This Week In Products: HP offers blades for Unix crowd

HP brings out blades for Unix crowd
HP introduced its first Unix blade technology, the HP Integrity BL60p blade server, supporting the HP-UX 11i operating system and the Intel Itanium 2 processor.

The BL60p is designed for distributed, remote sites and Unix infrastructure consolidation, allowing organizations to automate goal-based workloads across multi-operating system platforms with HP’s Global Workload Manager software.

The BL60p blade server is managed by HP Systems Insight Manager (SIM) software. HP SIM is the single point of control for managing comprehensive server, storage and network solutions across various operating systems. The BL60p can be partitioned into running up to six separate instances of HP-UX 11i v2.

Prices for the HP Integrity BL60p blade server starts at $5,695, with units expected to ship early next year.

Liquid Computing backs Opteron for supercomputing
Liquid Computing Corp. announced that LiquidIQ will feature the AMD Opteron processor.

LiquidIQ offers a set of managed computing and communications resources that can be configured with software commands into one or several cluster configurations, shared memory or cache coherent server regions.

Liquid Computing will be using the Dual-Core AMD Opteron processor for its first generation Compute Modules. As part of this collaboration, Liquid Computing has ensured that as AMD continues to introduce next generation processors, its Compute Modules can be upgraded to take advantage of chipset advances, yet maintain interoperability with legacy AMD processors and x86 based applications that remain in production.

Liquid Computing and AMD will be providing information regarding their collaboration at Supercomputing 2005 this month in Seattle.

AOpen miniPC offers Linux-based desktop option
AOpen launched the miniPC, a 6.5-inch, square metallic miniPC has a slot-load CD drive and a power button in the front, along with two USB ports, one 1394 and speaker out/mic in the back. It features the latest Intel Pentium M notebook processor, a DVI Connection, integrated Ethernet card and slot-loaded DVD-Burner. The product is built with mini-PCI 802.11 a/b/g wireless communication module and Bluetooth support.

The miniPC also provides DVI, S-Video, component, composite and YPbPr connectors so that it can be connected to HDTV, plasma display monitor, large screen display panels, and high definition audio products.

At a $399 price point, the Linux version of the miniPC features the Linux-based operating system Linspire, which comes complete with major desktop applications, including (a Microsoft file-compatible office suite); Web browser, e-mail and instant messaging clients; multimedia viewers; photo and music managers; calendaring tools; and more. Access to additional software and applications is available through Linspire’s CNR (“click and run”) Warehouse, a software library where users can download and install more than 2,000 Linux programs.

Backup for Workgroups focuses on 64-bit market
Lockstep Systems Inc. said its Backup for Workgroups disk-based backupsolution can backup computers running 64-bit versions of the Windowsoperating system. Supported editions include Windows XP Professionalx64 Edition and Windows Server 2003 x64 Editions (Standard, Enterprise & Datacenter Server 2003).

Along with the ability to backup computers running 64-bit versions of Windows, the Backup for Workgroups Data Repository Manager can operate on a computer running either a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows.

Backup for Workgroups is designed to allow IT consultants, resellers and VARs to offer customers a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use backup and disaster recovery solution that takes advantage of the many affordable disk-based, external storage devices available today. Overall benefits include faster backup times, easy data recovery options and less daily maintenance, Lockstep said.

DeviceWall 3.1 tracks portal media devices
Centennial Software announced the availability of DeviceWall 3.1, the latest version of the endpoint security software designed to helporganizations control access of portable media devices (MP3 players, USB sticks, PDAs, etc.), thereby reducing the risk of identity theft, data loss and malware propagation behind the firewall.

DeviceWall’s graphical security auditing and reporting capabilities allow IT managers to see management summaries that track what types of devices are being used on the network, where they are connected, who’s using them and whether the connection was permitted or blocked. With this information, managers can identify the network risks, adjust the organization’s endpoint security policies accordingly, and ensure staff is automatically kept aware of the current guidelines and restrictions.

Centennial is providing DeviceWall 3.1 free of charge to any prospective customer for 30 days, allowing companies to run an endpoint security audit in order to judge the threat and effectiveness of its usage policies before purchase.

DeviceWall’s ‘anti-spoofing’ capabilities is designed to address a risk posed by a new breed of USB drives that present or ‘disguise’ themselves as CDs. These devices – which are formatted to take advantage of autorun features not usually open to USB disks – can be used to bypass USB removable media lockdown commands. However, in DeviceWall 3.1, Centennial has deployed a new technology to accurately identify these devices and ensure they cannot ‘spoof’ the security software, the company said. Pricing starts at US$10 per seat.

Fortiva Suite tackles compliance issues
Fortiva Inc. announced the addition of several features to the Fortiva Suite, including improved integration with Active Directory and Outlook, importing of PST files, and the ability to establish internal controls for e-mail.

In addition to helping meet regulations that focus on internal controls such as Sarbanes-Oxley and Basel II, Fortiva’s new features are designed to improve business efficiencies and provide insight into everyday business activities. By setting up supervision workflow processes within Fortiva, e-mail that meets specific criteria can be automatically identified and flagged for review by a subject matter expert, rather than a general compliance reviewer. As a result, businesses can track adherence with department-specific processes or policies. For example, if the head of sales is required to approve all customer discounts, Fortiva can flag any e-mail from the sales team with the word ‘discount’ for review by that individual. In the same way, any violation of a sexual harassment policy would be flagged for review by HR.

Added features in the Fortiva Suite for e- mail archiving include supervision of Policy Violations by Subject Matter Experts, searching of archives from Microsoft Outlook, and highlighting of keyword violations. The Fortiva Suite is available now.

Data Management

RecentX keeps an eye on favourites
Conceptworld Corp. released RecentX 1.1, a program that gives access to recently used files, folders, applications and Web sites.

RecentX lets Windows users access their recently used files and folders without navigating complex, often annoying and time-consuming hard drive directories, ConceptWorld said. Without any configuration or system scanning, RecentX automatically tracks files, folders and Web sites. RecentX can remember recent items that are several weeks old.

RecentX provides a spotlight view of your hard drive. It only shows the files and folders that are important to you, thereby eliminating access to thousands of other trivial files and folders.

RecentX allows users to bypass the Start menu altogether when launching favorite programs or accessing remote files through ‘My Network Places’ and allows access to online bookmarks without using the chronological menu on an Internet browser. Items can be dragged and dropped into the list, and can be hidden if a user doesn’t want the files or folders to be publicly visible.

RecentX runs on Windows 2000, XP and 2003 Server, costs US$19.95 for a single licence, and is available for a 30-day free trial at Conceptworld’s Web site.

Oracle offers starter version of 10g database
Oracle Corp. announced Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (Oracle Database XE), a free, starter edition of its database software. A beta version of Oracle Database XE is available for download.

This edition of Oracle Database 10g offers application developers,database administrators (DBAs) and students a free starter database todevelop and deploy their applications. It is also freely available forindependent software vendors (ISVs) and hardware vendors to distribute or embed with their applications and products.

Oracle Database XE is built on the Oracle Database 10g Release 2 code base and is fully compatible with the portfolio of Oracle Database products including Oracle Standard Edition One, Oracle Standard Edition and Oracle Enterprise Edition. Users can start small, choose to upgrade to other editions of Oracle Database 10g as demand grows, and move their applications to other editions without changes.

Oracle Database XE delivers the same common SQL and PL/SQL interfaces available in other versions of Oracle Database 10g, plus a range of programming interfaces to support the needs of different development communities. For example, full development and deployment support is available for Java, .NET, PHP, and Windows developers. In addition, Oracle Database XE enables developers to take full advantage of Oracle HTML DB feature for rapid Web application development and deployment.

Oracle Database XE is available on 32-bit Linux and Windows operating systems, and can be installed on any supported hardware platform. As a free, starter database, Oracle Database XE uses at most one CPU or one dual core of processing capability, memory usage is kept below one gigabyte, is limited to a single instance per system and,stores up to 4GB of user data.

Novell and Red Hat will offer their users access to Oracle Database XE through multiple channels. Red Hat will provide access to Oracle Database XE through its Web pages.

Enterprise Partner Manager adds vendor support
Oracle also announced the launch of the Oracle Enterprise Manager Partner.

In Release 2, Oracle Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control (Oracle Grid Control) supports partner Management Plug-Ins, to provide customers with a single, integrated Web-based console to monitor and manage complex IT environments comprised of Oracle and non-Oracle systems.

Available through Oracle PartnerNetwork, participating partners can receive immediate access to a range of services designed to help themdeliver the best value to joint customers of enterprise grids.

With the plug-ins, system administrators can use Release 2 to monitor the availability, performance and configuration of their hardware, software and applications from a central location. The plug-ins also automatically benefit from Oracle Grid Control’s monitoring and management features, including alerts, automatic performance data collection, blackouts and templates to provide end-to-end system-service monitoring and enhance service delivery. The management connectors enable the bi-directional exchange of information between Oracle Enterprise Manager and other management solutions that customers may have in their environments.

In Release 2, Oracle Grid Control offers support for products from anumber of technology vendors, delivering diagnostic and management capabilities for BEA Systems WebLogic (version 7.0 and above); F5 Networks BIG-IP Server Load Balancer (version 9.0 and above); IBM WebSphere (version 5.0 and above); and, NetApp fabric-attached storage systems. Plug-ins for Check Point Software’s VPN-1(r) Pro with integrated firewall functionality and Juniper Networks Firewalls, among others, are planned.

Sony panels include remote access control
Sony of Canada Ltd. introduced several LCD (liquid crystal display) and plasma flat-panel professional displays, including the FWD-32LX1R, FWD-40LX1 LCD and FWD-50PX2 plasma models.

The 32-inch FWD-32LX1R and 40-inch FWD-40LX1 LCD displays deliver 1,000:1 contrast ratio. Both models also incorporate S-LCD panels.

Each display can be controlled remotely with Sony’s current BKM-FW31Network Management Card or recently introduced BKM-FW50 Network Media Card via Ethernet. The BKM-FW50 networking card also has the ability to remotely control multiple displays, as well as transmit movies or still images.

At 40 inches, the FWD-40LX1 LCD panel fits into most hospitality-standard dressers. This model also has a 178/178 degree viewing angle, a key feature for conference room space. Both new LCD models incorporate the Sony WEGA Engine system, a digital processing system that reduces video artifacts that can result from those analogue/digital conversions.

Sony’s FWD-50PX2 model is a 50-inch plasma display with a10,000:1 contrast ratio and more than 60,000 hours of life, on average. Thedisplay has both DVI-HDCP and dual option slots. Additionally, it featurespicture-in-picture, advanced video wall and optional network connectivity. The LCD models, the FWD-32LX1R and the FWD-40LX1 are available in three colours: pearl white, crystal silver and frosted black. The FWD50PX2 plasma has a flat finish available in silver or black. The BKM-FW50 Network Media Card and the BKM-FW31 Network Management Cardfit into Sony FWD-series professional displays. Both units provide status andcontrol while the BKM-FW50 provides streaming video and media as well.

The FWD-32LX1R and FWD-40LX1 displays will be available later this month at manufacturers’ suggested retail prices of $3,199.99 and $4,899.99, respectively. The FWD-50PX2 will be available in November at an MSRP of $5,999.99. The BKM-FW50, available later this month, and the BKM-FW31, currently available, have MSRPs of $895 and $495, respectively.

Open source app automates e-commerce experiences
osCommRes Pty. Ltd. announced the immediate availability of osCommRes 1.0.2 for worldwide download.

Built for and optimized to run on a pure Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP (LAMP) open source software platform, osCommRes was developed leveraging the combined ideas and contributed code of open source e-Commerce developers worldwide. osCommRes is licensed under the GPL open source license with subscription based support and maintenance available. Designed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of selling services online, osCommRes 1.0.2 modules allow the sale of a product and a service in the same transaction, a full call centre back-end and waiting list functionality. There are over 400 payment gateways. osCommRes has now begun development on a mobile device booking module to purchase any service within the osCommRes database.

SLInvest calculates key performance indicators
Stochastic Lab unveiled SLInvest 1.3, a business productivity tool for evaluating the financial health and efficiency of investment projects.

SLInvest is designed to allow rapid calculation of main financialindicators of investment projects, including NPV (Net Present Value), NFV(Net Future Value), and IRR (Internal Rate of Return). This lets users choose the most optimal and profitable investment. The financial indicators can be calculated separately for each project and for a company’s entireinvestment activity as the total of all projects. All calculations are doneautomatically without intervention at any change of input data.

The program combines the data table, the parameters group, and the results group into one work area. The data table shows investment sums by periods for each project. The sum for each project and the corresponding indicators are calculated in the “Total”, “NPV”, “NFV”, and “IRR” fields. Users can specify the number of investment periods (max 50), analyze up to 10 investment projects simultaneously and study the total financial indicators for all projects, all from one window. The “Results” group shows the indicators of total activity on all projects. They are calculated automatically, if the investment sum in a project or the discount rate is changed. This data is based on the total sum of investments in all projects.

SLInvest 1.3 runs under Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server and costs US$59 for a single-user license. Registered customers are entitled tofree updates and lifetime technical support.

StrategyBuilder adds on to KnowledgeStudio
Angoss Software Corp. announced StrategyBuilder, a software system that helps organizations design, optimize and execute customer level strategies to target revenue growth, profit, and cost reduction opportunities.

Available as an optional add-on module for KnowledgeStudio, StrategyBuilder provides additional capability for power users of analytics tools, while making it feasible for marketers and risk analysts to design, optimize and execute customer strategies.

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