The Pipeline

Opengear offers secure remote management of computers; Diskeeper turns 10

A light at the end of the tunnel
When you think of tunneling, groundhogs might come to mind more quickly than remote computer access. But in today’s mobile computing environment, the latter is a hot issue because organizations are increasingly managing remote data centers from a central location. Opengear’s new Secure Desktop Tunneling tool allows administrators to remotely manage any computer or racks of servers, when combined with the company’s console server and secure hardware products.

According to the company, its tunneling tool is the first to combine secure graphical desktop tunneling, console management and secure device remote control in one package. “Remote control of data centers is pretty mature, but we’re moving that technology one step forward,” said Bob Waldie, Opengear’s chairman and chief executive officer. Users and administrators can securely access and control any computer using virtual network computing (VNC) technology or Microsoft’s Remote Desktop. The solution brings VNC and Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) together with the Secure Shell (SSH) log-in and tunneling protocol.

The product can access computers running Apple Computer’s Macintosh, Microsoft’s Windows, Sun Microsystems’ Solaris operating systems, Linux and Unix.

Secure Desktop Tunneling forwards selected TCP ports through authenticated and encrypted tunnels. Remote users can securely tunnel their VNC or RDP sessions to Opengear’s console server via any broadband Internet connection, direct dial-up or ISDN modem connection.

The console server forwards the sessions to the computer being accessed or routes them through a serial port on the console server to the target computer’s serial port. This allows secure remote access to systems on the network and to PC-based systems not connected to the network, such as medical equipment.

Happy birthday to Diskeeper
They’re not giving away free software, but Diskeeper figured the best way to celebrate its 10th anniversary would be to release Version 10 of its popular Diskeeper defragmenting software. Such software reorganizes disks by putting files in contiguous order, which boosts the performance of desktop PCs, laptop PCs and servers.

Diskeeper’s latest release is not all birthday candle smoke and mirrors either. It includes something called Intelligent File Access Acceleration Sequencing Technology, or I-FAAST. I-FAAST learns the performance characteristics of each drive and sequences the most commonly used files for the fastest possible access. The company expects the technology to deliver performance gains of as much as 80 percent.

For a computer hard drive, that increase translates into faster data access, program speeds, operating system booting and application loading.

Diskeeper 10 also includes new enhancements to I/O Smart, a feature that monitors drive access during defragmentation. That function now takes place transparently in the background so users won’t experience declines in performance even during peak production times. A new Terabyte Volume Engine defragments large disk volumes on mission-critical servers more quickly than previous versions.

Power users will be glad to hear that the latest version features support for 64-bit operating systems. All users will appreciate core enhancements to the defragmentation engine that offer faster performance, less resource usage, and more thorough rearrangement of files and free space.

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