Making The Most Of Network Bandwidth


nbwThe switch to gigabit ethernet and other high-speed technologies will eventually increase the bandwidth available to users, but in the meantime, network managers should look for ways to get the most out of the bandwidth they have, says Ernie Halpern, of W3 Tech, which offers an HTML crash course.

One weapon in the campaign for network efficiency is IP multicasting, now moving from experiments on the Internet’s Mbone (Multicast backbone) toward commercial implementation. IP multicasting can reduce bandwidth demands when groups of users need the same data at the same time, so it’s ideal for such uses as pushing financial data, videoconferencing,…

Remote Managers Becoming More Important To Network Managers


remsTo overcome the unique challenges of managing a remote network, network managers are using a variety of tools to help them automate data transmissions, reconfigure remote-location PCs, gain access to troublespots on the network and centrally track performance of networks that span multiple locations.

Chick-fil-A is a fast-growing restaurant chain with more than 700 outlets in the United States and Canada, all of which require remote management. With the company’s first international expansion,…

Neglecting Skills Can Sink IT Companies


itcompAfter 20 years in systems development at Belk Department Stores Inc., Don Harris has gotten used to taking care of other people’s needs. These days, however, Harris is nurturing something other than Belk’s myriad users. He’s catering to the internal IT organization, hoping a little self-help will go a long way.

Harris, Belk’s first-ever manager of IT staff development, is now in charge of assisting the Charlotte, N.C., retailer’s IT department in taking command of its most coveted resource–its staff. His approach: taking inventory of…

The Web Invites Trouble For Employees


awkrsAmerican workers are finding a whole new way to slack off: surfing for smut.

A study of 185 companies conducted between November 1996 and this month by consulting firm Digital Detective Services, of Vienna, Va., found that a quarter of the companies’ workers visited pornographic Web sites.

Media Metrix (formerly PC Meter), the top Web-traffic analysis company, reports that 19 percent of users at work visit smut sites (compared with 69 percent for news or information sites).

And a Nielsen Media Research study earlier this year claimed that staffers at IBM, AT&T Corp. and Apple Computer Inc. made 13,000 workplace visits to the Penthouse magazine Web site during a single month.

From these numbers, it appears that the “smut break” has replaced the coffee break as employees’ favorite way of letting off steam.

But human resource managers and other company executives tell a different story, getting decidedly nervous when asked whether workers at their companies are getting sidetracked by visits to off-color Web sites.

A random survey of large and small companies outside the information technology industries revealed that few …