Stories by Laurianne McLaughlin

Parallels stakes out tricky spot in the cloud

Parallels, known widely for its Parallels Desktop software that lets Mac users run Windows in a virtual machine, faces a problem that currently plagues many cloud companies: an identity crisis.

VMware vSphere: Does It Solve IT's Biggest Worries About Cloud?

For all the hype about cloud computing in the enterprise—hype that Gartner believes is now nearing its peak—IT professionals continue to tell cloud-related vendors that the cloud will not be practical until several serious concerns are addressed. VMware, with its vSphere 4 announcement today, is laying the foundation for what it hopes will be a central role for VMware technology in enterprises making use of both public and private cloud computing systems.

Eleven cloud computing vendors to watch

Cloud computing looks to be a "classic disruptive technology," says Forrester Research in an interesting new report published this week. For enterprise IT shops, cloud computing still poses some real risks, including an almost complete lack of service-level agreements and customer references, plus some genuine security and compliance concerns, according to Forrester. But even so, IT shops are tapping into cloud services for targeted projects: "There's a high likelihood that developers inside your company are experimenting with it right now," writes senior analyst James Staten in the report,"Is Cloud Computing Ready for the Enterprise?"

E-mail explosion

As the size of individual messages and in-boxes balloon, e-mail systems are choking under the strain. e-mail archiving software, caching appliances and download services can help get the mail delivered.

Future-proof your network

Try these 10 tips for for squeezing a long life from infrastructure investments. By Laurianne McLaughlin

WLAN shakeout ahead

The wireless LAN switch market is facing a major shakeout in 2004, so IT executives shopping for 802.11 gear need to take special care to pick an architecture that suits their long-term plans and a vendor with staying power.

The straight story on search engines

Let's say you're interested in digital cameras. So you search for exactly that "digital cameras" on MSN ( But when the results come back, you find yourself saying, "What is all this stuff?" One set of matches at the top of the page is called Featured Sites. Below that is a set of links labeled Sponsored Sites. Below those is still another group called Web Directory Sites.

Buy Now or Cry Later: Shortages Loom for Products

Even in this age of e-everything, you can't always get what you want. Shortages of several vital high-tech components have arisen this summer, causing product delays that will probably last through the holiday shopping season. Popular products like Palm Inc. handhelds, digital cameras, and top-of-the-line CPUs have been particularly hard-hit.

TEAC Debuts Faster CD-RW

Each day more and more of us are turning to CD-Rewritable (CD-RW) drives, for storing everything from MP3 files and digital photos to documents that absolutely need to be backed up.

Site to See: Office Update

HAD YOUR FILL of 45-minute journeys to nowhere on
Microsoft Corp.'s site? If you use Office, start at the Office Update Page ( It's a one-stop shop for program patches,
tips, and links to services such as e-stamps. If you're upgrading soon, check
out the Office 2000 section for help with mysterious install greetings such as
'Internal Error 2343'. Small-business owners will find useful goodies,
including a direct-mail tutorial.