thePipeline

Native tongue

To find information more easily, officials at iAnywhere Solutions, a subsidiary of Sybase, have released Answers Anywhere, a middleware platform that includes natural language and context-understanding capabilities. Wireless telecommunication carriers and independent software vendors already use the platform, according to iAnywhere officials.

Company officials expect the platform to make it more feasible for enterprise managers to adopt applications and wireless data services by simplifying information queries by using searchers' own words in any language, said Antoine Blondeau, senior director of business development at iAnywhere.

Three versions are available. The Mobile Messaging Edition offers access to data services for wireless device users. The Enterprise Edition is for mobile and desktop computer users and works via the Web, e-mail or voice and text messaging interfaces. And finally, the Developer Edition aids the creation of new, customized applications.

The offering is yet another effort in the information technology world's quest to let humans and machines interact as naturally as two humans. Blondeau said the primary challenge is determining the context of certain words.

"When we call up humans [on the telephone], we infer context in our communications," he said. Computers can't do that as easily.

Blondeau believes officials in the federal intelligence and defense communities should be interested in the company's products. Their information is complex, users need to search on multiple criteria, and they can't always predefine search terms.

Brandishing the big iron

Dell officials have introduced a new server specifically designed for supercomputing clusters and distributed server farms that support Web sites.

The PowerEdge SC1425 rackmount server features 64-bit memory addressing. Company officials plan to offer the server as part of a high-performance computing cluster bundle with eight-, 16-, 32-, 64-, 128- and 256-node configurations running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, according to company officials.

"This server is specifically tailored for the unique requirements of high-performance cluster computing," said Paul Gottsegen, vice president of worldwide enterprise marketing in Dell's Product Group. "Unlike a more general-purpose server, the PowerEdge SC1425 is built from the ground up to be a hot-swappable unit within a server cluster or Web farm."

Enterasys Networks officials now offer the Matrix X-Series, a family of core routers combining high-performance networking with high security.

"New technologies, such as [voice over IP], make enterprises even more dependent on their networks, because an attack not only disrupts data traffic but also can bring down the entire phone system as well," said Mark Aslett, president and chief operating officer of Enterasys, in a statement. "We built the Matrix X-Series to protect the core from unique, targeted attacks and ensure business continuity. It delivers all of the advantages of next-generation, high-performance applications and services while decreasing enterprise security vulnerabilities and proactively responding to threats and attacks."

The network core is the focal point of every data packet and user on an enterprise network, according to Enterasys officials. That makes it vulnerable to new and emerging threats and the target for distributed denial-of-service attacks. Attacks that overwhelm the edge of a network can then target the core. That's why the core needs to be secured, Enterasys officials said.

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