A Little DAB Will Do Ya ...

... for application consolidation. That’s right, application, not server, consolidation. FastScale Technology Inc. in Sunnyvale, Calif., this week will release clever software that automatically creates dynamic application bundles, or DABs, which combine an application with only those parts of an operating system it needs to run. According to CEO Lynn LeBlanc, DABs are 1% the size of a normal app/OS combo. She says the fear of destabilizing important software has caused many CIOs to assign one app and its operating system per server, leading to pricey server proliferation and attendant data center power and cooling problems. LeBlanc says FastScale tackles the root cause of the issue by eliminating “bloated software, especially operating systems.” Slimmed-down DABs are so small that they can wait on a FastScale server until an end user requests one. Then they can be dynamically provisioned in seconds onto an available x86 machine and begin operation. LeBlanc says a typical Apache Web server and operating system are a chubby 3GB, but an Apache DAB is a mere 20MB and can be stored entirely in RAM. You don’t even need a disk drive on the server. Besides needing fewer, and less expensive (disk-free), computers in your data center, an added benefit LeBlanc touts is security: With far fewer operating system components exposed in your production environment, malware will have a much smaller target to hit. FastScale’s first release works with Linux-based apps. The company plans support for Solaris and Windows later this year. Pricing starts at $30,000.

Evict cybersquatters ...

... who damage your brand and cost you money. One underreported cybercrime is cybersquatting — the ruse by which outlaws get domain names that are a mere typo away from your Web site (e.g., www.microsift.com). Last year, The Washington Post reported that 15% of all Web traffic originates as typed-in URLs, and VeriSign Inc. estimates that millions of URL typos occur daily, regularly taking unsuspecting visitors to a cybersquatter’s virtual digs. Ari Master, chief operating officer at CitizenHawk Inc. in Aliso Viejo, Calif., says these illegal sites often divert traffic to your competitors or launder the URL through a series of other sites that will bring users back to your site through advertising programs such as Google’s AdSense. That means you pay the cybersquatter for an end user’s typo. CitizenHawk claims that for the top 50 online retailers, there are 10,000 cybersquatter sites. You might not be surprised to learn, then, that CitizenHawk is launching a service this week called TypoSquasher. Starting at $1,000 per month, the service continuously cruises the Internet in search of your cybersquatter enemies and helps you shut them down.

Tune thin clients ...

... to your favorite IP service.

Stephen Yeo

Stephen YeoStephen Yeo likens thin-client terminals to television sets. But the worldwide strategic marketing director at IGEL Technology GmbH in Bremen, Germany, says too many IT executives think of thin clients as TVs that get just one channel: access to a single business application via Citrix or Microsoft Terminal Services. In fact, he says, IP-based thin clients can get any IP “channel,” or service, on your network, including voice over IP, and they can do it more securely. Yeo says VoIP is popular in call centers, but its security problems (see the Jan. 15 On the Mark, “VoIP Soon to Be a Target for ...”) make it problematic to run on PCs. By hooking a Bluetooth headset to a thin client and running your VoIP app in the data center, you can get the same service at less risk. One other benefit: less energy usage. The Fraunhofer Institute, a research company also based in Bremen, released a study last December showing that over their life spans, thin clients consume 51% less CO2 than PCs.

Get control of the Internet ...

... or at least your employees’ access to it. Zihtec LLP in Palm Harbor, Fla., this week is releasing an application called Internet Control for Business (ICB), which lets you determine where and when your workers can get online. The $39.95 program comes with predefined blacklisted URLs, such as porn sites, and scans unlisted sites for content before permitting end users to access them. Zihtec President Gabriel Luu says you can also set up policies that restrict instant messaging usage — allowing it only during certain times of day, for example, or only with key customers. Although the agent code resides on PCs, the LAN-based ICB application handles policy enforcement, scanning and other services. It also lets you establish two-way encrypted IM sessions between ICB sites no matter which IM client you use. Luu expects to have a version of ICB for mobile devices later this year.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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