Linux Product Insider

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the "Linux Product Insider", keeping you on the cutting edge of new products and services in Linux and Open Source.

Here is what is new and interesting this week.

Panopta's Monitoring & Outage Management Suite

In today's complex Web infrastructures, "it is no longer sufficient to just monitor port 80 on your Web server" says Panopta, developer of the Panopta Monitoring & Outage Management Suite. The platform, says Panopta, a suite of advanced monitoring services and outage-management tools designed to give online businesses the ability to immediately detect service outages and coordinate a response by their operations team. The technology is based on Linux and open source and utilizes proprietary algorithms to check all services once per minute. Target customers are online service providers, content providers, Software as a Service (SaaS) providers and companies whose online presence is critical to their business operations. Panopta also provides custom timelines for multi-level outage notification rather than a single email or SMS notification. A 30-day free trial is available at Panopta's Web site.

VariCAD 2008

We'll skip the rant on AutoCAD for its lack of Linux support and talk up the new VariCAD 2008 instead. VariCAD is a 3D/2D CAD system intended for use in mechanical engineering design. Core features include: tools for 3D modeling and 2D drafting and dimensioning; libraries of standard mechanical parts (ANSI, DIN); calculations of standard mechanical components; and tools for working with bills of materials (BOM) and blocks. This new version adds new features like support for 3D threads (e.g. on bolts, screws and nuts), improvements in shells and surface development, new 3D kernel capabilities (e.g. Boolean intersection, improved 3D chamfer tool), a new tool for spherical solids, new BOM and title block features, improved STEP file compatibility and others. A free 30-day trial version is available for download.

Protecode Inc. Pre-announces Protecode Solution, Joins Eclipse Foundation

Gearing up for the forthcoming EclipseCon 2008 in mid-March, the firm Protecode made two recent announcements. First, Protecode will release a still-to-be-named software-development solution that will utilize "protecoding", a methodology to ensure software pedigree tracking. Protecode says that the solution will be "the first preventative intellectual property management solution". Protecode's CEO Mahshad Koohgoli commented that he expects the product "to change the way developers track, monitor and log content in software." In its second announcement, Protecode announced its joining the Eclipse Foundation, a not-for-profit, open source community, whose projects are focused on building an open development platform that cultivates an open source community and an ecosystem of complementary products and services. EclipseCon begins on March 17th, 2008 in Santa Clara, California.

ESI Group's PAM-CEM Solutions

Yes, we are all stellar geeks, but the ESI Group's new PAM-CEM Solutions software package takes today's übergeek cake. The newly upgraded PAM-CEM performs realistic and predictive electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) simulations in various industries including aerospace and defense, electronics, transportation, and telecommunications. ESI states that when dealing with industrial models, conventional strategies usually rely on either global (with standalone full-wave Maxwell modeling) or local approaches (with specialized tools focusing on induced effects on wiring). Meanwhile, PAM-CEM Solutions can mix both with 3D time domain simulations well suited to reflected or diffracted phenomena and CRIPTE, and offer a dedicated Transmission Lines tool for cable networks. Key new enhancements include improved management of large STL models and NASTRAN files, full interactive addressing of cable networks and more efficient management of large-scale, fully equipped models. Supported platforms include Linux, Unix (HP, SUN and IBM) and Windows XP.

OpenedHand Poky Platform Builder 3.1

Featuring not just two memorable names, OpenedHand recently released v3.1 of its Poky Platform Builder, an open-source platform for designing, developing, building, debugging, and testing Linux platforms for consumer embedded devices. The freely available tool further incorporates the X Window System and GNOME Mobile-based application frameworks for both ARM and x86 platforms. The new release adds features such as stand-alone SDK creation, a plug-in for the Anjuta IDE, new machine support (Compulab EM-X270, Marvell Zylonite, ST Nomadik and others), improved documentation, WebKit-based browser and more. OpenedHand further claims that the new features in Poky "go beyond the product development life cycle and enable
an integrated solution for device manufacturers to stimulate independent development for their platform".

Promise Technology's SuperTrak EX8658 and SuperTrak EX8654 SAS/SATA RAID Controllers

Cigars all 'round everyone, for the firm Promise Technology has added two new siblings, the SuperTrak EX8658 and SuperTrak EX8654, to its SuperTrak EX family of host-based SAS/SATA RAID controllers. Promise stresses that the new additions, as well as others in the SuperTrak EX line, are built on a unified code base that spans both SuperTrak and VTrak product lines and are presented under a consistent management environment. Furthermore, the firm's WebPAM Pro allows administrators to manage RAID storage attached to the SuperTrak EX RAID controllers or integrated into the Vtrak E-Class RAID subsystems from anywhere on the network. The SuperTrak EX 8654 and 8658 support RAID 5 and RAID 6 and are designed for data protection for entry-level and midrange server platforms running all popular Linux distributions and Windows. Both the EX8658 (8 external ports) and the EX8654 (4 internal and 4 external ports) will be available through distributors and resellers by late March, 2008.

To send feedback on this article, or to send product news, please contact Products Editor, James Gray at

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