WindowsNetworking.com Monthly Newsletter of June 2011 Sponsored by: ManageEngine
Welcome to the WindowsNetworking.com newsletter by Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MVP. Each month we will bring you interesting and helpful information on the world of Windows Networking. We want to know what all *you* are interested in hearing about. Please send your suggestions for future newsletter content to: email@example.com
To those of us who work in a Windows world, sometimes it seems as if "iStuff" gets all the media attention these days. Whether you're an Apple fan or not, it's hard to ignore the fact that you can't open a computer related site or magazine without seeing some "magical and revolutionary" Apple product being featured. This intensified last week when Apple held its annual WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference). The big news out of that, regarding the Apple ecosystem, was related to Apple's effort to get in on the latest hot trend - cloud computing - with something it calls (what else?) iCloud.
You might be wondering: What is iCloud? How will it compete with cloud services from Microsoft, Amazon, and Google? Is it compatible with Windows clients or do you have to have a Mac to use it? Does this indicate that Apple is finally getting serious about the business and enterprise market?
Well, if you go to the Apple web site, you'll see that they focus on the following:
Okay, there's no denying that this is a handy service. But is this "cloud computing"? It's obvious that it's software as a service (SaaS), since each of these represents a "finished service" (that is, you don't have to develop your own solution or code on your own in order to get it to work). But is it true cloud computing or just a web service? Remember, cloud computing as defined by NIST is much more than just "web services". Based on the NIST definition and model, a "cloud computing" solution should include the following essential features and capabilities:
You can find the NIST document here.
To be fair, many of the consumer-targeted "cloud" services offered by other companies don't meet all the criteria set forth in the NIST definition, either. There are many misconceptions about what cloud computing is and isn't. Many people consider it to be a marketing term that has no real meaning, and marketing campaigns for services such as iCloud make the situation worse, because these types of "cloud" offerings aren't really cloud applications - they're just web services. There's nothing wrong with web services, and we use web services all the time, but when it comes to the topic of "cloud" computing versus applications in the "cloud" (that is to say, online services), the eagerness to call everything "cloud" only serves to foster confusion. Apple isn't the only (or first) company to jump on this bandwagon, but it is the one getting a lot of attention at the moment.
What do you think? Is iCloud a real "cloud computing" offering or just an online web service? What about Microsoft's "to the cloud" commercials that only peripherally involve cloud services? Are consumers being sold a fairytale when it comes to "cloud computing?" Or does it matter? Do you think "cloud computing" is real at all, or just a marketing term? Are technology companies just taking advantage of the cloud computing hype? And where does real cloud computing - as defined by NIST - fit into all this?
Let me know! Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll share your comments.
See you next month! - Deb.
By Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MVP
Quote of the Month - "A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew." - Herb Caen
3. WindowsNetworking.com Articles of Interest
Change or Spoof your Network Adapter MAC Address
MAC address filtering is used in some networks to help control which computers or devices end-users can connect to the network. However, remember it is very easy for even average users to spoof or change a network adapter's MAC address in Windows; here's how it's done:
Then click OK to save changes and then double-check to ensure that you're using the new MAC address via the Details button on the Network Connection Status window or type ipconfig /all into a Command Prompt.
For more administrator tips, go to WindowsNetworking.com/WindowsTips
With virtualization being the core foundation of cloud computing, it makes sense that youll want to be on top of everything virtual. While still behind VMware in terms of adoption, Hyper-V is quickly gaining on VMware in terms of functionality and scenario support. Most importantly, when you look at the ability to deliver on the core requirements of Private Cloud, Hyper-V might have the advantage over VMware. If you're new to Hyper-V (or even virtualization in general; not everyone is on the virtualization boat yet), then check out the Getting to Know Hyper-V: A Walkthrough from Initial Setup to Common Scenarios document over here.
I hear that the world has run out of IPv4 addresses and that we need to think about deploying IPv6. Is that true? We run mostly a UNIX and Windows 2003 network and I'm concerned that we're nowhere near ready or capable of IPv6. Am I in trouble? Will my systems be disconnected from the Internet? It's hard to find some hard and fast information on this because of all the FUD that seems to be going on out there.
Thanks! - Joey.
I hear what you're saying - it's difficult to sort the reality from the hype, especially since it's true that all the IPv4 addresses have been allocated to distributors (that is to say, there are none in reserve. This doesn't mean that all of the addresses have been allocated to users). What this does mean is that the providers will be more stringent in terms of assigning public IPv4 addresses, but it doesn't mean that you won't be able to get one. It also doesn't mean that your IPv4 only network won't be able to connect to the Internet. For the time being, the Internet is an IPv4 entity, with islands of IPv6 support. Moving forward, those islands of IPv6 will get bigger, but there are no plans for tearing down the IPv4 Internet infrastructure in the near or long term. Of course, it's hard to determine what the actual pace of change will be - since there might be some "killer application" or some other currently unforeseen event that will accelerate adoption of IPv6 on the Internet.
Regarding IPv6 on your intranet, there is no reason for you to be too concerned about the IPv6 capability on your intranet at this time. As long as the services you need to provide to your users are IPv4 capable (and they are at this time) then you'll be in good shape. Going into the future, you'll need to evaluate the applications you deploy, and if any of them are IPv6 only, then you'll need to take that into account. However, there are IPv6 transition technologies that you can employ to help you out while you're transitioning to IPv6.
Bottom line; you don't need to panic about getting your network IPv6 capable at this time. However, I highly recommend that you begin learning about IPv6 now. Take your time, get a good book, and read it and think about how IPv6 can be integrated into your environment over the next few years. A good starting point is Understanding IPv6, 2nd Edition, by Joseph Davies. You can find it here.
Have fun! - Deb.