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SPARC history - 2002, April week 2

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Aurora Technologies
. "ControlTower 3.0 helps me meet my mission-critical networking needs," says Felix Firenze, President of BSR Consulting, a beta customer of ControlTower 3.0. "ControlTower 3.0 makes it easier for me to efficiently manage groups of servers, and encryption over the network assures me that my data is secure."
Security Tops List of ControlTower™ 3.0 Console Management System Enhancements

Brockton, MA - April 10, 2002 - Aurora Technologies, Inc. is pleased to announce the release of ControlTower Console Management System, Version 3.0. Building on previous versions of ControlTower, this release features breakthrough enhancements to ControlTower's security options, error handling, and logging features for greater customization and flexibility.

ControlTower 3.0 enables systems administrators to manage hundreds of serial consoles from anywhere, at anytime. ControlTower 3.0 is a reliable time and cost-saving solution for monitoring and controlling multiple Sun™ Microsystems' and other UNIX servers, as well as many serial line console devices, such as Cisco networking equipment. From a central console or via remote access, ControlTower enables Sun SPARC servers to function as common consoles for an unlimited number of managed systems. ControlTower is available in a base 16-port configuration and is scalable up to 128 ports from a single host.
Security Tops List of ControlTower™ 3.0 Console Management System Enhancements

Lucent Technologies introduces first commercial IP video over DSL solution

Sun Launches Sun Fire 12K Server

Gartner Predicts the Zero Budget CIO

VideoPropulsion Announces TV Developer Station Based on Sun Media Appliance Platform

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"I'm impressed by your new hotSTOR disk to disk backup" said Megabyte to Cheaperbyte . "Does it make coffee too?"

Nibble:- Re: Why It's Good to be Paranoid About Getting Your Data Back

The title of a talk in a recent EVault press release ("Cost-effective Data Backup and Recovery Does Not Lie in the Spool of the Tape") got me thinking again about data recovery strategies. I take very seriously Intel founder, Andrew Grove's premise, which appeared on the cover of one of his many books that "Only the Paranoid Survive." In that context Grove was writing about business survival, but the concept is transportable to data backup and recovery.

We're now living in an age where a large part of most business activity revolves around the linchpin of corporate data. Without that data, most of us are like those many sad actors you see on talk shows. Without a script, you would not pay to watch them for very long... Our customers would soon think we were less than wonderful, if we forgot to ship their products, or even forgot who they are. The magic of data driven customer service would soon disintegrate into a tragic farce.

One of my customers, from data recovery company ActionFront Data Recovery recently commented about the peculiar nature of their business. They promote data recovery, by a variety of methods, but no one considers themselves to be in the market for data recovery until disaster strikes. So much of that advertising goes unnoticed. Now you may say that having a proper backup strategy would avoid many of those problems which require a data recovery company. But that just shows that you're probably not paranoid enough. In a way having a backup strategy is like fire insurance. You know it's a good idea, and you hope that the insurance will pay to rebuild your house if it burns down. But how many of us ask the critical question... "How long will it take?"

There are problems with every type of backup method, and I'm going to list just a few below which are all based on real life examples.

  • The backup tape broke. Then the alternative backup tape broke. Then we found there was a problem with the tape drive and it was chewing up all the tapes.
  • The new web backup company went bust.
  • Someone broke into the building at the weekend. They stole all the PC's, and servers, and the tape drives.
  • We regularly did backups, but only discovered when we tried to restore, that we weren't backing up most of our critical information. Just stuff for applications which are really old and which we no longer use.
  • We used a new style of disk to disk backup system. Then a new kind of worm entered our network and trashed our data, and the backup.
  • The new business plan was on the marketing VP's notebook, which got stolen.
  • There was an electrical fault in our jukebox/tape library which caught fire overnight. Although it self extinguished, many of the optical disks/tape cartridges got somewhat melted.
  • We used an internet based data replication scheme. But the electrical storm which knocked out our server, also knocked out the connections to our local ISP. It will be days before we can reload data down the wires.
  • Our old server broke, so we got a replacement model. The new version of the server OS doesn't recognise or work with our old backup system.
  • The systems administrator who knows all the passwords for restoring everything, is out of communication for two weeks on a walking holiday in the Gobi Desert. He left some notes with someone who got run over by a police car this morning.
  • The systems administrator was tired and accidentally overwrote all the new files with old data.

Are you starting to feel paranoid yet?

If so that's a good thing. It's better to start worrying now before you encounter a real problem. All data protection schemes work some of the time, some of them work most of the time, but no single method of data protection works all the time. If your corporate survival depends on the survivability of your data. then start looking at a diversity strategy now. Use more than one method to reduce the rsiks of the most convenient method letting you down. Is that paranoid? Maybe so. But to recap the references I used at the start:- "Cost-effective data backup and recovery does not lie in the spool of the tape" and "Only the paranoid survive."

Themis Computer
Themis Computer is a solutions oriented OEM supplier of Single Board Computers and Systems based on Sun Microsystems UltraSPARC technology.

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news image - ControlTower 3.0
. ControlTower 3.0 breaks new ground by giving systems administrators the ability to configure security at the level of the individual user. And, to ensure that sensitive data is not accessible over the network, ControlTower 3.0 allows remote users to define the encryption of all data sent and received from the server using up to 128-bit AES encryption. System access also can be restricted by IP address, password, or Unix account. In addition, systems administrators are able to create and maintain managed device configuration files in a group. This affects where log files are stored and how the server and viewer software are started, and greatly minimizes setup time.

To see firsthand the benefits of ControlTower 3.0, please visit Aurora's web site to qualify for an evaluation copy. ...Aurora Technologies profile
Lucent Technologies Lucent Technologies introduces first commercial IP video over DSL solution

MURRAY HILL, N.J. - APRIL 10, 2002 - Lucent Technologies today announced a new high-performance solution for delivering IP video over digital subscriber line (DSL), enabling service providers to offer new revenue-generating services to their customers. The new offer, based on the Lucent Stinger® DSL platform, enables the "triple play" delivery of video, voice and data bundled services. The Canadian service provider, SaskTel, is the first customer to deploy the solution.

Deploying video services, such as broadcast television, increases the bandwidth requirements of carrier networks by up to 100 times compared with delivering traditional broadband Internet access services. The new Lucent solution addresses these bandwidth requirements, and allows service providers to offer several hundred video channels to their customers using IP and/or ATM distribution networks. ,,,Lucent Technologies profile
Sun Microsystems
. "With the Sun Fire 12K server, Sun will capitalize on a previously untapped market segment," said Rich Partridge, enterprise systems analyst at D.H. Brown Associates. "By employing the same technology as found in their well-received Sun Fire 15K, Sun now provides enterprise-class dynamic partitioning and concurrent serviceability at an attractive $500,000 price tag. The scalability of the Sun Fire 12K, along with its easy upgrade to the Sun Fire 15K, offers substantial performance headroom with investment protection."
Sun Launches Sun Fire 12K Server

SAN FRANCISCO - April 9, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today launched the Sun Fire12K, a new class of low-cost, high-performance servers at previously unseen price points. The Sun Fire 12K delivers features seen in servers priced above $1 million, providing customers with maximum investment protection, system availability, flexibility and application performance. Building on Sun's five-year leadership in server technology, the Sun Fire 12K also incorporates Sun's breakthrough Uniboard technology, assuring customers of interoperability with Sun's complete UltraSPARC/Solaris Operating Environment server family. Features include:-
  • Up to nine hot-swappable, interchangeable Uniboard CPU/memory boards for easy, dynamic resource provisioning
  • Up to 52 UltraSPARC® III Cu 900-MHz processors in a symmetric multiprocessing architecture
  • Up to 288 GB of memory with end-to-end data integrity
  • Up to nine fifth-generation, fault-isolated Dynamic System Domains, which are fully reconfigurable while applications are running to minimize system downtime
  • Built-in hardware redundancy, including N+1 power and cooling, to maximize system uptime
Gartner Gartner Predicts the Zero Budget CIO

Gartner Spring Symposium, Florence, Italy 9 April 2002 - Speaking at its 3rd Spring Symposium in Florence this week, Gartner today said IT spend outside of the IT department is growing. In a survey conducted by Gartner in Europe last month, it said 37 percent of businesses reported IT spend outside of the IT budget. Gartner predicts that by 2005, 50 percent of total IT spend will take place outside of the IT department. Gartner said where this is a conscious strategy and a result of technology being recognised as a business enabler, this is to be applauded. However, it warned that unless CIOs achieve the same recognition as other executive leaders, businesses will lose control of their IT strategy and fail to achieve the fusion between business and IT strategies that is essential in the connected economy.

John Mahoney, Vice President and Research Director at Gartner said, "The CIO is facing a real prospect of becoming a 'zero budget CIO' by the end of the decade. This does not reflect a decrease in stature, it reflects irreversible changes in the business environment which the CIO must meet head on.
VideoPropulsion
. "An open, multi-vendor solution for iTV and Video-on-Demand provides a solution that can scale to accommodate natural evolution of an emerging market," said Rob Glidden, market development manager, broadband and digital media market development at Sun Microsystems, Inc. "The Sun Media Appliance Platform, developed in collaboration with key iForce application provider partners, delivers NEPs channel-ready configurations that help our mutual customers implement new interactive services, applications and infrastructure services quickly and with less risk."
VideoPropulsion Announces TV Developer Station Based on Sun Media Appliance Platform

NAB, Las Vegas, NV - April 8, 2002 - VideoPropulsion™, Inc. announced today the availability of the TV Developer Station. The TV Developer Station is designed to enable the rapid development of server-based applications and services for open-systems interactive TV, video on demand, and video networking.

The TV Developer Station includes:
  • The Sun Blade™ 100 workstation,
  • one of several VPI VDOPro™ DVB or QAM products for ingest and transmission of MPEG-2 digital video transport streams to standard cable, satellite, or terrestrial head end equipment, and
  • VPI's VPiTV™ Player application that provides a Java™ technology-based, user friendly visual interface for receiving and setting up video assets for playback in demonstration and laboratory environments.
The TV Developer Station will be available with application software from Strategy & Technology for the management and creation of DVB-MHP data carousels,and SNAP2's GEAR for creation of MHP applications. Content authoring software for interactive TV broadcasting will also be offered from other technology providers.

"VideoPropulsion has been working with its applications partners and Sun Microsystems to provide a standards based, open systems platform for the development and deployment of digital television services," remarked Barbara Pick, President and CEO of VideoPropulsion. "We are pleased to be reselling these solution packages which provide special leverage for both content creation and delivery of new interactive services. "

The Sun Media Appliance Platform combines the expertise of companies, including Visionik Interactive TV, Alticast, Kasenna, N2 Broadband, Sun, Strategy & Technology and VideoPropulsion to develop a value-priced, scalable foundation that can allow NEPs, content providers and network operators to rapidly build and deploy interactive services based on multi-vendor open interfaces. ....VideoPropulsion profile

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