Vendor Briefings, June 2006

Insights from the industry

ICS Enhances and Simplifies Reporting Services
Complex, hard-to-use business intelligence (BI) reporting tools limit the average user's ability to analyze, report, and present data. In January 2006, ICS ( released RSinteract, a tool that works with SQL Server 2005 and 2000 Reporting Services to reduce the complexity in designing, building, presenting, and interacting with database information. According to ICS Managing Director Christian Smyth, "RSinteract adds value to SQL Server's existing Reporting Services and is the only tool to allow interactive reporting." Business users can interact with reports directly without using a separate application (such as Visual Studio), view the results of report changes immediately, and carry out interactive analysis through a Web browser. RSinteract challenges the traditional view of BI (i.e., an expensive solution restricted to elite users) by building on existing SQL Server investment and keeping the total cost of ownership (TCO) low.

CREDANT Secures Corporate Data, No Matter Where It Travels
More companies need to protect and encrypt sensitive data—regardless of its location—to comply with regulations, avoid ending up the subject of embarrassing news reports, or both. CREDANT Technologies ( has a product and a strategy for protecting corporate data, whether the data is on a system connected to the internal network, a laptop at the airport, or removable media such as a thumb drive, MP3 player, or CD-ROM. CREDANT Mobile Guardian (CMG) Enterprise Edition 5.1 enables Collaborative Mobile Data Security, which lets companies extend centrally managed, policy-driven data protection to affiliates such as consultants or auditors. CMG 5.1 enforces encryption of important data moved to any removable storage device and important data created by business applications. A component called CMG Shield runs on mobile devices and enforces policies locally. Richard Stone, ICS vice president of marketing, explained that CREDANT plans to provide a Web service that lets people access their encrypted data from any device by the end of the year.

HDS Simplifies SANs
Hitachi Data Systems (HDS— announced its collaboration with Microsoft and QLogic to deliver the first Microsoft-Certified Simple SAN solution for the Windows Server environment. Nick Toozs-Hobson, HDS global director of the Microsoft alliance, explained that HDS will provide plug-and-play SAN Kits for the Hitachi TagmaStore Adaptable Modular Storage (AMS) 200, AMS500, and Workgroup Modular Storage (WMS) 100 systems. These kits come in 2GB and 4GB configurations and include all the hardware and software to connect your server to the SAN, providing you with quick implementation and requiring no additional onsite assistance.

This simple SAN solution is designed for small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) and provides enterprise-class storage and reliability without the cost and complexity normally associated with SANs.

ESET's Heuristic Behavior for Antivirus Protection
According to Rick Moy, Vice president of marketing and sales for ESET (, "The security threat just keeps getting worse even though there are myriad antivirus products available to protect your systems." Moy explains that 20-year-old signature analysis technology is partly to blame, and the dissatisfaction with this relatively ineffective virus-protection method has caused people to look for other types of antivirus solutions. ESET claims to be one of the first antivirus software companies to invest in the technology of heuristics. Its NOD32 is a unified threat management (UTM) system that offers small-footprint, multipoint protection that users can quickly deploy (up to 500 nodes an hour) from a central management console. "Heuristic technology is like a neighborhood-watch program that looks for suspicious behavior and takes appropriate action based on the recognition of these behaviors. Because NOD32 doesn't rely solely on signature analysis, zero day threats-in which the threat arrives on the scene and causes damage before the vulnerability is known-are thwarted 90 percent of the time," said Moy.

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