Sunday, May 18, 2008

One Minute Video: What is a Service Analyzer?

One Minute Video presented by Aswath Mohan -- What is a Service Analyzer?

Jargon Buster

One Minute Video: What is Service Assurance Testing?

One Minute Video presented by Thomas Maufer -- What is Service Assurance Testing?

Jargon Buster

What are Protocol Mutations?

One Minute Video presented by Thomas Maufer -- What are Protocol Mutations?

Jargon Buster

What are Protocol Mutations?

One Minute Video presented by Thomas Maufer -- What are Protocol Mutations?

Jargon Buster

One Minute Video: What is DOS/DDOS?

One Minute Video presented by Kowsik Guruswamy -- One Minute Video: What is DOS/DDOS?

Jargon Buster

Cisco/Ovum Study Projects Strong Growth for Managed Services

The market for the four leading managed IP-based services has a current compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18 percent and is expected to deliver revenues of US $66 billion by 2012, according to a new study commissioned by Cisco and carried out by Ovum. These four services are managed metro Ethernet, managed Internet Protocol (IP) Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), managed IP voice and managed security.

The multi-year study collected data from more than 1,300 individuals in companies using managed services in 14 countries across the Americas, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. The companies are in the finance, manufacturing, retail, government, healthcare and education markets.

Other key findings and conclusions from Ovum's study include the following:

  • Europe currently leads in the adoption of managed services, but will be overtaken by the North American market, which is expected grow to be the largest market in the world for managed services by 2012. Asia Pacific is projected to have the most rapid growth fueled by managed service adoption in India and China, with a CAGR estimated at 27 percent.

  • Customers who have adopted managed services are largely pleased with that decision, and they are enjoying lower costs and higher levels of support and availability than anticipated.

  • The current global market for managed IP VPN services is the largest among the managed services studied at US $17 billion.

  • By 2012, managed IP VPNs will remain the most widely deployed adopted service, though IP voice is the fastest-growing managed service with a 39 percent CAGR for the forecast period.

  • The manufacturing industry remains the vertical industry that uses the most managed services, followed by finance and retail. Government fell from third to fourth place in managed services adoption since the first report was published in February 2006.

  • Thirty-nine percent of the respondents said they would use "Cisco Powered" services if offered by their providers, in comparison to a total of 8 percent who said they would use services based on solutions from the next four most highly ranked networking vendors in the study.

  • Interest from end users in managed service bundles continues to grow, with more than 64 percent of respondents indicating that better, more intelligent, integrated managed service solutions would further incline them to purchase bundles.

"As IT and networks become ever more critical to business success, customers recognize the importance of uptime, security and performance in supporting critical applications," said Al Safarikas, senior director of marketing at Cisco. "The worldwide growth in managed services indicated by this study shows that businesses are recognizing that these can be successfully delivered by a managed service provider."

ZyXEL Selects BroadLight's E2E GPON Technology

ZyXEL Corporation has selected BroadLight's BL3458 GPON Quad OLT controller for a 16-port pizza box style OLT-1500 series and its BL2338ONT SoC for its GPON + VDSL2 MDU pizza box style ONT. The new ZyXEL OLT takes advantage of the BL3458's ultra low-power and high density allowing GPON to be deployed in a variety of applications. This form factor and density of 16 ports in 1 rack unit significantly lowers first-in equipment cost incurred by service providers and increases the number of subscribers serviced per box to 2048.http://www.broadlight.com

Cox Selects Juniper for Converged Metro Ethernet Infrastructure

Cox Communications has selected Juniper Networks' MX-series Ethernet Services Routers as part of a multi-year project to expand the capacity and scale of its metro regional networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cox is transitioning toward a converged network architecture hub design combining voice, video, and data traffic, and has selected the Juniper MX960 as the basis for this transformation. Specifically, the Juniper Networks MX960 Ethernet Services Router, which delivers up to 960 Gbps of switching and routing capacity, will be deployed in Cox's metro hubs and regional data centers (RDCs).

"Juniper Networks routers have been deployed in our metro and national backbone network for years, and have helped Cox consistently deliver superior performance, reliability and security for residential and business customers," said Matt Hayes, director of network engineering, Cox Communications.

Orange Launches Voice/Data Roaming Offers: Favourite Countries, Travel Data Daily

Orange launched two voice and data roaming offers for both consumer and business customers across its European network.

The new voice roaming offer, Favourite Countries, is aimed at frequent international travelers or those that live or operate on borders. Customers are charged an upfront monthly fee - EUR5 (EUR4.18 ex. VAT) in France for example and there are no hidden charges. Customers simply select a country or countries of their choice from a list of eligible countries and then benefit from discounted or national rates when calling anywhere in the EU from those countries. Favourite Countries is expected to deliver price reductions of between 18 and 60% off the regulated Eurotariff (outgoing rates), regardless of the network that the customer is roaming on.

The second new addition to the roaming portfolio, Travel Data Daily makes it simpler and more affordable for occasional data roamers to access their emails and browse the web on their laptop or mobile device when travelling abroad. With Travel Data Daily, customers pay a fixed price removing the need to choose between standard roaming, hotspot or hotel charges. One upfront fee makes the offer simple, good value and predictable. The fixed price of Travel Data Daily will range from EUR12-15 (inc. VAT) for 50 Mb for daily internet access within the EU. Travel Data Daily is expected to provide up to 90% savings for customers on standard data roaming prices. The offer will be rolled out across the summer months in UK, France, Spain, Poland, Belgium and Romania and by the end of the year in Slovakia.
  • Current EU Roaming Regulation requires operators to offer customers a "Eurotariff" for voice calls when roaming in other Member States and introduced ceilings (excl. VAT) of €0.49 per minute for making calls and €0.24 per minute for receiving calls. These will decrease to €0.46 and €0.22 respectively on 30 August 2008 and to €0.43 and €0.19 on 30 August 2009. At the end of September 2007, over 400 million EU citizens could already benefit from a "Eurotariff".

On2 Claims 40% Improvement for VP6 Video Quality for Flash

On2 Technologies announced significant improvements to the On2 VP6 video technology used in Adobe Flash 8 and 9 and Flash Lite 3. Achieving a substantial increase to the quality of encoded video, in some cases as much as 40%, content encoded with the new On2 VP6 technology is fully compatible with the existing decoder used in Flash player. The improvements will be introduced as a free upgrade to the On2 Flix suite of encoding and publishing tools for Flash video.

On2 said the improvements follow the recent introduction of for the new VP6-S profile in Flash Player 9. Targeted for HD, encoded video in this profile requires up to 30% less CPU power to playback. For content owners planning to deliver HD to desktops, this means a much larger addressable market as even a 1.7GHz Pentium 4 can playback 720p HD video stutter-free. With this announcement, all profiles of On2 VP6 will experience quality improvements.

A second On2 VP6 improvement release is planned for later this year and will focus on dramatic speed improvements in the VP6 encoder.

CableLabs Tests Switched Digital Video from TiVo, Motorola and Cisco

TiVo, Motorola and Cisco have submitted switched digital video equipment for formal testing at CableLabs.

Motorola and Cisco have both developed external tuning adapters and are seeking qualification by CableLabs before being delivered to cable operators for deployment. The tuning adapters are expected to be offered in the coming months by cable operators including Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, and Cablevision in areas where switched digital technology is being deployed.

The tuning adapter will enable TiVo Series3, TiVo HD DVRs, and certain other one-way digital cable ready consumer electronic devices that utilize CableCARDs to access digital cable channels delivered using switched digital technology. TiVo has modified its software for its TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD DVRs to communicate with the external Tuning Adapter.

The cable operators and TiVo plan to work cooperatively to alert TiVo subscribers about the availability or need of the new external adapter and to ensure that installation of the adapter and CableCARDs will be easy and seamless for the consumer.

"We are pleased with the focus and cooperation that CableLabs and the cable industry has exhibited from the outset and are eager to see this solution through to fruition so that customers can enjoy access to all switched digital cable channels," said TiVo CEO & President Tom Rogers. "This undertaking is a significant step forward in our ongoing relationship with the cable industry to develop technology and provide solutions that improve the television experience of cable subscribers."

Tektronix Offers Ultra-Wideband (UWB) WiMedia Test Expertise

Tektronix is introducing Ultra-Wideband (UWB) WiMedia PHY test methodologies to help developer capture, and analyze high speed RF signals. The company also released a new version of UWB Analysis software for its DSA/DPO70000 series oscilloscopes. The new WiMedia Methods of Implementation (MOI) offers a step-by-step test methodology for the new Ultra-Wideband (UWB) WiMedia PHY Test Specification Version 1.2 release.

For UWB WiMedia radios using MB-OFDM technology for Certified Wireless USB, next generation Bluetooth, WiNet and Wireless FireWire (IEEE1394) applications, Tektronix UWB Analysis software reads the digital information from the RF waveform to determine the demodulation method on a packet-by-packet basis. By reading the digital information from the RF waveforms, UWB Analysis automatically determines which demodulation method is used, data rates, time frequency coding, the pass/fail test limits, and constellation type that is then displayed. Detection and analysis is done on each packet from the RF content, greatly simplifying setup and speeding analysis and compliance tests.

Verizon Business Expands its Help Desk Capabilities

Verizon Business is opening a new customer service and support center

in Tulsa, Oklahoma to accommodate growing customer demand for its end-user help desk services. Verizon Business 24 x 7 help desk services enable companies to outsource this function. The company is currently handling more than 2.5 million help desk calls per year and anticipates significant ongoing growth.

The new center will boost Verizon Business' overall ability to handle calls for technical support by more than doubling the capacity of its current help desk operations, while enhancing system redundancy. The new facility has capacity for 400 highly trained consultants, who serve as the first point of contact for callers, helping to resolve issues with personal computers and handheld devices such as a Blackberry.

Texas Instruments extends Puma 5 DOCSIS 3.0 Chipsets

Texas Instruments announced a new DOCSIS 3.0 chipset that supports cable set-top-boxes (STB) with both MPEG-TS (transport stream) and Internet Protocol (IP) capabilities. This provides equipment manufacturers with the ability to create a new breed of hybrid STB products.

The new Puma 5 TNETC4820, which builds upon TI's current portfolio of DOCSIS 3.0 compliant products, is compatible with both legacy QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) cable video and IP-based data streams, and can function either as a transport or video gateway into the residence. Supporting both STB and gateway solutions, the TNETC4820 helps operators change the way end-consumers receive video to the home and distribute video inside the digital home by allowing operators to deliver video over IP concurrently with their current video over MPEG distribution system. To provide further value, Puma 5 based video gateways have the ability to translate any video signal into an IP message allowing operators to deliver video through home networking technology to low-cost STBs. This flexibility allows the equipment to accept legacy video, IP data or both from the network and distribute multiple channels throughout the home. As a result, operators can rapidly roll-out new multimedia services like IPTV as marketplace demand continues to grow.

In addition, the TNETC4820 takes advantage of a scalable multimedia processing architecture which includes video input/output (I/O) capabilities for easy expansion and enhancement of the system's video handling facilities. The device's configurable DOCSIS 3.0 subsystem can support as many as four upstream and up to 8 downstream channels, or various combinations of DOCSIS and/or MPEG video channels. The TNETC4820's video I/O facilities allow the number of downstream channels to be easily scaled upward to as many as eight.

Seagate's "Showcase" Provide Terabytes of External Storage for DVRs

Seagate is introducing a line of "Showcase" external storage devices designed for use with DVRs and media centers. With initial capacities up to 1TB, consumers will be able to keep up to 200 hours of additional HD movies or 1,000 hours of additional standard definition television. The devices will feature USB 2.0 and eSATA interfaces. Seagate also announced that the Showcase family of products will be designed to be compatible with Motorola's e-SATA capable high-definition (HD) digital video recorder (DVR) set-top portfolio. Commercial release is expected in Q3.

Atheros and TI Collaborate on Wi-Fi Cable Modem Gateways

Atheros Communications' XSPAN 802.11n single and dual-band options and its popular 802.11g solutions now support Texas Instruments' (TI) next-generation, wireless-enabled cable modem gateway platform. The new reference designs are the first in a series based on Atheros' Wi-Fi and TI's Puma 5 family of DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem chipsets.

Atheros' XSPAN system-on-chip solutions provide a rich set of features to the Puma 5 platform including an integrated, high-performance, wireless network processor (WNPU) 400 MHz subsystem, which gives significant offload capabilities to the cable modem's host CPU resulting in higher throughput. The XSPAN family features a triple-radio MIMO design for whole home coverage.

Pace Announces MPEG-4 Set-Top Boxes for Cable

Pace Micro Technology introduced a new family of MPEG-4 advanced video compression set-top boxes for cable operators in North and South America. The new STBs support various video compression formats including MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, while enabling operators to deliver content via SDV (switched digital video), ADS (all digital simulcast) or a pure all-digital network. The gear offers embedded support for IP content delivery using DOCSIS channel bonding and support for "tru2way" (OCAP). Pace said it can ensure compatibility with existing networks, encryption, out of band signaling, VOD, SVOD, switched digital video, and billing systems.

Mu Dynamics Targets Proactive Service Assurance, Raises New Funding

Mu Dynamics (formerly Mu Security), a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, closed $10 million in Series C funding for its work proactive service assurance for network operators and their vendors. Studies from Network Strategy Partners (NSP) and others put the cost of downtime for a large service provider network in excess of $100,000 per hour. Mu Dynamics is offering a service assurance analyzer at aimed at minimizing service/network downtime by testing for vulnerabilities.

Mu Dynamics is also introducing a breakthrough Denial of Service (DoS) Module for its Mu-4000 appliance. The new module enables service providers to proactively identify and eliminate service, application and network downtime caused by DoS and Distributed DoS attacks.
Mu's new DoS Module for the Mu-4000 system helps service providers, equipment vendors and enterprise IT departments assess their exposure to poorly "hardened" networked services and systems that could become unreachable or unusable under unintentional or malicious Denial of Service attacks. The Module is pre-loaded with more than 40 customizable Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) templates including "Slammer Worm," "SIP Invite/Register," and "OSPF Hello" to model any networked application, product or service for known DoS and Distributed (DDoS) attacks. The Mu module also exposes the underlying software weaknesses or flaws that make networked applications subject to new forms of attack.

Mu said that unlike other solutions, its platform allows users to customize Layer 2-4 protocols and application-level services being targeted, as well as the packet payloads, and the attack rate and patterns. The DoS Module also automatically alters certain fields, such as source and destination ports and addresses, and performs other randomizations to ensure tests are as rigorous as possible. The solution uniquely allows any service of interest to be independently monitored while the system is concurrently stressed with D/DoS attacks. For example, the impact on an independent service like HTTP can be monitored while a server on a network is being attacked with a SIP Invite/Register Flood. The automation elements throughout the Mu solution constantly monitors and records system behavior during the test to produce repeatable, actionable results that can be used to remediate any weaknesses discovered.

The new financing was led by Focus Ventures and previous investors Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital and DAG Ventures. Mu now claims more than 100 active deployments worldwide.

ShoreTel Refines Unified Communications with Release 8.0

ShoreTel has continued to refine its unified communications system with release 8.0, featuring new Scalable Video Coding (SVC) capabilities and other collaboration enhancements. ShoreTel also announced two new energy-efficient voice switches and the certification of several ShoreTel technology partners on the new version.

Refinements to the company's ShoreWare Call Manager include tabbed windows that make users more productive by making it easier and faster to access voicemail, call history, directories and the speed dial list. The system also offers more intuitive call control features, anticipating user needs and presenting productivity-enhancing information and tools based on the situation. For example, when a user starts a call transfer, the phone status of the called party is shown in real time, letting the caller decide whether or not to proceed with the transfer.

ShoreTel's new ShoreWare Professional Call Manager supports high-quality video (up to 640x480 resolution and up to 30 frames per second). with support for SVC. The Professional Call Manager also provides presence information and consolidates instant messaging with voice, video and email.

ShoreTel's unified communications system also now includes built-in support for SIP endpoints, devices, and applications that comply with RFC 3261.

ShoreTel's new ShoreGear 30 voice switch is targeted at branch locations with up to 10 users and can be reconfigured to support up to 30 IP phones, or to support SIP trunks or devices. The ShoreGear 24A voice switch supports the need for higher density analog phone deployments. It provides 24 analog ports and can be configured to support multi-party conference calls. ShoreTel said its voice switches use significantly less power, require less cooling, have a longer useful life, and take up less space than competing solutions.