Top 10 networking advice of 2008

IT questions pertinent to network professionals this 2008 have all been answered by our elite networking experts who cover topics ranging from wireless networking to routing. We've chosen the most detailed and explanatory responses to your burning questions and have ordered them by popularity. Understand everything from VLAN implementation and IP address assignment to whether CCNA and MCSE certifications hold any merit for network engineers anymore.

IT questions pertinent to network professionals have all been answered by our elite networking industry experts, who cover topics ranging from wireless networking to routing. In an effort to give you the highlights of 2008, we've chosen the most detailed and explanatory responses to your burning IT questions and have ordered them by popularity. This top 10 countdown will give you advice on everything from VLAN implementation to whether CCNA and MCSE certifications hold any merit any more for network engineers. View our experts' best advice from this year:

Question 1: What's the difference between ICS and bridging?
Networking fundamentals expert Chris Partsenidis' response: Network bridging is a very interesting feature on Windows systems. With bridging, we now have the ability to "connect" (or "bridge") different networking technologies such as a wired Ethernet segment and a wireless 802.11a/b/g segment.

Question 2: Can you set passwords on folders in Windows 2003 servers?
Network security expert Puneet Mehta's response: I am not sure what you are trying to achieve by enforcing folder passwords, but you can easily achieve this desired level of security through groups and accounts on your 2003 domain. If the folder you are trying to protect is really sensitive...

Question 3: How do you configure VLANs in a domain environment?
Network administration expert Lindi Horton's response: Configuring VLANs is fairly straightforward based on the platform chosen in the switching environment to support VLAN administration. Unfortunately, the configuration is actually the easiest part…

Question 4: How can I implement VLANs across WLAN links?
Wireless networking expert Lisa Phifer's response: Virtual LANs (VLANs) are used to subdivide one local area network into several logically isolated broadcast domains, independent of physical topology. The LAN being subdivided into logical pieces can be any type of LAN -- including Ethernet or Wi-Fi.

Question 5: Can I block a competitor's IP address range from my website?
Enterprise security expert Michael Gregg's response: There are several ways to get this information. Let's explore one method here: You could start by pinging the domain name, i.e., by pinging DomainName.com...

Question 6: When should I use WLANs over Wi-Fi and WiMax?
Wireless networking expert Lisa Phifer's response: Wi-Fi products are used to build WLANs, while WiMAX products are used to build WMANs. A Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) is a group of devices linked together by wireless within a relatively small space.

Question 7: What are the industry best practices for cabling high-density production server cabinets with patch panels?
Infrastructure ad project management expert Carrie Higbie's response: This is going to depend largely on the type of cabinet you use. Some companies have elected to use open racks, some use cabinets. The issue with cabinets is getting the correct amount of wire management in the cabinet.

Question 8: Are the CCNA and MCSE good certifications for network engineers?
Training and certification expert Ed Tittel's response: The MCSE is becoming increasingly passe as it applies only to Windows Server 2003 and earlier versions. For Windows Server 2008 (the current version since it shipped last February) the newer MS certifications are called the MCTS...

Question 9: How do I route L3 switches for a serial LAN design?
Routing and switching expert Sudhanshu Gupta's response: You need to have VLANs configured in the switch so that the switch can route packets from Network A to Network B.

Question 10: How do most organizations network design for disaster recovery?
Infrastructure and project management expert Carrie Higbie's response: That really depends on the organization and how critical it is for applications to remain up and running, and lastly, what type of circuit services are available between sites. If you can stand some downtime, then cold or warm sites work. If it is a more critical operation (hospital, manufacturing, etc.) then a hot site will work better.

Do you disagree with our list? Then tell us your favorite expert response in an email.

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