Industry Watch

IBM Awards CCSS Full Business Partner Status

QSystem Monitor, QMessage Monitor and QRemote Control, CCSS Ltd.’s Systems Management software products, have been awarded with Advanced Level Membership to IBM’s PartnerWorld for Developers Program and subsequently, the company has achieved full IBM Business Partner status. The announcement comes shortly after CCSS’s formal admittance to the IBM iSeries Systems Management Partner Group (SMPG).

The Advanced Level membership in IBM’s PartnerWorld Program serves to recognize leading developers worldwide who have made significant contributions to IBM technologies.

The strategic alliance defined through PartnerWorld for Developers offers CCSS additional technical, educational and marketing support to help them achieve their objectives. Technically, CCSS will have access to software fixes, sample code and developer tools. CCSS Technicians are also encouraged to attend IBM-hosted, Developer Workshops and obtain further professional certification. For more information, visit www.ibm.com/partnerworld, or www.ccssltd.com.

For additional midrange computing news, visit www.midrangesystems.com .

OTG to Support Interoperability Lab

OTG Software Inc. will support the Storage Networking Industry Association’s (SNIA’s) Technology Center. The 14,000+ square foot center, the largest independent storage networking complex in the world, will support the SNIA by providing testing laboratories, as well as educational and training facilities. The center will also facilitate the gathering of work groups to progress the study, development and recommendation of storage standards to the appropriate standards bodies.

As a participating vendor in the Tech Center grand opening, OTG will demonstrate the interoperability of its SANXtender and DiskXtender 2000 products in Fibre environments by working with and utilizing the high-performance data mover and extended copy features in SAN products from ATTO, Brocade, Chaparral and Crossroads at the Tech Center Interoperability Laboratory. SANXtender provides automated, centralized storage of data in storage area networks (SANs), enabling applications to read directly from SAN devices. DiskXtender 2000 is OTG’s solution for automated storage management and access to enterprise data. For more information, visit www.snia.org.

VMware and the NSA Build a Secure Alliance

VMware Inc. announced a cooperative research and development agreement for a joint initiative with the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to enhance and certify the security of VMware’s virtual machine technology. The project, which builds upon VMware’s patent-pending MultipleWorlds technology, will the secure use of commercial, off-the-shelf software for certain sensitive or classified applications.

NSA’s project NetTop plans to use security enhanced virtual machines as building blocks for applications requiring separation of information domains, such as providing secure remote access to classified computer networks over the Internet. VMware plans to incorporate the security enhancements resulting from the agreement in its future product releases.

"Users in the national security community have an increasing need for commercial off-the-shelf software, and to provide them with this functionality without compromising on security, we currently require them to use different computers for different applications," notes Paul Pittelli, Director of Information Assurance Research at the National Security Agency. "A security-enhanced virtual machine monitor is an important component to help us provide practical security solutions for our customers by allowing them to use commercial software safely." For more information, visit www.vmware.com.

For more Linux news, visit our Web site at www.enterpriselinuxmag.com.

Compaq Flies Like an Eagle

Compaq Computer Corporation has signed an agreement with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to offer Presario Internet PCs and a variety of Internet services options to 800,000 postal employees in more than 42,000 locations across the United States, including Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Guam. In addition, Compaq will create a custom portal through which postal employees can securely access the USPS intranet.

Later this quarter, USPS employees will be able to purchase Compaq Presario Internet PCs configured anyway they like via a customized Web site or toll-free phone number. Compaq is offering USPS employees a specially customized PC and monitor bundle, a wide range of configurable Presario Internet desktop and notebook PCs, associated options and a variety of Internet services.

As part of this agreement, Compaq is making arrangements for USPS employees to receive special offers on Internet access from ISPs at reduced rates. Compaq will create a customized news and information portal that also provides USPS with a persistent and timely channel for employee communications. For more information, visit www.compaq.com.

HP Alliance Secures Online Credit Card UseStrategic Profits Inc. (SPI), Hewlett-Packard (Canada) Ltd. and TELUS Corporation have formed an alliance to deliver a secure, Internet-based credit card payment service. The alliance provides organizations of any size, including not-for-profits and charities, access to a best-of-breed payment service, security, hosting, consulting, integration, education and implementation. It is available now on a regional and national basis.

HP Canada is providing the necessary consulting, hardware and software, including two HP 9000 L2000 servers, MC/_ServiceGuard for high availability and Verifone Payworks 3 as the payment engine.

TELUS is hosting the service from its data center, which is equipped with maximum security, 24x7 monitoring, support and high-speed Internet connectivity. Strategic Profits Inc. (SPI) provides consulting, integration, education and implementation expertise. For more information, visit www.hp.com.

For more HP news, visit www.hppro.com.

Cutter Advises States Against Online Taxes

In a recent Council Opinion from Cutter Consortium’s Business Technology and Trends Impacts Advisory Service, the Council urges any state considering imposing a sales tax on goods and services purchased online to think again. Companies will likely move their revenue operations overseas, or to the states with the most favorable tax policies and tax rates in order to gain, or retain, a competitive advantage. The result will be simple: Not only will the state fail to receive any additional sales taxes, but they will also lose the revenues that these companies were generating.

"Unfettered (untaxed) e-commerce is the goose that laid the golden egg for the states," says Cutter Technology Council Fellow Tom DeMarco. "As appealing as it may be to ‘recapture’ state sales taxes on e-commerce, the states are all too aware of how they have profited from the absence of such taxes."

DeMarco offers these two pieces of advice to companies: Take steps to avoid taxation of pure data transactions, and lobby aggressively against attempts to burden e-commerce with regulation and taxation.

"Of course, there will always be legal recourse to plug revenue holes," concludes DeMarco. "But, the first state to act aggressively to capture lost revenue will put its own e-commerce providers at a disadvantage and risk losing them."

IBM and MDS Proteomics Alliance Aims to Speed Drug Development

IBM and MDS Proteomics, a proteomics research company, will join to develop new technologies designed to speed drug development. Under the terms of the alliance:

• IBM will be the preferred supplier of hardware, software and services to MDS Proteomics.

• IBM and MDS Proteomics will establish a public research database of protein analyses, accessible to pharmaceutical researchers, universities, scientists and others, via the Internet.

• IBM and MDS Proteomics will collaborate on research projects to solve complex, computationally-intensive problems related to biotechnology.

• IBM will make an equity investment in MDS Proteomics.

The alliance targets one of the most challenging problems in life sciences today: understanding the interactions among proteins that trigger chemical reactions in cells and cause diseases, such as cancer, AIDS and depression. "Once you know the role that a protein plays in a disease, it is possible to develop drugs that target the protein and treat the disease," says Frank Gleeson, President and Chief Executive Officer of MDS Proteomics.

To achieve the company’s goals, MDS Proteomics is deploying a powerful supercomputing infrastructure. The configuration includes three superclusters of IBM eServer systems running Linux and UNIX, and high-performance data management, disk and tape storage systems, which will work with MDS Proteomics’ fault-tolerant, cluster-based software to accelerate the process of identifying, analyzing and explaining the function of proteins. The supercomputing cluster will process output from a network of ultra-sensitive mass spectrometers, which are used to identify and analyze proteins, critical steps in the process of determining protein interactions. A combination of IBM’s DB2 Universal Database and Shark disk and Linear Tape Open storage systems will provide a high-speed solution for storing, managing, accessing and retrieving the volumes of protein sequence data.

MDS Proteomics’ system will be augmented by IBM’s DiscoveryLink data integration technology, which will integrate Proteomics’ data, including amino-acid sequences, from a variety of sources, formats and file types.

Both companies will work to establish the Biomolecular Interaction Network Database (BIND), a publicly available bioinformatics database that will allow researchers worldwide to submit and review results of research about molecular interactions and the detailed cellular mechanisms of life. For more information, visit www.binddb.org.