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Networking blogs: Forensics tools in IDS space, analyzing Juniper

In this week's blog roundup, read why network forensics tools may be the next IDS and get some perspective on Juniper's business strategies.

Weighing forensics tools and IDS

Intrusion detection systems (IDS) launched with plenty of promise, but the tool's flaws may finally have caught up with its strengths. A reliance on signature sets, a lack of response to detected problems and a failure to couch problems in context make IDS a far from perfect technology, according to Darragh Delaney. He says metadata analysis and forensics tools may be the next best option. Unlike IDS, forensics tools provide context to the information they continuously gather, such as metadata on the bandwidth consumed in a network scan or the systems where a device was connected. Forensics tools may take up more disk space, but they're the best bet for going beyond basic alerts and getting useful data for troubleshooting.

Read Delaney's thoughts on why forensics tools may be invading the IDS space.

Putting Juniper's position in perspective

Heading into Juniper's annual analyst day, ESG's John Mazur said he had some reservations about the company's prospects in a market that's rapidly converging. While Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson presented impressive stats on Juniper's progress during the past five recessionary years, Mazur argues it's hard to make the assumption that success will continue. He says it will take some strengthening of Juniper's go-to-market and ecosystem relationships to keep the company competitive. Juniper's case for increased automation through software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) put an emphasis on boosting bandwidth without tipping the pricing scale, following the lead of service providers. This focus and a move toward ramping up its execution strategies left Mazur feeling a bit more confident in Juniper's future.

See Mazur's breakdown of Juniper's analyst day and what the company's strategies say about the information and communications technology (ICT) marketplace.

Understanding route distinguishers and route targets

Jeremy Stretch clears some of the fog around route distinguishers and route targets in a PacketLife post, laying out their functions and the factors that set them apart. Just like their name implies, route distinguishers (RDs) are useful for differentiating separate sets of virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) routes between customers using a common network. RDs keep identical routes in different VRFs distinct. Route targets (RTs), on the other hand, help share routes among VRFs. RTs share a similar structure to RDs, but their purpose lies in scaling customer VRFs and providing a way to control the movement of routes between VRFs.

Check out Stretch's post for more on route distinguishers and route targets and how to use them.

Don't count the PC out just yet

Enterprise adoption of mobile devices may have taken off substantially in recent years, but that doesn't mean we're living in a post-PC era, says Steve Brasen of Enterprise Management Associates (EMA). He points to research in EMA's report on unified endpoint management, which shows that 98% of business employees who use devices rely on PCs for their work. Smartphones and tablets are supplementing rather than replacing PCs; of the employees that use PCs, 87% also use one or more mobile devices. Brasen argues mobile device performance has a long way to go before businesses will ditch PCs, which are still the most practical option for tasks like creating presentations and working in spreadsheets.

Visit the EMA blogs for Brasen's post on why we're not yet living in a post-PC era.

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