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Article Type: Product News          Published: 01-2012         Views: 4621   

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With product announcements ranging from the trivial to the bizarre, the Editor distils the essence of those that are of interest to the Networking community..

HP has announced a portfolio of OpenFlow-enabled switches. OpenFlow is an emerging network virtualisation technology that provides customer flexibility and control to configure networking environments to their specifications. The portfolio offers 16 models, including the HP 3500, 5400 and 8200 series switches. HP has also said that it plans to expand support for OpenFlow across all switches in the HP FlexNetwork architecture during 2012. They claim that this makes them the only major networking vendor to offer a complete portfolio of OpenFlow-enabled solutions. Bethany Mayer, senior vice president and general manager, Networking at HP said, "To help enterprises uniformly manage network traffic flow across the data centre, HP became an early innovator of the OpenFlow standard, supporting more than 60 universities and research centres in trials, development efforts and practical real-world applications. There are now more than 10 million OpenFlow-capable switch ports deployed and HP is leading the move to the OpenFlow standard, further simplifying networks for enterprise clients."

Claiming it to be the ultimate small business Firewall WatchGuard has unveiled the XTM 33. It is targeted at business with 5 to 30 users and is available as a small form factor security appliance. Its physical size does not reflect in its feature list which includes defence-in-depth protection, integrated VPN, application control, malware and hacking control and reporting.

According to the Cisco Cloud Index, more than 50 per cent of computing workloads in data centres will be cloud-based by 2014, and global cloud traffic will grow more than 12 times by 2015 to 1.6 zettabytes per year. Based on this Cisco is updating its switching portfolio with 40 Gigabit Ethernet and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) capabilities, the next speed limits for networking. These new capabilities provide a holistic architectural approach across campus, data centre, and service provider environments, giving customers a significant advantage when addressing emerging trends like cloud, video, mobility, and the proliferation of 10GbE. Cisco claims that this move will confirm them as the most extensive provider of 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet switching solutions.

Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 4+ (EAL4+) certification has been awarded to the Stonesoft Firewall/VPN product family. EAL 4+ is the highest assurance level existing commercial products can achieve, indicating that the products are rigorously engineered to a high degree of quality provides assurance to government agencies and organisations protecting mission-critical assets. In the public sector, network security solutions are preferred to achieve at least EAL2 certification; higher levels like EAL4+ further increase customers' confidence that the product meets the most stringent security criteria.

Following on from the success of its SX Firewall series, Halon Security has been speaking about its newest product offering the Halon Hardware Security Router. Halon President, Peter Falck explains, "The two top models in the new HSR family are the HSR-3008 and the HSR-3116. The former features eight gigabit ports, unlimited support for VPN connections and VLAN's and support for AES encryption, traffic load balancing and BGP failover functionality. For more power the HSR-3116 offers 16 gigabit Ethernet ports, unlimited VPN and VLAN support, traffic load balancing, AES encryption and BGP failover functionality. It was designed from the ground up for larger data centres and with unprecedented performance and advanced software development, the HSR-3116 features wire speed performance up to layer 7."

The chore and bore of backup verification has been tackled by StorageCraft who has announced the availability of centralised monitoring and backup verification software. It provides instant error notification and automated 'recoverability testing' to assure backup data is safe and recoverable. All too often this is the neglected part of the data backup process. This solution from Watchdog Software reduces an administrator's workload by monitoring both Windows and ShadowProtect log files.

Paessler has been talking about iPRTG v3.0, the latest version of the mobile monitoring app for its PRTG network monitoring solution. It enables IT administrators to keep a watchful eye on their networks, and remotely manage network monitoring tasks, regardless of time or location, using data directly from the PRTG server and displaying it on the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Enhancements include support for landscape orientation, extra monitoring data, plus high resolution graphs optimised for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2, plus the ability to change device settings and sensors from within the app.

Privilege Guard 3.0 from Avecto has been announced. It is designed to enable organisations to give all users the privileges they need to remain productive, empowering them to perform their role without impacting the security posture of systems and networks. This new release combines application elevation, application control, end user messaging and a complete auditing and reporting framework for all Windows based systems. Avecto's co-founder and chief technology officer Mark Austin said, "We've made it more intuitive to configure, with full search capabilities, summary views and a new message designer. There's also a new delegated user capability, which caters for help desk staff and over-the-shoulder departmental administration."

Coming to the aid, they claim, of "today's overworked IT operations staff" NetIQ has unveiled NetIQ AppManager 8. Underpinning IT services, it delivers an application and system monitoring and management solution to support the uninterrupted delivery of IT services. Offering the improved usability and responsiveness of AppManager Control Centre, operations teams can better centralise and simplify heterogeneous server management across physical and fast-changing virtualised environments. Deeper and more comprehensive discovery and inventory of monitored components ensures that auto-deployment of monitoring is done in accordance with policy, leading to greater monitoring fidelity. The latest version allows customers to take a phased approach to implementation and upgrade capabilities at their own pace.

Visual Network Systems has been explaining its latest innovation, the Service Delivery Dashboard. Specialising in application and network performance management solutions, it allows real-time performance analytics from its Visual Performance Manager to be combined with information from multiple IT management systems - including service desk solutions and element managers - under a single dashboard to streamline operational processes and facilitate synergy across multiple IT teams. "What's unique about the Service Delivery Dashboard is that we not only display Visual Performance Manager analytics in a business or geographic context, but also support the integration of other IT systems such as IBM Tivoli Netcool/Omnibus, BMC Remedy ARS, or EMC Ionix," said Daryle DeBalski, VP and General Manager.

IT security and data protection company Sophos has released the Astaro AP50. It is a dual-band/dual-radio capable wireless access point. This new addition to their wireless access point family supports both WLAN frequency bands at 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz and enables fast and reliable wireless networking which is virtually impervious to radio interference. Supporting dual-band connections, organisations can segment their wireless networks by radio frequency spectrum (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz). Users who require fast and seamless wireless connections with little interference (e.g. for VoIP telephony) may use the 5 GHz network, while others may use the 2.4 GHz network for daily business tasks. This type of WLAN segmentation optimises performance and delivers the best user experience even in congested WLAN environments. The AP50 features a Gigabit Ethernet interface and supports MIMO technology with two detachable antennas, delivering data rates of up to 300 Mbit/s under best conditions. It is capable of supporting up to 50 users.

Information security company CertiVox has revealed what they claim is a revolutionary breakthrough in information security; its PrivateSky Secure Information Exchange (SIX) platform. The new service provides fast and easy-to-use protection for email, files and other information sent via the cloud, through a unique two-factor authentication process and a sophisticated, certificateless encryption platform. It is easily activated by a click of a button from within Outlook, a web browser, or via any browser-based application on a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone. It is a one-click solution where both encryption and decryption are securely completed with absolutely no disruption to a user's workflow, setting it apart from other Internet security products. CEO Brian Spector comments, "SIX is a significant leap forward in information security. By parsing out the code to obfuscate and secure data, PrivateSky separates control of encryption keys from the data in transit. These Incognito Keys are secured even from CertiVox's access, which means that no one can read or access a user's CertiVox-encrypted file, except for the intended recipient." NC

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