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It's time to get rid of legacy networking technology

This week, bloggers look into legacy networking technology, the midmarket's cybersecurity skills shortage and Corvil's new Sensor offering.

Ivan Pepelnjak, blogging in ipSpace, said it is time to ditch Gigabit Ethernet legacy networking technology if...

organizations hope to optimize their data center networks. Instead of relying on 1 GbE server-to-network connectivity, Pepelnjak said companies should migrate to 10 GbE, using 1 GbE only for out-of-band network management.

Ten Gigabit Ethernet has come a long way from earlier this decade, when it couldn't be used with copper cabling. Today, 10GBASE-T can rely on copper cables within a rack or a small pod. Switches with 10GBASE-T ports are readily available, and servers with built-in 10GBASE-T interfaces are common.

Pepelnjak said he saw the benefits of 10 GbE firsthand in 2014, when he was hired by a financial organization to review the design for its data center upgrade. The organization set about replacing legacy networking equipment, such as Cisco Catalyst 6500 switches, with new data center switches from a different vendor.

Pepelnjak said he was puzzled to discover the organization deploying only 1 GbE server connections with 10 GbE uplinks, and he asked why the organization was not using 10 GbE links. Pepelnjak found that the organization was aware of its suboptimal choices, but had no choice but to adopt nearly obsolete technologies because servers were paid for from a separate budget and were not synchronized with upgrades to the network.

"You should use 10 GbE interfaces for primary server connections and consider switches that already support 25 GbE connections, as we can expect 25 GbE NICs [network interface cards] on server motherboards in a few years," he wrote. "If you want to consolidate your data center and optimize your costs, you have to do it considering all components within the data center (servers, storage and networking), and when necessary upgrade all components at the same time," Pepelnjak added.

Dig deeper into Pepelnjak's thoughts on legacy networking technology.

Midmarket faces cybersecurity skills shortage

Jon Oltsik, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group Inc., in Milford, Mass., reflected on ESG's annual global survey of IT and cybersecurity professionals. The survey's findings indicated the cybersecurity skills shortage is posing serious challenges for midmarket companies. Among respondents, 35% of cybersecurity professionals at midmarket firms said their employers need to provide more cybersecurity training, while 30% said the cybersecurity skills shortage has had a significant effect on their organization's preparedness.

According to Oltsik, the survey indicated midmarket companies are understaffed. As a result, small numbers of cybersecurity professionals are racing to resolve problems and are losing out on opportunities for training and strategic planning. "This has led to a perpetual game of catch-up that seems fraught with human error and staff burnout," he said.  "Keep in mind that most midmarket organizations have a small cybersecurity staff of one to five people, so they end up delegating lots of security tasks to IT operations with fewer cybersecurity skills and a whole lot of other work to do."

Read more of Oltsik's thoughts on midmarket cybersecurity challenges.

Corvil upgrades streaming analytics product with new cloud sensor

Drew Conry-Murray, writing in Packet Pushers, took a look at Corvil's new product, Sensor, which is aimed at expanding the vendor's existing wire data analytics platform. Sensor is intended to offer network providers increased visibility into private clouds, public clouds and virtualized data centers. Sensor runs inside a virtual machine in the data center and operates on Linux servers, as well as Amazon Web Services. Packets are captured, time-stamped and forwarded to a separate capture appliance, also manufactured by Corvil, where the packets can be analyzed to improve security and performance.

The new Sensor product is free to Corvil customers, as the vendor works to compete with ExtraHop, ThousandEyes, Riverbed and NetScout. According to Conry-Murray, the Sensor offering is geared for cloud performance benchmarking, troubleshooting and activity tracking as a means to investigate potential security challenges.

Explore more of Conry-Murray's thoughts on Corvil Sensor.

Next Steps

Making legacy and emerging networking technology work together

New strategies needed to overcome cybersecurity skills shortage

Ushering in advanced operations analysis

Dig Deeper on Network management and monitoring