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1. Commentary
- U3 Standard to Boost Flash Drives' Mobility and Security

2. Resource - Windows Storage Server 2003 Storage Report Problem

3. New and Improved
- Cybernetics Merges SAN and NAS Features in miSAN Devices
- Symantec Offers LiveState Family of Data-Recovery Products
- Tell Us About a Hot Product and Get a T-Shirt!

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==== 1. Commentary: U3 Standard to Boost Flash Drives' Mobility and Security ====
by David Chernicoff, david@windowsitpro.com

At the 2005 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2 weeks ago, M-Systems (http://www.m-sys.com) and SanDisk (http://www.sandisk.com) announced their U3 platform for the USB flash- drive market. U3 is a hardware and software system specification that's designed to standardize the flash-drive environment to expand it beyond simple storage devices.

Although quite a few USB flash drives are in circulation, with more being sold every day (estimates for 2005 indicate as many as 70 million sold), the idea behind U3 is to provide a standardized USB application platform and API set. The U3 specification contains a standard Launch Pad desktop UI that will let a user store, launch, manage, and view data and applications on the flash drive. The U3 standard also includes an API set that developers will be able to use to build applications that capitalize on U3's mobility and security features.

The primary benefit that U3 promises to provide is a standard technology for "mobilizing" applications. Vendors and corporate developers will be able to build applications that launch and run directly from a USB flash drive. Theoretically, a user's entire workspace could be on a single flash drive. When the user attaches the drive to a PC, that computer could give them access to their normal work environment.

On a smaller scale, U3-enabled flash drives will be able to become a standard application-delivery platform. The U3 API set will give developers all sorts of tricks they can do to provide secure application delivery, thereby protecting their own work and assuring that the applications they deliver are virus-free and licensed to the end user.

The current U3 offering (which is available at http://u3.com) consists of the U3 Launch Pad--the GUI for accessing the applications stored on the drive; the U3 software development kit (SDK)--the API set and documentation; and the U3 Web Portal, which will be a location where developers can publish their certified applications for download and purchase.

An interesting group of vendors announced support for the U3 standard at CES, among them Microsoft, McAfee, Zone Labs, Check Point Software Technologies, the Mozilla Foundation, and the MedicAlert Foundation. U3-enabled flash devices are expected to start shipping by mid-2005.

Because U3 has the potential to affect both vertical-market applications and standard business apps, the standard might be just what's needed to increase the comfort level of corporate IT about the prevalence of flash-disk devices in their enterprise. Part of the U3 standard deals with the security of device data and the ability to manage the devices, so it's likely that management tools for attached USB flash drives will also start to appear on the market.

As the capacity of USB flash drives continues to increase, it's easily conceivable that users will eventually be able to carry their entire working environment around with them, beyond just having their applications available to them from any PC. Although such capability poses a security risk to corporate data, the flip side of this risk is that replacing a failed computer will simply be a matter of swapping the USB device to a new home. Many benefits are possible from a usable, secure USB flash drive. Nevertheless, the industry will need to address and clearly define the security and management aspects of U3 technology before it's ready to expand into the broad corporate marketplace.

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==== 2. Resource ====

Windows Storage Server 2003 Storage Report Problem

When you try to run a Windows Storage Server 2003 storage report on a computer running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) via the Microsoft Web UI, the XP SP2 client automatically downloads the VERITAS client software if it isn't already installed. After the installation is finished, you receive several blank error messages before the report is displayed. You can find a workaround for the problem at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=889002.

==== 3. New and Improved ====
by Anne Grubb, products@windowsitpro.com

Cybernetics Merges SAN and NAS Features in miSAN Devices

Cybernetics has released a new series of Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices that blend the best features of Internet SCSI (iSCSI) and 100/1000BaseT connectivity. The miSAN devices capitalize on iSCSI's ability to facilitate high-speed, block level transfers, yet can connect to existing Category 5 (Cat 5) cable Ethernet networks. The miSAN devices give small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) the performance of storage area networks (SANs) without their higher cost and complexity along with the affordability of traditional NAS devices. For more information about miSAN, contact Cybernetics at 757-833-9000 or on the Web.
http://www.cybernetics.com

Symantec Offers LiveState Family of Data-Recovery Products

Symantec has released the Symantec LiveState Recovery family of products, three disk-based system- and data-recovery solutions. The products--Symantec LiveState Recovery Advanced Server 3.0, Symantec LiveState Recovery Standard Server 3.0, and Symantec LiveState Recovery Desktop 3.0--capture a point-in-time operating state, or LiveState, of an entire server or desktop, which includes the OS, applications, data, and settings, into one easy-to-manage file--without disrupting applications or user operations. The products let users perform a full system restoration or a complete bare-metal recovery, or retrieve individual files or folders in minutes. For more information, contact Symantec at 800-745-6054 or on the Web.
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