Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Virtues of Virtualization

Most of you must have already heard about “VIRTUALIZATION” and may already be in the know about the way it functions.
With all the technical literature, subject matter etc shrouding your mind; you may not remember all the virtues of virtualization.
Below is a small effort from us to help you remember the Virtues of Virtualization and its associated benefits:

  1. Improve the efficiency and availability of IT resources and applications.
  2. Eliminate “One Server, One application” model and enjoy complete multitasking by running Multiple virtual machines on each physical machine.
  3. Free your IT administrators from spending too much time managing different physical servers and giving them time to innovate.
  4. Respond faster to the market dynamics with much more efficiency.
  5. Run multiple operating systems on a single computer including Windows, Linux and more.
  6. Reduce capital costs by increasing energy efficiency and requiring less hardware while increasing your server to admin ratio
  7. Ensure your enterprise applications perform with the highest availability and performance
  8. Build up business continuity through improved disaster recovery solutions.
  9. Improve Enterprise Desktop management and control with faster deployment of desktops and fewer support                                 calls due to application conflicts
  10. Manager your resources with the lowest TCO
  11. Arm and enable your staff to handle double or triple the number of servers, giving users access to the services                    they need while retaining centralized control.
  12. Deliver built-in availability, security, and performance across the board, from the desktop to the datacenter.
And last but not the least, SAVE UPTO 50-70% ON OVERALL IT COSTS by consolidating your resource pools and                                delivering highly available hardware services and applications.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)...demystified and simplified for you

FCoE”….You probably have come across this term numerous times in the past couple of days. 
In all likely-hood, you will continue to hear it in the coming days too.

So what is this FCoE?  How does it work?  How would it benefit you?

Below is a small effort from us to demystify and simplify this new Buzzword for you.

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) is an encapsulation of Fibre Channel frames over Ethernet 
networks. This allows Fibre Channel to use 10 Gigabit Ethernet networks while preserving the Fibre 
Channel protocol. FCoE maps Fibre Channel natively over Ethernet while being independent of the 
Ethernet forwarding scheme. By retaining the native Fibre Channel constructs, FCoE allows a seamless
integration with existing Fibre Channel networks and management software.

FCoE replaces the bottom Fibre Channel (FC) layers F0 and F1 with Enhanced Ethernet layers, 
enabling the same network port on a server to carry Fibre Channel frames to an FC storage device 
and Ethernet frames to the local network. Rather than regular Ethernet adapters, FCoE requires 
Enhanced Ethernet adapters on all nodes that support FCoE, and these adapters are called 
"converged network adapters" (CNAs). Regular Ethernet can lose packets under heavy congestion,
but Enhanced Ethernet prevents packet loss by providing flow control.

FCoE consolidates fabrics, simplifying the overall data centre infrastructure, while ensuring leverage 
of existing FC SANs. FCoE would enable SAN traffic to be natively transported over Ethernet networks,
while protecting and extending the investment that customers have made in FC storage networks.

With FCoE, network (IP) and storage (SAN) data traffic can be consolidated using a single network switch. 
This consolidation can:
§  reduce the number of network interface cards required to connect to disparate storage and IP networks
§   reduce the number of cables and switches
§   Unified Management
§   High Performance
§   Reduced Power Consumption and cooling costs.

In Conclusion:

FCoE is an evolutionary approach to I/O consolidation by preserving all Fibre Channel constructs, 
maintaining the latency, security, and traffic management attributes of FC while preserving 
investments in tools, training, and SANs. Fibre Channel over Ethernet extends, rather than replaces 
Fibre Channel, allowing you to seamlessly integrate your Ethernet and Fibre Channel networks at the
pace and path that works best. FCoE combined with enhancements to Ethernet will allow data centers 
the ability to consolidate their I/O and network infrastructure, saving both capital and operational 
expenses and increasing flexibility and control.

Think that it would be a tad difficult to add a Native FCoE Hot Add, Just see how easy it is:

 Sources: Wikipedia, other FCOE related sites.

How to select a SIM solution?...Read on

You want to put in place an enterprise-class Security Information Management and compliance solution
that can address a broad range of regulatory compliance requirements.

You also want such a solution to have superior flexibility, functionality, scalability and ease of use. 
Yet, you do not want it to burn a hole in your pocket.

There are so many offerings in the market…but which one is the best suited for you. 

How to choose the right one?

Confused...Following is a list of evaluation best practices that would assist you in making the right choice…J

Compliance is an ongoing activity that is done constantly. Hence, when selecting a SIM solution for 
compliance, take time to understand exactly how each product can make your department more effective 
by proactively helping you manage your compliance efforts on an ongoing basis.

It is not enough to be compliant, you must also prove it.  Ensure that workflow and the richness
of audit trail are carefully evaluated. A common point includes proving processes have been followed
and controls have been executed. The ability to execute and report on a closed loop workflow
and the ability to retrieve information from the audit trail in an ad-hoc manner is critical.

Compliance best practices and audit procedures are constantly evolving.  Make sure that Your SIM system
can adapt to new compliance requirements easily and can grow with your organization.

Place a premium on data collection. The system must be able to collect all the data from events that are
relevant for compliance purposes and must support quite a large number and varied sources of data.

It is important to understand what approach your vendor has taken with pre-developed compliance
solutions, the granularity of the methodology that has been used to ensure best practices and the level
of research that they have applied to the solution.

Look for a system that can be deployed quickly with out-of –the box intelligence and collection capabilities
to deliver immediate results. This will save you a lot of your consulting dollars.

Compliance should improve security. Choose a system that not only enables you to achieve compliance
but also protects your business at the same time.

Correlation is the key to compliance. A robust solution should have both pre-configured correlation rules
as well as customizable rules that meld to your compliance policies.

Focus on the regulated Business process. The solution must be able to map your technical information
and log data to your regulated business processes, and then map your business process to your specific

A compliance program should address your unique needs. The solution should consider the uniqueness
of your organization including how you exchange information, what technology architecture you use
for your networks and systems and how your IT security organization is arranged.  

    The points mentioned above are our understanding abstracted from TOP 10 Regulatory Compliances by ARCSIGHT.