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January 25, 2013

Fortinet® Rolls Out New FortiOS 5.0 Operating System

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Image from Fortinet
Fortifying your network is a must, most especially for big businesses and one of the world leader in high-performance network security is Fortinet®.   As technology grows and develop so is Fortinet® with their most advanced security operating system which was already released and it is called the FortiOS 5.0, it is the foundation for all Fortinet FortiGate integrated security platforms.   This new release provides more security, intelligence and control to help enterprises be better protected against today’s advanced threats and enable more secure BYOD environments.

Fortinet, with smarter and more effective security policies, gives enterprises of all sizes new technologies to help protect and manage their networks in the light of fundamental changes in both the nature of attacks targeting them as well as how users are accessing the network.    Fortinet is also extending its leadership by integrating advanced identification and management of user and device behavior, including reputation-based policies, better botnet detection and protection and inspection of encrypted traffic.

Fortinet doesn't stop with FortiOS 5.0 operating system but also announced three more releases to address the need for increasingly sophisticated management and analysis of network infrastructure and endpoint devices in enterprise, carrier, MSP and SMB environments alike.  Meet the addition the FortiManager 5.0, the FortiAnalyzer 5.0 and the FortiClient 5.0.

Aside from these developments, Fortinet is adding more than 150 features and enhancements to FortiOS 5.0. which will help enterprises of all sizes to be better equipped defending themselves against new advanced threats and manage and protect their network against an influx of new types of mobile devices and applications. Key benefits include:

  • More Security to fight advanced threats. A client reputation feature gives enterprises a cumulative security ranking of each device based on a range of behaviors and provides specific, actionable information that enables organizations to identity compromised systems and potential zero-day attacks in real time. The new advanced anti-malware detection system adds an on-device behavior-based heuristic engine and cloud-based AV services that includes an operating system sandbox and botnet IP reputation database. Together with superior industry-validated AV signatures, FortiOS 5.0 delivers unbeatable multi-layered protection against today’s sophisticated malware
  • More Control to secure mobile devices and BYOD environments by identifying devices and applying specific access policies as well as security profiles, according to the device type or device group, location and usage
  • More Intelligence with automatic adjustment of role-based policies for users and guests based on location, data and application profile. Enhanced reporting and analysis also provides administrators with more intelligence on the behavior of their network, users, devices, applications and threats

“We are excited about the advancements in FortiOS 5.0,” said Ken Xie, founder, president and CEO for Fortinet. “Looking back over the last ten years, each FortiOS release delivered innovation that helped change the market. With FortiOS 5.0, Fortinet is continuing to lead and define the network security space. We are providing our customers with the best and broadest functionality that is fully integrated with our high-performance FortiASICs and FortiGate system. This combination leads to our customers having the most superior network security, performance, management and analysis.”

“We’ve come to rely on the consolidated and advanced security, networking and management services embedded in FortiOS,” said Ken Smith, senior security solutions architect with Green Pages. “What’s particularly attractive about this major new release is the 'client reputation' feature that provides a broad view of each client on our network and the ability to enforce ‘smart policies’ to secure individual users throughout our organization, regardless of their location, type of device they use to access network resources or their status as a guest. It’s a major step forward in strengthening our overall security posture.”

FortiManager 5.0
As a centralized, single-pane-of-glass management platform for all Fortinet devices, the new FortiManager 5.0 features significant improvements tailored for enterprises and service providers:

  • The ability to manage physical and virtual security devices using a single Web-based GUI with new functions that include drag and drop policies between panes, direct in-view policy object editing, full IPv6 support and a new script UI facility
  • More granular administrative profiles and greater ease of use
  • Enhanced provisioning capabilities for large-scale rollouts
  • Improved reporting and analysis with multi-frame display, drag-and-drop policy between rule bases and frames, built in logging and reporting and full IPv6 support

Additionally, carrier/cloud providers will benefit from added XML and JSON API functionality as well as script UI capabilities that enable auto-provisioning and simplified creation and modification of policies and objects.

FortiAnalyzer 5.0
The FortiAnalyzer family of logging, analyzing and reporting appliances securely aggregates log data from Fortinet devices and other syslog-compatible devices. The new FortiAnalyzer 5.0 includes the following new key features:

  • Significantly improved data visualization and analysis to provide customers with critical visibility into their network security posture
  • Consolidated reporting for all FortiOS-based devices and endpoints, enabling better insight on bandwidth consumption, application usage and network utilization
  • Management of both physical and virtual appliances for consolidated configuration and universally applied reporting across multiple FortiAnalyzer systems
  • The ability to synchronize multiple FortiAnalyzers for unified configuration and reporting

FortiClient 5.0
FortiClient provides anytime, anywhere endpoint security for Windows and Macintosh devices. Improvements include:

  • Better enforcement of security policies in off-net situations to ensure adherence to corporate policies when not connected to the network
  • Enhanced integration with FortiGate devices to simplify remote VPN provisioning for ease of use

“From the largest enterprises and carriers to smaller distribute retail and SMB networks, our customers are dealing with more stringent network security requirements and greater demands for access to data,” said Patrick Bedwell, vice president of product marketing for Fortinet. “With new attack variants on the rise and the ‘bring your own device’ revolution in full swing, organizations need broad security measures that can scale, are highly flexible when it comes to enforcing granular policies and are easy to deploy. We’re responding to these market requirements with the release of the industry’s most advanced network security operating system that works in tandem with our next-generation management, analysis and client protection technologies.”

Availability
FortiOS 5.0, FortiManager 5.0, FortiAnalyzer 5.0 and FortiClient 5.0 will be available this month and can be downloaded from the FortiCare Website (https://support.fortinet.com) or customers can contact their reseller.

Follow Fortinet Online:
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January 22, 2013

StarCraft II: Heart of The Swarm Cinematic Opening

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To all the StarCraft fans, gamers and enthusiasts out there here's something to entice you even more to play the game. Watch here the wicked and great CG animated cinematic opening of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. It totally rocks!

Watching images created and digitally crafted in the computer is really something to watch and enjoy.  There are some things that can't be done in real action and thanks computer graphics that more world are being created more fantasies are coming to life.  Enjoy the cinematic opening!

According to StarCraft team the expansion pack will arrive this coming March 12, 2013 so avoid the rush on the launch day, pre-purchase the game digitally now on Battle.net http://blizzard.com/games/hots/ and hit the gaming pod once it is launched.

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT, The Experience

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I first read about the Microsoft Surface five years ago. It was shown in CES 2008 (Consumer Electronic Show) were features of Surface were introduced to the public but back then the electronic product is probably geared towards business companies and establishments.

A few years after that, different hand-held tablets were introduced to the market from different competitors.  It was a war of tablets showcasing which one is the best and each brand has their top of the line models, competing for the favor of the consumers.


For Microsoft, they were behind a bit but as much as the saying goes which I don’t know where it came from, “it is better to be late than sorry”. Indeed it is and because of that Microsoft was able to reduce the size of their old Surface and made it compete with the tablets in the market today.

GrabTechDude.com was lucky enough to get a touch of the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT and also discover its features. So let’s get started by introducing the Microsoft Surface, specifically the RT version.


Microsoft Surface is a tablet designed and marketed by Microsoft. It is their bet in terms of tablets. It was introduced last June 18, 2012 by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in Los Angeles but was officially launched last October 2012 and is now available in the market. Locally (Philippines) there are some establishments having a display of this Microsoft Surface.

Microsoft Surface has two versions, one with Windows RT and the other one is Windows 8 Pro. Both models are almost the same except for some internal functions and size. Windows RT uses an ARM CPU, while the Windows 8 Pro uses an Intel CPU. We won’t be furthering the differentiation but will focus on the Microsoft Surface RT.


Features and Functionality
  • The Microsoft Surface runs using the Windows RT or codenamed Windows on ARM processed by its Quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3. It is a special version of Windows 8 Operating System which is designed exclusively for mobile devices such as the tablets. The Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT Preview like the Word, Powerpoint, Excel and One Note which is of great use for students. Files and documents created can be as well stored in the cloud using a Microsoft account. In other words this is great accessing your documents anywhere.
  • GrabTechDude.com tested the Microsoft Surface with 64GB storage which can store quite a number of movies, music and pictures. Storage capacity can be expounded more using its microSDXC card slot.
  • Microsoft Surface also has two 720p HD cameras, one front-facing and the other one is rear-facing. Also there are microphones and stereo speakers that can be noticed on the sides of the tablet.
  • The Ports in this Microsoft Surface holds quite a number unlike the other existing tablets. It has full-size USB 2.0, microSDXC card slot, Headset jack, HD video out port, power supply port and the cover port. For the power supply and cover port it can easily attached using the magnetic properties of the connector.
  • Wireless connection enabled with its Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth 4.0 technology.
  • It has a 5-point multi-touch functionality that gives a definite control over the virtual buttons and applications present in the Windows RT.
  • A 10.6” ClearType HD Display with a 1366x768 pixel for clear viewing and picture.
  • An Apps or applications available through the Windows Store.

Design

Its exterior design features a VaporMg casing with Dark Titanium color which is quite appealing even though the design is square, boxy and edgy unlike its competitors. It has volume and power buttons that can easily be noticed on the side and a kick stand at the back for support if you’re watching a movie. It comes also with a 10.6” ClearType HD Display glass that makes it fragile and needs adequate precaution when using.

Unit Price and Where to Buy

Here is the list of some stores (online and offline) that sells the Microsoft Surface with Windows RT. I’ll update once I get other listings.


STORE/ ONLINE
PRICE
Microsoft Surface with Windows RT with Black Touch Cover (64GB)
Php38,770.00
Microsoft Surface with Windows RT with Black Touch Cover (32GB)
Php33,581.00
Microsoft Surface with Windows RT with Black Touch Cover (64GB)
Php36,490.00
Microsoft Surface with Windows RT with Black Touch Cover (32GB)
Php32,490.00

Conclusion and Observations


The Microsoft Surface RT is sure one of the tablets to have, with its different functionality and features it enables the user to practically have an edge against other tablets in the market. The only problem with the Windows RT version is that you cannot install third party application and some applications are not supported yet.

Other feature of the Surface that stands out among other tablet is the USB 2.0 port and the microSDXC slot which gives it more storage capacity. It also gives users an option to select on which storage to store their pictures, movies and other documents. The position of the microSDXC slot is quite tricky because it is hidden beneath the kickstand.


The Touch Cover serves two purposes, a cover to protect the glass screen of the tablet and as one of the thinnest keyboard (I think). It can be attached and detached with its magnetic property on one side. One thing that I’ve noticed with it, it does not function well for speed typing. There is a delay in the transmission of inputs on the keyboard.

Dell Honors Top and Loyal Employees

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Mr. Richard Teo with Dell employee awardees
I never thought that in the industry of Information Technology the virtue of loyalty is still alive and well.
For some they opt to go after greener pastures for a quick buck after honing their skills and talents for quite some time.  Enough to learn and acquire more knowledge in the field of technology but its great to know that there are others who would stay and spend most of their careers.  Of course all the years spent are not wasted because some companies acknowledges the loyalty and dedication of these employees.  One of the great companies of today is Dell.

Dell recently honored its top performers during a year-end event at the Townhall.  This is for the years served and for the accompanying loyalty.

Dell builds its business based on the purpose it was founded – Delivering technology solutions that enable people everywhere to grow and thrive. Every employee is very clear on the reason why they come to work and do their best work in service of the customer. Every employee is clear about the business strategy and how their roles are connected to this strategy. Every employee knows Dell is second to none in integrity and ethics and that their performance and career advancement is based on meritocracy.

Dell’s people strategy is clear on how each one will succeed – developing inspiring leaders, championing team members to take risk, feel supported and valued, and have a listening and sharing environment for employees to shape the directions of the company and to be the Employer of Choice; a compelling destination for employees to thrive, achieve their career aspirations and have fun. Dell is committed to living its career development approach by supporting career goals and aspirations, setting clear expectations on the skills and capabilities needed now and in the future, creating opportunities to grow in current roles, with others and through formal learning, providing a clear view of opportunities across the organization, developing inspiring leaders who are invested in total development.

Mr. Ramon Villacorta with Employee of the Year awardee
All of the foregoing, together with merit-based recognition, bestowed upon those whose outputs excel in their respective departments, regardless of race and creed.

“We believe that in order to be a successful company and a great place to work, our business must be driven by individuals with similarities and differences. Diversity is an inescapable fact. With a large global employee base, we’re a collage of races, ethnicity, religions, age, levels of disability, backgrounds, lifestyles and cultures. Inclusion is about embracing, respecting, honoring, recognizing and, ultimately, leveraging the differences we innately possess to build a better community, workplace and world. At Dell, we’re committed to building a diverse environment that is reflective of a diverse global marketplace and an inclusive culture in which everyone is engaged. One of our leadership competencies is to ensure that each team member is heard and valued, and that personal strengths and perspectives are assets to the company, rather than being left at the door,” said Richard Teo, Country Leader for Dell Philippines, after bestowing recognition to its outstanding corps of employees and managers.

Dell presented service awards to 180 employees with 5 years tenure from Consumer Small Medium Business (CSMB) and Services BPO. Dell prides itself in being an Employer of Choice and celebrated the recognition of these team members’ loyalty and tenure with the company.

Mr. Richard Teo, Ms. Donna Grande and Dell employee awardees
Dell also showed its appreciation for its top performers with Employee of the Year and Manager of the Year awards. A total of 12 employees and 12 managers were recognized from the various business units. The top awards were given to Lora Lee Lopez and Maria Grace Capco as Manager of the Year for CSMB and Services, respectively, and to Carlo Garcia, Sr. Compensation and Benefits Manager, as Back-Office Support Employee of the Year

Also present at the event to hand the awards are Ms. Donna Grande, HR Director and Mr. Ramon Villacorta, Portfolio Director.

“Throughout my career, I had the opportunity to join some of the greatest technology workers in the world such as Dell himself and contributing to the growth and expansion working on different exciting roles.  These different roles have also enabled me to work with some of the brightest and passionate people in so many different countries and cultures that I am constantly inspired by leaders I worked with. Founder Michael Dell says it so well, ‘Technology is about enabling human potential,” Teo intimated.

It's really inspiring to know that Dells honors their employees and recognizes their worth in the company.

Dell listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services they trust and value. Uniquely enabled by its direct business model, Dell is a leading global systems and services company and No. 34 on the Fortune 500. For more information, visit www.dell.com, or to communicate directly with Dell through a variety of online channels; go to www.dell.com/conversations. To get Dell news direct, visit www.dell.com/

January 3, 2013

Seagate's Black Armor NAS 400

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With so much electronic documents and pictures piling up in our computer, GrabTechDude.com believe that it’s about time to get a good data storage with big capacity to store more than what we have right now.  Well, it's pretty obvious that you were wondering why not buy some of those sleek designed data storage that is available in the market.  That’s good, if you’re in mobile with less than 1TB of files but if you have more than and you’re planning to have it in the house or in the office where it is much secured from the possibility of accidents then go for bigger storage device.  Much better if it is a network attached storage device.  And perhaps that's a big start as we at GrabTechDude.com elevates.

Since we’re searching for some good grabs for the future of Grabtechdude.com, we are searching and trying to know some of the brands has good data storage features.   So we will be having a possible test of different devices more often (hopefully and if we can afford).  First on our list is the Seagate Black Armor NAS 400.


For a start let us get to know a bit of the brand first, Seagate has been well known for having great line of products when it comes to hard drives. They are the number one manufacturer of hard drives and storage solutions worldwide. So it’s a good start to know what Seagate has to offer especially with their Black Armor NAS 400, by the way NAS stands for Network Attached Storage.



I believed Black Armor NAS 400 was released a few years ago already and many tech experts have shared their thoughts about this product. There were positive reviews and of course there were negative reviews already but since we are on the look, testing and trying wouldn't hurt at all.

Product Features and Capability
The Seagate Black Armor NAS 400 has some good features to offer.
  • Good hardware. This network storage device carries a good capacity to store data, with its four empty bays, clear and ready to accommodate four (4) Seagate drives or compatible drives but much better if it is a Seagate brand drive.  Hard drives are not included in this network storage device and the hard drives are each sold separately.  For our testing purposes, it accommodates four hard drives with 500GB capacity summing a total storage capacity of 2TB.  It supports RAID 0/1/5/10 and JBOD configuration as well.  It has two Ethernet ports for local network connection, a port failover and NAS to NAS backup; it also has four USB 2.0 ports for external drives, printers and UPS if you don’t want to get interrupted; and its running capacity with 1.2 GHZ processor with 256 MB RAM.
  • Data protection and security. The Black Armor NAS 400 provides layered protection to keep data safe and secured. Some of these features are the incremental and full-system automatic backup, bare-metal restore to recover the entire system in case there’s PC hardware failure, Seagate volume recovery in the event that the drives are accidentally removed, and the ability to choose the level of encryption security.  With this feature, we weren't able to test its full potential due to minimal devices.  
  • Data management. Black Armor NAS 400 does not only restrict its capability in a network or in an office but let’s you command your data even when you’re away in the field. These are its specific features remote management using DDNS, secure FTP server functionality that lets you access remotely all files over FTP with SSL/TLS protection, plus the use of Seagate Global Access service lets you securely access files from any popular web browser with no special software required.
  • Accessibility and capability. With its feature of storing and protecting data, the product speaks for it but I don’t know if it is due to the LAN that I’m using or due to the computer, the speed is quite erratic.  All in all, the product is well and good especially for home or a small startup business.  Also according to them these devices can accommodate up to 50 units of computer.

Design
The Seagate Black Armor NAS 400 design is a little bit old fashioned it’s more likely compared to the armor worn during the medieval era. Perhaps they should have a much better design. A more sci-fi and futuristic look. The taste of the color black is great and just right for its name. The four compartments of drives are just fine and it’s not too hard or too complicated to attach and detach. The LCD monitor is just fine and it’s readable enough, perhaps if they’re going to re-design it they should consider also the look of the LCD screen.



Unit Price and Where to Buy
Locally the price of a Seagate Black Armor NAS 400 varies from different tech and gadget stores. I was able to list down some of the stores (online and offline) that sells a Seagate Black Armor NAS 400.

STORE/ ONLINE
PRICE
Php18,000.00
Php14,999.00
Php19,499.00



Among the three who sells Seagate Black Armor NAS 400 I find PC Worx the cheapest.   Not yet sure if there are others cheaper than that.

Conclusion
Using one laptop and one netbook we were able to use the Seagate Black Armor NAS 400 as data storage.    The transfer and sharing of data is much more accessible without sacrificing the processing and storage capacity of each computer.  Thus, a more recommended device for use not only in a home network but much better in an office network where data transfer is needed often.



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