A 2007 wish list for admins


It’s a new year which means it’s time to forget the past and start over refreshed and relaxed with a blank slate. In the grand tradition of New Years’ past, here’s a list of things we’d like to see over the coming months:

  • A stable, secure launch of Vista/Longhorn. Even Windows XP’s greatest proponents would have a hard time defending the flurry of patches and updates that were required to patch the gaping holes in the operating system’s security. Not a month went by without some new threat revealed.

Vista promises to be more secure than XP, but the proof won’t come until after Vista deployments become widespread.

On the topic of security, it would also be nice if Microsoft allows third party security providers to create software for Vista, as the company has said it will. It’s hard to imagine any network manager feeling comfortable about Microsoft having the lion’s share of responsibility for Vista’s security given the software giant’s track.

  • An open, multi-vendor standard for Network Admission Control (NAC). Cisco and Microsoft resolved their NAC differences last year and have a plan that will allow Microsoft’s Network Access Protection scheme (NAP), which is apart of Vista, to work with Cisco’s NAC. However, the Trusted Computing Group, which includes vendors such as HP, IBM and Intel is also working on a NAC standard. Hopefully all the companies involved can reach an agreement. The last thing the networking industry needs is another proprietary “standard”.

  • More unified communications applications. Vendors have been touting the advantages of bringing together voice, video and data for years. One of the advantages was supposed to be new applications that blended voice, data and video together to boost productivity. Sure, there have been some examples of unified communications apps (like Cisco’s TelePresence system, but Canadian enterprises that can afford to drop US$79,000 for even one of the low end models are few and far between), but there haven’t been many. Hopefully with VoIP spreading throughout the enterprise, applications tying voice and data together will become more common.


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