IDG’s InfoWorld Interoperability Report Helps IT Professionals Manage Network Integration

SAN MATEO, CA – MAY 8, 2000 – IDG's InfoWorld today announced a special section on interoperability that coincides with the start of Spring Networld + Interop in Las Vegas. The May 8 special package provides technical analysis and news insight to help organizations navigate the complexities of network integration. The Test Center NOS Interoperability Report evaluates the integration of five networking operating systems — Windows 2000, AS/400, NetWare 5.1, RedHat Linux, and Sun Solaris — into an already established infrastructure. The Special News Report explores the issues of managing a mixed environment from the network manager's perspective, and provides management advice on how to hire and train an IT staff to master the complexities of integration.

"The Internet is both a cure and a cause for interoperability. While it has popularized standards and technologies that ease interoperability, it has also created e-commerce pressures on time and money that make the rigors of integration a daily reality," said Michael Vizard, editor in chief of InfoWorld. "In this issue, we provide a business and technical perspective on how to master network integration in situations where companies partner, merge or decide to centralize remote management."

As part of the Test Center coverage, InfoWorld's analysts configured the InfoWorld TestCenter to replicate real-world conditions of compatibility, based on a scenario where a larger company acquires a small company and needs to integrate users and applications at a minimal cost without dismantling the smaller company's set-up. Each of the five top NOSes were individually integrated into the larger company's IT infrastructure.

Test Center coverage includes:

— Results of integrating each of the five NOSes into an existing infrastructure.

— Integration testing, based on connectivity issues, directory services capabilities, network management, file and print services, and software compatibility both between servers and with each client OS.

— Of the five NOSes tested, Solaris and A/S400 were the two smoothest integrators. NetWare and Linux posed relatively few challenges.

News coverage in the special issue includes:

— The impact of small networking companies that are banding together to provide centralized management.

— Network managers' perspectives on issues involved with managing a mixed environment.

— Expert opinions on the trends driving integration.

— A Careers & Management feature on preparing IT staff to handle the integration of multiple network operating systems, skills to look at when

hiring, and retraining options.

The special package also includes information from an InfoWorld survey of 150 IT professionals on the role of centralized management in a diverse environment. Results of the survey indicate that most companies use one of the major centralized network management solution (such as HP OpenView, Tivoli, Intel LANDesk or CA-Unicenter) and are moving toward centralized management. The benefits of such a move include easier application integration, reducing time requirements, and cutting administrative costs and training needs.

About InfoWorld

Headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley, InfoWorld Media Group publishes InfoWorld and InfoWorld.com. InfoWorld defines technology for business and focuses on editorial coverage of key technologies, products and trends to assist IT professionals in leveraging technology for business advantage. InfoWorld's $21 million dollar dedicated multi-platform, enterprise test bed — the InfoWorld Test Center — conducts the industry's most trusted testing of technology and products as well as provides in-depth analysis and the business ROI of the technology and implementation.

InfoWorld Media Group also publishes InfoWorld.com, defining technology for business on the web, features daily technology news, product reviews, opinions, interactive discussion forums, along with a weekly e-mail newsletter (the InfoWorld Scoop) and a complete archive of InfoWorld's print edition.

InfoWorld Media Group is a business unit of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company. IDG publishes more than 300 magazines and newspapers and 4,000 book titles and offers online users the largest network oftechnology-specific sites around the world through IDG.net (http://www.idg.net), which comprises more than 270 targeted Web sites in 70 countries. IDG is also a leading producer of 168 computer-related expositions worldwide, and provides IT market analysis through 50 offices in 43 countries worldwide. Company information is available at http://www.idg.com.