LinuxWorld & NGDC

Hello happy reader,

Another week, another trade show. This time it was LinuxWorld and Next Gen Data Center: it’s two, two, two shows in one…Nothing earth shaking but, I did finally get to put my paws on Bug Labs’ BUG. For the electro-geek, it’s a really exceptional tinker toy. Can’t say, however, that it will fulfill their idea of a universal gadget. My demo dude compared it to a swiss army knife, and I pointed out that swiss army knives do many things…poorly. So, not a good role model. Anyway, as a tool for learning programming, microcontrollers and generally getting around the electronics world, I’ll give it a B+.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a different mix of enterprise computing companies exhibiting, from the Big Kids, IBM, Oracle, etc., to familiar names (to me, at least) like SugarCRMXiotech and Emerson’s Liebert division. Sugar had a new module for Sugar 5 that speeds up the process of building interfaces. A welcome addition, methinks.

Xiotech was showing their ISE or “ice” product and, from my brief talk w/the XioDude, it seems to be a well designed, self healing storage appliance with better than average management. They’ve come a long way since I last worked with them six years ago and I look forward to investigating ISE for my next asset management client.

Liebert had a box I’ve heard about for a while but have never seen. It was their kinetic energy transitional power system, the Liebert FS. This full height, 1U rack contains a battery–free DC generator to provide power in a data center while traditional diesel gennies are firing up. Distinctive feature is the FS uses a magnetically levitated flywheel to generate electricity. Once the flywheel’s spun up, the device consumes less than 300 Watts yet it can deliver 190 kW for 10 seconds when needed. Also, Liebert has a rack division, Knurr, that I was not aware of. Nicely made stuff, if you’re into racks.

Another vendor I found interesting was Zmanda, with their FOSS backup suite for MySQL and Oracle. They operate on the same model as Sugar, Red Hat and others; giving away the app while billing for services. If you run MySQL, check their stuff out.

There were a couple of embedded Linux vendors, one in particular was Tin Can Tools, with their wicked small Nail Kit, a complete ARM Linux system, based on an ARM920T processor, that’s designed to plug into your laptop. It’s portable, self-contained and weighs less than 3 ounces.

The last vendor I’ll mention is Violin, makers of an outboard DRAM–based “memory appliance” for servers. This 2U beast virtualizes a passel of DRAM SIMMs, providing improved scalability, reliablity and power savings.

To wrap up today’s rant, I’ll mention one NGDC session that was, for me, actually quite useful. Michael Peterson, president of Strategic Research Corp, gave an interesting talk on re–thinking archiving, a subject near and dear to my heart. His presentation discussed the work of the SNIA 100 Year Archive Task Force, new technologies one can deploy today, and future tech that should ease our asset management pain.

Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for listening!

One Response to “LinuxWorld & NGDC”

  1. Fine posting, I must say i look ahead to messages from you.