Insights from the industry
Sana Tracks Emerging Threats
“One thing going on right now,” says John Zicker, CEO of Sana Security (http://www.sanasecurity.com), “is that an intrusion such as a buffer overflow or code injection attack is no longer a single attack—it's made up of multiple variants that each look a little different.” These types of multipronged attacks are harder for signature-based antivirus products to keep up with because they require antivirus software vendors to create and distribute multiple signatures, instead of just one, to all their customers. And according to Sana's findings, 70 to 75 percent of malware is introduced into a network in this way.
Sana's technology for intrusion detection looks at the behavior of an application to determine whether it's valid software or malware. So, that application doesn't need to be continually updated with new signatures. A new product offering, Primary Response Memory Shield, takes a subset of the technology found in existing Sana products that detects these types of attacks and packages it at a lower price point aimed at small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs) or at less-critical servers in larger companies.
An upcoming Sana product is the Active Malware Detection Technology Center, a Web-based portal that Zicker says will give subscribers visibility into threats as they emerge and that will be priced for SMBs on up.
iQstor Makes Storage Solutions Simple and Easy to Use
Early in iQstor Networks' (http://www.iqstor.com) existence, this storage vendor looked at the storage landscape and realized that the small-to-midsized enterprise (SME) and small-to-midsized business (SMB) segments were underserved—and that situation remains unchanged today. In fact, IDC predicts that network storage will become a $5.7 billion market opportunity in the SME space by 2010. But to tap into this market, you have to understand the customer.
I talked with iQstor's Director of Marketing, Albert Saraie, and he told me that iQstor knows that SMBs and SMEs often lack the financial resources and IT staff depth and experience that enterprise companies boast. All iQstor products are developed around the needs of SMBs and SMEs, and thus are easy to use and to manage. iQstor's new iQ2880 4GB FC Storage System is a high-performance 4GB Fibre Channel storage system with storage functionality such as virtualization, snapshot capability, replication, and provisioning. “This all-in-one solution is also much cheaper than what you'll see in the market,” says Saraie. I asked him how iQstor is able to build this solution, with all its functionality, at a much lower price point than its competition. He replied that the answer is simple: “We own the technology.”
On the Road Toward More Intelligent Software
Have you ever asked yourself why enterprise networks are so difficult to manage? I recently spoke with Jay Litkey, CEO of Embotics Corporation (http://www.embotics.com), about that very question. According to Jay, three factors contribute to the problem of manageability: First, virtually all enterprise management infrastructure is based on client-server architecture; second, the necessity for human interaction results in compromised availability while technicians diagnose and solve problems; and third, in-band management solutions necessarily rely on a functioning OS.
The solution to the problem is to create software that can function autonomously and make decisions. In 2001, IBM started an initiative to create self-managing, self-correcting computer systems to counteract the problem of computers' rapidly growing complexity. IBM called this initiative Autonomic Computing. With roots in telecom computing, Embotics follows the autonomic model by creating solutions that liberate admins from having to run around fixing things. By using remote management cards in servers and virtual partitions in workstations, Embotics software runs where it won't be affected when systems go down. The software's automated management functions are based on policy standards that map to Microsoft's Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI), resulting in independent, self-healing systems.