Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tzero Raises $18M for UWB

Tzero Technologies, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, raised $18 million in third round funding for its Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology and wireless video products.

The investment was led by the CID Group with full participation from Tzero's current investors: August Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, OVP, U.S. Venture Partners, and VentureTech Alliance.

Tzero recently announced that Hitachi has selected its ultra wideband (UWB) technology to enable wireless HD video for its forthcoming "Ultra Thin" (UT) HDTV series.

Siemens Launches OpenScape Unified Communications Server, Video

Following its strategic realignment last week aimed at transforming itself into a software-oriented company, Siemens Communications launched a new unified communications software platform called "OpenScape" Unified Communications (UC) Server. The OpenScape UC Server suite initially includes OpenScape Voice Application (HiPath 8000 V3.1 R2, enterprise grade voice and IP least cost routing), OpenScape Video (integrated HD, desktop and client video conferencing) and OpenScape UC Application V3 (role-based UC).

Siemens said its approach is designed with openness in mind. Its OpenScape UC Server can operate in virtually any existing IT or telephony environment, including IP telephony or legacy PBX telephony environments from Siemens or any other vendor.

The OpenScape UC Server uses a SIP foundation to enable presence, administration, session control and other shared services for the current and planned family of OpenScape UC suite of applications. New modular capabilities are enabled by simply activating the desired license keys on a user-by-user basis. The existing HiPath 8000 and HiPath OpenExchange applications (OpenScape Voice) have been redesigned to run natively on the OpenScape UC Server for enterprise voice and IP least cost routing. The OpenScape UC suite of applications operate in multi-vendor environments and integrate with complementary offerings including IBM Sametime, Microsoft Office Communication Server and various others.

OpenScape UC Server will be available in three versions.

The Medium Edition (ME) configuration is a single server solution with optional redundancy for up to 1,000 users.

The Large Edition (LE) is a multi-server configuration for up to 100,000 users (with full UC functionality for up to 20,000 users and basic UC functionality for up to 100,000 users).

The Hosted Edition (HE) contains additional application components to support the unique requirements of service providers and hosting organizations.

Siemens is introducing a new, redesigned version of its OpenScape UC Application as one of the licensable offerings for the Siemens OpenScape UC Server. The enhanced OpenScape UC Application V3 can now be deployed on virtually any telephony or IT environment, works with any vendor's IP or legacy telephony platform, and integrates with nearly any IT and IM environment.

Siemens also announced OpenScape Video, a unified video conferencing solution integrating high-definition (HD) video, desktop PC video, voice and presence into a single powerful communication environment. OpenScape Video can be integrated with the OpenScape UC Server enabling video and voice endpoints to easily participate in the same conference calls and use the same directory and call numbering plans. The video conferencing solution also functions on a standalone basis, offering enterprises a migration to HD Video over IP.

The new OpenScape Video portfolio includes three HD systems and a PC soft clien. VHD 600 includes an HD camera, a CD-quality conference phone and a codec that can bridge up to six parties on a video conference call. VHD 400 includes the same components as the VHD 600, but for bridging four parties, and VHD 100 is a single, point-to-point solution to enable one-to-one calls or for the user to join a conference hosted on a VHD 600, VHD 400 or a third-party video bridge. The OpenScape UC application desktop client is a video-enabled soft client.

Cisco Debuts New Aggregation Services Routers

Cisco introduced a new aggregation platform powered by its 40-core "QuantumFlow" processor and designed for massive scalability in packet intelligence in both service provider and enterprise networks. The new Cisco Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 1000 is the company's most significant new product since the CRS-1 debuted in 2004.

The Cisco Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 1000 series, which was developed over more than five years at a cost in excess of a $250 million, packs up to 20 million packet per second (PPS) forwarding rate performance in a compact single router platform. As such, the ASR 1000 could be used to consolidate a number of networking appliances, including firewall, IPSec VPNs, deep-packet inspection (DPI) and Session Border Controllers (SBC). Over 42 patents were filed on the Cisco Aggregation Services Router 1000 Series.

The ASR 1000 features IOS XE software, a virtualized IOS implementation optimized for compact routers at the edge to deliver in-service upgrades. In addition to the rich IOS edge feature set, IOS XE provides IOS command line control, to provide a familiar look and feel for IOS users. Cisco also highlighted the green credentials of the new platform, saying that the elimination of multi-device, multi-vendor elements in the network dramatically lessens both the architectural complexity for service providers and enterprises as well as their carbon footprints.

Cisco is announcing three versions: a 3-slot chassis with up to 15MPPS performance, an 8-slot version with up to 20MMPS, and a 12-slot version with up to 20MMPS. The two larger systems are 40G ready.

Cisco also named several early customers of the ASR 1000, including NTT, Lufthansa Systems, and Wachovia.

SeaChange Unveils Flash Memory Video Server for Broadcast TV

SeaChange International introduced its Broadcast Flash Memory Library FML200, a flash memory-based ingest and play-to-air solution, which the company says is 100 times more reliable and consumes 10 times less power than spinning disk-based counterparts. Combining the FML200 with SeaChange's MediaCluster technology eliminates the need for expensive mirroring and duplicate files. Occupying a compact 2RU footprint, the FML200 includes an array of 24 flash memory drives available in either 32GB or 64GB configurations. At full capacity, a six-node FML200 cluster puts 144 flash memory drives online, delivering more than 6.6TB of clustered RAID-5 protected storage.

"The availability of a flash-based broadcast server represents a seismic shift at the heart of television operations," said Chris West, vice president of broadcast, SeaChange International.

SeaChange has previously announced Flash Memory and MediaCluster pairing for video-on-demand television operations.

TippingPoint Introduces Core 10 Gigabit Intrusion Prevention

TippingPoint introduced an in-line, network-based appliance that enables 10 Gbps of bi-directional traffic inspection by TippingPoint Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) to protect network resources, operating systems and critical applications from malicious threats.

The new TippingPoint Core Controller can be deployed as a "bump-in-the-wire" network element for up to three 10 Gbps network links. Traffic entering the Core Controller is intelligently flow balanced to a bank of TippingPoint IPS's where traffic inspection and enforcement are performed. Malicious and unwanted traffic is blocked and clean traffic is returned to the Core Controller for distribution to the appropriate 10Gbps egress link, allowing organizations to economically scale security traffic inspection and enforcement.

TippingPoint said its Core Controller enables 10 Gbps links to be protected by the TippingPoint IPS while ensuring high availability, performance, low latency and security accuracy. The Core Controller's high availability features include redundant configurability, built-in zero power bypass (Smart ZPHA), IPS heartbeat monitoring, link down synchronization and hardware watchdogs, allow an unprecedented level of redundancy configuration to eliminate single points of failure.

The TippingPoint Core Controller is now available and starts at $59,995 USD list.

Calix Supplies GPON ONTs across Minnesota

Calix announced the wide deployment of Calix 700G GPON Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) by three service providers in Minnesota, including Paul Bunyan Telephone Cooperative, Garden Valley Telephone Co., and Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (CTC).

Paul Bunyan Telephone Cooperative serves some 30,000 access lines and 14,000 video subscribers. Paul Bunyan is now using GPON to vie in highly competitive areas within its service region.

The Garden Valley Telephone Co. serves a base of more than 12,000 members and over 15,000 access lines in 24 exchanges.

CTC, a long time Calix FTTP customer serving more than 15,000 subscribers around the Brainerd area, delivers advanced voice, data, and IPTV services.

Data Connection Boosts Availability for IP Routing and MPLS Platforms

Data Connection Limited (DCL) introduced a software package for developers of switching and routing equipment that allows them to enhance the availability of the systems they develop while reducing software development time and costs.

The new Configuration Safe Store (DC-CSS) source code and toolkit is tightly coupled with Data Connection's IP routing and MPLS portable protocol solutions. It allows users to store multiple revisions of system configuration information to file, from where they can be manually or automatically retrieved. The user may select the automatic retrieval of a known configuration in the event of restarts, failures, or upgrades. In-service software upgrades and downgrades are handled seamlessly. Switchovers to a saved configuration file are handled gracefully, and only the affected system resources are restarted as necessary. DC-CSS also includes error handling and offline functions such as file type and version conversion.

RED-C and Proximion Team on EDFA Design Optimized for DCM

RED-C Optical Networks (RED-C) is working with Proximion on promoting an erbium doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) design optimized to take advantage of the unique properties of dispersion compensation module (DCM) technology. The companies said DCM technology based on Fiber Bragg Gratings enjoys a number of advantages relative to conventional dispersion compensating fiber (DCF), such as much reduced insertion loss, negligible optical delay, and high optical power tolerance. EDFAs optimized to take advantage of these properties offer significant cost savings and reduced footprint, as well as providing performance advantages with respect to noise figure and transient suppression.

RED-C is a supplier of integrated optical subsystems based on state-of-the-art optical amplification and monitoring technology.

Proximion specializes in dispersion compensation solutions. Proximion's DCM solutions include the continuous band DCM-CB, the high-value HDCM and new channelized DCM-ITU.

Avanex Ships 1X4 Wavelength Selective Switch (WSS)

Avanex announced the Telcordia Qualification and general availability of its "PowerRouter" 1x4 Wavelength Selective Switch (WSS). The 1x4 WSS enables the remote high-speed switching of any wavelength or any combination of wavelengths on a 100 GHz grid from any one of the input ports to the output port. The device is bi-directional so the input and output ports can be interchanged to operate in a 4x1 mode. The switching process is hitless (non-traffic affecting) and the device allows per-channel optical power balancing.

Ciena Completes Acquisition of World Wide Packets

Ciena completed its acquisition of World Wide Packets. The deal, which was first announced in January, included $196.7 million in cash and approximately 2.5 million shares of Ciena common stock. Ciena assumed all then-outstanding World Wide Packets stock options and substituted them for the right to acquire approximately 0.9 million shares of Ciena common stock. In addition, Ciena assumed $11.3 million in outstanding World Wide Packets debt. World Wide Packets will add approximately 180 employees to Ciena, and will continue to operate from its Spokane Valley, Wash. and San Jose, Calif. locations.

"This acquisition enables us to capitalize on our early leadership in converged Ethernet solutions by accelerating the implementation and time-to-market of our Carrier Ethernet portfolio, drawing in new customers and strengthening our position in existing accounts," said Gary Smith, Ciena president and CEO.
  • At the time the WWP deal was announced in January 2008, Ciena also announced today it has been awarded a multi-year contract with AT&T to supply the global carrier with WWP platforms. Financial terms of this contract were not disclosed, but Ciena described the contract as a multiyear deal to supply "flexible, highly-scalable Carrier Ethernet service delivery platforms."

Embarq Appoints Gerke its new CEO

Embarq has named Tom A. Gerke, 51, as its new CEO.

Since January 2007 he has led EMBARQ's Wholesale Markets business unit, while continuing to lead the company's legal, regulatory and external affairs functions. Before joining EMBARQ, in connection with its spin-off from Sprint Nextel, he held a variety of leadership roles at Sprint Nextel, including executive vice president and general counsel.
  • In December 2007, Sprint Nextel named Daniel R. Hesse, as its new president and CEO. He previously was chairman, president and CEO of Embarq, which was previously Sprint's Local Telecommunications Division. Hesse had been chairman and CEO since Embarq's inception in 2006. Prior to the formation of Embarq, he served as CEO of Sprint's Local Telecommunications Division for one year before the spin-off that created Embarq.

Global Crossing Wins IP Services Deal with UK's Revenue & Customs

Global Crossing will supply its hosted IP telephony service for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for the operation of all its telephony services across the UK, supporting 85,000 users. The service will be provided through an contract. HMRC staff throughout the UK will gradually migrate to this secure, hosted IP telephony service.

Broadcom Acquires Sunext Design for Blu-ray

Broadcom has acquired Sunext Design, a developer of high-definition of optical disk reader and writer technology, for up to $48 million in cash. The company is based in Sunnyvale, California.

Broadcom said Sunext's single-chip front-end technology is a strong complement to its own system-on-a-chip (SoC) back-end Blu-ray Disc platform and key to an integration roadmap that will drive the cost of these devices down to levels that enable widespread consumer adoption of high definition optical disc players and recorders.

Cavalier Bundles Hi-Speed Internet service with Google Apps

Cavalier Telephone, a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) operating in 16 states, announced the launch of its Hi-Speed Internet service with Google Apps. Cavalier is the first company in the communications industry to launch these services.

All of Cavalier's new and current Hi-Speed Internet subscribers will now have access to Google's tools. The services are powered by Google and offered as part of the Cavalier domain. Cavalier Internet offering delivers up to 15 Mbps speeds with typical customers getting over 8 Mbps.

Australia's NICTA Spins Out Network Monitoring Company

Australia's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence, NICTA, has spun out its fourth technology company in less than six years of operation, -- Monitoring Division Inc. The new company will be headquartered in Sunnyvale, California and will keep its R&D office in Melbourne, Australia. The company has just completed its first round of funding with Australian venture capital firm, Starfish Ventures, raising A$3.85 million. NICTA has participated in this round. NICTA will also provide intellectual property and world-class research services and facilities to Monitoring Division.

The company arose from the Managing and Monitoring the Internet (MAMI) Project, which was based out of NICTA's Victoria Research Laboratory. The MAMI Project developed technologies for measuring the performance of the Internet at both the physical transport and the protocol layers.

NICTA signed its first technology license agreement exploiting research in the MAMI Project in December with Optium, a leading supplier of high performance optical subsystems. The commercial license agreement was for a new generation optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR) monitoring technology that is compatible with next generation high-speed optical networks. OSNR is a key performance metric used to measure signal degradation. With this technology operators can substantially improve their ability to manage telecommunications networks.http://www.monitoringdivision.com

Microsoft Expands Online Services with Exchange and SharePoint

Microsoft announced an expansion of its online services for businesses of all sizes. The announcement marks a significant step for Microsoft toward expanding its software plus services strategy.

Based on Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, the new services enable businesses to access e-mail, calendaring, contacts, shared workspaces, and webconferencing and videoconferencing over the Web. The new services are managed through a single Web-based interface. A limited beta trial of the new services is now open for U.S.-based companies. The new services are scheduled to be generally available in the second half of the year.

"The combination of software plus services gives customers advanced choice and flexibility in how they access and manage software," Gates said. "With Microsoft Online Services, businesses can deploy software as a subscription service, from servers they manage on-site, or a combination of the two, depending on their specific needs. In the future, customers and partners should expect to see this kind of choice and flexibility for all of Microsoft's software and server products."