The Pipeline

How to manage?
Managing networks is getting more complicated as administrators face challenges that include dealing with products from a variety of vendors, handling large distributed networks and preparing to migrate to the upcoming Microsoft Windows Vista operating system.

It’s all a management software suite can do to keep up, but the venerable LANDesk Software is making a worthy effort with the release of Version 8.7 of its family of management products.

The family includes LANDesk Management Suite, LANDesk Security Suite, LANDesk Server Manager, and LANDesk Handheld and Embedded Device Manager.

“This release focuses on being able to consolidate vendors and toolsets, addressing complex enterprise environments and getting ready for Vista,” said Steve Workman, director of product management at LANDesk Software.

Integrated antivirus software is one important new feature in the LANDesk Security Suite. Previous versions supported other vendors’ antivirus tools but did not offer an integrated solution. The new version will continue to support other vendors’ tools while also offering an integrated antivirus solution.

“Our approach is an agnostic approach,” Workman said. “If you have antivirus already, we’ll manage it, but we’re introducing an additional option if customers want it all from one vendor.”

Meanwhile, the LANDesk Management Suite offers updated operating system deployment capabilities that will help customers prepare for and migrate to Windows Vista when it hits the market.

These new capabilities include 32-bit preboot environments for Windows Preinstallation Environment and LDLinux — LANDesk’s hardened version of Linux — and support for the new Microsoft Windows Imaging Format Ximage disk-imaging technology.

Gonna wipe that data right off my hard drive
If you feel secure after simply hitting the delete key to erase sensitive data, you shouldn’t. It’s possible to recover data from hard drives, floppy disks and other magnetic media after you perform the standard delete function on a PC.

Sensitive applications call for serious deletion, so administrators need to bring in the big guns — particularly in the federal government, where privacy regulations compel agencies to ensure that their data does not fall into the wrong hands.

One type of deletion device, called a degausser, generates a magnetic field that permanently erases magnetic storage media and renders the data unrecoverable.

chart Fujitsu recently released a new desktop PC degausser called the Mag EraSURE Professional Value. The company emphasizes the unit’s ease of use and method of degaussing.

“The main message is that it’s very easy to use,” said Dan Dalton, director of Fujitsu Computer Products of America. “It sits on top of your desk. Just push a button and the information is wiped [out].”

Another important feature is its rare earth magnet, which is a special permanent magnet made of some of the Earth’s elements.

“The use of a permanent magnet gives the product exceptional life,” said Dalton, who added that some competitors use what’s called pulse degaussing, which employs a coil of wire that neutralizes magnetic fields.

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