Tax season is behind us (at least for most of us) and we can all give a sigh of relief… but can we? This year, getting my taxes organized and handing them to my accountant seemed to be more difficult than usual. Fortunately for me, the Federal Government gave certain areas that were dealing with flooding a small extension that allowed me to find the time to pass my taxes into my accountant.

Once that task was completed, I was able to relax except for the fact I now had one day to get back into the accountant’s office and sign the documents for them to send to the IRS.

read more “Do People Realize What They Are Sending and the Risks Associated?”

Shocker!  So let me get this straight…. A leader in the B2B Gateway, MFT, and Integration Provider markets gets acquired and the leading analysts firms in the universe reduce it to an apps in the Cloud story????  SMH.  Let’s peel away just one layer of the onion… Just one layer, no analysis needed on this one.

Companies with investments in Connect:Direct and/ or Connect:Enterprise have to think long and hard about continuing their reliance on the NDM protocol.  We aren’t talking about just two or three companies, we are talking about thousands of financial, manufacturing, healthcare and telecomm companies.  So we need some advice on this one…

read more “Peeling the Sterling Onion”

The growth and evolution of the managed file transfer industry continues to be a blessing for Ipswitch and our partners.

The acquisition of Sterling Commerce by IBM (article) presents an opportunity for both companies’ customers and prospects to reexamine their challenges around advanced file services. Proprietary technologies and protocols such as Connect: Direct and Network Data Mover (NDM) are inefficient, expensive and difficult to manage. Yet many companies continue to pay excessive licensing and maintenance fees because the cost and effort to replace these technologies have, until now, seemed as expensive.  Furthermore, some partners and ecosystems insist on the usage of legacy file transfer technology because alternatives did not seem to be available.

read more “Ipswitch Steps Up To Replace Legacy Technology After Sterling Acquired by IBM”

To some folks this is just a flash banner on a website, amongst the many marketing messages that you typically find on a technology provider’s dot com website.

“IBM acquires Sterling Commerce from AT&T for $1.4B”.

For many customers it means reconsidering 30 year old technology that enables many mission critical processes.  When something like this happens, in my past life at Gartner I would be required to write 3 paragraphs: what happened, my analysis and what should customers do.  And I had to be politically correct because all three companies were important customers to Gartner.  I could give thoughtful analysis but I had to produce multiple caveats to indemnify myself and Gartner.  ( Hey it’s a decent business model!)

read more “IBM Buys Sterling- A Glimpse From The Land Of Rounding Errors”

PCI audit regulations around scope continue to drive the need for people to segment their networks, applications and often, their equipment.   At Ipswitch, we often see new enterprise customers fed up with their monolithic legacy systems coming to us with a “tactical” need to segment.

Typically, these customers leave a large number of existing transfers on their legacy system to begin with (a 10-1 ratio of legacy to new connections is not uncommon), and some try-and-buy a MOVEit system at that point.  However, others get hooked on the idea of a more flexible, more relevant system and end up with a strategy to migrate all partner connections to MOVEit over a period of 12-18 months, even as they use MOVEit to completely address their short-term PCI segmentation needs.

The World Cup is just three short weeks away. But before you prepare your wardrobe for the month of matches (get those jerseys laundered will you??) we suggest preparing your network for the event.

Now, you may be saying “Huh? What are you talking about; why should I be thinking about my network when I have my team to worry about?”

You should be thinking about your network because you are most definitely not the only one in your office who has their team on their mind.

According to a study by IDC Research, the average organization wastes between 30% and 40% of its network bandwidth to non-work related online activities. Just imagine the spike the in that percentage once the World Cup gets underway!

The 2010 World Cup is the first in the history of the tournament where every game will be streamed online live. You can bet video streaming sites such as YouTube, BBC iPlayer and other BitTorrent video sites will be used to their full potential during these games.

And while it’s nice that your co-workers will never have miss a game at work, you can bet your job will be made more hectic than ever, reacting to bandwidth chokes  from the extra usage – or even worse – complete outages.

 

In the automated file transfer world there are two general user experiences.

Workflow #1: Inbox/Outbox – When an end user (or application) signs on, it sees either one or two folders: an “inbox” where it can drop files and an “outbox” where he/she/it can pick them up.  Frequently when items are placed into the inbox they disappear into an internal system almost immediately.  Frequently when items are downloaded from the outbox they also disappear immediately.

A common variation on this is the combined inbox/outbox where any items visible to the end user are “outbox” items and end users simply upload new items, which do disappear immediately, to the same folder.

read more ““Inbox/Outbox” vs. Folders When Designing File Transfer Workflows”

I just got off the phone today with another prospect confused by Ipswitch’s flat pricing policy.  The question was phrased something like this:

“If I want to load MOVEit up on an eight-way, quad-core box to handle millions of files a month you’ll charge me the same as if I loaded it up on a single-processor, single-core box?”

The answer, of course, was “yes”.  Ipswitch doesn’t penalize you for bringing better hardware to the party.  We do test a few common hardware configurations to get some baseline performance statistics, but if you’re willing to throw faster hardware (memory, processor, hard drives), fatter network pipes or a more efficient operating system, we won’t dig into your pockets – YOU keep the value.

A quick summary of key industry happenings:

A) The economic impact of piracy (including software) is *really* not understood: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-423. See pages 15 – 19 of the full report in particular.

I’ve always been skeptical of the piracy claims, good to see someone actually reviewed them. I think it is better for the industry to focus on the valued real customer rather than to fabricate and fret about the unknown and unquantifiable pirate customer.

read more “HTML 5, Memristors and Software Piracy”

Recently I came across an interesting comment by an IDC Market Analyst on Network Performance and Operation Management that really got me thinking.

“While performance management and optimization have been getting all the buzz, it really comes down to understanding and managing IP traffic over the network”.

As a network manager, you spend a good portion of your time discovering and mapping your network, overseeing the performance of your applications and underlying physical or virtualized infrastructure, troubleshooting problems and managing alerts, or simply sharing information and reports with all major stakeholders. You might even be archiving and reviewing log data to meet compliance regulations, or keeping a close tab on network configuration changes.

But IDC got me thinking: How many of you are currently monitoring your network traffic?

If you are using traditional methods of analyzing network consumption, such as link or device utilization, you don’t have adequate insight to determine which applications, servers, and clients are consuming network resources.

Ipswitch developed a solution for these limitations – the WhatsUp Gold Flow Monitor plug-in.

Flow Monitor not only highlights the overall utilization of the LAN, WAN, specific device, or interface, it also indicates which users, applications and protocols are consuming the bandwidth.  And of course, like any other WhatsUp Gold product you can try it out free for 30-days!

Here are the top 3 reasons why I think you should try it out today:

1)      You will learn how your network is being used, by whom, and for what purpose, so you can find the root-cause of network slow-downs and performance bottlenecks

2)      You can properly measure bandwidth usage (e.g verifying ISP providers billing, or to ensure that ISP providers are meeting their SLAs) and properly plan for spikes in bandwidth usage (e.g to avoid dropped packages or delays)

3)      You will gain a wealth of information to help you secure your network – e.g  traffic abnormalities can help you detect virus and worms, failed interface connections is a good indicator of external attacks.

Good luck, and let us know what you think!! And if you’re already a Flow Monitor user, let me know what you’d add to my Top 3 Reasons to Try Flow Monitor list!

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Ipswitch win’s the Augusta Plane Pull, benefiting the Ronald McDonald House.  Ipswitch’s team of computer programmers won for the second year in a row, pulling a Boeing 727 plane 12 feet in 6.499 seconds — more than five seconds faster than last year’s time.

“I guess it’s all the doughnuts we eat,” Tripp Allen joked.  “All of that — and working out on the keyboard.”

Team Ipswitch had some pretty tough competition, 36 teams in total, including the Army AND the Navy!

The NEW Ronald MacDonald House will begin construction next year.

Shortly after Symantec acquired PGP Corp (see related post), I was involved in a debate about whether or not PKI implementations that depended on X.509 certificates were “winning” against PKI implementations that use “web of trust” (WOT).  After all, much of PGP’s original appeal, especially with underground communities, was that it was based on a model of WOT rather than delegated authority.

read more “Are X.509 certificates “winning” against webs of trust?”