Stories by Brian Chee

Dell simplifies the blade server

Part of Dell's server business is building custom machines for very large customers who want fewer bells and whistles but higher computing density and lower power consumption. The Dell PowerEdge C6220 is a server the company has brought out of this custom arena and into its regular sales channels. It is the second in a new series of servers that combines internal storage and two or four two-socket "nodes" (aka sleds or blades) wrapped up in a highly efficient 2RU package.

Microsoft Lync 2010: Unified communications comes of age

Every once in a very long while, I get to review a product that strikes me as a stepping stone toward the future. Microsoft Lync 2010 combines instant messaging, VoIP calling, live meetings, and videoconferencing, but it's more than the sum of these parts. Although Lync integrates with almost any PBX, it puts the PC at the center of communications so effectively that it could send your current phone system packing.

Superior storage for small networks

The Netgear ReadyNAS series of network attached storage units serve as a prime example of how the industry has changed over the years. They were originally a product of Infrant Technologies, a veteran of mainframe disk subsystems that poured decades of serious storage experience into the small drive system for SMBs. Nearly four years into Infrant's acquisition by Netgear in May 2007, the ReadyNAS line now stretches from SOHO to enterprise NAS.

DiVitas' mobile desk phone

When we tested the DiVitas Mobile Convergence Appliance in May 2007, the value proposition was straightforward. By leveraging VoIP, wireless LAN connections, and dual-mode Windows Mobile phones, the DiVitas solution allowed mobile users to save precious minutes on their voice plans and even turn long distance into local calls. It was all about the mobile phone bill.

Dell's greener M-Series

The Dell M-Series blade server is being touted as using 19 per cent less energy than the company's previous blade offering while still providing a jump in horsepower. I had a chance to use this beast as part of the Interop iLabs, and after a false start caused by missing software in the pre-production unit, I found myself wondering if I had enough shekels to buy one for my lab. Instead of forcing me to surround my servers with additional out-of-band management gear, the M-Series has several cost- and labor-saving features built right in. Those features include IP KVM, intelligent power control, serial over IP, Virtual Media over IP, and power and environmental monitoring.