Bruce Backa

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Top Stories by Bruce Backa

Storage is still one of the most costly and fastest-growing aspects of everyone's network and is likely to remain so for some time. Every network user is a storage user. We're all part of a community that shares the costs and the benefits of this expensive resource. Storage management can be a challenging task. There's so much hardware, so many alternatives, and so many issues that it's easy to get lost in the details and fail to see the forest for the trees. Networked storage is a service not a product. While hardware is necessary for you to provide the service, successful storage management requires a good customer experience, not expensive hardware. Your users are bound to you and the level of service you provide. They can't purchase a unit of storage and take it home with them, nor can they buy storage from another supplier and install it on your network. So we... (more)

What's In Store For 2006?

Okay, summer's over. Let's get back to work... But first, let's look at what's new. Microsoft has taken WinFS, its new file system, out of the first release of its next operating system. The story is that WinFS will follow soon after the OS releases. For most of us, this is something we don't need to worry about for a couple of years, at least. EMC has reduced prices on its Celera line of NASes. Network Appliance still dominates the high-end NAS business and its alliance with NTP Software for storage management gives it a significant advantage in the marketplace. Speaking of NTP S... (more)

End-to-End Application Security

Last month (.NETDJ, Vol. 1, issue 12) we demonstrated a simple technique that allows you to avoid storing passwords in clear text, making your .NET applications more secure and safer should they somehow be compromised. In this article, we want to step back a bit and look at the big picture: application security from end to end. When it comes to security, we developers are in charge. Security is not something that can be pushed off onto the network administrator; it is an integral aspect of an application's overall architecture. A well-built application should be inherently secur... (more)

How to Avoid Creating a Network Security Hole with Your Windows Server-Based App

Nowadays it's quite common for us to write server-based applications. These apps differ from desktop applications in many ways - one of the most important of which is how they handle security. For a desktop application, security is easy. The application runs in the security context of the user who loaded it. Whatever the user has rights to, the desktop app has rights to, and nothing more. Server-based applications, on the other hand, run all the time and have their own security context, in addition to others they may impersonate. For many of the server-based applications we migh... (more)

Information Security - No Longer the Perennial Afterthought

Storage always seems to come first in technical discussions and security seems to be the perennial afterthought. This can be considered reasonable given how we shop for things in general, namely finding the thing that meets our expectations and then ensure it has all the bells and whistles. The good news is that this seems to be changing bit by bit as our industry realizes that security is no longer a nice-to-have feature, but is actually a core requirement. This movement was brought into focus recently when Patrick was involved in a meeting with Senator John Sununu of New Hampsh... (more)