If you haven’t seen my previous posts on the Opengear products, it may be worth going back and reading about the ACM5004 – a small remote site console server with 3G capabilties, and seemingly endless customization potential. Opengear have since sent me another ACM (Advanced Console Management) device to try out – the spiky-looking ACM5004-G-W-I.
Some years back, a company I was working for had a big problem – they had a number of PIX firewalls where the primary firewall rule – give or take a few specific permits and denies – was pretty much “permit ip any any”. We called them routers, because that was pretty much how they acted.
After we mocked these ridiculous devices long enough, management finally said “Fine – put your money where your mouth is and make them proper firewalls with a real ruleset.”
And that’s where the problem begins – how do you reverse engineer a firewall policy based on the traffic going through it?
The total lack of branding for Google Reader shown above I think sums up the level of effort that Google have been willing put into the product in the last few years (and possibly longer). Really, it has been the red-headed step child; a science fair project gone bad. And while the infamous “Beta” tag doesn’t seem to be present, it surely feels like that’s how it has been viewed internally, which may explain why the Google Reader web interface is so lacking.
You wouldn’t think then that anybody would care if this product were killed off, yet when Google announced the imminent demise of Google Reader, the Twitterverse went crazy; the bloggers complained, and pages started popping up all over the place answering the question “What is the best alternative to Google Reader?”
So why do so many people seem to love this criminally under-maintained product?
When Plexxi was announced as a presenter at Networking Field Day 5 (NFD5), I had no idea who they were – and I’m guessing many readers are in the same boat. Plexxi want to be your core Ethernet network, but in a rather unique way.
So here’s the concept: What if you could create a physical ring of Ethernet switches that were actually fully meshed so that any switch could talk to any other switch without any Ethernet switching along the way? And how about if you could dynamically change the bandwidth available between switches as needed? Then finally, how about trying to generate an optimal connectivity mesh based on application needs?
Yeah, that sounds like fun to me too!