Stories by Barry Nance

How to keep your network in tip-top health

If your network has between 1,000 and10,000 devices and computers, you have a midsized network. Your servers, connections and other resources suffer the same problems as larger networks, but your budget for keeping the network healthy is less than what large enterprises enjoy.

Microsoft raises the bar with SQL Server 2012

While SQL Server 2008 was little more than a service-pack level upgrade, the 2012 version of Microsoft's database has a boatload of new features and delivers solid performance improvements.

How we tested Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Virtually all our testing took place across 512Kbps frame relay, T-1 and T-3 WAN links. The test bed network consisted of six Fast Ethernet subnet domains linked by Cisco routers. Our lab's 50 clients consisted of computing platforms that included Windows 2000/2003/XP/Vista/Win7, Macintosh 10.x and Red Hat Linux (both server and workstation editions).

HP, IBM, CA deliver powerful toolkits

A network that measures downtime in millions of dollars per minute (or per second!) needs a serious, enterprise-level network management tool. Nothing less will do.

How we tested network management wares

We evaluated each product in several different areas: Discovery and enumeration of devices and computers, support for a variety of device manufacturers and device types, global directory integration, graphical depiction of the network, monitoring of network node status (availability), performance and health, alerts and notifications when network problems occur, automated corrective actions, maintenance of trouble tickets (or integration with a help desk tool), support for virtualized environments and the production of useful, informative reports.

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