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Networking blogs: Snags in wireless management, tips for smart storage

In this week's networking roundup, bloggers discuss the good and bad of wireless management and why IT should trust their smart storage technology.

Let storage be smarter

By the standards of analog thermostats, Apple's Nest is smart. The cloud-managed device learns your schedule, keeps track of your energy history and can tell when you're out of the building in order to program itself accordingly. From Steve Duplessie's point of view, there's no reason storage can't work in a similar way. Storage admins may love to keep precise control over their devices, but using them efficiently means relinquishing the analog way of thinking and letting the storage perform the job it was meant to do.

Read Duplessie's thoughts on why IT should trust the technology and give storage room to optimize itself.

Analyzing the future of wireless management and interoperability

As wireless devices branch out from phones, laptops and peripherals to a spectrum of tablets, watches and glasses, the expansion of wireless networks shows no sign of slowing. The streamlined orchestration and troubleshooting made possible by centralized management are a few of the benefits driving wireless forward, along with enhanced policies for security and quality of service. Yet however manageable the industry's products, there are downsides to wireless management. Brent Salisbury pointed out the lack of interoperability in the wireless landscape stemming from its largely proprietary policies. In a NetworkStatic post replete with graphics, charts and video clips, he recapped presentations by Cisco and Ruckus at Network Field Day 5 and explained the significance of products like Cisco's new Catalyst 3850.

Read Salisbury's post for the scoop on wireless and why he thinks the wired infrastructure won't last as the final mile.

Scaling the next generation firewall

A relic of a router with low effectiveness and a high price tag, the modern firewall is far from being a sound defense mechanism, according to networking blogger Neil Anderson. His Packet Pushers post takes a brief stroll through the history of the Internet to shed some light on the firewall's inadequacies, showing that firewalls are essentially ineffective routers. Even with strictly documented traffic rules, the modern firewall is full of holes, a reality vendors have begun to acknowledge with the development of next-generation firewalls (NGFWs). Since they place another layer of security controls on top of the traditional firewall, NGFWs can be an effective -- and expensive -- way to take advantage of existing platforms.

Find some additional alternatives to modern firewalls in Anderson's critique.

Stretch bandwidth without co-channel interference

The higher bandwidth available through the 80 MHz channels of 802.11ac makes the channels attractive, but there's a caveat to using the advanced widths. Co-channel interference will affect the smaller channels as well as the primary channels if the access point (AP) density runs too high. Designing around smaller channel widths from the start lets the APs back down to smaller channels and avoids the interference. To keep the capabilities of the 802.11ac from going to waste, Andrew vonNagy offers a step-by-step guide to using the per-channel width capacities at the right times.

Head over to Revolution Wi-Fi to read vonNagy's take on maximizing the potential of the 802.11ac and preventing interference.

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