Infrastructure 

Symantec offers Ghost for the machine

Symantec Corp. announced Ghost Solution Suite 2.0, the latest version of its corporate imaging and image deployment solution, which now includes Microsoft Vista and x64-bit Windows support.

Ghost Solution Suite 2.0 enables IT organizations to recognize up to a 90 per cent reduction in time and budget in comparison to deploying and migrating Windows systems manually, Symantec said.

Ghost Solution Suite 2.0 allows IT administrators the ability to customize a standard operating environment and create a single image file that can be deployed to multiple machine types and hundreds of machines simultaneously. With Ghost Solution Suite 2.0, migrating end user systems is enabled by a peer-to-peer migration wizard. Administrators can now configure a task to create a backup image, capture the user data and settings, deploy a new operating system, perform post-clone configuration, and restore user data and settings. Additionally, the administrator can utilize other features of Ghost Solution Suite to further streamline the operation, including using the multicast file transfer with network bandwidth management.

Ghost Solution Suite 2.0 also offers the ability to edit NTFS images. This functionality, on top of the existing ability to edit FAT and EXT2/3 images, enables administrators to add, remove, and modify files and folders within Ghost images regardless of the underlying file system. Ghost Solution Suite 2.0 also introduces GUID partition table (GPT) support to enable the imaging of larger partitions, which also eases the migration to Windows Vista. Administrators can also now use Ghost Solution Suite 2.0 to create and deploy images of hardware RAID arrays under WinPE, which enables the image creation of partitions that are larger than any single drive can provide.

Symantec also announced the availability of its Backup Exec 11d for Windows Servers software. Backup Exec 11d, available on Nov. 6, 2006, also features a Granular Recovery Technology that enables recovery of critical data from Microsoft applications like Exchange, SharePoint, Active Directory and more in just seconds. Additionally, Backup Exec 11d provides enhanced data security with 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption capabilities, and extends platform support with Backup Exec media servers running on x64-bit Windows servers.

Storage 

Dell adds to midrange offerings

Dell announced enhancements to two models of its 4-gigabit Dell | EMC CX UltraScaleT midrange storage offerings that give customers the choice of using both Fibre Channel and iSCSI protocols.

Dell will offer the iSCSI option on its Dell | EMC CX3-20 and Dell | EMC CX3-40 models. The Dell | EMC CX UltraScale series is designed to meet customers’rapidly escalating data storage needs. The system offers 4Gbit host connections to support up to 128 HA (dual-connected) hosts or cluster server pairs and up to 120 disk drives for a capacity of up to 59TB. This data centre-ready array supports up to 119TB of capacity and is designed for storage consolidation of up to 256 hosts. Using Dell’s build-to-order factory capabilities, customers can custom-order SAN-ready Dell PowerEdge Servers with a broad range of Fibre Channel host bus adapter cards and iSCSI-ready network interface cards factory installed and tested, eliminating several steps in SAN installation.  Dell also said it is simplifying the management of the data center by providing unified monitoring of both server and storage devices using Dell IT Assistant.  This provides a single pane to control and launch into EMC Navisphere for storage provisioning.

Data Management 

CRM Connector speaks many languages

Cisco Systems Inc. announced that the Cisco Unified CRM Connector 3.0 is now available in 20 languages. These are Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese (Brazil & Portuguese), Spanish, Swedish, UK English, US English, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Turkish, Chinese (simplified) and Japanese.

The Cisco Unified CRM Connector 3.0 is a customer relationship management (CRM) application integrated with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0. The solution is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) quickly gain access to customer information on inbound and outbound calls, with a view to increasing operational efficiency and providing an improved customer experience.

When a call is received by an SMB using Cisco Unified CallManager or Cisco Unified CallManager Express, the Cisco Unified CRM Connector 3.0 automatically links to the Microsoft Dynamics CRM system and provides onscreen pop-up windows of the customer contact record and phone call activity so that the service agent can track the call. The same information and capabilities are also accessible remotely, so sales and service personnel in the field can also connect into the network quickly. New customer data or phone call information is uploaded back into the system, so the next interaction with the customer picks up where the last one left off.

The Cisco Unified CRM Connector 3.0 is available for Cisco Unified CallManager Express, Cisco Unified CallManager, and Cisco Unified Contact Center Express. The new CRM application is now equipped with auto detect, which identifies which Cisco IP platform is currently being used. A range of Cisco Unified IP phones are supported, from the entry-level Cisco Unified IP Phone 7902G to the advanced Cisco Unified IP Phone 7970G.

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