Expand Beyond Uses Wireless PDAs To Control Infrastructure In Disaster

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Expand Beyond is making it easier for database and systems administrators to keep in touch with their offices in case of disaster by providing them with wireless remote control of their IT infrastructures.

The company, based here, this week introduced technology that allows administrators to remotely connect to their offices via PDAs.

Expand Beyond's Mobile IT Ready Kit is based on a software application that gives administrative control over wireless networks, said Thad Dupper, the company's vice president of sales.

Using the software, database administrators can do all of their normal tasks remotely, including space management and performance tuning, said Dupper.

Systems administrators can use the application to execute any Linux or Unix command remotely, including background resetting of servers or software, and executing scripts for any hardware, he said. "So if the administrator gets paged from a monitoring and alert software, he can now assess and diagnose the problem and correct it remotely."

The application comes in two different bundles. An enterprise version, which includes 10 PDAs with aircards and one year of free airtime, on-site installation support, a dedicated technical support professional, help in choosing a wireless carrier and Web-based training, costs $75,000. A department version is similar, except that it includes only five PDAs and costs $50,000.

Dupper said these are low-cost ways to react quickly to a disaster. "This is a backup to landlines for most critical IT workers," he said. "It is really cheap insurance for CIOs, and an important element for business continuity plans."

The company currently sells some remote control management applications via the channel but is trying to come up with a channel program for the Mobile IT Ready Kit, said Dupper. However, it is available via channels in Europe, he said.

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