10 G Network Upgrade

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I received some quotes the other day to bring the majority of our backbone up to 10 Gigs. In order to accomplish this I will need to upgrade to an Enterasys X16 chassis. I originally wanted to leverage my a couple of existing N7 chassis to provide the 10 gig connectivity to the majority of the rest of the network. The plan is to provide a 10 G link to the areas of the campus where the majority of the users are located. Right now we have aggregated gigabyte links to each of the edge switches and that has worked fairly well, but I’m starting to see where these links are being saturated with Video and other multimedia media that is being used in instruction.

We are also in the midst of implementing a new PBX system that while will not be primarily a VoIP solution it does have that capability. While our initial implementation will only have a very small number of IP phones it will have the capability to add quite a few more phones in the future. I need to allow for that now as its seems we may have some funds to replace obsolete equipment and I’ve learned to strike while the iron is hot or those funds may not be available later.

Replacing this equipment will not only allow me to offer increased bandwidth to the majority of my users and we will even be able to allow a good number of users to experience Gigabyte to the desktop, it will also allow me to finally remove the remainder of the legacy switches in the network which will not support QOS and the level of security I like to enforce. This will help me obtain the level of User Personalized networking that I’ve always envisioned. Part of the quote I received includes Enterasys’s new Sentinel Trusted Access Gateway and Trusted Access Manager. This product allows you to bridge the gap between your intrusion detection system and Access Control lists which allows you to dynamically react to threats on your network. This is very important in a school environment where students are constantly connecting infected laptops to the network. I’ve implemented ACL’s where these accounts only have access to certain areas of the network, but I still have to allow them access to the student servers, so having a more complete solution like this will allow me to still offer these vital services while at the same time protecting us from the threats these uncontrolled computers may introduce into our network.

Microsoft Removes Restrictions on Visual Studio Express Products

Microsoft has announced that they will now removed the restrictions on the Visual Studio Express Products. Originally they planned to only let you use the Visual Studio Express line until the end of 2006 when you would need to purchase a license for $49 to continue to use these products for your development purposes. That restriction is no longer there. This is actually pretty cool and I personally think a good move on Microsoft’s part. The Visual Web Developer is the only one of these products I have personally used and it is actually fairly powerful. Most developers of Asp.Net Web Applications can do the majority of tasks they need to perform with this product. While Enterprise level developers will still likely require one of the other versions of Visual Studio.Net most hobby type and novice programmers will be able to utilize one of these free versions for their tasks. You can also use these tools to do some fairly extensive programming tasks and thus make it possible for companies to save money on integrated development software costs.

This will mean more programmers will possibly give the .Net language a chance when other wise they may not, read hard core Java Types. This may be MS’s idea on offering the VS Express line for free and allow it to stay free forever. After all Ms still makes money on the platform every time someone creates an innovative .Net application and putting the tools in the hands of the people who can dream up these innovations.

You can find a link to the story on the front of the asp.net web site.

Google Pages

I saw Google Pages a few days back so I decided to open an account and see what functionality was available in this Google endeavor. Well there is a waiting list, but I finally got approved today. The app is fairly easy to manage and they provide several built in templates to apply to your site. The app is full of Ajax type functionality and you can edit the majority of the content in place. I looked at this first thing this morning and I was able to make some changes, but something seems to be wrong with the application right now because I can’t save a page and it keeps throwing JavaScript errors at me. I’ll see if I can figure out what is wrong so I can post some pages and screen shots for you.

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