Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How Does a Console Server with SNMP Capability Help Network Administrators?

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

SNMP network management is a must for all networks of all sizes. Compaines like Solarwinds have great SNMP monitoring and management packages to identify, monitor, and manage all IP enabled devices on a company’s network. The presence of a console server or terminal server with SNMP capability is a vital part of SNMP management, because an SNMP enabled console server will show up on the SNMP management software “radar” as a network asset. Also, a console server is almost always connected to a router, switch, or firewall. When one of the switches has an issue it will ofter send a message or “cry for help” through the console port to the console server or terminal server. When this message is received by the console server it can then send an SNMP trap back to the SNMP manager with the console server location ID, console server port number and other critical information.

Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures remote management equipment for data centers, laboratories and IT centers. Our comprehensive line of products includes Secure Console Server products, Switched PDU products and A/B Fallback systems.

Global Carriers Unite for a Share of the Mobile App Economy

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

It’s hard to believe that the carriers haven’t already done this … a long time ago.

The Wholesale Applications Community (WAC), which consists of 24 of the largest worldwide mobile operators and whose goal is to build a standards-based approach to mobile software development and deployment, said today it expects to have that platform readied in time for next February’s Mobile World Congress (MWC). Using it, developers should be able to write software once and deploy or sell it on multiple devices through multiple carriers — a very different approach from the current app store ecosystem, which is specific to handset platforms.

Among the members of the WAC are handset makers that don’t yet have a handset store to call their own, such as LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Each mixes platforms like those of Android, Windows Mobile and Symbian with their own proprietary platforms, combinations that fail to yield “one-stop shopping” on their handsets.

According to WAC’s website, however, using its platform will allow for the following:

“This [initiative] will allow developers to deploy a single application across multiple devices (through the use of standard technologies) and across multiple operators (without the need to negotiate with each of them). WAC will provide the commercial enablers which will allow the developer to be paid for the applications which are then sold through any associated application store.”

I applaud the carriers for trying to remove development and consumer barriers in order to bring more apps to a wider range of handsets, but while that’s the angle the WAC is putting front and center, the real initiative of this effort is clearly an attempt on the part of its members to grab a revenue slice of the multibillion-dollar app store pie. No details on a revenue split between WAC and developers has been announced, and WAC has said that it will be a non-profit operation and will only try to cover operational costs.

Sound familiar? Indeed, Apple stated on its last quarterly conference call that the iTunes App Store takes a similar approach, and that it operates at just above breakeven (the store must be awfully costly to run if its yearly revenue stream is north of $2.4 billion). The potential similarity between Apple’s store — from which it takes a 30 percent cut of all revenue generated — and what the WAC has proposed to date is striking even though Apple is for-profit entity and WAC is not. Even if WAC considers itself a non-profit, its members are all companies looking to make a profit for themselves and their shareholders or other financial backers.

Although WAC has already shared some plan details on a conference call earlier today, I’ll be attending a follow up call this afternoon and will update accordingly.

Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

The App Developers Guide to Choosing a Mobile Platform

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For over 30 years, Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) has been an innovator in the field of remote management for IT facilities. Our comprehensive product line includes a wide range of Serial Console Server products, Switched PDU products and Remote Reboot Switch products to provide secure, remote management of servers, routers and other devices.

More 4G in More Places, Says Clearwire

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

4G sounds cool; I can’t wait until it debuts in my neighborhood …

Clearwire ahead of the release of its first-quarter financial results this afternoon announced the addition of 15 cities to which it will roll out its WiMAX 4G network this summer. Clearwire had already indicated that it would roll out service in Kansas City, Kan.; St. Louis and Salt Lake City.

Today it added Nashville, Tenn.; Daytona, Orlando and Tampa, Fla.; Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y.; Merced, Modesto, Stockton and Visalia, Calif.; Wilmington, Del.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Eugene, Ore.; and Yakima and Tri-Cities, Wash. to the list as it races to provide service ahead of the competing 4G networks (which will use the Long Term Evolution standard instead of WiMAX) coming from Verizon and Metro PCS later this year. Clearwire has said it will cover 120 million people by the end of this year, and is spending more than $3 billion to roll out networks as fast as possible. With Sprint and its cable partners, the company is reaching millions of consumers and trying to sell them on the benefits of faster wireless broadband.

With the release of Clearwire’s latest financial results, we’ll get a sense of how well consumers are responding in markets like Austin, Philadelphia and Seattle, where Clearwire has already rolled out networks. It’s making a big bet, and within the next few quarters, we’re going to see if it has paid off.

Image courtesy of Flickr user omniNate

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Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures Remote Console Server products, Switched PDU products and A/B Fallback Units. WTI products are designed to solve common network problems and manufactured to endure.

Google’s Bill Weihl on Data Center Efficiency

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

This sounds like something that WTI could help with; it’s hard to talk about efficient data centers without mentioning the need for remote management capabilities and secure console servers, and it’s hard to talk about managing energy consumption without mentioning the need for an outlet metered PDU

Efficient data centers are key to managing the cost of running a massive computing operation such as Google’s, but they also seems to tie into the search giant’s “Don’t be evil” credo. At least that’s the sense I got when interviewing Bill Weihl, Google’s green energy czar, at our Green:Net conference last week after his talk on data center efficiency.

Weihl and I talked about why Google has a responsibility to buy green power and build efficient data centers; we also hit on other ways to create efficient data centers, including specialty hardware and optimizing compilers. At the end, he talks about what new technology in the data center excites Google.

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Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures Serial Console Server products and Power Reboot Switch products that can simplify and streamline remote management of IT installations.

Canadian Politician Promises Broadband For All – Though of course it’s campaign time….

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a law that politicians actually had to keep campaign promises?


The CBC reports that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is promising “ubiquitous” broadband connectivity across Canada within three years — should his party be elected. Specifically, he’s promising 100% connectivity, with speeds of at least 1.5 Mbps by 2013 — with a “more ambitious” goal to follow by 2017. After deciding to mirror the U.S. broadband policy of the last ten years (aka do nothing, and/or let your wealthiest carriers write the laws) Canada’s been slowly sinking in all relevent broadband metrics, including speed, price, and penetration. That slide is now apparently campaign fodder:

Ignatieff also criticized the Harper government for allowing Canada to slip in international broadband standings. At the turn of the millennium, Canada was a world broadband leader, ranking second in the percentage of people subscribed to high-speed internet services. Since then, the country has slipped to 10th, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

We’ve watched Canada’s biggest carriers grow more powerful, while independent Canadian ISPs slowly have been fighting for their lives. Canadian regulators like the CRTC, stocked with former Bell and Rogers executives, have repeatedly ignored anticompetitive attacks on small carriers. Regulators have tried to prevent wireless competitors from entering the market because they weren’t Canadian enough (aka protectionism). Cable’s biggest carriers are happily now imposing ridiculously low caps and high per gigabyte overages, while Canada slides down the rankings. Carriers are happy, consumers are annoyed.

Of course while the CBC makes a brief reference to the U.S. FCC’s broadband plan, Canadians probably should forge their own path — given the FCC’s plan is more lip service and showmanship than substance so far. Politicians everywhere enjoy paying broadband lip service when convenient, but such promises are quickly forgotten — and it’s usually quickly back to the business of letting companies like AT&T, Comcast, Rogers or Bell Canada dictate your country’s telecom policy.
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Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures Serial Console Server products and Rack Mount PDU products to simplify remote management of rack mount network equipment.

North Carolina To Try And Ban Community Fiber Today – Whether your town or city likes it or not…

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

When it comes to cable access, more choice is definitely a good thing for the consumer …


Stop The Cap notes that Time Warner Cable and friends have returned to their efforts to ban North Carolina communities from wiring themselves with fiber. Loyal lawmakers in the State today plan to introduce a bill that would impose a “moratorium” on municipal broadband deployment (even if a town or city votes to build a network). Like most bills of this type, the bill has yet to be made public for debate — and is intended to be rushed through the legislative process sometime today to avoid pesky public input:

On Wednesday, Senators David Hoyle and Daniel Clodfelter will introduce a bill expected to stall community broadband projects across the state. The bill, which has yet to be seen by the public, should appear in the Revenue Laws Study Committee, co-chaired by Clodfelter. We have heard the bill faces mere minutes of consideration before a quick vote, in hopes of moving it forward before the public finds out what elected officials are doing on their behalf.

What has incumbent broadband providers and their loyal politicians so afraid? A number of fiber to the home municipal developments that have been taking off in the state. Wilson, North Carolina launched a $28 million municipal broadband operation named Greenlight last year, offering symmetrical speeds up to 100Mbps. Other cities like Salisbury began exploring the option too. Both will offer services that far surpass what local incumbents AT&T and Time Warner Cable are willing to offer locals.

Again, people are free to argue the merits of whether a community should get into the broadband business all they’d like — but if the locals decide they’d like to go that route because incumbents are not providing adequate service — that should be the local citizen’s choice — not yours, and not Time Warner Cable’s. If these markets had more competition (something companies like Time Warner Cable and AT&T fight tooth and nail against at every turn), these communities wouldn’t be in this position to begin with.
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Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures remote management equipment for data centers, laboratories and IT centers. Our comprehensive line of products includes Secure Console Server products, Switched PDU products and A/B Fallback systems.

Nobody Apparently Likes Congress’s New Privacy Bill – Debating privacy in the age of deep packet inspection

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

This sounds like a potential can of worms …


You might recall how efforts by companies like NebuAD to impose behavioral advertising upon users fell apart — in part because many ISPs weren’t informing users they were collecting information using deep packet inspection (just like they don’t inform users they sell clickstream data). But there’s also questions surrounding whether such systems violate privacy and wiretap laws.

With the goal of opening the flood gates to this new, more profitable advertising — while codifying consumer protections — Congress has proposed a new, as-yet not-fully-named privacy bill (pdf).

Bill sponsor Rick Boucher insists the bill strikes a middle ground between privacy concerns (specifically the need to inform consumers how and why data is being collected) and the need to open the door to these new targeted advertising models. Among other things, the bill would set limits on how long user data could be stored (18 months) and would require that companies notify customers precisely what information is being collected about them (online and off).

So far, neither consumer advocates or corporations seem happy with the bill. Privacy groups complained that the bill simply keeps current broken practices in place, like requiring companies to bury user notification in fine print, and putting the onus on the consumer to “opt-out” — instead of requiring things like behavioral advertising be opt-in. They also are concerned that the bill would bar consumers from suing companies for data collection gaffes, and would also pre-empt a number of tougher state privacy laws.

The long list of corporations eager to profit from technology like behavioral advertising have always insisted they can self-regulate their use of consumer data — and that new laws aren’t necessary. Verizon, for instance, has consistently argued that public shame would keep them honest about privacy concerns. Of course, if an ISP is collecting user data and selling it without a user’s knowledge (the sale of clickstream data is exhibit A), and is implementing deep packet inspection technology they aren’t willing to talk about (see Windstream’s recent DPI snafu as exhibit B) it’s not clear at what point they’d be informed long enough to shame anybody.

Boucher’s bill is pretty clearly not the answer, and like much legislation — it has the potential to be so watered down by lobbyists before it’s finalized, it could easily work to harm — not help — consumer privacy.
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Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures remote device management products for IT applications. WTI’s Serial Console Server products, Remote Reboot products, Switched PDU products and A/B Fallback products are engineered to allow you to securely manage and troubleshoot rack equipment in remote locations.

Countries risk cyber terrorism, security expert tells summit

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

This sounds article shows the importance of up-to-date security and authentication features on devices such as a Console Server or PDU

Governments that fail to protect computer networks could face devastating attack, says former Pentagon director

The spectre of crashing power grids, stalled air control towers, hospitals brought to a standstill and defences left wide open was raised at the first cyber-security world summit that ended today, when politicians, officials, military leaders and industrialists warned that the US and other countries were failing to protect computer networks and were vulnerable to attacks of catastrophic proportions.

Harry Raduege, former director at the Pentagon agency responsible for the computer network, said cyber attacks were growing in intensity and sophistication. “We have experienced a number of attacks against the financial sector, on the power grid and against our defence capability,” he told the meeting in Dallas.

Raduege, chairman of the Deloitte Centre for Cyber Innovation, added: “What we are concerned about most is the vulnerability of the system and that potential attackers are gaining more skills. So it never ends. It demands constant attention.”

Patrick Pailloux, director-general of the French network and information security agency, said he had nightmares about attacks on the electricity system, transport, water supplies, the financial sector and hospitals, which are dependent on computers. “My biggest nightmare is not having enough time to prepare,” he said.

The EastWest Institute summit was attended by 400 representatives of 30 countries, including the US and Estonia, which claim to have been victims of cyber attacks, and the countries they blame for perpetrating them, China and Russia.

Hundreds of thousands of attacks are launched round the world daily, with attackers including student hackers and criminal gangs, and these cost billions of dollars. But attacks launched by countries against other countries are causing the greatest concern. The biggest so far appears to have been on Estonia in 2007, when attacks on its computers brought parts of the country to a standstill, and Georgia in 2008. Both blamed Russia, which denies the charge.

There was a cyber attack on the US last 4 July, which Washington suspects North Korea was behind and which it claims was aimed at closing down federal agencies. The US has also accused China of launching attacks, mainly aimed at espionage.

A Republican congressman, Michael McCaul, who helped guide a bill through the House in February to improve the security of US networks against cyber attacks, said: “When you mention cyber security to most members of Congress, their eyes glaze over and yet it is one of the most serious threats this century. We are good at offensive capability but we are not good on defence.”

A Cyber Storm simulation exercise is scheduled to take place this year to test US readiness. The US will for the first time invite 15 other countries to participate.

It is the most advanced country at conducting cyber warfare, followed by Russia, China and Israel.

The attack on Estonia – in which millions of emails swamped the websites of the government, parliament, banks, and the media – was described at the summit as a wake-up call, offering a glimpse of the potential devastation that can be wreaked through targeting computer systems.

The Estonian justice minister, Rein Lang, who was at the summit, said: “Everyone should be worried, not just Estonia.”

Lin Zhengrong, deputy director-general of China’s internet affairs bureau of the state council information office, dismissed suggestions that China was the source of cyber attacks and said China was also a victim of such attacks.

Michael Dell, chairman of the eponymous information technology company, hinted there might eventually have to be a two-tier web system, one that was secure and the other the current open and anonymous system that Americans often refer to as the Wild West. “We have an enormous number of bad actors who are able to act completely anonymously,” said Dell.

Asked if the threat was overblown, Dell replied: “I do not think it is, unfortunately.”

The second summit is to be held in London next year.

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Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures remote power control and remote port access products for the IT industry. Our Outlet Metered PDU products and Console Port Server products provide valuable tools for any IT manager who needs secure, remote access to power control and command functions on rack mounted IT equipment.

Competitors Force Down Usage of Internet Explorer

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Many of us remember when Netscape was the hottest browser on the market. It’s strange to think that the almighty IE might eventually slide into obscurity too …

Microsoft may be losing its grip on the Internet browser market. The software behemoth has lost a significant percentage of market share for its Internet Explorer browser according to browser usage reports from market watchers NetApplications and StatCounter. Their research shows Microsoft’s IE browser holding less than 60 percent of the market share.

“I don’t believe IE’s drop in usage share of 0.7 percent was necessarily significant, but much is being made of IE falling below 60 percent for the first time since it became the market leader,” said Vincent Vizzaccaro, executive vice president of marketing at Net Applications.

Their research indicates usage of the Microsoft IE browser fell from 77.63 percent in April 2008 to 67.77 percent in April 2009. Since June 2009, Internet Explorer has seen a decrease in market share each consecutive month. April was no different and Microsoft’s IE fell to 59.95 percent.

Competitors, on the other hand, including Google Chrome and Apple Safari saw an increase in market share during the same period.

Firefox has a hold on just under one quarter of the market with 24.59 percent market penetration, according to NetApplications. Google Chrome ranked third with 6.73 percent, a .6 percent increase from last month. Apple Safari came in fourth, with 4.72 percent, a .07 percent increase from the previous month.

Growing Competition

Back in the day, Internet Explorer was the aggressor — grabbing more than 90 percent of the market from Netscape, between 1996 and 2002. Since then, however, it has faced growing competition and suffered a slow decline in usage since 2003, according to Vizzaccaro.

That decline continued when Google launched Chrome in September 2008, grabbing 1 percent of the global browser market in just one day, according to StatCounter.

Microsoft did not address the decline in overall Internet Explorer usage, but did provide information on…

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For over 30 years, Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) has been an innovator in the field of remote management for IT facilities. Our comprehensive product line includes a wide range of Serial Console Server products, Switched PDU products and Remote Reboot Switch products to provide secure, remote management of servers, routers and other devices.

There are Many Ways to Use a Console Server …

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

A Console Server can be deployed in many ways to make accessing equipment more efficient as well as requiring less man power to fix a problem. One example is using them on an oil drilling platform. Mainly everyone working on the rig itself has a specific job and is needed daily. Having a full time IT employee on site would not be beneficial because most of the time everything is running just fine. Now if there is an IT problem and someone has to go out to address the issue, this can be a huge loss of revenue.

Getting someone out to a platform would both require a boat or a helicopter ride, plus hours in overtime and actually address the issue. Now, having a console server installed and accessed via satellite internet would address this issue and make a simple IT issue much less of a problem. Instead of having to fly or boat someone out to a platform, you can simply log into a console server from your desk. Now you have flexibility to address an issue, weather it’s a server lock up or firewall parameters being lost. In the time it would take to arrange a boat or helicopter to come out, you can have diagnosed and addressed the issue. This is just one example of how console servers can save both time and money, while making a complex situation, a simple one.

Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures remote device management products for IT applications. WTI’s Serial Console Server products, Remote Reboot products, Switched PDU products and A/B Fallback products are engineered to allow you to securely manage and troubleshoot rack equipment in remote locations.