To Save and To Protect

Lost assets can cost big bucks, and the cost of the physical hardware is only part of the story. The intellectual property and personal information to which those machines have access is virtually priceless. Repercussions from losing those types of assets quickly outstrip the cost of computers.

Vector Networks has blended its asset management technology with RFID technology. RFID, or radio frequency identification, has started to take hold of keeping track of wandering pets, peripatetic kids and now grocery items (Wal-Mart has famously declared its intent to use RFID chips for product tracking). For tracking IT assets, it makes perfect sense.

Vector's Asset Management Professional now uses RFID technology not only to determine the physical location of an asset, but also to trigger an alert when an unauthorized user picks up a laptop or if someone tries to tamper with or remove the RFID chip. Stay tuned for news of upcoming deals Vector has in the works to help organizations use RFID to keep track of their machines.

Virtual Protection
What do you do with all those applications and all that data running on virtual machines (VMs)? Just because you're using the awesome power of virtualization doesn't mean you should be skating on thin ice when it comes to data protection and availability.

SteelEye Technology's LifeKeeper Protection Suite for Windows now supports 64-bit platforms, which helps it manage applications running within VMware ESX Server or Microsoft Virtual Server VMs. Now you can consolidate your servers and still have the same sort of safety net for your data and applications you'd have on a physical machine.

Go Back in Time
That's exactly what you want to do after a data-destroying disaster. And now you can.

DataCore Software has a new continuous data-protection product called Traveller, which protects your data by letting you roll back to a previous time prior to a virus attack, power outage or some other disaster.

Traveller uses high-availability data mirroring and storage virtualization to restore data to a known, "good" state prior to disaster. It's a potentially smoother approach than data snapshots, which can leave gaps between recovery points. Traveller chugs away transparently in the background without affecting any applications or other operations, just waiting for Godzilla to crush your data center.

Speak Up
Argent Software has teamed up with Vocabra to add voice alerts to Argent's monitoring and alerting suite. Vocabra's Voice Alert Portal will give Argent users the option of receiving interactive voice alerts.

Argent Extended Technologies already sends alerts via e-mail, text message, pager and to the Argent Console. With the Vocabra integration, those alerts can now come through a natural language interface. When you get a call from your network, you acknowledge the alert and accept responsibility for managing the alert condition.

Pretty cool stuff, but I have to wonder where the voice comes from. Would you really want a voice that sounds like a cantankerous New York cab driver bellowing at you, "Hey pal, you're runnin' outta bandwidth here!"

Burning the Midnight Oil
Microsoft is certainly keeping busy these days with the imminent release of Vista and Office 2007 (a release celebration for the latter is planned for Nov. 30 in New York). Besides the rock-star level products like Vista and Office, it's also busy putting the wraps on Exchange and working on a whole other wave of technologies coming in 2007.

That next wave includes the long-delayed "Longhorn" (apparently now in the pre-beta stage) Windows Server, updates to its virtualization products, Windows Small Business Server (code-named "Cougar"), Windows Server for midsized businesses (code-named "Centro"), Windows Storage Server, Windows Server 2003 R2 Service Pack 2 and Certificate Lifecycle Manager. It will be another busy year for those who use -- and observe -- Microsoft technology.

About the Author

Lafe Low is the editorial liaison for ECG Events.

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