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 – - 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 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 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 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


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

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 (

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.”