The 1394 Trade Association has announced a new specification
to quadruple the speed of FireWire to reach 3.2 gigabits per second. The new
specification, known as S3200, is backwards-compatible with the IEEE 1394b
standard and will be able to use the existing cables and connectors already
deployed for FireWire 800 products. The Silicon Working Group developed the
S3200 specification within the 1394 Trade Association, with participation by
Symwave, Texas Instruments,
Sometimes it is easy to think of interconnects as nothing
more than nuts and bolts. Fasteners are generally not all that exciting and can
viewed as a commodity. But in the case of FireWire,
and its latest high-speed specification, the potential impact is more than a
mere commodity could deliver. We have seen some astonishing improvements in
copper wire connectivity speeds as of late. Not all that long ago, 100MBps over
wire was considered lightning fast, but today 1GBps is met with a yawn of the
mundane. The original FireWire was fast for its time, and easily beat early
With respect to disk drives, the new S3200 could have substantial impact in the cost of delivering storage both inside and outside of the desktop and the server. Small form factor external drives connected through S3200 offer a single-cable, high-speed, no-power-pack-required storage solution. This simplicity could simplify external disk drive usage in mobile environment where laptops are on the move, but also reduce the dreaded power vampire syndrome for desktop environments where bulky power-sucking transformers pile up around machines, generating heat and sucking power 24x7 even when the disk drive is turned off. Within storage appliances or other internal applications, the simplification of cabling could lead to cost reduction and greater efficiency in solution packaging.
As FireWire has many uses outside disk drives, including
camera, cable and satellite set-top boxes,
Overall, we are intrigued by the potential of S3200 and the potential raising of the bar it implies. As rich media increasingly inundates all aspects of life, the ability to easily and cost-effectively move large numbers of bits between devices becomes all the more important. Further, in an era where green is more than just a color, the leverage of a centralized power distribution source to power devices is well positioned to not only save manufacturing costs and complexity, but lower the overall amount energy consumed by interconnected devices and their users.
nCipher has announced its
acquisition of the majority of the intellectual property and assets of NeoScale
Systems Inc., a provider of encryption and key management products within the
storage security market. nCipher has also purchased
certain assets that were previously owned by NeoScale Systems Inc. from
Hercules Technology II, LP. NeoScale provides appliance-based encryption
products under the CryptoStor brand that are deployed primarily on backup tapes
to address concerns over data privacy in the event the backup tapes are stolen
or misplaced. This acquisition of the CryptoStor tape product line strengthens
nCipher’s position in the storage encryption market. nCipher
has also acquired the NeoScale KeyVault technology and product line to enhance
nCipher’s keyAuthority enterprise key management product. The company hopes
that this acquisition will strengthen its customer base and provide expansion
opportunities in the North American and international markets and expects to
harness NeoScale’s network of resellers and OEM. nCipher
has agreed to acquire the transaction assets, which principally include
intellectual property, software, stock of finished goods, production equipment,
Recent publicity associated with the loss of Personally
Identifiable Information (
We believe that the drive towards encryption of sensitive data is unmistakable and that within ten years or so, all sensitive data will be encrypted without end-user intervention. In the Vietnam conflict, most of the voice communications between lower-level combat troops were not encrypted because the necessary equipment was bulky, unreliable, and intolerant of warm weather. Over time, the technology improved so that today’s combat communications are all encrypted. In some respects, the evolution of security-sensitive data reminds us of the evolution of secured voice communications in combat. Encryption of lower-level communications has simply not been worth the time and effort. With recent evolutions such as these, what remains to be seen now is how quickly the market responds and if the solutions fielded by nCipher and others are indeed up to the tasks in today’s environment.
Red Hat has announced the global availability of JBoss
Developer Studio, its open source, Eclipse-based,
The Eclipse framework has been established for some time;
however, developers have usually had to weave together their test and
development environments from multiple frameworks and components. With this
announcement, the potential of a comprehensive
While Developer Studio will likely help steer corporate developer activity towards Open Source Architectures in general, and Red Hat solutions specifically; we do not see this solely as self-serving for Red Hat. Corporate developers can now have an integrated Eclipse-based development and runtime environment that is entirely open source and available from a single supplier. Considering that JBoss Seam allows developers to build applications in a consistent manner from a simple operational perspective, the potential to simplify, streamline, and reduce the cost of the developer’s toolkit is considerable. Given the 100,000+ downloads of the beta code reported by Red Hat, there has been considerable interest in this offering, and if Developer Studio has met the expectations of the those giving it a try, this solution is well positioned to become the darling of many corporate developers. As such, it illustrates Red Hat’s continued focus on broadening its market position as well the breadth and depth of its technology offerings.
Shavlik Technologies, LLC, has announced that it is working with VMware to integrate the capabilities of Shavlik’s industry leading patch management technology into VMware Update Manager. VMware Update Manager, a new product that is part of the new update of VMware Infrastructure, automates patch management and tracking in VMware environments. Integration of Shavlik’s patch management technology into VMware Update Manager allows customers to automate the assessment and remediation of their online and offline virtual machines, ensuring security and compliance within their virtual infrastructures. Secure patching of offline virtual machines is unique to virtual environments and enforces higher levels of compliance to patch standards than what is available in physical environments. In addition to these capabilities from Shavlik, VMware Update Manager fully integrates with VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler to provide low-touch, non-disruptive patching of VMware ESX Server hosts.
Virtualization is one of the hottest topics in 2007 and likely to continue to be so in 2008. End-user organizations are highly motivated to explore the potential of virtualization as a means to optimize IT and lower costs. However, since the technology is not mainstream as yet, there are significant opportunities for vendors to harness themselves to this bandwagon. Clearly patch management is a high-profile need for the virtualized environment. The need for patch management may actually be more critical in the virtualization environment than in today’s environment because of the attenuated nature of the architecture.
Security for virtualization has also garnered its share of attention and concern. We believe that security vendors need to insert themselves in the virtualization market chiefly because we don’t believe that the virtualization vendors themselves will be sufficiently incented to incorporate adequate enough security for all applications and data. Consequently we expect to see other security vendors expand their efforts into working with VMware products and others in the virtualization market place.