cuts in with Blade servers, new tools
its Adaptive Infrastructure blueprint forward, Compaq recently
launched the first in a series of Blade servers and an umbrella
of systems management tools.
Formerly code named QuickBlades, the ProLiant BL e-Class server
Blades are Compaq's answer to a new breed of ultra-dense servers
that address three key infrastructural requirements shortage
of real-estate space, increasing power requirements and scarcity
of skilled resources (manpower) to manage droves of servers.
has been in the R&D stages for almost two years now,"
informs Compaq's Durgadutt Nedungadi, APAC Marketing Manager
(ProLiant range). "We foresaw some typical changes will
happen in the marketplace in the way customers need to run
their data centers."
Compaq recently launched the ProLiant BL10e in the country.
This Blade server has an ultra-dense design allowing up to
20 'Blades' to fit into a single 3U enclosure and 280 Blades
to fit in a standard 42U rack. (For more details refer to
Shelf Space on page 48).
Blade servers are usually targeted at data centers (IDCs)
or server farms that host a stockpile of servers belonging
to various Internet-centric businesses. Since more Internet
companies are closing shop, Blade server vendors are turning
their attention to enterprises.
our competitors launched Blade servers six months ago their
target market was either the Telecom companies or the Service
Providers," says Nedungadi. "But we believe that
Blades are good for the enterprise market too for the corporate
data center. That's why we decided to have a portfolio of
Blades that addresses the needs of the enterprise. Our target
market will be corporations which are doing consolidation,
corporations which already have data centers, and banks who
have to deploy large number of servers."
It may be recalled that startups such as RLX Technologies,
Egenera, Scalant and Fiber Cycle had a first mover advantage
when they produced Blade server designs about six months ago.
So how does Compaq differentiate its Blade servers?
focus is only on the front-end Blades. Our strategy is different.
We believe that as enterprises consolidate, there will be
a need not only for front-end Blades, but also for mid-tier
performance Blades (for application servers), as well as for
backend Blades (which are the number crunching powerhouses
to run databases)," says Nedungadi. "We are today
beginning with the front-end Blades and by the end of this
year; we will have released the complete portfolio of Blades."
Front-end servers are the entry point into an organization's
network and are typically used as firewalls, Web servers,
messaging servers, etc.
For vendors, the market for Blade servers is potentially lucrative.
IDC predicts two million Blade servers will ship worldwide
by 2005, accounting for total revenue of $2.9 billion. Companies
like HP (Powerbar), IBM (Excalibur), Sun (iChange) and Dell
are also introducing ultra dense Blade servers or introducing
server management software for the same.
Compaq has also launched a set of tools collectively called
ProLiant Essentials software. Compaq officials say these tools
enable an organization to quickly deploy and efficiently manage
"hundreds of servers." Resource Partition Manager
(RPM) for instance allows you to dynamically allocate all
the server resources to a particular application, depending
on rules you set.
By Brian Pereira
Ltd. a company promoted by Satyam Infoway Limited an affiliate
of VeriSign, Inc. has become India's first Certifying Authority
(CA) for Digital Signatures.
At NASSCOM 2002, SafeScrypt issued India's first Digital Signature
certificate to Mr. Pramod Mahajan, Minister of Communications
and IT. The second Digital Signature certificate was issued
to Mr. Bimal Jalan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
A Digital Signature is an encryption and decryption process
that allows identification of the author of an electronic
message and verification of integrity of the message. A Digital
Signature is based on the RSA public key encryption system.
The digital signature certificate is a computer generated
record, which contains the identity of the subscriber, the
public key and is digitally signed by the CA. It is a secure
electronic digital identity of an individual on the Internet.
Consumers or professionals can digitally sign e-mails, documents,
any transaction, or any other electronic data or communication.
This covers online banking and financial transactions, online
retail shopping, and business transactions. The certificates
issued by a CA are recognized in a court of law in India.
In another event ICICI Infotech joined hands with Sonera SmartTrust
to provide secure Internet services to the Indian communications
industry. ICICI Infotech has been given the National Root
Certificate Authority contract by the Controller of Certification
Authorities (CCA) of the Ministry of Communication & Information
Technology for the supply and installation of the National
Root Certification Authority.
The CCA's office will host the Root CA and a National Repository
containing all the issued certificates by the licensed CA's
and will act as the apex Certification Authority of India.
The Root CA's prime responsibility is to license and supervise
the commercial CA's operating in India. All the licensed CA's
have to have their certificates signed by Root CA as stipulated
by the law.
has decided to adopt Linux for some of its network gear. The
company will incorporate the OS as a low-end, edge-of-the-network
strategy. Sun is planning to create its own version of Linux
rather than use other Linux flavors like Red Hat, Caldera International,
SuSE, MandrakeSoft, and Turbolinux.
Sun however doesn't see Linux used in its vertical products
which are the large, expensive, and complicated servers like
the new Sun Fire 15K. The company's plans for this year include
shipping a full implementation of Linux, adding a new line
of low-end x86-based servers running Linux and offering more
components of its Solaris OS to the open-source community.
With Linux in the mix, Sun now has to worry about making sure
the numerous components in its Sun One software strategy run
on Linux as well as Java, a task Sun said it will accomplish.
The company is partway there, with support for Java and some
of the iPlanet e-commerce software.
wakes up to IPv6
second Global IPv6 summit concluded in Bangalore on January
25th. This three-day event was organized by the Bangalore based
IPv6 Forum India. The summit was attended by participants from
around the globe, including over 150 delegates from 55 leading
IT companies and known experts from research institutions.
This three-day event was designed to deliver information,
ideas and strategies required for understanding as well as
implementation of the latest version of IP (IPv6). Speaking
on the benefits of the summit, Hemanth Dattatreya, President,
IPv6 Forum India said, "The main advantage of conducting
the IPv6 summit is to raise awareness levels on IPv6 technology
and give an opportunity for the community to interact first
hand with experts in the industry. The summit also provides
a chance for the experts to review progress on IPv6 awareness
and deployment in different parts of the world." The
summit mainly comprised of a one-day tutorial on IPv6, a corporate
technology brief and a set of technical talks from academia
and industry. An exposition of prevailing IPv6 implementations
by various vendors with a live demonstration was another great
Day one started off with an intensive tutorial and a workshop,
detailing the nuts and bolts of IPv6 by Dr. Steve Deering
of Cisco and Charles Perkins from Nokia. Commenting on the
addressing issues of IP, Deering says "IPv4 has its limitations
in terms of address space. It slowly became apparent that
more address space was going to be needed, and that forced
the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) to work on IPv6
as the next standard Internet Protocol. IPv6 carries 128-bit
addressing, which is enough for stable, unique addresses for
all devices." While Dr. Deering spoke on various issues
related with IPv6 addressing and routing, Charles spoke on
how closely mobile companies like Motorola, Nokia and Ericsson
are committed to introduce IPv6 in all its products and the
impact of IPv6 on mobility.
Day two started of with a global perspective of the Internet
for the New Millennium. Latif Ladid, President of IPv6 Forum
talked about the enhanced security features of IPv6, the impact
of IPv6 on the next generation Internet and how devices like
refrigerators and microwave will have an IP address and how
these devices will be hooked to the Internet. He also said
that IPv6 will be completely operational by 2004. The second
day also witnessed various initiative and deployment issues
of IPv6. Speaking on one of the earliest IPv6 deployment in
the country, Prof. Rahul Banerjee, Asst. Dean CS&E, BITS
Pilani, said "the IPv6 6bone pTLA was one of the earliest
successful international projects in this field, commenced
in a structured format in 1998. Currently, this project has
collaborations with over 17 international organizations spread
over seven countries. We at BITS, believe the Next Generation
Networks will retain characteristics of multi-technology framework
with IPv6 as the cornerstone. We consider IPv6 as the factor
that will bind multiple technologies fixed and mobile together."
Jordi Palet Martniez, Director, Consulintel, spoke on how
countries like China, Korea & Japan and the European Commission
have committed to move to IPv6 by 2005. He also talked about
the 6NET and Euro6IX test networks being started in Europe
to achieve that goal.
The concluding day started with discussions on the role IPv6
will play on mobile communications industry and the impact
on the corporate users. The speakers included Prof. S. Sadagopan,
Director, IIIT-B and Jim Bound, Network Technical Director,
Compaq. Mobile IPv6 case studies were also presented by Amlan
Saha, Technical Manager, Siemens. In the exhibitions area
there were "IPv6 ready" products on display from
leading vendors like Microsoft, Compaq, HP, Cisco and 6WIND.
The summit ended with the official launch of the Indian IPv6
task force that will help kick start regional IPv6 deployment
efforts to help reach Internet to the common man. It was concluded
that a joint initiative and effort will be needed to create
a receptive environment for the development, delivery and
use of IPv6 in the global Internet.
By Mahesh Rathod
is IPv6 Forum?
IPv6 Forum is worldwide consortium of leading Internet vendors,
research and education networks, with a clear mission to promote
IPv6 by dramatically improving the market and user awareness
of IPv6, creating a quality and secure Next Generation Internet
and allowing world-wide equitable access to knowledge and technology.
The international IPv6 Forum aims to:
Establish an open, international Forum of IPv6 expertise
Share IPv6 knowledge and experience among members
Promote new IPv6-based applications and global solutions
Promote interoperable implementations of IPv6
Resolve issues that create barriers to IPv6 deployment standards
Co-operate to achieve end-to-end quality of service
CERT/CC (Computer Emergency Response Team/Coordination Center)
issued an advisory to all network administrators of a flaw in
SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) which is widely used
to remotely administer routers, switches, and network management
The security breach encountered with SNMP is common with most
other vulnerabilities: buffer overflow and format string errors.
The breach can allow hackers to create a 'back door' to devices
using SNMP. It gives hackers the leisure of breaking into
the network and returning at a more leisurely pace later.
Disabling SNMP is one of the workarounds for protecting against
this vulnerability. This should give administrators enough
time to install a patch. But this may not be an option for
many enterprises who conduct e-business, since core functions
like billing and ordering will be interrupted.
CERT/CC recommends another workaround, a temporary stopgap
of ingress filtering to prevent outside machines from logging
into corporate servers. The organization recommends filtering
ports 161/udp and 162/udp. If this measure is not feasible
CERT/CC suggests restricting SNMP traffic to VPNs (Virtual
Private Networks) or to separate isolated management networks
not available to the public.
In a statement CERT/CC said vendors were contacted last year
about the vulnerability. This would have given them a chance
to create a security patch to address the problem before the
rest of the world (read hackers) found out. More than 240
vendors were contacted after conducting test runs on networks
that use SNMP as its protocol; this is a clear indicator of
the enormity of the problem.
As per the CERT/CC list, the following vendors have vulnerable
systems: Nokia, Lucent Technologies, Caldera, HP, Multinet,
Lotus, Juniper Networks, 3Com, Novell, Cisco, Microsoft, NET-SNMP,
Lantronix, Novell, Marconi, Computer Associates, Red Hat Linux,
AdventNet, COMTEK Services Inc., Innerdive Solutions LLC,
CacheFlow Inc., Hirschmann Electronics GmbH & Co., FreeBSD,
SNMP Research, Redback Networks Inc., and Netscape.
You can get more information on this vulnerability as well
as download patches from some of the companies mentioned above