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2002, September 18 - 30

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. "Like water flowing out of a hose, email has the potential to fill our inboxes and workdays, overwhelming our abilities to navigate through the growing currents of content," said Mark Levitt, vice president of IDC's Collaborative Computing program. "To ensure that email continues to be a valuable business and personal communications tool, suppliers and customers will need to find new ways to provide near-real-time access through desktop, mobile, and wireless devices to important and time-sensitive email content and alerts for more effective collaboration."
Daily Email Usage to Exceed 60 Billion by 2006, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - September 26, 2002 – Email volume will continue to explode as person-to-person emails are joined by rapidly-growing numbers of spam and email alerts and notifications, according to IDC. In 2006, the total number of email messages sent daily is expected to exceed 60 billion worldwide, up from 31 billion in 2002, and slightly more than half of these messages will be person-to-person emails.

According to IDC, email users will demand greater access to message filtering technology to quickly distinguish between high and low priority messages and to delete spam. Additionally, Web browsers will remain the primary access method for all emailboxes worldwide through 2006. ...IDC profile
Email Usage to Exceed 60 Billion by 2006, According to IDC

Guardian Digital Launches Engarde to Provide Enterprises with Linux Security Solutions

Sun May Start Selling PCs

Antares Microsystems and LSI Logic Announce Availability of Ultra320 SCSI Host Bus Adapter

Sun Hammers Out Network Security

"The Network is Still the Computer" Reaffirms Sun CEO, Scott McNealy

Tadpole 's SPARCbook 6500 Packs 650MHz Processor

Force Introduces Fastest SPARC Embedded Server Blade

Ideas International Lets Subscribers Compare Costs of Hosting Databases on Major Server Platforms

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Nibble Re: The Storage Software Industry is Still Using 1970s Style Control Theory

Why isn't the solid state disk accelerator market already a 5 to 10 billion dollar market?

I was asking myself this question the other day, prompted by Sun's disclosure at the SunNetwork Conference in September that its next SPARC processor, due to be shipping in systems by January, will once again be only a little bit faster, and not a LOT faster as most of their server customers would really like.

The fact is that if you've already got your main servers stuffed up with the fastest processors from Intel, Sun, HP, IBM or whoever, then installing a solid state disk accelerator in the right place can often speed up the entire storage network by 20 to 30 percent at a cost which may only be 10% or so of the server itself. So by any measure that seems like good value for money, even in today's cash strapped times. Of course solid state disk acceleration is happening here and there, but not yet on a wide scale, and it got me thinking about why.

Part of the problem is that it takes knowledge about where the bottlenecks are in your system and that can change with every new release of your application software. Although it's economic to buy the hardware side of the solid state disk accelerator solution, the soft side still relies heavily on human experts to make the speedup work. Without expert tuning you won't get the full benefit of the expensive hardware, and in a worst case scenario might not get any benefit at all.

That's a big risk for users to take. Users are cautious and will want to trial the new technology or have performance guarantees as part of their contracts.

Solid state disk manufacturers are keenly aware that the shape of their sales ramp is limited mainly by the number of their applications engineers until they can find ways to automate the tuning process of discovering what's in the users' network, modelling it and then optimising it. That got me thinking about how primitive the whole storage software market really is in comparion to where it would like users to think it is. Most storage software nowadays is designed around a control paradigm which resembles heavy industry in the 1970's.

In the 1970's petrochemical manufacturers used thousands of individual electronic controllers to automatically control the opening and shutting of valves which controlled the flow of liquids, gases, heat and other things flowing through the hundreds of miles of pipework in a typical plant. The electronic controllers were a great improvement on their pneumatic predecessors, because they could operate faster and were less liable to jam due to dust or drift due to leaks. But a typical plant still had to employ hundreds of instrument engineers and mechanical fitters to keep the control infrastructure humming, and dozens of "board men" whose job was solely to watch the thousands of meters and dials and alarms and keep an eye on fluctuations before things got too much out of hand.

In the hierarchy the process people and control engineers were the gods who, in their design of the plant and occasional tweaking, determined what type of control strategy would be used, and the quality and repeatability of the end product.

By the mid 1980's most of these heavy industries were on the second or third generation of digital controllers which not only simplified the collection and display of all this critical data, but also facilitated a new type of control strategy based on SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) systems. Eventually software would be trusted to keep an eye on things. And as the systems got more reliable, process designers realised that adaptive control systems could be entrusted to learn what was out there in the plant, measure how it responded and optimise the control over a the entire manufacturing process, not just for a single control loop.

Despite the hype put out by companies like EMC about the abilities of their storage management software we are still very far away from the ideal data storage factory control model. Virtualization is a part of the jigsaw which will eventually lead to an enterprise wide solution. But we're still very much at the level of individual loop control which the oil business was using way back in the 1970s. Your storage devices may be connected by networks but making sure that everything operates together seamlessly to deliver data quickly when people need it still requires a lot of manual intervention.

Until the storage management software you run in your orgazination is intelligent enough to learn by itself what kinds of applications you're running, and the characteristics of your different types of storage devices, your ability to make the best use out of new storage technologies will be limited by your own technical skills and the amount of work and effort you are prepared to put into solving your own performance and resource utilization problems. And having solved them once you may have to still solve them again whenever you buy some new software or hardware which changes the mix.

Adding a solid state disk accelerator or tape library to your system is easy now. You connect it to the network and click a mouse a few times. Telling it to find out what else is out there and optimise its operation chosen from some sensible defaults for that kind of a device should also be a one click process. Telling it to keep itself up to date automatically when new hardware or applications are added should be just as simple.

The challenge for the storage industry is to get out of the age of manually adjusting individual control loops and processes and use tools which are designed for operating a storage network like a data factory. When that happens the solid state disk accelerator market is going to be a 10 billion dollar market, and a lot of other things are going to be affected as well. The end point is to make all your computer assets work better for you, and to make sure that in the meantime you avoid buying products which won't fit in with the hands off storage management strategy.

See also:- SAN - software, Solid state disks

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Guardian Digital Guardian Digital Launches Engarde to Provide Enterprises with Linux Security Solutions

Allendale, New Jersey - September 24, 2002 - Guardian Digital, Inc. has today formerly launched the EnGarde Secure Linux server operating system, EnGarde Secure Professional. EnGarde Secure Professional is a comprehensive enterprise software solution that provides all the tools necessary to build a complete, secure online presence. This provides organi-zations with a cost-effective and proven platform capable of supporting thousands of Web sites and e-mail domains. Designed with security and ease of management as its primary focus, EnGarde Secure Professional allows organizations to increase productivity while reducing support and infrastructure costs.

EnGarde Secure Professional is priced at $549, and EnGarde Secure Workgroup is available for only $49.95. All products include installation and configuration support within 60 days of purchase. ...Guardian Digital
Sun Microsystems Sun May Start Selling PCs

Editor:- September 20, 2002 - At SunNetwork Conference this week Sun Microsystems indicated that it may start selling Intel architecture PCs effectively as terminals to its server customers in lots of 100. This is effectively the same strategy which was proposed by a SPARC Product Directory leader article way back in 1999.

However, because Sun can't bear the thought of paying software royalties to Microsoft, Sun will ship these PCs with a Linux operating environment. The scheme, which is not as crazy as it sounds has been called "Project Mad Hatter". As indicated in previous articles in the SPARC Product Directory, Sun will not manufacturer PCs but will badge engineer them like everyone else.

It remains to be seen when Sun will follow this to its logical conclusion and eventually ship PCs with CrashWare preinstalled like everyone else. However that may significantly increase the price of the terminals which will need added hardware and a cutout in the front of the box for the reset button. ...Sun Microsystems profile
Antares Microsystems

LSI Logic
. "As the enterprise market migrates to Ultra320 technology, working with LSI Logic to incorporate the Fusion-MPT architecture onto the Antares P0078 HBA has enabled us to provide the most advanced and reliable SCSI solution to the Solaris and Linux market," said Al Basseri, director of business development & marketing for Antares Microsystems. "The leadership position that LSI Logic has established with their Ultra320 SCSI product enables us to provide our customers with a very robust solution."

"Our close working relationship with Antares allows for early product development and adoption of the advantage of our Fusion-MPT architecture," said David Steele, director for product development and planning at the LSI Logic Storage Standard Product Division. "Use of our Ultra320 SCSI controllers on the Antares HBA broadens support for Solaris and Linux environments and provides customers a reliable, leading-edge technology solution."
Antares Microsystems and LSI Logic Announce Availability of Ultra320 SCSI Host Bus Adapter

MILPITAS, Calif. and CAMPBELL, Calif. - September 19, 2002 - Antares Microsystems and LSI Logic Corporation today announced availability of the Antares Ultra320 SCSI host bus adapter (HBA), the P0078, an implementation of the LSI Logic Fusion-MPT -based Ultra320 SCSI controller, the dual-channel LSI53C1030.

The Antares HBA provides doubles the data-transfer speed of current Ultra160 SCSI technology and represents the fourth generation of SCSI HBA based on LSI Logic silicon. The P0078 enterprise-quality HBA supports 64-bit/133MHz PCI-X, and the PCI 2.2 standard. Designed for optimal performance on both Solaris and Linux servers and workstations, the P0078 supports packetized SCSI transfers, grouped commands, messages and status bytes at full data-transfer speeds, reducing the protocol overhead.

LSI Logic was first to full production of both single-channel and dual-channel Ultra320 SCSI controllers and first to announce commercial availability of a full line of Ultra320 SCSI host bus adapters. All LSI Logic Ultra320 SCSI products incorporate the Fusion-MPT architecture, which is considered the industry's fastest, most versatile message-passing storage interface. Ultra320 SCSI products and data transfer rates are optimal for use in multimedia video and audio streaming, data warehousing applications, web servers and RAID applications. ...Antares Microsystems profile, ...LSI Logic profile

See also:- SCSI adapter cards
Sun Microsystems
. "Today's announcements underscore the security strategy Sun has followed since its inception - open, trusted, comprehensive and built-in to all Sun products and technologies," said Diffie. "Sun has never accepted security as an afterthought and our customers must be proactive in making security part of their networks. We don't just make security products - we build security into everything we make - always have, always will. Sun's security solutions are easy enough for e-commerce and secure enough for homeland security."
Sun Hammers Out Network Security

SAN FRANCISCO - September 19, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. today added to its existing world-class security portfolio with over 10 new customer-ready security products, solutions, and services. In a keynote speech made today at the SunNetwork Conference, Whitfield Diffie, Sun's chief security officer, provocatively suggested that - rather than being an insurance policy - secure systems are a critical enabler to the future of business and Net commerce. Some of the announcements:-
  • Open source contribution of Elliptic Curve Cryptographic technologies to the OpenSSL Project.
  • SuperNets: A secure enterprise network built out of an unsecure, general purpose, network infrastructure - like the Internet. SuperNets give users first class access to enterprise networks from anywhere.
  • SAML: Now included in the Sun ONE architecture, the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) is an XML-based framework for exchanging security information.
  • iForce Solution for Security: Perimeter Security: An open, integrated security solution designed to help enterprises and service providers detect, prevent and respond quickly to today's threats. The solution combines software from Sun, Check Point, Symantec, Trend Micro, Tripwire, e-Security, and Sanctum.
  • iForce Solution for Security: Secure Web Server: A comprehensive, web server solution to better secure vital websites and transactions; partners include PentaSafe, Sanctum, and Ubizen.
  • Security Policy Workshop and Security Policy Development Service: Help customers tie their business and technical requirements to their security principles to build a solid foundation for their systems design.
  • Enhanced Educational Services: A new training curriculum focused on security, which extends through perimeter defense and secure eCommerce applications. Core offerings include platform hardening, data integrity, and security policy.
  • Best Practices: The Sun Security Blueprints/best practices are being consolidated into a new book by Alex Noordergraaf from Prentice Hall Publishing, to be published soon.
...Sun Microsystems profile

Editor's comments: -inexplicably, goblin hammers didn't appear in Sun's announcement today, but we know that Gunnar enterprises are sometimes slow to respond to email inquiries.
Sun Microsystem "The Network is Still the Computer" Reaffirms Sun CEO, Scott McNealy

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - September 18, 2002 - Sun Microsystems, Inc. CEO Scott McNealy kicked off Sun's user conference, SunNetwork 2002, beating a drum to the same mantra the company has held during its 20-year history, "The Network is the Computer." McNealy proclaimed Sun's unwavering commitment to its long-time corporate vision and focused business strategy. McNealy welcomed over 8,000 IT managers, system administrators, software developers and 200 best-in-class partners from 35 countries and 14 industries to the three-day event at Moscone Center in San Francisco.

"Sun remains focused on three big commitments for our customers: choice, innovation and value," Sun CEO Scott McNealy said to the crowd of enthusiastic Sun users and partners. "From the first computer Sun ever shipped, we've offered open interfaces to ensure our customers are not locked in - making sure they have choice. Over the years we've invested heavily in R&D, delivering several great innovations. Finally, we promise value as leader in price performance."

In a separate announcement today, Sun disclosed details of a new 1.2 GHz SPARC processor which will ship in Sun systems next January. ...Sun Microsystems profile
. Asked about Tadpole's SPARCbook 6500 initiative, Graham Brown, president of Tadpole's hardware businesses, comments, "We will continue to aggressively roll out products with the innovation, power, performance and pricing that supports the industry's ever changing computing requirements. Our laptops offer a singularly unique solution, in that they are 100 percent compatible with all 12,000 plus Sun Solaris applications, but in a truly portable design. This strategy has placed Tadpole as the leader in UNIX mobile computing, and it will keep us there."
Tadpole 's SPARCbook 6500 Packs 650MHz Processor

Carlsbad (CA) and Cambridge (UK) - September 18, 2002 - Tadpole today announced October General Availability of the SPARCbook 6500, the most powerful notebook yet to be developed by the California firm for federal and homeland defense agencies, and Global 2000 enterprises.

With today's announcement, Tadpole provides a one-stop shop for the highest quality, U.S. manufactured UNIX® notebook computers supporting a range of budgets and mobile computing requirements. Built around Sun's 650MHz UltraSPARC IIi microprocessor and Solaris 8 Operating Environment, Tadpole's SPARCbook 6500 delivers thirty percent more computing power than its previous top-of-the-range notebook model, the SPARCbook 5000.

The power and computing capability of Tadpole's portable workstations unshackle network administrators from their desks, empower military intelligence gathering operations in the field, and facilitate the drive of enterprise software sales engineers to up-the-beat of their customer-facing, revenue-generating programs.

Just 1.8" deep and weighing 7.5lbs, the SPARCbook 6500 delivers the power of a Sun workstation and monitor in a portable form factor. It's also one hundred percent binary compatible with these traditional solutions, has 15.1" SXGA+ display resolutions, 2GB of DRAM memory, hot-swap removable disk capacity of up to 120GB, and a gamut of I/O ports.

Other SPARCbook 6500 features include a CD-RW/DVD-ROM, dual Ethernet, PCMCIA sockets, stereo speakers, and a Sun compatible integrated keyboard with glide-point touchpad and 3-button mouse. Its numerous networking, serial, parallel, PS2, video and USB ports give unprecedented system expansion and network connectivity. ...Tadpole profile
Force Computers
news image Force CPSB-560
. "From telecom and data com to industrial control to defense and aerospace and more, the CPSB-560 embedded server blade gives OEMs access to the best-in-class processors, memory, interfaces and onboard storage for highly integrated, reliable solutions," said Daniel Wuhrer, Force product marketing manager. "As Force extends SPARC support in PICMG 2.16 cPSB-compliant platforms with the CPSB-560, we will continue to advance early access to leading technologies in the embedded space as seen by the board's huge SDRAM, large disk drive, dual Gigabit Ethernet and UltraSPARC-IIi+ 650MHz processor rating-compared to a maximum of 500MHz on competitive products. And because this processor appears on Sun's embedded roadmap, it ensures an upgrade path to 700MHz."
Force Introduces Fastest SPARC Embedded Server Blade

SUNNETWORK 2002, SAN FRANCISCO - Sept. 18, 2002 - Force Computers today introduced the fastest available UltraSPARC-IIi+® processor-based embedded server blade, the CPSB-560, designed for high-performance, energy-efficient applications in communications, storage, industrial control, defense, aerospace and others requiring completely integrated, highly reliable solutions. Force is showing the CPSB-560 embedded server blade at SunNetwork 2002, Booth P35 this week. Features:-
  • UltraSPARC-IIi+ 650MHz processor (with roadmap to 700MHz)
  • dual Gigabit Ethernet interfaces
  • up to 2GBytes SDRAM (with memory module)
  • optional IDE hard-disk drive to 60GBytes
  • Dual USB interfaces
  • Four RS-232 interfaces
  • PICMG 2.16 CompactPCI Packet-Switching Backplane
  • Solaris 8-system-on-a-board
CPSB-560s will be available through Force's Early Access Unit (EAU) program in September 2002 with volume shipments scheduled for January 2003. Single-unit-quantity prices start at $2,940. ...Force Computers profile
Ideas International
. Commenting on the new extension, IDEAS Chief Executive Officer, Ian Birks, said "This new research offering represents a logical extension to our current hardware platforms and operating systems research that is provided through our CPSystems module. By using our built-in configurator tool it is easy for a customer to run various what-if scenarios comparing database software products on different platforms. If a user saves any analysis they create then it will be automatically updated with any price or product changes when re-opened at a later date".
Ideas International Lets Subscribers Compare Costs of Hosting Databases on Major Server Platforms

SYDNEY - September 18, 2002 – Australian-based global IT market research company, Ideas International Limited , has today announced a new extension to its Competitive Profiles suite of continuous information services that allows subscribers to compare the pricing and licensing options of industry enterprise database software products on various hardware platforms. The new research extension allows IDEAS research customers to compare the current pricing and licensing implications of hosting Oracle, IBM DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server on all major industry hardware platforms. The research scope includes pricing perspectives for more than 30 different countries worldwide, introducing widespread price transparency to a complex choice area for IT buyers.

The research supports the capacity to model the impact of different technology solutions – for example, analysis of Oracle Real Applications Clusters on a clustered hardware solution versus a high-end SMP UNIX server, or the inclusion of OLAP functionality in comparisons for on-line analytical processing needs.

The research extension covers the varying pricing strategies adopted by different database vendors such as per-sever, per-processor and per-user licenses. ...IDEAS International profile

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