ServersServerWatch News Briefs for February 1, 2004

ServerWatch News Briefs for February 1, 2004

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This Week’s Swatches

Microsoft Takes ISA 2004 Public

Microsoft brings ISA Server 2004 into public beta; Fujitsu adds another Intel-based offering to the mix; NEC signs on to the OSDL; and IBM takes its Low Rate Financing program even lower.

Microsoft this week set loose the first public beta version of Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration (ISA) Server 2004. New features in ISA Server 2004 include an advanced application layer firewall, and additional VPN and Web caching features.

The proxy server is available for download at as well as in CD form.

ISA Server 2004 is being targeted at organizations looking to fortify business applications against new and emerging threats in a simple and cost-effective manner.

“Hackers tend to target the point of least resistance in a network, and lately that’s been the application layer because network firewalls are not traditionally designed to detect and prevent these types of threats,” said Charles Kolodgy, research director at IDC. “While network firewalls are starting to add such capabilities, Microsoft is among the first to provide a security solution that is dedicated to addressing application layer threats.”

Microsoft is taking a three-pronged approach to address this:

  • Advanced protection in application-layer security capabilities through the enforcement of comprehensive and
    flexible policies, and customizable deep-content inspection of protocols and network routing relationships
  • Ease of use due to management tools and a user interface designed for security administrators to learn and,
    ultimately, help enterprises avoid security breaches that can occur because of firewall misconfiguration
  • High performance through a design that provides security and application layer protection

Full details on what is new can be found on Microsoft’s site.

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Fujitsu Ships Latest Primergy Server

Fujitsu Computer Systems early this week began shipping its latest server, an Intel Itanium-2-based Primergy RXI600, in North America.

The high-performance 64-bit, 4-way rack server is designed for large databases, business intelligence, and data warehousing. Its 64-bit architecture makes it ideal for investment calculation models, extracting and analyzing data from enormous databases, and security applications, such as data encryption or decryption.

In addition to its processing capabilities, the Primergy RXI600 features a variety of high availability and management features required in these types of environments.

Specs for the Primergy RXI600 include the following:

  • One to four Intel Itanium 2 64-bit processors with speeds up to 1.5 GHz with 6 MB of level-three cache and high multiprocessor scalability
  • An infrastructure based on the EPIC (Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing) architecture
  • Up to 32 GB of PC2100 of DDR-SDRAM directly addressable main memory
  • Up to three hard disks with a maximum total capacity of 438 GB
  • A two-channel U320 SCSI controller onboard and one-channel LSI MegaRAID PCI controller
  • Eight hot-plug PCI-X slots (3 x 64-bit/133 MHz)
  • Redundant and hot-plug fans and power supply
  • A 4U-optimized design
  • Tool-free installation and de-installation of all important modules

Pricing for the Primergy RXI600 server starts at $23,000.

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NEC Hitches Horse to OSDL Wagon

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) grew its consortium this week with the addition of NEC Soft. The company will participate in OSDL’s Data Center Linux and Carrier Grade Linux working group initiatives.

NEC Soft is a subsidiary described as being at the core of NEC Corporation’s Unix business. It offers a host of technical services in operating systems technology, software development, and systems integration. NEC Soft has been working with Linux since establishing a Linux Support Center in 1999 to offer services such as systems integration and support of Linux packaged products, original appliance server products, and Linux operating solutions.

With Linux adoption now on the rise among enterprises in Japan, “NEC Soft has led the NEC Group’s Linux business solutions by focusing on the effectiveness of open source technology and the creation of flexible and optimum systems solutions. The company has also actively participated in collaborative projects in the public and private sectors and academia that use open source technology. We look forward to supporting the OSDL in Japan,” said Takaaki Seki, President of NEC Soft.

“The momentum behind Linux in Japan has attracted some important companies to OSDL,” said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL. “We’re delighted to have NEC Soft join the Lab and participate in our Data Center Linux and Carrier Grade Linux working groups as the Lab continues to broaden its commitment to Linux.”

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IBM Sweetens Financing Options

IBM Wednesday reduced its rates for its Low Rate Financing option available on a wide range of products. The financing rate, which in some cases is as low as 3.25 percent, is for qualified customers in the United States, Canada, and select Latin American countries through IBM Global Financing, Big Blue’s financing division.

Low Rate Financing launched three years ago and is available for IBM PCs, xSeries, iSeries, pSeries, and zSeries 800 Model eServers, TotalStorage Solutions, retail store systems, printers, software, and services priced between $25,000 and $1 million.

Customers can qualify for lower financing rates on select iSeries upgrades. IBM zSeries 800s, PCs, and select
service offerings and software are eligible under varying conditions, and may include slightly higher interest rates.

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