Good things in all sizes

The exhibit floor at FOSE features promising new technologies, from a secure chip to a mobile data center<@VM>Sidebar: The GCN handicapper's guide to FOSE

GCN Lab TV at FOSE 2008 The GCN Lab guys take their testing on the road to the FOSE trade show in downtown Washington DC. Come check out all the great products from the show that may soon be installed at your federal agency. Watch them here.

Time and technology march ever forward; what was new last year is already labeled as legacy today. This keeps product vendors on their toes, offering new wares ' and that's why it's worth checking out the exhibits at this year's FOSE trade show, sponsored by the 1105 Government Information Group and held in Washington March 31-April 3. Here are some of the more promising new technologies worthy of closer inspection.


Lenovo (Booth 1315) will introduce its first new line of computers in more than five years with the ThinkStation S10 and ThinkStation D10. The line is designed for use in data- and graphics-intensive environments, such as computer- aided design and engineering and digital- content creation. The S10 will run on the Intel Core 2 Extreme processor; the D10 on the quad-core Intel Xeon processor 5400 series.

Ace Computers (Booth 2507) is introducing the Ace LHD 4 Ultimate Edition server, a computer customized for audio and visual duties. The unit was designed to allow as many as 16 audio and/or visual streams to be ingested at once. Storing all this input can be done on the 16T of connected Redundant Array of Independent Disks storage, expandable to 32T.

Dell (Booth 1101) will be showing off its entry into the rugged laptop PC market, the Latitude D630 XFR. It meets the Defense Department's Mil-Std 810F specification for rugged equipment that can operate in extreme environments. It has a sealed die-cast magnesium alloy chassis, runs an Intel Core Duo processor and comes with a 14.1-inch wide-aspect LCD. Security-wise, the unit has a fingerprint reader, smart-card readers and Trusted Platform Module chip.

Ridgeline Technology (Booth 2819) is showing off a new rugged tablet PC offered by General Dynamics. The GD Itronix DuoTouch II Tablet PC features a new technology that generates a bright display even in direct sunlight.

General Dynamics said the technology, called DynaVue, is the only one that meets the Mil- HDBK-87213 Rev A military standard for airborne displays for direct sunlight viewability.

Ridgeline also will show off the N2 Group's Multi-Bay Charger. N2 Group worked with the Air Force on the charger, which can charge as many as 10 Panasonic Toughbooks at once.

For the compact end of the portable computer market, Fujitsu Computer Systems (Booth 1500) will be unveiling its new LifeBook P8010 laptop. This unit weighs less than three pounds and is 11.2 inches by 8 inches and 1.37 inches thick. An energy-sipping Intel SL7100 LV processor promises 6.5 hours of battery life.

It features a built-in camera, spill-resistant keyboard and hard drive protection system that guards the drive against shocks.

Aleratec (Booth 2722) will show off a device that can copy the contents of one USB drive to another ' without needing a computer in the middle. The USB Copy Tower SA can copy the contents of one drive to 10 other USB drives at once. It can also erase the contents of 11 USB drives and compare the contents across multiple drives.

Hewlett-Packard (Booth 1600), which always brings a raft of new products to FOSE, will have its usual assortment of new servers, storage arrays, portable PCs, desktop computers and printers. Something entirely new, though, is the Secure Key Manager, a Linux-based appliance that generates and manages key certificates. It can generate and manage as many as 100,000 keys.

Xerox (Booth 2131) will show the new Phaser 8860MFP printer, which uses what the company says is a new solid-ink technology that makes color printing as inexpensive as black-and-white printing. The company will also show its Xerox WorkCentre 7665 color multifunction printer. The printer's operating system supports Xerox's Extensible Interface Platform, which lets third-party developers write software that can incorporate the device's printing functions in a larger automated workflow.

This system has earned the National Information Assurance Partnership's Common Criteria Certification (Evaluation Assurance Level 2) for printing sensitive documents.

Enterprise software

Backup software provider Acronis (Booth 1517J) is venturing into the field of virtualization. Virtualization has been touted as a great money-saver for information technology shops, but few people have thought about the implications of backing up data on virtualized servers. Acronis addresses this with its True Image Echo backup and recovery software.

Altova (Booth 113) will be showing off MapForce v2008, its most recent version of software that can help map out what you have. The software lets administrators map between systems of differing formats, such as Extensible Markup Language, databases, flat files, Web Services Description Language pointers and electronic data interchange systems.

It's a hybrid tool. It can do data mapping, data conversion and integration of different sources. It can create data-conversion code for one-time permanent use with XSLT, XQuery, Web services calls, Java, C++ or C# code, or Java Database Connectivity and Open Database Connectivity.

Making sense of the masses of unstructured data in an agency is the goal of Zylab's (Booth 2514) recently released ZyImage Analytics Server. The server automatically indexes, categorizes and adds XML-based metadata to material such as e-mail and word processing documents.

For better management of structured data, JnetDirect (Booth 1216) will show SQL Farm Combine, software that consolidates the access of multiple instances of SQL Server databases. The company says this tool can manage thousands of databases.

Laserfiche (Booth 823) will feature the latest edition of its flagship product, Laserfiche 8, which has considerably enhanced workflow tools. Developers can create processes to ship a document across multiple Laserfiche repositories.


Hifn (Booth 1517N) will display its new Hifn 8460 Security Processor, which the company said is the first processor designed to meet security requirements of the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Federal Information Processing Standard 140-3 Level-4 and the National Security Agency's Suite B set of cryptographic algorithms. The chip can encrypt and decrypt material with a throughput as much as 4 gigabits/sec.

Intelligent Computer Solutions (Booth 706) will be demonstrating its Cobra password recovery appliance. According to the company, this small device can execute recovery key calculations in a fraction of the time it would take a PC to calculate them.

IronKey (Booth 204) will show off what it said is the world's most secure flash drive, the CryptoChip. Running Advanced Encryption Standard techniques, the key does not require drivers or administrative privileges to manage. The circuitry self-destructs if it is tampered with, and all data is erased after someone repeatedly enters wrong passwords.

Motorola (Booth 2113) will unveil its RFS7000 RF wireless local-area network switch. This switch, which the company said is the only one able to handle both Wi-Fi and radio frequency identification tags, is undergoing evaluation for Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 4 certification. It also satisfies FIPS prevalidation requirements and has been placed on the FIPS 140-2 prevalidation list.

Power management

As agency managers know well, the Office of Management and Budget's Executive Order 13423 requires federal agencies to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent by 2015.

Not surprisingly, vendors have new products that can help mitigate the need for power.

Incasolution (Booths 901-M, 901-O) offers a power strip, called CheckTap, that can be programmed to turn devices off and on at predetermined times. It also can turn equipment off if it isn't being used.

Enterprise software provider Infor (Booth 1516) has an asset management system, Infor Asset Sustainability, that can be used to monitor use of water, air, gas, electricity and steam. The company said the software can reduce a facility's energy consumption as much as 11 percent.

Sun Microsystems (Booth 707) will be showing off what could be described as a data center in a box. A very large box. The company will have on display the Sun Modular Datacenter S20, known as Project Blackbox. This is a 1,360-cubic-foot shipping container filled with servers, power and cooling supplies, and routing equipment. The idea is to make a portable, modular data center that can be easily shipped anywhere around the world.

Sun will not be the only company at FOSE with an offering that comes in its own trailer. SkyBuilt Power (Booth 801) will show its Mobile Power Station, a freight container filled with solar power arrays that can be set up in a matter of hours. The Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground tested the unit and found that, under the right conditions, it can save as much as 95 percent of the fuel that would have been needed by a diesel generator to provide the same amount of power, the company said.
Wondering how you can enhance your FOSE experience? A number of interesting speakers and panels are scheduled to discuss a wide range of topics from cloud computing to green computing, security and Web 2.0. Here are some picks by GCN staffers of sessions not to miss during FOSE's three-day lineup. Of course, what really matters to you depends on your job and particular interests, so review the entire conference schedule ( before making your own picks.


Opening keynote

9-10 a.m. | 10:30-11:30 a.m.

David Girouard, vice president and general manager of Google Enterprise, will discuss the evolution and implications of cloud computing. Followed by Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems' always-colorful chairman.

Session 3-1

Trusted Internet Connection: Keys to Effective Implementation

1:45-2:45 p.m.

The Office of Management and Budget's Trusted Internet Connection initiative is asking agencies to get together and reduce their Internet connections to around 50. We've been hearing a lot of questions ' if not outright grumbling ' about how to do so. David Wennergren, deputy chief information officer at the Defense Department, might have an idea or two.

Session 2-2

Greening of the Data Center: Essential Considerations

3-4 p.m.

Want to make your data center more environmentally friendly? Or do you want to just cut your agency's power bills? The path to either goal is the same: greater energy efficiency. Data centers are a good place to start because they can be as much as 40 times more energy-intensive as conventional office buildings. Vic Berger, technologist at CDW Government, and the Treasury Department's Richard Reeves share the stage with other panelists to steer you in the right direction.


Morning keynote

9-10 a.m.

Struggling to keep up with the latest technology innovations? Then you don't want to miss this keynote. David Pogue, New York Times Technology columnist and CBS News technology correspondent, will give you an update on what's new and what's next.

Session 2-3

Web 2.0 Technologies: Real-World Applications for the Public Sector

10:15-11:15 a.m.

We're interested in the chance to hear Don Burke and Sean Dennehy of the CIA. The CIA, of course, bounded ahead of other agencies in using these new-fangled Web 2.0 technologies. It used wiki software to create Intellipedia, a collaborative worksite where analysts can post and share and update intelligence.

Session 3-4

Web Site Security Essentials and Impacts on Business Operations

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

This should be an interesting talk about Web security. At a recent SANS training conference, we learned of a whole new class of vulnerabilities that Webmasters now face, such as cross-site scripting and cross-site request forgery. The Commerce Department's Michael Castagna and the Justice Department's Mischel Kwon will weigh in with their experiences.

Session 3-5

Identity Management Implementation: Accomplishments and Challenges

2:45-3:45 p.m.

Stick around to the end on Wednesday ' this should be a good talk on identity management, featuring a few folks who have confronted the problem on the largest scale, including Mary Dixon, who oversaw the rollout of 4 million-plus Common Access Cards for the Defense Department.

Also on the panel will be Michael Mestrovich, who works for the Federation for Identity and Cross-Credentialing Systems, a coalition of commercial companies, government contractors and not-for-profit organizations.


Morning keynote

9-10 a.m.

Finally, be sure to come in on Thursday for a tale of extraterrestrial success. Still reeling after the tragic loss of the Columbia space shuttle ' and the negative publicity ' NASA scored a slam-dunk with the Mars Rover mission. Steven Squyres, Cornell University professor of astronomy and scientific principal investigator of the Mars Exploration Rovers Project, will describe the technical challenges his team faced in trying to get two robotic explorers to the surface of Mars, the creativity and teamwork needed to solve those problems, and the rovers' adventures and discoveries on Mars.


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