Monday, February 22, 2010

Gigamon Adds Packet Modification to its Data Tap Switch

Gigamon, a start-up based in Milpitas, California, has added unique 10 Gbps packet modification technology to its GigaVUE-2404 data access switch. The Gigamon switch platform provides data access span ports for monitoring complex and remote networks. The switch aggregates, filters and replicates customized data streams to all monitoring tools.

New software "GigaSMART" software leverages 10 Gbps, full line-rate packet modification technology to offer time stamping, network port labeling, slicing and masking capabilities. These capabilities provide flexibility and security in front of the range of monitoring tools that a network operator might deploy. Existing filters within the GigaVUE-2404 also allow GigaSMART to pin down a subset of traffic for advanced modification.

"Up to now, GigaVUE faithfully transferred packets from the network to the monitoring tools exactly as they appeared on the network," explained Gigamon Co-founder Tom Gallatin. "But in some cases, the monitoring tools will perform more efficiently by eliminating unwanted content, or by adding source or timing information only available at the point of collection, or by hiding confidential information like passwords, financial accounts, or medical data, keeping it away from users who 'don't really need-to-know.' GigaSMART can deliver all this - and more - at 10-Gig full line-rate."

  • Time Stamping of packets provides effective way to troubleshoot and measure application response times, jitter or latency. As the packets flow into GigaVUE, they are time stamped at line-rate, taking place as close to the network as possible, resulting in a permanent time record that remains with the packet for subsequent analysis, such as jitter or latency measurements, at a more convenient time.

  • Packet Slicing can reduce packet size to increase processing and monitoring throughput, optimizing the tools' ability to crunch data. The reduction in packet size can enable more data storage in a recorder application, leaving only the most vital part of the payload.

  • Packet Masking -- even when encrypted, a packet can often still carry private information that can be seen by the tools connected to the network, leading to security vulnerability and compliance threats. A simple mask over this private information increases security and compliance without impact to the monitoring tasks. GigaSMART's customizable masking feature allows any private information within the packet to be masked, keeping the information private while the network tools and the network engineers do their jobs. Gigamon said masking is an especially desirable feature for the financial, insurance and healthcare verticals, because every network has private or sensitive information on it; as packets travel through tools, masking will keep private information private.
  • Earlier this month, Gigamon announced that it had raised $22.8 million from Highland Capital Partners in its first institutional financing to support its data access switching product line.

Palo Alto Networks Fine Tunes its Firewall for App Identification

Palo Alto Networks released new software for its security appliance that combines three identification technologies to provide the necessary visibility and control over applications, users and content. All of the required functionality resides in the firewall, such that a single network device can accurately identify applications, scan content to stop threats and prevent data leakage.

Enhancements in PAN-OS 3.1 software include:

  • App-ID has a new function-based hierarchy (versus a flat structure) for better control over application enablement. The company said this means organizations can easily enable an application and disable certain functions - like enabling Facebook while disabling Facebook apps. This new hierarchical structure in PAN-OS 3.1 allows more powerful, finer-grained policies that are easier to manage.

    Palo Alto Networks has previously said it can identify and control over 900 different applications.

  • User-ID now offers pervasive coverage with support for LDAP directories such as eDirectory and OpenLDAP, in addition to Microsoft Active Directory, so IT managers can link application traffic to specific users and groups - not just IP addresses. User-ID also now features an API for integration with other repositories. User-ID is
    unique in the firewall market in its ability to provide enterprises with both visibility and policy control of users and groups.

  • Content-ID offers even better protection with daily threat signature releases as well as the ability to customize threat signatures for specific applications and vulnerabilities. Additionally, because threat developers continue to exploit the Web 2.0 movement, Palo Alto Networks has added protections against JavaScript and HTML viruses to
    Content-ID in PAN-OS 3.1. As a result, Content-ID is a more powerful, real-time threat prevention engine that detects and blocks a wide range of threats, limits unauthorized transfer of files and data, and controls non-work related Web surfing.
  • In August 2008, Palo Alto Networks, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, secured $27 million in Series C financing for its next-gen firewalls for enterprises. Lehman Brothers Venture Partners led the oversubscribed round, with participation from existing investors Globespan Capital Partners, Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital. The new funds will be used to support the company's rapid growth by further expanding sales, marketing and customer service initiatives.
    # Palo Alto Networks was founded by Nir Zuk (CTO), Rajiv Batra (VP of Engineering) and Yuming Mao (Chief Architect). Zuk was previously CTO at NetScreen Technologies, which was acquired by Juniper Networks in 2004. Prior to NetScreen, Nir was co-founder and CTO at OneSecure, a pioneer in intrusion prevention and detection appliances. Nir was also a principal engineer at Check Point Software Technologies and was one of the developers of stateful inspection technology.

    Batra previously was the Vice President of Engineering at Peribit, which was acquired by Juniper Networks in 2005. He also co-founded VitalSigns Software and served as Vice President of Engineering at Bay Networks.

    Mao previously was Chief Architect and a Distinguished Engineer at Juniper Networks, which he joined through the NetScreen Technologies acquisition. At NetScreen, he was one of the initial engineering architects.

Occam Supplies Broadband Infrastructure for Micronesia

The Federated States of Micronesia Telecommunications Corporation (FSMTC) has selected Occam Networks for a major network upgrade enabling wireline broadband service to the main population centers of the islands.

Prior to the deployment of Occam's BLC 6000 MSAP solution, FSMTC offered Internet services through T1 access, dial-up and WiFi. While Pohnpei is the first island in the federation to be connected to the submarine fiber cable, a combination of smart solutions and Occam's MSAP equipment will be deployed in all states. FSMTC will offer DSL to business and residential areas, and VDSL2 to larger businesses. Future plans call for Gigabit Ethernet FTTP in select deployments. Financial terms were not disclosed.

U.S. Senate Examines Energy Efficiency in Communications - Sprint

A U.S. Senate Committee heard testimony on Improving Energy Efficiency Through Technology and Communications Innovation. Witnesses included Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint Nextel; Adrian Tuck, Chief Executive Officer, Tendril Networks; Kathrin Winkler, Chief Sustainability Officer, EMC2 Corporation; and Lorie Wigle, General Manager, Eco-Technology Program Office, Intel Corporation.

Some notes from the testimony:

  • Sprint has expanded its commitment to green-power use, recently announcing an agreement with Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) that facilitated the building of the Spearville, KS Wind Farm. As part of that agreement, Sprint agreed to purchase 87M kilowatt hours per year for its 200-acre Overland Park, KS, headquarters campus from
    KCP&L via the Spearville, KS wind farm.

  • Sprint's network consumes approximately 80 percent of its total corporate-energy use.

  • Sprint has a partnership with the Department of Energy to conduct alternative-energy research and
    currently works with two national laboratories -- Sandia in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. Their projects include energy storage and photovoltaic-panel research.

  • Sprint has already deployed more than 250 hydrogen fuel cells at cell sites, with more installations planned. Sprint is also using solar-powered energy at cell sites in California and New York.

  • Sprint has committed to absolutely reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2017 and to increase its use of renewable energy to 10 percent by 2017.

  • Over a 20-month period, Sprint has significantly reduced its IT based power consumption by retiring more than 3,850 servers.

  • Sprint is launching a new, vastly expanded wireless handset buyback program that offers a financial incentive, in the form of instant account credit, to current and new Sprint customers who turn in up to three eligible wireless devices.

  • In June 2009, Intel hosted an IEEE meeting in Santa Clara that brought in energy industry experts to discuss creation of open smart grid standards.

An archived webcast is online.

FCC Confirms March 16 for National Broadband Plan

The FCC has scheduled an Open Meeting on March 16 to present its National Broadband Plan. The Commission will vote on a Broadband Mission Statement, containing goals for U.S. broadband policy.

FCC Survey: 93 Million Americans without Broadband

A total of 93 million Americans -- one-third of the country -- are not connected to high-speed Internet at home, according to the FCC's newly-published National Broadband Plan Consumer Survey. This includes approximately 80
million adults and 13 million children over the age of five.

The survey identifies three main barriers to adoption:

  • Affordability: 36 percent of non-adopters, or 28 million adults, said they do not have home
    broadband because the monthly fee is too expensive (15 percent), they cannot afford a computer,
    the installation fee is too high (10 percent), or they do not want to enter into a long-term service
    contract (9 percent). According to survey respondents, their average monthly broadband bill is

  • Digital Literacy: 22 percent of non-adopters, or 17 million adults, indicated that they do not have
    home broadband because they lack the digital skills (12 percent) or they are concerned about
    potential hazards of online life, such as exposure to inappropriate content or security of personal
    information (10 percent).

  • Relevance: 19 percent of non-adopters, or 15 million adults, said they do not have broadband
    because they say that the Internet is a waste of time, there is no online content of interest to them
    or, for dial-up users, they are content with their current service.

The survey also found that non-adopters usually have more than one barrier that keeps them from having
broadband service at home. Over half of non-adopters, when selecting from a menu of possible barriers to
adoption, chose three or more. For example, more than half of non-adopters who cited cost also listed
reasons relating to digital literacy or relevance.

The full study is online.

IBM Partners with BLADE Network Technologies in FCoE

BLADE Network Technologies introduced an integrated Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) solution inside a blade chassis. This single-chassis FCoE solution is based on IBM BladeCenter H equipped with BLADE's BNT Virtual Fabric 10G Switch Module and QLogic Virtual Fabric Extension Module and Converged Network Adapters.

BLADE's FCoE-ready switch is a key element of the company's Unified FabricArchitecture (UFA). The goal is to tie together best-of-breed servers, storage, hypervisors and core networking systems into a virtual machine aware data center networking platform.

The new solution converts CEE (Converged Enhanced Ethernet) packets to native Fibre Channel, so IBM BladeCenter customers can directly attach to their existing storage targets without any impact to their SAN infrastructure. The lossless, low-latency, low-power and low-cost BLADE switch performs at 10G line-rate throughput with no packet loss as required by Fibre FCoE and the CEE standards for open unified networking.

BLADE Network Technologies calculates that its integrated FCoE solution is 3x less expensive, 2x more energy efficient and requires no cabling between the switch and the gateway compared with external top-of-rack gateway designs. This switch for IBM BladeCenter consumes less power than a standard light bulb -- up to 75 percent less than external switches -- and supports BLADE's VMready software for Virtual Machine-aware networking.

Alcatel-Lucent Cites Market Gains in IP Service Provider Routers

Alcatel-Lucent gained almost five percentage points of market share in 2009, solidifying its number two position in the "edge" segment with over 20 percent market share, according to figures from Dell'Oro Group cited by the company. Alcatel-Lucent was also the only one of the three leading router vendors to gain share in the overall service provider router market, with an increase of almost four percentage points in 2009.

"The service provider edge is where operators define and deliver services for residential, mobile and business customers, making it a key focus for capital investment, despite the tough economic environment throughout 2009. This is the market opportunity that Alcatel-Lucent's service router portfolio is ideally suited to address, and the reason we've taken another five points of market share in the last year," said Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel-Lucent's IP Activities and head of carrier portfolio strategy. http://www.alcatel-lucent.comhttp://

Tata Communications Picks Tyco for TGN Gulf Cable

Tyco Telecommunications has been selected for the construction of the TGN Gulf cable system, a new state-of-the-art undersea network slated for completion during 2011. It will connect countries in the region to the rest of the world via the Tata Global Network (TGN).

Tata Communications' partners in the TGN Gulf project include Bahrain Internet Exchange in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Nawras of Oman, Qatar Telecom of Qatar, Mobily of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates. Tata Communications and its partners intend to build on this cable project as part of strategic relationships that will support the development of an extended portfolio of advanced telecommunications services such as Global Ethernet, MPLS based VPN, Managed Security, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and Global Telepresence.

The announcement was made at a gala event in Dubai hosted by Tata Communications and attended by representatives of the partners as well as Tyco Telecommunications. At the event, Tata Communications also unveiled plans to invest $200 million over the next two years for development of its operations in the Middle East,http://www.tatacommunications.comhttp://

RAYSPAN Shows Multi-band Antenna for LTE Devices

RAYSPAN introduced an LTE antenna solution that can support six or more bands operating from 698 MHz to 960 MHz in the low band and 1710-2170 MHz as well as 2.6 GHz in the high band without requiring any switching elements or matching circuits. The company describes its MTM-E as the smallest LTE antenna platform available, meeting the requirements for portable LTE devices such as mobile phones, laptops, USB dongles, wireless routers and wireless modems. Unlike competing 3D antennas designed for LTE, the MTM-E(TM) antenna is a simple 2D design in which copper artwork is printed directly on a device's printed circuit board (PCB) using standard PCB manufacturing techniques. It supports LTE, 3G, Bluetooth and GPS.

Juniper Licenses IBM Tivoli Netcool Software

Juniper Networks has agreed to license and integrate IBM's Tivoli Netcool service management software into its Junos Space application platform.

Juniper's new Junos Space Fault Suite, which is expected to be available in third-quarter 2010, will provide a turnkey fault and network management solution for enterprises and communication service providers.

IBM's Tivoli Netcool software allows customers to gain real-time, centralized monitoring and network discovery capabilities. The software helps service providers operate more effectively by gaining greater network intelligence and business insight into their networking infrastructures.

"Juniper Networks and IBM share a common vision on developing next-generation platforms that enable new services, new experiences and new business models," said Mike Harding, vice president and general manager of the Junos Space Business Unit at Juniper Networks. "Our combined solution enables customers to simplify network operations and rapidly scale services, which improves the resilience, economics and experience of their networking infrastructures."
  • Earlier this month, Juniper Networks announced a new business group called Junos Ready Software dedicated to creating and delivering an ecosystem of software and applications built on the Junos platform for Service Providers. The Junos Ready Software group will deliver Juniper and partner-built applications, all running on the Junos platform.

PC World: AT&T Wins in 3G Performance Test

AT&T's 3G network pumped out download speeds that were 67% faster than any other national wireless carrier in the latest testing, according to a new series of tests published by The report finds that AT&T's network has undergone a dramatic make-over in the last eight months since the previous test was conducted.

In the 13 cities tested, PC World found AT&T's average download speeds increased by more than 80%.

The AT&T network's reliability improved drastically as well: Last spring, PC World testers got a usable broadband connection with AT&T only 68% of the time. In the latest tests, testers connected to AT&T successfully in 94% of their attempts.

Verizon Wireless, which performed best all-around in last spring's 3G network testing, and Sprint, a close second, both continue to perform well, according to the recent study. The tests found that Sprint's network delivered download speeds nearly identical to those measured eight months ago in the 13 test cities, while Verizon's download speeds decreased by 8% on average.

PC World included T-Mobile in its tests for the first time this winter. Its download speeds were competitive with those of Sprint and Verizon in the tests in most major cities.

Throughout December and January, PC World's testing partner, Novarum Inc., tested the download speeds, upload speeds and network dependability of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon 3G networks from 20 locations in each of 13 U.S. cities. Using laptops running Ixia ixChariot testing software and smartphones running the Internet-based Extreme Labs mobile broadband performance test, Novarum performed more than 10,000 tests in total.

Ericsson Acquire LHS -- Billing & Customer Care

Ericsson has completed its acquisition of LHS, a billing and customer care software company based in Germany.

With the acquisition Ericsson combines its prepaid solutions with LHS postpaid offerings and provides a fully integrated convergent charging and billing solution for mobile and fixed operators. There are now 1 billion subscribers charged and billed using Ericsson and LHS solutions.