This guide describes how to upgrade Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (both server and desktop editions) from older versions.
VirtualBox 5.2.10 is here one and a half months after version 5.2.8 to fix all the critical security vulnerabilities related to Oracle VM VirtualBox
Three issues tied to automation: Employee burnout, human error, and opportunity costs
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2DayGeek: Oracle OSWatcher Black Box (OSWbb) collects and archives operating system and network metrics that you can use to diagnose performance issues.
LinuxUprising: The gksu package, which provides GTK+ front-ends for su (gksu) and sudo (gksudo), was removed from the Ubuntu 18.04 repositories
Demystify Python application monitoring by learning the meaning of key words and concepts.
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Network World Networking
Today’s enterprise relies heavily on applications for just about every business function, making it critical for administrators to have full visibility into networks to better manage traffic and application usage. With MPLS (multiprotocol label switching) networks, this level of visibility is virtually impossible because those networks weren’t designed with an application-first mentality, but that is changing with the implementation of software-defined networks (SDN).
Often, administrators don’t even know what apps are on their network or they know only what traffic comes in and out of their firewall/proxy servers. SDN, which replaces most network hardware with software-based controls, is providing transparency that administrators never had before, allowing them to steer application traffic to achieve the best performance.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking as a panelist at an event break-out session discussing the benefits of SD-WAN. The session, “Catch the Next Wave of Cost Savings,” mirrored much of the current SD-WAN hype, and the abstract further stimulated excitement:
“With the promise of savings as high as 90%, are you ready to make the leap from MPLS?”
While the benefits of hybrid networks with SD-WAN are already proven and groundbreaking for many companies, the claims of totally replacing MPLS with SD-WAN are becoming bold and perpetuating unrealistic expectations. And it’s not just at events; I have seen white papers lately advertising 10X savings with pure SD-WAN. The issue: enterprises need help clarifying the line between hype and reality.
There are many reasons to deploy a software-defined WAN (SD-WAN), including saving a boatload of money, improving network agility, and increasing WAN resiliency. However, those all pale in comparison to the ROI that a business would see by making its employees more productive.
One of the biggest drags on worker productivity is poor application response time. In 2016, ZK Research conducted a study that found on average, workers were 14 percent less productive than their optimal state because of poor application performance. (Note: I am an employee of ZK Research.) There’s nothing that frustrates a worker more than clicking on an icon and sitting around waiting for it to open or update, but that’s exactly what happens to global organizations that need to access resources over a long distance.
The topic of network engineer re-skilling has been front and center for the past few years. Some network professionals have embraced the concept and are leading the network industry in a whole new direction. Others, though, are more resistant and show about as much enthusiasm for this new world as my wife does when I ask her to watch a Star Trek marathon with me.
Network professionals need to become software-fluent
Part of the resistance to re-skilling is that change is scary and often hard. Many network engineers have been working a certain way for years, possibly decades, and now they are asking, "Do I need to throw those skills away and learn new ones?" To those people, I say an emphatic YES! It’s absolutely critical to learn new skills today, or you could find yourself quickly looking for a job.
5G represents a fundamental shift in communication network architectures. It promises to accelerate future revenue generation through innovative services facilitated via 5G-enabled devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops and Internet-of-Things (IoT). 5G deployments are envisioned as a complex amalgamation of next-generation technological enhancements to telecommunication networks, which will help 5G become the catalyst for next-generation IoT services.
Examples of such innovations include: 1) advanced modulation schemes for wireless access, 2) network slicing capabilities, 3) automated network application lifecycle management, 4) software-defined networking and network function virtualization, and 5) support for cloud-optimized distributed network applications.
Internet-based virtual private networks rose to popularity in the 1990s by providing cost-effective connections securely across an insecure internet, and along the way VPNs have provided the impetus for today’s SD-WAN technology.
The definition of a virtual private network (VPN) is creating a secure network over network transport that is less secure, such as the internet.
VPNs are used to connect two or more nodes in a network and are most commonly used to connect individual users’ machines to sites or to connect sites to sites. It’s possible to connect users to each other, but the use case for that is very limited so such deployments are rare.
This is a glossary of terminology frequently used in describing and discussing wireless technology – from amplifier to wireless network topology that will come in handy when trying to understand articles about wireless devices and networks.
It is designed to enable those familiar with networking but not necessarily with radio and wireless technologies to quickly cut through the clutter and understand the meaning of these terms.
The entries are arranged in alphabetical order except for this initial entry, radio, which is meant to set the stage for all the rest.
We live in a world in which we’re regularly streaming Netflix in 4K, using the power of the phones in our pockets to augment our realities with virtual gaming, and even watching basketball from a virtual courtside seat. Our networks have evolved to cater for these technologies, and each evolutionary step has brought with it a technological boom enabled by greater capacity, speed, automation, intelligence and programmability.
The next step has arrived and it’s just in time, because when you thought we were finally content with, well, content, new technologies have emerged that push beyond what we ever thought possible.
At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Intel Studios unveiled what it’s calling Volumetric Video – and it’s nothing short of stunning. Volumetric Video uses multiple cameras to shoot a 360-degree field of view, but it differs from standard 360-degree or VR video in that it captures footage “from the outside in”. To picture how it works, visualize the action scenes from The Matrix, in which the cameras pan around a frozen-in-mid-air Keanu Reeves. But now imagine being a viewer with the ability to zoom in on any part of that scene or look at any part of the footage from any angle you want, at any point in the action sequence.
The Domain Name System (DNS) is one of the foundations of the internet, yet most people outside of networking probably don’t realize they use it every day to do their jobs, check their email or waste time on their smartphones.
At its most basic, DNS is a directory of names that match with numbers. The numbers, in this case are IP addresses, which computers use to communicate with each other. Most descriptions of DNS use the analogy of a phone book, which is fine for people over the age of 30 who know what a phone book is.
If you’re under 30, think of DNS like your smartphone’s contact list, which matches people’s names with their phone numbers and email addresses. Then multiply that contact list by everyone else on the planet.
2018 has already been hailed as the “Year of SD-WAN” and while the promises of this technology are undoubtedly appealing to most enterprises, it’s equally important to understand its potential shortcomings.
The “Death of the Router” has been largely exaggerated by those trying to market their “silver bullet” solutions that still lack basic routing capabilities. While there’s no doubt that years of technical debt have added some unnecessary functionality to the modern router, it’s worth acknowledging that there are many “table-stakes” features leveraged that need to exist in any SD-WAN solution that is meant to replace those boring routers.
I’d like to highlight some often-missed considerations drawn from hard lessons learned by SD-WAN early adopters. Specific names and details have been left out to protect both the guilty and innocent.
When thin clients were first introduced to the market in 1995, there was a cultural backlash. Thin clients may have made working with company data less costly and more secure, but from the workers’ perspective, their PC was replaced by a little box connected by a serial cable, with limited graphics that was much slower than the PC they were used to working on every day.
In those early days, even as we swapped the serial cables for network ones, shrunk the cases, and doubled the performance, it didn’t take long before thin clients were banished to niche use cases, becoming the territory of call centers, nurses’ stations and manufacturing plants—often to those workers’ disappointment.
A recent Gartner report on network performance monitoring and diagnostics (NPMD) estimated the market to a whopping $2.1 billion and growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.9 percent, with more growth in sight. Wow. So what will drive this growth and why?
New approaches to harvesting network data using sophisticated big data analytics techniques combined with cloud computing and machine learning technologies is the answer. This perfect confluence of technologies is poised to redefine the conventional infrastructure management market.
Central to this shift is the use of analytics technologies and strategies to extract new insights and value from data produced by and collected from the network to drive business value.
Traditional networking architectures over the past two decades or so prescribe that the hub of the network be build around a specific location, such as a data center or a company’s headquarters building.
This location houses most of the equipment for compute, storage, communications, and security, and this is where enterprise applications are traditionally hosted. For people in branch and other remote locations, traffic is typically backhauled to this hub before going out to other locations, including to the cloud.
In comedy, unexpected actions make for good fun. The pratfalls. The eye pokes. But in networking, the unexpected is hardly funny. And yet it was the antics of the Three Stooges that came to mind as I reviewed the results of Cato Networks’ latest networking survey.
The survey canvassed more than 700 enterprise IT buyers from around the globe about the drivers and challenges facing their networking and security deployments. What we observed serves as a promise and warning for anyone considering SD-WAN.
SD-WAN is supposed to be the answer to network complexity. And like any good slapstick setup, we can almost see how SD-WAN meets that objective. As an overlay aggregating traffic from MPLS, broadband and any other underlying data transport, SD-WAN hides the complexity of a building a network from multiple data transports. Policies provide the intelligence for SD-WAN to select the optimum network for each application freeing IT from making those calculations and changes manually, if that was even possible.
Reno-based analyst Synergy Research Group released a review of the 2017 cloud market on January 4th. The report, which estimated the total scope of the industry at $180 billion, gauged the year-over-year growth rate of infrastructure as a service (cloud hosting) and platform as a service (combined cloud hardware and software) at 47%. Such astronomical growth in the infrastructure of cloud is fueling growth of data centers. The extent to which cloud is becoming the new form of infrastructure cannot be overstated, with Cisco predicting 95% of data center traffic will be through cloud infrastructure by 2021.
An important side effect of digital transformation is that your network is likely to become a digital crime scene. As such, it needs a systematic approach to identify the culprit. In this analogy, a crime can be equivalent to a network outage or gray failure. And this is where intent-based networking (IBN) can help.
The general approach in solving a crime like this is to collect as much information as possible, as soon as possible, and to narrow down the pool of suspects. So, let’s see via an example what role IBN plays in all this.
Digital crime scene profiling
Without “intent” you don’t even know that a crime has been committed. Finding traces of blood in a room in a blood bank or hospital are expected. Finding traces of blood in a room of a home of a missing person is a different matter. But without intent it’s hard to distinguish a blood bank from a home. In a similar manner, dropping a packet of an intruder or forbidden traffic source is a good thing. Dropping a packet of a customer because of a misconfigured ACL is a bad thing. Intent helps you differentiate the two.
In 2010, pop singer Katy Perry released a song called Firework. Some of its lyrics are: “Cause baby you're a firework, come on show 'em what you're worth, make 'em go oh, oh, oh.” In addition to being one of my favorite Katy Perry songs, it’s always reminded me of the firework that was Riverbed and its charismatic and often outspoken CEO, Jerry Kennelly.
Riverbed was the face of WAN optimization
Riverbed was indeed a firework, as it hit the market with a bang and became the face of WAN optimization. (Note: Riverbed is a client of ZK Research.) Riverbed wasn’t the first vendor in this market — that was Packeteer — but Riverbed evangelized it and became synonymous with the technology.
"I am all about useful tools. One of my mottos is 'the right tool for the right job.'" –Martha Stewart
If your "right job" involves wrangling computer networks and figuring out how to do digital things effectively and efficiently or diagnosing why digital things aren't working as they're supposed to, you've got your hands full. Not only does your job evolve incredibly quickly becoming evermore complex, but whatever tools you use need frequent updating and/or replacing to keep pace, and that's what we're here for; to help in your quest for the right tools.
We've done several roundups of free network tools in the past, and since the last one, technology has, if anything, sped up even more. To help you keep up, we've compiled a new shortlist of seven of the most useful tools that you should add to your toolbox.
Networking used to be all about specialized “boxes,” but that era is fading fast.
By a specialized box, I mean a piece of hardware that was built to perform an individual function. Physical firewalls, routers, servers, load balancers, etc., are all examples of these different boxes, and they are still everywhere. But new technology is seriously disrupting the old ways of doing things.
Virtualization has made it possible to separate the software functionality of all those boxes from the specific appliance-type hardware in which it resides. Network functions virtualization (NFV) software can replicate an appliance’s function in a more cost-effective commodity server, which is easy to obtain and deploy and can hold the software for numerous functions at once. People like the improved simplicity, cost, agility and speed that comes with this change.
It’s fair to say that there has never been a bigger driver of network evolution than the cloud. The reason for this is the cloud is a fundamentally different kind of compute paradigm, as it enables applications, data and architecture changes to be done seemingly instantly. Cloud-native infrastructure is what enables mobile app developers to roll out new versions daily if they so choose.
The cloud is network-centric
Another fact about the cloud is that it is a network-centric compute model, so a poorly performing network leads to equally poorly performing applications. A lack of network agility means DevOps teams need to sit around twiddling their thumbs while network operations make changes to the network.