Industry Watch

Vendors secure Air Force purchases Two security vendors have received large orders from the Air Force to supply products to bases worldwide as part of a program to create a highly secure network infrastructure.

The Air Force has tapped St. Paul Minn.-based Secure Computing Corp. to provide 41 of its Sidewinder firewall systems and selected Atlanta-based Internet Security Systems (ISS) Inc.'s Internet Scanner for deployment at all of its more than 100 bases.

The purchases are part of the Air Force's Base Information Protect initiative a component of the $1 billion Combat Information Transport System a program to overhaul Air Force information systems.

Sidewinder will be used to guard all external connections to the CITS network which is designed to protect the integrity of information that is exchanged among combat units and headquarters during combat situations.

ISS' Internet Scanner will be used by the Air Force to proactively detect and respond to information security vulnerabilities and to manage the overall risk to these systems.

Netscape acquires Kiva Netscape Communications Corp. last month announced plans to acquire Kiva Software Corp. an application server software company based in Mountain View Calif.

After completing the transaction in the fourth quarter of 1997 Netscape plans to offer Kiva's Internet intranet and extranet server software to customers developing and deploying business-critical applications according to officials. With the acquisition Netscape plans to issue 6.3 million shares of Netscape stock to purchase 100 percent of Kiva's stock and options.

Netscape plans to fold the company into its Server Products Division. NASA pares field of vendors for data buy NASA has selected 11 companies for contract negotiations in the first phase of the space agency's planned $50 million purchase of earth science data and related information products.

NASA's Stennis Space Center Miss. in May issued a request for offers to purchase weather and climate data gathered by private-sector satellites to be used by scientists in NASA's Mission to Planet Earth program. The companies that were selected are Earth Satellite Corp. Rockville Md. Jackson and Tull/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Seabrook Md. User Systems/Space Imaging-Eosat Gambrills Md. Earthwatch Longmont Colo.

The University of Wisconsin Madison Wis. Space Imaging-Eosat Thornton Colo. Final Analysis Lanham Md. Positive Systems Whitefish Mo. TRW Civil and International Systems Division Redondo Beach Calif. Astrovision Inc. Stennis Space Center Resource 21 Englewood Colo. The first phase of the effort will be spent analyzing and validating sample sets included in the 11 proposals.

Those companies selected to continue into the second phase will receive a letter describing the data's price quantity and required characteristics. CSC garners Hubble follow-on Computer Science Corp. has been awarded a follow-on contract to provide engineering services to support NASA's Hubble Space Telescope project. The contract was awarded by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy Inc. and is valued at $37 million if all options are exercised during five years.

CSC will provide systems engineering software development computer operations and related science expertise in support of the space telescope. Specific services include calibration of scientific instruments planning and scheduling of scientific observations data processing archive support software maintenance and network operations.

Cylink nabs product approval Cylink Corp.'s Turbo Crypto card has been accredited by the National Institute of Standards and Technology as meeting the Federal Information Processing Standard 140-1 a standard that all cryptographic-based security products used by the federal government must meet.

The Turbo Crypto card is designed to accelerate encryption secure connection establishments and authenticate functions using FIPS standard algorithms such as digital signatures random number generation and the Data Encryption Standard. It is used in a variety of Cylink products including the SecureFrame Unit a security system for high-speed and medium-speed frame-relay networks and the SecureDomain Unit a system for authenticating and encrypting network traffic over local-area network and wide-area network connections.

Digital adds switching technology Digital Equipment Corp. has announced that it will incorporate switching technology from the Italian vendor Quadrics Supercomputing World Ltd. into its clustered workstation configurations beginning next June. Jesse Lipcon vice president with Digital's Unix and Open VMS Business Unit said the switch will allow interconnection of up to 8 000 of the company's Alpha processors enabling users to run high-performance applications that are currently possible only with massively parallel supercomputers.

Digital made the announcement at the SC '97 supercomputing trade show in San Jose Calif. last month. Chris Willard an industry analyst with International Data Corp. said the agreement with Quadrics "pushes Digital's scalability up significantly" and gives the firm "credentials for playing in the high-end market." Supercomputing center unveils portable virtual reality viewer The National Center for Supercomputing Applications introduced a portable version of the ImmersaDesk a special viewer for virtual reality applications at the SC '97 supercomputing trade show last month in San Jose Calif.

Hank Kaczmarski a computer systems engineer with NCSA said the group created the device because "we needed a way to take visualization around the world." Kaczmarski said federal agencies are "interested in looking at" the device only one example of which has been manufactured. One possible use for the ImmersaDesk 2 Kaczmarski said is by the military to deploy 3-D visualization applications in the field.

NCSA is a research institute based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is funded by the National Science Foundation. - Compiled by Heather Harreld and Elana Varon.

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