This Week In Products: IBM launches Cell-based blade system

Infrastructure
Big Blue beefs up its blade line
IBM introduced BladeCenter H, delivering more than 40 Gigabits of I/O bandwidth to every blade server.

The system includes a nine-core IBM Cell blade – the first Cell-based product from IBM. Designed for businesses that need the breakthrough capabilities of the IBM Cell BE processor to tackle tasks involving compute-intensive workloads and broadband media applications, the Cell blade is the first multi-core blade computer, according to IBM.

A dual-core POWER processor-based BladeCenter JS21 comes with built-in virtualization capabilities. Also introduced was a low power Intel-based BladeCenter HS20 and the Cisco InfiniBand Switch Module – a 4X InfiniBand switch from Cisco and IBM that provides high-speed interconnect capability. The switch module, specifically designed for the BladeCenter H, is four times faster than previous generations, IBM said.

IBM also announced new BladeCenter H management tools including an Advanced Management Module that manages blades at the chassis level, automating blade management functions previously done manually. The module integrates with IBM Director and Tivoli. Power Executive is a power management suite allows customers to evaluate their exact datacenter power requirements and utilize blade power and cooling technologies to enable peak utilization. An industry-standard iSCSI connection to BladeCenter will enable customers to exploit System i5 virtual storage, networking, and tape resources to help simplify the operations of their Windows Server System infrastructure. OS 4690 support allows the IBM Retail Store Systems controller function to be run on BladeCenter H.

BladeCenter H, and the Advanced Management Module, which comes standard with each IBM BladeCenter, will be available in March as well as the BladeCenter JS21 blade. The new ultra low power, dual-core Intel Xeon-based BladeCenter HS20 will be available in April. The Cisco InfiniBand Switch will be available in the second quarter of 2006. Integration of BladeCenter and System i5 is planned to be available for mid-2006. The IBM Cell BE-based blade is planned to be available in the third quarter of 2006.

E-Business
CDS creates virtual Internet hard drive
BroadRamp Inc. launched its CDS (Content Delivery System™) solution, designed to convert existing content into rich multimedia and deliver it instantly, seamlessly and securely online.

Originally conceived to deliver technical training content previously restricted to DVDs due to large file size, BroadRamp CDS converts any multimedia content and delivers it via a typical broadband connection and a standard Internet browser. No longer must the user choose what media player to install, wait for that file to download, and oftentimes install plug-ins – only to view low-resolution video segments in reduced-sized windows.

The CDS solution creates a virtual Internet hard drive, giving users instant access to any chapter or segment of a video stream, regardless of file size. The CDS embedded player communicates with the integrated plug-ins that are included as part of all typical Internet browsers, eliminating the need for a client media player. The CDS multimedia interface also enables user interactive functions, including fast-forward, pause, rewind, bookmark, annotation and search capabilities.

At the core of BroadRamp’s intellectual property are patented compression algorithms and modulation techniques that reduce digital video format file sizes by up to 90 per cent, according to BroadRamp.The greatly reduced CDS file sizes also significantly reduces IT overhead costs by lowering the need for bandwidth allocation and media storage by up to 90 per cent, the company added.

CleverStat searches through search engine results
CleverStat released Accurate Monitor for Search Engines 2.5. This tool is designed to give users exhaustive information on a Web site position on all popular search engines, and not only Google.

Specify your Web site address and words, or phrases you wish to serve as criteria for monitoring. This version supports English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Russian. Engineers from CleverStat fixed some bugs and introduced a number of small processing changes, which guarantee accurate and quick results for your monitoring process, CleverStat said.

Accurate Monitor for Search Engines informs users on both free and paid listing results, showing a range of competition and enabling users to track the success of Web projects. The program shows page titles and descriptions displayed by search engines, not just URLs. These snippets are of high importance, since the majority of search engine users make their decisions by reading what the site is about first and a few users go to a high rank site without any consideration, CleverStat said.

Once users have made a thorough inquiry about a site position, they will be able to get a report that contains data on keyword results, which have improved recently and which have got worse.

Storage
EMC brings Retrospect to SMBs
EMC Corp. announced EMC Retrospect 7.5, a version of its backup and recovery software for small and medium businesses (SMBs).

Features include user-initiated restores, automated deployment of client software, automated software updates, the ability to restore data or copy to tape during backups to disk, offline verification, and broader support for the latest operating systems and business critical applications.

Retrospect automatically adjusts backup operations to ensure that all computers are protected without requiring manual intervention. Unlike other backup applications, it accurately restores a computer to a point in time that an incremental backup was performed, eliminating the need to perform weekly full backups. Management of onsite and offsite backup media is simplified, EMC said, and AES encryption ensures the safety of the backup media in transit and at rest.

Retrospect 7.5 for Windows backup and recovery software is available immediately from authorized EMC resellers and EMC Velocity SMB channel partners at a starting price of US$399 for Retrospect for Windows Business Editions, and US$129 for Retrospect Professional Edition designed for Small Office/Home Office environments. Special upgrade pricing is also available for earlier versions of Retrospect and competitive replacements.

Networking
Symantec adds to former Veritas i3 line
Symantec Corp. announced the release of Symantec i3 7.5 application performance management software, formerly known as VERITAS i3. The latest version of the software provides enhancements to enable performance problem identification, root cause analysis, and proactive management of J2EE platforms.

Additionally, it extends support to the Sybase database environment, and provides customers with additional operating system and database support. Features include Portal Server Management for IBM WebSphere Portal Server and BEA WebLogic Portal Server showing portlet performance over time, by invocation, and end user response time to identify performance issues quickly and reduce cost. A Customizable Dashboard to control “who you want seeing what” for J2EE performance is designed to provide selectable user-named views of J2EE performance data, to show only information germane to a specific business role and keep it there for easy viewing when customers logout and back in.

User defined J2EE Instrumentation Modes and Memory Leak Detection are intended to give customers the information they need to troubleshoot J2EE performance issues quickly and easily and at the same time protect against CPU overhead surges.

OS support includes: Sun Solaris 10 and IBM AIX 5.3. New J2EE server support includes: IBM WebSphere 6.0, BEA WebLogic 9.0 and Apache Tomcat 5.5. Database and packaged application support includes: PeopleSoft 8.4.4 & 8.4.5, Sybase 12.5.3, and Oracle 10.1.0.4 & 9.2.0.7. Symantec i3 7.5 software is now generally available. Pricing for components of Symantec i3 starts at US$1,500.

Integration Suite adds domain management
PolarLake announced the release of Integration Suite Version 5.0, adding features to aid the rapid development and enterprise-wide deployment and management of integration solutions. These include domain-based deployment management, enhanced monitoring capabilities and support for JMX-based management approaches.

Version 5.0 adds domain management capabilities, supporting the management and control of distributed integration servers across the enterprise environment. A network of servers and repositories for PolarLake solutions, with associated namespacing and scoping abilities, can be deployed in whatever configuration or topology is desired, and managed using the web-based PolarLake Management Console (PMC).

User access to the server network is fully configurable and controllable using JAAS, and the distributed integration network is fully instrumented using JMX. It also includes an improved and extended solution debugger, supporting rapid and iterative development techniques with full support for the ‘animated’ testing and inspection of PolarLake Data Circuits. Support for JMX management through JMX Mbeans is designed to allow a standardized approach to the provision of service management and monitoring, and integration with leading management platforms.

Security
IntruShield blocks out botnets
McAfee, Inc. announced its line of IntruShield Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) appliances, a network-based security solution designed to provide comprehensive, layered and proactive blocking of malicious botnets.

A bot is a software robot also known as a zombie or drone. A botnet is a network of infected zombie computers that allows an unauthorized user to remotely take control. The infected computers can then be used to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks, send spam and spyware, or commit cyber extortion.

With this added layer of protection, McAfee IntruShield not only protects against the exploit that installs the bots, but also by blocking the bot’s communication or activation through the Internet.

McAfee IntruShield also integrates with other leading McAfee products, including Entercept Host IPS and Foundstone vulnerability management, to provide a layered defense against botnets and other threats.

Symantec adds to compliance tools
Symantec Corp. announced compliance management software designed to help customers lower the cost of compliance through automated assessment of policies against industry regulations and best practices. Symantec BindView Policy Manager 3.0 assists customers with policy creation, policy mapping and proof of compliance.

Scheduled to be available in March, Symantec BindView Policy Manager 3.0 automates management of the policy lifecycle to effectively assure coverage of regulatory and framework objectives. Symantec BindView Policy Manager 3.0 provides out-of-the-box integration with Symantec Compliance Manager 3.0, which delivers automation to help businesses implement, measure and maintain compliance with security configuration standards.

Symantec BindView Policy Manager 3.0 offers customers the ability to fulfill regulatory obligations by enabling them to create and disseminate IT and non-IT policy throughout their organizations. Customers are provided the option to create new policy from scratch, leverage pre-written sample policies, or import existing policies into the database. Symantec BindView Policy Manager also provides the ability to report and trend policy acceptance by users and rates of policy adoption. Symantec BindView Policy Manager 3.0 has the ability to track policy approval as well as manage requests for policy exceptions and clarifications.

Symantec BindView Policy Manager 3.0 is designed to reduce duplicative work by assessing compliance across regulations using one set of universal controls. For example, a single antivirus policy can help meet malicious software prevention control objectives within both HIPPA/ISO 17799 and SOX/CobiT. Customers are able to perform compliance analysis across regulations, without performing multiple assessments, by leveraging nearly 1500 control statements that provide pre-defined mappings between best practice frameworks and industry regulations. These control statements help translate vague regulatory and framework objectives into actionable policy, in order to reduce the costs associated with achieving compliance. Symantec BindView Policy Manager 3.0 supports FISMA, GLBA, HIPAA, SOX, CobiT, ISO17799 and NIST SP800-53.

Persystent Enterprise manages PC support
Persystent Technologies launched Persystent Enterprise, automated support tools for provisioning and maintaining trouble-free enterprise PCs and other devices.

Persystent Enterprise allows the organization to decide which operating systems and applications are authorized, and to provide desktop-level policy enforcement to improve compliance with corporate guidelines, government regulations and software licensing usage.

Persystent Enterprise automatically and transparently repairs the operating environment to a healthy state so users can get back to business. This automatic repair is not dependent on a working operating system or a connection to the corporate network.

Whether deployed as a stand-alone tool or integrated with other software distribution and management products, the Persystent system eliminates up to 70% of the issues that make enterprise desktops fail and cause help desk phones to ring, the company said.

Data Management
KeyCorp offers POS for auto service sector
Keycorp Ltd. announced that it has developed a Point-of -Sale (POS) solution for independent and mid-sized petroleum and auto service retailers.

Called PetroPay, the solution is a terminal management system that addresses the need of smaller oil and gas businesses for centralized management and processing of station data, traditionally enjoyed by the large chains.

Powered and centrally-managed by POSGen, Keycorp’s terminal management system , PetroPay is delivered on Keycorp’s K26 platform, an all-in-one terminal and printer, with both dial-up and IP capabilities.

Features of the solution include multiple payment types and markets, remote terminal support, enhanced reporting systems, and support for private label, loyalty and fleet cards. The system also manages a variety of non-financial indicators – including pump volume readings, fuel drops, and price changes – and allows users to pull up management reports, set up regional coupon programs, and tailor applications according to their specific needs.

Wireless
TenDigits ties into Microsoft CRM
TenDigits Software Inc. has released a version of its flagship product, MobileAccess, that is compatible with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0. An extension to CRM, MobileAccess provides sales, service and management teams with instant access to their account information anywhere, anytime through their BlackBerry handheld device — on the road, between meetings, or on airplanes.

Support for custom entities allows an organization’s mobile workers and management to access and update almost any field in the CRM system from within their BlackBerry handheld, the company said. The Resources function allows an organization to tie Web services directly into the MobileAccess application.

Standard Web services that ship with the MobileAccess product include appointment preparation tools such as MSN for corporate news, weather and stock reports and Microsoft MapPoint support for mapping and routing information.

3GX secures fixed-mobile networks
Netrake unveiled its next-generation platform – the 3GX – for addressing dynamic security of voice, video, data, and mobile applications to secure multimedia distribution across a range of access networks for users at work, at home, or on the road.

The 3GX supports next-generation, converged fixed-mobile architectures being defined by 3GPP IMS, 3GPP2, ETSI TISPAN, PacketCable and UMA. The 3GX builds on the nCite Session Border Controller (SBC) and nCite Security Gateway (SG) platforms and integrates them while adding functionality and interfaces required to operate in both Fixed and Mobile networks.

The 3GX allows service providers to manage a single secure connection to the subscriber that is capable of concurrently supporting all IP services such as VoIP, IPTV, and data services. Netrake’s 3GX supports multiple packaging options that will allow service providers to scale existing deployments with an evolution to the IMS architecture. Within the 3GPP IMS and ETSI TISPAN architectures, Netrake converges the Packet Data Gateway (PDG), P-CSCF, and the BGF (Border Gateway function) into a single platform to provide operational efficiencies including reduction in service entry points ease of subscriber management and an ability to offload process-intensive tasks from the core network infrastructure to enable service scalability and increase network security.

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