Briefs: October 31, 2005


Cisco&'s IP Interoperability and Collaboration Systems technology essentially connects UHF, VHF, push-to-talk and legacy military radio networks using VoIP, said Charles Giancarlo, chief development officer at Cisco, during a launch event in New York. In addition to communicating with each other, radio users also can tie to a variety of IP applications including voice, video and data, as well as traditional phones and IP-based clients such as IP phones and IM clients, he said.

The result should be improved first-response efforts to events like hurricanes and terrorist attacks and to less sensational events such as building collapses or bank robberies, he said.

Cisco plans to open the technology to a small group of channel partners at the outset and should have approximately one dozen solution providers working with the technology by next year, Giancarlo said.

NEC Solutions America has introduced a leasing program that allows end users, through solution providers, to acquire servers, storage, software and services with no money down and no payment for 90 days from delivery, said Colin Rosenmeyer, national sales manager for NEC Financial Services.

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“It&'s for customers who want to acquire the solutions now, but who do not have the extra budget,” Rosenmeyer said. “This takes them through their current budget cycle.”

Customers can sign a lease through their solution providers through Dec. 31, with delivery of the equipment starting at the latest on March 31, 2006, Rosenmeyer said. Because of the 90-day grace period on payments, payments for a lease agreement signed in late December might not start until late June, he said.

Customers looking to take advantage of the program must purchase at least $25,000 worth of equipment, which can be just the cost of a single fault-tolerant server, he said.

The leasing program is available to solution providers who work with the vendor&'s distributors, including Avnet and Team 1 Systems, said Efrem Stringfellow, vice president of sales for NEC&'s North American Server Group.

EMC last week said it acquired Acartus, a privately-held developer of technology for enterprise report management. EMC plans to make the company&'s software a part of its information archiving strategy.

Terms of the acquisition, which closed last month, were not released. EMC waited until its Documentum users forum last week to make the news public.

Whitney Tidmarsh, vice president of solutions marketing for EMC software, said Acartus has been a longtime partner of EMC&'s Documentum enterprise content management arm, as well as with its Centera storage array for archiving and compliance.

EMC plans to integrate the Acartus technology with other EMC archiving technology, much of which has been acquired. This includes Captiva Software, a developer of technology to convert paper-based data into electronic data that EMC acquired earlier this month for $275 million. INTEL EXPANDS STORAGE OFFERINGS WITH SATA ARRAYS
Intel has expanded its storage offerings to the custom system community with a new enclosure for small and midsize business customers.

The company&'s new Storage System SSR212MA is a hardware and software solution for building SATA storage arrays for IP-based storage networks, said Scott Peiffer, product line manager for white box storage at Intel.

Each SSR212MA includes its own controller and has space for up to 12 hard drives, giving it a maximum capacity of 4.8 Tbytes using 400-Gbyte drives or 6.0 Tbytes with 500-Gbyte drives.

An unlimited number of the devices can be clustered together, Peiffer said. Adding more storage nodes delivers additional Gbit Ethernet connectivity for increasing the cluster&'s reliability.

One or more SSR212MA modules can be virtualized into up to three systems for data replication purposes, he said. “It depends on how you want to configure your data protection,” he said.

The modules are aimed at assisting Intel&'s system builder customers and OEMs help their clients move toward networked storage using industry-standard hardware and software, including server boards, RAID cards and chassis, Peiffer said.

The SSR212MA is expected to start shipping by the middle of November. Peiffer would not disclose channel pricing, but he said Intel expects list pricing to start at around $6,000 with one or two hard drives, and range up to $20,000 fully loaded. “These are with significant margins,” he said.

Novell is expected to lay off as much as 20 percent of its workforce as part of a massive cost-cutting measure to placate Wall Street.

Sources familiar with the company&'s plans said roughly half of the cuts—10 percent—will come from Novell&'s operations in Provo, Utah, and Waltham, Mass. The other 10 percent will impact Novell&'s European division, including Suse Linux operations in Nuremberg, Germany. Novell&'s North American sales force will not be affected, according to the sources.

“The cuts will be deep across the board, as much as 20 percent,” said one source close to the company who preferred to remain anonymous. “Suse is being decimated, and layoffs will include Suse developers.”

With the company&'s fiscal quarter ending Oct. 31, employees and observers await an official announcement from CEO Jack Messman. Sources expect more than 1,000 of the company&'s 5,800 employees will be let go. Novell would not confirm that information.

A Novell spokesman acknowledged that the company promised to make significant cost cuts but would not comment on possible layoffs.

For its third quarter results posted in August, Novell reported a 5 percent drop in revenue to $290 million and a loss of $2.1 million.

Samsung has tapped two new executives to handle much of its IT channel operations in North America.

The global electronics giant has named John Johasky as vice president of marketing for its Information Technology Division. Johasky will take over much of the company&'s strategic marketing for its sales of IT products, including LCDs and printers, in North America, the company said.

Johasky will assume the post vacated earlier this year by Rey Roque, who left to take a similar position with Westinghouse Digital Electronics.

In addition, Samsung named Andrew Weis product marketing manager for displays. Weis will oversee the company&'s LCD strategy in North America. He formerly worked at BenQ in a similar marketing post.