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November 30, 2010

Some Considerations for Next-Gen Appliance Deployment

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor


What are some of the top considerations for next generation appliance deployments? Officials of NEI have some recommendations in a recent study titled “Top Five Considerations for Deploying Next-Gen Appliances”

A “hardened, secure Linux operating system.” One of the biggest benefits of a hardware appliance is that it is self-contained — the operating system, the application and other components have already been installed, configured and tested to run well together.

There are no dependencies on system components outside of the box. Even the hardware is optimized for the needs of the application to meet specific performance characteristics. But just because it is self-contained doesn’t make it invulnerable.

Performance monitoring. Optimal appliance performance and uptime result from both hardware and software operating properly and at peak efficiency. Unfortunately, any number of things can go wrong and the best way to reduce downtime is to prevent it from happening at all.

NEI (News - Alert) Element Manager integrates with the software components to monitor the health of the appliance and proactively alerts you of potential problems.

Appliance upgrade and maintenance. The days of viewing hardware appliances as disposable commodities are over. Whereas before, it might have been acceptable to swap out a perfectly good box for another one with a newer version of the application, it’s now seen as economically and ecologically wasteful.  Instead, customers want an easy way to extend the life of their hardware without sacrificing new features and functionality.

Repeatable build process. In a manufacturing facility, it is expected that processes are automated, consistent and repeated from one item to the next. This allows hundreds or thousands of units to be built so that one is indistinguishable from another.

A uniform product makes sense to maximize economies of scale, ensure quality and facilitate support. If a product specification changes, then the factory tooling is altered to produce that change. The change is not added manually to finished products.


David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca


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