Channel Explained Library

Check out our Channel Explained series in full, and get fast, targeted information on channel business basics and emerging technologies.

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Here you'll find our full Channel Explained series, which provides targeted articles that flesh out detail on channel terminology but avoid information overload. Learn what you need to know, fast, about the technology terms and concepts that are vital to your solution provider business, from business basics such as managed services contracts and business automation software, to emerging technologies and trends like integrated security software, email archiving and 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The most recent additions to the Channel Explained series are at the top -- check back often for updates.

Network virtualization
Virtualization has moved beyond just server and storage capacities and now encompasses the network as well. Learn about network virtualization considerations to understand before deployment, some major opportunities in network virtualization for solution providers and how to take advantage of these opportunities.

Federated databases
Learn the basics of the federated database, a system in which several databases appear to function as a single entity.

Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)
Learn the advantages of virtual desktop infrastructure, a computer virtualization architecture similar to server virtualization that lets your customers virtualize users' desktops.

Channel business automation software
Learning how to allocate your staff is one of the one of the most important aspects of running an IT reseller business, and many resellers use channel business automation software to help schedule their workers' time and monitor how efficiently it's being used.

10 Gigabit Ethernet
10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GigE) transmission technology is on the horizon, buoyed by a suite of IEEE standards and pushed by an increasing array of vendors. This article highlights the basics of 10 GigE and offers insights that can help solution providers bring this technology to their clients.

Integrated endpoint security suites
Read on to learn more about integrated endpoint security suites and their capabilities, limitations, challenges and opportunities for solution providers and value-added resellers.

802.11n for resellers
The latest Wi-Fi standard, IEEE 802.11n, enables new applications due to its much higher data rate and greater range compared to the current standard, thus creating new business opportunities for solution providers, VARs and consultants.

Thin provisioning
Understand the benefits and limitations of thin provisioning, recognize the direct and long-term revenue opportunities and see where the technology is headed in the future.

Secondary-market resellers
The secondary market, also known as the IT aftermarket, is becoming big business for a significant number of resellers. Learn what it is and how it's evolving.

TCP/IP offload engine (TOE) cards
Some solution providers are recommending additional CPUs or blade processors to handle their clients' network traffic. Find out why VARs also need to include TCP/IP offload engine (TOE) adapters in their portfolios.

Managed services contracts
Learn the ins and outs of managed services contracts -- a service-level agreement (SLA) between a managed services provider (MSP) and its client that outlines both parties' responsibilities.

Unified threat management (UTM)
Unified threat management devices are network infrastructure devices in which multiple security technologies are combined into a single appliance. Learn more about selling and servicing this technology.

Hosted email archiving
Read about the importance of email archiving, as well as the two methods of implementing hosted email archiving for customers.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS)
Find out what you need to know about this set of security guidelines, established by a consortium of major credit card companies, that merchants who process credit cards are required to follow.

IT channel roles
Within the umbrella definition of "the IT channel," companies fall into specific categories. Learn what each of these categories mean and how they interact with each other.

This was first published in September 2008

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