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Other Items of Note

Interop 2005 Las Vegas - Better than Expected
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Server rooms not only require KVM (Keyboard Video Monitor) solutions, but administrators often must administer servers remotely. KVM over IP devices allow remote networked KVM connection to multiple computers (usually servers) over IP-based connections. Avocent, Raritan, Rose Electronics, Cyclades, and Lantronix all have products in this category and were strutting their stuff at the show.


Startech Economy and Enterprise KVM switches

Startech is a relatively new and smaller player in KVM over IP and makes KVM switches in eight and sixteen port capacities, with a four port version coming out soon. The switch supports USB, PS/2 and serial ports and is OS neutral. The remote consoles can support up to four simultaneous users and security is provided with user authentication, built-in firewall, SSH tunneling, SSL encryption, VPN and RADIUS support.

Startech also has an optional serial "dongle" that allows the KVM to talk to serial ports. This is great for admins who want to configure routers, cycle Uninterruptible Power Supplies, or just reboot servers without having to access screen data.

Maxus, based in Korea, sells many RF products, but the most interesting one is the MJR-0918 cell phone blocker. Unfortunately, you cannot buy this in the United States, since the FCC has outlawed their use. The blocker will zap cell phone signals (900 and 1800 Mhz) within a 90 foot radius with affected phones will displaying a "service unavailable message". More powerful versions are available that will block up to a 360 foot radius.

Maxus MJR-0918 Cell Phone Blocker

Imagine tracking objects in real-time with your existing 802.11 infrastructure. PanGo Networks' system of LANtags and software appear to do just that via matchbox-sized tags attached to objects such as laptops, wheelchairs and hospital gurneys. The LANtags contain active RFID tags and transmit via the 802.11 spectrum.

PanGo LANtag

With the PanGo Networks asset tracking software, the tags' locations are updated on a computerized map in real-time. PanGo was demonstrating the product in the Cisco Partner area of its booth since PanGo announced the integration of its PanGo Locator 2.0 product with Cisco's 2700 Series Wireless Location Appliance.

We also got an up-close-and-personal look at Xirrus' new WLAN arrays, which look like beige flying saucers, complete with blinking lights. The WLAN arrays, with multiple wifi radios and embedded switching technology, look to be an interesting play in the crowded enterprise wireless market. Xirrus says the WLAN array can provide over 800 Mbps of bandwidth for areas with heavy Wi-Fi use. Its other key differentiation is that it can cover a given area with fewer devices, simplifying cabling and installation logistics.

Xirrus 8 radio WLAN Array

The arrays come with four, eight or sixteen Wi-Fi radios built into a single chassis. The antennas are sectorized, and with slightly overlapping coverage, so users will always have a connection, even if one radio fails. One of the radios can be configured as a passive sensor whose capabilities will soon be enhanced via integration of AirMagnet's intrusion detection and wireless performance monitoring software into Xirrus' products.

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