Live from TechMentor!: Notes from the Exhibit Floor

There's a sea of vendors on the joint exhibit floor here at the TechMentor and VS Live! conferences. On the IT side, I caught demos from KACE, Barracuda and Ipswitch.

Quest KACE creates the KBOX series of security appliances, a slick-looking blade-like unit. The company just released its KBOX systems Management 1200 and Systems Deployment 2200 appliances aimed at the medium-size business market. KACE has beefed up security by partnering up with Lumension Security to give the boxes some automated patching and recovery capabilities.

Barracuda has been honing its enterprise-class spam killer appliances. The company says it blocks about 95 percent of the 1 billion-plus spam messages squishing through its boxes every day. The company also has tools for filtering Web site and IM applications, as well as a nifty message archiving box, which I didn't have time to learn about, but will look into further.

Finally, Ipswitch's booth got some good foot traffic due to its oddly named WhatsUp Gold. Version 11 is like Microsoft's NetMon on steroids, with a nifty GUI for discovering every manner of IP-based network devices, monitoring of SNMP and WMI, constant monitoring of state changes across the network, and comprehensive trending and reporting of network devices and information. The newest version, which was released earlier this year, supports IPv4 and IPv6, and the addition of new reporting tools.

Several development-focused exhibitors were on the floor as well. At the Sparx Systems booth, talk of OOP and data modeling brought me back a decade, when I used to write for a programming magazine. The company's Enterprise Architect UML 2.1 is the latest, and reminds me of Visio on overdrive, with the ability to provide software project models fully compliant with the unified modeling language.

EA UML 2.1 provides support for all UML 2.0 diagrams that can be tapped into Visual Studio .NET for immediate code generation, as well as source code control and version control support. Find out more at

Also making an appearance was Apress, with a few new software developer titles from VSLive! speakers like Deborah Kurata (Best Kept Secrets in .NET, Doing Web Development: Client-Side Techniques) and Rocky Lhotka (Expert VB 2005 Business Objects, Expert C# 2005 Business Objects).

RIM demo'd apps on the BlackBerry, and Schneider Electric's U.S. recruiter was on the lookout for good developers. Need a job? Find out more here.

This conference was a case of too many vendors, not enough time.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.


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