Product hits

AMD launches ‘Rev F’ Opteron server chip

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has released a new version of its Opteron processor, the popular server chip that has made it a serious competitor to rival Intel Corp. AMD will sell the new “Rev F” chip in three power levels. The mainstream line runs at 95 watts, a high-performance “SE” version will run at 120 watts and a low power “HE” version will run at 68 watts. AMD further divides the new chip line into three server sizes. The Opteron 1000 series are appropriate for single-chip servers and workstations, while the 2000 series will fit two-processor machines and the 8000 series will fit four- and eight-chip machines.

Availability: Available now Pricing: Priced in one thousand-unit quantities, the chips cost US$2,149 for the Opteron 8218, US$873 for the Opteron 2218 and US$749 for the Opteron 1218 URL:

Intel unveils ‘Merom’ chip for notebooks

Intel Corp. has formally announced its “Merom” chip for notebooks. Intel will use the chip to upgrade its Centrino package of power-efficient, wireless-enabled technologies for laptop PCs, a bundle that combines the main CPU with a mobile chipset and wireless card. Merom is the third launch in recent months from Intel’s new line of dual-core, 65-nanometer process chips built with the Core 2 Duo architecture. A laptop running the Core 2 Duo chip instead of Pentium M will offer twice the CPU performance while drawing 28 per cent less electricity from the battery. Intel hopes the new Merom chip family will help stem its leak of market share to rival Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and its dual-core Turion 64 X2 processor.

Availability: Available now Pricing: Priced per chip in 1,000-unit quantities at US$637 for the 2.33GHz T7600, US$423 for the 2.16GHz T7400, US$294 for the 2.00GHz T7200, US$241 for the 1.83GHz T5600 and US$209 for the 1.66GHz T5500 URL:

Oracle positions database tool as scripting alternative

Oracle has released an upgrade to its free tool for building Web applications that access Oracle databases. Oracle Application Express Release 2.2, or APEX, was known in previous incarnations as HTML DB. Built as a browser-based, declarative tool, Apex is suitable for tasks in which a spreadsheet traditionally has been used. Applications such as surveys and event registration forms can be deployed via APEX, which can be viewed as a Microsoft Access replacement. Oracle hopes to build a community around APEX, with developers sharing packaged applications such as wikis, blogs, or discussion forums. Featured in the new version are productivity enhancements for building Web applications. Reuse of applications is promoted through the ability to package applications and dependent objects such as tables, seed data and images into a single file.

Availability: Available now URL:

Juniper crams security tools into appliances

Juniper Networks is delivering on a promise to pack lots of security features into its firewalls and appliances for medium-sized businesses and branch offices. This month the company released antispam capability, as well as an antivirus toolset that also fights spyware, adware and phishing, into the software for its SSG security appliances. It had promised those optional features in February when it introduced the SSG (Secure Services Gateway) product line. The introductions are part of a new version of Juniper’s ScreenOS software, version 5.4, that is designed to simplify Juniper’s system for keeping potentially dangerous devices from connecting to a network. Juniper is also making it easier to enforce rules on devices that try to get on to the network, and is adding policy-based routing. Availability: Available now URL:

BMC offers batch management software

BMC Software has upgraded to its batch management and job scheduling software, Control-M 6.3. It installs on one or more dedicated Unix, Windows or Linux boxes and, instead of distributing agents to machines being managed, uses remote-access protocols such as Windows Management Instrumentation or Secure Shell to collect data from the systems, which perform check processing or data warehousing tasks, among others. Without having to distribute agents, users can deploy the software more quickly and manage distributed systems more. In the past, the software required agents to be installed on every system managed.

Availability: Enterprise Manager component is available now, and other components by year-end Pricing: Starts at US$4,000 for a workgroup server, enterprise packages start at US$40,000 URL:

Riverbed delivers new optimization software

Riverbed Technology Inc. has announced a new version of software for its WAN optimization devices. The Riverbed Optimization System, or RiOS, makes it easier for network administrators to get QoS data about their networks. Also new in Version 3.0 are optimization improvements for Network File System streaming and for Common Internet File Services. The company also announced some larger models in its hardware family. The Steelhead 5520 supports up to 15,000 simultaneous TCP connections, has a disk capacity of 1.5TB and can provide optimized bandwidth of up to 155Mbps with disk de-duplication enabled and 800Mbps disabled. The Steelhead 6020 supports up to 40,000 simultaneous TCP connections, has a disk capacity of 3.2TB and can provide optimized bandwidth of up to 310Mbps with disk de-duplication enabled and 800Mbps disabled. The Interceptor 9200 supports up to a million simultaneous TCP connections and up to 4Gbps of optimized WAN throughput.

Availability: Available now Pricing: Steelhead 5520 costs US$69,996, Steelhead 6020 US$119,995, Central Management Console software starts at US$5,000, Interceptor 9200 US$49,995 URL:

VoIP with Vonage hardware

Internet phone service provider Vonage Canada has teamed with D-Link to offer the D-Link VWR to its Canadian customers. The device, which lets users set up a wireless-B/G network while accessing their Vonage phone service, provides four devices in one box. It includes a wireless-B/G access point; a built-in four-port switch to connect wired Ethernet devices; a router function so the entire network can securely share a single cable or DSL Internet connection; and two standard telephone jacks, allowing for multiple Vonage phone lines. It’s bundled with Vonage’s telephone service, and is available online.

Availability: Available now Pricing: $74.99, after a $65.00 instant rebate URL:

3PAR introduces midrange array

3PAR has rolled out a storage array for deployment in mid-size enterprise businesses. The InServ E200 Storage Server is a smaller version of 3PAR’s InServ S400 and S800 storage arrays. It offers the same InForm operating system and software as the larger InServ arrays and shares a common data-management platform. The InServ E200 also offers both Fibre Channel and iSCSI host connectivity and features cache-coherent clustered controllers. The InServ E200 can be configured with 16 to 128 drives and can scale from 2TB to 63TB of storage capacity. It uses 147GB Fibre Channel, 300GB Fibre Channel or 500GB Nearline drives. The E200 features four to 12 Fibre Channel ports for connection to host computers and four optional iSCSI ports. Software available for the InServ array includes Rapid Provisioning, Dynamic Optimization, Thin Provisioning and Virtual and Remote Copy.

Availability: Available now Pricing: InServ E200 Storage Server configured with 2.3TB of capacity starts at US$65,000 URL:

Google bundles communications tools

Google has released in beta a bundle of online communications tools for corporate users. Google Apps for Your Domain lets companies customize the user interface with their own logos and offer the collection of tools for free to their users through a Web-based interface. Google is pitching the service as an alternative to installing local infrastructure to support these services. It includes Gmail with two gigabytes of storage per account and integrated instant messaging and search tools, Google Talk for IM and VoIP services, Google Calendar which can be private or shared, and Google Page Creator for creating and publishing Web pages. The first version is free for domain administrators and users, and Google also plans a premium version for users “with more advanced needs.”

Availability: Available now URL

Nokia muscles up N80 series Internet features

Nokia Corp. will release a new version of its N80 multimedia phone this month with beefed-up Internet capabilities. The N80 Internet Edition has integrated VoIP, and also included is a wireless LAN wizard to find and configure wireless Internet access. The N80 Internet Edition comes with Yahoo’s Mobile Search application and its Go for Mobile program, which can sync a user’s Yahoo e-mail and contacts with a mobile device, and Amazon’s MobiPocket Reader, an application for reading books. Other Nokia software includes a Web browser and a new client called Download that can be used to download other compatible programs for the device. It also retains features on the regular N80 phone, such as the 3-megapixel camera and quadband GSM and WCDMA coverage.

Availability: September 2006 URL:

It’s here: the 16GB USB memory stick

Toshiba has announced the world’s biggest USB stick – an impressive 16GB. The TransMemory line of flash memory sticks range from 512MB up to 4GB, but with a special “limited edition” 16GB version, presumably just for showing off. All support U3 technology enabling users to carry their data files, applications and personal computer settings. There is also a security programme to protect the data, and the sticks work with MacOS and Windows. The drives measure just 62.5mm by 17.5mm by 8.5mm and weight just 8g, whereas the special 16GB USB drive measures 81 x 20 x 8mm and weights 12g.

Availability: The normal range will be available in November and the 16GB in December Pricing: Yet to be confirmed URL:

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