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www.networkworldme.com | Issue 147 | June 2011

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HOW CONCERNED ARE YOU WITH THE ISSUE OF SECURITY IN A VIRTUALISED ENVIRONMENT?

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ULTIMATE UC EXPERIENCE FROM THE ULTIMATE UC LEADER—POLYCOM. It’s the latest buzz. Polycom is the world leader in Unified Communications. That’s because only Polycom offers a total communications solution—one that will work for you today and grow with you as your business evolves. It’s because our products are best-in-class and backed by Polycom’s history as an industry innovator. Oh, and we’re the only provider of collaboration solutions built on open, standardsbased architecture. Increase your productivity even as you reduce your costs and lower your carbon footprint with Polycom. Transform your business. theartofconversation.com

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ISSUE 147 | JUNE 2011

contents COMMENT 04 Each to their own BITS 06 GlobalFoundries to construct Abu Dhabi

plant next year

07 Intel gears up for growth 08 du completes LTE trial 10 Ericsson launches eco-friendly mobile

site in Egypt

TREND ANALYSIS 14 Brocade fleshes out cloud strategy

16

18

IN ACTION In prime health: Sheikh Khalifa Medical City is a case in point as to how UC and collaboration can help save money, streamline productivity and enhance customer service

22

Ready for crisis: SHUUA Capital has made its IT systems resilient by putting in place a DR plan to counter business disruptions

FEATURE 26 Watch your business: The advent and rise

of high-definition video surveillance

28

The green mandate: Energy efficiency is no longer an afterthought – it is a key consideration for any IT manager

EVENT REPORT 30 Cloud Leadership Forum: Advancing cloud

adoption

INTERVIEW 40 Dealing with risk: Paramount Computer

46

Virtualisation security How concerned are you with the security of your virtualised environment?

14

28

System CEO on the some of the burning issues related to security

TEST Force10 data centre switch delivers impressive performance

NEW PRODUCTS 48 A guide to some of the new products

COVER STORY

in the market

LAYER 8 50 All the news that’s fit for nothing

Quick Finder Page 6-26 GlobalFoundries, HP, Cisco, Intel, Huawei, Ericsson, EMC, Injazat Data Systems, Brocade, HP TippingPoint, Trend Micro, VMware, helpAG, Sony Professional Solutions, Axis Communications

Page 26-52 Cisco, Juniper Networks, Commvault, 3i Infotech, Paramount Computer Systems, Brocade, Force10, APC, EMC, RSA, Blue Coat, Sony, HP, Sophos


EDITORIAL Publisher Dominic De Sousa COO Nadeem Hood

Each to their own

Commercial Director Richard Judd richard@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9126

Has cloud computing reached its absolute peak in terms of hype? The topic makes for animated discussions at technology seminars these days and the hype seems to have reached a crescendo, making it really difficult to separate fact from fiction. You know it’s trouble when a technology has more than 20 definitions and means different things to different people. A month back, I’d the opportunity to talk to some of the high-profile CIOs from the region at a summit in Doha about cloud and whether it is really on their list of priorities this year. Despite all the hype and hoopla, CIOs look askance at this new technology, which promises to revolutionise the way we deliver and consume IT resources. There are many reasons why they are skeptical and said an emphatic no to the public cloud model. Not many are comfortable with the idea of sending their sensitive data beyond national boundaries and many cloud service providers still seem to be clueless about security. Regulatory issues, which are unique to the region, further compound the problem. Some of them who have put some applications on the cloud were even forced to take it back in-house because it didn’t work out really well. As one CIO told me, it costs around $55-60 for hosting e-mail on cloud but the same would cost around $45 if provisioned internally. I guess the biggest stumbling block to public cloud at the moment is the lack of economies of scale. Having said that, I must hasten to add that private cloud is indeed gaining traction in the region thanks to the onslaught of virtualisation into data centres. But the real question is there any single vendor out there who can provide all the software required to build a private cloud, which entails virtualisation spanning across servers, storage and networks, with a great deal of automation and orchestration. I am afraid the answer would be ‘no’, though vendors are increasingly creating their own definitions of private cloud to fit their product sets. So, are you ready for the bumpy ride?

Sales Director Raz Islam raz@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9129 EDITORIAL Dave Reeder dave@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9106 Senior Editor Jeevan Thankappan jeevan@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9109 ADVERTISING Group Sales Manager Rajashree R Kumar raj@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9131 Sales Manager Sean Rutherford sean@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9136 CIO PROGRAMMES CIO Programmes and Events Lead Kavitha Rajasekhar kavitha@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9132 MARKETING AND CIRCULATION Database and Circulation Manager Rajeesh M rajeesh@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9147 PRODUCTION AND DESIGN Production Manager James P Tharian james@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9146 Designer Froilan A. Cosgafa IV froilan@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9107 DIGITAL www.networkworldme.com Digital Services Manager Tristan Troy Maagma

Jeevan Thankappan Senior Editor jeevan@cpidubai.com

Web Developers Jerus King Bation Erik Briones Jefferson de Joya Louie Alma online@cpidubai.com +971 4 440 9100

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| Issue 147 | June 2011

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Schneider Electric makes the connections > Power > Cooling

> Rack Systems

> Physical Security

> Services > Management

Maximum efficiency and availability from rack to row to room to building Making the connection between IT and facilities With today’s technology challenges, Schneider Electric™ understands that data centres must be viewed as interconnected environments—from rack to row to room to building. We call this integration the data centre physical infrastructure, or DCPI. The only clear path to the highest availability and maximum efficiency, DCPI comprises power, cooling, physical security, and rack systems and is monitored and managed via software solutions and professional services.

Making the connection between efficiency and availability Today, maximized energy efficiency and guaranteed availability must work hand in hand. So Schneider Electric offers integrated cooling strategies across the DCPI. This hybrid approach delivers true energy savings—but never at the expense of availability. And we further optimize availability and efficiency with an integrated software platform that enables end-to-end monitoring and management of all DCPI domains. This holistic solution provides visibility and interoperability across the DCPI.

Making the connection with key industry partners Data centres can’t be built without constant communication and coordination with vendors and other key players. Only Schneider Electric has the consulting and services network, personal relationships, and real-world experience to give you the single point of contact you need to take your integrated data centre from envisioned to online.

Integrated architectures for Active Energy Management™ > Power The power domain connects it all – from generators to UPS units to PDUs – for cross-vendor interoperability. > Cooling Our highly efficient integrated solutions combine chillers, perimeter cooling, hot aisle containment, and row-based options to maximize efficiency and guarantee availability. > Physical Security Our single-pane view includes access control and surveillance across one or multiple facilities. > Rack Systems Interconnected, any-IT vendorcompatible rack enclosures, accessories, and air containment solutions support HD processing needs. > Services Schneider Electric professional services provide one point of contact for data centre planning, building, and operation. > Management Our exclusive integrated software architecture removes management ‘silos’ for greater energy awareness and efficiency and higher availability across the entire DCPI.

Try online for the next 30 days for FREE and get a chance to WIN a Lenovo® all-in-one touch screen PC! Visit www.apc.com/promo Key Code 89343t Call +9714-7099690 (Arabic) / +9714-7099691 (English) • Fax +9714-7099650 ©2011 Schneider Electric. All Rights Reserved. Schneider Electric, APC, and Active Energy Management are trademarks owned by Schneider Electric Industries SAS or its affiliated companies. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners. APC Middle East, PO Box - 53852, Dubai, United Arab Emirates • 998-2598_GB


bits

GlobalFoundries to construct Abu Dhabi plant next year Chip manufacturing firm GlobalFoundries will begin construction of a new

manufacturing plant in Abu Dhabi next year. Production of chips in the Abu Dhabi plant will begin in 2015, said Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC), a part of the Abu Dhabi government’s Mubadala Development investment arm, in an e-mailed statement. Earlier, GlobalFoundries has announced its intention to open a plant in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, but had not given a date when it would break ground.

HP counters Cisco with new switches, architecture HP has unveiled products supporting a new architecture that attempts to unify

enterprise data centre, campus and branch networks under a common and consistent operating environment. HP’s FlexNetwork architecture is a network-specific subset of HP’s Converged Infrastructure plan, a strategy to create virtual pools of server, storage and networking resources to run business operations. FlexNetwork is focused on the network piece of the Converged Infrastructure. The FlexNetwork architecture proposes implementing protocols consistently across

TRUE FACT

15% 6 Network World Middle East June 2011

The company has said that market demand will determine what types of chips to produce at the plant. GlobalFoundries is the third largest pure-

play chip maker by revenue, and owns factories in the Germany and Singapore. The company will spend $5.4 billion this year to expand its factory in New York state, and is looking to pump in billions of additional dollars on other factories to expand manufacturing capacity to meet the growing demand for chips used in computing products such as PCs, tablets and smartphones. GlobalFoundries began operations in 2009 when Advanced Micro Devices’ manufacturing arm was spun off. AMD retains a minority stake in GlobalFoundries. Speculation about a fab in Abu Dhabi began in late 2007 when Mubadala bought an 8.1% stake in AMD for $622 million.

all networked devices competitors propose different throughout an enterprise. technologies at different It also proposes consistent points in the enterprise management, securityand network -- campus data access policies across that centre, for example -- which infrastructure. makes it difficult and costly to With the plan, HP roll out new applications and is looking to disrupt services. Cisco’s Borderless “Customers are Samer Zein, Director of Networking, Networks strategy, which looking for vzendors HP Middle East essentially proposes driving a systemic the same thing: Use Cisco equipment change in networking to eliminate and protocols across all areas of the complexity, improve agility and increase enterprise network to gain consistency in performance,” said Samer Zein, Director performance and management. of Networking, HP Middle East. “HP’s new HP, though, claims to adhere more tightly modular campus switches outperform to standards and multivendor acceptance, Cisco’s in-class products head-to-head in and admonishes competitors like Cisco each category, while HP’s single-pane-offor being proprietary and resistant to glass management tool alone does what it multivendor support. HP also claims these takes Cisco 30 different tools to do.”

of enterprises will adopt layered fraud prevention techniques for their internal systems to compensate for weaknesses inherent in using only authentication methods by 2014. Source: Gartner

www.networkworldme.com


Intel gears up for growth

HP inks pact with Jordan ministry The Ministry of Information and

Intel says its addressable market in the GCC is growing by three times and

the processor company is realigning its resources to capture lion’s share of the market by 2015. “We are looking an organic growth of 30% year on year and we are trying to form an integrated marketing approach by meshing together our channel partners with our sales force to cash in on the opportunities in the region,” says Nassir Nauthoa, GM-Gulf Countries, Intel. Intel is also eyeing opportunities in the enterprise market bolstered by its acquisitions of security company McAfee and Infineon’s wireless division. During the first quarter, the company’s server business has exceeded expectations, and it has started shipping new Xeon E-series server chips based on the Sandy Bridge architecture in April. Nauthoa says Intel is also bullish about the opportunities in the cloud computing space. “We have launched our Cloud 2015 Vision, which has three key elements –

Huawei wins LTE awards Huawei won two awards in recognition of the company’s achievements in LTE

commercialization and product solutions at the LTE World Summit 2011. The awards are: “Significant Progress for a Commercial Launch of LTE by a Vendor” and “Best LTE Network Elements”. As of May 2011, Huawei has deployed over 100 SingleRAN commercial networks, which are capable of evolving into LTE, and of those that have deployed SingleRAN networks, more than 40 operators have announced the launch or the imminent launch of distinct LTE services.

Nassir Nauthoa, GM-Gulf Countries, Intel

federated, automated and client-aware. We also have a Cloud Builder programme, featuring 20 of the world’s leading hardware and software makers who will commit resources to spur innovation and make clouds easier to deploy, use and share.” Another area of focus would be its TriGate 3D Transistor technology, which the company says could make PCs, smartphones and tablets faster and more power-efficient. The new chip technology, using the latest 22-nanometer manufacturing technology, replaces flat, two-dimensional streams of transistors with a 3D structure. A flat, twodimensional planar gate is replaced with a thin, three-dimensional fin that rises up vertically from the silicon substrate. The new chips will start shipping by the end of this year, says Nauthoa. In 2010, Huawei’s LTE eNodeB shipment was ranked number one in the world, and Huawei won the “Significant Progress for a Commercial Launch of LTE by a Vendor” award at the LTE Summit 2011, which recognised Huawei’s endeavors and achievements in the commercial rollout of LTE. Huawei’s SingleRAN 5-Band 3-Mode 1-Cabinet solution (BTS 3900L), which won the “Best LTE Network Elements” award, leverages a sole cabinet to support up to three technologies across five frequency bands, allowing for the coexistence and interoperability of GSM/UMTS/LTE networks to make true convergence a reality and to minimise costs for operators.

Communications Technology announced the signing of a strategic memorandum of understanding (MoU) with HP Jordan to develop common programs and share expertise and practices to offer state-of-the art integrated technologies for the government organisations in addition to supporting professional IT education and assist in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in related fields. As part of the MoU, HP will share its expertise with MoICT as it relates to becoming an InstantOn Enterprise, an organization that embeds technology into everything it does in order to better address the growing needs of organisations and citizens. The joint collaboration will also explore the potential development of new areas in technology to benefit the education, government and private sectors, and create jobs/ opportunities for SMEs and entrepreneurship in the country. HP launched its fullyowned subsidiary in Jordan in January 2010 and has since made significant progress and contribution through its social investment programmes. As part of an agreement signed with the Government of Jordan, HP has created a regional Competency Centre that has hired university graduates over a period of one year to provide technology services to the wider Middle East, Mediterranean & Africa (MEMA) region. June 2011 Network World Middle East 7


bits du completes LTE trial du has completed its first pilot on Long Term Evolution (LTE) on its mobile network supporting mobile broadband speeds upto 150 Mbps. The pilot was conducted in April 2011. Commercial launch of LTE services is slated for the second half of 2011. This move follows closely on the heels of du’s launch of the latest 42 Mbps mobile broadband services, currently the fastest in the country, after having recently upgraded its network to next-generation DC-HSPA+ technology. This initiative is part of du’s long-term initiative to constantly develop and bring unmatched user experiences to the telecom sector. The company collaborates with wellknown telecom solutions providers and is conducting pilots with technology and network partners to evaluate the different LTE solutions and their

CNet teams up with the IET

Andrew Stevens, CNet Training’s Managing Director

CNET Training has established a route to achieve professional registration with The Institution of Engineering and Technology (The IET) for suitable delegates who complete its training courses. These delegates will be provided extra support by The IET in their preparation to apply for sought-after global professional qualifications such as Chartered Engineer

8 Network World Middle East June 2011

compatibility on its network. During the pilot, du’s network team successfully completed the first LTE call on its network achieving mobile broadband speeds of upto 150 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload speeds.

“Mobile broadband is increasingly gaining traction and we are proud to be one of the early operators in the world to begin trials of LTE – arguably one of the most cutting-edge telecom technologies, also referred to as 4G. At du, we are constantly exploring new opportunities and pushing the boundaries, so that our customers benefit from some of the most innovative services available in the world,” said Farid Faraidooni, Chief Commercial Officer, du. “Technology evolves continuously and today we are excited about LTE and what it can do to enhance the broadband experience of our customers. We are committed to bring the latest technology to the UAE and be among the early adopters of the latest advances in communication technologies. We are in the process of selecting and cooperating with the right partners, to enable our customers to be among the first users of LTE in the world,” added Hatem Bamatraf, Senior Vice President, Network Development, du.

(CEng), Incorporated Engineer (IEng), ICTTech and EngTech. Those attending and successfully completing CNet’s Certified Data Centre Design Professional (CDCDP), Certified Data Centre Management Professional (CDCMP) or Certified Data Centre Technician (CDCT) training courses will have the opportunity to submit their CV, via CNET to establish their personal route towards professional registration. This is in addition to the existing BTEC Level 5 Professional Award qualifications for CDCDP and CDCMP and the Level 3 BTEC Advanced Award for CDCT awarded, which support their programme of continual professional development. Keith Richardson, Area Manager at the IET added, “Professional registration with The IET is an important milestone in the career of any engineer or technologist. It demonstrates their proven knowledge, understanding and competence. In particular, registration shows peers

and employers that the engineer has demonstrated a strong commitment to professional standards and a professional approach to their work.” Andrew Stevens, CNet Training’s Managing Director adds, “We are thrilled at the popularity of our data centre programmes and have delivered them quite literally across the globe. Our development team is constantly working to ensure that the Global Data Centre Education Framework reflects the very latest technological advances, creating add-on modules such as the latest for energy efficiency. We also try to ensure that the framework provides delegates with even more opportunities, and our collaboration with The IET is the perfect example. It is fantastic news for CNet data centre delegates who can now gain extra support in obtaining yet another industry and internationally recognised qualification to their professional portfolio.” www.networkworldme.com


June 2011 Network World Middle East 9


bits Ericsson launches eco-friendly mobile site in Egypt Ericsson has launched its air-cooled sustainable Tower Tube technology in Egypt, a new environmentally friendly solution replacing the traditional mobile sites. The Tower Tube technology will support local operators in their efforts to reduce costs and provide them with more energy-efficient solutions while offering creative and pleasing design. The Tower Tubes use air flow inside the tube to cool equipment located at the top of the tower, therefore, the reduced energy expenditure means that the environmental impact of a Tower Tube is significantly less than a traditional site. In addition, the towers take up less space on the ground, saving land space and further reducing costs for local operators. “Ericsson has always strived to redefine

EMC unveils Hadoop appliance, BI software EMC has unveiled a purpose-built appliance for processing both structured and unstructured data sets for business analytics tasks. EMC has also announced the availability of two new business intelligence software products -- the Hadoop-based EMC Greenplum HD Community and Enterprise Editions -- at its EMC World user conference. Service contracts for both software products includes installation, training and global technical support. The Greenplum HD Community Edition is a fully-certified downloadable free software stack. The software is based on Hadoop, an Apache data management software, and is optimised to run on virtual machines. Greenplum HD Enterprise Edition is tailored for corporate data centres, with capabilities like fault tolerance through

10 Network World Middle East June 2011

the telecommunications landscape with its innovative technology and designs. Around the world our colleagues are actively engaged in addressing global sustainability and corporate responsibility needs at the local level, working together with local stakeholders to create solutions that benefit communication for all, a low-carbon economy and reduced environmental impact,” said Carlo Alloni, Ericsson’s President of North East Africa. “Through innovations such as the Ericsson Tower Tube, we hope to lead the transition to a low-carbon economy and decrease CO2 emissions regionally and globally.” Ericsson developed this technology to allow for faster and more cost-effective operations in which feeders are no longer required. All equipment is safely encapsulated at the top of the tower where Radio Base Stations

automated node failure detection and notification, multi-site management and data management features such as snapshots and wide area replication. It also offers simple data loading from databases and access via a native Network File System (NFS) interface. Along with its new software products, EMC introduced an updated Greenplum Data Computing Appliance that runs Hadoop for easy installation of the business intelligence technology. The new Greenplum HD Data Computing Appliance is built on top of Intel X86 servers and it uses both a structured database built by Greenplum, which EMC acquired last year and the Apache open-source version of Hadoop. The older version of the appliance is based on Sun Fire x64-based servers. EMC claims its version of Hadoop delivers two to five times the performance over the standard packaged versions of Apache Hadoop.

(RBS) are strategically positioned and elevated to reduce feeder loss and operation costs while also improving operators’ coverage and capacity of reach.

Injazat signs deal with MOE The UAE Ministry of Education (MOE) and Injazat Data Systems, the

UAE’s leading IT services company, have signed a technical support agreement covering the provision of IT Helpdesk Support services to the Ministry’s Bureaus in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well as the educational districts and public schools of Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Under the terms of the agreement, Injazat will deliver support services for the Ministry Headquarters in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, MOE depositories and branches, offices in the educational districts and training centres, as well as all 421 public schools in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. The services will be provided at all levels and in various fields including technical support, antiviruses, periodic maintenance for computers, local network services for future schools and assistance to the Ministry’s e-service staff. Only authorised persons including Ministry employees in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, office employees in educational districts and training centers, and three designated employees in every public school may contact the IT Helpdesk Support office.

www.networkworldme.com


Steady Growth

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Your Reliable Technology Partner

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bits GOOD

BAD

UGLY

Server sales up

Worldwide server shipments in the first quarter of 2011 increased 8.5 percent year on year, while revenue increased 17.3 percent, according to a Gartner report. Total server revenue for the period was US$12.6 billion and worldwide shipments were 2.3 million, Gartner said. The top five server makers worldwide showed sales increases except for Fujitsu. U.S. vendors claimed four of the five top spots. In order, they are Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Dell, Fujitsu and Oracle.

GOOD

Inside data theft costs Bank of America $10m

A Bank of America insider who sold customer data to criminals cost the bank at least US$10 million in losses. Bank of America began notifying customers of the incident recently, but is not providing many details of the case which is still under investigation. The theft, "involved a now former associate who provided customer information to people outside the bank, who then used the information to commit fraud against our customers," said Bank of America spokeswoman Colleen Haggerty, in an email message.

BAD

Cisco to invest $10M in Jordan Cisco has announced that it will invest $10 million to seed a sustainable model of

job-creation and economic development in Jordan. The venture capital investment will be targeted at small businesses that provide innovative products, services and solutions. Cisco also intends to engage in a multi-stakeholder collaboration to encourage further investment into the Jordanian economy from local, regional and global organisations. The information and communications technology (ICT) sector in Jordan has witnessed significant growth, going from just 50 companies in 2002 to more than 450 today. ICT now comprises more than 14 percent of the country’s GDP. Cisco is also strategically partnering with the government of Jordan to provide thought leadership in ICT-enabled healthcare solutions. The kingdom was ranked number one in the region and fifth in the world as a medical tourism hub by the World Bank in 2008.

Networking chief Haas leaving HP

New Sony hack nabs user data

Another day, another hack attack against Sony. More than 2000 users of Sony Ericsson's Canadian Website are impacted by the latest hack attack to hit a battle worn Sony. According to Sony hackers made off with e-mail addresses, passwords and phone numbers–but no credit card details. Sony has now shut down the affected site. Around 1000 of the stolen records from the Sony Canadian Website are already online, posted by Idahc, a "Lebanese grey-hat hacker". Sony Ericsson is joint mobile phone venture between Sony and Ericsson.

UGLY

12 Network World Middle East June 2011

Marius Haas

Marius Haas, who led Hewlett-Packard’s networking business through the 3Com acquisition that made it a broader competitor to Cisco Systems, is leaving the company for

Cisco is actively working throughout MENA to support job creation and economic growth by building ICT skills and talent within the workforce as well as providing greater access to capital and to educational opportunities. Developing and addressing the growing skills gap, as well as creating entrepreneurs and leaders of the future, is at the forefront of Cisco’s mission for the MENA region. Cisco has several initiatives in the region to facilitate this, including the Cisco Networking Academy. The Networking Academy is present in 19 countries in the MENA region currently boasting 70,000 active students 36 percent of whom are women. The program has trained 177,000 students since inception. Today there are 1,800 active instructors and 850 active academies in MENA. In Jordan there are 21 academies with 50 instructors. More than 7,600 students have been trained since the program’s inception of whom 31 percent are women — this represents a 26 percent increase of Networking Academy students in Jordan year on year.

investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Haas’ last day will be June 1, and a search for his replacement is already under way, HP said in a prepared statement. Bethany Mayer, vice president of worldwide marketing and alliances for Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking, will become the acting head of the networking business. Haas’ departure caps a period of significant expansion for the HP Networking Division but also comes after several other management changes that took place in the wake of Leo Apotheker’s arrival as CEO. Last month, HP appointed Martin Homlish, Apotheker’s former colleague at SAP, as executive vice president and chief marketing officer. The company also recently named Thomas Hogan as the sales, marketing and strategy chief for its enterprise business and appointed new regional directors for Asia Pacific, the Americas and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). www.networkworldme.com


trend analysis | brocade

Brocade fleshes out cloud strategy Brocade has unveiled its plan for migrating customers to distributed, virtualised, cloud-based data centres, along with products supporting that plan

B

rocade’s new CloudPlex framework defines the

components from Brocade and its partners that are required to get to what Brocade calls the “Virtual Enterprise.” Last summer, the company introduced its Brocade One architecture that started Brocade down the road of virtualising data centres. Brocade One was broader, however, encompassing the

14 Network World Middle East June 2011

“anywhere access to anything” direction; CloudPlex attempts to show people how to get there. All major switching vendors are pushing cloud computing visions and architectures. CloudPlex and its associated products will go up against Cisco’s Nexus/FabricPath, Juniper’s recently unveiled QFabric, Arista’s 7000 series switches and Extensible Operating

System, Avaya’s VENA, Alcatel-Lucent’s “Application Fluent” switches, and platforms and proposals from Enterasys, Extreme and Force10. The differentiator for Brocade, as always, is the emphasis on storage connectivity and resiliency, and backward compatibility. Some of the components of CloudPlex are available today while others are in development or on Brocade’s roadmap. The currently available components are: • Networks comprised of Ethernet fabrics and Fibre Channel fabrics as the CloudPlex foundation. These would be Brocade’s VDX Ethernet switches and Fibre Channel SAN switches, including new 16Gbps SAN products. • Multiprotocol fabric adapters for simplified server I/O consolidation; Brocade CNAs. • Application delivery products -- Brocade ServerIron -- necessary for balancing network traffic across

www.networkworldme.com


The differentiator for Brocade, as always, is the emphasis on storage connectivity and resiliency, and backward compatibility. distributed data centres. Planned components include: • Integrated, tested and validated bundles of server, virtualisation, networking and storage products called Brocade Virtual Compute Blocks. Brocade said it will enable its systems partners and integrators to deliver Virtual Compute Blocks in pre-bundled, preracked configurations, and supported by Brocade partners. • A new platform capable of supporting a number of IP, SAN and mainframe extension technologies including virtual private LAN services (VPLS), Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) and FICON. • An extension of Brocade’s Fabric ID technology called “Cloud IDs” that enables isolation and mobility of VMs for native multi-tenancy cloud environments. • A framework for management, provisioning and integration designed to promote multi-vendor and systemto-system interoperability specifically for cloud environments. These include Brocade products supporting OpenStack software for storage, compute and software-defined networking capabilities enabled through OpenFlow. Openness through OpenFlow and OpenStack may be another differentiator for Brocade and CloudPlex, some analysts say. “It’s designed to be much more open,” says Zeus Kerravala of the Yankee Group. “They’re trying to follow the line of standards. They’re open much more than anyone in the industry.” Brocade hopes to open up new sales opportunities with its newly launched 16Gbps Fibre Channel products it is also unveiling today. The products are designed to help enterprises migrate to private clouds under the CloudPlex

architecture, and include the DCX 8510 Fibre Channel SAN backbone switch and ancillary switch, adapter and management products. The DCX 8510 takes Brocade’s installed Fibre Channel SAN base -- the company had a 54% share of the $929 million modular SAN switch market in 2010, according to Dell’Oro Group -- from 8Gbps Fibre Channel to 16G. In addition to doubling the speed, the switch improves bandwidth utilisation, supports encryption and enhances diagnostics, Brocade says. The DCX 8510 is available in eight-slot or four-slot chassis models supporting up to 384 ports of 16 Gbps at line-rate speeds and 8.2Tbps of chassis bandwidth, Brocade says. Energy consumption is 0.27 watts/Gbps. Brocade is also rolling out the 6510 switch, which is designed for server and desktop virtualisation. It’s a 1RU device that can be expanded from 24 ports to 48 10G ports, delivering up to 768 Gbps aggregate throughput and 0.14 watts/Gbps. For servers themselves, Brocade unveiled the 1860 Fabric Adapter. The 1860 supports Fibre Channel, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Ethernet connectivity on a single adapter to consolidate connections to the LAN and SAN. It supports both 16Gbps for Fibre Channel and 10G Ethernet connectivity to switches. For managing the private cloud, Brocade will roll out Network Advisor 11.1. This release of Brocade’s LAN and SAN management software provides improved server adapter and VM management capabilities, as well as tighter integration with wired and wireless Ethernet, and

SAN environments for cloud-type interaction with resources. Network Advisor 11.1 also features tighter integration with third-party storage resource management and data centre orchestration applications, such as the EMC Resource Management Suite and the HP Virtual Connect Enterprise and Storage Provisioning Managers. Lastly, Brocade added a new release of its Fabric OS operating system to the new hardware. Fabric OS 7.0 offers features designed specifically to help optimise fabric behaviour and application performance in virtualisation and cloud architectures. Brocade has enhanced congestion notification and performance monitoring in the new release. The new products will be available later this quarter. Pricing is up to Brocade OEMs, the company says. For the public cloud, meanwhile, Brocade extended and enhanced its product line for service providers. A twoport 100G Ethernet module for the MLX router -- announced last year -- is now shipping. Brocade will also add an eightport 10G blade to the MLX to enable the router to support 256 wire-speed 10G ports for cloud service offerings. The card uses 45% less power than previous 10G cards for the MLX, Brocade says. Also the company’s NetIron CER edge router now has software that allows it to support three times as many IPv4 and twice as many IPv6 routes as previous versions, while enhancing MPLS scalability. Brocade also rolled out a new managed services switch for the customer premises. The Brocade 6910 extends wire-speed cloud-based Ethernet services to the “last mile.” Target applications for the switch are metro access for enterprise customers, mobile backhaul for cellular 4G/LTE, public safety networks and managed customer premises devices for the enterprise. June 2011 Network World Middle East 15


in action: SKMC

In prime health Sheikh Khalifa Medical City is a case in point as to how Unified Communications and collaboration can help save money, streamline productivity and enhance customer service

S

heikh Khalifa Medical City, managed by Cleveland Clinic,

serves as the flagship institution for SEHA’s (Abu Dhabi Health Services Comapny) healthcare system. It is governed by its commitment to practice modern medicine to the same high standards as the best medical facilities in the world. SKMC’s comprehensive health care services cater to the needs and priorities of the Abu Dhabi community, ensuring not only optimal levels of patient care and satisfaction but also promoting general health and well-being through education and awareness. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City consists of a 568 bed Acute Care Hospital, 14 Outpatient Specialty Clinics and a Blood Bank, all accredited by Joint Commission International (JCI). Additionally, SKMC manages a 125 bed Behavioral Sciences Pavilion, six Family Medicine Clinics, two Urgent Care Centres and two Dental Centres located within the city of Abu Dhabi. Last year, SKMC was faced with the need to accommodate growth in the communication infrastructure for the enterprise, and also address issues related to unreliable communications

16 Network World Middle East June 2011

infrastructure at remote sites. In addition, the hospital’s IT organisation was faced with the challenge of supporting the mobile workforce as mobility is key to both clinical and support services. “We had to re-visit a number of workflows and see if technology can enhance and streamline it for better efficiencies,” says Ahmed Yahya. SKMC implemented a combination technologies and integration solutions to achieve these goals. This included Cisco Unified Communications suite, IP contact centre, meeting place express for web and bridge calling, ARC operators console technology for routing and queuing, SMS gateway for follow up text messaging/paging and Nevotek XML and integration services. “We see innovation being achieved by integrating multiple systems in the enterprise to enhance internal processes, customer satisfaction, data quality, and accurate data for better decision support systems. In our case, we integrated the call centre and main switch board with the HIS (health care information systems) to display specific data related to patients for that area,” says Ahmed Yahya, Director of IT, SKMC.

Internal call centre and the main switchboard were integrated with the hospital’s computer systems that displayed staff names, their departments and badge numbers for faster data entry and routing. “Data quality was key, as getting both staff data from Oracle HR and basic information about patients from Cerner HIS was critical for success,” says Yahya. As an operational hospital, the implementation of the new system required a structured approach to the migration from the old Nortel system to the new system. It had to provide a commercially proven IP-based telephony solution that delivered all the features, reliability and high availability www.networkworldme.com


The UC pay off • Patient device and service provisioning upon check-in/ check-out was achieved with integrating with HIS. • Call Centre integration with HIS to provide better patient experience such as special insurance and VIP routing), and key patient information presented to agent/operator upon incoming calls leading to enhanced customer satisfaction. • Automatic staff billing and cost posting via Oracle integration. • Integrated computer systems with various communication and data sources such as corporate directory, wireless handsets, presence, email calendaring, and one number reach leading to enhanced internal communications. • Various call flows, both clinical and administrative to enhance internal workflows and operations. Other enhancements achieved were site cost savings, savings from voice bridging, reduction in lost/abandoned calls, faster routing, revised dial plans for targeted broadcastings/calling. SMS integration and automatic patient schedule reminder notifications which resulted in reduction of no-show rates, and enhanced reporting for better analysis.

productivity of SKMC, and led to huge reductions in cost. All sites including remote sites are part of one dialling plan which has resulted in reduced time to call and cost. Integration of systems resulted in faster routing and identification of callers, which enabled the hospital to do more work less staff and also reduced delays in locating and communicating with other staff members. Local dial plans across the enterprise have also resulted in reduction of cost. “We also eliminated 13 PRI lines at remote sites. We expect the increase of customer traditionally satisfaction both external and internal found in should result in better productivity “legacy” TDM efficiencies and volume to the hospital. solutions, with SMS patient reminders prior to visit have the flexibility of nextresulted in a reduction in our no-show generation IP-enabled services rates, thus more slots are used for patients and applications. Due to the criticality of and more staff productivity.” the voice traffic, the network needed to be Better communication devices and structured with significant resilience and mobility have a tangible impact on SKMC redundancy to prevent network outages, users. As a result of intelligent routing Ahmed Yahya, Director of IT, SKMC thus the network validation infrastructure and workflow, SKMC is now able to was in scope. system failover to critical communication deliver a more friendly customer service “As result of the planning and components. Anticipated growth was also and data sharing and integration was discussions of requirements, we had factored in,” says Yahya. enabler in various areas whether its call multi path redundancies built in every The implementation of the UC solution flows or system interfaces. consolidated network point along with has had a significant impact on the “We believe efficient communications will result in less time spent on the road, meetings, and The implementation of the UC solution has had a significant paperwork. The less impact on the productivity of SKMC, and led to huge of these means less reductions in cost. energy waste and tree conservation,” says Yahya. June 2011 Network World Middle East 17


in action: DR

Ready for crisis SHUAA Capital has made its IT systems resilient by making sure that it has a DR plan to counter business disruptions critical business applications,” says Sadiq Panjwani, VP – Head of IT Systems. SHUAA’s BIA objective was also to provide reasonable application performance for users accessing the systems running on DR site. Considering these requirements, the following components were included in the design architecture: Online Storage (SAN): With performance being a Sadiq Panjwani, VP – Head of IT Systems, SHUAA Capital key factor for any business confluence of factors – application (Trading activity in our case), challenging economic climate, traditional DAS systems do not provide greater storage demands, and the level of performance required by natural disasters – is spurring regional transactional applications; hence we enterprises to address the issues of disaster deployed SAN storage not only for recovery and business continuity. production systems but also for secondary/ The Dubai-based investment bank tertiary standby servers in the recovery site. SHUAA Capital has recently done a Server Virtualisation: Agility and complete business impact analysis and hardware freedom leading to reduced has taken concrete steps from planning costs for generally this kind of a project a business case to completing the 24/7 with unrealised gains is a great blessing availability tests in the face of large scale in disguise for all IT industry. This has hardware failure or sabotage, facilities been achieved only by virtue of Server failure or regional natural disaster. virtualisation technology. SHUAA built Evaluating its critical application, systems the scalable DR infrastructure based and network capacity, the firm started work on virtualisation allowing maximum on a DR for business-IT infrastructure. utilisation of available resources while “Conventional backup systems and managing direct costs on infrastructure. disaster recovery plans involve data shipping WAN Optimiser: A critical component of to recovery site. However in the event of a the Project with reference to performance disaster, restoring is a cumbersome process. delivery is the WAN optimiser installed Keeping in mind with our requirements, on the production and recovery Site. The we procured and deployed the best of breed WAN Optimiser serves a dual purpose in the online network storage as solid foundation environment; it allows SHUAA to replicate along with DR software solution for all and keep in excess of over 5TB of production

A

18 Network World Middle East June 2011

data in sync between the two sites. IP-Connect WAN Link: As lot of data travels between production and recovery site, the firm deployed high speed WAN link using MPLS technology that provides us low latency and high response time, which further accelerates data transfer and application performance for all business users across the organisation. In addition to real time failover capability for our critical applications, we also replaced our traditional tape backup system with a state of the art single instance BRS (backup and recovery) system that utilises de- duplication technology with replication to recovery (DR) site. This new system through de duplication technology backs up only new data bytes, hence allowing us to rapidly complete backup of our entire server set well within the available time frame. By utilising industry acknowledged technology and high class systems, SHUAA was able to successfully achieve set objectives within the stipulated time frame of just over two years. Panjwani says the DR project has directly translated into enhanced business efficiencies. “Real Time Failover to secondary (within the same site) and tertiary (in DR / Recovery site) standby server infrastructure allowed us real time failover with Recovery Time Objective (RTO) varying between 1 to 3mins – the later depending on the underlying application and associated services while maintaining the near real-time Recovery Point Objective (RPO). “ Also, server maintenance window has shrunk drastically, as users can be moved to secondary standby server, whereby the production server is serviced within office hours without any overtime consumption on IT out of office hours / weekends. “With high performance iSCSI network online storage, we are able to achieve maximum performance for the services failing over to the recovery site, hence allowing users acceptable performance to critical business services, even in a disaster state,” add Panjwani. www.networkworldme.com


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in action: meydan

Galloping ahead Meydan City, Dubai, uses IP convergence to create ultimate 21st century horse racing experience

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eydan City is Dubai’s new iconic sporting, business,

Architecture, customised to support the Cisco vision of a Connected Stadium. and lifestyle destination. The Implemented as the new foundation complex includes a world-class grandstand, for the 2010 Dubai World Cup, this fully a 60,000-capacity racecourse, the Dubai converged infrastructure supports data, Racing Club and Emirates Racing Authority voice (using 1550 Cisco IP phones and offices, a luxurious five star hotel, exquisite Unified Contact Center Enterprise for fine-dining restaurants, helpdesk and ticket sales), covered car parking for video, security, wireless 8600 vehicles, the Meydan (comprising 3200 Cisco Museum and Gallery, and Access Points), building an IMAX Theater. management, and physical Aligned with the security for the grandstand vision of His Highness and the Meydan Hotel. Sheikh Mohammed bin Guests can enjoy Rashid Al Maktoum, free use of unified Meydan City aims to communications, create not just the wireless Internet access, Wassim Hamwi, Chief Information Officer, Meydan ultimate venue for interactive TV, and video horse racing, but also on demand services at an integrated city that is sustainable, both the hotel and the grandstand. Each environmentally responsible, and capable hotel room has two plasma screens and of positioning Dubai at the center of the is serviced with the utmost efficiency. competitive global business stage. Staff use IP phones to report any broken To realise these ambitions, the items or faults, and order replacement management company Meydan stock. This data is automatically sent to encapsulated a new way of thinking about the hotel management system and can be how major development projects can be actioned immediately. transformed through intelligent, converged This experience of luxurious efficiency IP networking. continues at the racecourse, where “Using the network as a platform, our visitors can enjoy the big race buildplan was to maximise operational efficiency up and catch all the action on four by converging voice, data, and building channels and over 450 plasma screens. management systems,” says Wassim Hamwi, These programs, the first of their kind CIO for Meydan. “The second step was to to be produced in high definition, look at how this investment could be reused are simultaneously streamed over the to provide richer, fulfilling experiences for network to TV broadcasters and major people visiting the city.” sports channels. And, with ubiquitous Meydan has created a technology wireless access, the media and press blueprint for delivering 21st century can dispatch reports with ease, helping sports and entertainment services. The ensure the venue receives all the public solution uses Cisco Borderless Networks relations and publicity that it deserves.

20 Network World Middle East June 2011

Improving agility

T

he National Industrialisation Company, also known as TASNEE, is the second largest petrochemical producer in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. IT and communications play an important role in supporting these operations by enabling effective collaboration between product development, manufacturing, sales and marketing, and distribution teams. However, aging telephony systems and networks were struggling to keep pace with a rapidly changing and expanding business. This IT model was also becoming difficult and expensive to manage. The company would often have to spend money on extra cabling and rely on third parties to manage services, such as voice and video conferencing. Therefore, as well as improving communications and access to information for mobile workers, the company needed a new model that would help accelerate growth and the adoption of new technologies. TASNEE’s vision was to create a borderless organization, where employees could see each other’s real-time contact status, set up a virtual meeting, and share their workspace, regardless of the user’s device or location. TASNEE has used Cisco Unified Workspace Licensing to procure a broad range of Cisco Unified Communications applications and services on a pay-per-user basis. This integrated suite of solutions includes Cisco IP Telephony, Unity Unified Messaging, Unified Presence, IP Communicator, Mobile Communicator, and Contact Center Express. This highly collaborative environment makes full use of the company’s internal network. For example, with Unified MeetingPlace Express employees can set up and attend voice, video, and Web conferences quickly and easily. These virtual meetings can be used to share and edit documents, demonstrate products, deliver compelling presentations, or to support training programs. Unity Unified Messaging has streamlined communications further still by enabling email, voice, and fax messages to be accessed from a single inbox, anytime, anywhere.

www.networkworldme.com


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feature | virtual security

Virtual blind spot

How concerned are you with the issue of security in a virtualised environment?

M

alicious hypervisors. Subversive virtual

machines. Live migration impersonators. Welcome to the world of virtualisation, where the threats are new and the traditional security tools such as firewalls and intrusionprevention systems don’t cut it anymore. Unfortunately, at many enterprises, security strategies haven’t kept pace with the move to virtualisation. For their part, IT pros tend to look at it this way: Since physical and virtual servers run the same Linux and 22 Network World Middle East June 2011

Windows operating systems on the same hardware, then security for the former is adequate for the latter. This could be fatal. “Many companies that have embarked on virtualisation haven’t contemplated about the security ramifications yet. All those threats in the physical world are relevant in the virtual world too and it can be ten times worse because your virtual desktops and servers are hosted in the data centre,” says Chris Moore, Regional GM, Trend Micro. Industry experts say the general

awareness level of issues related to virtual security isn’t quite where we need it to be. “Awareness is definitely lagging behind. One of the major reasons for this is that information security isn’t initially involved in the virtualisation projects. It is quite easy to get overwhelmed by the business benefits of virtualization and forget to evaluate the security risks involved in a virtualisation project,” says Arun George, Technical Sales Manager, HP TippingPoint. Agrees Nicolai Solling, Director of Technology Services from help AG www.networkworldme.com


Chris Moore, Regional GM, Trend Micro

Middle East: “As for the many projects we’ve been involved in, the focus has mostly been on taking a lot of servers and systems and consolidating into

within the data centre.” Another issue is that IT needs to figure out what to do about the network blind spot that virtualisation creates, as none of the network-based firewalls or IPS in the physical world can see the traffic being switched between two virtual machines in the same box. “Our existing security architectures come from decades of practice in deploying physical systems – we’ve got rack switches that interconnect the servers on the rack, end of row switches that interconnect the racks and core switches that interconnect everything. Network and security management has been built around this three-tier architecture,” points out Deepak Narain, Senior Technology Consultant, VMware.

and the definition of the network perimeter has changed. Unless security tools are enhanced to become virtualisation aware – in many cases, they need to become virtual machines themselves – they will not be able to provide the same level of functionality in the cloud as they do today. Many enterprises haven’t focused on virtual server security because their virtualisation deployments are immature. When virtual servers are just used for test and development purposes or for running non-critical, low-priority applications, security doesn’t much matter. But that changes as a virtualisation layer moves into the production environment to host mission-critical applications. The deeper entrenched virtualisation becomes, the greater the need to deploy security technology specifically aimed at protecting the virtual infrastructure.

As for the many projects we’ve been involved in, the focus has mostly been on taking a lot of servers and systems and consolidating into one piece of hardware. one piece of hardware thereby saving on operational costs of a data centre environment. So far we haven’t seen a great focus on security within the virtual environment. One of the reasons for this is probably the fact that even in the existing data centre the security segmentation within the data centre is fairly limited and security focus in most designs has been to segment and control user traffic going into the data centre but not necessarily controlling the traffic

In an elastic virtual environment, where a single server could host many different kinds of services, or a virtual machine can hop around from rack to rack, this architecture won’t be able to keep up. And, you’ve got a new layer of networking to factor in – the virtual switch. “I could implement multiple virtual data centres inside a physical data centre – and it all may be in the same rack, possibly even the same server,” adds Narain. As a result the network is flattening

Deepak Narain, Senior Technology Consultant, VMware

June 2011 Network World Middle East 23


feature | virtual secturity

acquired virtual security start-up Third Brigade. For its part, virtualisation leader VMware has taken many security controls and pushed them into the virtualisation layer via its vShield family. “We are delivering some of the traditional network security services as virtual machines themselves, or partnering with the security vendors and providing them the right APIs to hook into the virtualization layer to provide the same – and often even better - guarantees that they can in the physical world,” says Narain. While evaluating virtual security products, IT manages are advised to select those that are optimised to run inside the virtualisation environment and have been integrated into virtualisation frameworks from Microsoft, VMware and Xen-based virtualisation vendors. “From a security strategy point of view, IT managers should include steps to protect both physical and virtualised data centres in a compliant, secured and controlled manner. The security vision should be to maintain the same security policy in the physical data centre as well as in the virtualised data centre,” says George. Just as virtualisation enabled massive cost savings and efficiency gains, it is a real game-changer when it comes to security. Contrary to the popular belief, virtualisation is not inherently insecure, but it gets deployed insecurely today. But this problem will go away over the next three to four years as IT staffs, vendors, the tools and skills mature.

We are delivering some of the traditional network security services as virtual machines themselves.

Arun George, Technical Sales Manager, HP TippingPoint The new reality How do you protect your VMs and traffic

between them? Do you need to think of a security posture that is similar to the physical environment? Experts believe running IPS or a copy of antivirus in the hypervisor would defeat the whole purpose of this layer being very thin and hardened. The whole idea behind virtualisation is flexibility and companies have to strike a balance between usability and security. “The challenge around security in a virtualised world is slightly different than the physical world. Most customer are looking to take advantage of the virtualised world and not necessarily overload the system with heavy-duty protection. However, like any environment, be it physical or virtualised , security controls are 24 Network World Middle East June 2011

a must , and the traditional solution should have the ability to integrate with this new era of technology,” says Essam Ahmed, Regional Presales Manager MENA, McAffee. Security vendors on their part have stepped up to take the bull by horns. These include start-ups such as Altor Networks, Apani, as well as well-established security vendors. Besides HP TippingPoint, this latter group includes CA Technologies, for security functions such as access control and log management; Juniper Networks, which has a strategic alliance with Altor; IBM for IPS; and Trend Micro, which

Nicolai Solling, Director of Technology Services, Help AG Middle East

www.networkworldme.com


June 2011 Network World Middle East 25


feature | IP surveillance in association with

Watch your business The advent and rise of high-definition video surveillance

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or many companies in the region, IP video surveillance has become the

security solution of choice thanks to the latest advances in compression technology and declining prices for IP cameras. The converged world of voice, video and data has officially arrived. There are many factors driving the adoption. All-IP video security leverages your investment in network infrastructure, and is simpler, more elegant and accessible to users across the enterprise. In many cases, it also is more cost-effective than a conventional video surveillance system with analogue cameras and digital video recorders.

26 Network World Middle East June 2011

Using IP cameras, video management software (VMS) running on industrystandard servers and network-area storage systems, you can maximise the value of your investment in network infrastructure and standardise on servers across your enterprise, enabling efficiencies in training, administration and support. Other benefits include the ability to access remote locations via your LAN or WAN and centralise security monitoring instead of stationing guards at each site. High-resolution IP cameras can even integrate with other building systems such as fire alarm and access control systems and come armed with advanced video analytics

that can alert security staff in real-time to unusual activity. However, it may not be for everyone, and is ideal for expansive, greenfield applications that require a large number of cameras. For example, if you have a distributed organisation with hundreds of smaller sites spanning a large geographic area, coaxial cable and networked video recorders might make more sense for recording video at relatively low frame rates. An all-IP configuration, however, may be the most cost-effective solution if you need very high resolution video or the intelligence available from advanced video analytic applications. While high-definition is becoming pretty much the norm in the TV market, the video surveillance market is also following suit. “It is well known that HD standard was designed to enhance the TV viewing experience by producing ’life-like’ visual experiences. This technology revolution from the consumer world has made it to the professional worlds as well, and it would make sense to invest in deploying HD in video surveillance, to capture flawless footage of moving people and objects. The image resolution of traditional security analogue cameras was based on NTSC/PAL TV standards which were primarily designed for SD resolution only,” says to Hidenori Taguchi, Head of Marketing B2B Products & Solutions, Sony Professional Solutions. Baraa Al Akkad, Regional Manager of Axis Communications, adds that the possibility of clearer, sharper images is a www.networkworldme.com


in association with

long sought quality in the surveillance industry, especially in applications where objects are moving or accurate identification is vital. “A network camera that complies with any of the given HDTV standards (SMPTE 296M and SMPTE 274M, which are defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) is guaranteed to provide a certain resolution, frame rate and color fidelity, thereby ensuring video quality at all times.” Potential concerns about the impact of all this high-resolution video on the corporate network is addressed by modern IP video solutions. Advanced compression technologies, such as H.264, reduce bandwidth and storage requirements considerably. For network security users, HD video signals are transmitted through H.264 which is the best compression available for IP security industry today, without jeopardising on the quality of the images. MPEG-4 requires approximately one-third of the bandwidth used by JPEG whereas H.264 requires just one-fifth, which is a 40% saving between standard MPEG-4 and H.264. “ Better compression means that the stored files will take up much lesser room on servers and hence saving a significant sum in network storage requirements,” says Taguchi. H.264 has already been introduced in new electronic gadgets such as mobile phones and digital video players, and has gained fast acceptance by end users. Service providers such as on-line video storage and telecommunications companies are also beginning to adopt H.264. “In the video surveillance industry, H.264 will most likely find the quickest traction in applications where there are demands for high frame rates and high resolution, such as in the surveillance of highways or airports,” says Akkad. Administrators can also configure an IP video system to capture and store video at a lower frame rate and then bump up that

Baraa Al Akkad, Regional Manager of Axis Communications

frame rate automatically on alarm. Taking advantage of intelligent features available with most systems allows you to transmit video only upon a specific event, such as motion detected in an office building after normal business hours. In addition, some video surveillance systems let you set bandwidth usage, limiting the video streaming along the network to a fixed bit rate to ensure core business data is never compromised. Finally, bandwidth usage can be managed through the selection of IP cameras and encoders with internal SDHC flash memory cards that enable video capture at the network’s edge. Though IP is making rapid strides in the surveillance world, threatening to replace legacy CCTV systems, it has its own share of challenges, the most important one being the lack of expertise. System installers and designers lack familiarity and don’t have enough expertise in deploying infrastructure for these kind of video surveillance systems. Vendors, for their, part say they are addressing this issue by training their partners.

“There are various experts in system installation and design in the region. Sony Professional takes pride in the fact that our partners are trained to provide solutions that fit the customer’s requirements,” says Taguchi. Even if all these kinks are ironed out, the convergence of voice, video and data won’t happen overnight. The investment in legacy CCTV systems and the resources involved in replacing them will, in many cases, dictate a phased migration to hybrid video configurations that can serve as a bridge to the inevitable all-IP future. To determine the best path to IP video for your organisation, take the same approach you would with any technology infrastructure. Develop a long-term road map with a phased implementation that takes into account your surveillance infrastructure, future video requirements and budgetary realities. You can have the best of both worlds, but not without the proper due diligence. Do your research, conduct a thorough trial and evaluation and, by all means, ask for references. June 2011 Network World Middle East 27


feature | green IT

The green mandate Energy efficiency is no longer an afterthought – it is a key consideration for any IT manager

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odern energy efficient technologies

are becoming the norm, and most businesses understand that implementing “green IT” helps the environment and the bottom line. But many IT professionals lack a tool that is critical to understanding the full impact of energy efficient practices. According to the Energy Efficient IT Report from CDW, 27% of IT managers never see their department’s share of the energy bill. Without that information, IT may have a difficult time seeing the value and impact of their energy efficient efforts and policies. Most important, they may have a harder time making the business case for more energy efficient investments. Industry experts say it doesn’t necessarily have to cost you more to do the right thing. Savings can offset costs, which they can do by concentrating on effort to go lean (consolidating data centres and apps and virtualising servers and storage), and getting more efficient (using more efficient servers, adopting new data centre designs and measuring power usage more closely, among other things). “IT managers should consider an energy efficient IT with lower costs, space and higher energy savings, and focus on 28 Network World Middle East June 2011

the benefits gained from them. Successful businesses care not only about driving profitability, but making sure they operate in a socially responsible way,” says Tarek Abbas, Systems Engineering Director –MENA, Juniper Networks. Hani Nofal, Regional Manager, Cisco UAE, echoes a similar opinion: “CIOs today are central to the drive for greener IT and greener business. As IT has grown in importance and scale, the CIO has become responsible for a progressively larger share of enterprise energy costs. The IT group therefore needs to become a centre for innovation to reduce the carbon footprint. First, CIOs need to ensure that complex, power-hungry IT systems become more environmentally sustainable by promoting energy efficiency across the board. Then he or she can begin to empower the enterprise to cut emissions by using the IT system’s capabilities to enable new practices across the business as a whole.” Network as the platform Energy-related costs account for around

12% of overall data centre expenditure, but firms are continuing to struggle to cap this spending, according to analyst firm Gartner. Gartner said energy costs are the fastest rising cost in the data centre. It says that www.networkworldme.com


power and cooling cost problems are likely to worsen during the next few years, as organisations grow their technology infrastructure as they emerge from a recessionary period. Hundreds of thousands of KWh are being consumed by the use of memory components in servers today. By adopting more energy-efficient components in optimised server architectures, such as lower voltage DRAMs and advanced solid-state drives (SSDs), data centres can drastically reduce power consumption and associated energy costs. Realising the need for greater energy efficiency, server manufacturers have been optimising their architecture including the use of power-

Tarek Abbas, Systems Engineering Director – MENA, Juniper Networks.

competing solutions offering similar port densities. Virtual Chassis technology enables customers to add capacity as needed, maximising network utility while helping to eliminate unnecessary space, energy, and cooling consumption.” Should companies deploy more power-efficient core switches and use the network as a platform to manage and reduce energy use? Absolutely. The network is the platform for green business practices. At the infrastructure level, how effectively the network supports business applications while decreasing the total cost of ownership is the key. “Power efficiency at the individual device level is less important than the infrastructure level, because customers are looking for a network platform through which to conduct business operations, improve productivity and generate profit. Certainly, individual devices, including but not limited to core switches, should be energy efficient, however, they should also work to help ensure further green benefits through service integration, application enablement, and system longevity,” says Nofal.

Hundreds of thousands of KWh are being consumed by the use of memorycomponents in servers today.

Hani Nofal, Regional Manager, Cisco UAE

saving “green” memory alternatives. Cisco’s Nofal believes IT managers can also utilise the network to play a major role in delivering an affordable green solutions by allowing IT operations and facilities to measure and fine-tune power usage to realise significant cost savings. “An example of how the network can play that role is a cost-effective and

affordable solution called Cisco EnergyWise. This technology focuses on reducing power utilisation on all devices connected to a Cisco network ranging from Power over Ethernet (PoE) devices such as IP phones and wireless access points to integration with IP-enabled building and lighting controllers,” he says. It uses an intelligent network-based approach, allowing IT and building facilities operations to understand, optimise, and control power across an entire corporate infrastructure, potentially affecting any powered device. Abbas says companies are already looking at various ways to use more power-efficient network devices, and Juniper has been innovating to address such requirements. “With Juniper’s Virtual Chassis technology, 10 Juniper Networks EX4200 line of Ethernet switches can be interconnected and managed as a single logical device the EX Series Switches occupy up to 80 percent less space and consume up to 53 percent less power than

Energy-reducing practices Deploy more power-efficient core switches Replace edge and workgroup switches with more powerefficient switches Use the network as a platform to manage and reduce energy use Adopt 10GB Ethernet, Infiniband technologies Reduce SAN infrastructure by implementing Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) Move to top-of-rack models for access layer switching

June 2011 Network World Middle East 29


EVENT REPORT Produced by:

In association with:

Technology Partners

CLOUD

LEADERSHIP

FORUM

ADVANCING CLOUD ADOPTION

Keeping your head above the clouds I

n a market that is seeing a glut of cloud events, what’s made the CPI Cloud Leadership Forum different? Our approach, hands down. Let’s go straight to the point. We’ve all had enough of hearing about the hype surrounding the cloud; the FUD (fear, doubt and uncertainty) concepts and the endless debates on how it could potentially transform the business. So we literally decided to pop the questions. So what are companies in this market really doing with the cloud and what it offers? Having brought together over 100 attendees and top executives from our sponsors Etisalat, EMC and MDS, the event came armed with clear local survey data that sets the direction of what the industry can expect to see. So what is the real attitude towards the game-changing proponents of the cloud? Unlike popular opinion on trying to sort the hype, respondents to our survey said they were already looking to

30 Network World Middle East June 2011

Abdulla Hashim, Senior Vice President- ICT, Etisalat delivers the opening address

Presentation: Securing the Cloud

Christian Hewitt, Technology Consultant, RSA, The Security Division of EMC


Presentation: OS for the Cloud

Deepak Narain is the Regional Presales Manager for VMware in the Middle East & North Africa

Presentation: Monetising the Cloud

Marc Salingardes, EMC Cloud Service Provider Alliance Director

learn about the cloud technologies and services that could help their company possibly right away. Although we don’t have extensive deployments, what the survey found was a clear change in mindset that there is a need to transform business models and an understanding that the cloud model will gradually grow to encompass all commodity IT services. This also gives IT the chance to look at shifting internal resources onto higher value activities. Of particular interest is the opportunity to access pure play software-asa-service options. The business driver most certainly hinges on enabling agility and what better way to achieve that than using technology. Quite expectedly, IT departments are still in the driver seat with most pressure to transform

Presentation: All Cloud Models Are Not the Same Ramesh Krishna Bhandari, Business Development Specialist – Business Solutions, Central Marketing, Etisalat

Presentation: Cloud Computing Trends

Kevin White, Consulting and Research Director UAE, Ovum

Presentation: Virtualised data centre presentation Jitendra Kapoor, Specialist – eHosting /PM, Etisalat

have on longstanding relationships business using cloud-based models coming between traditional IT vendors and their from CIOs and senior IT staff. But security customers? As with all technology models, concerns and the possibly lack of education even the cloud is a means to the end and in this space remains a major barrier to not the end itself. It is time you integrate adoption and vendors in this space would this ,model into your vendor strategy. do well to invest in this area. Examine, debate and then decide! While we prefer to let you go through the analysis in detail and learn from the experts we have presenting, let me leave you with a question. Going forward, what effect will this transformation of the way companies PANEL DISCUSSION: Migration Strategies acquire and consume (L to R) Marc Salingardes, EMC Cloud Service Provider Alliance Director; Sadiq Panjwani compute resources VP – Head of Systems, SHUAA Capital; Jitendra Kapoor, Specialist – eHosting /PM, Etisalat

PANEL DISCUSSION: Will the Cloud change IT as we know it?

(L to R) Fawaz Alhallab, District Manager - Abu Dhabi, EMC; Ahmad M. Almulla, Vice President, Information Technology, Dubai Aluminium Company Limited (“DUBAL”); Ramesh Krishna Bhandari, Business Development Specialist – Business Solutions, Central Marketing, Etisalat June 2011 Network World Middle East 31


Cloud Leadership Forum Exclusive Survey

A

s a run-up to the first Cloud Leadership Forum, CPI conducted an exclusive survey with 130 IT and Business Decision makers from the UAE on key drivers towards cloud adoption. The survey also looked to understand what nature of services and solutions are likely to be under adoption in the current environment. Here are the findings: Number of Users in the Organisation

Primary Goal in Attending Cloud Leadership Forum Is

How would you describe your current cloud efforts?

What is your gut feeling about cloud right now?

Where is the greatest pressure coming from to assess the cloud model and services?

What is the greatest economic benefit you see in the cloud model?

32 Network World Middle East June 2011

www.networkworldme.com


What is your top motivator for adopting cloud computing?

Who do you expect to get the bulk of your cloud services from?

Are you planning changes/upgrades to your network infrastructure to better support cloud?

What is the biggest barrier to cloud adoption?

What percentage of your IT services do you currently source from public sectors?

June 2011 Network World Middle East 33


opinion | backup data value. Taking a blended approach to backup -where snaps, replication and tiered storage all play their part - may sound like a recommendation for point products but it isn’t. Integrate to Automate It’s widely accepted that automation can

Backup to the future If you don’t have a solid backup strategy, get one, advises Steve Bailey, Regional Operations Director, CommVault

I

was shocked to hear recently that an established telecoms company

had lost revenue because its billing system wasn’t backed up and that another company had opted not to include important data in its normal backup routine in a bid to save money. Unfortunately, in both cases, these fatal mistakes weren’t spotted until it was too late, and then heads rolled. Over a decade into the new millennium, why are people still losing their jobs and organisations still losing money because backups have failed? Excuses, Excuses Some argue that the cause for any short

fall is that data centres have become more business critical and complex in equal measures. Others suggest that the problem lies in looking at backup policies and systems in isolation, thereby storing up trouble and cost down the line. The most 34 Network World Middle East June 2011

common reasons for backup failure in my opinion is a mix of insufficient planning, research, automation, training, and inappropriate spending. The problems arising out of a lack of planning and research often have their roots in over-worked teams and organic growth. Constant fire-fighting drives point solution purchases which feed a vicious circle – more point products take more time to manage. The knock-on effect essentially leaves IT management teams with a complex set of tools that are difficult or impossible to automate, and this in turn puts pressure on human processes that are wide open to error. Even when time is set aside to research appropriate solutions, it is often focused on detail rather than the bigger picture. Backup needs to be seen as part of a wider data management strategy that draws a direct link between data protection and

dramatically reduce human error, so the benefits of using software to manage hardware protection operations, such as snapshots, and to integrate this capability with traditional backup and dedupe should be clear. All this may sound complicated and expensive but appropriate spending is the key. Although budgets are tight and getting tighter, lack of investment in effective backup and recovery only serves to limit the insurance net it provides for valuable company information. Allocating significant funds to store snapshots for a year on all tier one disk may seem like a good idea but it won’t prove to be cost effective – believe me, I know of organisations that have tried it as a kneejerk reaction to data loss. The sad thing is that a modest investment in some software and training would have been much more effective. Ultimately the technology for effective data protection is available and doesn’t cost as much as you may fear. Neglect backup at your peril. Your livelihood may depend on it. About the author:

Steve is the Regional Operations Director at CommVault covering the Emerging Markets region (Middle East, India, Russia/CIS, Eastern and South Eastern Europe). Steve’s responsibilities cover the presales and professional services functions in addition to CommVault channel development, education and growth across the Emerging Region. He has been with CommVault for a little over 10 years and has worked in many functions, both regional and at an EMEA level, most recently heading up CommVault’s EMEA Product Management function.

www.networkworldme.com


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opinion | BI

When ERP and BI combine Knowing exactly where your business stands at any given point in time can be crucial for effective decision making, says Ashish Dass, Head of MENA, 3i Infotech

S

MEs and SMBs heavily rely on such knowledge to stay afloat

in today’s competitive market scenario. Companies seeking to streamline operations often invest in ERP solutions. Although such tools gather data from various functions of the organisation, it is difficult to get meaningful deductions from statistics without analysis. Effective Business Intelligence is vital for even midsized organisations and not only large companies. Most BI solutions are incapable of utilising the ERP database. Also, investing in a BI application can be costly and not all SMBs/SMEs are willing to make the investment. In order to tap into this unmet demand, IT solution providers now provide BI tools as an add-on to ERP solutions. With such options quickly becoming available, organisations too are awakening to the idea of integrating ERP and BI to get optimum results when it comes to compiling data and deriving reports.

Why integrate? ERP solutions enable organisations to

integrate cross functional activities from sales and purchase, HR, management, operations and more. Transactions in all departments are recorded and linked to a consolidated data base where they are stored. Business Intelligence is the analytical tool that gathers, stores and evaluates data to provide reports that facilitate the decision making process. ERP leads to ease 36 Network World Middle East June 2011

of operations while BI primarily assists management and business strategies. By working in tandem with each other, ERP solutions incorporate data from all over the organisation where as BI applications can use this consolidated data to provide a more comprehensive analysis. Most often than not BI tools are mistaken to be just providing an MIS reporting, so many think why is it required to have such a tool when an ERP gives reporting capabilities. The real reason is that BI actually is a layer over the information layer of ERP which then allows the decision maker or user to get data across various functions and put some norms in reporting layer of the BI tool. By doing this, the user not only gets to look at current statistics in a holistic manner but also gives them analysis of what future analysis could mean based on certain rules defined by the user for his own specific business. This allows true business decision making over and above the normal reporting that ERP would give. Hence an integrated ERP with BI is an ideal way to derive effective analysis of data for effective decision making. SMEs and SMBs face a tough task adhering to IT budgets and always look to gain optimum value from their investments. While many organisations may invest in ERP and BI tools, using them as stand alone applications does not yield benefits to their full potential, purely coming from integration issues of using 2 separate applications. Many claim that integration is

not an issue but in the practical scenarios there are many issues that arrive due to this reason leading to data loss which is critical for decision making. More often than not when ERP and BI are used separately, business decision makers have to sort through a lot of data from both sources in order to derive conclusions. This is can not only be time consuming but also runs a high risk of errors and oversights due to integration issues that might come up for different products.A combined application having both ERP and BI capabilities is a more cost effective option when compared to individual purchasing of these applications, making them affordable to even low end SMBs and SMEs. In the fast paced nature of markets today, quick and accurate decision making can make or break an organisation. Integration of these solutions automates the collection, storing, retrieval and sorting of relevant data and finally analysing of such data to provide meaningful and applicable reports. Decision makers need to have a bare minimum interaction with technology and can have reports that they understand and put to good use. As these reports are available ad-hoc, precious time is saved to pull out real-time, accurate information as and when required, further enabling effective decisions. SMBs and SMEs need to make quick and effective decisions if hey are to survive in modern markets among cut through competition. With an integrated ERP-BI solution, they are assured of a cost effective option towards smooth operations and efficient decision making. www.networkworldme.com


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June 2011 Network World Middle East 37


interview | brocade

Long path to cloud Brocade CEO Michael Klayko says Fibre Channel is here to stay but Brocade has no “religion” for it

N

WME: There’s a lot of confusion about cloud computing. What can you say to clarify what’s happening there? You get 15 to 20 different definitions,

depending on who you talk to. I would say I have a private cloud in my data centre today. It’s highly virtualised, it basically abstracts the application away from the operating system, we’ve got a storage area network. From an asset utilisation standpoint, I have a cloud. It’s a business decision. Let me give an example: From a virtualisation standpoint, when we talk about my business-facing applications, most of them are VMware. From an engineering standpoint, all my engineers have used Xen. In the old architecture, we couldn’t mix these things together. With today’s architecture, we can. I’ll call it the cloud, because we have shared storage underneath it [and] we use the same server base. So we’ve built something that solves our business needs. And I think that’s the real issue. Everybody today that I talk to is struggling with proper asset utilisation. So this big thing comes out called the cloud, and you don’t have to worry about it: It’s elastic, it allows you to put applications anywhere. It sounds great, and then the higher you go up in the C suite, executives all like to talk about it. They ask, why do you have to buy all these assets? Why don’t you just buy a 38 Network World Middle East June 2011

service level and get that from somebody else, and just utilise it like a utility? It sounds like utopia. We have 40 different applications that we buy from somebody else, and that run our company. We have our own infrastructure, also. We look at it from a business standpoint: Can I get it from somebody else, utilise their infrastructure and utilize their offering faster, more economically and more efficiently than I can do it myself? To me, it’s math. I don’t get emotional about it, and my IT guys, now I’ve got them not getting emotional about it. And I think most businesses, when you really get to the core of it, are like that.

Everybody knows how to build a private cloud now. All the tools are getting there, and it’s all hinged around virtualisation. [Then] there is the element of public clouds and the benefit of public clouds. The secret sauce that we’re trying to get to is, how you merge those two. If you’re a retailer, and four months of the year, your volume goes [up], you have to buy your infrastructure for the peak volume. What if you only had to buy it for the average volume you’re in the rest of the year, and then just went outside during those four months? To me, that’s a real business application. Today, you can’t really do that ... because nobody wants to allow you to have that infrastructure sharing out there until you have a long-term contract. It’s not truly elastic, because they want you to use it and then stay there. The technologies we have announced, for example, this Cloud ID technology, will allow that elasticity. This is going to take a decade. Guys that I deal with in the largest data centres in the world, we’re talking about things that they’re implementing three years from now. That three-year architecture is going to last for another five, seven or ten years. NWME: As a CEO, what lessons do you take from what has been happening at Cisco? Focus. I’ve known John for a long time, and

he’s a big company, he has to grow and so forth, For me, I have trouble keeping track of the product lines that I currently have, and all I am is a networking company. So I think anybody just needs to focus. If you look at any company that’s been successful, that’s what they’ve done. We haven’t varied our strategy. I get accused of being very boring and actually not being able to make PowerPoints, because my strategy slides haven’t changed in six years. www.networkworldme.com


EMC2, EMC, RSA, the EMC logo, the RSA logo, and where information lives are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. Š Copyright 2010 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

June 2011 Network World Middle East 39


interview | paramount

Dealing with risk Paramount Computer Systems is the leading regional provider of technology and computer system services for securing the information security assets of enterprises. We spoke to Premchand Kurup, CEO of Pramount, on some of the burning issues around security start ups . In essence, consider the best of suite strategy for the strategic plan while taking the best of breed approach for the tactical plan . Ideally, 70 % of the organisation’s security technology budget should go towards the strategic plan while 30% should be spent on the tactical plan. NWME: How can companies meet the security challenges of new opportunities such as cloud, social networking and mobility? With regards to the cloud, since it Premchand Kurup, CEO, Paramount

N

WME: Managing security complexity is the number one obstacle that enterprises face today. What are your tips for IT managers struggling to keep up with the evolving landscape? Firstly, it is expedient to maintain a

good balance between the investments in security people, process and technology. Secondly, for security technologies, one should establish a strategic plan and a tactical plan. In the strategic plan, minimise the vendor footprint while focusing only on the big brand vendors. In the tactical plan, focus on small niche emerging security 40 Network World Middle East June 2011

is still evolving in the Gulf region, at the initial stages it would be expedient to negotiate a service level agreement for security with the cloud service provider. So, you transfer the risk onto the service provider. Social Networking from the corporate network is fraught with Risks—malware infections, identity theft, data leakage and corporate reputation damage among others. Customers need to redefine Internet Use Policy in the wake of web 2.0; implement latest technologies for antimalware, email and web security and also implement browsing quota management to control bandwidth utilisation. Mobile device productivity comes at a price: increased security risk. Mobile

applications create yet another path into corporate networks which could allow them to propagate malicious code; sensitive data stored on mobile devices could be stolen, leading to data breaches, compliance violations and embarrassing public disclosure. Customers need to consider implementation of device firewalls, encryption, strong authentication, antivirus, data leak prevention and application whitelisting, among others. Also,device remote locking, data wiping and backup/ restore need to be considered as lost devices pose the greatest security threat. The business value of mobile devices can be derived only when IT creates an enterprise class device management and security strategy built around well defined IT practices. NWME: How do you rate the state of information security, compliance and governance in the region? We have miles to go before we sleep. Our

belief is that considerable effort must be made in enhancing the knowledge and skill set of people in IT security. There is a significant gap at the moment, as well as inadequacy in terms of number of skilled people. Security awareness at the C- level and across the organisation needs to be enhanced too. Nevertheless, certain government initiatives such as the creation of aeCert and ADSIC in Abu Dhabi are a significant step in the right direction. In fact, ADSIC is the first security compliance body in the UAE. NWME: Is funding a major constraint for IT executives when it comes to existing and emerging security threats? Security budgets could be fixed as

percentage of the IT budget as is done in mature organisations in the west . If this is done in a disciplined manner, year on year, the security posture of organisations will be improved. www.networkworldme.com


June 2011 Network World Middle East 41


techupdate

Dirty little secrets of virtualisation How can you ensure the stability of your data centre while at the same time taking maximum advantage of the flexibility of virtualisation?

T

he virtualised data centre has

accelerated the pace of operational change. Virtual machines are reconfigured, computing loads are moved, and applications are scaled up and down rapidly. We know that with rapid rates of change come high levels of mistakes; analysts estimate that 60% to 80% of data centre problems are caused by management mistakes. Virtualisation promises to improve data centre operations and indeed it does. Server consolidation has great benefits. The ability to migrate loads without stopping them greatly eases hardware management. The ability to deploy new virtual machines in a fraction of the time of a physical machine makes application development and deployment more rapid and effective. 42 Network World Middle East June 2011

However, the advantages of virtualisation bring some associated costs. The hypervisor adds another level of complexity in the software stack and imposes requirements on the servers, the storage system, and especially on the network. While the hypervisor offers some automation for simplifying operations of servers, the environment around the virtual cluster was impacted without being made any simpler. In a recent survey of Infoblox customers, 70% reported that virtualisation put more pressure on their network operations. It’s easy to see the source of this pressure. Every virtualisation initiative is surrounded by physical resources: • Storage systems • Users, workstations and partner networks • Load balancers and security devices • Remote peer servers • Physical unvirtualised servers • Competitive hypervisors that are not compatible • Private clouds, laboratory systems and other specialised clusters The boundary between each of these elements and the virtualised environment is a place where operational mistakes can be made. Both sides of the boundary matter; the hypervisor’s configuration may be incorrect, or the external environment may be misconfigured. When a performance problem arises, information from both sides of the boundary must be integrated to find the solution. When new applications are deployed, both sides must be validated in advance. Mistakes and inconsistencies will show up in three different ways: in application performance issues; in delays in operational procedures; or in www.networkworldme.com


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techupdate In a virtualised data centre, the changes are more complex, and they occur more often thanks to the flexibility of virtual inefficient operations that eat up staff up a load-balanced system, several machines. Mistakes time. Each data centre will have its devices may need carefully sequenced become more costly, and they may own pattern; here are some examples: updates, including the physical switch, occur more frequently. firewall and load balancer. Manual But there is a way to master the Application performance becomes configuration adds delay, which is complexity and minimise the mistakes, poor or inconsistent often much longer than the time it and it doesn’t require a complete • Port and network access parameters takes to spin up a new virtual server. infrastructure overhaul. The answer can be mismatched. There are many is augmenting existing infrastructure Staff wastes time in routine operations parameters that impact performance, with automation. • Daily tasks like IP address including port duplex, network QOS If a configuration management settings, firewall access lists and more. assignment must be coordinated. platform can be embedded in the data • Rogue devices may be centre network, and if it attached to the network, can perform automated with incorrect IP numbers procedures, all of the issues This primer was contributed by Infoblox, an industry or incorrect protocol above can be addressed. leading developer of network infrastructure settings that disturb An automated platform automation and control solutions. Infoblox’s unique production devices. can be filled with “gold technologies, including the Infoblox Grid – a real-time, • Configurations that standard” configurations for data distribution technology – increases network “drift” from best practice, all elements on the virtual availability and control, while automating timewhenever manual system boundary. Deviations consuming manual tasks associated with network procedures are followed from those standards, infrastructure services like domain name resolution incorrectly or when whether from rogue devices (DNS), IP address management (IPAM), network standards are incomplete. or drifting configurations, change and configuration management (NCCM) and The result can be old can be prevented, isolated network discovery, among others. and new devices with or repaired. The gold very different settings, configurations can be producing erratic applied in a single step, Mistakes can be hard to track down in performance. resulting in quick and consistent a constantly changing environment. response to requested changes. Requests for changes take too long • Troubleshooting problems often Troubleshooting can be accelerated • When a virtual server will be involves correlating logs and when data from physical systems is migrated for updates or maintenance, alerts from multiple sources. With correlated with data from virtual its destination must have the right virtualised systems, there’s often a ones. Authorisation and delegation network settings. Manual setup adds gap between the physical and virtual rules can block unapproved changes delay, especially when compared to systems where data must be matched and audit approved ones. the near-instant speed of a virtual hotby hand. Automation is needed in the migration. • If an unauthorised person performs network around the hypervisor to • When a disaster recovery site a move or change, time can be wasted realise the full benefits of virtual is created, tested or updated, its rechecking the work (or even worse, systems. A network resident datanetwork settings must be verified fixing mistakes). centre-wide platform for management to match the master site. Manual • Auditing and compliance reporting and automation can minimise error, verification adds delay. are a regular headache, and virtual promote flexibility and cut the • When new servers are added to scale systems can add complexity. hidden costs of virtualisation.

Automation is needed in the network around the hypervisor to realise the full benefits of virtual systems. A network resident data-centrewide platform for management and automation can minimise error, promote flexibility and cut the hidden costs of virtualisation.

44 Network World Middle East June 2011

www.networkworldme.com


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test Force10 data centre switch delivers impressive performance High port density, high throughput, and very low latency are bedrock requirements in the data centre, and Force10’s new S4810 top-of-rack switch delivers on all three counts

T

he S4810 is a 1U top-of-rack switch with multiple interface options.

It has 48 SFP+ ports for 1G/10G Ethernet (we tested it with 48 10G Ethernet transceivers) and four QSFP+ ports for 40G uplinks. With 10GBase-SR transceivers, the switch drew 202 watts when idle and 219 watts with its data plane fully loaded. The switch runs the Force10 Operating System (FTOS), which includes a command-line interface (CLI) that’s nearly a clone of Cisco’s IOS. Experienced Cisco users will have no trouble configuring and managing this switch. Although we tested the switch as a layer-2 data centre device, it also supports layer3 features, including major IPv4 routing protocols and static routing of IPv6 traffic, via a software upgrade. 46 Network World Middle East June 2011

Significantly, the switch does not yet support some key data centre protocols, according to a features questionnaire completed by Force10. These include the data centre bridging extensions (DCBX); IEEE 802.1Qbb priority-based flow control (PFC); 802.1Qau congestion notification; and 802.1Qaz traffic shaping. Force10 says these features are slated for third-quarter 2011 release. Unicast performance The S4810 put up solid numbers when it

comes to basic unicast traffic handling. It delivers line-rate throughput, regardless of unicast frame size. Better still for delay-sensitive applications, the S4810 offers sub-microsecond average latency when configured in store-and-forward

mode. This is one of the first store-andforward switches we’ve tested to break the microsecond barrier. We expected average latency to be lower still with the S4810 configured as a cutthrough device, but that wasn’t always the case. For frame sizes of 256 bytes and larger, cut-through latency was significantly higher than the equivalent test in store-and-forward mode. Further, cut-through latency increased with frame length. Usually cut-through devices usually have two properties: They tend to be very fast (since they start forwarding a frame before it’s fully received, unlike store-and-forward

devices which wait until the entire frame is cached before switching it) and they have roughly the same average latency regardless of frame length. With the S4810, these properties better described the store-and-forward results than cut-through ones. This is partially explained by a characteristic of the Broadcom 56845 application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) used in the S4810. According to Force10, the chip still acts in store-and-forward mode for frames shorter than 624 bytes, even when set for cut-through operation. This could explain higher cut-through latency for medium-length frames (say, between 256 and 624 bytes) but it’s still puzzling why cutthrough latency would be higher for longer frames. The testing RFCs require different www.networkworldme.com


measurement methods for store-and-forward and cut-through latency, and we checked and rechecked results to verify we’d used the appropriate methods for each. Force10 and other labs also have confirmed this behavior. Given the latency results, we’d recommend leaving the switch in its default store-and-forward mode. There’s a performance advantage for doing so, and users get the extra benefit of error checking that store-and-forward operation provides. Link aggregation fairness The S4810 allows up to eight ports to be

combined into a link aggregation group (LAG) and uses the link aggregation control protocol (LACP) to dynamically add and remove LAG members. We took

per million (ppm) faster than Ethernet’s theoretical line rate, but that’s well within the 100-ppm tolerance allowed in the Ethernet specification. Multicast performance We measured the S4810’s multicast

performance with tests of IGMP group capacity; group join and leave times; and throughput and latency. The first two of these stress the switch’s control plane via the switch’s software and CPU, while throughput stresses the data plane via the ASIC. Using IGMP snooping, the switch learned 3,000 multicast groups in our capacity test. That’s higher than all but one top-of-rack switch tested last year,

Average and maximum multicast latencies were roughly comparable to unicast with the switch in store-andforward mode. one LAG member offline, as might occur in the event of a link or transceiver failure, to see how the switch would distribute that port’s traffic across remaining members of the LAG. Traffic distribution was not uniform in this failover test. After we disabled a port, the switch redistributed all of its traffic to the first two ports in the LAG. On a lightly loaded network this wouldn’t be a problem, but it could result in oversubscription and frame loss on a heavily loaded LAG. Still, this is an improvement over LAG behavior we saw on some switches in last year’s test, where all traffic from a failed LAG port was redistributed to just one other LAG member. As a final test of unicast performance, we checked the S4810 for “forward pressure,” a mechanism some switches use to avoid congestion by forwarding frames illegally fast. The S4810 doesn’t have that problem. Its clock is set to run at 40 parts

and a useful figure for trading and videoconferencing applications that require large number of multicast groups. The switch’s join/leave times were another story. With all receivers subscribed to 989 multicast groups, the S4810 took an average of 21.7 seconds to join each group and 18.3 seconds to leave. That’s much higher than most switches in last year’s test, which also handled 989 groups. The S4810’s maximum join and leave times were higher still, at 49.8 and 53.7 seconds respectively. These high IGMP processing times suggest an overload of the switch’s CPU. More evidence of an overload came in a buffer-overflow message we saw when running this test (and the group capacity test) immediately after a switch reboot. The fact that the switch did not display this message on the second and subsequent test iterations suggests an issue with initial loading of a multicast software module into memory

when large group counts are involved. Another issue we saw (on all iterations, not just the first one) is that the switch’s CLI erroneously reported the same port twice as a member of a given multicast group. Force10 said it replicated these results in-house, and found much lower join and leave times - of 1 second or less - when 100 groups were involved instead of nearly 1,000. The vendor also says it’s doing more optimization work on this new platform. The final set of multicast tests examined switch throughput and latency, again using 989 groups. In these tests, we configured the Spirent TestCentre traffic generator to transmit multicast traffic to one port, and act as multicast subscribers on the 47 remaining ports. The switch offered line-rate throughput of multicast traffic, with the exception of jumbo frames. With these 9,216-byte frames, the highest zero-loss rate was roughly equivalent to around 98.5 percent of line rate. That’s a bit of a surprise in that most data-centre switches deliver line-rate throughput in all cases, unicast and multicast alike. On the other hand, jumbo frames are common for unicast than multicast transport (think backup and disaster-recovery applications); thus, the multicast jumbo throughput result probably isn’t a concern for most users. Average and maximum multicast latencies were roughly comparable to unicast with the switch in store-and-forward mode. For network managers whose foremost switch requirements are high port density and very low latency, the S4810 is a good fit. The S4810 still has more work to do in the areas of data centre features support and multicast processing speeds. These involve software fixes, and Force10 says they’re already in the works. Hardware anomalies, such as those involving MAC address learning and link aggregation failover, are harder to fix and may take longer to address. fOR MORE PRODUCT REVIEWS, LOG ON TO: www.networkworldme.com

June 2011 Network World Middle East 47


toolshed tools & gadgets

Brocade releases new networking solutions

APC launches Galaxy 300 APC by Schneider Electric, has launched MGE Galaxy 300 UPS system. The Galaxy 300 provides a simplified and reliable solution for protecting small and medium businesses, commercial buildings and technical facilities. It offers reliable power protection and a robust and easy to install system at the best price to performance ratio. Galaxy 300 is a 3-phase UPS product that is fully RoHS (Restriction of the use of Hazardous Substances) compliant. The power efficiency rates up to 93%, some 5% higher than other UPS systems with similar features. This efficiency provides lower operational and cooling costs over the medium and long-term. The UPS system uses a double conversion online topology which provides a regulated and reliable power supply. The Galaxy 300 offers up to 30 minutes of integrated battery back-up, internal mechanical bypass to provide higher levels of power availability. These features, combined with the compact design and easy installation meet all the key requirements of customers looking for a 3-phase UPS in the 10-40kVA power range. The new APC MGE Galaxy 300 model includes a one year physical warranty with extended warranty options.

Brocade has announced the general availability of the two-port 100 GbE and eight-port 10 GbE (8Ă—10G-X) blades for the Brocade MLX Series. These carrier-class blades help reduce operational expenditures and promote service provider expansion. The new 100 GbE blades cost just a fraction of competitive offerings, helping promote mass adoption of highperformance, scalable networking technology. When installed in the Brocade MLXe router, the 100 GbE performance can power a half-million high-definition video streams over a single managed connection. This provides more than twice the operational efficiency of competitors at a fraction of the cost, resulting in massive gains in profitability. Brocade also introduced enhanced capabilities for the Brocade NetIron CER 2000 Series of compact 1U routers designed for high-performance Ethernet edge routing and MPLS applications. Newly introduced models of this router provide significant scalability enhancements to accommodate future growth of IPv4 and IPv6 route tables.

Blue Coat unveils cloud computing solution Blue Coat Systems has introduced its CloudCaching Engine for its Blue Coat MACH5 WAN Optimisation appliances and Virtual Appliances to uniquely address the challenges and opportunities of public cloud-based applications. The CloudCaching Engine, an advanced asymmetric acceleration technology, breaks the barrier that has prevented traditional WAN optimisation solutions from optimising most applications based in the public cloud. The CloudCaching Engine enables businesses to more readily adopt cloud infrastructure to achieve operational savings. Through efficient use of the cloud, companies can also meet the increasingly complex challenges of evolving communication and collaboration and enhance business processes for the distributed enterprise. Traditional WAN optimisation solutions are designed to accelerate file and e-mail traffic using a symmetric deployment of physical or virtual appliances in the branch office and data centre. a private cloud data center can accommodate a WAN optimization device symmetrically aligned with an appliance at the company’s office. 48 Network World Middle East June 2011

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Sony rolls out new HD cameras Sony has launched six new Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) cameras including HD / Full-HD cameras from its SNC-EP and SNC-ER Series at IFSEC 2011. By doing so, Sony has bolstered its ability to offer customers a complete HD security solution, from initial image capture to playback, regardless of the recording scenario. The SNC-EP Series is a range of network cameras with 340 degree rotation and excellent cost performance, while the SNC-ER Series network cameras have 360 degree endless rotation and are suited to monitoring applications for wide-area surveillance. Both series now feature three different models to cater to a diverse range of various customer needs. The line-up comprises models compatible with Full-HD (1080p) output, HD (720p) output, or SD output, respectively. The SNC-EP580 and SNC-ER580 network cameras feature 20x optical zoom with FullHD (1080p) resolution, while the SNC-EP550 and SNC-ER550 feature 28x optical zoom with HD (720p) resolution and the SNC-EP521 and SNC-ER521 cameras feature 36x optical zoom with SD resolution.

Sophos bolsters enterprise product lines HP expands client virtualisation portfolio HP has announced additions to its desktop-to-data centre client virtualisation portfolio that offer users improved flexibility, security and productivity. HP t5335z and t5565z Smart Clients, which the company claims, are first-of-their-kind, reprogrammable zero clients that can support a choice of Citrix-, Microsoft- or VMware-based infrastructures. The HP Client Virtualisation Enterprise Reference Architecture with Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft Hyper-V is a preconfigured and performance-optimised solution that simplifies customer integration and testing, while reducing risk for deployment. Combining compute, storage, networking and system management, the solution is tuned for client virtualisation efficiency for all enterprise users and includes options to scale up and out to meet changing customer requirements. The new HP t5335z and t5565z Smart Clients deliver an unmatched combination of flexibility and affordability to the zero client market.

Sophos has rolled out a number of new and enhanced enterprise product lines that together offer complete protection anywhere and on any device. The company’s new offering Sophos Mobile Control provides lightweight device protection on a broad range of popular mobile platforms, including Apple iPhones and iPads, Google Android, and Windows Mobile devices; Sophos SafeGuard Enterprise, which provides encryption and data loss prevention (DLP) for desktops, laptops and removable media, now includes comprehensive management of all encryption options that fully supports hardware drives, including Opal, software-based encryption, and hardware encrypted USB; and enhancements to the latest version of Sophos Endpoint Security and Data Protection provide increased performance and protection features, keeping users and the network secure and data safe. June 2011 Network World Middle East 49


layer 8 China’s great firewall ‘father’ pelted with shoes

S Google demos e-wallet

G

oogle has showed off its Google Wallet app that it says will make your mobile phone a wallet for the ages. Google showed off the app along with Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint which will let users tap and pay with a smartphone. The application uses near field communication (NFC) to communicate with point of sale devices or other payment equipment. Google’s Android system includes integrated NFC support. From Google: “At first, Google Wallet will support both Citi MasterCard and a Google Prepaid Card, which you’ll be able to fund with almost any payment card. From the outset, you’ll be able to tap your phone to pay wherever MasterCard PayPass is accepted. Google Wallet will also sync your Google Offers, which you’ll be able to redeem via NFC at participating SingleTap merchants, or by showing the barcode as you check out. Many merchants are working to integrate their offers and loyalty programmes with Google Wallet. In the beginning, Google Wallet will be compatible with Nexus S 4G by Google, available on Sprint. Over time, we plan on expanding support to more phones.

omewhere George W. Bush might be laughing. The BBC and others are reporting that China officials are looking for a man who allegedly threw an egg and shoes at the designer of the country’s Great Firewall technology. According the BBC, the man known as the Father of the Great Firewall, Fang Binxing was giving a lecture at Wuhan University, Hubei province, when the alleged incident took place. The egg missed the target. The first shoe hit but the second shoe was blocked by a man and a woman, the BBC stated. The Great Firewall blocks thousands of Websites and all manner of incoming and outgoing communication with China and Fang is reviled by many Chinese Web users for overseeing development of China’s system of internet censorship, the BBC noted.

Apple of my eye?

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esearchers with the US Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity want to build a repository of metaphors. You read that right. Not just American/English metaphors mind you but those of Iranian Farsi, Mexican Spanish and Russian speakers. Why metaphors? “Metaphors have been known since Aristotle as poetic or rhetorical devices that are unique, creative instances of language artistry (for example: The world is a stage; Time is money). Over the last 30 years, metaphors have been shown to be pervasive in everyday language and to reveal how people in a culture define and understand the world around them,” IARPA says In the end the program should produce a methodology, tools and techniques together with a prototype system that will identify metaphors that provide insight into cultural beliefs. It should also help build structured framework that organizes the metaphors associated with the various dimensions of an analytic problem and build a metaphor repository where all metaphors and related information are captured for future reference and access, IARPA stated.

50 Network World Middle East June 2011

What kind of cloud do you get for $6M?

T

he US Air Force said today it would spend $6 million to set up a state-of-the-art cloud computing research centre at the University of Illinois. The Air Force’s Assured Cloud Computing (ACC) Center, will focus on developing technology to ensure mission critical data can get through the cloud securelyand sometimes in the face of a cyberattack or other interference. According to the Air Force, specific areas it is looking to develop include cloud monitoring, virtual machine design, formal protocol design, information and mission assurance. Additional expected areas of expertise include: estimation theory in local and global environments, theory for the design and analysis of communication protocols, and management of computational and communications resources.

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