Tools and Technology

Jumping Ahead to 2015 Wish List for CIOs

How were your holidays? Get all the gifts you wanted? Maybe not in the corporate world but that doesn’t mean CIOs don’t have a wish list for 2015. Are your items on it?

Gina Narcisi, writing at, has compiled a list of top technology wishes for 2015. It ranges from WiFi enhancements to simplified licensing to product ordering.

Joe Rogers, associate director of network engineering at the University of South Florida, addressed the WiFi issue. He said he wants to see the NBase consortium put their heads together with the IEEE to standardize 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps Ethernet technology so that all vendors can implement the same technology and IT departments can provide more wired bandwidth to their access points.

According to another article, “Cisco and several partners announced an alliance aimed at developing 2.5 and 5 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) technology to enable faster data rates on existing Category 5e and Category 6 (Cat5e and Cat6) cabling. Cisco’s new industry alliance, with partners including Aquantia, Freescale and Xilinx, will develop a technology standard and digital signal processing algorithms that will squeeze more bandwidth out of commonly deployed Cat5e and Cat6 twisted-pair copper cables to enable “intermediate” data rates — 2.5 GbE and 5 GbE per second.”

Jonathan DiBiasio, IT director for an East Coast-based health insurance provider, says his wishlist is topped by “a more robust monitoring infrastructure for his networking and server hardware.” He tells, “I’m sure high-end products include what I’m looking for, but for small to medium businesses, this can be a real pain. Our switches and servers do log errors but you always need a [Simple Network Management Protocol] SNMP monitoring tool to gather it all [together]. There are tons of free [SNMP tools] out there, but they are a huge pain to set up, and any update made to the equipment can break the connection.”

The blog at addresses the issue, which could be helpful, with an article on the Top 20 Free Network Monitoring and Analysis Tools for System Administrators. Some of the tools, like Nagios XI, are specifically aimed at smaller environments. The article suggests, “The free version of Nagios XI is ideal for smaller environments and will monitor up to seven nodes.” Other tips and notes on the various tools are included in the article.

Another interesting point raised in the article deals with an issue lots of face in the New Year: throwing out the old while bringing in the new. Eric Hawley, CIO at Utah State University (USU), according to the article, “believes that one of the biggest challenges in IT is complexity. USU would like to be able to shut off old services that might be ineffective before deploying new services and network toys in 2015.’In IT, we are very good at adding new services and things into what we are already maintaining, but I would love the magic button that would allow us to start turning off systems — I want Santa’s guide to minimalist IT,’ Hawley said.”

One other wish list item points squarely at how vendors market their products. Sure, the glitzy info is there but, figuratively, not the nuts and bolts. “One of my biggest pet peeves is knowing what it is I need, but not being certain what the item looks like, or if it is compatible with all particular hardware models it is going to be used with,” he said. “Apart from a line item on a pricing list, I often can’t seem to find anything about that part in terms of what it looks like, technical specifics, etc. I would love to see vendors put a full listing of their products on their websites along with pictures of those products,” said Matt Norwood, solutions engineer for Bedroc, a systems integrator based in Franklin, Tenn. He adds that he would like to see more on-time delivery, too.


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