Channel Marker

July 16, 2007  7:03 AM

Channel news: Vista report card: Oracle plans security updates; zero-day auction raises fears

Posted by: Brein Matturro

6 months later, a report card on Vista Chris Pirillo leaned away from his webcam and pointed to his printer/scanner/fax machine, which stopped scanning and faxing after he installed Microsoft Corp.’s new Windows Vista operating system. [AP]

Oracle plans 46 security updates for database, software Attackers could tamper with database servers and host operating systems by exploiting flaws across Oracle’s product line.

Zero-day auction site complicates security efforts, IT pros say WabiSabiLabi, the eBay-like marketplace for zero-day flaws, will make it tougher for companies to ward off attackers, some IT security professionals say.[] Continued »

July 13, 2007  11:33 AM

The word on Microsoft Server 2008

Posted by: Brein Matturro

At it’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Denver Colorado,  Microsoft recently announced that Windows Server  2008 is to be launched with Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 on February 27.

So should businesses choose to upgrade to the server also known as Longhorn?

The Microsoft marketing machine touts its newest server as one that simplifies Web server management, simplifies virtualization (which is built in to the system), provides supreme security ( “the most secure server ever” ) and one that provides a rock solid foundation for business work loads.

I decided to go find the word on the web and I didn’t find a whole big bunch of opinion  – but what I did find was overwhelmingly positive:, a site that exists to provide impartial reviews, says “Longhorn is what
Vista should have been, as most users are looking for a fast, secure and easy to use OS,”
calling it the “best server operaating system that Microsoft has ever released.” It also says that Longhorn may set the standard for server operating systems.

Tom Yager of InfoWorld writes, “…Window’s Server ‘Longhorn,’ … looks like its been hit with a mega-dose of growth hormone since beta 2. And I mean that in a good way.”

What Yager appears to mean is that the new server provides stronger versions of features that were “wobbly” in prior releases and new across the board functionality. He touts the addition of PowerShell – Microsoft’s first scriptable command-line shell, its security measures – the firewall and the built-in virtualization.

The one criticism I found was that of Barbara Darrow, a SearchSystemsChannel contributor who wonders if Microsoft’s 2008 release date is more “marketing ploy than true launch.”

Perhaps Microsoft has ironed out Vista wrinkles (security problems, confusing interface) with Windows Server 2008. What do you think? We’d love to hear from you!


July 13, 2007  10:51 AM

Oracle: Database 11g not very important for resellers

Posted by: YuvalShavit
Data storage management, Direct reseller channel conflict, News, Systems and systems management

Oracle unveiled the latest version of its enterprise-edition database yesterday, but the product isn’t likely to be huge news for most resellers and system integrators, according to the company’s president.

At a press conference following the Oracle Database 11g release in New York yesterday, Oracle’s president Charles Phillips fielded a question about channel partners’ roles in selling the Oracle enterprise database.

“The way it works is today the channel, at least for the [high-volume] distributors, [is] mainly focused on SE1 [Standard Edition One] and SE. Because of the packaging and the pricing for that market, that’s appropriate,” Phillips said. “There’s nothing prohibiting them from selling the high-end product, it’s just not their natural space.”

Phillips added that about 90% of sales for the Standard Edition and Standard Edition One product lines go through the channel. Those lines of software are prepackaged and stripped-down versions of Oracle’s customers geared for the lower end of the SMB market. Oracle launched a new partner program for those SMB products last month which allows resellers to sell them without formally enrolling in the company’s partner program.

July 13, 2007  6:59 AM

Channel news: MSFT update fubars PCs; EMC, Oracle integration pact

Posted by: Brein Matturro

MS update sends PCs ‘haywire’ .NET patch trips up systems. [TheReg]

EMC and Oracle buckle up for joint integration ride Relationship hots up [TheReg]

Unorthodox ISPs jump on storage SaaS trend As hosted storage gets hot, an insurance broker and an ISP are among the businesses now trying to attract new clients by offering storage software as a service. []

Mobility could hold the key to broader UC adoption Unified communications (UC) and unified messaging are on the verge of launching a mobile platform. Learn more about mobile UC from Yankee Group’s Zeus Kerravala.[]

ERP market strong through 2011, SaaS products gain share Globalization and the midmarket will drive strong growth in the ERP software market through 2011, according to AMR Research. SaaS products will also become more popular.[]

Research downplays personal info threat Almost every lesson on Internet safety warns against posting personal information such as phone numbers and school names. Researchers are now suggesting, though, that such advice, however well-intentioned, doesn’t necessarily make children safer from predators and related threats. [AP]

Military files left unprotected online Detailed schematics of a military detainee holding facility in southern Iraq. Geographical surveys and aerial photographs of two military airfields outside Baghdad. Plans for a new fuel farm at Bagram Air Base in
Afghanistan. [AP]

Microsoft pushes Office 2007 with ‘try-before-you-buy’ Limited use, certain risk [TheReg]

Tim Lister on project sluts and strawmen Tim Lister, principal of Atlantic Systems Guild and co-author of ‘Waltzing with Bears: Managing Software Project Risk,’ and ‘Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams’ talks about the patterns that help determine software success or failure. Patterns good and bad include project sluts, Brownian motion, the strawman, and the safety valve.” [Business of Software]

U.S. and Japan keep IT thriving  The United States, Japan and the UK are tops at supporting a flourishing IT sector, according to a recent report. [eWEEK]

Olympic planners left IT out of the budget D’oh. [TheReg]

Microsoft announces new technical, sales, marketing and financing resources for partnersMicrosoft promotes operational excellence across the Microsoft Partner ecosystem. [Microsoft]

July 12, 2007  12:19 PM

Fun Facts From Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 07

Posted by: badarrow
Barbara Darrow, Channel, Microsoft, News

*** Best Nickname: One hotel for press and analysts combined the interior look of a war zone with the façade of a parking structure. Press wags not-so-affectionately dubbed it the Baghdad Hilton.

*** Best Stealth Fact: Designated Microsoft spokespeople refused to provide price on the new embeddable version of BizTalk Server (R2). A panelist was not so reticent: The list price: $500.

*** Best Bamboozle: The setup: Microsoft COO Kevin Turner talked up a three-way simultaneous launch next February of Longhorn/Katmai/Orcas (that’s Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 to those who stand on formalities.) The bamboozle: At least one third of the three products won’t ship at launch time—SQL Server is on for second quarter 08 general availability. Continued »

July 12, 2007  12:06 PM

Gov’t data breaches in the news … again

Posted by: Bcournoyer
Network and application security

Two news items today show, once again, that the problem of data breaches in government isn’t going away any time soon.

First, the Associated Press reports the U.S. military has posted sensitive information — including schematics of a detainee holding cell in Baghdad and plans for a new fuel farm in Afghanistan — on its servers, where anyone on the Internet can access it. The AP raises the concern that foreign intelligence agencies and terrorists could use the information to find security vulnerabilities or attack troops.

Closer to home, in Ohio, the governor said yesterday that a computer storage device stolen from an intern’s unlocked car last month contained the names and Social Security Numbers of 859,800 taxpayers — more than twice as many as previously reported.

Both stories reinforce the point that human error and the lack of clear data-protection policies contribute to government data breaches as much as, if not more than, technological deficiencies. And it’s incidents like these that will drive the federal government alone to increase its IT security spending from $6 billion this year to $7.4 billion by 2012, according to Input, a government analyst firm.

In the story, “Government security breaches bring work to channel,” analysts and systems integrators talk about the products and services the channel can provide to address the government’s security concerns. And “Data theft creates a rich product, service market for security VARs” shows how to address the similar concerns of private-sector clients.

July 12, 2007  7:22 AM

Channel news: Unprotected military info.; IBM’s new Unix server

Posted by: Bcournoyer

Military files left unprotected online The military calls it “need-to-know” information that would pose a direct threat to U.S. troops if it were to fall into the hands of terrorists. It’s material so sensitive that officials refused to release the documents when asked. But it’s already out there, posted carelessly to file servers by government agencies and contractors, accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. [Associated Press]

IBM looks to one-up HP and Sun with virtualization features on Unix An upgrade to IBM’s Unix server operating system enhances security and virtualization capabilities, while providing continuous application availability even during planned downtimes. AIX 6, announced Thursday, is the first version of AIX to be released in a public beta, a move IBM says demonstrates its desire to win customers away from competitors HP and Sun. [Network World]

EMC storage gear getting major upgrades EMC on Monday is expected to announce enhancements to its major storage systems that will include higher capacities, greater energy efficiency, and additional security and availability features. During a Webcast on Monday, the company is expected to introduce a high-end Symmetrix DMX-4 storage system, and enhancements to its mid-range Clariion array, its Celerra network-attached storage (NAS) box and its content-addressable Centera storage system. [Network World]

Ohio: Stolen device contains 859,800 IDs A stolen computer storage device contained more than twice the number of taxpayers’ identifications than had been previously reported, Gov. Ted Strickland said Wednesday, but he emphasized there is still no indication the data have been compromised. The names and Social Security numbers of 561,126 people who had not cashed state income refund checks were on the device, as well as 14,874 people who did business with the state, according to an ongoing review of the information it held. [Associated Press]

Microsoft’s ‘Cloud OS’ takes shape Microsoft is in the early stages of a plan that will see virtually its entire lineup of underlying Internet services opened up to developers. [CNET]

Israeli security firm reports huge spike in PDF spam Israeli security firm Commtouch Software Ltd. is warning of a massive surge in Portable Document Format spam over the past 24 hours. According to estimates by the company, about 10% to 15% of all spam over the past day or so has been in the form of PDF messages. [Computerworld]

Study: U.S., Japan have best IT environments The U.S. and Japan have the top national environments for their IT industries to grow and flourish, including intellectual property protections and IT infrastructure, according to a study released by the Business Software Alliance (BSA). [Computerworld]

GlassHouse Technologies acquires RapidApp Storage consultant GlassHouse Technologies announced July 11 that it will acquire RapidApp, a Chicago-based company that provides infrastructure services and support for enterprise and midmarket companies. [eWeek]

Lenovo quietly selling Linux-compatible laptops Lenovo seems to have a love/hate relationship with Linux. Last year, it began offering its high-end T60p ThinkPad laptop with SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) 10. This year, the company is releasing its newest high-end laptop, the T61p ThinkPad, and once more, while it runs desktop Linux, the company isn’t overly eager to let the world know about it. [eWeek]

July 11, 2007  2:34 PM

IBM expands sales and marketing services for SMB partners

Posted by: YuvalShavit
Channel partner programs, IBM, Reseller channel business development, SMB

IBM announced today a set of new sales and marketing resources for its small and midsized business (SMB) partners, including systems integrators, to help those partners push more products and services based on IBM’s platforms. While most of those partners are independent software vendors (ISVs), SIs will also be able to use the services, said IBM’s vice president of strategy for ISV & developer relations Chris Wong.

Members of IBM’s PartnerWorld — the company’s formal partner program for VARs, SIs and ISVs — will have access to “marketing resource managers” who will try to understand each partner’s specific needs and formulate a sales, marketing and lead-generation plan with that partner, Wong said.

Many of IBM’s SMB partners “don’t really do a lot of marketing — or, if they do do a lot of marketing, they don’t really have a lot of resources, skills to do that,” he said.

The company is also working to connect more SIs and ISVs with one another, he said, including a series of Second Life meetings that started this year.

IBM also announced today a new Innovation Center in Dublin, Ireland, and plans for four additional centers in Europe. Innovation Centers are locations where PartnerWorld members — mostly ISVs — can get access to IBM hardware, software and technicians. The five European centers announced today would bring the total number of centers to 38 world-wide.

July 11, 2007  2:25 PM

A new approach to biometrics

Posted by: Bcournoyer
Channel partner programs, Network and application security

When you think of biometrics, you probably think of a costly, privacy-concern-raising appliance that scans fingerprints at the entrance to a building.

But Privaris, a Fairfax, Va.-based vendor, is taking a new approach to the much-hyped — but so far underwhelming — technology, with hopes of changing that perception. The company’s universal biometric device, called plusID, doesn’t require any major infrastructure changes or appliance installations, CEO John Petze said. Instead, the device works with existing security systems to control physical access to buildings and user access to computers and networks.

Here’s how plusID works, as described by Petze: The device, a handheld token, features a fingerprint sensor. When you get to work in the morning, for example, you put your finger up to your device. When a match is confirmed, it releases a signal in the same way that a traditional access card would, unlocking the door to your building. (Privaris has an agreement with leading card maker HID Corp., so plusID is compatible with its systems.) Then, when you get to your computer, you attach your device with a USB cable and scan your fingerprint again. When it matches, you are logged into the system without having to enter a password — or remember one, for that matter.

plusID also includes the technology to be used as a next-generation contact-free credit card, but Privaris does not yet have an agreement with a credit card company, Petze said.

Privaris will begin deploying plusID next week and has about 25 channel partners already lined up. Even in cases where Privaris sells direct, partners will have opportunities to integrate plusID into customers’ existing identity management systems, Petze said. It can also help value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators (SIs) looking to ease their way into the physical security market, he said.

The device’s biggest selling points are that nobody else can use it if you lose it, there is no central database that stores everyone’s fingerprints and it costs less to deploy than a traditional biometric security system.

“It’s not screwing some big black box beside the door,” Petze said. “That has a lot of issues associated with it.”

But he acknowledges that selling plusID won’t be easy.

“The most rewarding and frustrating comment we get is, ‘Wow, I never imagined you could use biometrics this way,’” he said. “It’s a huge part of our challenge.”

July 11, 2007  12:23 PM

CRM Live a partner play? Kind of.

Posted by: badarrow
Barbara Darrow, Channel, Channel partner programs, Microsoft, News

To be clear: When Microsoft says CRM Live will be totally partner inclusive, it really means partners will be an absolutely required part of the sale only during the ramp-up stage.

Till the end of the year, customers wanting to try the nascent Microsoft-hosted service must work with a Microsoft certified partner to come aboard. And partners will get a 10% referral fee now and in the future for customers they land.

After the final version of the service goes live early next year, however, CRM Live will also be available directly from Microsoft, company execs said late Tuesday.

Continued »

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