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IT Channel News Briefs, Sept. 5

Red Hat makes a virtualization buy, and VMware's R&D boss heads back to Oracle.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Friday, Sept. 5, 2008.

Red Hat acquires Qumranet for virtualization

Brace yourself for a flurry of virtualization-related news over the next weeks. As market leader VMware preps for its annual VMworld conference, the rest of the tech world is jockeying for position.

Red Hat is buying Qumranet, the Israeli developer of the KVM hypervisor and SolidIce virtual desktop, for $107 million. The acquisition by the Raleigh, N.C., company follows its switch from Xen to the KVM hypervisor for future virtualization development. Paul Cormier, Red Hat's executive vice president of engineering, said yesterday the purchase will position Red Hat alongside Microsoft as the only companies offering comprehensive solutions from operating system to management, infrastructure and virtualization, according to

Speaking of Microsoft, that company will host a "virtualization day" on Monday in Bellevue, Wash. It is expected to outline its Hyper-V and Windows virtualization push. The fact that the event was scheduled a week in advance of VMWorld's kickoff is no accident. Microsoft has set its sites on VMware and is clearly focused on how virtualization -- which obviates the need to put a copy of the operating system on every server and desktop -- impacts its bread-and-butter business.

It's also still unclear how Microsoft will address overlaps between its own virtualization technologies and channels and those of long-time partner Citrix Systems, which bought XenSource a year ago for half a billion dollars. Dell, Sun Microsystems, and Symantec also plan virtualization news events in the coming weeks.

VMware R&D chief quits

VMware's executive vice president of research and development has resigned after just nine months on the job. Richard Sarwal is returning to Oracle, where he worked for 18 years before joining VMware, according to Sarwal was recruited by VMware's co-founder and former CEO Diane Greene, who was fired in July. New CEO Paul Maritz plans to announce "organizational changes to replace Richard in due course," and CTO Stephen Herrod will take on Sarwal's responsibilities in the interim.

Microsoft to patch critical flaws

Microsoft will release security patches to address four critical flaws in Office and its SQL Server database management system, according to Microsoft released its Advance Notification yesterday and will make the updates available Tuesday.

The patches address critical flaws in Microsoft Digital Image Suite 2006, SQL Server 2000 and 2005 and Microsoft Report Viewer 2005 and 2008. Also addressed are flaws in Microsoft's Forefront security software suite. Most updates will require a restart, the software giant said.

IBM adds to Information On Demand roster

IBM this week released new data management software and services as part of its Information on Demand initiative. There are 18 industry-specific "Information Agenda" guides for industries, including banking, consumer products, energy and utilities, federal government, retail and healthcare, according to

IBM also established new consulting services to help companies create information competency centers to build repeatable skills relevant to the data or information lifecycle. That contrasts with more specific competency centers that focus on just data integration or business intelligence (BI).

Secure Computing to acquire network monitoring company

Secure Computing will acquire Securify, a maker of identity-based networking monitoring appliances, for $15 million and a potential earn-out of $5 million, reported yesterday. Securify's appliances track and control user access and behavior across networked systems, and they issue alerts of access anomalies and policy violations. The technology can also trigger automated blocking routers, switches and firewalls. The merger is the latest in a long trend of consolidation in the information security market, with a handful of major deals this year.

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