Data Center

Find news, reviews, and how-tos on data center management topics, including server virtualization, storage, data center energy use, cooling, and green IT.
  • Review

    Asus RT-AC66U: The best 802.11ac router on the market--so far

    Posted September 15, 2012 - 7:13 am

    Asus currently builds the best consumer-oriented 802.11n router--the RT-N66U Dual-Band Wireless N900, which I used as a reference device to compare new 802.11ac routers against. After testing the company's $200 RT-AC66U, I believe that Asus also markets the best 802.11ac router currently available, too, though the offerings from several other manufacturers come close.
  • Review

    Netgear R6300: the second-fastest router we've tested

    Posted September 15, 2012 - 7:05 am

    Many of my favorite routers over the past three years have borne the Netgear brand. The company's first 802.11ac model, the R6300, is an excellent router, too. But in my tests, the Asus RT-AC66U proved to be just a little better.
  • Review

    Who makes the best 802.11ac router? We review the only 5 models available today

    Posted September 12, 2012 - 11:48 am

    It's a tricky time to be in the market for a new wireless router. The safe bet is buy a model based on the tried-and-true, rock-solid 802.11n standard--and I recommend that you adopt that course if you're looking for a new router for your small business. Consumers, on the other hand, may fall in love with the blistering speed and phenomenal range that routers based on the second draft of the 802.11ac standard deliver.
  • Review

    Review: Dell blade servers tip the scales

    Posted September 11, 2012 - 7:51 am

    Dell's M1000e blade system wows with novel new blades, improved management, modular I/O, and 40G out the back
  • Review

    Microsoft System Center targets cloud, virtualization

    Posted July 16, 2012 - 3:03 pm

    With the revamped System Center 2012 suite of management tools, Microsoft has launched a powerful new weapon in the battle to control the virtualized data center and the cloud, both private and public.
  • Review

    Windows Server 2012 Release Preview: Compelling new features

    Posted July 9, 2012 - 11:11 am

    Windows Server 2012 Release Preview features a better virtual desktop experience, much easier DirectAccess deployment and a full-scale file-classification and access control system.
  • Review

    What separates business routers from consumer routers?

    Posted June 5, 2012 - 1:51 pm

    If you're in the market for a new router for your small business, you might be tempted by the flashy features, high speeds, and low cost of consumer-oriented routers. The latest models, based on the IEEE 802.11ac standard, look particularly attractive.
  • Review

    Microsoft System Center 2012 review: Streamlined cloud service management

    Posted May 20, 2012 - 7:27 am

    With System Center 2012, Microsoft delivers tools to help customers wring more efficiency, uptime and performance out of their existing hardware and software.
  • Review

    D-Link DIR-605L Cloud Router review: Strong monitoring capabilities but indifferent performance

    Posted May 6, 2012 - 7:19 am

    As Wi-Fi routers go, the D-Link Cloud Router (DIR-605L) isn't a top performer--it has the basic 2x2 antenna array required for 802.11n certification, and its LAN ports support only 10/100 (not gigabit) ethernet. But it boasts some easy-to-use remote-access features that should appeal to small businesses and consumers who want to keep close tabs on network activity without spending a lot of money.
  • Review

    Dell simplifies the blade server

    Posted April 28, 2012 - 7:02 am

    Dell's PowerEdge C6220 squeezes four two-socket servers into 2RU, delivering blade server density at a rack-mount price
  • Review

    New Dell PowerEdge: More power, deeper management

    Posted March 23, 2012 - 7:15 am

    First look: 12-gen, 2U Dell PowerEdge R720xd pairs hardware heft with first-rate remote management tools
  • Review

    Hands on with Windows Server 8 beta

    Posted March 4, 2012 - 8:55 am

    Our reviewer doesn't like the Metro user interface as the default for a server OS, but other than that lauds its new features.
  • Review

    Hands on: HP's Enterprise Database Consolidation Appliance

    Posted February 10, 2012 - 1:47 pm

    If you're like most enterprises, you have data everywhere. It's in line-of-business applications. It's in directories. It's in various departmental servers. It's in your e-commerce platform. To manage all this, most shops use databases of all sizes running on a variety of operating systems and database applications, often from different vendors and editions. Chances are, they're not consistent.
  • Review

    Enterprise Hadoop: Big data processing made easier

    Posted January 18, 2012 - 7:21 am

    Amazon, Cloudera, Hortonworks, IBM, and MapR mix simpler setup of Hadoop clusters with proprietary twists and trade-offs
  • Review

    Hands on: The Wikipad tablet does 3D, runs Ice Cream Sandwich

    Posted January 15, 2012 - 9:41 am

    Aimed at gamers, the Wikipad is an Android tablet that is capable of glasses-free 3D. The Wikipad has an 8-inch 1280-by-720 resolution parallax autostereoscopic display, and it'll ship running Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
  • Review

    The year's best hardware, software, and cloud services

    Posted January 9, 2012 - 7:11 am

    These 2012 Technology of the Year Award winners make life better for the people who toil in service of the enterprises.
  • Review

    Cool mobile accessories to add to your travel toolkit

    Posted December 31, 2011 - 8:41 am

    Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, you need to check into work on the go, get more out of your smartphone, and keep your gadgets powered and ready for anything. These durable cases, long-lasting chargers, and cool add-ons promise to help you do more on the road or in the air.
  • Review

    HP's touch-screen desktop continues to intrigue me

    Posted December 15, 2011 - 11:30 am

    Shaw reviews HP's TouchSmart Desktop 610 Quad series.
  • Review

    iPad keyboards: A buyer's guide

    Posted December 14, 2011 - 12:15 pm

    For serious typing sessions--or if you just can't get the hang of the iPad's onscreen keyboard--an external keyboard offers the tactile advantages of real keys without sacrificing the iPad's portability and touchscreen features.
  • Review

    NetSpot helps you optimize your Wi-Fi networks

    Posted November 29, 2011 - 3:55 pm

    When you set up a Wi-Fi network, whether using access points (base stations) from Apple or another vendor, you're usually playing a guessing game. Where should I put a base station to get the best coverage and performance? Or multiple base stations? Apple provides some tools to help, including the somewhat hidden Wi-Fi Diagnostics program (buried in /System/Library/CoreServices/), but using them requires some expertise, as well as keeping your eye on ever-changing signal-strength numbers. NetSpot bypasses the technical in favor of the visual. This free site-survey software is a remarkable aid in laying out even a small-home network, using a Mac laptop as your survey tool.
  • Review

    Finestra manages virtual desktops with panache

    Posted November 28, 2011 - 9:18 pm

    If Finestra Virtual Desktops (free/donationware) hadn't crashed on me once or twice, it would've scored at least a half star higher than the 3 stars that I gave it. It's that elegant and suited to the task. The program allows you up to 100 virtual desktops (four's plenty for most folks), has a host of options so that you can control which programs open on which desktop, etc., and even makes great use of the Windows 7 live window thumbnails.
  • Review

    Cool gifts for geeks, 2011: Home and office gear

    Posted November 26, 2011 - 9:53 am

    They say that a man’s home is his castle – we figure that if you’re going to have a castle, it needs to be filled up with some really cool, high-tech stuff. If you’re working at a home office or just want to boost that home network in order to get a better connected home entertainment system up and running, the following products are great gift ideas:
  • Review

    Cool gifts for geeks, 2011: Computer, notebook and tablet tech treasures

    Posted November 26, 2011 - 9:50 am

    We’ve always had a category covering the world of computers in our Cool Yule Tools holiday gift guide. But then computers gave way to notebooks (so we combined the category), and then tablets have entered the scene. With the arrival and success of the iPad and other tablets, many have said that “the PC is dead”, and we’ll admit, our choices of cool computers are fewer than in years past. But there are still some nice systems out there, here are a bunch of desktops, notebooks, and yes, tablets, that we think would make for some good gifts:
  • Review

    Cool gifts for geeks, 2011: Miscellaneous tech treasures

    Posted November 26, 2011 - 9:49 am

    In our 12th year of presenting our Cool Yule Tools holiday gift guide, we’ve done our best to try to categorize the gift ideas into different groups – portable entertainment, travel gear, etc. While many of these ideas could, in theory, be placed there, sometimes we just feel that the device/gift idea should just be placed in “miscellaneous.” So that’s what we did with some of these. Enjoy!
  • Review

    Cool gifts for geeks, 2011: Home entertainment tech treasures

    Posted November 26, 2011 - 9:38 am

    The home entertainment category in our Cool Yule Tools holiday guide used to be a part of the “After Hours” section, but with the explosion of high-tech features in the consumer electronics space, there’s a multitude of devices that will keep you entertained after a long day of work. Here are our picks for gift ideas that can keep you entertained and connected when you’re home:
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