Monday, December 20, 2010

Defining a remote access strategy for an enterprise, is it that simple?

Post by Eran Kessel
Remote Access Management is a way of effectively managing and securing all the remote access protocols (i.e. RDP, VNC, SSH, KVM IP, SP, IPMI and more) in your data center. But why use remote access management anyway?
Well, nowadays IT personnel are often physically removed from their data center where all the IT infrastructure resides. "Lights-out" data centers and disaster recovery sites have become necessities for medium to large enterprises. Now days IT staff are always on the move, they work from remote offices, from home, while on the road, or from branch offices. The ability to work remotely has been made possible due to the increased reliability and usability of the internet and of remote access tools like KVM IP, RDP, VNC, SSH, Telnet and others. But, with all of these tools comes their associated IP addresses, passwords and user names, and IT managers need a way of organizing all this information. The current default option for keeping track of all these tools are spreadsheets, which require a lot of copying and pasting, and are not very secure. Organizations need a way to quickly and securely gain access to these remote access tools, which is why Remote Access Management is a requirement.

What are the benefits of a Remote Access Management strategy?
Different tech teams need different tools to accomplish their specific jobs. Different types of servers are better served by specific technologies and tools. Each technical team, or even an individual, will argue for the tool they like best. Employees will be more productive if allowed to use the tools they know and love, and aren't forced to compromise. So, having a Remote Access Management strategy not only means that you have an efficient and secure method for managing your many remote access tools, it also increases your IT efficiency and allows freedom of choice for your IT staff.

So, how does the enterprise IT define a remote access strategy for itself?
Defining a RAM strategy is quite simple and requires a few simple steps. First step is to map all remote access protocols that are being used by the IT staff, second step is to simply associate the right remote access protocol to the appropriate server or network device in the data center, let’s refer to them as targets. Third step is to assign the correct access rights to each of the IT staff, according to the organizational work flow.

Minicom's Access Management solutions aim to dramatically Increase IT efficiency & security, to save on IT costs and to simplify the daily workload of the IT staff by:
•Tighter security - Avoid unwanted access to IT assets, centrally manage and log all activity
•Enforced uniformity – All for one, and one for all! IT staff all operate through same web interface
• Open platform eco-system - Avoid dreaded vendor lock-in and integrate your choice of 3rd party KVM, Power or Serial device into the system
•On-Demand Remote Access - assign multiple access protocols to same target, whether In- band or OOB. Solve problems on the spot, in the most efficient manner
•Real Needs - Maximize past investments, Minicom's industry leading Real NeedsTM approach allows you to upgrade and repurpose running legacy KVM systems and to avoid costly replacements

Eran Kessel is a VP Marketing & Products at Minicom

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

3 Common Mistakes Made When Relocating Data Centers


Post by Eran Kessel

Mistake #1: IT managers create an organizational disaster when trying to keep track of IP addresses, password, and user names on spreadsheets. accessing servers and IT equipment is a given because of the increased dependency on remote access tools like KVM IP, RDP, VNC, iLO, SSH and others. All these tools are associated with confidential information which must remain secure.

Fix it: Organizations should use a remote access management SW to gain quick and secure access to their IT hardware using all thier remote access tools. Remote access management provides companies with the tool to securely organize all their protocols, IP addresses, and passwords, which allows the IT staff to work together no matter where they are located.



Mistake #2: Technical teams are often forced to compromise on tools they do not like to use. Different technical teams need different tools to do their different jobs, and different technologies are better served by certain tools. Every team or individual will advocate for the tool they like best because in turn they will be more productive with the tools they know and are accustomed to.

Fix it: Let your IT staff enjoy the freedom of choice in remote access tools by employing a remote access management strategy that provides an efficient and secure method for managing many different remote access tools.



Mistake #3: Businesses unnecessarily replace hardware and invest in new proprietary power, KVM, and serial equipment, rather than using their existing, up and running server room or data center infrastructure. This ineffectively increases overall costs for the company.
Fix it: By adding a remote access management solution such as AccessIT™, designed by Minicom, you have the ability to keep your current hardware and accommodate IT products from a wide range of vendors. AccessIT allows businesses to continue reaping the already-made investment in their existing IT equipment, knowledge, and training, while also giving the liberty to choose their own IT infrastructure products according to what fits their needs and their budget. In short, this solution reduces overall costs and allows your business to invest its money elsewhere.

Looking for more ways to avoid mistakes? You can learn more about how to efficiently manage your data center at the Winds of Change: Creative Concepts for Increasing Data Center Efficiency, hosted by the Data Center Alliance at Georgia Tech University on December 8, 2010.

Can’t make it? No worries! the DCA will be covering the DCA Event live on ustream.tv
Don’t miss out if you are unable to attend, bookmark our ustream.tv channel (http://bit.ly/dK1rM5) and log-in December 8th to see what’s happening on the conference floor!

Eran Kessel is a VP Marketing & Products at Minicom

Sunday, November 28, 2010

5 Tips on How to Increase Data Center Efficiency


Post by Nir Dary

1. Reduce Clutter! I don’t know about you, but many of my fellow IT friends have been faced with the same challenges in the server room: How can I free up my overcrowded server room? How can I eliminate cable clutter in the rack? one solution I found is to combine a KVM LCD drawer with a KVM switch. This creates a less cluttered work environment, now I’m using up only one U of rack space instead of 2 and the drawer KVM cables connect to the KVM switch on the same U, providing better cable management. Now that my equipment is all neatly organized I can access it more easily, save time,increase productivity and provides a safer work environment.

2. I need a reboot, and I need a reboot now! When servers crash, the resolution time is critical crucial and you must get your system up and running as soon as possible. In addition, you must do it without making any mistakes because you don’t want to get to the point of no return where you end up recycling a downed server. With time of the essence, the best way to bring your server back to life is with one click. Yes, one click. There is technology out there that provides direct access to PDU remote reboot features without a separate login and password, with the option of going through your KVM or serial session. There is no need to decode which power port is associated with a given target. Each server has icons for both remote access and power control right next to it, making the transition from access to control easy and immediate.

3. Consolidate your system! For daily maintenance of your servers, you rely on in-band software access services like VNC, RDP, Telnet and SSH. And, when it comes to dealing with server crashes, I bet you need out-of-band tools like console servers, KVM switches, managed PDUs and service processors. Sounds like a case of an overpopulation of remote access tools. The cure: Access all your IT assets at one address. You should manage all your remote access tools from one consolidated place with all your IT assets and their associated access methods. With one click access, IT managers can maintain and troubleshoot their data centers.

4. Lower your operational costs! Companies are always looking to cut costs and increase efficiency. As I researched ways to cut my operational costs, I found Minicom’s “Real Needs” approach. The unique approach provides a management SW portal to access and control all of your mixed-vendor IT hardware. This means you can use all your existing equipment- servers, consoles, switches, PDUs etc-regardless of the manufacturer, save your money for future investments.

5. If you would like to learn more about how you can make your data center more efficient, and learn more about changes in the IT remote access field, the Data Center Alliance is hosting the following event at Georgia Tech University on December 8, 2010: Winds of Change: Creative Concepts for Increasing Data Center Efficiency

Nir Dary is a Tech Support Manager at Minicom

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Viridity Software Joins the Data Center Alliance

The Data Center Alliance (DCA) welcomes Viridity Software, and is excited to add their data center energy resource management (ERM) solutions to the DCA’s offerings.

The Data Center Alliance brings together the best-in-class IT infrastructure manufacturers into one place, where IT decision makers can find the data they need to make smart decisions about their growing data center needs. For companies looking for balanced, factual data to improve productivity in the fields of power, KVM, network management, remote access, environmental monitoring and air flow, the DCA is the answer.

After the successful DCA kick-off event in California in July, we have already begun planning for the next DCA event – watch this space!

Join the DCA

Send me DCA updates

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Minicom Will Introduce New Version of Remote Access Management Solution at Data Center World

We are introducing an Enterprise Edition of our remote access management platform, AccessIT™, at Data Center World, presented by AFCOM, Las Vegas, October 3rd - 6th.

AccessIT Enterprise Edition is ideal for:
· Businesses with remote branches
· Testing labs with a large number of servers and simultaneous remote users
· Large, "lights-out" data centers where remote access is the only means of accessibility
· Any organization that relies heavily on IT uptime

Designed to meet the needs of large organizations, AccessIT Enterprise Edition can accommodate more than 250 servers and network devices, and more than 10 users.

Visit us at Data Center World (AFCOM), Las Vegas, Nevada, October 3rd through 6th, 2010, Booth #329.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Webinar: Increase Operational Efficiency with Strategic Remote Access Management

Space is limited.Reserve your Webinar seat now at:https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/346894848

In this webinar, co-hosted by Data Center Alliance members Digi, Minicom and Server Technology, you’ll learn:
• How the integration of Digi, Minicom and Server Technology’s solutions can dramatically increase your IT staff's efficiency and reduce server downtime.
• How you can provide IT staff with a secure, single pane of glass for seamless, single click access to your servers and devices using both in-band and out-of-band access (i.e. KVM and service processors).
• How to increase operational efficiency and security with a remote access management strategy, while leveraging existing hardware and software tools.
• A demonstration of the integrated solution in action.
• What the Data Center Alliance is, why it was formed, and its value for data center end-users, VARs and consultants.


Title: DCA Members Digi, Minicom & Server Technology present “Increase Operational Efficiency with Strategic Remote Access Management"

Date: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees:
Windows® 7, Vista, XP, 2003 Server or 2000

Macintosh®-based attendees:
Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Minicom and Digi: Successful Remote Serial Access Management

In-band and out-of-band access of network devices such as routers, switches and servers are critical in designing and maintaining robust data centers. Console servers offer a secure method of accessing these devices, either through a web-based interface, or a serial or modem connection when the network is down or unavailable.

In order to deliver a high level of IT service and to reduce downtime, IT managers need a secure, efficient way of remotely managing access to their many console servers, such as Digi Passport, as well as their PDUs, KVM switches, and software access services. Using Minicom’s
AccessIT, IT personnel get consolidated and seamless remote access to all their servers, routers, switches, firewalls and other network devices from one intuitive management console.

One click brings users directly to the desired serial device. IT staff does not have to maintain databases and spreadsheets listing the IP addresses and passwords for each Digi Passport anymore. They log in once, and get a “single pane of glass view” of all their computer systems and network devices.

Check out the
application note for pretty pictures and more details.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Data Center Alliance Road Show Overview

Data Center Alliance’s First Event Provides Innovative Ideas for Increasing Data Center Efficiency

Speakers from PG&E, ENERGY STAR, and industry leading data center companies share valuable insights

The Data Center Alliance (DCA) today announced that they successfully hosted their first event, titled “Winds of Change: Creative Concepts for Increasing Data Center Efficiency,” on July 27th at the Biltmore hotel in Santa Clara, California. The event explored solutions for data center efficiency challenges to an audience of CIOs, facilities managers, data center managers, IT managers and system administrators.

The Data Center Alliance event was sponsored by DCA members Digi International, Elliptical Mobile Solutions, Minicom, PDI, and Wright Line. Together with other alliance partners, these companies have joined forces to leverage the core strengths of each organization, and to fill the information gap in the marketplace by providing a centralized, comprehensive source for building successful IT infrastructures.

Digi’s presentation about their integrated console management platform made a compelling case for centralized access control as a driving force in helping data enters run more smoothly. It was hard not to be convinced by Elliptical Mobile Solutions’ concrete value proposition for their modular data centers: their Data Center in a Box” offers operational expenditures savings for clients from 40% to 65%. Minicom demonstrated how remote access management increases operation efficiency while maintaining security. Equally exciting was PDI’s talk about their power solutions, and the innovations they have introduced in order to track and reduce data center energy use. Wright Line’s erudite explanation about how to eliminate chaos cooling gave participants a road map for creating predictability in their data centers.

William Dunckel, Senior Project Manager at Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), captivated the audience with his keynote speech on “Myths and Facts Driving Data Center Energy.” Bringing charts and statistics to life, Dunckel drove home the necessity of reducing the carbon footprint of data centers, and outlined strategies for making it happen.

“It’s encouraging to see the dedication of the data center community to this important initiative,” Dunckel said. “The existence of this event bodes well for the future of the environment.”

Kathy M. Diehl, Regional ENERGY STAR Program Manager, spoke about the hot topic "ENERGY STAR for Data Centers." Her talk addressed the development of the "Guiding Principles for Energy Efficiency Metrics for Data Centers," giving a colorful context to the standards that are now used. Diehl's speech highlighted the reality that most stand-alone and larger buildings housing data centers have the means for tracking and curbing energy use.

“With ENERGY STAR’s help, it is easy to establish an energy management program that will benefit both your company’s bottom line and the environment. I am happy for the opportunity to inform the attendees of this event about ENERGY STAR's efforts to support energy efficiency for data centers,” said Diehl.

“The DCA is proud to host an event with such relevance and substance. After hearing all our speakers, attendees have the tools to make major positive changes in many aspects of their data centers, such as scalable designs for rack enclosures, data center mobility, lowering cooling costs, remote access management, power management, and facility design. We are already planning the next DCA event!” said David Zucker, Executive Director, DCA.


Here are some photos from the set up:




Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Minicom Demonstrates How Vendor Neutral Remote Access Management Plays Vital Role in Data Center Efficiency


Along with IPswitch, Talariax, and Orsenna, Minicom hosted a seminar entitled “Supervision and Administration of Information Technology”” at the Bedford Hotel in Paris on July 1st. The focus of the seminar was on how companies can meet the challenge of monitoring their IT networks and systems to avoid unplanned downtime.

Denis Adda, Minicom’s Associate Vice-President for EMEA, and Thierry Destombes, Minicom’s Sales Manager for France, highlighted the value of remote access management for IT infrastructures, and gave a live demonstration of how it works.

Weren’t in Paris on the first? Check out our new white paper on
the value of Remote Access Management.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

PG&E Senior Manager to Deliver Keynote Address at the First Data Center Alliance Road Show


Come hear William Dunckel speak about “Myths & Facts Driving Data Center Energy” in Santa Clara, CA on July 27, 2010. It’s the first Data Center Alliance event, and it’s going to be a lot of fun: great speakers, networking opportunities, and free breakfast.

William (Bill) Dunckel works as Senior Project Manager in the Customer Energy Efficiency division of Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Dunckel also serves as the Energy Committee Chairman of the Critical Facilities Roundtable, a consortium of data center and critical facilities owners and operators in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has been improving quality and efficiency of manufacturing and high tech service processes since 1980. Dunckel, a licensed professional industrial engineer with degrees from UC Berkeley and San Jose State University, has also been a graduate engineering professor and a member of SJSU’s Center for Manufacturing Excellence.

Register now

Monday, June 28, 2010

Extend the Life of Your PS/2 Data Center Equipment

Minicom’s PS/2 to USB Converter, a small, plug & play converter which enables the use of a USB keyboard and mouse with PS/2 devices, transforms PS/2 equipment from outdated hardware to valuable tools for today's data centers.

For many years PS/2 was the keyboard/mouse technology of choice for servers, KVM switches, and KVM extenders. Today, USB is the industry standard. Like any adoption of new technology, this shift is accompanied by some growing pains, and IT managers must grapple with how to incorporate USB technology within a budget. The PS/2 to USB Converter lets IT managers use their existing PS/2 KVM switches, servers, and KVM extenders with a USB keyboard and/or mouse, updating capabilities for IT equipment that would otherwise be obsolete.

Learn more about the PS/2 to USB Converter

New! USB capability for Smart 108/116

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Minicom's KVM IP Solutions Showcased by Rackwise at Datacenter Dynamics Sydney, Australia


Rackwise, the internationally recognized leader in Data Center Management and Intelligence solutions, featured Minicom's KVM solutions at Datacenter Dynamics Sydney, Australia, on June 16th.

Rackwise demonstrated
RACKWISE DCM's ability to seamlessly point, click, and remotely connect to servers and other device management consoles. As part of their demonstration, Rackwise used one of Minicom's multi-user IP KVM switches, which gives IT managers remote, out-of-band access to their servers from anywhere in the world using a web interface. All equipment used for the demonstrations was located in Rackwise's Product Demonstration Center, located in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First Data Center Alliance Event Coming Up!

If you are a CIO, Facilities manager, IT manager, IT decision-maker, or system administrator,this is one event you won't want to miss!

Theme: The Winds of Change: Creative Concepts for Increasing Data Center Efficiency
When: July 27, 2010
Where: Biltmore hotel, 2151 Laurelwood Road, Santa Clara, CA,
www.hotelbiltmore.com

Sponsored by the Data Center Alliance


Scalable designs for rack enclosures let you optimize airflow, giving you the ability to control energy expenditure. Exciting developments in data center mobility let you decide where you want your data center to be, and to use innovative technology for lowering cooling costs. Power management can also be an excellent tool for driving down energy use. How you build your facility can directly impact dada center efficiency as well. Delivering uninterrupted uptime and premier IT service requires solutions in order to maximize resources.

Get real-life answers for real-life scenarios from industry leaders about how to make your data center work for you. Enjoy the opportunity to network with others facing the same data center challenges.

Keynote speaker: Mr. Bill Dunckel , PG&E Energy Efficiency. Topic: "Myths & Facts Driving DC Energy"

Guest speaker: Ms. Kathy Diehl, Energy Star. Topic: "Energy Star for Data Centers"

Presentations by Digi International, Elliptical Mobile Solutions, Minicom, PDI, and Wright Line

Register now!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The IT Security Behind the World Cup

“Mahindra Satyam, the soccer tournament's official IT services provider, is responsible for safeguarding 160,000 users, the distribution of 3 million tickets, and 40 terabytes of data.” (full story here)

While you are keeping your eye on the ball, Satyam has to make sure no one hacks into the World Cup ticketing system, and to check out the security status of game attendees. Complying with the laws of each of the 208 participating countries was too complex, so Switzerland was chosen the gold standard.

Interesting angle – Satyam is also responsible for secure access and authentication of the 160,00 event management system users. Wonder if he has any time to watch the games…

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

When Virtualization Does/n’t Make Sense for the Data Center

There is much heated debate about the virtues of virtualization.

The blog post “
Data Center Feng Shui” by Lori MacVittie provides a balanced, middle-of-road approach which cautions against unilateral adoption or rejection of virtualization. In the author’s words:

“There are certainly data center components across all four data center infrastructure tiers – security, network, storage, and application delivery – that can be (and perhaps should be) virtualized. There are also data center components in those tiers that should not be virtualized. Then there are the components that could go either way, depending on the specific organizational and operational goals, needs, and budget. \

In fact, there are times when the same component may in fact be deployed in
both form factors simultaneously.”

This approach may be the wisest when it comes to virtualization, although it requires a bit more foresight and planning at the outset. The idea of having a virtualization strategy which examines what makes sense for each component isn’t rocket science. However, with all the hype surrounding the cloud, there’s a value to clearly advocating for the approach of weighing the pros and cons of virtualization on a case-by-case basis.

Have you:
a. Virtualized wherever possible?
b. Shunned virtualization wholesale?
c. Dipped your toes in the water just to check it out?

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Move Over LinkedIn – First iPhone App for the Data Center Industry!


Calling all Data Center professionals – check out what the iPhone application has to offer (full story here):

 Latest Network Activity
 News (via the our network blog posts)
 Classifieds/Jobs
 Events
 Forums
 Videos - via our YouTube Channel (DataCenterIndustry)
 PUE/DCiE Calculator - (as defined by the Green Grid)
 Member List

What do you think?


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Data Center & Cow Manure: The Scoop on HP’s Innovation

Source for diagram here





















HP’s new “server farm” concept is all over the news. The idea, as outlined in an academic paper, is as follows: take cow dung and convert it to energy in order to power data centers.

From an article on Mobiledia (
full story here):



“Patel [Chandrakant Patel, the director of at HP Labs] said that 10,000 cows, each producing 20 metric tons of manure a year, could generate enough electricity to run a one-megawatt facility -- a small to medium-size unit, for instance, used by a bank.”


Don’t think about it next time you are at the ATM…


Read about the UK data center already using the approach outlined by HP

Coverage from SustainLane

Monday, May 17, 2010

One-Click Solutions: the Answer for Remote Access

According to an article in IT Business Edge entitled “Five Ways to Rethink Remote Access,” it is time for companies to evaluate and update their remote access policies (full story here).

When discussing remote access for employees, the article lauds the value of one-click solutions and a simple user interface:

“A one-click solution will shorten the amount of time it takes to train an employee. Companies can cut down their IT training because the network security portion is easy. A trouble-free solution will also increase productivity among the office and make employees satisfied because they are eliminating an annoyance.
Not only is connecting to the network easier with a one-click solution, but also making the user interface is simple to understand is important. Employees need to understand their connection and real-time information and not waste time trying to grasp it. “
My sentiments exactly!

Minicom’s remote access solutions for data centers epitomize one-click, simple remote access management, designed for ease of use.

Find out more about accessing all your IT assets, all the time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

IT Giants Extending the Life of Data Center Legacy Equipment

Even data center giants such as Dell are holding back on purchasing new IT equipment and trying to make the most of what they have already bought.

According to an article on
Triple Pundit:

“Last month, Dell made the somewhat shocking announcement that it may never build another data center. The company was referring to the fact that it’s doubled its workload using no extra power and building no new data centers, simply by squeezing more capacity out of its existing servers.”

Companies such as HP and Wells Fargo are adopting similar strategies in the hopes of saving energy and money.

Minicom embraced this philosophy years ago with the
Real Needs™ approach. The basic philosophy of our Real Needs™ approach is to make sure that you have the most efficient hardware for your data center requirements without spending IT dollars for equipment that you don't need. Rather than advocate a "rip and replace" approach, the Real Needs™ approach preserves past investments by repurposing and updating existing equipment. We utilize the infrastructure, installation, and training that you already have, and add the elements that are missing.

Find out how Minicom can help extend the life of the IT equipment you already have.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Minicom’s Road Show in China Hosts Another Successful Seminar

Showcasing remote management and support for data centers, the third seminar in the road show was met with great enthusiasm. The seminar, which highlighted practical applications and case studies for remote management and support in data centers, was held at the Park Plaza Beijing Science Park in Beijing on March 16th. With over 70 participants that included system integrators, resellers, and end–users, participants were excited about the opportunities they saw for incorporating Minicom’s solutions into their data centers.

“There is strong demand for remote management and support in the Chinese market, and these solutions are perfectly positioned to answer that demand,” said Song Wei Ling, KVM Sales Manager at Airworld. “Minicom’s clear and compelling presentation showed how their solutions can be easily integrated into existing IT infrastructures.”

To learn more about Minicom in China, visit
www.minicomchina.com.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Video: Data Center Monitoring Spoof – Sarah Palin & Larry King

The animated Palin actually gets it: the need to view the health of IT infrastructures in real time, the dynamic nature of the data center, and the value of an automated monitoring system.

What would Sarah Palin say about Minicom’s
remote access solution, whose open platform approach accommodates changing needs of the data center?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Volcanic Ash & Data Centers: To be Determined

According to this ChannelWeb article, the volcanic eruption in Iceland that brought air travel to a screeching halt may have some unpleasant ramifications for data centers:

“Data centers are constructed to withstand environmental extremes and natural disasters, but volcanic ash is known for its ability to wreak havoc on desktops, servers, and basically any type of IT infrastructure that has moving parts.”

Lighting doesn’t strike twice, but volcanoes are known for repeated eruptions. Despite a push for Iceland as a prime location for data centers (competitively priced hydroelectric power and geothermal energy, electricity from emission-free, sustainable natural resources), concerns about volcanic ash may cause companies to reevaluate.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Minicom Lowers Operational Costs and Increases Operational Efficiency for Data Centers and Server Rooms

With enhanced version of remote access management solution offering expanded support for PDU and console server vendors, IT managers preserve existing equipment

We are introducing an enhanced version of our remote access management platform, AccessIT™, at Interop Las Vegas 2010, Booth #2729. With AccessIT, a Web-based management solution, IT personnel impose order on the chaos of mixed product environments with fast, secure, and simple remote access.


System crashes in the data center are potentially disastrous given today’s expectations of 24/7 uptime, and short resolution time is essential. AccessIT’s speed makes a significant difference when a server is down. IT managers shave critical seconds off downtime using single sign-on. Mission critical applications are restored quickly, with minimal disruption of workflow. With the inclusion of single sign-on and exclusive mode, users of AccessIT can now enjoy even more peace of mind when it comes to security. IT managers love that they can get the system up and running in hours rather than days or weeks, and that there is a short learning curve for new personnel.

A unique, open platform system, this cost-effective solution saves on IT expenditure by preserving past investments and preventing vendor lock-in. The latest version of AccessIT is an embodiment of Minicom’s Real Needs™ approach. The ability to repurpose power, KVM, and serial equipment rather than replacing it with all new products radically reduces the overall cost of introducing a remote access management system. Companies only buy what they need rather than having to purchase entire packages. By embracing IT products from a wide range of vendors, AccessIT enables organizations to leverage their existing IT equipment, knowledge, and training. Additionally, this open platform system opens up choices: businesses have the freedom of choosing IT infrastructure products and vendors based on value, performance and quality.

IT managers enjoy a “single pane of glass” view of their IT infrastructure and access methods (power, serial, KVM, and software), enabling quick, easy access and control. AccessIT now supports a wide range of vendors of PDUs, such as APC, Black Box, CyberSwitching, Geist, Dell, Eaton, HP, and Server Technology, and a large selection of vendors of console servers, such as Cyclades (Avocent), Digi International, Aten, Perle Systems Limited, and OpenGear.

Visit Minicom at Interop in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 27th through 29th, at Booth #2729.



*****

If you can't make it to Interop this time, you can still test drive AccessIT via our online demo.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Optimistic Outlook for US And Global IT Market

You many not want to shell out $1749 for the full report, but even the table of contents from Forrester’s take on IT trends is encouraging:
  • The $741 Billion US Tech Industry Is Recovering
  • The US IT Market Is Set For 8% Growth In 2010
  • US Industries That Had The Biggest Declines Will Have The Biggest Gains In 2010
  • PCs, Peripherals, And Storage Will Shine In 2010; Software Closely Follows
  • Global IT Purchases In Dollars Will Grow By 7.7 % In 2010
This report cites numbers to document the upswing that people are talking about with cautious optimism.

Are you feeling the recovery? Is your data center getting what it needs to work the way it should?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Case For Remote Access Options For Employees

Tech Republic talks about the advantages of about remote worker initiatives, saying:

“Very few initiatives help IT departments save money while they increase the reach and service of their infrastructure; but a well thought-out remote access strategy can do just that. It can help it give distributed users the access they need to the information and resources they require from wherever they are located, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And, if done right, a remote access strategy can reduce the complexity and ongoing security and management headaches that have typically resulted from extending the reach of the network to remote users.”

Amen to that!
Minicom’s remote access solutions are living examples of how to reduce IT complexity and management headaches.

But don’t take our word for it – here’s
what satisfied users of our solutions have to say:

“Because we are not limited by physical location and can work remotely, this system really helps us reduce our response time. Minicom’s solution maximized our existing KVM infrastructure and investment, adding remote functionality to what we already had.”
Director Li, head of the Technical Department of the Library in Beihang University.

“Minicom’s KVM IP solution is very appealing because I can manage my whole network from my desk. They offered the most cost effective solution with the best technology to simplify management of our network.”
Charlie Maillet, IT engineering and operations specialist for Ohio’s Area Agency on Aging District 7

Still not convinced? More reasons to implement the ability to work remotely (per the article):

“A well thought-out remote access strategy can become a differentiator for an organization, supporting high-level business objectives that deliver strategic value. It can support disaster recovery preparedness, reduce environmental impacts, and create a flexible work environment that gives the organization an improved ability to attract and retain top talent…It is not often you can develop an IT strategy that is able to play defense (save money) and offense (improve reach to boost productivity and business continuity) at the same time. In the face of these myriad benefits, it is worth it for organizations to make the transition to a more strategic and effective remote access strategy to ensure business can be done from anywhere at anytime to maintain or increase their competitive edge.”

See for yourself –
try our demo to witness firsthand the benefits of remote access.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Minicom Spins Out its Digital Signage Division; Raises $6 Million from JVP and Aviv Ventures for the New Venture

Today we have some very big news. Here is the official Press Release:
Minicom Advanced Systems, a developer of remote access, KVM, and digital signage solutions, today announced that it would spinout its digital signage division (“MDS”). The new company simultaneously announced that it had raised $6 million to finance its operations independently. The investment, which was led by Jerusalem Venture Partners and joined by Aviv Ventures, will enable the company to broaden its platform from its new offices in Jerusalem’s JVP Media Quarter.

MDS is a leading vendor of media distribution solutions for the Digital Signage and Digital out of Home (DooH) marketplace. According to MDS’ CEO, Ronni Guggenheim, “This investment is the natural next step in MDS’ lifecycle. The support of our investors positions us to explore inorganic growth options and to drive the acceleration of our product roadmap towards the establishment of MDS as a full scale enabling platform in the digital signage market.”

MDS’ technology is currently deployed on over 400,000 screens worldwide, and facilitates the distribution of content to consumers in retail, education, finance, transportation, and hospitality environments. In addition to the company’s headquarters in Israel, MDS has offices in the UK, Switzerland, and the US in order to meet the localized needs of its customers.
Gadi Tirosh, General Partner at JVP, explains that “MDS, with its seasoned leadership, global footprint, and strong operating history from within Minicom, is poised to build a broader platform in this growing but still fragmented market.” JVP typically invests in businesses that apply technology acumen towards the development of new media models, and with its investment in MDS, now enters another segment of traditional media that is on the verge of digitization.

About Minicom Advanced Systems
Minicom Advanced Systems provides KVM remote access, extension and management solutions designed to expedite and simplify IT services. Tailored for IT managers who need secure, centralized, and seamless access to their mixed IT environments, these solutions enable local, remote, in-band and out-of-band access and management. Minicom's unique approach maximizes past investments in IT infrastructure, installation, and training while adding innovative technology, resulting in reduced costs and increased productivity.
Founded in 1988, Minicom is a member of Intel Capital's portfolio of companies. In 2009, Minicom established Minicom Digital Signage. With headquarters in Israel and regional offices in North America, Europe and China, Minicom operates in over 70 countries.

About Minicom Digital Signage
Minicom Digital Signage is the world leader in the manufacture of advanced multimedia platforms. The company’s award winning solutions enable the transmission of rich content from media players to multiple digital displays located hundreds of meters/feet away. They also keep network costs down by reducing equipment and licensing requirements, and better preserving its customers’ systems. Today, over 400,000 screens worldwide are run on Minicom Digital Signage technology. Minicom Digital Signage began as a subsidiary of Minicom Advanced Systems, which has over two decades of experience in providing innovative technology solutions in the manufacture of media distribution and digital out of home multimedia platforms.

About JVP
JVP is one of the leading venture capital funds in Israel. The fund operates from Jerusalem and manages over $780 million. JVP focuses on building market leaders in the fields of digital media technology, including gaming and virtual worlds, mobile media, software and hardware applications and Internet advertising. With leading industry venture partners and consultants in New York, Los Angeles and Europe and an international network of strategic partners, JVP leverages its unique market expertise, its dedicated management team and substantial capital base to build companies with the potential of shaping the global markets.

About Aviv Ventures
Aviv Ventures invests in Israel related technology companies, with a focus on companies providing "high-tech solutions to low-tech industries". The fund seeks to invest in revenue stage companies as they transform themselves from R&D centric organizations into globally oriented companies with customer facing operations. Aviv helps its portfolio companies to bridge geographical and professional gaps as they grow and develop from Israel to world markets.

Media Contact:

Elizabeta Petakovic
elizabeta.petakovic@minicom.ch
+41 44 8238009
http://www.minicomdigitalsignage.com/

Stan Robinson
Stan.robinson@minicom.com
414 N. Wood Ave
Linden, NJ 07036
+1 908 4862100
http://www.minicom.com/




Monday, March 22, 2010

Minicom’s Innovative, Secure KVM Switch is a Hit with Network Computing

After thorough testing in a computing lab, Network Computing (European Edition) chose the Smart 232 IP as an “Editor’s Pick,” highlighting the fact that it is easy to install, easy to configure and easy to control (full story here).

Awards and more awards…between this and
AccessIT™’s Product Innovation Award, we are running out of room on our trophy shelf. Watch this space to see what honors are bestowed on Minicom next!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Minicom’s Answer to the Ten Things You Won't Find in Your Datacentre in 2010

This article on ZDNet UK gives a concise and cogent forecast of what data centers will look like over the next year.

On the disadvantages of unified architectures (something you won’t see):

“The downside is you reduce your discounting power, and your technology choices are similarly limited by those the vendor will sell you. It is called lock-in.”

Minicom’s
Real Needs™ approach in perfect harmony with the school of thought that challenges the benefits of unified architectures, recognizing that it is too limiting. The basic philosophy of our Real Needs approach is to make sure that you have the most efficient hardware for your data center requirements without spending IT dollars for equipment that you don't need, regardless of vendor. That’s why we offer KVM IP capability, remote power control, and remote access management for products from a wide range of companies. We want to give you solutions that make sense technically and economically, rather than forcing you to stay wedded to one vendor.

Another thing you won’t see: single pane of glass

“When it comes to management, vendors promise a single pane of glass — being able to view the whole network and infrastructure from one console. But what they offer usually extends only to their own systems or possible other systems like theirs.”

A ha! Minicom is not scared of enabling access to other systems, and in fact, recognizes and responds to this real life scenario with real life answers. Our remote access management solutions,
KVM.net® II and AccessITTM, provide a single pane of glass for all industry-leading, in-band and out-of-band remote access services.

Unique, open platform systems, these cost-effective solutions save on IT expenditure by preserving past investments and preventing vendor lock-in. By embracing products from a wide range of companies and vendors, KVM.net II and AccessIT let organizations leverage their existing product knowledge and training, while reducing the cost of adopting an access management platform.


Prove ZDNet wrong – check out
our demo to see how you can have a single pane of glass in 2010!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

AFCOM Data Center World 2010 Pictures From the Show

We are at Afcom Data Center World 2010 this week showing our centralized access management solutions KVM.net II and AccessIT. Minicom's Dave White, David Zucker & Rami Sasson are sharing a booth with one of our partners SharkRack. Here are some pictures from the show:










Tuesday, March 09, 2010

PDI Joins Data Center Alliance

Minicom Advanced Systems announced that PDI, a manufacturer of electrical equipment for computer data centers, industrial and commercial buildings, and alternative energy applications, has joined the Data Center Alliance (DCA). The Data Center Alliance, formed with Minicom, Wright Line, ServerTechnology, Uptime Devices, and Digi International fills the information gap in the marketplace by providing a centralized, comprehensive source for building successful IT infrastructures.

“In addition to the opportunities that this partnership offers for significant market expansion, we are looking forward to contributing towards the collaborative efforts by the DCA members to help IT managers with better data center planning and operation, ” said Dave Mulholland, VP Marketing, Service at PDI. “Joining the DCA is a great way for us to work with the people who keep data centers running efficiently, and to offer PDI’s unique, effective solutions to a wider audience.”

To learn more about the Data Center Alliance, visit
www.minicom.com/dca-partners.htm.

About PDI

PDI is a closely held specialized manufacturer of electrical equipment for computer data centers, industrial and commercial buildings, and alternative energy applications. PDI is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia and also has manufacturing facilities in Howell, Michigan and Costa Mesa, CA. PDI is owned by Bertram Capital out of San Mateo, CA.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Video: Data Center Communication Challenges

Funny half a minute video which captures the difficulty of getting heard in the data center, as well as the challenges of cable confusion.

If these guys were using
Minicom’s products, cable clutter would not be an issue…

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Come Hear Minicom at CeBIT!

Björn Christiansen, Minicom's Strategic Alliance Manager for DACH, will talk about "Today's remote access technology for data center infrastructure management" at CeBIT. The presentation will cover the following points, among others: the importance of remote access technology in today's IT world, what kind of remote access makes sense, and some examples that illustrate the practical application of remote access technology.

The presentation will take place at Hall 12 as part of the Exhibition Program "Professional Data Center @ CeBIT" in Hannover, Germany on March 2nd, 2010 at 12.00 pm (GMT). Check it out!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Minicom Appoints David White VP Sales North America

Minicom has appointed David White as Vice President of Sales for North America. In his new role, White will be in charge of all sales of Minicom's branded products.

"Having David on board adds great power to our sales leadership," said Eli Sasson, CEO of Minicom. "His rich, relevant experience in data center remote access and efficiency will help us satisfy the increasingly complex needs of our customers. Our business partners will benefit from David's proven ability to expand the sales channels through strong partnerships built on loyal and trustworthy relationships."

"I am excited to be a part of Minicom, and to promote our data center remote access and management products," said David White. "Even when competing with Minicom in the past, I appreciated their customer focus and solid product reputation. Specifically, I am excited about the Data Center Alliance, initiated by Minicom in December, as it brings real value to both customers and vendors in the Data Center management space. The DCA is the right way to ensure reduced costs while improving capability of the products our customers are already buying."

A sales expert, White has spent many years involved in sales and marketing for technology companies. Prior to joining Minicom, White was Vice President of Sales for North America at Avocent, where he drove sales to IT decision makers in the data center. Before Avocent, White served as Vice President of Sales for North America and APAC at Cyclades, spearheading their sales efforts and delivering consistent growth of market share.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Electrorack Enclosure Products Joins Data Center Alliance

Minicom Advanced Systems announced that Electrorack Enclosure Products, which designs, manufactures and delivers quality, market-leading enclosure solutions, has joined the Data Center Alliance (DCA). The Data Center Alliance, formed with Minicom, Wright Line, ServerTechnology, Uptime Devices, and Digi International fills the information gap in the marketplace by providing a centralized, comprehensive source for building successful IT infrastructures.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to join the Data Center Alliance,” said Todd Schneider, Electrorack’s Director of Marketing. “Today’s data centers are facing critical issues, and are looking to enclosure and infrastructure partners to bring practical, green solutions that help them address heat, space, and power. We look forward to collaborating with our fellow members of the DCA on best-in-class practices.”

To learn more about the Data Center Alliance, visit
www.minicom.com/dca-partners.htm.

About Electrorack Enclosure Products

Electrorack Enclosure Products has emerged as the premier industry resource for data centers in the design, development, and delivery of next-generation solutions that address increased heat loads, equipment compaction, and power densities. Incorporating a myriad of innovative technologies, all designed and manufactured in the USA, Electrorack’s innovation extends to every detail, and results in a host of practical applications and solutions that are critical to data center operations. Electrorack’s build-to-order enclosures are designed specifically to meet the needs of the most complex data centers, ship pre-configured, and incorporate cabling, power, and cooling options, resulting in significant time and cost savings for clients. A customer-driven product portfolio includes aisle containment systems, scalable blanking panels, active heat containment systems, and custom PDUs that help clients meet their “green” goals through reduced energy costs and improved operating efficiencies. Electrorack’s customer-centric approach to providing its clients with solutions that achieve tangible, quantifiable results has formed the basis of its success over five decades. Data center professionals don’t view Electrorack as a rack “vendor,” but rather as a true partner that serves to help them reduce costs, maximize space, and increase efficiencies. Contact Electrorack at www.electrorack.com, or by calling 800.433.6745.

Monday, February 15, 2010

IT Lessons To Learn From Toyota’s Missteps

This article from Smarter Technology crystallizes three major lessons that IT leaders can learn from Toyota’s mistakes:

Standardization demands caution.

A good innovation, to be sure, but one that needs to be reexamined periodically to ensure that it does not need tweaking and refining.

Rush software and systems testing at your own peril.

Just because slipshod testing usually produces good enough results does not mean it is an effective system.

Don’t hide problems.

In the words of the article’s author,
Joe Maglitta:

“It’s against human-survival nature and culture, corporate or national. But as any kid or governor can tell you, the whuppin’ is even worse if you get caught lying later on. Honesty is not just for CEOs and sellers of poisoned painkillers. Fessing up early isn’t fun, but it hurts less in the long run.”

Amen – true for both the IT world and for life outside of it.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Minicom Kicks Off Successful IT Technology Road Show in China

Minicom has embarked on a road show in China that will span many cities over the course of 2010.

The seminars for the road show are designed to illustrate how Minicom will support partners in China. The first seminar was held at the Jianguo Hotel in Shanghai, and the second seminar was held at the Grand Skylight Garden Hotel in Shenzhen. Dozens of participants attended the seminars, including system integrators, resellers, and end–users. Feedback from the audience was overwhelmingly positive.

“The plans that Minicom outlined for partnership were very exciting and very concrete, with real substance that promises to produce results. We can’t wait to start working together!” said Weiming Pan, General Manager, RunSun Computer & Network System Co., Ltd.

“Minicom’s grasp of the Chinese market and their range of solutions is a compelling package. All the elements for success are there, and we want to be a part of that!” said Laben Yang, Sales Director South China, iSoftStone Information Service Corporation.

“The enthusiasm at the seminars confirmed our feeling that the time is right for long term partnerships in the Chinese market. Minicom’s KVM and KVM IT solutions are a perfect fit with demand in China, and we are looking forward to delivering value and margins for our partners,” said Kingsun Kwok, Country Manager, Minicom.

A seminar in Beijing is scheduled to take place after Spring Festival, with more cities to follow. To learn more about future seminars or Minicom China, visit http://www.minicom.com/.

Excitement Over Facebook’s New Data Center Tarnished with Coal Dust

Responses range from measured surprise to righteous indignation - after much fanfare about the opening of Facebook’s new Prineville, Oregon data center, the fact that they are using coal has been a cause for comment.

Is Facebook’s use of coal an unexpected, problematic development, or should they use whatever energy source makes the most financial sense for their needs?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Video: Funny Take on How KVM Remote Control Saves the Day



Always nice when there is a convergence of IT and humor – check out this really funny video which illustrates how KVM remote control can go below the BIOS level and get rid of the blue screen of death. Worth watching till the end, great line in the last minute that will make you laugh.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Noisy Data Center? Try Remote Management

Can’t hear yourself think in the data center? Those whirring fans can be more than just an annoyance – they are potentially damaging, with the ability to cause permanent hearing loss.

This article on Processor.com makes concrete suggestions for how to tune out the problem:

“If noise is still an issue for enterprise employees, even more radical action may be needed, Deaderick [Tom Deaderick, director of OnePartner Advanced Technology and Applications Center] says. Consider letting employees work remotely or at home some days of the week. This is also an option for employees who work inside especially loud server rooms. ‘No one complains about the noise in a server room when they are using remote management tools from an office five miles away,’ he says.”

If you decide to go this route, check out
Minicom’s remote management tools.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Data Centers Go Mainstream

Gone are the days when data centers conjured up images of big scary machines in some isolated area. Data centers are enjoying a renaissance in popular culture, with an updated, hip image, and they are cropping up in some surprising places.

Taking the kids to Disney World? Make sure to hit IBM’s SmarterPlanet exhibit, which shows the practical application of the way computers affect and enhance daily life. According to the article on
Data Center Knowledge:

“The exhibit is the latest sign data center technology is gaining a higher profile, slowly shedding the anonymity of the back-office server room or remote data center in a secure, undisclosed location. As the Internet becomes a more integral part of everyday life and the American economy, the back-end is moving out front.”


How about the fact that Facebook’s building of a data center (
full story here) is considered newsworthy? If Facebook does not personify pop culture today, what does? Reassuring to know that your social network will now be managed by the company itself, and relax – Facebook plans on implementing lots of energy saving measure, so you can "friend" without guilt.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Four IT Pitfalls to Avoid This Year

According to Netcordia (full article here), here are the potential problem areas that await IT managers this coming year:

Unstable network infrastructure will be the undoing of ambitious virtualization projects.

Outages and more outages – at least five big ones in the next 6 months

Non compliance will lead to firings and fees as it is enforced more strictly

An increase in merger and acquisition (M&A) activity will result is a heavier burden on IT departments

“With the potential for network errors to wreak havoc in 2010, network managers will play a crucial role to navigate these potential pitfalls,” said Don Pyle, Netcordia’s CEO. “Based on what’s at stake, here are two more predictions: network managers’ work week will increase 20% – a full day – and ultimately, the network management role will finally get the respect it deserves.”

The specificity of these claims lend them a convincing ring. Time will tell definitively if these predictions will come to pass. Are you doing anything today to avoid the headaches described here?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Browser Mayhem: Exploring Your Options?

Ouch! Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is suffering from severe damage to its image, as both the French and German governments have recommended that people abandon the browser due to security breaches, according to the Wall Street Journal blog.

Does jumping ship at this point make sense? There is no clear consensus, as some express reservations about whether IE is actually any more vulnerable than other browsers.

The article states:

“Generally speaking, a browser switch is going to be a lot easier for an individual than it will be for corporate users, where IT policies often dictate which browser people use on their computers.

Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant and security firm Sophos, said in
a blog post Monday that companies may cause ‘more problems than it’s worth by summarily switching browsers’ because of the potential for employee confusion and Web site compatibility problems caused by the new software.

‘My advice is to only switch from Internet Explorer if you really know what you are doing with the browser you’re swapping to,’ Mr. Cluley said. ‘Otherwise it might be a case of ‘better the devil you know.’ “

Are you advocating a switch from Internet Explorer in your organization?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Minicom and SharkRack Partnership Announced





With SharkRack as a reseller, Minicom expands its presence in the US IT market

We are pround to announce a partnership with SharkRack, a premier provider of infrastructure solutions for data centers and network rooms. SharkRack chose Minicom as their KVM vendor because of their advanced IP KVM and KVM over CAT5 product lines, which include remote access management solutions, KVM switches, LCD drawers with integrated KVM switches, and KVM IP gateways.

“SharkRack’s proven track record of recognizing and responding to the changing needs of data centers makes them an exciting company to have as a partner,” said David Zucker, Director of Business Development at Minicom. “The flexibility and creativity that SharkRack offers its customers is a perfect fit with Minicom’s real needs™ approach, which advocates a customer-centric philosophy. Opening a direct relationship with SharkRack gives our customers better visibility to our industry leading solutions, and we feel confident this partnership will prove to be mutually beneficial.”

"Minicom's breadth of products, advanced technologies and commitment to creating customer focused solutions were the main criteria for why we chose to partner with Minicom,” stated Seth Schalet, president of SharkRack. “Minicom offers easily upgradeable platforms that provide our customers with a long-term solution for supporting their LCD and KVM product needs that is consistent with SharkRack's vision of bundled and standalone intelligent infrastructure solutions."

Join SharkRack and Minicom for "A Look Into Remote Access and Control Solutions" on February 3rd, 2010, from 10AM until 2PM, in Newark, California. In addition to a discussion of how remote access is evolving and can add value to organizations, there will be a drawing for a $200 American Express gift card. Sign up here: http://event.pingg.com/remoteaccessevent!

To learn more about Minicom, visit http://www.minicom.com/. To learn more about SharkRack, visit http://www.sharkrack.com/.




About SharkRack

SharkRack is a premier provider of infrastructure solutions for data centers and network rooms. We provide products and engineering services to improve the cost-effectiveness, availability and viability of mission-critical data and networking systems. For almost a decade, leading organizations in a variety of fields—from telecommunications to financial services to government and military—have trusted SharkRack for advanced data center solutions.



SharkRack's history of innovation includes pioneering multi-vendor rack-mounting systems. Today, we are leading the industry in addressing a new set of challenges—in cooling, space, management, and security, and other areas—through an approach that views the data center as a single, interdependent system. Our sharp focus on the problems facing modern data center workers and managers allows SharkRack to give customers the independent attention and flexible service required to solve unique technical and business problems.