All things network

In Sidney Lumet's movie "Network," viewers are urged to yell "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!"

Those same words may be on the lips of many network managers trying to get a handle on how to operate and manage their networks. It is for those poor souls that Network Instruments LLC officials have released Observer 10 and Advanced Expert Probe, two network analysis and management tools.

Observer 10 delivers real-time analysis, including analysis of virtual local-area networks. Advanced Expert Probe, which complements Observer, is designed to perform packet capture for analyzing remote networks.

Douglas Smith, president of the company, said he believes federal agencies will be a strong market for the products. The company won a place on the General Services Administration schedule about two years ago, and federal government sales account for about 11 percent of the company's revenue, he said.

"We're really pushing hard because we think there's a marketplace we can go get," Smith said. "It's only going to increase."

With all that data flying around a network, Cisco Systems Inc. and Trend Micro Inc. officials are collaborating on comprehensive network worm and virus outbreak prevention services, targeting network switches and routers.

Under the agreement, Cisco will first add Trend Micro's network worm and virus signatures to Cisco Intrusion Detection System software deployed in the company's Internetworking Operating System software-based routers, Catalyst switches and network security appliances.

In later partnership phases, more Trend Micro technology will be added to give the combined solution capabilities in vulnerability assessment, outbreak prevention and damage cleanup, according to company officials.

SoftPerfect Research officials also have released a new analyzer. Network Protocol Analyzer 2.0 is a tool for "analyzing, debugging, maintaining and monitoring local networks and Internet connections," according to company officials.

The product captures data flowing through an Ethernet card or dial-up connection and presents a report.

Managing other things

While we're talking about upgrades, HandySoft Global Corp. officials have released BizFlow 9, the latest version of the company's business process management platform. The new product will aid officials at the company, with more than 40 federal customers, in their quest to gain even more federal market share, according to executives.

The new product enables agency officials to monitor events, identify and prioritize activities that need improvement, and change processes in real time to account for sudden changes.

The goal is to respond to changes as they occur rather than after the fact, according to HandySoft officials. To that end, the new product includes a process simulator to test ideas and custom report generation so users can get the exact information they need.

Hello? Hello!

Everybody's talking about voice-over-IP technologies, and sometimes they're using voice-over-IP services to do it.

X-Change Corp. officials have released a flexible lease program for the Advanced IP Communications iPBX46 Business Phone System through its subsidiary, Innovative Telecommunications Technologies Inc.

The subsidiary is a reseller for the phone system. The new lease program gives carriers the opportunity to build large, distributed voice-over-IP networks without making the traditional upfront investment in central office equipment and architecture.

Total Call International Inc. officials have launched TotalCall IP, a new product to allow computer-to-phone calling, taking advantage of voice-over-IP technologies.

The laptop of luxury

Officials at Liebermann Inc., a company that prefers to go by the moniker "L," have issued new laptop computers.

Designed from scratch, the new 17-inch widescreen Hollywood Gold64 laptop computer features a 64-bit architecture based on an Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Athlon 3700+ processor and HyperTransport bus technology.

L officials also recently released Hollywood Gold XPress, a notebook based on Intel Corp.'s new PCI Express architecture. The computer features a Pentium 4 processor with hyperthreading technology. It's loaded for bear on the video front, with up to 512M of dedicated video memory and a high-end card. Company officials say the machine is lightning fast, able to handle 150,000 input/output requests per second.

Hewlett-Packard Co. officials have released three notebook computers intended to be affordable for small organizations. The computers — Compaq nx9020, Compaq nx9030 and Compaq nx9040 — offer wireless connectivity and long battery life. They also offer choices of display sizes and processor options, and they start at $799, according to company officials.

The notebooks run on Intel's Centrino technology and Pentium M processors, ranging from 1.5 GHz to 1.8 GHz. n


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