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Blog roundup: Approaching BYO Wi-Fi hotspot trend, packet capture tips

In this week's blog roundup, read about the risks and benefits of the BYO access point trend and get advice for timing packet capture.

Reviewing the value of virtualization

In a five-minute video on the state of virtualization, ESG analyst Mark Bowker summarizes the key factors driving virtualization across the server, desktop, network and storage fields. He takes a look at past solutions and their inefficiencies, analyzes the biggest challenges of virtualization and highlights the primary benefits of these initiatives. ESG's recent survey may have shown that cost containment and data center consolidation are the leading use cases for virtualization, but leading edge IT organizations have taken advantage of the technology to maximize infrastructure efficiency, increase automation and target high-level applications.

Visit Bowker's ESG blog post on how IT has advanced business value through virtualization strategies.

Strategies for timing packet capture

Effective traffic analysis requires a fine balance of capturing packets in the right location, with the right method, using the right analyzer, at the right time. The last factor may be the trickiest, says Packet Pioneer network analyst Chris Greer, since application problems are often unpredictably intermittent. His tactic is to use a SPAN/Mirror port on a switch or a network tap, making sure the traffic is well below the capture method's threshold and that the device can capture at line-rate in high traffic environments.

Get Greer's advice for capturing every packet at LoveMyTool.

Puppet shows promise for network configuration

Configuration programming tools like Puppet have long since carved out their place in the data center, helping manage configuration and automate deployment processes. Now networking companies Cisco and Juniper seem poised to pull the strings in implementing the software, according to Tracy Corbo at Enterprise Management Associates. She writes that the network operations center has traditionally resisted automation, but admins are finding overlay options more attractive in the face of the increasingly problematic roadblocks manual network processes create.

Read Corbo's take on why Puppet may be the answer in configuring servers, networks and storage for virtualization.

Opportunities and risks as employees bring Wi-Fi hotspots

Throwing in their two letters to the BYO alphabet soup, access points (APs) are making a jump on the "bring your own" trend, wireless expert Lisa Phifer says. Individual Wi-Fi hotspots can increase efficiency in workplaces crowded by connection-hungry devices, lower costs by distributing them among devices and help security efforts by reducing dependence on potentially risky external service set identifiers. For all these benefits, BYO AP isn't perfect: Additional security and performance concerns surface, along with unpredictable co-channel interference. Crafting specific acceptable use policies and implementing a monitoring process will make BYO AP more of a benefit than a liability.

Check out Phifer's analysis of the BYO APs trend and her follow-up post on how to create use policies and monitor personal APs in the workplace.

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