The Horrors of Systems Management

It may seem that our cover illustration goes over the top this month, but consider the metaphor. Faced with overwhelming demands for IT systems and services, IS personnel may feel like the besieged citizens in the classic zombie movie Night of the Living Dead.

From among the many battlefronts of enterprise computing, UniForum's IT Solutions has selected three of the most hotly contested: security, data access and distributed systems. We expect open systems professionals to see reflections of their situations in at least one and perhaps all of them.

"Raise Shields!" examines options in firewall technology and available products amid the clamor for Internet access.

"Attack of the Rampaging Data" looks at runaway data growth and shows how three user organizations have tried to control it.

"Breaking the Curse of Distributed Environments" offers suggestions for tuning the performance of far-flung, client/-server-based networks, for which all-in-one solutions simply don't exist.

While systems administrators and managers have to be concerned with these issues on a daily basis, we hope that others, whether users or non-IS management, also will benefit from the discussions and perhaps see the issues from a new perspective.

--Jeffrey Bartlett