Three More to Explore

By Jim Louderback  |  Posted 2004-04-14 Print this article Print

Three More to Explore I was intrigued by the technology inherent in three other companies, which are not as far along and a bit more complex. I plan on spending some time soon with each of them to get a better understanding of how they work and what they do. But briefly, heres who they are.
  • Scalent: As server farms have been replaced by racks of server blades, application distribution has become a problem. Dedicating an application to a single appliance can result in wasted cycles and poor resource utilization. Scalent aims to fix all this by virtualizing applications across racks of servers.
    According to Winblad, this can result in a seven to nine times reduction in the number of servers, or blades, deployed. The companys software virtualizes network appliances, routers, Layer 3 switches, load balancers and content switches simply by adding a standard x86 server and Layer 2 switches. Scalent will deliver its first version, running in IBMs BladeCenter platform, within the next few months.
  • Abhia Systems: Today, most companies have an effective storage architecture setup, with a disaster recovery framework from Sungard, EDS and others. But the problem comes when a user or administrator attempts to recover a small piece of data from that secondary or tertiary storage. Its just not easy to find a single e-mail message or database record. Thats the problem Abhai Systems aims to solve with its Transband Technology for centrally managing secondary storage. The company claims it can provide continuous data protection and instant recovery at the file level without changes to an existing storage infrastructure. It works by adding a tiny piece of software at every client. The system reads every single bit as its written, and works independent of applications and services. And because the system monitors patterns of bits, not only can it provide instant recovery, but the system can also detect when somethings going horribly wrong. Theres a lot of math involved, and much of the technology comes out of Stanford. The CEO co-founded Brocade Communications Systems. Im looking forward to exploring the technology more closely, and Ill report back when I do.
  • Voltage: I ran into these guys at the Demo 2004 conference, where I discovered my old friend Sathvik Krishnamurthy was running the company. These guys are fascinating—theyve figured out a way to do private key/public key encryption without all the confusing exchanging of certificates. The company is leveraging a cryptography breakthrough called Identity Based Encryption that uses an e-mail address, IM handle or other unique identifier to secure communications. The technology also came out of Stanford. Again, I expect to spend time with this company soon, and Ill be back with more.

    With more than 20 years experience in consulting, technology, computers and media, Jim Louderback has pioneered many significant new innovations.

    While building computer systems for Fortune 100 companies in the '80s, Jim developed innovative client-server computing models, implementing some of the first successful LAN-based client-server systems. He also created a highly successful iterative development methodology uniquely suited to this new systems architecture.

    As Lab Director at PC Week, Jim developed and refined the product review as an essential news story. He expanded the lab to California, and created significant competitive advantage for the leading IT weekly.

    When he became editor-in-chief of Windows Sources in 1995, he inherited a magazine teetering on the brink of failure. In six short months, he turned the publication into a money-maker, by refocusing it entirely on the new Windows 95. Newsstand sales tripled, and his magazine won industry awards for excellence of design and content.

    In 1997, Jim launched TechTV's content, creating and nurturing a highly successful mix of help, product information, news and entertainment. He appeared in numerous segments on the network, and hosted the enormously popular Fresh Gear show for three years.

    In 1999, he developed the 'Best of CES' awards program in partnership with CEA, the parent company of the CES trade show. This innovative program, where new products were judged directly on the trade show floor, was a resounding success, and continues today.

    In 2000, Jim began developing, a daily, live, 8 hour TechTV news program called TechLive. Called 'the CNBC of Technology,' TechLive delivered a daily day-long dose of market news, product information, technology reporting and CEO interviews. After its highly successful launch in April of 2001, Jim managed the entire organization, along with setting editorial direction for the balance of TechTV.

    In the summer or 2002, Jim joined Ziff Davis Media to be Editor-In-Chief and Vice President of Media Properties, including, Microsoft Watch, and the websites for PC Magazine, eWeek and ZDM's gaming publications.


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