Monday, September 15, 2008

TerreStar Sells Remaining Interest in SkyTerra for $123 MM

TerreStar Corporation sold its remaining 29,926,074 shares of non-voting common stock of SkyTerra Communications for a total of approximately $123 million in a series of transactions.

"We are pleased that this working capital and increased liquidity helps stabilize our financial position into 2010 -- especially in the face of today's tight credit markets," said William M. Freeman, Chairman of the Board, TerreStar. "With the proceeds of this transaction, we have the opportunity to strengthen the fundamentals of TerreStar, to develop and implement additional revenue generation opportunities with key partners and to ultimately enhance shareholder value."

"TerreStar plans to empower its partners and customers to offer a reliable and secure mobile broadband network to homeland defense and public safety organizations, rural and under-served markets, maritime industry, machine-to-machine communications providers, and to consumer focused voice, data and video businesses interested in ‘anywhere' coverage throughout North America," said Jeffrey Epstein, President, TerreStar. "This additional cash infusion will help us deliver our vision of the nation's first IP-enabled integrated satellite-terrestrial mobile broadband network."

John Chambers: Building the Next Generation Company

Once again, organizations must undertake a complete transformation in the way they are run -- everything from how products are designed/developed to how best to interface with customers/users -- said John Chambers, Cisco's Chairman and CEO, speaking at the company's Financial Analyst Conference. Much like in the late 1990s, new technologies will drive the next decade of productivity growth on global basis. Chambers said Cisco intends to lead by example, leveraging Web 2.0 collaboration technologies to transform its business model. He noted that two-thirds of his customer contacts are now done via telepresence.

The next phase of growth is also characterized by tremendous loads on the network. Chambers expects 100% to 300% annual growth in traffic loads. The challenge for Service Providers is how to monetize it.

Chambers argues that Cisco is best positioned to lead the market in this process of business transformation because it has an architecture based on an integrated set of hardware, software, silicon and services to enable the "network as a platform." Web 2.0 technologies enabled by the "network as a platform" include such things as WebEx, Facebook, Video Blogs, YouTube, TelePresence, Second Life, Wikis, Twitter and Pownce. Cisco is trying to bring all these forms of collaboration into its own business.

An archived webcast is online.

Freescale to Acquire Intoto for Multicore Software Development

Freescale Semiconductor has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Intoto, a company based in Santa Clara, California that develops software for networking and communications equipment manufacturers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Freescale said it intends to apply Intoto's technology and talent to create high-performance applications and software components optimized to improve system performance, streamline development and enhance software support for its QorIQ multicore communications platforms. QorIQ platforms are Freescale's new brand of communications processors designed to take embedded multicore to new levels of adoption.http://www.freescale.com

Cisco Releases 8 Gbps Fibre Channel Switch Modules

Cisco introduced a number of storage area network (SAN) products for extending its vision for Data Center 3.0. The new Cisco SAN technology includes three Cisco MDS 9000 Family 8-Gigabit-per-second (8-Gbps) Fibre Channel switching modules and new capabilities in Cisco's SAN operating system, which has been re-branded NX-OS.

The three new 8-Gbps Fibre Channel SAN switch modules are compatible with all Cisco MDS 9500 Series Multilayer Directors, SAN administrators can help protect their existing investments in 2-Gbps and 4-Gbps storage infrastructure and gradually phase in 8-Gbps technology as their network demands it. The new modules also address growing enterprise security and compliance requirements by delivering transparent, hardware-based, line-rate encryption of Fibre Channel data in motion between any Cisco MDS 9000 family 8-Gbps modules. The new Cisco modules include:

  • Cisco 24-Port 8-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Module -- this module delivers up to 192-Gbps of full-duplex bandwidth to connect high-end storage subsystems and for Inter Switch Link (ISL) connectivity between switches. The module provides multiprotocol capability for mainframe connectivity and Cisco Virtual SANs (VSANs) for hardware-based separation of Fibre Channel and FICON traffic.

  • Cisco 48-Port 8-Gbps Fibre Channel Switching Module. With forty-eight auto-sensing 1/2/4/8-Gbps ports this module delivers 192 Gbps of full-duplex bandwidth, providing a balance of performance and scalability to connect highly virtualized servers in enterprise-class data centers.

  • Cisco 4/44-Port 8-Gbps Host-Optimized Fibre Channel Switching Module. With four 8-Gbps ports and forty-four 4-Gbps ports, this high-density module provides a cost effective solution to consolidate standard servers with fewer SAN switches, often eliminating the need for a core-edge SAN topology.

Cisco Partners with VMware on Data Center Virtualization

Cisco and VMware are collaborating on data center solutions designed to improve the scalability and operational control of virtual environments. Specifically, the Cisco Nexus 1000V distributed virtual software switch is expected to be an integrated option in VMware Infrastructure.

The Cisco Nexus 1000V distributed virtual software switch aims to simplify the operations of both physical and virtual networking infrastructures to help server, virtualization and networking administration managers accelerate data center virtualization. The Nexus 1000V will extend Cisco's security, policy enforcement, automated provisioning and diagnostics features into dynamic VMware environments that will be able to scale to thousands of live virtual machines. In this highly agile environment, the new Cisco Virtual Network Link (VN-Link) technology on the Nexus 1000V will integrate with VMware's vNetwork Distributed Switch framework to create a logical network infrastructure that will provide full visibility, control and consistency of the network.

The companies will also combine their expertise in networking and virtualization to introduce a new set of multidisciplinary professional services and reseller certification training in support of customers' data center virtualization strategies. In parallel, Cisco and VMware are collaborating on integrating VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions with Cisco Application Delivery Networking solutions to improve the performance of virtual desktops delivered across wide-area networks (WANs). The companies also jointly offer virtualization consulting services to help customers create and deploy server, network and storage virtualization solutions across their data center that reduce costs by provisioning new applications quickly and more safely, while maintaining high levels of application performance.
  • In April, Cisco unveiled its Nexus 5000 Series of data center-class switches, a major step towards the company's vision of a Unified Fabric for the Server Access Layer. In conjunction with the product announcement, Cisco announced that it had acquired the remaining 20% equity share it did not already hold in its subsidiary Nuova Systems, a start-up that developed the switch.

    The Cisco Nexus 5000 Series switch delivers line-rate, low-latency, 10 Gigabit Ethernet switching, as well as the industry's first standards-based, input/output (I/O) consolidation solution via support for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), Data Center Ethernet and virtualization technologies. The switch is an extension to the Cisco Nexus family designed to support increasing I/O demands of multicore processors and virtualized environments.

  • In January, Cisco unveiled its the next generation, flagship data center-class switching platform for combining Ethernet, IP, and storage capabilities across one unified network fabric. The Cisco Nexus 7000 Series, which sets forth the company's Data Center 3.0 vision, represents the culmination of over $1 billion in R&D, according to the company. The platform is designed for next generation data center infrastructure deployments of virtualized servers, storage, networks and applications.Using a unified fabric would eliminate the need for parallel storage and computational networks, reducing the number of server interfaces and significantly reducing the cabling and switching infrastructure required in the data center. At the heart of the network is a lossless unified switching fabric capable of simultaneously forwarding storage, Ethernet, and IP traffic. Cisco's Nexus 7000 is a scalable modular platform that delivers up to 15 terabits per second (Tbps_ of switching capacity in a single chassis, supporting up to 512 10 Gbps Ethernet and future delivery of 40- and 100-Gbps Ethernet.

Texas Instruments Partners with Ittiam for IP Video Phone Solution

Texas Instruments and Ittiam Systems are developing a customizable and scalable IP video phone solution based on TI's system-on-a-chip (SoC) and software, allowing equipment manufacturers who are building IP phones to introduce video phone products into their portfolio.

The solution combines TI's existing Gigabit Ethernet IP phone platform with Telogy Software for VoIP, TI DaVinci technology, and Ittiam's video engine software.

Microsoft Completes Acquisition of DATAllegro

Microsoft closed its acquisition of DATAllegro, a supplier of data warehouse appliances, for an undisclosed sum.

Microsoft said it will offer a new solution based on DATAllegro's technology that extends SQL Server to scale into hundreds of terabytes of data. The company will begin giving customers and partners early access to the combined solution through community technology previews (CTPs) within the next 12 months, with full product availability scheduled for the first half of calendar year 2010.
  • In May 2008, DATAllegro announced the closing of its “Series D�? round of funding totaling $19.6 million. The round was led by an affiliate of the Hillman Company. All other venture capital groups from previous rounds of funding, including Adams Capital Management, Focus Ventures, Intel Capital, JAFCO Ventures, Palomar Ventures and Venrock Associates, met or exceeded their pro rata.

Verizon and Nokia Siemens Network Report on 100G field trial

Verizon Business, in conjunction with Nokia Siemens Networks, completed a field trial earlier this year that involved the transmission of wavelength channels carrying multiple data rates (10 Gbps, 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps) over 1,040 kilometers on deployed fiber. A paper on the trial, which occurred in March 2008, is being presented at the European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC). TU Eindhoven and the University of the German Federal Armed Forces in Munich also contributed to the paper.

The field trial involved the insertion of 111 Gbps channels in spectral positions that were adjacent to other channels carrying 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps data rates, with a line system that had only been designed for 10 Gbps transmission. The 111 Gbps used advanced optical techniques allowing a 100 Gbps data channel to occupy a very narrow spectral width and to accommodate spacing between channels of only 50 GHz, resulting in a total useable capacity of 80 channels. The companies said their trial also demonstrated that 100 Gbps traffic can be simultaneously transported with any mix of 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps on a typical 80-channel system. As a result, current network configurations can support capacity upgrades to 100 Gbps on existing routes over similar distances without modification to the physical network, providing quicker and more cost effective implementation.http://www.nsn.com

Meraki Expands Free Public Wi-Fi in San Francisco

Meraki announced a company milestone -- its free Wi-Fi network is present in 80% of San Francisco's major neighborhoods and that it is on track to complete its mission to "unwire" San Francisco by the end of the year. Additionally, the company plans to add wireless coverage to dozens of affordable housing and senior centers throughout the city by the end of the year providing access to thousands of residents.

For 2009, Meraki anticipates deepening coverage of its "Free the Net" in San Francisco.
  • In January 2008, Meraki, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, raised $20 million in Series B funding of from Sequoia Capital, DAG Ventures, Northgate Capital and other existing investors for its municipal wireless networking plans. Meraki said it is pioneering networking technologies to bring the next billion people online. The company offers a low-cost, easy-to-install and use, wireless mesh technology that enables consumers to cover their homes, apartment complexes and entire communities. The technology creates a wireless network by combining signals from hundreds or thousands of low-power radio repeaters installed on rooftops, balconies and windows, extending WiFi access to city residents in their homes and businesses. Through communication with Meraki central servers and intelligence worked into every repeater, each point in the network is automatically optimized for speed and performance without any maintenance required of users. The backbone of the San Francisco network will be built using hundreds of small solar-powered distribution points, installed on residential and commercial rooftops -- enabling quick installation and reliable operation. As the network extends into new neighborhoods, Meraki will offer San Francisco residents free repeaters that will bring a high-speed, broadband signal into their homes while strengthening the network and providing coverage to neighbors. A repeater is not required to receive wireless access, residents may simply hop on the free network provided by repeaters throughout the neighborhood.

XO Picks Ciena's CN 4200 to Enhance Metro Transport

XO Communications has selected Ciena's CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform to support the delivery of its optical metro transport services. XO Communications will utilize Ciena's CN 4200 in its metro networks nationwide to support the aggregation and transport of high-capacity services. In addition, XO Communications is now a designated Managed Services Provider (MSP) partner within Ciena's BizConnect global partner program.
  • In January 2008, Ciena announced new G10 and G10X Ethernet Service Modules that deliver Layer 2 Ethernet aggregation, switching and transport capabilities on to the company's CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform family. Targeted applications for the CN 4200 with new Layer 2 Ethernet aggregation and switching capabilities include Metro Ethernet Forum-based Carrier Ethernet services, broadband aggregation for triple play and IPTV services and 3G wireless backhaul.

  • Ciena's CN 4200 is a WDM transport platform that offers on-demand programmability and support for any service. The CN 4200 platform allows network operators to groom, switch, and transpond a diverse range of client services, such as OC-3/12/48 and STM-1/4/16, GbE, Fibre Channel, FICON, and ESCON into higher-speed 2.7 Gbps (OTU-1), 10.7 Gbps (OTU-2), and 43 Gbps (OTU-3) transport streams. In addition, an "RS" chassis can function as a multi-degree Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM).