6 Buzzworthy Products To Check Out Right Now

Innovative Vendors

Some of the world's most innovative high-tech companies were gathered in Las Vegas last week at the NexTI Conference, UBM Channel's premier technology event for North American resellers, VARs and solution providers. In addition to attend the annual Tech Innovator Awards ceremony, dozens of reseller-driven case studies and other informative sessions, attendees also had ample oppotrunity to get their hands on the latest techconogies from exhibitors in NexTI's Solutions Pavilion. Here's a look at some of the highlights.

Universal Docking Station

Some might think of Targus as a company that offers only laptop bags. While it's true that the pioneering company established that market 25 years ago and is still its leading supplier around the world, Targus Group International also develops and markets a series of laptop accessories, and its latest comes just in time for today's onslaught of port-poor Ultrabooks. The USB 3.0 Docking Station is a $199 port replicator that works with any USB 3.0-equipped Windows laptop to provide video, audio and networking connections -- all through the single USB connection. If laptop charging is desired, the $249 model provides an AC adapter and enough power tips stored under its flip-up lid (shown) to connect just about any laptop make and model. This is the ultimate Ultrabook docking station.

Value-Priced Wireless

Watch out D-Link -- there's a new entry-level player claiming the mantle of the best value in low-cost wireless routers and other products for consumers and small business. Already a dominant force in Asia, Europe and South America, TP Link now has its sights set on the U.S. market with a complete line of high-quality wireless multipurpose routers, Wi-Fi access points and networking services designed to give it an edge on the competition. For example, Platinum-level resellers ($5,000 and up) can take advantage of a free network design service that allows them to simply submit location and wireless requirements information and get back a detailed schematic of the suggested network topology along with bill of materials.

Tandberg Racks it Up

Tandberg Data was on hand to show off the RDX QuikStation, its latest RDX device for SMB and SME environments. This rack-mounted NAS or SAN device can hold as many as eight RDX removable hard drive cartridge drives and is configurable in just about every way imaginable, including as eight discrete iSCSI targets accessible from single or separate hosts. What's more, drive bays in this versatile unit can appear as a tape library or autoloader, stand-alone tape drives or hard disk drives, or any combination. Bays use the same cartridges as Tandberg's QuikStor drives, and are available in capacities ranging from 160 GB to 1.5 TB. With cartridge spanning, maximum backup dataset capacity is 12 TB. It works with major backup applications.

A Pair Of Virtual Desktops

Attendees were able to size up competitive desktop virtualization solutions being demonstrated by vendors in two adjacent booths. First up: MokaFive is a Silicon Valley startup founded in 2005 with the mission of solving the problem of tethered VDI. Five Stanford graduates came up with a microkernel-based solution that runs a virtualized Linux, Mac OS X or Windows desktop on the client's own hardware inside a version of VMware Player. The virtual client is divided into OS, app and data layers with a central server managing golden OS images and user layers, with deltas exchanged when necessary. Since the client executes locally, there's no need for a tether, yet a lost or stolen system can be remotely wiped.

Saved By Zero

Taking a slightly different approach to desktop virtualization is Zirtu, which employs a Type 0 hypervisor that executes a virtualized instance of Windows directly on the local system's hardware. This eliminates the need for large server farms for VDI execution; all that's needed is a central server for storage of containers for user apps and data, which are loaded on the client at login. Zirtu employs no host/guest model; there's only the virtualized OS in a stateless endpoint and centralized workspace provisioning. In the Zirtu demos that we saw at NexTI, system performance is remarkable. To see for yourself, take a look at this short demo video, which goes from a clean Windows desktop to a user account loaded with apps. It also shows the system going into offline mode when a connection is disrupted.

Intelligent Power Manager

Eaton's Intelligent Power Manager software received a hearty boost in recent days with the addition of support for VMware's Site Recovery Manager. IPM is the most cohesive power management toolset we've seen in terms of VMware integration, and the only one according to Eaton that resides right within the vCenter dashboard. From a single console or browser window, admins can monitor and manage all connected UPSes and ePDUs, identify critical battery or power emergencies, load levels and battery runtimes, and set thresholds for automatically triggering migration actions of Citrix XenCenter's (XenMotion), Microsoft's SCVMM (Live Migration) and VMware (vMotion).