The 30 Hottest Product Launches In June4:00 PM EST Tue. Jun. 26, 2012
In a constantly changing technology world, solution providers need to stay on top of the products and services to not only identify possible opportunities but also keep tabs on the competition. Microsoft stole the headlines this month with its foray into the tablet space with Microsoft Surface, while a handful of other vendors, both big and small, unleashed products worthy of solution provider attention. Apple brought some of the attention back to its notebook lineup by introducing its next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina display, while startup Bromium exited stealth-mode to keep PCs secure outside of the corporate firewall.
From tablets and APUs to cloud software and security apps, check out CRN's picks for the hottest tech releases in June.
Apparently dissatisfied with efforts by tablet manufacturers like Samsung and Lenovo to establish Windows as a player in the booming tablet market, Microsoft surprised everyone when it unveiled its own Windows 8-based tablet computers.
Microsoft touted the fact that the Surface for Windows 8 Pro and Surface for Windows RT tablets were "conceived, designed and engineered" entirely in-house. Apparently taking a page from Apple's playbook, Microsoft argues that developing hardware and software together will make for a better system.
Certainly the Surface products won praise for their innovation -- including a cover that flips down to become a keyboard. But in a shocker, Microsoft only said that it will sell the tablets through its retail stores and some online retail sites, leaving the company's thousands of resellers wondering whether they will have a role in selling the Surface.
With all the excitement around the iPhone and iPad, it can be easy to forget Apple’s roots are in PCs. But the Cupertino giant revived the tech world’s interest in its notebook lineup this month with the introduction of its next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina display.
The new 15.4-inch laptop boasts a number of updated specs compared to prior MacBook iterations. Most notably, its 2,880-by-1,800 screen resolution -- which contains 3 million more pixels than a 60-inch HD -- positions the new MacBook Pro with Retina display as having the crispest notebook display on the market.
Apple’s newest laptop, which weighs in at 4.46 pounds and measures 0.71 inches thick, starts at $2,199.
Red Hat is best known for its distribution of the Linux operating system, but the company's JBoss application server software has become one of its most significant products. This month the company launched JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6, a new release of the middleware that the company said makes it easier for businesses to develop and deploy public and private cloud systems. The new release also supports multi-core servers and virtualized environments.
Red Hat also debuted JBoss Data Grid 6 software, the company's "big data solution" that's based on the JBoss Community Infinispan project. The software is used to implement large, transactionally aware data grid systems and helps businesses more easily scale application development for big data tasks.
Oracle's Public Cloud is now live, offering integrated services, enabling self-service and giving customers subscription-based access to its product portfolio, including Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Applications and Oracle Fusion Middleware. Oracle will manage, host and support the products, the company said.
The Oracle Public Cloud also includes many of the company’s business applications and services, including Oracle Fusion Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Cloud Service, Oracle Social Network, Oracle Fusion Human Capital Management (HCM) Cloud Service, Oracle Java Cloud Service and Oracle Database Cloud Service.
According to the Redwood City, Calif.-based company, customers can also use standard Java and Oracle Database applications and deploy them to the cloud to leverage existing IT assets.
Microsoft this month took the wraps off the Windows Phone 8, the next-generation version of its mobile OS for smartphones.
Apart from delivering a range of new capabilities, including those for near-field communication and voice recognition, Windows Phone 8 will usher in a new generation of Windows-based devices running multi-core processors and supporting displays with up to 768-by-1,280 resolutions.
Handset makers including Samsung, HTC and Nokia are expected to launch smartphones running the new OS later this year. But devices running on the current Windows Phone 7.5, such as Nokia’s Lumia lineup and Samsung’s Focus, won’t be able to upgrade to the new release, Microsoft said.
Taiwanese PC maker Acer added to the list of iPad-challengers this month with the launch of its new Iconia Tab A700.
The 10.1-inch tablet boasts a 1,920-by-1,200 high-resolution display, which falls second only to the new iPad’s 2,048-by-1,536 Retina display. Presenting what Acer claims to be a “new level of clarity and realism,” the Iconia Tab A700 delivers a 55 percent higher pixel density compared to the myriad of 1,280-by-800 displays native to most tablets today.
While the iPad is still crowned the high-res winner for now, Acer’s Iconia Tab A700 sells for at least $50 less, making it a viable alternative for cash-conscious buyers.
There's been a lot of hoopla over Hadoop, the open-source software for handling "big data" projects. In June, Hortonworks began shipping its commercial distribution of the Hadoop platform with added features and functionality that make it ready for prime time.
Hortonworks Data Platform 1.0 has been in private beta for six months. HDP, according to the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, offers features such as system monitoring and management, metadata management, and data integration services that the company says will make it easier for businesses to adopt Hadoop.
The new Hortonworks product was among a wave of Hadoop-related products that were unveiled at the 2012 Hadoop Summit in San Jose this month.
Intel took one step closer to its goal of enabling exascale computing by 2018 with the launch of its Xeon Phi series of 22nm coprocessors this month.
Codenamed "Knights Corner," the new chips contain more than 50 cores and host a minimum of 8 GB of GDDR5 memory. They are also the first commercial processors from Intel to be based on its Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture, meaning they are optimized for the highly parallel workloads of supercomputers or high-performance computing (HPC) systems.
When they become available in the second half of the year, Xeon Phi coprocessors will be used primarily to accelerate data-intensive apps, such as those used for weather tracking or advanced materials simulation.
Check Point Software Technologies has introduced a new line of security appliances designed to fight distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that disrupt IT functions by overloading traffic on the network. The number of DDoS attacks has been on the rise, and the exploits are also becoming more application-specific.
Check Point’s new line of "DDoS Protector" appliances are designed to block all major attack types, such as network floods, server floods, application-layer DDoS attacks, as well as low-and-slow attacks.
The device is positioned in front of the perimeter gateway where it can detect and stop potential DDoS attacks before they reach the main security gateway. The product line features seven different models with densities of up to 16 ports. In addition to customer support and access to an emergency response team, Check Point also offers a management suite that provides full visibility to all security events from a single pane of glass
Bromium, a startup led by the co-founders of the Xen open-source project, came out of stealth mode last week with a product -- still in beta -- that runs counter to the traditional approaches vendors have taken to endpoint security.
Bromium uses Intel hardware assisted virtualization to isolate operating system tasks before they're executed, handing them over to a piece of software called a "microvisor," which examines requests to ensure they're not malicious.
"At that point, we have an opportunity to insert new control to perfectly implement the principle of least privilege," Bromium co-founder Simon Crosby told CRN. "The system is naturally trustworthy and naturally cleans itself of any malware. This happens through the application of virtualization as an isolation boundary."
AMD grew its chip lineup this month with the launch of its new Brazos 2.0 E-Series APUs.
The new E2-1800 and E1-1200 APUs, which are being targeted at lower-end notebook and desktop PCs, are said by the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based chip maker to deliver a 35 percent boost in battery life and ten times faster data transfer rates compared to its prior-generation APUs.
The E2-1800 and E1-1200 have a thermal design power of 18 watts and can reach clock speeds up to 1.7GHz and 1.4GHz, respectively. They also boast several multimedia- and graphics-specific features, such as AMD Quick Stream Technology, intended to complement the upcoming Metro UI native to Windows 8.
HP's new Client Virtualization SMB solution is a set of reference architectures based on ProLiant Gen8 servers running pretested virtualization software from VMware, Citrix and Microsoft.
Lisa Wolfe, worldwide small and midmarket business leader for HP's Enterprise Group, told CRN it gives SMBs a secure way to provide mobile employees with access to business apps and data sitting on the corporate server.
"Even if SMBs are not prepared to move to the cloud, they still have mobile employees and they need to make critical apps and data available securely," Wolfe said in an interview. "They need to ensure that business data is not kept on devices and also need to provision devices to allow access only to necessary apps."
Mitel's UC360 is an all-in-one collaboration and conferencing device intended for personal office use. It's an Android-based device with a dual 1GHz processor core, and it offers multi-party HD video for up to four parties, a 7-inch, multi-touch display, an HDMI video interface with an HD flat screen monitor, and support for standard projection, as well as SmartOffice, the document sharing technology made by Piscel.
UC360 also offers 22KHz HD audio support in a 16-mic beam forming array. According to Mitel, it will bridge the divide between consumer-grade collaboration tools and more expensive, higher-end videoconferencing systems, and it costs less than $2,000 per unit.
Austin, Texas-based SailPoint has announced a new solution designed to integrate cloud access management with identity governance and automated provisioning. The company’s cloud-based offering, known as AccessIQ, provides single sign-on (SSO) and self-service access request while ensuring that identity governance for cloud applications matches the framework in place for on-premises applications.
The toolset has two basic components: App Launchpad and App Store. App Launchpad gives users the opportunity to go into any of the Web or cloud apps they have from a single portal on any device, using a single sign-on experience. The second component, the App Store, provides a broad catalog of IT-sponsored applications. The hosted, multi-tenant service uses a tablet-like interface, and it provides full audit capability to assist with forensics and reports supporting compliance efforts, policy enforcement, approval processes and more.
ViewSonic revealed a series of large-screen displays this month that tout new multi-touch features the company said are ideal for the digital signage market. The new 42-inch CDP4235T, 46-inch CDP4635T and 65-inch CDP4235T have a 1,920-by-1,080 HD resolution with up to 500 nits of brightness and 8-millisecond response times. The larger CDP6530T has dual-touch capabilities, while the smaller CDP4235T and CDP4635T feature four-point multi-touch, meaning they can register up to four separate points of contact at a single time.
According to Gene Ornstead, director of DTV and business development at ViewSonic, multi-touch displays like the new CDP series allow retailers to more effectively interact with and attract new customers. "This is an exciting time for the digital signage industry," Ornstead said in a statement. "It's not enough anymore for businesses to simply have a display on the wall. They must have well-executed solutions that engage with customers and draw them into their retail environments.”
Quest Software in June unveiled NetVault XA (Extended Architecture), a new data protection platform that brings several existing storage software applications under a single unified management system. The end result is a backup and recovery platform that brings unified security, SLA (service level agreement) and role-based reporting to both on-premise and cloud storage infrastructures.
NetVault XA is centered on Quest NetVault, a cross-platform application for recovery, replication, deduplication and continuous data protection. It also includes Quest vRanger for VMware backup, replication and recovery, as well as the NetVault SmartDisk deduplication software.
It will also eventually encompass Quest's LiteSpeed backup and compression software for SQL Server and Oracle databases; Recovery Manager, which provides application-aware recovery for SharePoint, Exchange and Active Directory; and the SharePlex data replication software for Oracle databases.
Atlantis Computing, a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of storage optimization software for virtual servers and desktops, released its Atlantis ILIO FlexCloud 1.0.
The software enables enterprises and service providers to optimize the performance of storage-related virtualized server and cloud applications such as databases, big data and custom enterprise apps.
Complementing virtualization solutions from Microsoft, Citrix and VMware, Atlantis ILIO FlexCloud 1.0 improves storage efficiency by processing IO traffic within the hypervisor to decrease the amount of IO sent to storage.
Dell upped its ability to compete head-to-head against Hewlett-Packard and Cisco in the data center with its June unveiling of a converged infrastructure offering, combining Dell servers and networking and a new blade version of its EqualLogic storage products, all of which can be managed as a whole within a single enclosure.
Dell's new converged infrastructure offering, the Dell Converged Blade Data Center solution, combines the company's new EqualLogic Blade Arrays, new Dell PowerEdge blade quarter-height servers and Dell's Force10 MXL 40-Gbit-per-second blade switches, all within the same enclosure. The solution also includes software to manage it all within the enclosure.
AT&T launched Toggle, a product that creates a barrier between the business and personal sides of a smartphone to allow employees to bring their own personal devices to work without putting corporate IT assets at risk. So instead of carrying two devices, employees only need to carry one.
AT&T Toggle can be used on smartphone or tablet devices running Android 2.2 to 3.X. Work mode is encrypted, allowing users to access corporate email, business apps and calendars from outside the firewall.
ShoreTel Mobility extends enterprise voice and unified communications capabilities to mobile devices, and in doing so it also does things like select the best available cellular or Wi-Fi networking and drive down roaming charges for international users. As of June, ShoreTel is now offering Mobility to the cloud services customers it gained through its recent acquisition of M5 Networks. ShoreTel Cloud Division customers can deploy the technology for a setup fee of $20 per user and use it for a $10 per user/per month fee.
Continuum has added anti-malware software powered by Malwarebytes and a new network assessment tool, Continuum Network Detective, powered by RapidFire Tools, to the company's RMM platform. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software is free to Continuum partners and works alongside antivirus programs and uses advanced heuristic and behavioral scanning to monitor every process in order to detect, destroy and prevent malicious processes before they start injecting viruses, spyware, trojans, keyloggers, password stealers, dialers and more.
Meanwhile, Network Detective produces branded reports that are completed in less than 30 minutes.
Assessments can be run with no agents or installs, which enables MSPs to use this non-invasive tool with both prospective and current customers, according to Continuum.
Redmond at TechEd this month described major feature enhancements in the latest beta of Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2012, which it released in May.
The new version supports System Center 2012 and better support migration from Windows XP, and it has "the beginnings" of compatibility with Windows 8. There's also a drag-and-drop wizard for designing user-driven installations, complete with thumbnails of each step of an installation (shown). Set for release with Windows 8, MDT 2012 also will communicate with System Center Orchestrator and be able to kick off processes automated by that tool, make installation decisions and change its behavior based on the results.
NetApp introduced the latest version of its storage operating system, Data Ontap 8.1.1, which the company said has three primary new features.
The first is Flash Pool, a new way to tie Flash-based SSD storage to spinning disk in such a way that data moves automatically and in real time between them, depending on how quickly it is needed.
The second is Infinite Volumes, a way to treat up to 20 petabytes of data as a single volume in order to ease management of large data stores instead of dealing with that data in multiple smaller volumes.
The third, primary new feature of Data Ontap 8.1.1 is Data Ontap Edge, a virtualized version of the FAS2220 entry-level storage appliance NetApp unveiled less than a month earlier.
Norman ASA has launched Norman Online Protection (NOP), a high-performance Security-as-a-Service solution for email, Web surfing and online backup. The suite consists of Norman SecureTide (email protection), Norman SecureSurf (Web protection) and Norman Online Backup (storage). The Norman Online Protection services are placed outside an organization's network and require no hardware or software installation, according to the Fairfax, Va.-based company.
Windows 8 Release Preview was made available for download this month, with major improvements made to enhance finger navigation, buttoning up many of the technical holes it left in prior betas.
The latest Windows 8 beta offers plenty of new functionality, the most significant of which might be Windows to Go, which provides the ability to boot from a USB stick and easily take your own personalized Windows desktop wherever you go. But many of the other enhancements are designed mainly for the tablet experience, as Microsoft gears up for battle with Apple's iPad.
Citing the need for security products that address the full range of threat vectors, Fortinet announced the availability of the Fortigate-800C unified threat management appliance, geared toward medium-sized businesses and large enterprise branch offices. In addition to blocking malware, it also controls applications so that channel partners can block entertainment and e-commerce sites that have nothing to do with the business at hand.
The device combines next-generation firewall functionality, VPN capability, application control, antispam, antivirus, data leak protection and WAN optimization. It offers 20 Gbps of firewall throughput, 6 Gbps of IPS throughput (HTTP traffic) and can support up to 7 million concurrent firewall sessions, 10,000 Client-to-Gateway IPSec VPN tunnels and up to 3,000 concurrent SSL VPN users. Unified management is delivered through a single pane of glass, for benefit of cost, efficiency and security. The device is offered for straight resale without per-user license fees.
The CRN Test Center was impressed with the latest server motherboard from Intel's Enterprise Platform and Services Division (EPSD). The company rolled out eight new server platforms for white-box solution providers and sent its high-end Grizzly Pass board to the reviews team for testing. The model S2600GZ motherboard was installed in a 2U rack server chassis and outfitted with 128 GB of memory and a pair of Intel Xeon E5-2660 eight-core processors running at 2.2GHz. At the time, its Geekbench performance was good enough to land it in second place on the Test Center's all-time list. It has since moved to third place.
Cloupia, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based cloud management software provider, has released new and expanded converged infrastructure management products. The offerings are designed to help businesses and service providers migrate to clouds with an integrated, comprehensive data center management platform. The platform extends across the IT stack, including physical, virtual, cloud and converged infrastructure.
Included in the releases is Cloupia’s flagship product, Unified Infrastructure Controller (CUIC), a unified and integrated data center management platform designed to manage and automate virtual server infrastructure, VDI, physical infrastructure, public clouds and converged infrastructure in a single pane of glass.
BackupAgent, a provider of cloud backup software for service providers, is providing free backup services for developers who use the Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP (LAMP) technology stack, according to the Amsterdam-based company.
BackupAgent enables the backup of MySQL databases on table level while they are actively in use and without interrupting business operations, even during the backup window, according to the company. The free subscription comes with a 10 GB backup storage capacity plan and an indefinite subscription length, and it is limited to 500 subscriptions and accounts that will be distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis.
QFabric, which Juniper officially released a year ago, is the platform piece of Juniper's strategy to "flatten the traditional three-layer data center into a more easily managed infrastructure, with less power and equipment required."
It includes both devices and software, and it has been targeted at higher-end data center needs. But, in June, Juniper updated the QFabric portfolio to target mid-sized data center customers.
In essence, Juniper has taken the major benefits of its QFX3000-G system -- a switch system that can scale to 6,144 10 GbE ports and offers 5 microseconds of latency-per-packet performance -- and scaled them down to a QFX3000-M system, which includes a different interconnect device and a smaller physical footprint, and it can scale to 768 10 GbE ports with performance of 3 microseconds latency per packet.