Catalyst, Firefox 3, iPhone

By eWEEK Labs  |  Posted 2008-12-15 Print this article Print

Cisco Catalyst 4900M 

Cisco Systems' newly minted Catalyst 4900M can help network engineers navigate the transition to 10G by offering a mixture of fixed and swappable, card-based ports.

As servers become more densely consolidated, and as the data sets that back-end applications are called on to process continue to swell, IT organizations must seek out strategies for transitioning their direct-to-server connectivity from 1GB to 10GB Ethernet.

The 4900M is a 2U (3.5-inch) form factor data center switch that's designed to sit atop a rack of servers, aggregate their traffic and uplink to an end-of-row switch such as a Catalyst 6500. The "M" in 4900M stands for modular, with the intention that 1G modules will be replaced with 10G modules as data center server network connections increase in bandwidth.

-Cameron Sturdevant 

Click here for eWEEK's picks for the top 10 stories of 2008. 

Firefox 3

This year may have been the most exciting ever when it comes to Web browsers. Several significant Web browsers were released-from the latest versions of Opera and Safari to the surprise entry of the intriguing Chrome browser from Google-and even Microsoft made significant strides with the beta release of Internet  Explorer 8.

But, with the release of Firefox 3, Mozilla cemented its place at the top of the Web browser pile.

The latest release of Firefox hit all of the standard browser notes, with improved security, usability and customization options. However, some of the biggest improvements were under the covers, especially in offline capabilities and the browser's ability to integrate with and take advantage of next-generation Web technologies.

These improvements haven't gone unnoticed, with Firefox recently topping 20 percent in browser market share. Best of all, we now have something much better than a browser war-we have a vibrant and active browser market, with a lot of choices. And given some of the interesting features we expect to see in forthcoming browsers, Firefox will have to work hard to maintain its position in 2009.


iPhone 2.0 + the AppStore

Forget the new 3G-enabled iPhone hardware (hampered by AT&T's spotty 3G coverage); Apple truly hit the mark with the iPhone 2.0 software that came preloaded on the new devices and was available as a free upgrade for first-generation units.

The new software made the iPhone palatable for enterprise consumption-adding improved Wi-Fi security, a Cisco VPN client and support for Microsoft Exchange e-mail environments-even though the enterprise management tools for the iPhone are still lacking.

However, the most significant improvement came with the introduction of the AppStore, along with the iPhone's new support for third-party applications. The iPhone suddenly became much more than a phone and music player-it's now a gaming platform, a productivity tool, a powerful vehicle for search and a general lifestyle enhancer for whatever a given user's interests may be.

And with an increasing stable of enterprise applications on the way (look out for a Citrix client next year), an industry-leading mobile browser for Web-based solutions and a wide base of adoption, the iPhone is quickly becoming enterprise-capable.



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