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Networking blogs: VMware home lab tips; reading BI, analytics market

This week, networking bloggers give tips for building a VMware home lab and discuss what Teradata's disappointing Q1 might indicate for the BI market.

Build a VMware home lab from the ground up

From the specific motherboard model to the quietest option for cooling fans, Packet Pushers' Douglas Hanks traces his process of building a personal VMware lab in preparation for VMware Certified Design Expert certification. Noting the necessity of shared storage and at least two hosts, Hanks explains his hardware approach and the best-priced processor for good performance. He points out the details that matter -- such as the brand of memory, the type of hard drive -- and the components best suited for the space limitations of a home lab.

Check out Hanks' post for a step-by-step guide to constructing a VMware home lab that's compact, quiet, affordable and high-performing.

Teradata's Q1 slump indicates BI market evolution

The first quarter of the year saw downward trends for Teradata, with dips of 28% in profits and 4% in year-over-year revenues. As ESG analyst Evan Quinn explores in a blog post, it's difficult to nail down a cause of the disappointing numbers. The data warehouse specialist began seeing its number of large deals slip months before sequestration cuts took effect, and ESG estimates business intelligence (BI) and analytics services overall are running ahead of revenue predictions, so it's likely that new market dynamics could be to blame. Data warehousing customers are exploring Hadoop messaging options in place of Teradata analytics, and other companies are expanding into the BI space, even as cloud and NoSQL systems increase pressure for the evolution of the classic data warehouse.

Read Quinn's thoughts on Teradata's slow first quarter and how the company should adapt to stay ahead.

Strategize for the business, not the technology

Mobility engineer Brian Katz has some harsh words for the starry-eyed techies leaping to adopt the latest mobile gadgets. "Too many people are building mobile strategies for the sake of going mobile," he writes, blaming the allure of shiny devices and the hype of vendor pitches for leading enterprise focus astray. Companies need to concentrate on a holistic business strategy -- not piecemeal tactics that revolve around leveraging a technology more than boosting overall efficiency.

Visit the A Screw's Loose blog for Katz's explanation on why enterprises' main focus should be productivity and why technology should play an invisible role in the background.

Get a grasp on network virtualization

Network virtualization is a slippery concept to grasp, even for engineers long steeped in the industry. For Keith Townsend, working with server virtualization has made that idea clear, but he explains that it took a recent VMware post to make the distinction between virtualizing servers and virtualizing the network truly comprehensible. Network virtualization just doesn't seem as natural, he writes, in part because of the difficulty of sorting out the physical access layer from the abstracted network component. This process leaves behind a simplified physical layer and allows any combination of devices and security policies to combine for a virtual network, deployed automatically through application programming interfaces.

Get Townsend's take on network virtualization as it compares to server virtualization.

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