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Cisco Systems Inc. recently announced the acquisition of San Jose, Calif.-based Andiamo Systems Inc. – its ticket into the large, high-growth Fibre Channel storage area network (SAN) switching market. Andiamo is a developer of intelligent storage switching products for the SAN market. “With Andiamo’s technology, Cisco’s customers for the first time, will be able to consolidate disparate storage networks into an integrated SAN infrastructure,” said Ammar Hanafi, vice-president of strategy and business development at Cisco.

He said that ultimately this new technology would allow Cisco to offer to its customers the same level of scalability, performance and manageability for storage networking that Cisco does in local area and IP networking.

Line borders with broadband: report

It’s time Ottawa built a fibre-optic network linking Canada’s border crossings, that was the message sent to Industry Minister Alan rock by the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC). Doing so would boost border security and help with the timely movement of goods and people, ITAC concluded.

The network would deliver high bandwidth capability to border stations providing reliable capacity to process large volumes of information at all crossings. Currently, approximately 15 border stations have high bandwidth capability. The approximate cost would be $164 million to link stations that do not currently have high-capacity connectivity.

Oracle on top for now, says Meta

A recent analyst report on the relational database market puts Oracle Corp. in pole position, though Microsoft Corp. will quickly gain ground as customers become more confident about its software and seek new ways to reduce their IT budgets, according to the report’s author.

Published by Meta Group Inc., the report examines the four top database vendors against a dozen criteria. Oracle9i came out on top in most areas including technology, services and execution, IBM Corp.’s UDB 7.2 and Microsoft Corp.’s SQL Server 2000 were ranked as “challengers.” But Meta says customers are looking to cut costs by using servers based on Intel Corp. processors, which tend to be less expensive than the RISC-based machines most often used to run large databases, a trend that could benefit Microsoft.

Corel, FreeDOS available on Dell hardware

Dell Computer Corp. has agreed to include a version of Ottawa-based Corel Corp.’s office suite in two of its computer lines.

Under the bundling agreement, Dell’s Dimension and Inspiron computer lines will include WordPerfect 10 and Quattro Pro 10. These systems will be available beginning in September in North America. This comes on the heels of the revelation that Dell has been selling business PCs without Microsoft’s operating system Windows for some time. The Optiplex GX260, Precision 530 and Precision 340 can be ordered by certain high-volume business clients with a clean hard drive and a copy of FreeDOS, an operating system distributed under the GNU General Public Licence.

Ontario’s dominance in IT shrinking

Ontario is still home to the top high-tech enterprises, but Quebec and British Columbia are gaining, according to a recent survey. The Canadian Technology Fast 50-finalist list, compiled by the Toronto-based Canadian arm of Deloitte & Touche, included 16 tech companies from Ontario, 14 from Quebec and 12 from B.C. The list ranks the 50 fastest-growing technology companies based on the highest rates of revenue growth over the last five years.

The list shows Ontario’s dominance shrank drastically down from 25 enterprises in 2001. Both Quebec and B.C. gained over 2001 with increases by eight and two companies respectively. Tech companies based in Newfoundland and New Brunswick made the list for the first time. To view the Fast 50 finalist list go to

Most jobs come from word of mouth

A majority of Canadian enterprise executives feel low-tech methods are still the most effective ways to find IT professionals, according to a recent poll. The survey, developed by Robert Half Technology, an IT consulting firm, found that 29 per cent of chief information officers (CIOs) polled felt old-fashioned employee referrals were the most effective way to discover skilled IT talent. As well, 25 per cent of respondents preferred hiring a staffing/recruiting firm, and 16 per cent favoured the tried and true classified print advertisement.

The 270 CIOs from Canadian enterprises with more than 100 employees who responded to the poll were asked, “Which of the following is the most effective way to find qualified IT candidates? Their responses, including the ones listed above, were: posting on online job boards (nine per cent); participating in job fairs (nine per cent); posting on company Web site (four per cent); and using another method (three per cent).

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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