thePipeline

More solutions to management challenges; Improving access to GIS data

Management Solutions Lead to New Releases

Strengthening its bid to win business from budget-strapped federal agencies, Opsware Inc. has added a suite of audit and change-tracking tools to its Opsware System product.

Version 4.0 of the product, which automates the management and updating of computers across a network, includes a Data Center Intelligence component that shows administrators how much each workstation or server costs to run. "If you look at what people are doing today in getting visibility into their data centers, it's a pretty motley collection" of information sources, said Tim Howes, Opsware's chief technology officer. "The information they get is never that accurate or up- to-date. A lot of customers I talk to, as embarrassing as it is, they don't even know how many machines they have out there." The embarrassed agencies can now use Opsware's system to track changes in their networks and, presumably, count their machines. It allows administrators to quickly see what users — or unwanted intruders such as worms, viruses and former employees — have done to the network. The system also includes patch management capabilities that show which machines have the latest security updates and which don't. Although the needs that Opsware addresses are intuitive, Howes said few competitors have emerged. The ones that exist mostly offer point solutions that address pieces of the problem but not the whole thing. Consera Software, in Bellevue, Wash., may be one of those competitors. It recently launched AgileOne, the first in a line of products that enable organizations to automate server management. AgileOne is not only agile but also intelligent, according to Consera officials. The Intelligent Automation System component of the system carries out repetitive tasks and adapts management operations to suit specific environments.

Maps and Legends

Maptech Inc. announced its Outdoor Navigator service, which puts detailed maps and charts on handheld devices for an annual subscription fee. The service allows users to download maps as needed from the company's library of more than 60,000.

Users who rely on Global Positioning System devices can use the Maptech maps to allow them to pinpoint their location at any moment. The company is headquartered in Amesbury, Mass., and holds a spot on the General Services Administration schedule.

Telemorphic Inc., meanwhile, released MapImager, an extension to geographic information system developer ESRI's ArcGIS software.

MapImager adds geographic imaging and visualization capabilities to the ArcGIS desktop. The add-on is intended to make it easy to quickly compare maps, aerial photos, satellite imagery and GIS layers to identify changes and differences in real time.

Federal workers who have to travel to the harsh environments where they're most likely to need maps might also benefit from a new line of ruggedized PCs from Xplore Technologies Corp., based in Austin, Texas. The company sells them through Dell Computer Corp.'s GSA schedule contract.

NEXT STORY: Oracle still on PeopleSoft trail

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