Two storage groups have announced a merged effort to allow next-generation Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drives to collaborate with Serial ATA (SATA) drives. The SCSI Trade Association and the Serial ATA Working Group at the Server I/O conference in Monterey, Calif. last month said they would team up to allow SAS interface technology to use SATA drives. SAS is slated to replace parallel SCSI, the drive interconnect used in today’s servers. SAS products will start to appear in 2004, vendors say. Analysts predict SAS might act as an alternative to Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs) in price-sensitive situations.

Cisco partners with Lucent

As expected, Lucent Technologies Inc. last month announced plans to resell Cisco Systems Inc. routers to mobile carriers. Under the three-year arrangement, Lucent will resell Cisco’s Packet Data Serving Node for CDMA access to the Internet, the Gateway GPRS Support Node for GSM-based voice and data services, as well as the MGX8000 Media Gateway and ATM aggregation products, which support voice over IP and voice over ATM service. Lucent also will provide deployment, engineering and support services for the Cisco products. Lucent, the Murray Hill, N.J.-based equipment maker, announced plans to establish partnerships in IP/MPLS after killing its MPLS core switch, the TMX 880 last year.

Alliance completes 802.11a tests

The Wi-Fi Alliance last month unveiled the first list of products built for the 802.11a standard that have passed interoperability tests, designed to ensure network interface cards and access points from disparate vendors work seamlessly. The Alliance also said it has kicked off tests for devices using an early version of the 802.11g standard, which offers the reach of 802.11b and the speed of 802.11a, 54Mbps. The group expects to begin certifying 802.11g products in June or August, depending on when the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) approves the standard. For more information, see the “Wi-Fi certified products” list at the Wi-Fi Alliance’s Web site,

Feds aid Dalhousie

Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC)last month awarded funding to Halifax-based Dalhousie University for an e-learning project called HealthInfoRx: Lifelong Learning of Chronic Disease Patients and Health Care Providers. The university will receive US$200,000 to develop a prototype for an Internet Web portal – HealthInfoRx- for use by inflammatory bowel disease patients.