Stories by David Cartwright

Cut-price monitoring hits the target

Even with a modest number of devices on your network, it's well worth considering spending your money on WhatsUp. Quick to get started, it's very customisable, and does much of what the full-blown monitoring applications do but at a fraction of the cost.

Learning the basics of AJAX

Asynchronous JavaScript And XML is a strange little beastie. It's a concept that all modern web browsers can exploit in order to make client-server applications that run in the browser but don't require a page re-load each time you do something - yet it's not all that well-known or well-used.

How to... handle cable management

Cable management is rarely at the top of the "to do" list for the average network manager. After all, if it all works, who cares whether it looks like a plate of spaghetti, right?

Fluke Networks: SuperAgent

Although most network analysis packages concentrate on the network fault-finding task, there's a common problem with corporate application performance issues - namely that although the first reaction to a performance issue is that there's a "network problem", the fault often lies somewhere above ISO layer 3. Yet the guy who looks after the switches and routers gets the call. SuperAgent is an application performance monitor and analyser whose aim is to help organisations trace the real cause of their application performance problems.

Getting under the bonnet of SNMP

SNMP, the Simple Network Management Protocol, is the most commonly-used means of configuring and monitoring network devices from a central management station. Although the name makes it sound straightforward, SNMP is in fact quite a complex subject, mainly because it was designed to be generic and extensible (an intention that usually causes an over-complicated result). So, the changes to the structure in which SNMP data is presented has grown like mad over the years.

The Future of Firewalls

Firewall technology has evolved significantly since the days of basic packet filters and network address translation. We now have not just firewalls but “intrusion detection devices”, which do far more complex things to the traffic they see in an attempt to prevent the network from being attacked. So where are firewalls going?

GriSoft Anti-Virus

We’ve all heard of McAfee, Symantec, Trend Micro and Sophos. GriSoft is perhaps a less well-known name in the field of corporate antivirus packages but this doesn’t mean it’s a lightweight company with low-end products.

Don't be at a loss with RAID

Some RAID implementations have no resilience at all - RAID 0, or "data striping", is the classic example. Others have absolute resilience - RAID 1, or "data mirroring", keeps an exact copy of the data on disk A on a second disk, B, in case A should turn up its toes.</