth of business. Ferro predicts that networking vendors like Cisco, HP and Juniper will follow the same path blazed by Apple: They will add value and good design to what essentially is a bunch of commodity components.

Read more about Greg's opinion on the future of networking prices.

This was first published in January 2014

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