Going green is becoming a well-worn path to saving green—greenbacks, that is. In that spirit, green-IT specialist Green Rack Systems has announced Eco Enclosures, a new line of data-center equipment designed to reduce IT budgets while reducing environmental impact. The turnkey Eco Enclosures solutions, which can be customized to customer needs of any size, contain chassis that are made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable. To save power, Eco Enclosures contain features such as “low-wattage multicore CPUs, low-voltage memory, low-power hard drives and ultra-low consumption power supplies”. Green Rack also offers solar-powered Web hosting and custom-built data centers upon request.
GroundWork Monitor is a free, open-source, Nagios-based VMware virtual appliance for network management. It runs on CentOS and ships with a wide range of additional network tools. The new version 5.3 adds features such as updated Eclipse BIRT reporting views, Nagios 3.0.5 and the ability to monitor more than 1,000 different types of devices; automatic notifications of patches, updates and news; voluntary sharing of usage statistics; autodiscovery functionality and increased scalability. The Community Edition is available for download from GroundWork's Web site.
Ditch one ugly black box by deploying TRENDnet's new TEW-635BRM NADSL 2/2+ Modem Router. The wireless-n device combines modem and router functions and operates at 300Mbps, or 12x the speed and 4x the coverage of wireless g. The switch includes four ports. Key features of the TEW-635BRM include one-touch synchronized Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS), the latest in wireless encryption, a double firewall and advanced antenna technology (MIMO) that delivers broad coverage and minimizes dead spots. The device also sports green credentials, such as ENERGY STAR and RoHS compliance—the former related to power consumption and the latter to restricting hazardous substances in electronic equipment.
Learning databases can be fun? Such is the premise of Mana Takahashi and Shoko Azuma's new book The Manga Guide to Databases, published by No Starch Press. The book uniquely fuses Japanese-style comics with serious educational content on databases. It tells the story of Princess Ruruna's challenges in managing the Kingdom of Kod's humongous fruit-selling empire. Tico the fairy teaches the princess how to simplify her data management, and together they design a relational database. They cover concepts such as the the entity-relationship model, basic database operations, SQL statements, database tuning, security, concurrency and replication. Other features include examples and exercises (with answer keys) and an appendix of frequently used SQL statements.
If you want to learn Python and your learning style is visual, offer up a gleeful shout for Wesley Chun's new instructional video Python Fundamentals. Part of Prentice Hall's LiveLessons series, the video course mirrors topics covered in its sister publication, Core Python Programming, Second Edition. Covered are both Python fundamentals, such as syntax basics and standard types and operations, and advanced topics, such as Python's memory model and object-oriented programming. The publisher states that both new and experienced users will find the product useful. The companion booklet contains review questions and coding exercises.
Hot off the assembly line at Round Solutions is the new AarLogic C10/3, a diminutive Linux-based breadboard covering a mere 104mm x 63mm of real estate. The board sports quadband GPRS and SiRF3 GPS modules; interfaces for USB, RS-232 and Ethernet; SD-card reader; 4MB of RAM and dual ARM processors. The processor module is responsible for GSM functionality and for applications executable under embedded Linux. Connectivity options via the board's 192-pin socket include not only keyboards, digital cameras and reading devices but also WLAN, Bluetooth and GPS components. Round Solutions adds that the AarLogic C10/3 can be easily coupled with a camera or environmental sensors. Ideal applications include self-sufficient positioning and monitoring systems due to the wireless provision of spatial coordinates.
From the “ounce of prevention” department comes Opengear's EMD 5000, a new environmental management solution for continuous monitoring of environmental conditions at the rack level. The EMD 5000 protects critical data-center assets from hazards, such as heat, humidity, smoke, water leaks, cabinet intrusion and other environmental conditions, by providing facilities managers with extensive logging and alert facilities. Users can view ambient temperature and humidity of the remote environment and set the device to send progressive alarms automatically from warning levels to critical alerts. The EMD also monitors the status of two external dry contacts that can be connected to a smoke detector, water detector, vibration or open-door sensor.
The trio of IBM, Virtual Bridges and Canonical have joined forces to offer a Linux-based virtual PC solution that the firms claim halves the costs of licensing and maintaining a desktop. The solution hosts multiple virtual Linux desktops on a server, replacing Microsoft Windows with Ubuntu Linux and Microsoft Office with open-standards-based alternatives, such as IBM Lotus Symphony. The virtual desktop, called Virtual Enterprise Remote Desktop Environment (VERDE), is provided by Virtual Bridges. IBM cites reduced TOC related to licensing, hardware upgrades, power consumption and support requirements. The solution is a key component in IBM's offerings for entities in financial services and in the public sector.