Business growth coupled with new applications and real-time voice and video traffic continuously fuels the need for increased bandwidth to support high usage demands across sites.
The easy way out of a bandwidth problem is to sign a cheque for more, but that means increased monthly bandwidth
bills. Using application traffic management techniques can help achieve the objective of optimizing bandwidth usage.
Let us exemplify application traffic management using the analogy of public road transportation – Toronto’s GO Transit. WAN pipes equals roads, fleets of GO Transit buses equal network infrastructure. Compression ensures the buses are full so fewer buses are needed to get more people (more data) to various destinations. The benefits are lower costs and highway tolls. Traffic prioritization gives fast efficient Express GO Buses for priority customers (time-critical business applications) and the general GO Bus service for normal customers (non-time sensitive applications).
Application traffic management uses a melange of various techniques such as byte-level caching, packet header reduction, adaptive packet compression, low latency algorithms, classification, traffic discovery and advanced queuing in tandem to overcome congestion problems, capacity problems so that we can get more out of the same WAN pipe.
When faced with bandwidth-related issues, we call on the service of dedicated appliances that carry out application traffic management. That is, let the router keep routing packets and handover the application traffic management duties to the application traffic management appliance.
Expand’s Accelerator 4000 Series should be installed on point-to-point and Frame Relay networks. It boasts impressive feature sets under application and traffic discovery; in QoS you have bandwidth limits, traffic prioritization for real-time traffic, shaping high, medium, low, support for packet fragmentation and support for various flavours of WAN interfaces, such as V.35/RS-232.
It earned kudos for supporting network transparency and WAN link layers. It supports point-to-point such as Raw HDLC, Cisco HDLC, PPP, etc. It also supports Frame Relay, such as IETF, Cisco Frame Relay and failover via HSRP/VRRP.
The unit is protocol agnostic and supports IP, IPX, SNA,
AppleTalk, etc. Accelerator lends support for automatic packet aggregation and packet loss recovery.
The Accelerator units allow for increased WAN capacity and improved application response times from 100 to 400 per cent.
We set up a pair of Expand’s 4002 series Accelerator and used the serial deployment mode – here the Accelerator is asked to sit between our WAN router and our WAN access device DSU/CSU for our testing.
We used a pair of Accelerator 4002s, a pair of Tellabs NTUs and a pair of Cisco 1750 routers. The 4002s quick installation guide is very handy, concise and useful. Follow the instructions
sequentially: Install flash card, connect WAN cables to router/STU, and so on. Run the Accelerator Wizard to complete the initial setup.
We did not have to remodel or rebuild our network to accommodate Expand’s accelerators. At this stage, it is important to state that the ExpandOS Web Management is a click-and-go product. Expand 4002 scored very well on ease of installation, configuration and management. For device management you have the Web user interface and a Cisco-like CLI. It earned our appreciation as we were able to deploy it effortlessly and see the benefits of application traffic management functions.
Expand’s Accelerator 4000 stood up to our expectations on ease of setup, features and performance. The Expand 4000 appliance qualifies as “”a drop in box”” – just put it into the network and you can get going.
Overall Rating………………………….4 .75
Mobile docking station transforms laptop into desktop
TORRANCE, CALIF. – TRENDware has released the TU2-ET200, a mobile docking station that transforms a laptop into a desktop with a USB 2.0 connection.
The TU2-ET200 is an external USB 2.0 device for connecting to USB-enabled PCs or notebooks. It can be used to link modems, printers, scanners, digital cameras/camcorders and external hard drives.
This high-speed docking station allows users to connect eight external peripherals to its ports simultaneously. It includes a modem serial port, a printer port, PS/2 keyboard and PS/2 mouse ports, three high-speed USB 2.0 ports, and one built-in USB-to-Ethernet adapter port.
The TU2-ET200 features a 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet adapter a modem port for Windows Hyper Terminal and dialup networking applications, and a bi-directional parallel printer port.
Tek-Tools releases enterprise network management tool for trend analysis
DALLAS – Tek-Tools Inc. has started shipping Profiler for MS Exchange Server, a tool that enables systems administrators to intelligently manage applications and hardware across a department or enterprise, identify potential pain points and possible data loss, and take steps to avoid them.
Profiler for MS Exchange Server – the latest module of the company’s Profiler Rx network resource management suite – allows IT managers to look at current size, historical trending, and user file analysis at the server and mailbox level.
IT managers can examine the total size of mailboxes on the server, the size and owner of each mailbox, and information about sent/received messages and attachments. Mailboxes can then be groomed for duplicate files and old messages shifted to secondary storage.
Profiler for MS Exchange Server offers a centralized view of servers in relation to the entire storage network. This enables system managers to anticipate and avoid potential data flow issues and improve the overall health of the network.
The Profiler Rx Suite is a modular, Web-based, real-time and historical resource reporting application targeting DAS, NAS, SAN, database and backup problems in enterprise environments. The Profiler suite installs with a single download and integrates with existing storage systems and applications.
Prices for Profiler for MS Exchange Server start at US$3,000.
WebSphere Portal tools address integration concerns
SOMERS, N.Y. – IBM Corp. has improved its WebSphere Portal Application Integrator (WPAI) to provide deeper and tighter application integration, according to the company.
Enhancements to WPAI include the addition of several new portlets providing out-of-the box support and access to key back-end business applications and data.
The WPAI tool also allows power users to create additional portlets without programming. This enables interactive access to critical back-end data systems with options to enable instant messaging, presence awareness and portlet-to-portlet data exchange services across applications, as well as clearly defined front-end integration support.
These improvements are said to extend the features of WebSphere Portal Application Integrator, which includes back-end adapters, portlet builders, and run-time application portlets.
Users will be able to create and configure a wide range of environments, allowing the portal to be integrated better with core applications including SAP, Siebel, PeopleSoft, Lotus Domino and Oracle applications.
IBM is also improving its collaborative tools with updated Lotus portlets intended to ease and enhance collaboration between employees, customers and business partners. Enhancements to Lotus Web Conferencing, People Finder, Lotus Notes Teamroom and Lotus Notes Discussion enable users to interact virtually, and connect instantly.
Web clipping enhancements are also now available, providing custom content processing and setting choices, for advanced user personalization options.
Cable tester meets Level IV baseline, channel accuracy requirements
SYCAMORE, Ill. – Ideal Industries Inc. has announced that its Lantek 7 Cable Tester meets Level IV baseline, channel, and permanent link accuracy requirements.
The verification was done independently by ETL SEMKO, a division of Intertek Group plc that specializes in electrical product safety, EMC, and benchmark performance testing.
According to the company, Level IV accuracy assures customers that a device complies with the stringent testing and certifying requirements for Class F/Category 7 LAN Cable Systems. The Ideal Lantek 6 and Lantek 7 testers have already been verified for Level III accuracy.
Intertek says it will visit the Ideal production site unannounced, twice a year, and randomly pick LANTEK 7 units for verification. It will also verify Ideal’s in-house testing methods.
Pitney Bowes launches desktop digital mailing system
MISSISSAUGA, ONT. – Pitney Bowes Canada has launched the DM100i, a compact digital mailing system that processes up to 30 mail pieces per minute, and automatically updates postage rates.
Targeted at mid-sized businesses, the new device fits on any standard office desktop. It operates as a full service Post-office.
Pitney Bowes’ proprietary IntellilLink technology enables DM100i to offer access to several Canada Post services including recipient name and signature confirmation and automatic postage rate updates.
Additional features of the DM100i include its ability to print postage directly on to envelopes or on tape stripes for oversized packages, low postage warning, online postage refill, postage password protection, internal postage rating, date and time stamp for out- and inbound mail, and optional envelope sealing.
The DM100i product is available through Pitney Bowes sales channels across Canada.
Rental prices start at $30.95.
Adobe’s LifeCycle software enables secure delivery of enterprise documents
SAN JOSE, CALIF. – Adobe Systems Inc. has announced new document services technologies for enterprise-wide process management, document control and security. Delivered by Adobe LifeCycle software, this new set of offerings comprises Adobe Form Manager, Adobe Form Server, Adobe Barcoded Paper Forms Solution, Adobe Reader Extensions Server, and Adobe Designer.
Document services for process management enable organizations to capture, manage, and track information from disparate sources, whether people are on- or offline, inside or outside the firewall.
Document services for document control and security allow enterprises to control information access, create record usage audit trails, and certify document authenticity with digital signatures.
The new document service technologies can be used to determine who can access document data, and what they can do with that data. The technologies also allow organizations to verify the source of a document, changes made to it, and track who has interacted with it.
Adobe’s document services make use of digital signatures and encryption technology from RSA Security.
Fluke introduces feature-rich handheld network analyzer
MISSISSAUGA, ONT. – Fluke Networks Canada has launched OptiView Series II Integrated Network Analyzer (INA), a handheld model with enhanced screen capture capabilities.
A new Expert Viewer option increases the accuracy of network analysis. With this option, packets are automatically decoded so problems can be detected, categorized and summarized according to the appropriate open system interconnection (OSI) layer. An Expert Diagnostics feature provides users with non-technical descriptions of problems, a list of probable causes and recommended actions.
The enhanced OptiView supports direct connection to all widely-used media, including 10/100/Gigabit Ethernet LAN (copper and fibre), as well as combined network monitoring of 802.11a/b/g WLANs.
Fluke Networks will soon release an 802.11a/b/g/ tri-mode, dual-band card option of the product for wireless diagnostics. According to the company, when that option becomes available OptiView will be the only handheld analyzer to offer 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps wired Ethernet and wireless 802.11 a/b/g analysis.
The upcoming wireless option will include an 802.11a/b/g tri-mode, dual-band all-in-one card with rogue detection capabilities. The option will also allow testing of Wi-Fi protected access for 802.11x/EAP, TKIP, WEP, LEAP and PEAP. A combination of active and passive device discovery will permit users to see access points, bridges, ad hoc devices and mobile clients on the wireless LAN.
Wireless option users will be able to obtain WLAN network utilization statistics, by packet type, percentage of bandwidth used, total packets, protocols discovered on the network (including packet, byte and utilization count), top talkers per channel and top talkers per protocol.
Monitoring features of the OptiView Series II include up to seven simultaneous remote access/control sessions, RMON 2 traffic statistics accessible by any standard network management system and the ability to generate SNMP traps.
The OptiView Series II INA is available in various configurations starting at $24,952 through Fluke sales offices.
HP’s widescreen notebook features 140-degree viewing angle
MISSISSAUGA, ONT. – HP has introduced the HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9500, a 17-in. notebook PC targeted at medium-sized businesses.
The notebook features a widescreen display for simultaneous viewing of multiple applications, a 140-degree viewing angle, and a built-in numeric keypad for customers who frequently work with numbers.
The nx9500 notebook is loaded with an Intel Pentium 4 processor with hyper-threading technology, NVIDIA’s GeForce FX Go5700 graphics card, and an integrated 802.11g modem.
Other features include a Secure Digital multimedia card and Smart Media that allows large files – such as presentations, forms and digital images – to be shared quickly.
The HP Compaq Business Notebook nx9500 can be customized with several options. It is available through authorized HP resellers or directly via the Web at www.hp.ca.
The estimated street price is $2,599.
Fujitsu scanner enables one-button paper-to-PDF
MISSISSAUGA, ONT. – Fujitsu Canada unveiled the ScanSnap fi-5110EOX scanner with features and a price point that make it attractive to the small- to mid-sized office market.
At 5.9-in. x 11.2-in. x 5.7-in. , the double-sided colour scanner is smaller than a mobile PC or keyboard. It offers high optical resolution, fast file handling capabilities, Adobe PDF generation, and several image quality and software control enhancements.
The ScanSnap feature can be used to generate digital Adobe PDF files from paper documents at the touch of a button. Benefits of paper-to-PDF generation, include searchable text, file fidelity, cross-platform compatibility and added security.
The device scans at 15 pages per minute for single-sided documents and 30 images per minute for double-sided documents. Bundled Acrobat 6.0 Standard software can be used to generate searchable PDF files from multi-page, double-sided documents containing colour, black and white, and text and graphic information.
Other device features include PDF thumbnail viewing, USB 2.0 support, a power-saving automatic document-feed cover, a 50-page automatic document feeder, and improved business card recognition/export capabilities (CardMinder 2.0 software bundle).
Fujitsu’s ScanSnap fi-5110EOX scanner is available through computer resellers across Canada.
It is priced at $695 and backed by a one-year parts and labour warranty.
e-motional.com announces ‘see but not touch’ access control software
MONTREAL – e-motional.com software has launched Transparent Screen Lock PRO v3.5, access control software that enables IT managers to secure workstations or servers, while viewing programs running in the background.
With Transparent Screen Lock PRO software, computer systems can be configured so unauthorized users can “”see but not touch,”” while authorized users gain controlled access.
A new proximity sensor hardware option can be used to automatically lock the system when the user steps away from the station. A short grace period, with or without an accompanying warning beep, may be set to avoid locking the system if the user steps away momentarily.
Prices start at US$24.95 for a single-user license of the base version, and US$49.95 for the PRO version, which can be purchased online. A free trial version may be downloaded from the e-motional.com website.
The proximity sensor hardware option is priced at US$129.
Digital ink package has built-in camera, ‘smart’ paper
TORONTO – Allstream, a division of MTS Allstream Inc., announced the first digital pen and paper package in Canada. The package includes a ballpoint productivity pen with a built-in digital camera, “”smart”” paper, along with data transmission and communications hardware and software.
Entries made by the digital pen on the smart paper form are recorded by means of ink recognition software and transmitted to a desktop computer or server. Then business data processing rules kick in to ensure accuracy of the data capture and conversion process.
The digital ballpoint pen uses standard ink, but is equipped with a tiny optical camera to capture handwritten text, signatures and drawings when used in conjunction with digital paper. Digital paper is any standard business form printed with a special mathematical dot pattern that appears as a faint watermark.
Pen strokes are recorded and stored in memory for secure transmission to a PC by linking the pen to a PC via a USB cradle. In future, the company says, the pen-PC connection will be wireless.
Many vendors were involved in putting together the package. They include Mi-Co, which developed the ink recognition software, Anoto Group, a Swedish hi-tech company that provides the digital paper watermark technology, and Logitech, one of the digital pen manufacturers.
According to Allstream, benefits of the new package include high mobility, faster workflow, minimal user training and cost savings.
Network Associates unveils encrypted threat protection with integrated firewall
RICHMOND HILL, ONT. – Network Associates Inc. announced a host and network intrusion prevention solution (IPS) comprised of McAfee Entercept 5.0 and McAfee
IntruShield 2.1. The package is said to be the industry’s first encrypted threat protection by a network IPS. Firewall as well as host and network IPS event management functionality is integrated in both the IntruShield and Entercept products.
The combined McAfee Entercept and McAfee IntruShield solution defends company servers, desktops, and the network core and edge from the threat of known, zero-day and encrypted attacks.
With McAfee IntruShield 2.1, Network Associates offers network-based encrypted threat protection and internal firewall integration. Product features include: encrypted attack detection and prevention, internal firewall (that enables security professionals to enforce granular security policies across internal networks such as blocking unwanted or P2P traffic) and virtual firewall that allows security administrators to implement “”virtual perimeter”” security.
Virtual Perimeter provides an added layer of protection against attacks that penetrate a perimeter firewall or attacks that originate internally.
Key McAfee Entercept 5.0 features include firewall integration (that delivers an added layer of protection between the system and the network or the Internet), and expanded attack signatures.
Entercept 5.0 adds specific signatures that provide additional protection hosts against known threats, no matter where the host may travel, inside or outside the network.
With the addition of an at-a-glance dashboard to the McAfee Entercept console, users have enterprise-wide visibility into a company’s security status, including agent deployment status, most frequently attacked machines and most observed attacks.
New functionality also enables users to aggregate and screen multiple alerts from the same event type to streamline forensic analysis and management. McAfee Entercept 5.0 and McAfee IntruShield 2.1 will be available through direct sales and channel partners.
Translation utilityretrieves previously translated text
OTTAWA – MultiCorpora R&D Inc.
released MultiTrans 3.6, the newest version of its translation support and language management application.
MultiTrans allows translators to search and retrieve text translation examples of any length from existing multilingual content. By referencing and recycling previously translated text, MultiTrans improves translation consistency, multilingual content creation and delivery speed.
The MultiTrans centralized application links people involved in the language
management value chain – including authors, translators, terminologists, reviewers and content readers – to an information repository. In doing so, it eliminates duplication and rework, and shrinks content delivery cycle time.
Version 3.6 includes expanded terminology management capabilities that allow users in multiple locations to read and update centralized terminology banks via a standard Web browser.
The latest version also comes with distributable project reference packages, created as part of the MultiTrans automated translation project analysis. The packages, typically, are created and distributed with the project to translators who do not have the MultiTrans Workstation or who work off-line without a continuous connection to the centralized linguistic assets.
These HTML format information packages include terminology lists that occur repeatedly within the project, matching terminology lists and their translations extracted from a central bank, and lists of sentences and their translations extracted from the central MultiTrans full-text archive that match (exact or partial) sentences in the new project.
HP debuts two new iPAQ models built on Windows, Intel processors
MISSISAUGA, Ont. – Hewlett-Packard has introduced two iPAQs: the HP iPAQ rz1710 and hx4700.
The HP iPAQ rz1710 Pocket PC, powered by Microsoft Windows Mobile second edition, offers range of features, applications, expansion capabilities, document viewing in both portrait and landscape modes.
The HP iPAQ hx4700 is said to be the first pocket PC to offer a touch pad with a mouse-like cursor. This iPAQ incorporates the Intel’s PXA270 624MHz processor and integrated Compact Flash Type II and Secure Digital slots for greater storage and expansion capabilities.