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Dell merger with EMC leaving customers cold?

In this week's blogs: The Dell merger with EMC is making some customers worried; a new packet capture appliance wins praise.

Dan Harrington, Michelle Bailey and Simon Robinson, analysts for 451 Research LLC in New York, said the customer impact of the EMC-Dell merger has been ignored, eclipsed by the financial elements of the sale. According to 451 Research surveys, 40% of EMC-only customers view the merger in a negative light, compared with only 15% among Dell customers. Out of the 447 enterprise buyers surveyed, one-quarter were uncertain how the Dell merger would affect their purchasing.

The 451 analysts project more opportunities for competing vendors to step in, and a strong possibility that many EMC-only customers may look elsewhere. In the survey, 39% of respondents felt that the merger would benefit both companies, but an additional 27% expressed fears that it would distract both firms. Dell is projected to struggle gaining the trust of EMC-only customers, who typically view Dell as a low-cost PC supplier. This may be remedied if Dell puts out a clear product roadmap for its new customer base. Among networking professionals, the same roadmap may be critical for building trust in EMC unit VMware's future.

Read more of what the 451 Research analysts had to say.

Sniffing around a new packet capture appliance

Packet Pushers blogger Drew Conry-Murray takes a look at a new packet capture appliance from Savvius Inc. -- formerly WildPackets -- that he says provides top-notch network monitoring at a low price. The appliance, Insight, is priced at $1,500 and runs on open source Ubuntu, with an Atom processor. The device has a standard throughput of 100 Mbps and uses Savvius' OmniPeek software to monitor networks.

In Conry-Murray's view, "The Insight appliance combines useful features with a relatively low sticker price, giving it the appeal of a Swiss army knife: a useful tool that could be handy to have around." Furthermore, he writes, Savvius' packet capture appliance offers the greatest range of features among similar products on the market, allowing for network-wide analysis or full-packet capture and forensics. By contrast, products from rivals, such as NetBeez and Fluke, although less expensive, don't offer full-packet capture, Conry-Murray says.

See more of what Conry-Murray has to say about Savvius Insight.

Digging into slow server response

Chris Geer, senior network analyst for Network Protocol Specialists in Seattle, offers his thoughts on resolving slow server response. When Geer advises enterprises about their server performance, he often starts at the customer end, attempting to duplicate poor server response while gathering evidence with a trace file. From the server end, even a single client experience can give the information a network analyst needs to begin diagnosing the problem.

From there, Geer says it's important to determine how the client is connecting to a server. To measure application response, he says technicians should use a delta timer that indicates the amount of time between packets -- a step that can be performed via the View drop-down menu in Wireshark.

Next, he measures application response time and compares it to connection setup time. And from there, he can narrow down potential problems.

See more of what Geer has to say about diagnosing slow server response.

Next Steps

What you should know before deploying packet sniffers

How to assess full-packet capture

Risks and rewards of packet capture

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