Magical Technologies

Sell To The Public From Your
Private Network

Virtual private networks in the form of intranets and extranets will become more secure to
enable handling of Internet commerce. Especially, in the case of extranets, the key
technologies that enable this are: strong authentication and cryptography, deployment of
Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), and the use of distributed computing architectures.
Security comes from standard-based authentication, encryption, and digital signatures.
Tools such as JSafe (for Java), BSafe (for C++), and SMail are available alongwith their
algorithms. Many vendors are adopting the Internet Engineering Taskforce’s SecureIP
standard for VPN. VPN products encrypt and authenticate traffic among networks and between
individuals and remote networks.

The SET (Secure Electronic Transaction)
protocol released by Mastercard and Visa International defines how transaction data flows
among card users, merchants, and banks. It also defines the security functions such as
digital signatures, hashes, and encryptions that must support these transactions. The
Secure HTTP (S-HTTP) protocol was developed as an extension to HTTP and is documented in
IETF working group documents.

More Storage Capacity And Wide
Availability

What’s going to throttle up servers? The peak rush for data getting in and getting out.
Good friend SCSI is growing twofold, from 40 Mbps burst rate to 80 Mbps with PCI Ultra2
SCSI. Fiber channel is also round the corner. It can multiplex both SCSI and IP traffic,
extending over 10 km on fiber optic. It can deliver speeds in excess of 100 Mbps both
ways. The networking rush has not spared storage technologies. Look out for Storage Area
Networks (SANs). SANs have distinct storage nodes on the network and can serve different
masters by being part of a common pool. It lets users expand disk capacity without taxing
the application server. The duty of a smart storage system extends beyond delivering speed
and volume. It is also dependent on how well it can withstand disasters and recover
unscathed. Further, Unix systems have offered clustering technology with automatic
failover for backup servers. With Novell’s SFT III we had disk mirroring. With Windows NT
we have Microsoft Server Cluster option. With NT 5.0 and Netware 5.0, Microsoft and Novell
will respectively expand their scalability and reliability features.

Enlivening The Web
Need web objects that are livelier, faster, and interactive? The technology that make them
dynamic is HTML (D-HTML). Dynamic web pages promise content creators more precise
rendering with customized and interesting interfaces. You get faster performing pages by
eliminating the need to download pages for altered content, different styles, object
repositioning, or data manipulation. Further, you get more graphic and interactive pages
because with Document Object Mode (DOM) all HTML elements are converted into objects.

Microsoft has released Scriptlets with the
final release of IE 4.0 This lets D-HTML developers create components for re-use by other
web authors. Netscape browsers would also reportedly have D-HTML capabilities. D-HTML
poses challenges for web site developers in terms of learning the new technology. Since
D-HTML enables direct authoring, which promises faster downloading of web pages, the
applets and components method of rendering web pages has the advantage of having direct
access to advanced developer skills.

Make Use Of Smarter HTMLs And
Browsers

The credit for the power behind the web goes to the HTML standard. The Internet was
already there and so was hyper-text, but it took the genius of Tim Berners Lee to link up
the two. And the Web was born. Then came the power of the browser-the operator console of
a web surfer. The whole mechanism spawned a series of wonderful applications. However, the
latest is that the new browser can act as a universal groupware platform. How? First, the
browser needs only the address of the application and not the application itself. This is
true of mail and content sites. This makes the browser similar to being a workgroup
client. you can navigate across private and public networks and send/receive mail or
content from everywhere. Therefore you have HTML-aware mail, news, and conferencing
capabilities. Next, the browser has the capability of offering rich user interfaces that
are small, lightweight, and mobile as compared to Java applets. There are new applications
possible here. Imagine content-rich mailing and news with copious hyperlinking. It will
change the nature of Web. Today, what is produced by some and consumed by many, will turn
into what is produced by many, consumed and shared by as many. That is, a new environment
for both push-oriented and pull-oriented information exchange would be created.

Satiate The Network Bandwidth
Hunger

Network traffic is rocketing skyward and the existing technologies are fast getting
outdated. Gigabit Ethernet promises to take care of the problem as an incremental step.
And because it delivers an order of magnitude difference in bandwidth by an incremental
step in the technology, its success is more than assured. Gigabit Ethernet offers 10-fold
increase in speed-1000 Mbps, using the same frame format, frame size, and CSMA/CD
protocol. What are the potentialities of this technology? One can upgrade a 100 Mbps link
between Fast Ethernet switches or repeaters to 1000 Mbps link. You can replace Fast
Ethernet switch to a Gigabit Ethernet switch for a 1000 Mbps connection to the server and
install similar NICs in the server. You can also replace a Fast Ethernet backbone switch
with Gigabit Ethernet switch supporting multiple 100/1000 switches and other devices with
Gigabit Ethernet interfaces and uplinks. You can also use a shared configuration with an
FDDI backbone. And when all this matures, we will find Gigabit Ethernet NICs on desktops.

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