Skip navigation

Vendor Briefings - 28 Dec 2004

Insights from the industry

VMware ESX Server Wins Best Overall Product
At Microsoft IT Forum 2004 in Copenhagen, Denmark, VMware ESX Server received the 2004 Windows IT Pro Editor's Choice Award for Best Overall Product, and AddOnMail's AttachTracker won the award for Most Innovative Product. The Editor's Choice Awards recognize companies that offer outstanding products and services and that can illustrate their value through successful case studies.

Windows IT Pro's Technical Director Michael Otey and Product and Technology Editor Adam Carheden evaluated 45 products in 6 categories. In the Administration and Management category, Michael and Adam selected b>Configuresoft's Enterprise Configuration Manager 4.5.2 as the winner. TripleHop's MatchPoint took the award in the Data Management category. The winner in the Messaging and Mobility category was Fujitsu Siemens' easyXchange, and Captaris Teamplate Workflow took the award in the Productivity and Collaboration category. Consul risk management's InSight Security Manager was awarded the Editor's Choice Award in the Security category, and Fujitsu Siemens' LIFEBOOK T4010 was the editor's choice in the Hardware category.

About the overall winner, Michael said, "ESX Server lets organizations streamline operations infrastructure by consolidating multiple production and legacy servers as virtual machines." Commenting on the most innovative product, Adam said, "AttachTracker is a novel idea and a quick and easy way to reduce the size of users' Microsoft Exchange Server mailboxes and Microsoft Outlook .pst files." For a list of the winners and more of the judges' comments, see Web Table 1 (, InstantDoc ID 44702).

Manage the Life Cycle of Backup Data
Asigra (, a Toronto-based company that specializes in distributed data backup and recovery solutions for network computing, is introducing a new concept in the world of backup and recovery: Backup Lifecycle Management (BLM). In a recent briefing with Windows IT Pro, Asigra Executive Vice President Eran Farajun explained that Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) solutions focus on managing primary data files but don't adequately manage secondary backup data files. However, companies need to manage the entire life cycle of backup data, from its creation, while it's stored on media, and through the end of its life, when it's intentionally deleted. Managing data's life cycle satisfies compliance regulations concerning long-term storage of backup data, optimizes the use of storage space, and ensures cost savings of ILM solutions.

Toward this end, Asigra is offering the Asigra BLM module for its Televaulting backup and recovery software. Asigra BLM distinguishes between two levels of protected data: current critical data and archivable data (i.e., data that might be needed at a later time but isn't likely to be accessed in the near future). The current critical data is stored online for fast recovery, whereas the archivable data is stored on low-cost disk, tape, or optical media. End users can easily retrieve archived information through a Web portal.

The BLM Archiver is at the heart of Asigra BLM. The BLM Archiver accumulates archivable data into a staging buffer. The archiver's delta-blocking and common-file elimination features ensure that the staging buffer doesn't include duplicate data, which means less data to store and faster data retrieval. The accumulated data is then consolidated into a single archive for long-term disk or tape storage.

Of Service Levels and Packet Sniffing
A mature IT environment supports complete end-to-end services, not just servers, OSs, or networks. If your company is large, plenty of products can help you develop a service-based view of your IT infrastructure. But what if your company can't afford an expensive implementation to integrate all your applications into a monitoring framework? I recently spoke with Bill Berkman, director of marketing at ClearSight Networks (, about how his company is helping clients monitor the services their IT departments provide by using an out-of-the-box solution.

Most network administrators probably know how to fire up a free traffic analyzer such as Ethereal, but making sense of the data is another story. Sure, you can see a TCP stream, but when things get more complicated than looking at some HTTP headers, there are faster ways to close a trouble ticket. What if you could receive alerts about user-defined problems detected in application-level protocols before a user submits a trouble ticket and follow the details of a transaction through a GUI, even for applications that use binary protocols? The ClearSight Analyzer suite of products lets you do just that. Bill demonstrated ClearSight Analyzer by letting me watch both sides of a videoconference. ClearSight Analyzer showed me reports about the jitters in a Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone call and identified a failed attempt to authenticate to Microsoft Exchange Server. Suddenly, watching live or saved network traffic seems like a feasible way to resolve that trouble ticket.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.