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2008: Decision Year for RIAs - October 20-22, 2008 San Jose

Virtualization, Silverlight and Verizon
Zmanda's Paling Around with NetApp While Silverlight 2 Beta 2 Should Be Here

Zmanda’s Paling Around with NetApp
Zmanda, the open source backup and recovery folks, says it’s integrated NetApp’s Snapshot technology with its own Recovery Manager for MySQL. It’s supposed to translate into continuous data protection for mission-critical MySQL databases. With Snapshot, administrators can create point-in-time copies of file systems for granular recovery.

Google Moves Desktop Gadgets to Linux
Google has put out the beginnings of Desktop Gadgets for Linux and is distributing the source code under the Apache 2.0 license. Gadgets are mini-applets that form part of the Google Desktop. They’ve only been available until now for Windows and Mac. The Linux widgetry support both GTK+ and Qt.

Uncle Walt Lauds Firefox 3.0
Release Candidate 2 of Firefox 3 is out. The final ship date is still mid-June. Walt Mossberg, the Wall Street Journal’s Petronius Arbiter, said Thursday that it is “the best web browser out there right now, and that tops the current versions of both IE and Safari in features, speed and security.” He warns that the situation may change with the new IE due out later this year and whatever Apple is doing.

Venture Money Going Overseas
It used to be that a VC wouldn’t put his money any further than the distance it took to drive, put his feet up on the investee’s desk and tell him how to run the business. Now according to the 2008 Global Venture Capital Survey, 57% of US venture capitalists are putting money (one out of every five dollars, something like $9 billion) outside the country, up 11% year-over-year. Of course the survey includes biopharmaceuticals, medical devices and clean fuels. The hot spots are China, India, the UK, Israel, Germany and Taiwan.

VMware Leverages ODMs
VMware has cozied up with Asus, Gigabyte, Inventec and Tyan to get more customers for its brand of virtualization by certifying the ODMs’ one-, two- and four-socket servers as well as their blade servers. It’s already got a deal with Supermicro.

The vendors are certifying their systems for the VMware ESX and Infrastructure 3-upgradeable ESXi hypervisor; certified systems are expected to be available in Q3.

It’s supposed to make adoption easier for resellers and get VMware into SMBs.

Tripwire Fields Free VMware Utility
Tripwire has a free VMware-blessed utility that’s supposed to check configurations and improve the security of VMware ESX hypervisor deployments. ConfigCheck automatically assesses ESX configuration settings, comparing them against VMware security guidelines, and recommends steps to take to avoid security threats stemming from misconfigurations, the source of most security vulnerabilities.

Ever See a Two-Headed Turtle?
Themis has built a 1.2GHz uniprocessor UltraSparc T2 blade (the Sparc chip with eight cores) that runs Solaris 10 intending to use it in an IBM BladeCenter chassis along with blades of other species running other operating systems. The thing is supposed to start shipping in August starting at $15,000.

AMD Expands on Barcelona
AMD is out with three new one-socket quad-core Barcelona chips for servers and workstations branded the 1300 Series. It said HP and Dell intend to use them in upcoming models; Cray’s already shipping the gismos in its XT4 systems and upgrading some of the world’s fastest supercomputers with the chips though AMD fancies them for SMB boxes. They’re available at 2.1GHz, 2.2GHz and 2.3GHz.

Itty-Bitty Water System Cools Chips
IBM is thinking that the way to deal with the mounting heat crisis is to pump water through the MPU. Its researchers in Zurich are doing just that on stacked chips using hair-like on-board 50 micron pipes. It makes stacking chips for performance a possibility. Otherwise they’d fry. Figure at least five years to commercialization.

Time Warner Meters the Internet
Time Warner Cable is going to try charging for Internet access like it was a cell phone. It’s running a trial in Texas and will dun customers who upload or download more than the pre-set amount, which ranges from $30 a month for 5GB on a 768 kbps connection to $55 for 40GB on 15 mbps connection. Go overboard and it’ll run a dollar a gigabyte over the limit.

Power Chip Comes Up Short
Sounding a bit like Apple, Tundra Semiconductor, the Canadian company that makes system interconnects, has terminated a nine-month-old product acquisition deal with IBM because IBM can’t deliver a 90nm Power core with the performance promised. Tundra says the performance shortfall makes the core unsuitable for its intended target applications and market. While it was at it, Tundra also canceled a deal to put a 65nm Power chip in an intelligent interconnect based on a review of what IBM thinks it can deliver.

Microsoft Takes Steps To Avoid Windows 7 Foul-Ups
Microsoft has told hardware vendors of all stripes that they have to start testing their widgetry with the next-generation Windows 7 as soon as the first beta arrives – or else they won’t be Windows Logo-certified. It’s to avoid Vista-style compatibility issues

HP Infringed Cornell Patents
A federal jury has told HP to write Cornell University a check for $184 million for infringing patents that dramatically increased supercomputer speed. The school wanted $900 million, claiming HP made $36 billion using its professor’s multitasking breakthrough from 1996-2006. The inventor was also Intel’s first Academic Research Fellow. The suit was filed in December 2001. HP plans to appeal.

VMware Security Rated
VMware Infrastructure 3, ESX Server 3.0.2 and VirtualCenter 2.0.2 have been certified as Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance 4 (EAL4+). It says it’s the only x86 virtualization vendor to be certified.

Silverlight 2 Beta 2 Should Be Here
Silverlight 2 Beta 2, Microsoft’s Flash-aimed cross-platform browser plug-in for rich Internet applications, should be out by now unless Bill Gates is a liar. Apparently it adds support for .Net Framework, which could give it wider appeal.

Verizon Wireless Bulks Up
Verizon Wireless is buying Alltel for $28.1 billion and should wind up the largest cell phone outfit in America with 80 million subscribers, aggravating AT&T, which has about 71.4 million customers and the iPhone franchise. Two-thirds of AT&T’s network should be 3G-ready by the end of the month.

FTC Dreams of Free Universal Wireless Internet Access
The Federal Trade Commission may make in incumbent on the winner of the airwaves that the government is auctioning off to provide free high-speed wireless Internet access across most of the US. It would have to reach 50% of the population four years after the license is awarded and 90% in 10 years.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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2008 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Can We Fix the Web? By Douglas Crockford - by Douglas Crockford
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SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2008 East
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