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Networking blogs: Owning data center monitoring, push for OpenStack

In this blog roundup, see why IT needs a better approach to monitoring data centers, and how vendors differentiate by using a common infrastructure.

Take ownership of data center monitoring

When it comes to diagnosing application problems, technical teams need to take more responsibility and look to solve issues holistically, says PacketPushers' Ethan Banks. The disjointed troubleshooting that prevails in the data center makes it too easy for individual IT groups to simply check that their component of the application delivery engine is operative and shift the blame to another department. At a more fundamental level, people need to take more initiative in resolving problems and not view a failure of their component as a personal affront. The other half of the solution is to standardize application delivery monitoring with systems that provide answers for more in-depth questions and move effectively toward a comprehensive solution.

Read Banks' explanation on why IT needs to take ownership of the application delivery engine as a whole.

Attacks on enterprise systems widespread and diverse

Threats to enterprises' Web applications are widespread and wide-ranging, a recent report from ESG shows. Researchers surveyed 200 security professionals from a variety of fields and found 79% of organizations experienced Web application security attacks in the last year. These attacks showed a broad range, including the areas of application authentication, configuration management, parameter manipulation and auditing. As ESG analyst Jon Oltsik concludes in a summary of the findings, the variety of targets shows the tenacity of hackers looking to exploit any area of application vulnerability. Advances in security analytics tools and training are making some progress in these weak areas, Oltsik says, but enterprises need quicker, more holistic approaches for real software protection.

Get more details on the state of enterprises' Web application security from Oltsik's blog post.

The nuances of network virtualization vs. SDN

The definitions of network virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN) lie in a gray area where even professionals seem a bit unsure. The difference between the two is subtle -- if it exists at all. From the perspective of VMware, the term "network virtualization" refers to the broader practice of abstracting the network's entire management layer, including SDN, which is more specifically about abstracting the control plane. Management consultant Keith Townsend breaks down the points discussed in a VMware Community podcast that strove to shed some light on the issue in the context of how virtualization technologies change network operations.

Head to the Virtualized Geek blog for Townsend's take on the interpretations of network virtualization vs. SDN.

Drive to differentiate propelling OpenStack momentum

There's an irony in the way companies are rushing to support OpenStack: Vendors from Dell to VMware are making major commitments to the project, with the primary goal of differentiating their offerings. Companies using the same foundation as the springboard for differentiation might seem counterintuitive, but Enterprise Management Associates Research Director Torsten Volk explains that the momentum means providers can focus more on developing specific services than on the increasingly commoditized Infrastructure as a Service , or IaaS, model. Adding another layer of paradox to the providers' position is the fact that those with common platforms are more attractive to customers who fear vendor lock-in.

Read Volk's post on the push for OpenStack and the customer reservations that should keep the impetus from accelerating too quickly.

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