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SN blogs: NSF touts next-generation networks

SN blogs: This week, the National Science Foundation showcases two of its main initiatives; an analyst urges readers not to forget World Backup Day.

Steve Lohr of The New York Times says that two major initiatives were highlighted at last week's Beyond Today's Internet: Experiencing a Smart Future conference in Arlington, Va. The National Science Foundation's gathering brought together participants in the NSF's Global Environment for Network Innovations project, or GENI, and US Ignite. The former initiative began in 2007 and concentrates on ultrahigh-speed networking -- 40 to 100 times faster than today's broadband networks -- and tailoring networks with software designed to enhance performance and security.  The latter was created in 2012 and is committed to using the technology created by GENI to support healthcare, education and public safety.

Lohr says one of the main themes of the conference was a discussion of the Internet of Things (IoT) and how it will dovetail with

the work these two initiatives are focused on.

Lohr says that IoT will be a considerable force driving the demand for next-generation networks and the smart software needed to find useful patterns in all the data that will be collected and analyzed.

Read more about the implications of next-gen technology from Lohr's perspective.

Remembering World Backup Day

Even though World Backup Day comes only once a year, Jason Buffington, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, says we should celebrate it every day. Buffington says that according to ESG's list of top 10 IT priorities for the next year, the majority are related to data backup. Among those priorities: improving backup, business continuity and disaster recovery and regulatory compliance. Yet, Buffington says, six other priority areas relate very closely to backup operations, including managing data growth. As Buffington says, the more there is, the more that needs to be backed up. Similarly, the "increasing use of server virtualization" is a priority that falls under "improving backup" because, "as you modernize your production infrastructure, you will almost assuredly have to modernize your protection capabilities as well," says Buffington.

Read more about why data protection is a number one priority for IT in 2015.

You can't avoid EMM forever

Enterprise Management Associates blogger, Steve Brasen, says that avoiding enterprise mobile management is a temporary fix for network administrators' busy schedules. Network administrators often wait until the last minute to begin the mobile management process because they are already overloaded with other work. Brasen says there are steps that they can take to minimize the workload and ease into the process. Automation, role based management and user self-service are three ways that network administrators can reduce the time it takes to secure employees' mobile devices. When it comes to automation, software provisioning, asset discovery and application/email configuration are easy to repeat and therefore automate. User self-service might be preferred by employees and is easy to do by consolidating enterprise resources onto a centralized service catalog or app store where users can choose and install the software most central to their job function.

Read more about how to begin the enterprise mobile management process.

Minimize third-party risk to secure your network

Nemertes Research CEO and founder Johna Till Johnson says that minimizing third-party risk has become increasingly important for the enterprise. Most IT managers have become accustomed to dealing with multiple third-party providers whether they come in the form of software as a service, platform as a service or infrastructure as a service. With greater distribution comes greater distribution of risk. Johnson makes several suggestions to reduce this risk. Among them:

  • Investing in a governance and risk management (GRC) platform. A repository for risk-related data, reporting and workflow capabilities can make the task of managing third-party risks easier.
  •  Itemizing relevant regulators, standards bodies, and compliance requirements, particularly when it comes to third-party risk management. Whether it's FedRAMP or NERC, PCI or HIPAA, chances are your regulators have specific requirements for third-party and distributed risk management. These requirements can serve as selection criteria for your GRC assessment.

Read more about how Johnson suggests you can manage distributed risk in your network.

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