Channel Marker


May 14, 2007  2:41 PM

Security vendors ally to build open-source NAC client

Bcournoyer Brendan Cournoyer Profile: Bcournoyer

Six vendors are joining forces to develop an open source client for 802.1x authentication process. Called a supplicant, the lightweight application is designed to reside on non-PC devices such as PDAs, MP3 players, storage devices and other hardware that’s easy to connect to a network, but hard for a security system to authenticate.

An 802.1x supplicant authenticates a network device before it receives an IP address, which helps prevent unauthorized machines from launching attacks. Most businesses do not use any authentication now, said Brian Smith, TippingPoint’s chief architect.

Symantec, TippingPoint, Trapeze Networks, Extreme Networks, Identity Engines and Infoblox announced today that they have formed the Open Secure Edge Access Alliance. Founder Jon Oltsik, a senior analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group, and other group members say their product will help spread 802.1x technology and make their customers safer.

Microsoft built support for 802.1x authentication into Windows XP, but machines that run other operating systems must rely on third-party supplicants, usually sold by Cisco and Juniper. And the vendors in the OpenSEA Alliance view those two companies as competitors.

“It would be weird for someone like TippingPoint to go to Cisco and say, ‘Can we resell your supplicant?’” Smith said.

The alliance’s open source supplicant will allow its member vendors to provide their own solutions, Smith said. He also believes that the backing of six vendors will help some customers get over their reluctance to use open source security products.

There is no timeline for when the supplicant will be available, but the OpenSEA Alliance plans to make a demo available at Interop Las Vegas later this month, Oltsik said.

We’ll have a full story tomorrow, with more information on the alliance and how its supplicant will affect the channel.

May 14, 2007  7:08 AM

Channel news: Microsoft accuses open-source of 235 patent violations

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Microsoft puts a figure on open source ‘patent infringements’ Microsoft’s top lawyer says open source software violates exactly 235 entries in the firm’s vast patent portfolio. General counsel Brad Smith released the figure to Fortune as part of Microsoft’s long-running campaign to seed doubts over the legality of Linux and other open source efforts. [TheReg]

Microsoft unveils hardware for Web phone push Microsoft Corp. introduced on Sunday phones, headsets and other devices to work with its software that aim to replace the traditional office phone and deliver e-mails, instant messages and phone calls over the Internet. [Reuters]

Death of disk-drive business unfounded: Barron’s Reports of the disk-drive business’ demise have been greatly exaggerated, according to a report in Barron’s. [eWEEK]

U.S. rep. sounds IT wake-up call Tennessee Congressman Bart Gordon demands more reliable data on the effects of offshoring on the tech work force, and urges science and technology workers to acquire skills that will differentiate them from foreign competitors. [eWEEK]

SanDisk and Microsoft BFFs around software-stuffed memory Microsoft and SanDisk have inked a deal to create USB flash drives and memory cards with built-in software and user preferences to replace SanDisk’s existing U3 Cruzer line. [TheReg]

A nod to journalistic integrity is seen in an editor’s return The International Data Group removed the chief executive of its largest-circulation computer magazine, PC World, and reinstated its top editor. [NYT]

Pirate Bay plundered by hackers Bloggy data pillage. [TheReg]


May 11, 2007  6:44 AM

Channel news: AMD lays off 430; IT hiring picture dims

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

AMD lays off 430 amid heavy losses It’s been a rough start to the year for Advanced Micro Devices, and now 430 former employees are looking for work. [CNET]

Report: Supply of IT pros down, though demand is up According to a new report, demand for IT employment is high, but the supply of workers is lacking, and one of the reasons listed is that “tech just ain’t cool.” [eWEEK]

Risk management: Think policy first, technology second Auditor on your tail? Gartner analysts have six hot technologies that’ll impress the inspector — but with one caveat: Have good policies in place before you buy. [SearchCIO.com] Continued »


May 10, 2007  2:38 PM

Red Hat’s vision of the desktop Linux

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

SAN DIEGO – With interest in desktop Linux at a bit of an uptick in recent weeks — not least because of Dell’s announcement that it will ship laptops and desktops with Ubuntu — Red Hat shed a bit of light yesterday on the role it sees for Linux beyond the server.

Or rather, visions; the messages from Red Hat yesterday were split between short-term pushes in developing countries and a long-term vision in areas, such as North America, where personal computing is already the norm.

In developing countries, the company is working with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project to provide cheap laptops, running an easy-to-use, Linux-based system, to children in developing nations. Meanwhile, the company announced yesterday the Red Hat Global Desktop, a slightly stripped-down version of its Enterprise Linux which Intel-based systems builders in developing nations will be able to pre-install on desktops.

In developed areas, Red Hat has little interest in competing against Microsoft head-to-head with a “Windows clone,” said Red Hat’s CEO Matthew Szulik. But the company’s chief technology officer, Brian Stevens, outlined a vision for an online desktop predicated around integrating various Web-based applications, such as Salesforce.com and MySpace.

Yuval Shavit


May 10, 2007  9:46 AM

A sales pitch homerun

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Network consultant firm Evolve Technologies is swinging for the fences with a creative and original sales event. Teaming up with Microsoft, Global Wireless Data and Palm, the networking reseller is taking small business owners to the ballpark.

Sitting in the stands at RFK Stadium on May 17, watching the Nationals-Braves game, participants will reportedly use provided mobile networking tools to play “General Manager for a day”. Evolve’s event organizers hope that this firsthand experience will succeed in proving to their customers’ the usefulness and viability of mobile technology.

Consultants, value-added resellers and sales engineers who are struggling to drive interest in their respective technologies, and even those who aren’t, should take a page from Evolve’s book. Getting up and selling to the customer’s CFO with charts, graphs and a practiced sales pitch is all well and good. But, as Bruce Campbell will tell you in his Old Spice commercial, nothing beats experience where the customer feels the need and then sees how your technology or strategy fills that need.

~Eric Pierce


May 10, 2007  7:00 AM

Channel news: NEC pushes SAN scale; VMWare makes Vista virtual; Microsoft releases net monitor

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

NEC pushes the bar on nondisruptive SAN scalability With the launch of its D-Series storage systems, NEC is challenging the incumbent players on nondisruptive SAN scalability. [SearchStorage.com]

VMware’s latest virtualization software supports Vista The company adds new features to the latest version of its Workstation virtualization software, including support for multiple monitors and USB 2.0 devices. [eWEEK]

Microsoft releases beta for network monitor A beta of Microsoft’s latest network traffic monitor is available for download. Windows Vista support and improved wireless tracking are among the new features.[SearchWinIT.com] Continued »


May 9, 2007  3:16 PM

Red Hat to develop cheap Linux for developing nations, U.S. market

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Red Hat announced today that it will be releasing a desktop Linux distribution, named Global Desktop that is designed for small businesses and local governments in developing nations.

The announcement was one of several it made at the Red Hat Summit conference, which started today in San Diego, including a partnership with IBM under which Red Hat Linux will run on System Z mainframes.

Red Hat also announced a partnership with Intel Corp. under which Red Hat would develop systems-management software that would allow customers to create “virtual appliances” to add security or manageability to networks with systems running Intel vPro processors — which are designed to provide security functions such as remote systems monitoring and reboot that are built into the chips on a PC rather than in software that runs on top of the OS.

The more egalitarian Global Desktop will be distributed exclusively through whitebox OEM systems builders using Intel chips. It is essentially a slightly stripped-down variant of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Desktop with most applications, such as developer tools, removed, said Scott Crenshaw, vice president of Red Hat’s enterprise Linux platform business.

The operating system would also have a shorter support life span — two years, as opposed to the seven years for RHEL Desktop. Primary support for systems sold with Global Desktop would go to the system builders, which would then be able to escalate to Intel and Red Hat as needed. Red Hat declined to say how much Global Desktop would cost to systems builders.

Global Desktop will not be available in the U.S. when it rolls out in June, but Crenshaw said it is “very likely” to be expanded later.


May 9, 2007  6:42 AM

Channel news: Microsoft patches DNS, zero-day; VMWare workstation shows VM future

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Microsoft issues critical updates, patches DNS zero-day flaw Microsoft issued patches to plug 19 holes, including a critical zero-day DNS Server Service flaw as part of its monthly Patch Tuesday bulletin. [SearchSecurity.com]

VMware Workstation 6 foreshadows future VMware ESX releases New features in VMware Workstation 6, announced today, will eventually find their way in to the company’s server-focused ESX hypervisor.[SearchServerVirtualization.com]

Hewlett-Packard says quarterly results will top forecast The announcement pushed the company’s stock to its highest point in more than six years. [NYT]

CIOs struggle with open source governance, cite lack of toolsOpen source software is running amuck because IT managers can’t find the right tool to get their heads around the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of downloads within their networks.[SearchSMB.com] Continued »


May 8, 2007  4:04 PM

Dell and Ubuntu: how important is it?

Yuval Shavit Profile: YuvalShavit

Last week’s announcement that Dell will ship laptops and desktops with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed may hint that the days of desktop Linux are finally coming closer, but some Linux consultants said those days are still off in the distance.

“It’s hard to tell, but I think [Linux market share would be] be comparable with Max OS X; so maybe in the 10% market at first and then moving up as people see the benefit of it,” said Jeremy C. Reed, owner of Puget Sound Technology, a Linux and open-source consultancy in Washington.

Linux’s reputation could get a boost with Dell backing it, Reed said. On the other hand, this wouldn’t be the first time that it looked like Linux is on the cusp of breaking into the mainstream, and Reed predicted the future holds “more of the same” — slow and steady acceptance, but not a huge jump thanks to Dell.

Meanwhile, Red Hat has responded to the Dell-Ubuntu announcement saying the deal could boost open source applications as a whole — and that it would be releasing some desktop-related news at the Red Hat Summit, which starts tomorrow in San Diego.

Yuval Shavit, news writer


May 8, 2007  7:34 AM

Channel news: Sun plans Java for cellphones; Sun beeft up NetBeans

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

Sun plans version of Java for Web-linked cellphones Sun Microsystems will revamp its Java software to compete more effectively in the market for Internet-connected mobile phones. [NYT]

Sun beefs up NetBeans New features of the Sun NetBeans open-source IDE include support for Ruby on the JVM as well as new service and support options. [eWEEK]

Microsoft exec ‘surprised’ by interest in virtual desktop infrastructure  Microsoft’s virtualization guru, Mike Neil, is surprised by IT managers’ eagerness to move to virtual desktops, and thinks most companies should hold off a bit.
[SearchServerVirtualization.com] Continued »


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