Battle of the bare-bones balancers: Barracuda Load Balancer vs. Kemp Load Master

June 30, 2008
A load balancer for less than $2K? Barracuda Networks offers two models by that description, and Logan Harbaugh tested the posher one, the $1,999 Load Balancer 340. At the same time, he tested the $2,499 Kemp Load Master 1500, likewise a bare-bones load balancer in terms of features but a step up in manageability, thanks to easy drop-down configurations for features such as cookie persistence and health checking
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Load balancers and Web accelerators compared

June 30, 2008
Today's Test Center guide to load balancers and Web application accelerators by Logan Harbaugh pulls together all of his reviews in the space over the past two years, and zeros in on the key differences among the products. This chart provides an at-a-glance comparison. To get all the juicy stuff you'll have to read his guide. At bottom, the essential differences amount to the type of platform used (classic Inte
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SMB Mobile: Notes from a cafe

June 27, 2008
When I was at TechEd Pro, I noted that SMB mobile computing was a major subject of sessions, and a major focus on the vendor floor. A couple of days ago I was sitting at a table in my local Panera when I took a good look at my fellow patrons. Nearly one third of the tables in the restaurant had laptop computers sitting on top. At several others, business discussions were taking place around forms and spreadsheet
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My new Mac

June 24, 2008
My New Mac 52 Simple Projects to Get You Started by Wallace Wang April 2008, 480 pp. $29.95 ISBN-13 978-1-59327-164-0 No Starch Press Oh I soooo wish this book had arrived just a few weeks earlier! There are somethings that just require unlearning skills, and moving from a PC to a Mac is one of them. I keep wanting to right click and it took some searching to find a webpage of keyboard shortcuts for the mac. In
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TechEd Reflections: Microsoft, SMB, and success

June 19, 2008
Having a few days to reflect on the events at TechEd Professional this year, there are a few things that stand out -– some are fairly obvious, and some less so. 1. Microsoft has done some very good things for small-business IT I've been working on Microsoft's new Small Business Server and Essential Business Server, and the folks in Redmond have done some very good things for the SMB market in areas ranging from
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Imation SSD versus Western Digital SATA: Performance test results

June 19, 2008
In today's shootout between Imation Pro 7000 solid state drives and Western Digital's VelociRaptor SATA disk drive (see "Product review: High price makes high-speed Imation SSDs a tough sell"), Mario Apicella finds that SSD is indeed the fastest storage that lots of money can buy. Given the whopping superiority of the Imation SSDs in read I/O and read transfer rates, their advantages for search-intensive applic
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SpringSource hires BEA vet

June 13, 2008
SpringSource, keeper of the popular Spring Framework for Java development, has hired a former BEA Systems official. Peter Cooper-Ellis, former executive vice president and general manager for the WebLogic Server product line at BEA, has joined SpringSource as senior vice president of engineering and product management, SpringSource said. He will lead the team that recently unveiled the SpringSource Application P
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TechEd Notes: Small business everywhere

June 12, 2008
Conducting your business wherever you happen to be isn't a new concept for many small business owners -- there's a reason why the cab of a lot of pickup trucks looks more like an oddly shaped office than a means of transportation. Still, it's impossible not to note that the conference sessions and vendor booths here at TechEd each have a significant emphasis on the tools and strategies to let business happen whe
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TechEd Update: SharePoint keeps growing

June 11, 2008
In one of my first posts from TechEd, I mentioned the focus on SharePoint in the conference sessions. That focus continues on the exhibitor floor, with lots of companies featuring products and services built around SharePoint. There's even a special "SharePoint Partner Zone" with 35 companies seeking to show a special emphasis on SharePoint. Some of the companies in the Zone (AT&T Mobility, Citrix, Fujitsu, and
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TechEd Update: DR for SMB

June 11, 2008
One of the things I worry about most when it comes to small businesses is disaster recovery. For a lot of small businesses, the disaster recovery plan revolves around the owner’s Visa limit, and that's a terrible position to be in. One of the key considerations to any disaster recovery plan is regular backup, and that can be a tough sell at many SMBs, but the difficulty makes it no less critical. One of the comp
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