Product hits

Toshiba plans new microSD, SDHC cards

Toshiba Corp. will later this year put on sale new microSD and SDHC memory cards, the company has announced. The microSD cards will be available in 256Mb, 512Mb and 1Gb capacities. MicroSD is the smallest commercial memory card format and as such is finding favor with makers of cell phones and other portable devices where space is a premium. The SDHC cards correspond to the new SD Memory Card version 2 specification, which allows a faster data transfer rate, and extends the maximum possible capacity of a card from 2Gb to 32Gb. The SDHC card can only be used with devices that support the version 2 format.

Availability: MicroSD cards in July and August, first SDHC card in September

Pricing: Not released URL:

Entrust updates identity offering

Entrust’s multi-factor authentication platform, IdentityGuard 8.1, has expanded its Microsoft desktop security support beyond token-based authentication to include options like 802.x wireless, RAS and IP-SEC. The update also builds on its support for Linux by adding support for Windows 2003, Solaris 9 and 10, BEA WebLogic and IBM WebSphere. The company said a range of authentication options give organizations more deployment flexibility, and the ability to tailor authentication levels to the risk associated with different users and their environments.

Availability: Available now URL:

Oracle hasn’t forgotten PeopleSoft

Oracle has released version 9 of its PeopleSoft Enterprise application suite, an upgrade the company said will prepare customers to move toward a service-oriented architecture (SOA). The new release is integrated with Oracle’s Fusion Middleware, a portfolio of server software that allows applications from different vendors to interoperate. Oracle said the version 9 release adds features related to corporate governance and compliance, CRM improvements for customer service agents and enterprise-level planning. The company also expanded capabilities for areas such as the public sector, health care, financial services, communications and higher education.

Availability: Available now URL:

Managing employee performance

Ottawa’s Halogen Software has released version 7.1 of Halogen Employee Performance Management Suite, its Web-based employee performance management offering. The suite includes enhanced versions of Halogen eAppraisal and eAppraisal Healthcare, and the company has added Halogen On-Target Goal Management to track individual employee and department goals, as well as dashboard analytics to visually represent key performance indicators and Web-services tools for integration with other HR applications.

Availability: Available now URL:

This Dell is ultraportable

Dell has debuted the LatitudeD420. Weighing in at three pounds, it’s the company’s latest entry in the ultraportable notebook space. The notebook offers seven-plus hours of battery life as well as biometric security, and connects to an optional MediaBase to an optical drive. The D420 features a 12.1-inch wide-aspect display, full-sized keyboard and dual pointing capability, and users can choose Wi-Fi 802.11g or 802.11a/g. It’s also 802.11n-ready and features Wi-Fi Catcher, a switch that can help find wireless connections without turning on or booting up the computer. Three USB ports, an IEEE 1394 port and an SD card slot are also integrated. The base processor is Intel’s Core Solo, and dual-core configurations will be available later in the summer.

Availability: Available now Pricing: Starts at $1,699 URL:

ClearCube challenges HP with new PC blades

ClearCube Technology has launched two PC blade servers in a bid to compete with Hewlett-Packard for customers in finance, insurance, hospitals and the military. Both blades use Intel chips and have enough power to run Microsoft’s pending Vista operating system, which has large processing requirements to support the translucent windows in its graphical interface. The R1300 blade uses a dual-core Pentium 4 chip, while the R2200 uses a pair of Xeon chips based on Intel’s Irwindale design. ClearCube plans to upgrade the R2200 to Intel’s 65-nanometer Woodcrest design by the fourth quarter. Both the R1300 and R2200 are backward compatible with previous ClearCube products, so they will work with infrastructure including the chassis around the blade, the backside connector modules and the user ports on desktops. That continuity of design also makes it easier to reallocate older resources to employees with less compute-intensive jobs, in a “waterfall” effect.

Availability: Available now Pricing: Starting at US$1,799 URL:

Novell updates GroupWise line

Novell has announced the availability of Novell GroupWise 7 Service Pack 1, with improved support for mobile devices. Improvements to SP1 include Mac Intel support, support for shared contacts in the Microsoft Outlook connector, and GroupWise Messenger support for Internet Protocol. The company said the update also provides the foundation for deploying GroupWise Mobile Server, which securely synchronizes e-mail, appointments, contacts, tasks and notes between GroupWise and mobile devices running on numerous Operating systems, including Palm OS, Symbian, and Windows Mobile.

Availability: Available now Pricing: Free download for customers with current maintenance or upgrade protection URL:

Ascalade expands VoIP phone line

Richmond, B.C.-based Ascalade Communications has made an addition to its Companion line of VoIP phones. The company said its new Companion Simple VoIP phone is its first to feature the company’s new ClearAudio technology, which it said delivers high-quality digital sound by combining wideband audio, which supports a broader range of sound frequencies and a higher voice sampling rate, with Ascalade’s acoustic expertise in telephone design. The Companion Simple is Ascalade’s entry-level device and is fully integrated with Skype.

Availability: Available now URL:

Oki printers designed for workgroups

Oki Data Americas said its new C6100 Series digital colour printers are designed to deliver affordable colour printing in a compact device to the enterprise market. The printers employ Oki’s “HD (high-definition) Colour” technology, which the company said uses new microfine toner and multilevel LED heads for greater performance at lower cost, estimated at 9.6 cents per page for colour and 1.5 cents for black and white. The printers deliver 26 pages per minute colour and 32 black and white, and security-wise include several features to protect confidential data, such as a job accounting utility to restrict colour printing to specific users and track costs on a per-job basis.

Availability: Available now Pricing: Starts at $999 URL:

Cisco upgrades InfiniBand switches

Cisco Systems has revised its SFS 7000D InfiniBand switches, doubling their speed to 20Gbps and adding a management interface compatible with its IOS-based Ethernet and Fibre Channel switches. The company claimed that this means anyone familiar with one of the three network types can manage the other two as well. The change recognizes that “data centre fabrics” will inevitably incorporate more than just Ethernet, said Cisco. The move to 20Gbps InfiniBand means that Cisco has caught up with rivals such as Mellanox, SilverStorm and Voltaire. Other InfiniBand developers are already working on 40Gbps quad data rate, however.

Availability: Available now URL:

NetApp targets SMBs with multiprotocol array

In a stark downstream shift, Network Appliance has announced a multiprotocol array that’s aimed at businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees. The StoreVault S500 storage array supports network-attached storage and iSCSI now, and it will support Fibre Channel by the fall. The array, which scales to 6Tb capacity, represents the first time that NetApp has addressed the SMB market with a multiprotocol product. The array also includes features that make it easier to use, such as supporting hot-swappable power supplies and fans. The box also sports double parity RAID, or RAID 6, which allows for two drives to fail without losing data striped across the other drives.

Availability: Available now Pricing: Starts at US$5,000 for 1Tb of capacity


VoIP on the go

Vonage Canada has launched the Vonage V-Phone. It’s a keychain USB device that lets people travel with their phone number and all their usual Vonage features and settings by just plugging it into any computer with a high-speed Internet connection, avoiding long distance and roaming charges. Users can also check their voice mail from any computer, and send voice mail attachments by e-mail. Aimed at business travelers, Vonage said the device also stores people’s phone call history and phone contact lists, and functions as a regular memory stick as well. The device is not compatible with Apple, Mac or Linux systems.

Availability: Available now Pricing: $29.99 after rebate URL:

Intel rolls out ‘Woodcrest’ chip As it seeks to fend off competitive threats from Advanced Micro Devices, chip maker Intel has released its dual-core Xeon processor, code-named ‘Woodcrest’, the first based on its new Core microarchitecture. The Intel Xeon 5100 chip reduces power consumption by 40 per cent while improving performance by three times compared with its prior processors, said the company. With improvements in energy efficiency and virtualization, Intel added that the new chip is aimed at helping address challenges IT managers face in the data centre around space, power, cooling and server utilization. Some 150 different companies will offer more than 200 Xeon 5100 platforms, Intel said, with several major server makers, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM already unveiling products.

Availability: Available now URL:

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