The 30 Hottest Tech Releases In September4:00 PM EST Tue. Sep. 25, 2012
Surprise, surprise - the Apple iPhone 5 has landed on CRN's list of the hottest tech releases in September. But, Apple certainly isn't the only mobile game in town. Samsung and Motorola made their best attempts at stealing some smartphone spotlight by unveiling a slew of new Android devices. And, Amazon certainly made a splash with the introduction of its latest tablet, the Kindle Fire HD. September was also a big month for cloud computing with VMware's introduction of the vCloud Suite 5.1 and a handful of other noteworthy cloud products debuting at Dreamforce 2012.
But, it's not all about cloud and mobile. There were a handful of other products we were taken by in September, including ViewSonic's new VSD220 Smart Display, Cisco's much anticipated new Nexus 3548 switch and Samsung's 840 Series SSDs. Check out CRN's picks for the hottest tech releases and services making a splash in virtualization, security, storage and other tech sectors throughout the channel.
The lines formed last week as Apple's new iPhone 5 went on sale Friday. In its first major redesign, Apple's latest candy bar-style communicator has a larger screen, more powerful processor and graphics, and compatibility with the fastest carrier networks in the U.S. The iPhone 5 is Apple's fifth-generation iPhone, and it is now powered by a quad-core processor, works on 4G LTE networks, supports full HD in both cameras as well as offers a new 4-inch screen and is thinner and lighter than ever before. Like the 4S, the iPhone 5 will be available in 16-GB ($199), 32-GB ($299) and 64-GB ($399) models.
At its Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, Salesforce asked its partners for help promoting and selling Marketing Cloud, a social networking platform for marketing management by businesses.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a social networking platform for marketing, created by Salesforce and integrated with technology it gained from two companies it purchased in the last year.
Salesforce bought Radian6, a social media monitoring provider, for $340 million in March 2011 and purchased Buddy Media, which manages social media accounts, for $689 million in August 2012.
Malwarebytes, a San Jose-based anti-malware vendor widely deployed in the consumer environment, has launched a new business-class edition aimed at a wide variety of vertical markets as well as government and education. Malwarebytes Enterprise Edition offers centrally-managed threat protection and malware remediation that runs on top of existing security infrastructures, including anti-virus. The product is designed to work in both physical and virtualized environments. Threat protection is provided through a combination of predictive heuristics, behavioral and signature analysis that is designed to identify and block entire families of malware and even predict future mutations. The same core engine in the consumer product is utilized in the enterprise product. The key differences include reporting capability, the level of integration between the management console and the client, and also the ability to configure policies and push them out to the endpoints.
Amazon shook up the tablet market big time this month, introducing a faster, brighter and overall more sophisticated lineup of Kindle devices. But, the one that really made a splash was Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD, an 8.9-inch tablet that touts a 1,920-x-1,200 display, support for 4G LTE networks and an ultrathin frame that combine to make it a pretty serious contender to Apple's new iPad.
The new Kindle Fire HD also features dual stereo speakers and is said by Amazon to be the first tablet out of the gate to feature Dolby Digital Plus audio. It also comes with two antennas, a feature that Amazon said lets the Kindle Fire HD's Wi-Fi run nearly 41 percent faster than the iPad's. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD will be available in a 16-GB version for $299 and 32 GB with 4G LTE version for $499.
This month Microsoft also debuted Visual Studio 2012 and Team Foundation Server 2012 this month, new releases of the company's core software development tools for building applications for Windows 8 and Windows Azure, mobile devices and the cloud.
The new LightSwitch for Visual Studio tool helps developers build line-of-business applications. The System Center Management Pack reports issues with software (such as bugs) detected by Microsoft System Center 2012 back to the development team. And, the new kanban board for Team Foundation Service streamlines project management.
Cisco's much anticipated new Nexus switch is also a benchmark in the market for low-latency switching, which is favored by financial institutions and other customers where fractions of seconds in data transfer can mean big money. Key to the Nexus 3548 is a technology called Algorithm Boost, which gives users a detailed view of how the switch is performing while in action. Cisco built Algo Boost into its proprietary ASIC and claims it can deliver 190-nanosecond latency in environments with small-to-medium Layer 2 and Layer 3 scaling requirements.
AppMobi unveiled privateStack, an HTML5-based, app development and cloud services platform, targeting the growing need for enterprises to develop mobile cloud strategies to accommodate smartphones and tablets in the workplace.
The privateStack platform allows businesses to develop their own cloud stack for mobile apps for business operations, including sales, customer service and operations.
The company is also building a channel network of resellers to help sell privateStack in the U.S. and internationally.
Epson gave new meaning to the old phrase "good things come in small packages," with this month's launch of its new Premium XP-800 Small-in-One printer.
The XP-800 is only 7.5 inches tall and a little over 15 inches wide, making it nearly 40 percent smaller than previous XP printers. But, don't be fooled by its size; Epson's new printer still comes equipped with a 3.5-inch touchscreen with gesture navigation and Wi-Fi, along with a built-in copier, scanner and fax machine. Users will also have the option of printing directly from their smartphones and tablets with Epson Connect functionality.
The Premium XP-800 Small-in-One will be available in late October for $280.
Cisco has rolled out a new update for its Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) line of firewalls, providing a virtualized variant of the ASA to support multi-tenant environments. ASA 9.0 can now enable data centers to cluster up to eight firewalls into one logical unit to deliver up to 320 gigabits of firewall throughput and 60 gigabits of IPS throughput. The net result is the ability to manage security policies for both the physical world and the virtual world, and, by extension, the cloud environment. The offering also supports V-motion, meaning that as changes are made, the security policies adjust dynamically.
Nokia this month proved it wasn't ready to give up on the Windows Phone platform just yet, releasing its new Lumia 920 smartphone based on Microsoft's next-gen version of its struggling mobile OS.
Unveiled at a New York City launch event on Sept. 5, the new Lumia 920 runs Windows Phone 8 software, which marks the latest in a series of attempts by Nokia to compete against smartphone giants Apple and Samsung. The Lumia 920 sports several improvements compared to its predecessor the Lumia 900, including a faster 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, built-in wireless charging and support for near-field communication.
Pricing and availability details have not been given for the Lumia 920, but it's clear that the device represents the latest in a series of swings and misses by both Nokia and Microsoft to lure U.S. consumers away from the iPhone.
Nvidia grew its family of high-performance GeForce GPUs this month with the launch of its new GTX 660 and 650 processors. Targeted primarily at gamers and PC enthusiasts, the two new chips are said to deliver at least four times the performance of prior-generation chips like the GeForce 9800 GT, all while consuming less power and pumping out richer PC graphics. Nvidia said the new GTX 660 and GTX 650 are available today from graphics cards suppliers, including Asus, Gigabyte and ECS.
ProfitBricks unveiled a new data center architecture it says lets users access cheaper and more flexible cloud services with a pay-per-minute plan and the ability to change workloads on the fly. Cambridge, Mass-based ProfitBricks says it differs from other IaaS providers in that they use massively-scaled horizontal architecture, which requires customers to pre-select server size with CPU, RAM and storage included, with servers added as needed.
In contrast, ProfitBricks' hosting infrastructure is built on a vertical scale, allowing users to select server instances with varying numbers of CPU cores and gigabytes of RAM. In addition, ProfitBricks uses InfiniBand storage in its virtualized networks, which lets customers easily replicate data.
ViewSonicunveiled the largest Android-based device with a touchscreen, the VSD220 Smart Display, a 22-inch high definition LCD display with Android 4.0 built right in.
The VSD220 will list for $399 with availability expected by the end of October. Like most of its kind, the VSD220 offers control of its operating system via two-point touchscreen and includes a Webcam and mic, USB ports, an HDMI input, wired and wireless Ethernet, built-in stereo speakers and Bluetooth, and it's controlled via touch and an on-screen keyboard. There's no optical drive, keyboard or mouse.
ViewSonic is positioning the Smart Display as a low-cost means of accessing cloud-based applications. And, the CRN Test Center likes the idea of an Android-based all-in-one for setting up kiosks, self-service menus, digital signage, waiting-room entertainment screens and other monofunctional applications. There also are a number of kiosk apps in Google Play that resellers can use to set up browser-based apps that restrict users to a set of boundaries.
VMware unveiled vCloud Suite 5.1, a vSphere-based offering that bundles in the following products under a single SKU: vCloud Director, vCloud Connector, vCloud Networking and Security, vFabric Application Director, vCenter Operations Management Suite and vCenter Site Recovery Manager.
vCloud Suite 5.1 is licensed per processor with no core, vRAM or virtual machine limits, and it is priced starting at $4,995 per processor. vSphere Enterprise and Enterprise Plus customers get a free upgrade to vCloud Suite 5.1 under a VMware promotion that runs through the end of the year.
Microsoft shipped Windows Server 2012 earlier this month, the latest in a wave of significant product updates the company is releasing this year. Microsoft is touting Windows Server 2012's expanded cloud capabilities, such as the ability to synchronize identity, security and virtualization policies across public and private cloud systems based on Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure.
Windows Server 2012 also offers enhanced virtualization capabilities and new automated IT management features. And, channel partners say the operating system's new de-duplication features can save up to 40 or 50 percent in data storage space.
Samsung this week unveiled the 840 Series line of SSDs for professionals and consumers that doubles the performance of previous models but costs about the same. Starting at $99 for 64 GB, the 840 Pro models offer rated transfer speeds in excess of 500 MB/s. The CRN Test Center received for testing a 512-GB 840 Pro, the largest-capacity drive of Samsung's higher-performance line. Testers were able to achieve a sustained transfer rate of 398 MB/s, more than double the sustained rate of the 830 Series drive tested last year using the same test fixture and procedure.
Early this month, Motorola enjoyed its first big product launch since being acquired by Google, introducing a new family of Android-based Droid devices. Among them is the Droid Razr HD, which sports a 4.7-inch HD display that has 78 percent more pixels than the original Droid Razr. The new Droid Razr HD also gets nearly 40 percent greater battery capacity than its predecessor, an enhancement that boosts its average talk time to 16 hours and allows it to surf the Web more than four times faster than Apple's iPhone 4S, Motorola said.
Citrix Systems unveiled VDI-in-a-Box 5.1, its first update since last October of a product it gained from last May's acquisition of desktop virtualization startup Kaviza.
VDI-in-a-Box 5.1 features tighter alignment with Citrix's XenDesktop product, enhanced personalization and support for Windows 8 virtual desktops.
Citrix's vendor partners are already jumping on board; Dell is offering an appliance based on VDI-in-a-Box 5.1, while HP is including it as part of a bundled offering.
CA Technologies unveiled a new version of its CA Infrastructure software this month that the company said can help businesses better work with IT performance data from cloud and virtualized systems, on-premise systems and mobile devices.
The new release incorporates elements of CA Technologies' Service Assurance product portfolio that monitor application response time, track and evaluate network performance, and help businesses to determine performance baselines, establish thresholds, identify trends and detect system anomalies.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the overall physical security market is expected to approach $3 billion within the next eight years, and part of that growth is the IP networks and management that enable the use of cameras and systems. Extreme Networks' new network solution attacks that niche with a software update to Extreme's XOS operating system that automates tasks such as camera and device discovery and power management using Power over Ethernet (PoE). Extreme is including the update in its Summit X440, Summit X460 and Summit X670 switches.
September was a busy month for Samsung. Between lawsuits and patent disputes, Samsung product teams are actively marketing no fewer than 10 devices, including the Galaxy Tab 2, Series 9 Ultrabook and the larger and totally revamped Galaxy Note 2 5.5-inch tablet/phone hybrid. Also in the mix is the all new 10.1-inch Galaxy Note accompanied by a nation-wide media blitz.
And with Windows 8 on tap for next month, the prolific electronics colossus last week unveiled a whole new slate of touch-sensitive devices to be available at the same time -- including a Samsung Slate with detachable keyboard and stylus -- plus some refreshing updates to existing products.
MSPs have a new solution to securely manage client passwords courtesy of Passportal's Passportal MSP, a hosted, cloud-based solution accessible through a Web portal and a new mobile interface.
Passportal, based in Calgary, Alb., stores passwords for domain admin, firewall, database, public DNS, spam filters, VOIP and other lines of business applications with four levels of encryption, according to Colin Knox, Passportal CEO. "More than 85 percent of technicians carry a mobile device, and they need secure access to the passwords they need, when they need them," Knox said.
Monthly pricing starts at just $49 per MSP. The mobile solution supports iOS, Android and other mobile devices and includes search access for client notes, URLs and passwords, with comprehensive password history and management permissions by user, client and device.
One of the first fruits of HP's $10.3 billion acquisition of Autonomy last year, Application Information Optimizer 7.0 is designed to find structured data in databases within an organization and extract it so it can be moved to less expensive storage and archiving solutions.
HP is using the Application Information Optimizer 7.0 as the basis of its budding information governance portfolio and is pitching it as a way for organizations to cut costs and bring data out of legacy systems and into the cloud era.
Addonics Technologies, San Jose, Calif., unveiled its new Addonics RAID Rack family of 1U rack-mount chassis with removable drive systems. The chassis lets users or solution providers attach four 3.5-inch SATA hard drives of any capacity via a single connection.
There are two models: the R1ESU3F and the R1MSAS. The R1ESU3F comes integrated with a hardware Port Multiplier with RAID accelerator for high performance, with the four drives connected to a server via a single eSATA, USB 3.0 or Firewire 800/400 cable. The R1MSAS supports connecting all four drives via a single mini-SAS cable to a system equipped with a mini-SAS connector, which allows the drives to be used as independent drives or as part of a RAID configuration.
LPI Level Platforms has developed a new Salesforce.com Service Desk Module that "provides full two-way case and device synchronization" between LPI's Managed Workplace platform and the Salesforce.com cloud, according to both companies. Managed service providers can now sync information between devices and coordinate service ticket and case assignments. LPI's Managed Workplace platform automatically collects relevant data and feeds it into Salesforce.com, where issues from trouble ticket identification and resolution to billing and reporting can be addressed, according to Gordon Rielly, CTO of Level Platforms.
Toshiba's Storage Products Business Unit of Toshiba America Electronic Components in September became the latest hard drive vendor to introduce hybrid drives, which tie the performance of NAND flash memory with the capacity of a spinning drive in a single device.
The Irvine, Calif.-based company's new MQ01ABDH series come in a 2.5-inch, 9.5mm-high SATA format and features what Toshiba calls "self-learning" caching algorithms that learn data access patterns to optimize performance to manage which data is stored in the NAND flash memory and how often it is updated.
The MQ01ABDH series drives are available in 1-TB and 750-GB capacities. The company expects them to be available this fall in ultrathin and standard-sized notebooks, gaming PCs, all-in-one and slimline desktops, and other high-performance systems.
The problem many enterprises run into with Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad is that Bonjour, a multicast DNS-based tool, is a Layer 2 non-routable protocol. Practically speaking, that means it's an IT headache to run Bonjour across multiple subnets that exist in corporate enterprise and education networks. So, Aerohive released the Bonjour Gateway back in March as a way to enable Apple wireless functions such as AirPlay and AirPrint to run easily across those networks. As of September, it will give the Bonjour Gateway away for free to head off competitors with rival services and offer companies an Aerohive-centric solution to BYOD challenges.
Panasas, Sunnyvale, Calif., introduced the Panasas ActiveStor 14, a fully integrated parallel storage solution that utilizes SSD flash technology to accelerate small file performance without the cost of SSD-only solutions.
The ActiveStor 14 leverages enterprise SATA drives for capacity, which scales to over 8 petabytes in a single global namespace. The Panasas file system accelerates small file performance and metadata operations utilizing SSD technology.
Shipment of the ActiveStor 14 is slated to start in November. It can be configured with a variety of SSD and cache capacities.
HP is beefing up its security capabilities through a series of new products and services designed to embed security into everything they make. Among the highlights, the company's monitoring and compliance platform, ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager (ESM) 6.0c, is now integrated with the HP Correlation Optimized Retention and Retrieval Engine in order to boost speed and performance in the identification of potential threats while at the same time filtering out false positives in setting priorities for critical issues that require immediate attention. Given this development, the company claims that ArcSight ESM 6.0c now processes up to 500 percent more activity per second compared to previous versions of the same product while also providing faster analysis, a reduced storage footprint and lower security monitoring costs.
N-able Technologies has partnered with security vendor Bitdefender on a new stand-alone security solution, to be available spring 2013, for MSPs using N-able's N-central and cloud-based technologies, according to N-able.
The new Security Manager - AV Defender solution complements N-able's N-central platform and existing Security Manager - Endpoint solution, according to N-able, by providing a cloud-based management console that is designed to proactively protect clients' server and desktop endpoints, as well as Microsoft Exchange email systems. Users will have access to anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, Trojan/rootkit detection and two-way personal firewall with intrusion detection, according to Shaun Donaldson, director of alliances at Bitdefender. "Our alliance with N-able creates a significant opportunity for MSPs to deliver their solutions through cloud technologies knowing that the security is built specifically for those environments," he said in a statement.