Enterprise Briefs

Set-top digital cable boxes from Motorola Inc. will include Nortel Networks Corp. technology for making inexpensive Internet phone calls, once the fruit of a collaborative agreement between the two companies announced recently hits the market.

The two companies hope that by working together to ensure Motorola cable boxes in customers’ homes can operate efficiently with Nortel phone equipment in cable company facilities, they will make it less expensive for cable companies to offer new digital phone services like VoIP, said Ann Fuller, a Nortel spokeswoman. “Today a cable company would have to pretest them,” she said. By working in advance to do testing, it will be “much faster for cable companies to deploy a VoIP network, and faster to deploy new services,” she said. The non-exclusive deal includes coordinated sales and support for VoIP products from both companies, as well as network planning, design, and implementation services for potential cable customers.

Sun boosts storage

Sun Microsystems Inc. rolled out several hardware storage systems and new storage management software recently, which signals its intent to manage and support multi-vendor storage.

The company announced a sweeping storage management plan and its intent to ship two mid-range storage arrays. The storage management software will monitor and manage other vendors’ storage arrays and focus on four areas: availability, performance, utilization and resource management. The new arrays are the midrange Sun StorEdge 3900 and 6900. The 3900 is geared toward clustering and high-performance computing applications. The 6900 is designed to consolidate servers and virtualize storage. The software, built on Sun’s Storage ONE architecture, will include the StorEdge Availability Suite, software that allows the contents of a storage array to be mirrored remotely or copied at any point in time to a local or remote array for disaster recovery.

IBM deals up a card-size computer

IBM Corp. Research has come out with a computer the size of a stack of index cards, according to the company.

The computer, which has an 800-MHz processor and 128MB synchronous dynamic RAM, is 3 inches wide by 5 inches long and three-quarters of an inch thick. It also comes with a 10GB hard disk drive and a 3D graphics chip with 8MB of RAM. IBM said it has no plans to market the device and is referring to it as a “radical experiment.” The company said it built the device, known as the Meta Pad, “to research and develop technologies that will go into and help manage future computing devices.” IBM may license the Meta Pad technologies to other companies, however.