IT's 'Hero Culture' Stunts Growth ...

Erik Frieberg, vice president of marketing and strategy at Borland Corp.
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Erik Frieberg, vice president of marketing and strategy at Borland Corp.
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... of mature application development processes. Many IT shops expect their top programmers to save the day on foundering app-dev projects, says Erik Frieberg, vice president of marketing and strategy at Borland Corp. in Scotts Valley, Calif. But that only shows how immature their software development processes are, Frieberg argues. He contends that an "IT hero culture" contributes to the continuing failure of projects in the eyes of end users because coding saviors often come late to a project and aren't immersed in the business requirements. His evidence? An annual report from The Standish Group International Inc. that says 66% of IT projects last year were perceived to have failed in some way. "Business users tend to remember the initial requirements, while IT recalls what was agreed to after the project was scaled back," Frieberg says. To help impose project discipline, IT should use application life-cycle management (ALM) technology, Frieberg suggests. Microsoft Corp. and IBM have such offerings, but Frieberg hopes you'll consider his company's wares. In next year's first quarter, Borland plans to update Core Analyst, one of its ALM tools. New features will include improved project storyboarding techniques designed to better show how data flows through a new application, as well as a refresh of rapid prototyping features.

Boost your WAN's pokey performance ...

Orbital 6800 speeds up WAN traffic.
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Orbital 6800 speeds up WAN traffic.
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... by installing data acceleration appliances. Richard Pierce, CEO of Orbital Data Corp. in San Mateo, Calif., says the "demand profile" for WAN optimization has changed from point-to-point needs to servicing numerous branch offices that access multiple data centers. That shift means WAN optimization technology has to account for the constant flux in network traffic, he says. Lucky for you, Pierce claims his company's new Orbital 6000 appliance family with automatic optimization software can detect specific compression and acceleration techniques needed by applications. For example, he says, Windows users bogged down by Microsoft's chatty Common Internet File System should get a performance lift from Orbital's predictive prefetching scheme, which grabs next-in-line data before the application requests it. Available this week, the Orbital 6800 handles data rates of up to 1Gbit/sec. and starts at $21,000; the 6500 works at up to 45Mbit/sec. and is priced from $5,000.

Endpoint security software ...

... checks up on PCs and other devices trying to get on a network. McAfee Inc. plans to release a beta of its Policy Enforcer software by the end of the month and ship the product early next year. According to Michelle Cobb, a group product manager at McAfee, the tool can check more than 400 security parameters on computers before they access your network, ensuring that the machines meet policies on everything from operating system patches to antivirus software. You'll also need McAfee's ePolicy Orchestrator, which Cobb claims has already been installed by 30,000 customers.

The corporate share of wireless data...

... services remains flat, as consumers continue to dominate the airwaves. A report being released this week by Boston-based Yankee Group Research Inc. predicts that the enterprise portion of wireless data services will barely budge by 2009, from 9.8% of the total this year to 9.9%. "Business users still like voice," says Yankee analyst Keith Mallinson. And, not surprisingly, the report indicates that by 2009, the lion's share of new wireless voice subscribers -- 41% -- will be in China and India. But Mallinson notes that while the number of wireless voice users in India will more than double in the next five years, it will amount to only 14.5% of the population, compared with more than 90% saturation in many European countries.

Military-grade security tool is destined ...

Ed Hammersla, COO of Trusted Computer Solutions Inc.
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Ed Hammersla, COO of Trusted Computer Solutions Inc.
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... for use on thin clients. Ed Hammersla, COO of Trusted Computer Solutions Inc. in Herndon, Va., says his company has signed a nonexclusive deal to port its NetTop2 data access software to Wyse Technology Inc.'s thin-client devices. With NetTop2, which is in beta testing, government analysts and contractors who use the Wyse devices will be able to access multiple classified databases and applications from a single thin client. Hammersla says the users currently need dedicated terminals for each data source. NetTop2 will work on systems that are running secure versions of Linux based on the National Security Agency's Security-Enhanced Linux technology. That will include Red Hat Enterprise Linux Version 5 when it ships next year, Hammersla says.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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