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Reg Research The Register’s Technology Primer series of white papers provide a basic grounding in some of the hottest topics in tech today. They’re all freely available, and some of the latest and greatest are listed below for your downloading pleasure.

Storage Virtualization
An introduction to the implications for enterprise IT

Becoming a very hot area over the last two or three years, Storage Virtualization currently forms a major role in many "infrastructure consolidation" projects. But what is actually meant when people talk about Storage Virtualization? Should you be thinking about it? And where on earth should you start? With these and a host of other questions surrounding the topic, in the first of a series of papers from The Register we look to provide you with some straightforward answers.

Download our Storage Virtualization guide here

Email Security
A primer on the challenges of securing email and approaches to resolving them

Here we look at email security and provide a no-nonsense primer to answer the following questions:

  • What's email security all about?
  • What kinds of risks are there?
  • What kinds of protection exist?
  • What can you do about the risks?
  • Where should you start?

Finally, a summary collates the action points and provides a distillation of all the best bits.

Download our Email Security guide here

Prime yourself for security on the web
Food for thought on how to approach web security

Web security is an interesting topic. It's the kind of thing we think we know all about, yet when we sit down and consider all the dimensions, it's pretty hard to nail them all in one go. This paper will help.

Download our Web Security guide here

Managing Spam
A primer on the implications for enterprise IT

In this paper we look at email spam, its impact on enterprise IT today, and provide a straightforward primer to answer the following:

  • What is spam and why is it still a challenge?
  • Why you should be thinking about it?
  • What is everyone else thinking?
  • What can you do?
  • Are organisations happy they have the problem licked?
  • Where to start
  • Protecting at the desktop, at the edge and in the cloud
  • Summary
  • Collation of action points and a distillation of all the best bits

Download our guide to managing spam here

Unified Communications
A primer on the implications of Unified Communications for enterprise IT

How often do you get frustrated when you can't reach someone? You try their desk phone, then their mobile and perhaps their home office number, then give up and either leave them a voicemail or send them an email or text message. Then when they don't get back to you as quickly as you would like, you get annoyed at them for not being responsive.

Yet not once do we direct our annoyance at the ludicrously complex and fragmented systems we are all expected to use as the foundation for our business communications. The number of fields that need to be populated in our address books over the years has proliferated horribly. The good news is that this primer has been designed to get you going here. We wouldn't claim that it is the definitive Unified Communications implementation handbook, but for those who want a solid grounding in the topic so you are better armed to read all of that vendor literature and perhaps start thinking about how to deal with that communications mess, it's a pretty good start.

Download our Unified Comms guide here

The status of iSCSI
A Primer on Internet SCSI, a protocol to transports SCSI commands over IP

Internet SCSI, or iSCSI, is a network protocol that transports SCSI commands packaged as IP. It runs over Ethernet and other TCP/IP capable connections, and allows storage to be accessed at block level rather than file level. That in turn means the storage appears as a local SCSI device, not a network-attached remote drive.

This is the essence of a SAN, or storage area network. SANs typically enable storage to be decoupled from the servers that use it, and can be used to share and consolidate storage, and to make it easier to manage. For example, the servers can use the SAN to share a RAID array or tape library instead of each needing one of its own.

It's been a testing time for iSCSI developers and users. Their IP-based scheme for building storage area networks (SANs) has generated huge amounts of publicity and hype in recent years, starting even before it was ratified by the IETF in February 2003. But despite this, it has failed to set the storage world alight.

Breaking into an established market is always going to be tough if you're not at least an order of magnitude better or cheaper - preferably both - than the incumbent. And not only was iSCSI slower than its rival Fibre Channel, but there were fears that it could overload IP networks or prove unreliable.

So now that the hype appears to have abated somewhat, is this a sign that the companies backing iSCSI have run out of energy and patience, or the first hint that the technology has crossed the chasm and become commonplace and accepted?

Download our iSCSI guide here

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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