Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Starting a Small Business Advice

While some people are taking a holiday break, Stefan Töpfer of The Small Business Blog isn’t. His latest post targets those of us who might be making new years resolutions to “Start my own home business or small business”.

His 5-step plan is solid:

Define Your Goals
Get A Business Idea
Test Your Business Idea
Bootstrap All The Way
Stay Focused, Always!

If you are planning to start your own small business in these rough times, take some time to read or listen to the article as a podcast.

Stefan Töpfer is CEO & Chairman of WinWeb (which developed OnlineOffice - The Small Business Infrastructure). His blog, The Small Business Blog is one that I’m adding to my list to watch. Good advice and resources for small businesses!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free Webinar: Minicom's Smart 2-User Series

Free Webinar Invitation
Date: December 18th, 2008
Time: 3:00 - 4:00 PM EST (1 hour)
Topic: Minicom's new Smart 2-User KVM Series
Speakers Include:
David Zucker, Director, Business Development - KVM Division
Ivo Petrov Director, Technical Support

Limited space is available

Minicom's Smart 2-User Family consists of four new different products. Join us for this free product introduction webinar. Learn why these products are different that any other 2-user products in the market.

Smart 216 IP – 16 port CAT5 switch with 2 remote users and 1 local user
Smart 216 – 2-user, 16 port KVM switch



Smart 232 IP – 32 port CAT5 switch with 2 remote users and 1 local user
Smart 232 - 2-user, 32 port KVM switch



These competitively priced switches have great mouse synchronization and are compatible with our remote access management tool - KVM.net® II. Combining innovative CAT5 technology and OSD management, the Smart CAT5 switches are the perfect KVM solution for SMB server and rack environments.
Limited space is available

Can't make it? Schedule a free online IP product demo with a Minicom rep at a time that is convenient for you and in the meantime download a free white paper on “KVM IP Management for Today’s IT Budget

Monday, December 15, 2008

Announcement: Minicom Partners with Alexander Schneider

Minicom recently established a partnership with Alexander Schneider Ltd, the leading solution provider for datacenters, and representatives at the forefront of the Green IT industry in Israel.

Eli Sasson, President of Minicom says: “we are happy to have Alexander Schneider as a part of our international distribution network. The reason they were chosen was because of their professional capabilities to implement advanced solutions in server rooms in most of the leading companies in Israel. Another reason is their reputation for excellent customer support, which they provide 24/7.”

According to Igal Schneider, CEO “the cooperation with Minicom enriches the offerings of solutions that Schneider provides its customers in the server room. Some customers that we currently service are Bank Leumi, Bank Hapoalim, Visa Kal, Rafael, Elbit, Nice, Comverse, Checkpoint, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Finance & others…..“Minicom has a wide portfolio that fits with the SMB perfectly; furthermore, the closeness to the R&D center will enable customization of unique solutions for the Israeli market. This is a natural cooperation between both companies that believe in advanced technological solutions along with reliable support to the customer”

About Alexander Schneider Ltd.
As a leader in the field of data center management, Alexander Schneider Ltd. provides hi-performance products and Turn Key solutions for OEM systems and data center infrastructure, offering leading-edge products, integration services as well as engineering and design (NPI) capabilities. Alexander Schneider has been in business since 1963, with operations in Netanya, Israel and Rhode Island, USA.

For more information please visit their website.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

SMB Nation - Bringing IT Together

In a comment in a post about getting to know SMB IT better, SMB Nation CEO Harry Brelsford was kind enough to recommend their site for inclusion in my research. After taking some time to look it over and join the “tribe”, I am pleased to see how much they offer the SMB IT professionals. There is much to learn from them.

SMB Nation reaches its audience with events and free webinars. Their next webinar: ”Not Just Another 50 cent Online Backup Service!“ is scheduled for tomorrow, December 11, 2008, 8AM PST (GMT-8).

Learn how the real VARs, MSPs and trusted advisors create revenue opportunities with remote online backup protection services. Learn how the latest compliance regulations will create long-term relationships and revenue streams for your business. Find out why those cheap backup services create a false sense of security and are not telling the whole story.

Register now at SMB Nation

They also offer most of their webinars on-demand, which is very helpful for someone who needs information right away.

I took the opportunity to get a closer look, and choose to watch “SMB Mergers and Acquisitions: Time to Sell Your SMB Practice?” It is well worth investing a little over one hour to hear their tips on how to run your business in a way that makes it ready to sell, and why you should run your business this way, even if you aren’t looking to sell.

Check out the other educational webinars available at SMB Nation.

Monday, December 08, 2008

2008 Year of The Milestone, according to Channel Web

Channel Web has published their pick of the best products of 2008.
The Test Center evaluated hundreds of products in 2008, from the palmtop to the data center and everything in between. In selecting each product of the year, Test Center editors needed to make sure that there was a critical offering to the market at large, significant value to the end user and immediate impact on how the lion's share of solution providers in the channel would think about and deliver technology.

Some of the products that made the cut are
  • Notebook - WINNER: Lenovo ThinkPad X300
  • Operating System - WINNER: Microsoft Windows Server 2008
  • Web Application - WINNER: Firefox 3.0
  • Smartphone - WINNER: iPhone 3G
  • Product Of The Year - WINNER: Intel Modular Server

See the rest of the slideshow... including reasons why they choose these products to represent the best of 2008.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Closer Look at SMB IT

I'm just getting in to the SMB IT industry from the marketing side of things and while researching, the first site that popped up in search was SMBITPROS.com. I did a quick overview and my initial impression is that this is a great resource for up to date, practical advice for this sector.

smbITpros.com cover topics that deal with SMB IT such as:
  • Finances
  • Managing
  • Marketing
  • Operations
  • Sales
  • Starting Up
  • Technology

This is how they describe themselves:

"smbitpros.com is the ramblings of Michael Cooch and Josh Clifford, Founder/CEO and CSO (Chief Service Officer), respectively, of Everon Technology Services, LLC. Everon is a pioneer and leader in the SMB managed services space, serving clients around the United States and a handful of offices in Europe."

Their latest post “How to compensate salespeople when they sign longer term managed services contracts?” hit home with something Minicom manufactures. If you want to hear our perspective on managed service providers, listen to this podcast by David Zucker, Minicom’s Director of Business Development of the IT & KVM Division. David will explain how “managed service providers can now sell a KVM IP device as a monthly service” using Minicom’s PX.

The Minicom Media Club offers a variety of free podcasts and archived webinars for your enjoyment.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Mission Impossible – Destroy Data on a Stolen Laptop

When you work remotely or have the need to access and manage a server over IP, you will most likely be using a company laptop. What happens when you loose or misplace your laptop that has privileged or top secret information? It doesn’t matter who you are, if you ever lost your laptop or had it stolen you know the uneasy feeling of having someone finding it and looking at all your data.

Lenevos came out with a new feature that allows you to just send an SMS to it and everything self destructs. This is an ingenious invention. No doubt, someone came up with the idea after having their own laptop stolen or lost with top secret data on it. With all the fears of identity theft, even if it’s not for a corporate computer, I would want one for my personal use – there is way too much information on there.

Read the eWeek article with the new “Constant Secure Remote Disable” feature by Lenovos that will be available on certain ThinkPad notebooks equipped with mobile broadband.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Weekly News – Nov 20, 2008

Overview of industry headlines from across the web:

New Laptop USB KVM With Dual PC Control, File Transfer, and USB 2.0 Peripheral Access Unveiled by ATEN Technology – Market Watch - Key features include seamless file transfer between two computers, plug-and-play functionality, and access to USB 2.0 peripherals such as external storage drives. The device also adjusts the resolution of the remote desktop window to match the local computer monitor.

Raritan Acquires dcTrack Software to Bolster Data Center Power Management Capabilities – Market Watch - Adds visualization and tracking technologies for improving data center efficiency and reducing energy costs

ATEN Technology Launches New 8- and 16-Port Dual Channel CAT5 KVM Switches – Earth Times - The switches are eight and 16-port units that provide two operators with independent and simultaneous access to eight or 16 connected servers

IOGEAR is Named CES Innovations 2009 Design and Engineering Award Honoree – sys-con.com - IOGEAR's Wireless USB to VGA Kit enables HD video streaming up to 720p between a PC and TV or projector.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Minicom Road Show Report

19 IT Valued Added Resellers (VARs) got together last week for a 1 day sales certification program held in Santa Ana, California. They came to learn about Minicom’s KVM.net II innovative way of accessing and managing in-band tools like VNC and RDP with out-of-band tools like KVM, HP ILO and power - all from one portal.

One of the participants, Jim Mollencop, dataSPAN Territory Manager PNW had this to report:

“The certification program for KVM.net II was very informative and helpful! Not only does Minicom have a great IT solution that is simple to set up, use and sell at great margins, but also provides a great marketing tool for these tough economic times called “Minicom’s real needs approach”. Literally a few days after the training I visited a client and discussed the “real needs approach” and was immediately asked for a quote at the meeting.”


David Zucker, Minicom’s Director of KVM Business Development had this to say:

“Our partners were engaged, excited and participated more than I could have hoped for in a full day of training complete with demos and workshops. The IT resellers told us that Minicom's “Real Needs Approach” (Add-on Technology that maximizes your IT installed base) will be very compelling for their customers. The group sessions were tremendous and reconfirmed to us that we have some fantastic partners who know their stuff.”

To become a Certified Minicom KVM.net II value added reseller, please call Minicom at 1-888-486-2154 to register for the next training session.

In the meantime, you can download our free white papers such as “KVM IP Management for Today’s IT Budget” or videos such as “Achieving Remote Server KVM Access to your data center” to find out why we suggest not throwing out perfectly good KVM switches and serial devices just because you need to upgrade to an IP environment.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Webinar Invitation: Recession-proof Ways to Upgrade your Data Centers

Is the current economic climate delaying your plans to upgrade the data center? Now, more than ever, we need to concentrate on what are our Real Needs:

Remote access? Yes, that's a real need.
Replacing your perfectly good switches? Not so much.

This short webinar will focus on learning how you can give your Data Center's KVM infrastructure a facelift and transform it into a remotely accessible IP system without replacing your legacy KVM switches.

In this webinar, we will be focusing on
· Why we suggest not throwing out perfectly good KVM switches and serial devices just because you need to upgrade to an IP environment
· How you can save time, money, and training headaches by concentrating on your Real Needs
· What our competitors do not want you to know ---how to extend the life of your products.

Webinar Details:
Date: November 20, 2008
Time: 2:00 - 2:40 pm EST

CLICK HERE & REGISTER NOW


This free webinar has limited seats, please hurry and register.

Presented by David Zucker
Director, Business Development, KVM Division
Minicom Advanced Systems

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Slowing Economy to Blame, Says Google

Slowing economy was a factor in Google’s decision to push back its construction timetable for the $600 million dollar data center facility being built on 800 acres of land in Pryor, Oklahoma.

Data Center Knowledge explains more details of the ramifications of the delay.

In addition, a huge advertising deal between Google and Yahoo was called off this week.

Google is also scheduled to close operations in Tempe, AZ at the end of November and relocate about 50 employees from the Arizona State University campus.

It's hard to ignore when the economy forces giants like Google to make budget cutbacks and downsize.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Article: Has the downturn hit the IT industry?

An article by By Jason Stamper at CBR IT services site gives some interesting insight on how technology firms are doing in the current economical crisis. Budget cuts and staff reductions affect every sector of the work force. Major layoffs are reported daily, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better, at least not in the USA. There is some good news for the UK though.

How are technology firms fairing as the crisis of confidence in the financial sector begins to ripple through the rest of the economy?

Despite the fact that technology has the potential to massively boost the productivity of individuals and companies, it rarely gets away scot free when there is any kind of stock market or economic crisis. ‘It was over-hyped.’ ‘It wasn’t innovative enough.’ ‘They didn’t even consider that the Year 2000 wasn’t that far off when they programmed their mainframes.’

So it comes as little surprise that technology has been implicated in the downfall of Bradford & Bingley, since its poorly integrated systems meant that its bosses did not have visibility into the real financial state of the building society when they most needed to know.

Bradford & Bingley’s chiefs said they didn’t need to raise funds with a rights issue, then they said they did need a rights issue, then they said they had priced the rights issue too low, and ultimately they said even a rights issue wasn’t enough to plug the leaks (more on this story on the CBR editor’s blog at tinyurl.com/6pn8l2).

Economic downturn
One thing is certain: the signs are not good for the broader economy right now. It’s getting harder and harder not to use ‘the r word’ – recession – because even the economists are saying that’s where we’re headed: "The sharp decline in service sector activity in September leaves little doubt that the economy contracted in the third quarter and is on its way into recession," said Howard Archer, chief UK economist at Global Insight, last month (
http://tinyurl.com/6gnfbe).

But how are the technology companies themselves fairing against the backdrop of this latest economic crisis? Well if it’s a bellwether you are after, look no further than IBM. With a finger in almost every software, services and hardware pie, it’s not a bad reflection of how the technology sector as a whole is performing. The good news is that IBM did rather well overall in its third quarter, just announced. Total revenues were up 5% to $25.3bn; services revenue was up 8% and software revenue was up 12%. Net income was up 20% to $2.8bn.

The area of some concern for IBM is its hardware operation, or what it calls its Systems and Technology group. Revenue there was down 10%. It’s not what you’d expect though: the mainframe is going great guns with revenue from the System z up 25%. Its System p Unix boxes were up 7%, too. But the admittedly very cyclical System i (formerly iSeries, and before that AS/400) business was down 82%, and System x servers (Windows or Linux boxes) were down 18%.

Still, chairman, president and CEO Sam Palmisano was relatively upbeat: “Our results demonstrate that the combination of a steady base of recurring revenue and profits, a range of products and services that deliver value to clients worldwide, and a strong and flexible financial foundation give IBM a competitive edge in good times and tough times," he said. “We remain confident in our full-year 2008 outlook.”

SAP announced third quarter total sales up 14% to 2.7bn Euros. But net income was down 5% to 388m Euros.

Said SAP co-CEO Henning Kagermann, “The third quarter 2008 was SAP’s 19th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth in software and software-related service revenues at constant currencies. This was an achievement in a period where the global financial crisis had a significant impact on customer decisions towards quarter end.”

“Customers are continuing to spend on our products, but the economic and business environment is uncertain,” he said. “Our business model is flexible, and we are focusing on protecting our operating margins and earnings.”

Kagermann continued, “We are assessing business activity continuously, and we are balancing the need for greater efficiencies with steady advancements in our products, customer services and technologies, while addressing customers’ most critical business issues. This approach has worked well for customers and SAP throughout the up and down economic cycles of the past, and has contributed to SAP’s market leadership. We’ve been through uncertainty before, and have always emerged as a better, stronger and more efficient company.”
Tech sector holding steady?

Another bellwether, Oracle, had even better news when it announced its first quarter results in September. The erstwhile database vendor has been aggressively broadening into both applications and its Fusion Middleware in recent years, and the strategy seems still to be working. Total sales were up 18% to $5.3bn, and net income was up 28% to $1.1bn.

As for the UK, it seems the technology sector may actually be fairing slightly better than others in these tough times. Research by Ernst & Young last month found that the number of profit warnings from listed companies in the software & computer services sector in the UK has actually fallen despite the worsening economic climate. In Q3 of 2008 a total of 7 warnings were issued by 5 companies in the sector, compared to 9 over the same period in 2007.

Other sectors are not fairing so well. Across all sectors in the UK, 111 profit warnings were issued in the third quarter, up almost a third on 2007. Neither size nor status has proven to be of much insurance against the current downturn, Ernst & Young said.

James Bennet, technology director at Ernst & Young, commented: “Q3 has been less challenging for software and IT services companies, mostly because they went into the downturn slightly earlier than other sectors. We would however express caution about the climate and the likely health of the technology sector in the coming two quarters, particularly with the dramatic downturn in the overall economy.”

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Webinar on Demand: Achieving Remote Server KVM Access to Your Data Center

In case you didn't catch our Webinar covering Remote Server Access for your Data Center, an archived version is available so you can watch it any time, at your convenience.


Total Time: 22 minutes


Title: "Achieving Remote Server KVM Access to Your Data Center"


Speaker: David Zucker, Director of KVM Business Development at Minicom


Talking points:
  • Why we suggest not throwing out perfectly good KVM switches and serial devices just because you need to upgrade to an IP environment.
  • How you save time, money, and training headaches by concentrating on your Real Needs.
  • What our competitors do not want you to know about extending the lives of your products.

Watch it now - it's FREE!

You can also download the corresponding white paper:

"KVM IP Management for Today’s IT Budget"

Add-on Technology that maximizes your IT installed base

Fortunately, there exists a Real Needs approach that allows you to cost-effectively achieve remote access and management by adding a KVM IP technology layer on top of your existing analog switches thereby preserving and maximizing your current investment. Read Minicom’s new white paper that elaborates on this Real Needs approach.

Podcast: Why should your organization use KVM IP?

Total Time: 4:48 minutes

Speaker: David Zucker, Director of KVM Business Development at Minicom

Talking points:

  • The numerous benefits of KVM IP access and management have made them the new must have technologies for IT managers.
  • By allowing fast access from a remote location to distributed IT companies can reduce downtime, slash travel costs, lower cooling costs and increase security.
  • With remote out-of-band access, connectivity is guaranteed even if the network fails.

LISTEN NOW

Learn more, download one of the latest Minicom White Papers FREE!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

CASESTUDY: AGH University in Poland Installs Universal System


AGH is Poland’s second largest University and its IT department needed one universal system that 2 or more administrators sitting in 3 separate work stations can manage 20 servers located in a server room. To achieve this they hired C&C Partners Telecom to design and install a solution.

Quick Take:

Clients Challenge
• Superior server management
• Allow multi-user level access

Minicom Solution
DX System
IP Control

Benefits
• Significantly increased server access
• More streamlined work environment
• Increased productivity and efficiency

Read more of this case study and others on the Minicom site.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Podcast: "Cost Effective Solutions for Remote Server KVM Access"

Time: 3:15 minutes

Speaker: David Zucker, Director of KVM Business Development, Minicom

Talking points:
  • Why we suggest not throwing out perfectly good KVM switches and serial devices just because you need to upgrade to an IP environment.
  • How you save time, money, and training headaches by concentrating on your Real Needs.
  • What our competitors do not want you to know about extending the lives of your products.
LISTEN NOW

For more free podcasts, visit the Minicom Media Club

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Minicom Offers Leasing Program for Today’s Tight Budgets

For Immediate Release: (Applies to North American HQ only)

“We want to introduce you to our new Minicom / Direct Capital Corp Leasing partnership, says Saul Mishaan, President of Minicom in North America, which provides our customers a means to finance Minicom’s equipment. We all realize that budgets are tight and a lot of potential customers either can't get financing or choose not to spend their cash reserve on a capital investment at this time. Leasing can be a very valuable tool to help close more sales.”

“Some of the advantages of leasing are that it saves cash reserves and is profitable the first day the equipment is used as well as allows the customer to get the size of equipment they need, not just what they can afford, said James P. Broom , CEO of Direct Capital (DCC). The tax advantages could be considerable and we can offer 24 hour turnaround on applications. We are very pleased to offer this program to Minicom and you and hope to help in closing more sales.”

About Direct Capital (DCC)

Direct Capital (DCC), headquartered in Portsmouth, NH, is a national finance company founded in 1993 to provide equipment and technology financing to companies of all sizes.

For more information contact:
Direct Capital– NH Headquarters155 Commerce WayPortsmouth, NH 03801
Client Services Team: 800-253-0157Phone: 866-777-0117Fax: 800-875-0312
http://www.directcapital.com/

Minicom Advanced Systems
North America HQ
414 N. Wood Ave
Linden, NJ
Tel: 888-486-2154
info.usa@minicom.com
www.minicom.com

Thursday, September 18, 2008

NEW PRODUCTS: Multi-user KVM Switches - Smart 216 / Smart 232

Minicom announces the launch of two new multi-user KVM switches for IT managers of server rooms and data centers – the Smart 216 and the Smart 232. The new products allow two users to control up to 16 or 32 mixed-platform (PS/2 & USB) servers. They also provide seamless power control via Minicom's Serial Remote Power Switch (RPS).

Easy installation via user friendly OSD and compatibility is increased thanks to USB keyboard and mouse console.

Physically, the Smart 216 and Smart 232 are both thin 1U sized, rack-mountable devices that save critical space in crowded computer room environments. They both feature Minicom KVM over CAT5 technology that directly connects the switch to each computer in the server room, eliminating cable clutter and extending the distance between server and switch up to 30m/100ft.

“Thanks to their advanced functionality the Smart 216 and Smart 232 overcome many of the challenges facing today’s crowded server rooms and data centers,” says Minicom’s KVM Product Manager Benny Hayumi. “They are the ideal solution for corporate server rooms requiring both a powerful and versatile KVM solution.”

The Smart 216 and Smart 232 strengthen Minicom’s position in the KVM market by going to the next level of control. From a single remote user product line (Smart 108, Smart116) Minicom now offers a dual user line. In addition Minicom offers a full line of remote access switches for both single and multiple users (Smart 116 IP, Smart 216 IP and Smart 232 IP)

To learn more, download and read our latest white paper “How to Achieve Cost-Efficient Data Center Growth” through centralized management that leverages your existing KVM infrastructure.

Minicom’s entire line of KVM Products is available in an online catalog. Also, view case studies from different industries featuring Minicom KVM products.

Monday, September 08, 2008

CRN Review: Pick A Minicom PX For Remote KVM

Recently, the Minicom PX - a single port, palm-sized device that gives you remote KVM access, directly to your computer or server was reviewed by CRN.


The review from CRN website:

A KVM switch is a must when connecting many servers in the data center. But what of smaller environments that don't need a 16-port switch?

Test Center looked at the Smart 116 IP KVM switch from Minicom Advanced systems in a separate review. For a shop with only one server that need remote BIOS-level control, the price tag can be a little high. Minicom offers the PX " a KVM device similar to the SecureLinx Spider from Lantronix for this scenario. The PX costs $545.

The PX is larger than the Spider. It's slightly bigger than the "palm-sized" that Minicom claims, measuring 3.25 inches by 4 inches by 1.25 inches and weighing slightly less than a pound (15.5 ounces). The metallic box has a RJ45 port on one side and a 26-pin connector port on the other side. The KVM cable (26 inches long) plugs into the connector port and has two wires with VGA and USB connectors on the other end. A regular CAT5 cable connects the PX's RJ45 port to a PoE switch on the network. If the network doesn't have a PoE switch, there's a 4-pin port next to the RJ45 port for the optional power adapter (included). Minicom also supplies several types of plug-ends that can be swapped onto the power cable, depending on the outlet.

Setup is very simple " even more so than for the Smart 116 IP. After connecting the PX to the target server (or desktop, in this test) and network, the PX automatically grabs an IP address from the DHCP server. The PX also comes with a default
IP address in case the network doesn't have a DHCP server, and a static IP can also be assigned using the Web-browser-based configuration tool. Brackets are provided in case the PX needs to be mounted on a rack. The PX can connect to any Linux, Mac, Sun Solaris, Novell (NSDQ:NOVL), or Windows (98 and later) machine. To access the server, the PX requires Internet Explorer 6 or higher running on Windows 2000 or
later. The host computer's resolution should not exceed 1600x1200 at 85 Hertz.

Administrators can install a SSL certificate to secure the PX using the configuration tool. To access the target server, the Web browser uses HTTPS to point to the server IP address. The remote session in the browser is fairly responsive. The Active X-based viewer is easier to use and navigate with than a Java applet would have been. The toolbar also has options to adjust bandwidth, compression, and color options. Keyboard shortcuts and sequences can be programmed to send to the target server.

The convenience of BIOS-level control means administrators can pop a CD on the local machine and copy files directly to the target server. This simplifies management, configuration, and regular maintenance, especially for solution providers offering customers remote support services. The PX provides a way for small businesses to have a way to access the server in case of emergency without making that extra trip.

Minicom Article: KVM IP Management for Today’s IT Budget

Add-On Technology that Maximizes Your IT Installed Base

By Kenneth Dukofsky, Marketing Communications Manager of Minicom Advanced Systems

The numerous benefits of remote KVM IP access and management have made them the new must have technologies for IT managers. With KVM IP, companies can perform remote maintenance, increase response times, reduce downtime, slash travel costs and increase security. Unfortunately many remote access and management solutions are too costly for SMB’s. Much of their high costs derive from the contemporary “Rip and Replace” approach.

With over 60% of KVM switches in server rooms analog-based, IT administrators have a heavy investment in their current KVM systems. But when it comes to adding KVM IP access, most KVM manufacturers advocate replacing everything. In order to add KVM IP access to your server environment these companies make you completely remove your perfectly functioning analog KVM switches and replace them with their KVM switches with built-in IP technology. This makes their solutions very costly as you are paying for the KVM switch component twice, once for the analog KVM switch that you are throwing away and once for the new one.

An alternative approach allows companies to upgrade their existing analog switches; transforming them into IP enabled KVM switches. This is achieved by simply adding a technology layer on top of the legacy KVM systems, safeguarding the company investment. This cost effective solution, where you buy only what you need, costs less than half the price of competing systems. This approach saves time and money without sacrificing functionality providing a cost effective solution to KVM IP access. Minicom Advanced Systems calls this the Real Needs ™ approach.

The Real Needs approach is an affordable way to add KVM IP access that makes more sense for the end user. All companies really need to remotely control IT devices is a KVM IP gateway and a management system that is third party KVM switch compatible. There is simply no need to replace analog KVM switches. With the Real Needs approach companies upgrade to IP access and management for half the price of conventional methods saving tens of thousands of dollars in the process.

The Real Needs approach also slashes installation costs. IT managers have spent months building the perfect server racks and years laying wires all over their building. The thought of ripping up thousands of meters/feet of wire and laying brand new ones is a nightmare. Instead of destroying everything they have built up over the years and starting all over from zero, they can keep everything in place. With the Real Needs approach they simply add an additional technology layer on top of the existing systems. Not only do IT managers save themselves many hours of work, they also eliminate critical downtime for their company in the process.

Click here to read more about add-on technology that maximizes your IT installed base in Minicom’s new white paper
“KVM IP Management for Today’s IT Budget”.


Please visit our website for free informative resources such as white papers, case studies, podcasts and webinars on the subjects of KVM and Digital Signage.

The writer, Kenneth Dukofsky, is the Marketing Communications Manager of Minicom Advanced Systems. Minicom manufactures KVM server and computer management solutions that facilitate the control of the enterprise and corporate IT environments. Additionally, Minicom is an innovative manufacturer of distribution and extension solutions that provide the Digital Signage Last Mile™ player-to-screens stage of connectivity for Digital Signage systems. Minicom is an Intel Capital portfolio company and was named a Deloitte Technology Fast 500 company. Founded in 1988 Minicom has an international presence in over 70 countries, with headquarters in Israel and regional offices in North America and Europe.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Free Webinar: Cost Effective Solutions For Remote Data Center Access

Minicom Along with TAB invite you for a free webinar:
Cost Effective Solutions For Remote Data Center Access
Date: Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EDT
Speaker: David Zucker, Director, Business Development, Minicom Advanced Systems


In today's unstable economy, many companies are slashing their IT budgets leaving little or no money for Data Center technology upgrades. We know your organization needs Remote Access to increase efficiency and reduce those late night trips to the office.

Join Minicom Advanced Systems to learn how you can give your Data Center's KVM infrastructure a facelift and transform it into a remotely accessible IP system without replacing your legacy KVM switches.

Best of all, you can accomplish this upgrade at a fraction of the cost without sacrificing your Real Needs. Not only will you be paying less by just adding on, it is the greener way to do it. Come and learn how.

In this webinar, we will be focusing on

  • Why we suggest not throwing out perfectly good KVM switches and serial devices just because you need to upgrade to an IP environment

  • How you can save time, money, and training headaches by concentrating on your Real Needs

  • What our competitors do not want you to know: how to extend the life of your products.


REGISTER NOW - Space is limited, reserve your spot

Monday, August 25, 2008

Review: Remote KVM With Minicom Smart 116 IP

We recently sent products for review on ChannelWeb - the first is the Smart 116 IP, is a single user digital KVM switch.

Review: Remote KVM With Minicom Smart 116 IP

A KVM switch may not be the most mission-critical piece of equipment, but it's sure handy to have. And they are getting even more convenient.
The KVM's job is very straightforward: share a single keyboard, video, and mouse across multiple machines. With the prevalence of LCD monitors instead of CRTs, it's not as preposterous to have a separate monitor, keyboard, and mouse for each PC at the desk, but it's not the most economical use of precious workspace. The KVM cleans up the desk and makes switching from one machine to another a more efficient process. Some of the modern KVM switches work over IP networks, making it possible to switch to machines located a certain distance away.
Minicom Advanced Systems sent two products from its KVM lineup to the Test Center for review. The first, the Smart IP 116, is a single user digital KVM switch. The other, the PX, is a palm-sized KVM-over-IP device.
The Smart IP 116 resembles a plain networking switch. It's a 1U, half-sized unit weighing a slightly less than five pounds. There are 16 RJ-45 ports for connecting servers to the switch, along with a LAN port, a serial port, a RJ-11 flash port, and ports for the video, keyboard, and mouse. The keyboard and mouse ports are PS/2.
The servers are connected to the switch using a dongle with a video and USB connector (PS2 connectors are also available) on one end and a RJ45 port on the other. There's a separate model specifically for Sun hardware, but they support Windows 98 SE or later, Mac OS, Sun, SGI, and modern Linux distributions.
A CAT5 cable connects the ROCC (RICC over cable) dongle to the switch, so the servers can be up to 100 feet (30 meters) away. Power is drawn over the keyboard PS/2 port or the USB port so an additional power adapter for each device is unnecessary. This simplifies cable management, with only a single cable extending from the server to the switch.
Setup is straightforward. After connecting the servers, a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the 116 IP, it is plugged in and powered on. The LAN port should be connected to the network switch. Depending on how the switch is set up, access can be local or remote.
The Smart 116 IP grants BIOS-level control over the connected server, regardless of the connection method. For remote connections, data is encrypted through the 128-bit SSL protocol over a Web browser. To access the target server, the Web browser uses HTTPS to point to the server IP address. The screen is drawn using Active X control. Internet Explorer 6 or higher is required.
The remote session in the browser is fairly responsive, without a lot of the lag or problems with the refresh rate commonly seen in other remote access tools. The session window includes the name of the target server (which can be renamed in the Web config to a more user-friendly name) as well as a toolbar that allows the user to switch between other servers.
While the unit ships with a default IP address, it automatically picks up a new one from the network's DHCP server when powered on. For networks wanting to assign a static IP address to the Smart 116 IP, the Web-browser-based configuration interface makes this a simple process. The network settings, security settings, and firmware upgrades are all handled through this interface.
Administrators can also create users through the interface to control who has access to the servers and the level of access. The "View-only" access is convenient for situations when it's necessary to let users see what's happening for a given server, but not to give keyboard or mouse control, or to restrict which servers they can view. Regardless of access level, only one user can have control of the session, although multiple users can access the same server at the same time. Reviewers were able to use this level of access to simulate a WebEx or LiveMeeting experience where people could remotely see what was happening on a live server.
Solution providers can install this switch on a customer site to simplify how they access and manage customer servers. The user-access level can be configured to give them access to the servers, and with the remote session capability, solution providers can do most management tasks from their office without making the trip to the customer. Having BIOS-level access -- being able to restart the machine, go into the BIOS and check what is happening on the hardware level, to make changes to the configuration even before the OS (and related software) even starts -- can make a huge difference during an emergency trouble-shooting session.
While there are plenty of cheap KVM switches on the market, the $1,146 price tag on the Smart 116 IP is well worth it just for its remote connectivity. On a per-port basis, the switch costs about $72 per server, assuming all 16 ports are being used, which is a bargain.
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Not mentioned in the review, is the fact that in addition to the qualities of the product on it's own, the Smart 116 IP can be managed seamlessly by the KVM.net II Centralized Access & Management System.

We recently updated our white paper on how to achieve cost-efficient data center growth through centralized management that leverages your existing KVM infrastructure. You can download it free by filling out the simple form.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Product Announcement: Multi-User, Remote Access KVM Switch

We just released a couple of new KVM products, although they are basically the same product, there are different options to choose for it to perfectly serve your needs.


The new KVM switches for rack environments are a part of the "Smart" Line of KVM Switches by Minicom.


The official press release says....




The Smart 216 IP and the Smart 232 IP, multi-user, remote access KVM switches, are designed for IT managers of server rooms and data centers. The new products enable one local and two remote system administrators secure BIOS level access and control of up to 16 or 32 servers. Two additional remote users can also operate serial sessions for controlling serial devices such as routers, managed network switches or PDU’s. Like all Smart line KVM switches, the 216 IP and 232 IP offer seamless integration into Minicom’s centralized management system for remote IT – KVM.net ® II.

“These new products help round out Minicom’s Smart KVM line and position it as a major player in mid to high range server room and data center environments,” says Minicom’s Vice-President of Marketing Eran Kessel.

The Smart 216 IP and Smart 232 IP are rack-mountable, 1U sized switches that feature Minicom KVM over CAT5 technology that directly connects the switch to each server in the room, eliminating cable clutter and providing up to 30m/100ft of distance between server and switch. They also have built-in web servers enabling two remote users seamless access to target servers via a single IP address.

“The versatile, high-performance Smart 216 IP and Smart 232 IP provide solutions for many of the challenges facing distributed server rooms and data centers,” says KVM Product Manager Benny Hayumi.

Protected access is guaranteed via industry standard security protocols. Minicom utilizes the advanced 128-bit SSL protocol to guard your corporate data through every kind of remote access device. This technology efficiently prevents unauthorized access and security breaches.
Highlights of this product:


  • Control of up to 16/32 servers by two remote users and one local user



  • Control of two serial devices by two additional remote users



  • KVM.net® II enabled



  • Seamless power control



  • Supports USB keyboard and mouse



  • ROC technology - up to 30m/100ft between computer and switch



  • Rack-mountable, space-saving



  • High industry standard security



  • Multi-platform capable



  • Easy configuration and installation
The new products have just been released from development and are available for orders and shipping immediately. Contact your local Minicom office for more details about any of our products and to set up a free online product demo.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Reducing Travel Costs with Remote Server Access

In the current recession and with the recent steep climb in oil prices, companies are looking for ways to reduce their travel expenses. Travel also causes damage to the environment. A single passenger flying business class from New York to London will cause the emission of 3.5 tons of CO2 increasing the amount of greenhouse gasses responsible for global warming.

Due to the high cost of travel, many IT professionals are forced to limit both maintenance and repair efforts to a few scheduled onsite visits. Important work may be left undone for days or weeks. If the problem requires specialized hardware or software, work can be delayed even further – whether the visit is across the city or across the world.

There is however a way to keep IT assets running smoothly by remotely maintaining your computers via remote access. Instead of hopping into a car or plane to maintain or fix remote computers, IT staff can access the computers and work on them from the comfort of their own office, saving their company thousands of dollars in the process.

Taking it to the next level, using a KVM IP hardware solution allows accessing your servers at the deeper BIOS level, something software solutions are unable to accomplish. Remote access uses digital access to (keyboard, video, mouse) KVM switches via the TCP/IP (internet) protocol in order to allow administrators to manage systems from anywhere in the world.

This KVM access enables a number of unique missions to be performed of which remote software solutions are incapable, such as: booting from another hard disk if the main hard disk is broken; bypassing faulty hardware components; entering the Windows recovery console; entering ‘safe mode’ without networking; reconfiguring low level drivers; remotely booting to another operating system (dual boot); recovering and restoring the hard drive from a previous image etc.

According to an Intel Corporation study on trouble tickets and spending[1], approximately 5 percent of technical desktop computer-related support incidents represent slightly over 50 percent of total support costs, largely due to the costs of labor and travel. Certainly, any way to cut the cost of remote diagnosis/service—even just one of every four or five incidents—can mean significant budget savings, as well as returning users to business as usual.

Supportindustry.com reports that most IT help desk managers surveyed said that having instant access to accurate diagnostic information would make it faster (66 percent) and easier (62 percent) to resolve problems[2].

Due to spiraling travel costs, remote IT access has evolved from a luxury into a necessity. IT managers can simply no longer afford to be without it. Using remote access solutions, your computers and intelligent devices can be monitored and maintained from anywhere in the world. Problems can thereby be diagnosed more accurately and fixed in less time and at lower cost. Please visit our website for free informative resources such as white papers, case studies, podcasts and webinars on the subjects of KVM and Digital Signage.

By Kenneth Dukofsky, Marketing Communications Manager of Minicom Advanced Systems

The writer Kenneth Dukofsky is the Marketing Communications Manager of Minicom Advanced Systems. Minicom manufactures KVM server and computer management solutions that facilitate the control of the enterprise and corporate IT environments. Additionally, Minicom is an innovative manufacturer of distribution and extension solutions that provide the Digital Signage Last Mile™ player-to-screens stage of connectivity for Digital Signage systems. Minicom is an Intel Capital portfolio company and was named a Deloitte Technology Fast 500 company. Founded in 1988 Minicom has an international presence in over 70 countries, with headquarters in Israel and regional offices in North America and Europe.

[1] Intel IT Trouble Tickets & Spending, Intel Corp., 2003
[2] 66% of IT Help Desk Managers Not Completely Satisfied with Help Desk Technology Investment, Reports SupportSoft

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nothing But Net

The People and Computer (IT Infrastructure) Conference was held in Tel Aviv in front on an audience of 200 people last week.


As Minicom headquarters are in Jerusalem, we sent our local sales reps and support team to participate. In addition to enjoying the chocolate filled croissants for coffee breaks and a nice buffet lunch, the Minicom team delivered a live demo of our latest product, the Centralized Access & Management Solution for IT Managers - KVM.net® II. It was very well received and got the attention of all there. If you would also like a demo of the KVM.net® II you can arrange one here.

Some more photos from the event...


more photos here

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stay Cool

Here is a great article about how to keep the data center cool for summer. It provides 11 tips and is definitely worth reading.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Location Location

Even when you are putting a data center in the middle of nowhere there are factors to consider. Take this proposed data center in Canberra, Australia as an example. It was unsuitable due to the presence of Aboriginal artefacts, the land was too small, it low-lying under a flight path and it was too close to a highway.
When it comes to data center location its not just a matter of having the space - the environment also has to be conducive. But given that the data center may be in the middle of nowhere, remote access, management and control takes on even more relevance.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

KVM.net® II webinar

On Tuesday August 5, 2008 (2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT) there will be a special introductory webinar dedicated to the KVM.net® II. KVM.net II is a centralized management solution for access to servers, virtual servers, blade consoles and network devices in the server room and data center environments. It consolidates management of access to servers and network devices, unifying administration of targets and users across geographic locations to distributed branch offices. In addition to KVM access management, the KVM.net II provides a powerful Access Services feature that supports a wide range of remote access technologies including Serial, RDP, VNC, SSH, Telnet, VMware, HP ILO and Web Services. The webinar will focus on what's unique about KVM.net II as well as what the new Access Services feature is?
For those in the industry this is a must-be event so register now to avoid missing out.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Being Green

ATEN has come up with a bunch of Green IT tips and suggestions for network administrators.
These are the tips:
Go IT Remotely
Cut the Clutter and Reduce Power Consumption
Check out the Most Environmentally Friendly KVMs
Going Green Starts on the Factory Floor

They are all excellent ones and great start for going green.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Containment

This article discusses how Hewlett-Packard is the latest company to offer container-based data centers. They join the likes of Sun Microsystems, Rackable Systems and IBM in doing so.

According to the article, HP's Performance Optimized Data Center, or POD will consist of 22 taller-than-average 50U racks that can support up to 3,500 compute nodes, or 12,000 large form-factor hard drives. The servers will be accessible from the front of the rack and cooled with HP modular cooling system components using chilled water HP will also offer a 20-foot container option for smaller environments.
Not all reaction to them has been rosy with Chuck Goolsbee of Digital Forest saying that they shouldn't be considered a long-term solution. Will be interesting to see how the market reacts to them.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Centralizing Your IT Department

Stumbled onto this interesting video about centralizing your IT department. Jason Hiner from Tech Republic is the one doing the talking and gives five reason why doing so is a good idea. Check it out.

Monday, July 14, 2008

German Webinar Today

For all those German speakers out there - don't forget that there is a German webinar today
2-3pm CEST (GMT+2).
The topic is the KVM.net® II. The KVM.net® II is a centralized management solution for access to servers, virtual servers, blade consoles and network devices in the server room and data center environments. It consolidates management of access to servers and network devices, unifying administration of targets and users across geographic locations to distributed branch offices.In addition to KVM access management, the KVM.net® II provides a powerful Access Services feature that supports a wide range of remote access technologies including Serial, RDP, VNC, SSH, Telnet, VMware, HP ILO and Web Services.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Criminal Behaviour

This report from England is of another data center being hit by thieves. Websites such as that of the Financial Times were hit and down until the back-up servers could be triggered. The snowball affect of these actions is massive. The websites go down and the hundreds of thousands who rely on these websites are in turn affected. Simply after scrap metal, these criminals have no idea about the consequences of their actions. It's not like the world is being brought to its knees like in Die Hard 4.0 but data center security is becoming an increasingly important issue.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Minicom Interview

This week the Minicom Interview speaks to Simon Perry from Quocirca. Simon is Principal Associate Analyst to Quocirca. He specialises in environmental sustainability issues and their implications to business models. His particular interest is the role that IT can play in supporting transformational business society and new ways of working


Minicom Blog: Hi Simon, thanks for joining us.
Simon Perry: My pleasure.

MB: What do you see as the current data center trends?
SP: Energy efficiency regardless of the hardware or software architecture in the data center. The main concern is how much energy is it consuming? Then there are the issues of sustainability, cost and climate control.

MB: Electricity usage is a big issue isn’t it?
SP: Yes. Back three years ago it was about the physical placement of the racks in the room but now people are thinking about an efficient approach to electricity consumption. For instance, how much will be needed to cool the room.

MB: What are the other key data center issues?
SP: Virtualization as well as the utilization of floor space. And with the real estate market as it is people want to maximize every square foot of space they have. To do so the answer is to go up vertically. Cable clutter is another major concern as it blocks cooling and create hotspots. But all of these issues are interconnected.

MB: Speaking of real estate, appears to be many new data centers opening up in remote locations.

SP: That’s as labor is cheaper there, the cost of the property is cheaper and there is actually more electricity available there.

MB: With the technology, won’t things get smaller?
SP: Miniaturization will increase floor efficiency but the energy density per floor space will go up as will heat density. Even though the technology sees the size of devices decreasing they use as electricity as they did 20 years ago. The demands for processing

MB: Been a pleasure speaking to you Simon.
SP: Likewise

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

All the Way to the Top

People may think of data centers as something which is very niche and largely irrelevant but as this article shows they are being discussed on the floor of the house. If it's going all the way up to the Governor's office that must mean something.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Blog You Should Know About

I found this excellent blog called IT Management and Cloud Blog

It's written by John Willis who writes very well. He writes a fair bit on cloud computing which is a subject which doesn't get enough exposure.
Keep an eye on it

Monday, July 07, 2008

Guten Tag

For anyone who is interested we have a German webinar coming up. The topic is the KVM.net® II.
The KVM.net® II is a centralized management solution for access to servers, virtual servers, blade consoles and network devices in the server room and data center environments. It consolidates management of access to servers and network devices, unifying administration of targets and users across geographic locations to distributed branch offices.In addition to KVM access management, the KVM.net® II provides a powerful Access Services feature that supports a wide range of remote access technologies including Serial, RDP, VNC, SSH, Telnet, VMware, HP ILO and Web Services.
The webinar will be taking place next Monday July 14 from 2-3 CEST (GMT+2)
Bis Dann!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Data Centre Efficiency

Here is an interesting article posted on vnunet.com by Simon Perry. Perry works at Quocirca as a sustainability analyst. He makes some very good points one of which is:
Business urgently requires a standardised and regulated way of calculating emissions. Sustainability efforts urgently require those measurements to deliver transparency through regular reporting of performance.
The environment isn't an issue which is going to go away and must be dealt with sooner rather than later.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Minicom Media Club

There is a new section on our website called the Minicom Media Club and it is devoted to all things multimedia and audio-visual.

There will be webinars, podcasts and all manner of things multimedia devoted to KVM Technology. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Future of the Data Center

Here is an interesting article from Forbes.com looking at the future of the data center. It is an interview with Doug Harr who is CIO of Ingres. Doug says some interesting things about data centers.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Real Needs Webinar Take Two

For those of your who missed it or heard about it and wanted to be a part of it - the Real Needs™ webinar will be happening again today. A few spaces are still available and you can register here.
It's happening at 11am Eastern Time. See you there!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Stamp of Approval

In the latest edition of the German Network Computing magazine, they tested the Smart 116 IP in a small-medium size business environment: a local user and a remote user (100m distant) operating 4 PS/2 servers (windows 2003 and linux based), connected to a 100 mbit/s-switch.



Only eight manufacturers sent a solution for this scenario: Aten , Avocent, Belkin, Raritan, Daxten, D-link, Gutermann & Drunk and Lindy. The first four companies (and Minicom) used UTP cable solutions, and the rest, KVM cable. The test concluded that UTP is better because it is easier to find at resellers, it doesn’t need a special adapter and it goes longer distances.

Test result: On a scale of 0-5, the Smart 116IP got 4. This was the same as the Avocent AutoView3100 solution. Top marks went to the Lindy KVM-Switch U8-Modular (using a KVM extender instead of KVM IP) which got 4.68 points. The positive points of the Smart 116IP were the security functions and the KVM.net.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

MultiMedia

SearchDataCenter.Com has a number of different webcasts, podcasts and videocasts which are defintely worth having a look at. They cover a wide range of topics such as data center efficiency and protecting your virtual environment.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Cisco 3.0

Did you see the interesting announcements about the vision Cisco has for their data centers.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Real Needs™ Webinar Today

We are going to be having a webinar today at 2pm EDT titled:
Cost Effective Solutions for Remote Data Center Access.

If there are still spaces available you can reserve your place here.

In today's unstable economy, many companies are slashing their IT budgets leaving little or no money for Data Center technology upgrades. Organizations needs Remote Access to increase efficiency and reduce those late night trips to the office.
Thanks to the webinar you can learn how you can give your Data Center’s KVM infrastructure a facelift and transform it into a remotely accessible IP system without replacing your legacy KVM switches.

Best of all, you can accomplish this upgrade at a fraction of the cost without sacrificing your Real Needs. Not only will you be paying less by just adding on, it is the greener way to do it.

The webinar will focus on:
• Why we suggest not throwing out perfectly good KVM switches and serial devices just because you need to upgrade to an IP environment
• How you save time, money, and training headaches by concentrating on your Real Needs
• What our competitors do not want you to know ---how to extend the lives of your products.

System Requirements:
PC-based attendees - Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista
Macintosh®-based attendees - Mac OS® X 10.3.9 (Panther®) or newer

Thursday, June 19, 2008

IBM's Green Data Center

Yesterday we posted about the opening of IBM's new green data center. Now see a short clip about it. Take a look - it's well worth watching.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Greenier

There is news today that IBM just opened its Greenest Data Center in North America. IBM is serious about its committment to being green and it would be great if a lot of companies followed suit.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Real Needs Webinar

We are going to be having a webinar on June 25 2pm EDT titled: Cost Effective Solutions for Remote Data Center Access.

Space is limited so reserve your place here to avoid missing out.

In today's unstable economy, many companies are slashing their IT budgets leaving little or no money for Data Center technology upgrades. Organizations needs Remote Access to increase efficiency and reduce those late night trips to the office.
Thanks to the webinar you can learn how you can give your Data Center’s KVM infrastructure a facelift and transform it into a remotely accessible IP system without replacing your legacy KVM switches.

Best of all, you can accomplish this upgrade at a fraction of the cost without sacrificing your Real Needs. Not only will you be paying less by just adding on, it is the greener way to do it.

The webinar will focus on:
• Why we suggest not throwing out perfectly good KVM switches and serial devices just because you need to upgrade to an IP environment
• How you save time, money, and training headaches by concentrating on your Real Needs
• What our competitors do not want you to know ---how to extend the lives of your products.

System Requirements:
PC-based attendees - Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista
Macintosh®-based attendees - Mac OS® X 10.3.9 (Panther®) or newer

Monday, June 16, 2008

Real Needs

Today we launched the KVM.net® II centralized remote access system. It empowers IT administrators to remotely access all their distributed IT assets such as KVM, serial, power and network devices via a single IP address.

Today’s IT departments must work with multiple interfaces, user names and passwords. KVM.net® II radically simplifies life for these IT managers by providing centralized, unified secure access to all their globally distributed services and network devices via a single click of a link on the portal.

KVM.net® II’s powerful Access Services™ feature supports a wide range of remote access technologies including KVM, Serial, RDP, VNC, SSH, Telnet, VMware, HP ILO and web services.
IT managers are excited about the auto login feature that bypasses the login pages of the predefined access services providing a seamless expedited access experience.

Minicom designed an intuitive graphical user interface that makes configuration so simple; the entire system can be learned in a day. Minicom has also responded to the budgetary restrictions on IT departments by offering a unique Real Needs™ approach. As the only centralized remote access system to offer 3rd party switch support, KVM.net® II rejuvenates your existing KVM infrastructure.

With Minicom’s unique Real Needs™ approach you simply add a technology layer on top of your analog KVM switches, safeguarding your investment and maximizing ROI. This cost-effective solution, where you buy only what you need, costs less than half the price of competing systems. It also provides the market’s most environmentally friendly solution, as it “recycles” your existing KVM infrastructure. KVM.net® II’s open architecture even keeps your future options open, by allowing you to add the equipment that best suits you when the need arises.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bank of America Doubles Up

Bank of America is planning a $90 million expansion to its data center in Kansas City. According to the proposal, the data center would be 140,000 square feet on two levels. Expect to see and hear more data center news about banks.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Data Center Journal

Not sure if you know about this but the Data Center Journal is a fantastic resource.

It has oodles of information about data centers such as White Papers devoted to data centers, a data center glossary and a data center forum.
Keep an eye on it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Going Green

IBM is launching an expanded line of data centers that use a modular design to significantly reduce cut energy consumption in half. According to experts, data centers account for about 2 percent of global energy consumption.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The IBM Way

Forbes.com has an interesting interview with Bernard Meyerson, chief technologist for IBM's systems and technology group. He makes some good points on ways to boost performance in a data center.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Olympic Data Center

Would you like to see something impressive? How about the Data Center which will be used for the Beijing Olympics?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Infocomm 2008

Infocomm 2008 is now just a few weeks away. Should be a fantastic couple of days. Check back here for everything you need to know about Infocomm 08.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Being Green Saving Green

Here is an interesting article about turning your data center being green. Reality doesn't always mirror want people want. The surveys reveal that nearly 75 percent said green computing was “at least somewhat of a priority,” but only 44 percent said they had any specific plans in place.
And as Symantec’s 2007 Green Data Center Report found - only one in seven data center managers either started or had begun to lay plans to have a green data center.
It's not easy to turn everything upside in the pursuit of being green but the rewards are well worth it. The significant cost savings alone!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Lonely Planet

There are more articles speaking about the fire at the Planet Data Center. ComputerWorld and Mashable both put in their two cents worth.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Fire Up

Fires seem to be in the news first with Universal Studios and with The Planet. They have six large data centers in Texas, one of which had a fire. Apparently the damage wasn't to the servers but causing the power to go out. You can follow the play by play on The Planet's Forum. The poor people who now have no internet are probably going out of their mind. We've growned so used to having 24/7 access that as soon as it goes down we feel at a loose end.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Doing It Like Google

Here is an interesting article about Google and its data centers. As you can imagine these data centers are mission critical and processing billions of queries every day.
Jeff Dean say something which is absolutely spot on: "Our view is it's better to have twice as much hardware that's not as reliable than half as much that's more reliable," Dean said. "You have to provide reliability on a software level. If you're running 10,000 machines, something is going to die every day."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Data Center Links

If you don't read John Rath's fantastic Data Center Links do yourself a favor, add it to your favorites and do so.


A great round up of data center news.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mission to Mars

The Mars Probe Phoenix touched down on the Red Planet yesterday. I was wondering how NASA can control a device on another planet. I work for a company called Minicom that manufactures KVM over IP technology solutions.
We have the ability to access and control the KVM of a server remotely from anywhere in the world. It looks like companies will need to have KVM access and control even on other planets. I was wondering what NASA would do if the probes computer OS crashes? Our KVM can even access a down computer. Do they have a remote KVM way of going to the Bios of the probe to repair it? What if the Probe OS freezes? Can they cut the power to power it down and then add power to restart it? If they don’t they should talk to us about our PowerOnCable solution that can do that via RS-232.



Does NASA have a management system to control a few probes from one central IP address or does the IT department have to remember and re-enter all the passwords and usernames all the time? Minicom Advanced Systems just created a management system called KVM.net II that can access all servers, serial and network devices via a single IP address from anywhere in the solar system, including targets like video cameras and environmental monitoring devices. We even have IP gateways such as the PX IP Gateway that is ideal for non-blocking 1-to-1 remote access directly to mission critical devices, such as the probe. The PX includes virtual media, power control and absolute mouse synchronization. With our Customized Access Services NASA can create their own customized service using any application, URL, IP address or login method they want. I was thinking that with all of this technology we have become an advanced species to some far off planet. We have become the UFO’s.
Doesn’t that feel good?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Greening IT Up

GlassHouse Technologies has put out a white paper called Five Key Strategies for a Greener Data Center which is an interesting read.

They list five areas where there are potential cost savings:
1. Consume Intelligently
2. Consolidate Your Systems
3. Manage Storage Resources More Efficiently
4. Invest in a Greener Infrastructure
5. Consolidate Your Data Center Footprint



Well worthwhile reading the whole thing though.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Nice Data Center Website

While surfing the net, I found a fantastic website in regard to data center design and solutions. The company is called PTS Data Center Solutions and they provide data center design. They even have their own blog.
I really like this picture which I found on their website:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Compression

Interesting article here about how compression can reduce data center energy use by up to 95% The comments don't seem to be so complementary though.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

IBM Sets Sail For The Enterprise

Did you see the news about IBM? They are constructing huge data centers aimed at being data archives. The article doesn't mention remote access and control but would be interesting to know what sort they are planning to have?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Power of Knowledge


Have you see the Data Center Knowledge blog? It's an excellent resource for those wanting to be kept up to date about Data Centers.
They've been around for three years and have been providing daily news and analysis about the data center industry ever since. Well worthwhile checking out.