Data Center And Small Office/Home Office Product Reviews And News

Data Centers for mission critical applications and cloud services require high-end, fault-tolerant hardware and software for servers, processors, storage, operating systems and more. Meanwhile, enterprise and small business road warriors alike need that same level of reliability on mobile devices and back at the office as well. If it connects people and systems, stores critical data or provides digital tools for business and professionals, you'll find our coverage here - from WiFi routers to Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, High Performance Computing (HPC) and more, this channel means business.

A newly discovered attack vector is threatening to leave millions of websites underwater, gasping for air. Since we live in an acronym-crazed society, it should come as no surprise that this latest exploit described as Decrypting RSA with Obsolete and Weakened eNcryption goes by the name of "DROWN." DROWN preys on servers that still openly support Secure Sockets Layer (SSLv2), even though modern servers have moved on to Transport Layer Security (TLS). Given that SSLv2 was developed in the 1990s, it’s long been considered outdated and insecure. However, some servers have still been configured to support SSLv2 for whatever reason, which leaves websites wide open to attacks. A server merely needs... Read more...
Even for mainstream users, it's not hard to tell the differences between using a PC that has its OS installed on a solid-state drive versus a mechanical hard drive. With an SSD, the OS will start up faster, while apps and multi-tasking won't bring certain processes to an absolute crawl. With SSD pricing where it is right now, it's easy to justify including one in a brand-new build (even a modest one) for the obvious speed boost. OCZ's Trion 150 SSD actually uses TLC NAND - Read Our Full Review If we can see benefits as end-users, you can imagine the benefit that flash-based storage offers companies like Google in their data centers. The company appears to have been one of the first to put... Read more...
Netgear has released a new line of high-end-yet-consumer-friendly Network Attached Servers (NAS) dubbed the RN210 family. They are available in both two-and-four bay models, and this time around we’ll be examining its two-bay model, the RN212. Keep in mind, however, that almost everything we cover here applies to the four-bay model as well, which goes by the moniker RN214. The big deal with this NAS is that, according to Netgear, it’s the “only ARM-based NAS that delivers full HD 1080p to 480p transcoding,” with the purpose being the ability to stream content from the NAS to your smart phone or tablet without any dropped frames. Another notable is that it uses the BTRFS file system, which... Read more...
The router game is heating up once again, after being dormant for what seemed like an eternity, thanks to new iterations of the Broadcom XStream platform. We first examined this platform for 802.11 AC routers back in October when we rounded up four AC3200 routers from Netgear, D-Link, TrendNet, and Asus. We then added one router to the mix with our analysis of the Linksys EA9200, but all five of those routers were based on the first gen of Broadcom’s technology, which allows for up to 3.2Gb/s spread across three channels. This translates to (1,300Mb/s on dual 5GHz channels, and 600Mb/s on the lone 2.4GHz channels). As we’ve stated previously, most home users will probably never need this much... Read more...
Shortly after we published our AC3200 router roundup, Linksys contacted us and wanted to throw one of its routers into the ring. We agreed, and the company sent us its Linksys EA9200 Tri-band Smart Wi-Fi router, which like the others in the roundup is a tri-band router that uses the Broadcom XStream 5GHz platform, throwing out dual 5GHz networks along with a 2.4GHz network for older devices. Like the other routers, it's capable of pushing data at 1,300Mbp/s on its 5GHz bands, and 600Mb/s on the 2.4GHz band. It is also able to pair both 5GHz channels together using Smart Connect technology, or you can run them as two separate networks if you prefer. This router was one of the first to appear on... Read more...
The supercomputing segment is set to get a big boost from new silicon announced today at Intel. That silicon is a new version of Xeon Phi, otherwise known as Knight's Landing. Whatever you want to call it, the pre-production chip is a 72-core coprocessor solution manufactured on a 14nm process with 3D Tri-Gate transistors. These aren't CPUs like the kind you drop into your motherboard. They're coprocessors built around Intel's MIC (Many Integrated Core) architecture that, just like it sounds, combines a whole bunch of cores into a single chip, which itself is part of a larger PCI-E add-in card solution for supercomputing applications.Intel Knight's Landing Processor Die Map The add-in cards run... Read more...
Wireless routers are going through somewhat of a renaissance right now, thanks to the arrival of the 802.11ac standard that is "three times as fast as wireless-N" and the proliferation of Internet-connected devices in our homes and pockets. Whereas before we merely had a handful of laptops and PCs connected to the internet at various times, we now have homes with many devices connected all the time, including our phones, tablets, computers, smart televisions, game consoles, and smart home devices. Though wireless N wasn't bad at the time, it's simply not ideal when dozens of devices are connected at the same time, and certainly not in a larger home or office. That's where 802.11ac comes in, as... Read more...
The Internet is an ever changing congruous mass of standards, design, and interoperability challenges. Keeping on top of it all can be a daunting task. It's a delicate balance between features, security and performance. If you're considering swapping out your web browser for something new and fresh, but are uncertain over the real world performance differences, this article should help with lots of insight. Features are not something that can be easily compared, and will be up to you to decide what you want in a browser. As for security, that is in a constant state of flux, and issuing metrics of flaws discovered vs. fixed, paints a very distorted view of what's trule "better" between the various... Read more...
A couple of months back (Yes, I’m tardy in reporting. Life gets in the way sometimes.), I was invited to CDW’s headquarters in Vernon Hills, IL for a “red carpet tour” of their facilities to get a firsthand look inside the computer and tech products distributor and reseller giant. The facility is located about 40 minutes outside of downtown Chicago and is a big mainstay business in the area, employing over 7,000 people worldwide with 26 facilities across North America and Canada. Formerly known as Computer Discount Warehouse, but now just CDW, the company is publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the same ticker symbol. It’s a Fortune 500 company and the founder, Michael Krasny ranks on Fortune’s... Read more...
"This is something many people thought was impossible," exclaimed Intel Senior Vice President Rob Crooke. During an invite-only press conference, Crooke along with Micron CEO Mark Durcan revealed a radically new class of storage and memory architecture called 3D XPoint (pronounced "Cross Point"). To say this is a game-changer would be the understatement of the year. Tangible products based on the technology will debut in 2016, but today's event was focused on the development partnership between Intel and Micron. Frankly, what they've accomplished is astounding. Even though we’re finally on the cusp of Solid State storage breaking into mainstream adoption (e.g. becoming more affordable and more... Read more...
All we seem to hear about these days is how the PC market is off its mark, but rather than pout and pound sand over the situation, Intel appears to have flexed a bit of manufacturing and technology muscle to help weather the storm. Not only that, Intel surpassed analysts' expectations today by reporting second-quarter earnings of 55 cents per share on revenue of $13.2 billion. By quarter's end, Intel pocketed a profit of $2.7 billion, posting gains in their IOT (Internet of Things) and Data Center businesses. "Second-quarter results demonstrate the transformation of our business as growth in data center, memory and IoT accounted for more than 70 percent of our operating profit and helped offset... Read more...
Anyone who follows the NAS game will likely recognize the name Synology, but we’d wager most home users aren't quite as familiar with them. That’s simply because Synology storage devices have typically targeted a more advanced crowd, such as readers of this website. If you had ever met someone who was running a Synology NAS at home, you knew right away they were an enthusiast, advanced user, neckbeard, etc. Newbies use more mainstream products, but hardcore guys and gals use Synology--or something like that. Well, times are changing, and Synology is trying to get in on the “cloud storage” game with NAS drives that are pre-configured, plug-and-play, and accessible from any internet connection,... Read more...
Earlier this month, Microsoft offered more details and availability information for its forthcoming Surface Hub system. With pre-orders starting July 1st, these 55-inch or 84-inch machines offer a new collaborative version of the Surface experience for businesses, scientists, education and perhaps even power user consumers. Last week, while visiting our friends at CDW in Chicago, (more on this in the days ahead, think logistics and tech inventory powerhouse), we got to spend some time downtown at Microsoft's Envisioning Center. Microsoft Technical Solutions Specialist, Mark Skoog showcased the company's Perceptive Pixel technology that they've been developing further since its acquisition back... Read more...
The WD My Cloud EX2100 is a new prosumer-oriented NAS drive from WD that continues the company's adventures in the realm of "personal cloud" storage. These drives are aimed directly at people who use Cloud storage such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Box.com, and others. The marketing speak from WD is that those services require a monthly payment for a small amount of storage, and you have to store your data on someone else's cloud. For example Dropbox charges $10 a month for 1TB of storage, and Google charges the same. WD's pitch is you can get multiple terabytes of storage with one of its drives, and use it as your own personal cloud storage, with the files accessible from any location with an internet... Read more...
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