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2002, April week 3

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Continuous Computing Continuous Computing's HA/ Disaster Recovery Seminar

April 19, 2002 - Continuous Computing will host an informational seminar on the challenges of providing HA and Disaster Recovery solutions to enterprise systems at its San Diego, CA headquarters on May 3rd, 11am-1:30pm. An industry expert from Continuous Computing will discuss why IT professionals are so concerned, what are the most prevalent solutions to date, and what products are now coming to market to address this need. There is no registration fee for this workshop. Lunch will be provided.

What do you do to keep your systems safe, your data intact and readily available, if disaster strikes?

This seminar will go over the basic problems enterprises have faced and what the benefits and downsides are of the most common disaster recovery solutions. ...Continuous Computing profile

See also:- Backup software, Tape libraries
Continuous Computing's HA/ Disaster Recovery Seminar

Sun Microsystems Reports Third Quarter Results

Arrow Electronics Announces Distribution Agreement With Lantronix

Digi International Adds SSHv2 Feature To PortServer TS Products

Sun Microsystems Names Nu Horizons an OEM Channel Development Partner (CDP)

Sun Aligns Software Brands Under Sun One Name

Patricia McGowan Joins GNP as Senior Product Marketing Manager

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Megabyte saw great potential for speeding up his quest using infinitely strong rubber band technology.

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."

Delta Marketing
In business since 1986, Delta Marketing Group, Inc. provides new and refurbished computer solutions for users of Sun Microsystems.

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Sun Microsystems
. Sun's Chairman and CEO, Scott McNealy stated, "Despite the challenging economic environment, we've protected our investments in R&D while winning customers in new markets. In addition to announcing our strategic initiatives around Linux and N1, Sun continued to generate innovative new products."
Sun Microsystems Reports Third Quarter Results

SANTA CLARA, CA - April 18, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. (NASDAQ: SUNW) reported results today for its fiscal third quarter which ended March 31, 2002.

Revenues for the third quarter were $3.1 billion, essentially flat, as compared with the $3.1 billion in revenues reported for the second quarter of fiscal year 2002. Net loss for the third quarter was $26 million and the net loss per share was $.01, a sequential improvement of 67% over the net loss per share reported for the second quarter of fiscal year 2002 (excluding losses incurred during such periods on Sun's equity investment portfolio, restructuring charges/adjustments, and related tax effects). ...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comments. It's a year since I commented that Sun's Revenue Growth Hits Brick Wall based on reported results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2001, which ended April 1, 2001. Sun's Revenues for the third quarter 2001 were $4.095 billion, up 2 percent compared with the third quarter of fiscal 2000.

So today's reported revenue of $3.1 billion is about 33% down on the same quarter last year, and the year before that. That's quite different to the "essentially flat" sentiment at the start of today's press release which compares this quarter with the quarter after 9/11. Possibly misleading, but clever copywriting.

See also:- PR Strategies: Remember, the web has no memory!
Arrow Electronics
. "Lantronix will help us serve the customers of Sun Microsystems resellers, who need solutions that help their network management personnel increase system reliability through reduced system downtime and better performance," said Rich Severa, president, MOCA Division, Arrow Electronics.
Arrow Electronics Announces Distribution Agreement With Lantronix

ENGLEWOOD, CO - April 17, 2002 - The MOCA Division of Arrow Electronics, Inc. today announced a new distribution agreement with Lantronix, Inc. Through the agreement, Arrow will offer console management products to Sun Microsystems solution providers from Lantronix' systems management group. Console management products include console servers and KVM switches, which are designed to help IT professionals remotely manage network and telecom equipment.

The cornerstone of the Lantronix console management offering is the Console Server, which provides remote management using familiar tools like telnet, Secure Shell (SSH), a Web browser, or a modem when an in-network link is not available. The Console Server is offered in configurations such as the Secure Console Server, which insures the integrity of equipment and data through authentication, authorization, and encryption. ...Arrow Electronics profile, ...Lantronix profile
Digi International Digi International Adds SSHv2 Feature To PortServer TS Products

Minnetonka, Minn.- April 16, 2002 - Digi International®, Inc. today announced advanced new security and diagnostic capabilities for the PortServer® TS line of terminal server products that are available to customers immediately as a free Flash ROM update.

New product features include SSHv2 security, the most up-to-date implementation of Secure Shell, a secure replacement for telnet. Using strong encryption and authentication, SSH protects against unauthorized interception of LAN traffic (or "sniffing"). This latest version of SSHv2 addresses the security flaws found in SSHv1. Other PortServer TS enhancements include PPP support, which enables easy-to-configure modem connections from Windows or Linux-based PCs, using standard dial-up networking.

PortServer TS has been certified "Solaris Ready" by Sun Microsystems, ensuring ease of installation and compatibility with Sun equipment. Available in 8 or 16-port desktop and 16 port rack configurations, the PortServer TS product line connects serial ports (such as the management ports found on Sun servers and Cisco routers) to Ethernet networks. ...Digi International profile
Nu Horizons
. "Nu Horizons is excited to expand on our successful five year relationship with Sun Microsystems. The addition of Sun's servers, storage, and workstations to our current product offering strongly positions Nu Horizons with higher-level solutions for our OEM customer base," said Arthur Nadata, president and CEO of Nu Horizons Electronics. "We are confident that the knowledge and expertise of our sales and field engineering teams, coupled with our logistic and fulfillment capabilities, will be effective in winning designs and gaining marketshare for Sun in the embedded space. Our strong presence in the OEM account base market should bring substantial incremental revenue to Sun, complementing their major emphasis on winning in the OEM marketplace."
Sun Microsystems Names Nu Horizons an OEM Channel Development Partner (CDP)

SANTA CLARA, CA - April 15, 2002 - Sun Microsystems today announced that Nu Horizons Electronics Corp., a distributor of high technology products, has been appointed as Sun's first designated OEM Channel Development Partner (OEM-CDP). Helping turn the channel's focus to the entire array of Sun's OEM products, procedures and practices, Nu Horizons' new status marks the first time Sun has dedicated an OEM-CDP to a very broad product portfolio that will include boards, components, and Sun systems and storage. The primary goal of the OEM-CDP designation is to provide OEMs with a CDP that is fully dedicated to the OEM marketplace. The appointment of Nu Horizons as the first OEM-CDP helps Sun improve the OEM channel by focusing dedicated programs and sales engagement processes with Sun partners, and expanding the mix of Sun products used in OEM applications. ...Nu Horizons profile

Editor's comment:- apart from the cost of sales advantages, there's another compelling reason why many OEMs who want to use SPARC technology would prefer to deal indirectly through a distributor rather than with Sun directly. When you're developing a new product there are times when you need to discuss your future product plans in order to get the right information about upcoming products or get your hands on scarce new samples. For many SPARC OEMs their biggest direct competitor is Sun itself. So the channel model should work quite well.
Sun Microsystems Sun Aligns Software Brands Under Sun One Name

SANTA CLARA, CA - April 15, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced it will rebrand its popular iPlanet, Forte, StarOffice and Chili!Soft product lines under the Sun Open Net Environment (SunONE) brand. This move reflects Sun's commitment to its wide array of software offerings - spanning from portal server and middleware to directory solutions, developer tools and productivity suites - that make up the Sun ONE platform for Services on Demand. Branding all of the products under the Sun ONE name will result in a singular focus that simplifies Sun's software portfolio for customers and streamlines marketing efforts. The new "Open Net Environment" branding also underscores Sun's commitment to multi-platform support across the Sun ONE infrastructure products, which are available today on Solaris Operating Environment, Linux, Windows, AIX and HP-UX operating systems.

Sun has launched a global marketing campaign to support the rebranding effort that will kick off this week with a series of print advertisements scheduled to appear in major business publications.

Editor's comments:- Sun's press release includes a useful dictionary which translates the old product names into their new Sun ONE equivalents. I've often commented on the confusion caused by Sun's multifarious brands, looks like they're doing something about it.
GNP Patricia McGowan Joins GNP as Senior Product Marketing Manager

MONROVIA, Calif - April 15, 2002 - GNP today announced Patricia A. McGowan joined the company as senior product marketing manager. Responsible for Continuant Cluster, GNP's high-availability middleware for carrier-grade servers, McGowan brings more than two decades of marketing and technical expertise to GNP. In her new role, she oversees ongoing product development and marketing of the Continuant family of solutions, which deliver more than 99.999 percent uptime in switching applications. Based in the Southern California headquarters office, McGowan reports to GNP's president and CEO, Roger Baar, Ph.D.

Previously, McGowan was a senior product manager at Sun Microsystems where she established product strategy and defined product solutions pertinent to customers for the Netra™ FT 1800 and Systems Management Solutions products. Prior to Sun, McGowan created telecommunication product definitions as product manager for PC Client Software at Siemens. ...GNP Computers profile

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