The WhatsUp Gold Team is proud to announce that WhatsUp Gold has been named Network Computing’s Network Management Product of the Year 2012! In addition to this award, Ipswitch founder and CEO, Roger Greene, was named runner up in the Contribution to ICT award. 

In 2007, the Network Computing Awards were launched to recognize the companies, products, and services that have most impressed the readers of one of the longest established computer networking publications.  WhatsUp Gold continues to impress readers, winning the award in 2010 after being awarded runner up in 2008, 2009, and 2011.  Ennio Carboni, president of the Network Management Division, expresses his appreciation, “We are pleased to have been awarded the highly regarded award from Network Computing for 2012. It underlines our commitment and vision of delivering a highly innovative and agile network management solution that will provide real tangible benefits for organisations of all sizes.”

It is an honor to have been awarded and recognized following a vote of over 20,000 readers and industry analysts.   Dave Bonner, event manager at Network Computing Awards congratulates the Network Management Division. “This years’ event was another record-breaker since the launch of the awards, with record number of nominations and votes pouring in. WhatsUp Gold continues to impress on the market and our readers’ votes clearly highlight its importance to businesses of all sizes.” Thanks to readers who voted, your recognition is very much appreciated here at Ipswitch. 

Each year in March, 68 U.S. college basketball teams come together for the Big Dance (also known as March Madness).  One of the unique features of this tournament is the first rounds of the tournament occur in a short amount of time; the first 36 games occur over seven days (many during business hours).  The proliferation of streaming video, helped by the fact that NCAA.com offers online viewing of all games for a flat price of $4.99, means more employees than ever are able to watch their Alma Maters and favorite teams play in the tournament.  TBS and CBS indicated a 47% increase in video streaming of NCAA tournament games in 2011; we anticipate this year’s tournament will blow those numbers out of the water.

This year is the perfect storm for network issues stemming from video streaming — with the advent of BYOD (bring your own devices), most employees have a multitude of ways to use the enterprise network to watch those games.  Unlike radio & television broadcasts, there is a linear relationship between the number of viewers and the amount of bandwidth required to sustain those video streams.  This presents significant challenges for enterprise network managers, both in understanding the impact of March Madness on the network, and in proactively addressing potential issues before they become outage events.

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So, how can you know if your network was affected by March Madness this year?  Interface monitoring can help identify increased bandwidth consumption, but provides no insight into the causes of a surge in traffic.  Traffic analysis software, such as the FlowMonitor plugin for WhatsUp Gold, can work with flow-capable network hardware to provide insight into the traffic that traverses an enterprise network.  FlowMonitor includes predefined reports to help administrators quickly identify top conversations and applications; powerful dynamic filters can be used to easily drill down to expose needed information.

Traffic analysis isn’t only about identifying network hogs; FlowMonitor can help you secure your network too!  Use FlowMonitor in conjunction with AlertCenter (part of WhatsUp Gold) to receive instant notification of suspicious network activity; correlate alerts from AlertCenter with system log archives from the WhatsUp Log Management Suite to ensure your data remains safe.

March Madness provides administrators with a real-world example of how valuable traffic analysis can be to an IT organization.  You can evaluate WhatsUp Gold, including FlowMonitor and all the other plugins, free for thirty days.  See how WhatsUp Gold makes IT management simple!

Results from a recent survey, focusing on the network monitoring software licensing process, have finally been revealed.  In this recent survey, the Ipswitch Network Management Division set out to explore the scope, causes, and impact of IT buyer confusion due to complex software licensing and its effect on purchase behavior. The survey reflects input from a broad range of IT professionals managing networks of small, mid-sized and enterprise organizations throughout Europe and the U.S. 

 So, what exactly did the results indicate? Here are some key statistics:

  • More than 50% of network professionals report selecting an insufficient IT monitoring license level to monitor their infrastructure and applications assets
  • A whopping 67% of mid-sized businesses and 75% of enterprises  exceeded the limit of their selected license level at the end of their first year

Additionally, survey results reveal that estimating errors are more likely when selecting a network monitoring license based on “elements” instead of a direct count of, say, the number of “devices.”  In addition, what constitutes an “element” is a major cause for this confusion and budget overspending for comparable functionality and value. The surprise most often occurs at the first-year renewal, when organizations are locked-in to pay more.

What makes these “elements” confusing? “IT management professionals often don’t completely understand the element based licensing process,”explains Ennio Carboni, President of Ipswitch Network Management Division.  “This results in suboptimal value from licensed monitoring capacity. Customers either overcompensate to buy at higher priced tiers, or they buy less and compromise the level of monitoring they need.  WhatsUp Gold has always offered a clear, device-based licensing model that keeps things simple.”

With the intent of clearing up the market confusion on network monitoring licensing based on information collected from the survey, WhatsUp Gold will include a comparative element count in all of its price sheets and web listings with immediate effect.

Take Back Your Network March Madness Style with WhatsUp Gold! Our latest infographic illustrates how WhatsUp Gold can help you manage your network and battle against common problems that emerge each day.  Whether you’re faced with router failure or an internet outages, WhatsUp Gold can help you take back your network.

As I sit in my office, I periodically look over at a fake plastic tree nearby. As I look at it, about the only maintenance that it would ever need is a periodic dusting. It doesn’t require any sunlight, water or fertilizer to keep its color or shape.                                                                                     

Contrast this to the flower boxes around my home. Since I live in a climate that carries all four seasons, there is a point where no plants are able to thrive. During the winter, the plant energy retreats into the root system to hibernate, and when the ground temperature is warm enough, things begin to grow again. The problem is that sometimes weeds apparently receive this warm weather trigger when the temperature is barely above freezing. No flowers grow, but the weeds are in full-on growth mode as soon as the snow melts. Left untamed, the weeds will sprout, and if nothing is done, they will overtake the flowers.

So, how is this analogy akin to IT Management? Well, to be honest, the fake tree has very little to do with it, but if you do nothing to improve and maintain your IT Management situation, eventually, you’ll be tossed out as my fake tree will be someday. IT Management must be more like how I attack the weeds in my flower boxes. If your IT infrastructure is left unchecked, weeds will appear. These IT “weeds” could be anything from an unpatched desktop, to the wiring closet that has more patch cables than original wiring, to VM sprawl (the morning glory of weeds), to an untrained user who opens every email sent to him/her. These IT weeds start small — but spread. Good IT Management practices will have tools, policies, and procedures defined to discover these IT weeds quickly, and snuff them out while they are still small. Without best practices, you’ll never discover these weeds until it’s too late – when they damage the flowers around them, leading to IT service disruptions.

My advice, given my experience in this industry, is to follow a couple of very simple steps and always adhere to the K.I.S.S. principle (Keep it Simple, Stupid). First, know what you have to maintain and stay on top of it. How many flower gardens do you own? Is it the whole yard (a small company’s IT), a corner flower bed (the web server pool) or the prize rose garden (the new private cloud initiative)? Once you have defined your boundaries, always know what’s there, and keep on top of anything that changes.

Second, build in maintenance periods for your “turf.” No one likes unplanned downtime, but maintenance periods, scheduled well in advance, are invaluable. They allow you the time to remove the unwanted weeds in your specific garden, for pruning last year’s growth (deleting unused VMs, reclaiming licenses), fertilizing for new growth (adding storage or memory), or simply adding new plants (new services, or software) to the mix. A regular maintenance plan will help keep your IT infrastructure weed-free for the entire growing season.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This adage holds true whether for the weeds in your flower bed or IT Management. It’s all about being proactive to protect your business – but you often don’t necessarily have the time or resources to do it. Instead of spending upwards of 30 hours a month troubleshooting connectivity issues or needless hours troubleshooting misconfigured devices because you didn’t have alerting or automated configuration management in place, with the WhatsConnected and WhatsConfigured plugins, you’ll have proactive IT management without the labor.  With real-time insight into unauthorized configuration changes with WhatsConfigured, and automatic discovery of all your connected resources across your entire infrastructure with WhatsConnected, you’ll be on top of changes in your infrastructure the moment they happen – before these IT “weeds” turn into major business disruptions. Try 30-day free trials of WhatsConnected and WhatsConfigured today.

Are you a network administrator who needs a tool to help you identify and isolate network connectivity problems? Using Visual TraceRoute will reduce the time it takes you to isolate and identify segment failures or bandwidth bottlenecks within your network.

Key features of Visual TraceRoute include:

  • Visualize trace data in real-time using the Topology map
  • Perform traces with ICMP, UDP, and TCP protocols
  • Isolate segment failures and bandwidth bottlenecks
  • Identify response times, domain names hop-by-hop
  • Conduct multiple traces simultaneously
  • Execute Continuous, Timed or one-time traces

Watch this 2 minute explainer to learn more about the free Visual TraceRoute tool.

Did you that there are monthly contests on the WUGspace Community? February’s contest involved coming up with the best caption for the picture below (if you don’t recall – the WhatsUp Gold ninja participated in Movember!)

Yesterday, the WhatsUp Gold Guru, Jason Williams, announced the winner on WUGspace. So who was the lucky winner? By an astonishing 42% of the votes – Stan Johnson’s entry, “Rogue Server. You have dishonored my network. Now you must die!” was the obvious choice. Congratulations to Stan! Not only will he be receiving a $50 Amazon.com gift card, but he will also be receiving a “WIN” badge and 35 additional WUGspace points!

March’s contest is to name your favorite WhatsUp Gold feature. Interested in participating, but not a WUGspace member yet? Join today!

As you probably know, anyone infected with the DNSChanger malware was supposed to lose internet today. The DNSChanger malware is a Trojan horse that changes the DNS settings on computers and routers to send users to malicious sites, which then steal personal information and generate illegal ad revenue for the scammers. In November 2011, the FBI took over the botnet’s rogue servers and replaced them and planned to shut down the servers they put up in replacement of the rogue ones today, March 8th.

However, companies and individuals infected with the Trojan have been given 120 more days (until July 9th)  to clean up their PCs or they will lose internet access.  Do you know if you’re infected or not? WhatsUp Gold can help.

Flow Monitor will detect if any devices are still infected on your network. You can build a group containing the IP addresses listed below, and then add an alert for DNS traffic to this group. If you are infected with the DNSChanger, you can then run a report for all infected devices.

Potentially Rogue DNS Servers 

  • 85.255.112.0 – 85.255.127.255
  • 67.210.0.0 – 67.210.15.255
  • 93.188.160.0 – 93.188.167.255
  • 77.67.83.0 – 77.67.83.255
  • 213.109.64.0 – 213.109.79.255
  • 64.28.176.0 – 64.28.191.255

Take action before it’s too late – Find out if any of your devices are infected with your free 30-day trial of WhatsUp Gold!

All-in-one network management solution from WhatsUp Gold

The WhatsUp Gold product family evolves with you as your network grows in size and complexity.  The value-added plug-ins seamlessly extend your functionality.  Easy – and cost-effective – to add to your existing license.  Partner with a product family that evolves.  To learn more visit: www.whatsupgold.com

An open port on your network is like an unlocked car with the keys left in it – it’s begging to be exploited.

The Ipswitch Network Management Division just launched the free WhatsUp PortScanner tool which seeks to give network administrators a tool in locking these “open doors,” or ports, before they become targets for hackers, malware, viruses and other malicious attacks.  With the free WhatsUp PortScanner, you can:

  • Identify active hosts using ICMP and TCP
  • Utilize multiple scanning deep-level technologies to find open ports
  • Bookmark scanning configurations as favorites for quick access
  • Utilize the included database of known ports, or customize it to your environment

If, of course, you are looking for a more comprehensive solution that offers layer 2/3 discovery, mapping  and inventory of your entire infrastructure, and port-to-port connectivity – functionality well beyond scanning for open portsWhatsConnected might be a better fit. But WhatsUp PortScanner gives you a nice starting point as you build your network security plan.

Try WhatsUp PortScanner for free today. If you’re looking for a more robust solution, try WhatsConnected today free for 30 days.

The WhatsUp Gold team is thrilled to announce that the WhatsUp Log Management Suite has won Info Security’s Global Excellence Award in Compliance!

More than 50 judges from a broad spectrum of industry voices from around the world participated and their average scores determined the 2012 Global Excellence Awards Finalists and Winners.

WhatsUp Log Management automatically collects, stores, archives, back-ups, analyzes and reports on Syslog, Windows event logs, or W3C logs generated by Web Application Servers, Load Balancers, Firewalls, Proxy Servers or Content Security appliances.  This pioneering solution is easy to use, intuitive, comprehensive, and provides an out-of-the-box security and compliance solution. WhatsUp Log Management provides over one hundred pre-packaged reports organized according to government and industry regulations so IT managers can quickly select the reports necessary for their individual business needs. These reports are then compressed and delivered to secure directories in accordance with FIPS 140-2 cryptographic standards to prevent unauthorized viewing. In addition, the WhatsUp Log Management Suite offers holistic point-and-click compliance reports for HIPAA, SOX, FISMA, NISPOM, FERPA, NERC CIP and more, so companies always have the information and compliance reports needed for auditors.

To learn more about the WhatsUp Log Management Suite, click here. To read the full press release on this exciting news, click here.

Ipswitch, Inc. is excited to announce that Tech Data has secured the position of exclusive value-added distributor (VAD) for Ipswitch, Inc.’s Network Management, Secure File Transfer, and Messaging divisions.

Channel expansion is a top strategic initiative for all three divisions of Ipswitch, Inc. Each division is making a significant investment in their channel programs in 2012 and improving on their existing comprehensive partner programs through the following initiatives:

  • New state-of-the-art Partner Portal powered by Salesforce.com, which will provide partners with unprecedented visibility and management of their leads, deal registrations, opportunities, and service renewals.
  • Improved in-depth technical training and certification programs.
  • Doubling the size of the Channel Team to ensure partners receive the best account support in the industry.
  • United the Inside Sales Teams with the Channel Partner Management Team.  This alignment enables channel partners to collaborate with Inside Account Managers – the most knowledgeable product specialists – to be more successful in growing their business without any concern of partner deals being taken directly. Ipswitch is committed to maintaining channel integrity.
  • Tech Data’s StreamOne License Selector will provide Ipswitch partners with more efficient processes for quoting and ordering and, therefore, improve the overall ease of doing business with Ipswitch and Tech Data.

Tech Data and Ipswitch have identified 200 key midmarket-focused solution providers across the country that they will initially target for an enhanced partner enablement program. This program will provide flexibility to partners to develop custom sales and marketing plans with Ipswitch and Tech Data that will work best within the partner business model, vertical, and geographic focus.