Sun Microsystems Inc. this month will announce a new version of its Sun LX50 server that will ship with software packages designed to let users make the system work like a server appliance. The Sun LX50 server was released in August as Sun’s first general-purpose server to run both the Linux and Solaris operating systems. Sun billed the system as a more open extension of its Cobalt line of server appliances that have relatively fixed functions. However, Sun now appears close to marrying its general-purpose server to the concept of its appliance line. Sun said the systems would include Sun’s own middleware applications.

Nokia, HP attack remote management

Nokia Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. have joined forces to create a package for remote asset management over wireless links, the companies said last week. The package combines the Nokia M2M Platform, a machine-to-machine communication product, and HP’s OpenView management software on an HP-UX or HP ProLiant server. The package is targeted at companies that want to integrate management of remote assets into their IT infrastructure. Those assets could include utility meters, vending machines, forestry equipment or cars, HP and Nokia said. The companies did not say when the product will ship or what it will cost.

Faster fibre travel

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has developed a new semiconductor optical modulator which can double the distance over which data can travel within optical fibre metropolitan or backbone networks at 40Gbps, the company said last month. Existing modulators can send data signals for around 20 km at 40Gbps. The new modulator can extend that distance to more than 40 km, which is far enough to cover metropolitan network areas, Mitsubishi said. The semiconductor optical modulator is expected to be sample-shipped in November at US$1,600 and a version packaged into a module is to be shipped in December at US$6,400, the company said.