Tag Archives: Lotus Foundations

Washington Husky Football, IBM Lotus Foundation Start and newz…

This past weekend myself, family and out-of-town guests had the honor of attending the 102nd Apple Cup between University of Washington (Go Huskies!) and Washington State University. On the water taxi to the game, one of the attendees and I spoke. He had recently retired from a career at IBM in it’s Global Services area. I spoke about my friendship with the IBM’s open source Lotus Foundations group. We both remarked how IBM stands as an example of a large Fortune One technology company reinventing itself to become relevent and exciting again.

So when today’s news crossed the wire that the Lotus Foundation Start solution is now protected by Engate’s proactive botnet, phish, virus and e-mail security solutions, I stopped what I was doing and read the press release with great interest. You may recall that many of the attendees at the SMB Nation Fall 2009 conference in Las Vegas truly enjoyed the engaging conversations with the Lotus Foundations representatives. For many, it was the first time to not only see an open-source SMB server solution BUT to take this solution under serious advisement and consideration.

For your reading benefit, I have reported the entire press release so you can learn more about the Engate and Lotus Foundations security partnership.

(PS – I will have a technical review of the Lotus Foundations Start product very soon!)

Engate and IBM Deliver Proactive Botnet, Phish, Virus and Email Security for IBM Lotus Foundations Start

Best-in-Class IP Reputation Solution Empowers Small and Medium Size Businesses with Ease of Management, Improved Productivity and Reduced Costs

SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Engate Technology Corporation, leaders in next generation reputation network profiling technology and proactive botnet, phish, virus and email security solutions, today announced integration of Engate’s security software suite with IBM® Lotus® Foundations Start line of software appliances for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB).

Lotus Foundations Start ‘plug and play’ appliances help companies with little or no in-house technical resources to focus on running their business rather than managing their computer systems. This Linux-based IBM solution provides staple collaboration tools such as email, file sharing, and remote access and affords peace of mind through automated network security features, data protection, backup and recovery. With Engate, Lotus Foundations Start will offer an industry-leading security suite that proactively protects SMBs from a diversity of email-borne threats.

“Email remains one of the most widely-used attack vectors against small and medium size business users, making email security essential to IBM Lotus Foundations Start,” said Caleb Barlow, Integration Executive for Lotus Foundations, IBM Corporation. “Together with Engate, IBM Lotus Foundations Start offers SMB customers an easy-to-use, best-in-class security solution that protects from the growing number of email-borne botnet, phish, spam and virus threats.”

“Engate provides organizations with proactive protection against the growing threat of phish, spam and botnet attacks,” said Wil Cochran, CEO, Engate. “Working together, we are combining our connection-level protection with Lotus Foundations Start to deliver a solution that helps SMBs mitigate resource-intensive email security administration by stopping malicious threats outside their network before they compromise their privacy, productivity and resources.”

“Botnet-based email attacks are the most prominent malicious security threat to my business customers today. My clients were dissatisfied with their conventional security products as they struggled to keep up with the high volume of sophisticated attacks that were secretly bypassing their filters, spreading new infections and stealing sensitive data,” said John Gray, Partner, Bentor Technologies. “I’m excited to be working with Engate and IBM Lotus Foundations Start as their integrated functionality offers my business customers the innovation, flexibility and reliability necessary in stopping these dangerous attacks at the edge of the network before they have a chance to damage resources and disrupt business productivity.”

Award-winning IP Reputation Solution Empowers SMBs to Focus on Growth

Botnets are one of the most dangerous online security threats today, where an estimated 40% of the 800 million computers on the Internet unsuspectingly distribute spam, steal private data, launch dangerous attacks, and spread new infections. In particular, SMBs face unique security and IT resource challenges that leave them vulnerable to email-borne attacks and botnet threats that can disrupt business productivity.

As email-borne threats continue to double annually, Engate’s advanced botnet, phish, virus and email security protects companies with a powerful solution that proactively protects networks from illicit hosts that are distributing threats. Engate’s innovative security suite employs patented reputation network profiling, source verification, and anti-forgery techniques to identify and block email-borne botnet attacks at the connection level, before they have a chance to compromise IT resources, invade privacy, degrade network performance, and waste user productivity.

Next Generation Reputation Network Profiling Technology for OEM Partners

With more than seven years of operational experience collecting and analyzing data on global networks, Engate’s reputation network profiling technology empowers strategic OEM partners to take advantage of the reputation of over 400 million ‘good and bad’ IP’s in Engate’s 17,000 rules database – known as GlobalRules™. By profiling entire networks beyond infected hosts, Engate has built a repository of intelligence on potential and unknown hosts that may become infected. This unique intelligence on unknown threats is a critical component to enhancing an OEM partner’s security portfolio today – as well as in the future – particularly as unknown threats continue to rise due to the growth of botnets. Engate delivers incremental value to security software, appliance, secure web gateway, unified threat management, intrusion prevention, firewall, and router partners in the following ways:

(1) Enhance 3rd party threat scoring systems with an extra layer of threat intelligence proven to achieve an additional 10-15% unique catches on top of existing content scanning, Real-time Blacklists (RBL) and reputation technologies.

(2) Improve connection-level security and the efficiency of 3rd party email security filters by radically reducing the large volume of unwanted traffic and malicious payloads from reaching the gateway.

(3) Augment multi-layer security strategy with proactive protection from known and unknown threats. Engate’s unique network profiling functionality gives OEM partners preemptive defense against botnet-based attacks, phish, spam, viruses and blended web/email threats.


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No confusion between IBM (Lotus Foundations) and Microsoft (Windows Server Foundation)

This is no April Fool’s Day joke in the SMB space.

Today Microsoft announced Windows Server Foundation, a low-end server solution that I’ll define in a moment. It appears similar in name to IBM’s Lotus Foundations and already some analyst such as Joe Wilcox and initially repeated by big Small Business Server (SBS) blogger Susan Bradley are concluding Microsoft introduced Windows Server Foundation to compete with Lotus Foundations. Such is not the case and I will make this clear in the road map I lay out below. I have recently received private briefings from both Microsoft and IBM on their respective “foundations” and have conducted additional research to bring you a meaningful blog on this important SMB matter.

Defining Windows Server Foundation

This is a “stripped-down” version of Windows Server 2008 Standard edition that is a true compete against low-end Linux and “Open Source” solutions. I liken it to taking Windows XP Pro peer-to-peer networking to the next level. The meat on the bones is 64-bit version only, no virtualization, has a 15-user limitation, supports Routing and Remote Access Services (RRAS) and Terminal Services (TS) for up to 50-users and has a ten user (10) limit on Internet Authentication Service. It also can effectively serve a remote office\branch office as a domain controller. This might be a great solution as a “second server” to run your dedicated on-premise line of business (LOB) application.  You can learn more details on Windows Server Foundation HERE.

Meet Windows Server Foundation!

Meet Windows Server Foundation!

What’s missing is built-in messaging and collaboration capabilities. I consider e-mail (Exchange) and basic collaboration (SharePoint) to be an essential solution for a company beyond a certain size. And Remote Web Workplace isn’t supported by design – just the way it is. In fact – here is a contrarian point of view that I found interesting.

Note that Windows Server Foundation is only sold via its OEM partners such as HP. It can be purchased by end-user customers or channel partners (such as SMB consultants and SBSers). The question we will all be asking over the next few months as we get to know this product is: With WSF, is there enough “there” there?

Defining Lotus Foundations

This is a full-featured small and medium (SMB) server solution that represents a paradigm shift. Take one headless appliance that uses a combination of solid state drive and traditional memory architecture to improve start-up or boot times. Much of the operating system is actually embedded on a solid state drive (called flash memory and manufactured by companies such as SanDisk) and then the data components utilize traditional storage (read “disks”). Then apply the “managed services concept” where the machine was designed to be managed remotely and you have Lotus Foundations. The “official language” from IBM is “automate your IT experience” so you don’t even know that the server or the consultant are “there.” I call it a “mail order bride” in a kind way in that the server could literally be shipped by a channel partner to the customers (Lotus Foundations is ONLY SOLD to channel partners and not end-user customers).

Lotus Foundations - Meet and Greet!

Lotus Foundations - Meet and Greet!

For the feature creatures amongst us, you will appreciate the following application roll call:

  • Front Office Applications. Something long-time Small Business Server consultants (SBSers) miss when looking at Lotus Foundations is that is comes with the Lotus Symphony suite as part of its licensing. So that means end-users are licensed for word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software. So I put this feature first to highlight it.
  • Email and Collaboration. This mission critical application we’re all addicted to is included in the form of Lotus Notes – perhaps something you’ve heard about over the course of your career. The collaboration is compounded by the addition of Lotus Qucikr.
  • Backup and recovery. This is the part I need to learn more about and intend to do so (I will write a full-featured article about Lotus Foundations in the future). But as I understand it, the development paradigm is for on-site disk-based backup (no tapes) that perform incremental backups every 15-mins. (Personally I believe in a hybrid strategy at my company of both on-site and cloud backup – and this would be possible with Lotus Foundations).
  • Security. Built-in firewall, anti-spam, anti-virus and built-in VPN support. Enough said and more details later in a future article on the actually functionality of these components.

Road Map

In my humble opinion, here is the road map that I see in the context of the small business lifecycle.

  • Phase One: Startup Small Office\Home Office (The lower-case “s”)
    • Standalone laptop computer
    • Windows Home Server*
  • Phase Two: Early Stage Growth (The capital “S”)
    • Windows Server Foundation** as a capable replacement for peer-to-peer networking
  • Phase Three: Bona-fide Small Business! (Core SMB space)
    • Lotus Foundations vs. Small Business Server 2008. This is the real match-up that I discuss in the next section.


(*) Windows Home Server, known as WHS, has a role as a “backup server” in a Small Business Server scenario. Look for this article from Aaron Booker in my SMB PC magazine soon on this exact topic and how industry players like Level Platforms “get it” and support this backup strategy.

(**) Windows Server Foundation makes a fantastic branch office solution or additional domain controller (yes – it has Active Directory on-board). Although I initially mentioned that up top in this blog, the context here is to have Windows Server Foundation present in Phase Three of the small business lifecycle.

Competitive Analysis

Windows Server Foundation was designed, in my opinion, to compete effectively against the low-end “free” Linux competitors. So its product development origins are from a compete point of view. I also believe it was designed for the unfortunate 6 billion earthlings worldwide. Whereas full-featured small business servers like Small Business Server 2008 and Lotus Foundations are capable workhorses serving the fortunate 1 billion in developed countries, the unfortunate 6 billion in developing countries have adopted an affection for open source software and an affinity for piracy. To me, Microsoft created Windows Server Foundation foremost for the worldwide market, which is why it is being released in 40 countries. Its development paradigm was not for upper caste, upper middle-class wealthy Americans and Europeans (although they are allowed to use it –  BIG GRIN). Speaking of social goodness, the official MSFT press release speaks towards donation some of the sale proceeds to TechSoup.org and Telecentre.org to better serve non-profits and social network entrepreneurs.

I also see Windows Server Foundation serving a “hybrid model” very effectively. I look at how we work at SMB Nation. Our on-premise server handles much of the traditional file and print local area network (LAN) duties very nicely. Throw-in our dependency on Microsoft Exchange Server for e-mail and Windows SharePoint Services for CompanyWeb collaboration and you got it nailed on-site. But our critical line-of-business application, an ERP solution called NetSuite, is hosted. And we use Google as our primary search engine, which is also implicitly hosted in the cloud.

Small Business Server 2008 vs. Lotus Foundations. I’ll save you a lot of reading and just say it. Lotus Foundations is the first serious competitor against the Microsoft Small Business Server franchise. I covered this discussion in Chapter 1 of my new Small Business Server 2008 Blueprint book. There are a couple of subtle difference that frame up the competitive analysis between Lotus Foundations and Small Business Server. These differences are (but note limited to):

  • Lotus Foundations ships with a robust security (firewall, anti-spam, anti-virus) and front office productivity applications.
  • Small Business Server 2008 – Premium edition ships with SQL Server.

This competitive analysis will be covered soon in a new blog posting and article in SMB PC magazine. So stay tuned – there is much more to write on this topic, such as the time many many years ago that the MSFT SBS team considered a headless appliance version of SBS!

Humor Zone

The following always drives WagEd and the PR folks nuts but I can’t resist. I believe that US Department of Justice (DOJ) and European Union (EU) don’t need to launch an investigation into the use of the phrase “Foundation” or “Foundations.” I can honest say there was no collusion between IBM and Microsoft on this one and in all likelihood no communication between the firms (go after crooks like Madoff instead!). So Joe – with all due respect to you and your media brethren who took the Latin term “solum” (that is “foundation” for the rest of us) to read into today’s Windows Server Foundation announcement that it was designed to compete with Lotus Foundations, you are simply wrong on this one.  And BTW – in a follow-up blog post from Susan Bradley, she agrees with me!

Did you know that we will be discussing Windows Server Foundations at my SMB Nation Spring conference in early May in the NYC-area – it’s TRUE!


Harry Brelsford | CEO | SMB Nation


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