Stories by Joanne Cummings

A recipe for trust

Papa Gino's and D'Angelo Sandwich Shops now can add fast, easy, bulletproof security to its traditional menu of quick, casual food.

Managed storage comes of age

The maxim that timing is everything in business has special application to today's enterprise storage service providers. SSPs have evolved to the point where most experts and users say their time has come. With utility storage, state-of-the-art management services and savvy partnerships, today's SSPs can offer full-featured services tailored to specific enterprise needs. Also, with such new big-name players as HP, Sun and Verizon jumping into the market, interest in SSPs is intensifying.

Hell or high water

Hurricane Katrina made landfall last Aug. 29, battering Gulf Coast areas in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, killing more than 1,800 people and causing an estimated US$75 billion in damage. New Orleans took the brunt of the storm's fury -- once the levees gave way, 80 percent of the city flooded.

Good change management relies on automation

There's an adage that says change is the only constant. Still, every IT executive knows constant change wreaks havoc on a complex IT environment. In fact, IDC and Gartner report that 70 percent to 80 percent of IT-related problems are directly attributable to changes made to the environment.

A virtual breeze

By now, almost everybody agrees the buzz about server virtualization is justified. It's impossible to argue with the evidence presented by early adopters: This New Data Center technology has indeed let them decrease the number of physical servers they run and increase the number of applications they support -- all while boosting performance and availability, and even easing the overall administrative workload.

7 ways to prepare for virtualization

Need help positioning yourself and your staff for the changes virtualization and automation will bring in five years? Follow these career basics:

Get respect

It's a well-known fact: Network security is a thankless job where success breeds anonymity. The more successful you are, the fewer incidents you have to report and the fewer opportunities you have to interact with upper management and gain respect from the business side of the house.

From intrusion detection to intrusion prevention

Intrusion prevention seems the next logical step in enterprise security. Turning the intrusion-detection systems developed for spotting attacks into more useful products that stop intruders cold might even be considered a no-brainer.

Managing champions

Invisible to upper management. Ignored when it came to advancement. Dene Bettmeng learned the hard way what can happen when you don't have a mentor within the upper echelons of your IT organization. "I didn't have anybody going to bat for me, and when it came time for promotions, I wasn't considered because they basically forgot I was there," Bettmeng says.

Guiding hands

IT professionals who have to juggle multiple projects but have too few hands and face too many demands from upper management sometimes drop the ball when it comes to mentoring. "We're all too busy," says Tom Aikens, a vice president and general manager within the IT business group at McKesson HBOC Inc., a pharmaceutical and health care supplier in Lake Mary, Fla. "But when you take the time to mentor, it's amazing what you can get out of it."
Aikens is currently mentoring three junior members of his team on a regular basis as part of a formal mentoring program within IT.