January Industry News

Micromuse Acquires Calvin Alexander Networking

Micromuse Inc., a provider of fault and service-level management software, has signed an agreement to acquire New York City-based Calvin Alexander Networking Inc. (CAN), a privately-held company that develops network auto-discovery technology.

The acquisition will provide Micromuse with auto discovery and root-cause analysis technology required by next-generation service providers and enterprises. These capabilities form the foundation for automated network management systems that broaden the market for network management solutions. The combined companies will provide the ability to manage complex network infrastructures more efficiently.

Internet service providers (ISPs), application service providers (ASPs), interexchange carriers (IXCs), competitive local-exchange carriers (CLECs), CATV operators and large corporations are rapidly expanding their voice and Internet infrastructures to meet growing demand. As a result, there is a critical need for software that accurately discovers network topology in real-world networks and compensates for misconfigurations, unmanaged devices, and moves/adds/changes as they occur. During network failures or service disruptions, the ability to accurately trace physical communication paths is essential in helping network operations centers quickly isolate and repair problems. CAN offers core technology for solving these common problems.

For more information, visit Micromuse’s Web site at www.micromuse.com.


FastComm & IBM Sign Licensing Agreement

FastComm Communications has signed a multi-year agreement to license the Enterprise System Connection (ESCON) Enabler Technologies from IBM. The agreement encompasses both the technology and component purchases. ESCON is a protocol used to connect IBMmainframe computers to various peripheral controllers, such as disk drives, tape drives and communications controllers.

The ESCON technology is replacing the older "bus and tag" channels, which require large, bulky cables and provide a data transfer capacity of up to 4.5 megabytes per second. ESCON channels, by contrast, provide a data transfer rate of up to 17 megabytes per second using standard fiber optic cable. The ESCON technology will be used in FastComm’s ChanlComm 7790 Communications Controller products, which currently only support the bus and tag channels.

According to Peter Madsen, President and CEO of FastComm, "The use of the ESCON technology will give us the ability to market our ChanlComm product to large end users. We expect that the majority of our future ChanlComm installations will require ESCON, due to the advantages of its high-speed fiber optic protocol."

For more information, visit FastComm at www.fastcomm.com.


Seagate and Agilent Align

Seagate Technology and Agilent Technologies (formed from the realignment of Hewlett-Packard Company) demonstrated an operational 2 gigabit-per-second (Gb/s)-capable fibre channel product at Fall COMDEX in Las Vegas.

"This new 2Gb/s technology will enable data throughputs on fibre channel loops of over 400MB/s," says Sherman Black, Vice President of Enterprise Product Line Management for Seagate. "Server applications such as Internet and intranet access, digitized video and online transaction processing have dramatically growing storage and high-speed connectivity requirements. 2Gb/s fibre channel connectivity will provide customers with a faster, more efficient, more easily scalable alternative for delivering data across Storage Area Networks."

Agilent and Seagate continue to work closely with industry leaders in the Fibre Channel Industry Association to ensure interoperability and coexistence with 1Gb/s fibre channel devices, as well as interoperability with other vendors’ new 2Gb/s-capable fibre channel devices.

For more information on Seagate, visit www. seagate.com. For more information on Agilent, visit www.agilent.com.


Breece Hill and IBM Collaborate to Provide LTO Solutions

Breece Hill Technologies has selected IBM as its primary supplier of Linear Tape Open (LTO) tape drive products for use in Breece Hill Technologies’ automation products. Breece Hill Technologies designs scalable tape backup and storage solutions for SOHO to enterprise networking requirements. The company applies open system, proven technologies in cutting-edge applications, resulting in outstanding library performance and reliability.

For more information, contact Breece Hill Technologies at (303) 449-2673, or visit www.BreeceHill.com.


Internet Impacts Disruptions

As a result of its growing reliance on the Internet for critical business applications, corporate America is increasingly vulnerable to potentially devastating disruptions in its individual IT network infrastructures. This startling fact is part of the 1999 Vulnerability Index, released by Comdisco Inc., a provider of technology management services and co-sponsored by BellSouth, a strategic alliance partner of Comdisco.

This latest research reveals that America’s e-business is seriously threatened by the underlying vulnerability of companies’ respective network infrastructures, and the failure to identify and address issues affecting system availability. One of the principal findings of the study is that only 30 percent of organizations have recovery plans in place for their Internet applications, and only 14 percent of those companies’ plans are effective. Despite the rapid commercial growth of the Internet, intranets and extranets, the overall vulnerability of Internet-based applications significantly exceeds those of other technology platforms and systems studied.

Network vulnerability poses a significant corporate risk and it is important for organizations to implement business continuity processes to protect the availability of their mission-critical systems and applications. The survey found only 54 percent of organizations have network recovery plans in place.

The 1999 Vulnerability Index is a survey of 200 U.S. organizations, all heavy computer users from both the public and private sector. Areas of vulnerability probed by the new study focused on enterprise systems, wide area networks (WANs) and local area networks (LANs). Key findings include:

• 30% of organizations do not have any business continuity plans in place.

• 50% of organizations have applications that require 99% or greater availability.

• 13% of organizations do nothing to ensure that level of availability.

• Nearly one in four LANs is completely vulnerable to disaster or disruption.

• 64% of organizations don’t have an effective plan to protect WANs.

The study validated that the development of a formal business continuity program significantly decreases an organization’s overall vulnerability and substantially reduces the average duration of any outages.

For more information, visit Comdisco’s Web site at www.comdisco.com, or visit Bell South at www.bellsouth.com/business.