SN blogs: Focus on a big data security strategy

SN blogs: This week, analysts explain Etherchannel and why having big data analytics at the center of your security strategy is important.

Enterprise Strategy Group Senior Analyst Jon Oltsik says that risk management, along with security risk detection and reduction, could take a step forward with big data security analytics. An ESG survey asked 1,000 IT professionals how they planned to change their security technology strategy decisions over the next 24 months in order to improve their security management. A total of 44% responded with "design and build a more integrated security architecture" and 39% responded with "include new data sources for security intelligence." While these are both great considerations, Oltsik points out that building a new architecture could take years, and before the whole system is integrated, IT managers will have to rely on several point tools and manual processes. As for new data sources, Oltsik says to make big data analytics a priority. Big data would include a wide range of components, among them networks, endpoints, applications, cloud service providers, IoT components, physical security systems and external threat intelligence.

Read more of why Oltsik says it is important to focus on big data analytics.

To solve application performance problems, take a networking perspective

Enterprise Management Associates blogger Jim Frey says that when you are experiencing application performance issues, various IT departments should work as team instead of pointing fingers. Often times, says Frey, problems with applications, such as slow speeds or degraded performance, can be caused by several factors. Storage systems, end user systems and the application itself might be contributing to the cause. Frey says to start from a network perspective and use application-aware monitoring tools for diagnostics and analysis. He emphasizes "turning to the network" as opposed to blaming it to solve problems and work as a cohesive team.

Read Frey's example about how IT departments solved an application problem by working together.

What is Etherchannel load balancing and why is important?

PacketPushers blogger Michal Janowski explains Etherchannel balancing and why it is important. Essentially, Etherchannel balancing is a way to get around spanning tree protocol enabling users to get up to eight non-blocked links connected from one switch to another. Right now, there are two different versions of Etherchannel protocol. The first is Cisco's proprietary PAgP (Port Aggregation Protocol) and the other is the IEEE 802.3ad standard-LACP (Link Aggregation Control Protocol). Janowski says one common misconception is that the load will be equally distributed. He says this is not always possible. If there are an odd number of ports, there will inevitably be one more port on one of the sides. He also mentions that the balancing is performed based on flows and not on the number of packets.

Read Janowski's explanation of Etherchannel load balancing.

Cisco offers hardware collaboration device

Current Analysis analyst Harish Taori discusses Cisco's DX80/DX70 collaboration meeting room software and associated endpoints, saying in part that Cisco filled in some important gaps in its collaboration offering for enterprises. Still, he writes that the company needs to further improve its value proposition by making the platform easy to acquire and manage to address total cost of ownership concerns. In addition, Taori says Cisco should provide a variety of purchase options that could include leasing, pay-per-use and other alternatives. "There's value in unified audio, video, messaging and conferencing solutions for enterprises," Taori writes, "but probably they may find it hard to justify business case for investments in new unified collaboration endpoints than that of unified collaboration software solutions."

Read the considerations Taori says enterprises should take into account when looking at collaboration options.

This was last published in June 2014

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