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6. GainSpan's GS1010 chip and software
Pricing: Not applicable
What they do: GainSpan's GS1010 dual-core, ARM-architecture system-on-a-chip and management software work together, via an 802.11b/g implementation, to extend the life of batteries in wireless-network sensors and other devices. Sensors, such as those used in building automation, transportation and supply chain management, can tap into a company's Wi-Fi infrastructure and run as long as 10 years on a single AA battery, the company says.
Why they're important: The chip and software introduce the combination of IP and the 802.11 wireless LAN standard as a viable and proven network technology for wireless-sensor networks that can be integrated easily with the enterprise without gateways or separate networks and protocol stacks. (Read more.)
In the field: GainSpan would not release specific customer names, but says its technology is used in Wi-Fi-based thermostats and IP-based monitoring and management systems for energy monitoring and management in commercial buildings, as well as in demand-response units with a Wi-Fi thermostat and electric meters with Internet connectivity through home broadband connections. In addition, supply-chain management and logistics companies are using the technology for asset- and people-tracking using Wi-Fi location and sensor tags.
Pricing: Annual license fees are $79 to $99 per user depending on volume, and include the cost of support and hosting.
What it does: MokaFive Virtual Desktop, a software-as-a-service offering, lets IT managers create, deploy, monitor, patch, secure and update the vendor's LivePC virtual-desktop environments. The centralized administration console also lets IT teams run multiple virtual desktops on a single machine to guarantee a secure separation between work and personal applications. MokaFive locally caches LivePC images so users can work offline. If a virtual desktop experiences a security problem because of malware, spyware or other threats, it can be rebooted to a previous, uninfected state.
Why it's important: "Desktop virtualization is the fastest growing of all virtualization technologies. The drivers are greater workforce mobility, faster repair times, less downtime, reduced security risk, improved compliance, and lower costs for business units and IT departments. To achieve this success, enterprises need to focus on making sure they accommodate user differences; ensure compatibility between desktop virtualization and the workloads they have to handle; plan around network issues, such as low bandwidth or connection dropouts that would cause slowdowns or downtime for virtual desktops; and create and test high availability for critical servers delivering remote, server-based virtual desktops," EMA's Mann says.
In the field: IT administrators at Panasonic Emerging Advanced RF Laboratory use MokaFive Virtual Desktop to carry out business-continuity and disaster-recovery plans while remaining compliant. In a disaster, they could access virtual desktop images safely via an encrypted USB and VPN on any PC.
With the MokaFive Virtual Desktop, law firm Fenwick & West creates sandbox environments for evaluating new technologies from its patent and trademark group's clients. Attorneys can install and test the clients' products without jeopardizing the stability of their corporate work environment.