DON’T ASSUME IT’S A NETWORK PROBLEM

If you run Microsoft IIS on your Web servers, consider rewriting all the headers going back out so that it looks as if you are running an Apache server. This will defend against common IIS attacks.

This piece of advice was given by Joe Skorupa, research director at Gartner Group Inc., who had some advice to offer for companies running Web acceleration tools.

Web acceleration addresses some of the problems common to wide-area networks, such as load balancing and faulty servers. Some of today’s devices can see, based on the Web browser used, that someone is accessing an application from a handheld device and then route the traffic to a different server.

KEEPING AN EYE ON THE PHONE BILL

Telecommunications expenses include a lot of items, such as basic local service, long-distance, cellular and Internet. It managers can keep track of these with Telecom expense and inventory management (TEIM). An analyst with Forrester Research, Lisa Pierce, has some advice on how to select this software. For example, she said, many of the reports made by the vendors are not useful, so IT managers should ask how much it costs to produce customized reports.

Some TEIM products don’t provide all the information the customers are looking for, such as previous expenses and trends, so Pierce advises managers to be sure they know exactly what they’re looking for.

THE RISE OF AMC AND CONTENT PROCESSING

Network equipment manufacturers are providing more hardware with component slots to accommodate cards using the advanced mezzanine card (AMC) standard. This is just one trend in network security that all IT managers should be aware of, says Richard Stiennon, chief marketing officer of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Fortinet Inc.

Other trends include the influence hackers are having on security research efforts, the debate over whitelisting versus blacklisting and specialized content processing chips.

HOW WILL YOUR SYSTEMS HANDLE WEB 2.0?

Controlling the use of Web 2.0 applications in your company really requires effective communications between departments, says Christian Renaud, chief architect for virtual environments at San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems Inc.

Tracking applications, such as discussion forms, podcasts and RSS feeds, is a concern for IT managers but if IT exerts too much control, there is a risk that departments will “go renegade” and roll out their own services. Industry experts offer other advice for IT managers dealing with Web 2.0, including how to ensure servers can respond to more calls and caching non-static elements.

DO YOU REALLY GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR?

ProMedica Healthcare uses Zenoss Core 1.0 to monitor and update systems, and to collect data to create historical and utilization graphs. Zenoss is freeware under the Mozilla public license and can monitor networks, operating systems, applications and servers.

Network managers are discovering freeware tools, including DHCP_prove, which finds rogue servers. Other freeware, such as Argus and Tera Term, are very cheap alternatives to some of the mainstream management and security tools available on the market.



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