Monday, April 5, 2010

Optimum Lightpath's Low Latency Optical Transport Offers Microsecond SLA

Cablevision's Optimum Lightpath group announced the availability of a point-to-point, low-latency, optical transport service for customers in the finance, healthcare, media and government sectors. The service is available on pre-equipped and pre-conditioned routes on Optimum Lightpath's footprint, and based on a simple, flat-rate pricing model.

Optimum Lightpath said it can deliver speeds down to the microsecond level with guaranteed Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The SLA include a guaranteed minimum latency and circuit turn up time frame, and rapid time to market availability. One gigabit and 10 Gbps wavelengths are offered within Optimum Lightpath's NY metro area footprint.

The New York metropolitan area hosts the largest concentration of financial institutions in the country, and applications such as electronic trading, information exchange and electronic messaging increasingly require ultra-low latency as every microsecond matters when making trades and offering competitive services to a global customer base. Large customers in the healthcare and government sectors have also expressed demand for low latency services.

Alcatel-Lucent names John Dickson as head of Operations

Alcatel-Lucent announced the appointment of John Dickson as head of Operations, replacing Michel Rahier, who is pursuing other interests outside Alcatel-Lucent. He will oversee the procurement, hardware and software supply chain, manufacturing, logistics, and real estate activities of the company.

Dickson most recently served as President and CEO of Agere Systems, a global leader in semiconductors for storage, wireless data, and public and enterprise networks that subsequently merged with LSI. Prior to Agere Systems John served as executive vice president and CEO of Lucent Technologies' Microelectronics and Communications Technologies Group, with responsibility for the company's Microelectronics, Intellectual Property, Network Products, Lucent Venture Partners and New Ventures units.

Alcatel-Lucent Enhances 9500 Microwave Packet Radio

Alcatel-Lucent has enhanced its microwave packet radio portfolio for the North American market with additional features and support for additional frequency bands to better address the needs of mobile service providers. The microwave packet radios can be used to interconnect 2G, 3G and LTE cellular base stations between each other and the fiber metro network. At each hop they aggregate any type of traffic (TDM, ATM and Ethernet) and then transport it to a concentration point on the fiber metro network.

The new release of the Alcatel-Lucent 9500 Microwave Packet Radio (MPR) provides more flexibility in terms of radio frequency planning, support for longer range transmissions and increased efficiency to support service providers' transformation to all-IP, and the introduction of LTE mobile data services.

The 9500 MPR, which supports for both TDM and pure Ethernet base-stations, has now been extended to support ANSI frequency bands to include 10.5 and 11 GHz. The addition of the 10.5 and 11 GHz bands provides an efficient alternative to 6 GHz by relieving frequency congestion, enhancing overall network availability and reducing tower lease costs. Additionally, higher transmit power options are introduced into the 6 GHz band allowing the use of smaller antennas or longer path distances, significantly improving the flexibility of network designs for mobile operators. These features, coupled with the all-indoor design allow operators to deploy microwave backhaul with zero tower climbs for operation and maintenance.

Alcatel-Lucent also noted a number of other special features for its 9500 MPR, including service-driven adaptive modulation, DS1 and DS3 in packets via pseudo-wire/CES (circuit emulation services), multi-service aggregation, long haul full indoor transceivers, short haul split mount transceivers, and Ethernet synchronization distribution.
  • In April 2009, Alcatel-Lucent announced a global resale agreement to integrate multi-gigabit millimeter wave radios from BridgeWave into its 9500 Microwave Packet Radio (MPR) transmission solutions. The agreement expanded the frequency range covered by the 9500 MPR for the high-frequency 60-90 GHz spectrum to provide customers up to 2.6 Gbps of capacity, sufficient to support the anticipated transport requirements for 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Verizon Tests IPv6 on FiOS

Verizon has begun testing IPv6 for its FiOS services. The month-long trial involves FiOS-enabled customer homes with customized CPE - provided by Verizon - that can support both IPv6 and IPv4. The dual protocol setup will also be implemented on Verizon's edge gateway routers. Verizon employs 6PE technology, which uses IPv6-provider edge routers to connect across the company's IPv4 MPLS core. The IPv6 traffic is then sent over IPv6-capable peering connections.

Jean McManus, executive director - packet network technology for Verizon said a key advantage of IPv6 is that a customer's home router would no longer require network address translation (NAT), which makes it possible for a single public Internet address to be translated into many private IP addresses to accommodate multiple IP-enabled devices inside the home. IPv6 allows each device to have its own public address.

Verizon noted that it first deployed IPv6 in 1998 for its very high-performance backbone network service (vBNS) for government customers. The company continues to support IPv6 on its networks used by enterprise and government customers and will enable and deploy additional IPv6 equipment and services on its public and private IP global networks in 2010 and 2011.

Verizon is also implementing IPv6 in its evolved packet core that will be supporting its LTE network.

Verizon CEO: Smartphone Revolution Centered in U.S.

The smart phone revolution" is already centered in the U.S. and America's communications companies are deploying "game-changing" fiber networks and 4G LTE networks that "will leapfrog the world in wireless," said Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon's chairman and CEO in a session at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

"In a 4G world, wireless will connect everything," Seidenberg said. "There's really no limit to the number of connections that can be part of the mobile grid: vehicles, appliances, buildings, roads, medical monitors. This 'Internet of Things' will infuse intelligence into all our systems and present us with a whole new way to run a home, an enterprise, a community or an economy."

Seidenberg also said that he has been in touch with Apple about offering the iPhone on the Verizon network, but the decision to do so was up to Apple.

The complete text of Seidenberg's statement is available on the company's website.

AT&T Outlines $1 Billion 2010 Network Projects

AT&T outlined plans to invest approximately $1 billion in 2010 to scale its delivery of applications, mobility and cloud services within the United States and internationally. The spending is part of the company's previously announced CAPEX plans.

Specific areas of AT&T's planned investment in 2010 include:

Global Network Expansion

  • Deploy, upgrade or add diverse IPv6-capable MPLS nodes to support Layer 3 VPN and Global Managed Internet Services, including Gigabit Ethernet customer access across multiple locations in Europe, Asia-Pac and Latin America.

  • Leverage AT&T's network expansion to improve capacity and diversity, and offer services in new markets, expanding the global OPT-E-WAN service footprint from 31 countries to 37 countries.

  • Enhance application reporting and performance management.

  • Expand the footprint and capabilities of carrier class switched Ethernet Wireless Backhaul solutions.

  • Continue to expand Ethernet over copper deployment over AT&T's U.S. footprint to better support customers as they evolve from lower-speed connectivity to Ethernet.

  • Introduce a new metro switched Ethernet service across AT&T's 22 state U.S. footprint., delivering additional capabilities and bandwidth options while eventually streamlining the AT&T Ethernet portfolio.

  • Continue to enhance capabilities of managed AT&T Virtual Private Network Services on a global basis.

  • Deploy IPv6 capable MPLS core routers in Hawaii and Guam to provide an interconnection point for Transpacific cables between the U.S., Australia, Singapore, China and Japan to improve resiliency and performance in the Asia Pacific network.

Additional sub sea cable capacity to ensure diversity and resilience including
  • 180G of new capacity into the Caribbean and South America

  • Over 350G of new capacity from the US to and within Asia Pacific

  • 70G of capacity from the U.S. to Europe

  • This capacity spans multiple subsea cables with more diverse cable landings and terrestrial routing into major cities.

Emerging Mobility Applications:

  • Extend offers and solutions in three core categories - applications, machine-to-machine (M2M) and integrated network solutions.

  • Continue to expand AT&T's portfolio of mobile applications across multiple vertical industries, focusing on smart grid solutions and mHealth.

  • Offer enhanced solutions that take advantage of AT&T's converged fixed and mobile networks including network-based and premise based fixed mobile convergence and super femtocell technology.

  • Increase support for the more than 750 wireless devices already connected to the AT&T network -- such as e-readers, netbooks, digital photo frames, personal navigation devices, and home security monitoring and smart grid devices -- for use by business customers.

Hosting/Cloud Infrastructure Services:

  • Continue to develop and deploy cloud based managed hosting and Infrastructure as a Service capabilities.

  • Add cloud enablers to AT&T Synaptic Storage as a Service that serve as a gateway between customers' storage systems and AT&T's cloud.

  • Introduce new turnkey Synaptic Hosting (Utility Computing) products, tailored to small and medium sized businesses.

  • Add new managed hosting standardized packages, making it faster and easier to turn up AT&T Managed Hosting Services.

  • Open an additional internet data center in London.

  • Completing expansions of the Ashburn, Va. and Piscataway, N.J. data centers.

AT&T Digital Media Solutions

  • Additional distribution with the addition of a node in Spain and increased capacity in the U.K. and Germany.

  • Add additional software features, such as Download Manager, to improve customer control and user experience.

  • Improve support for latest streaming technologies.

  • Broaden range of content creation and management tools and services.

Unified Communications

  • AT&T Telepresence Solution, including new telepresence rooms worldwide and installing new AT&T Business Exchange nodes in Hong Kong and Netherlands to provide regional access and expanded support for Telepresence services.

  • AT&T Connect Global Conferencing enhancements
Customer contact points

  • Small Business Transformation through IP-based bundled offers, integrating wireline and mobility portfolios across the 22-state local footprint.

  • Increase broadband speeds -- up to a maximum of 24Mbps downstream in more than 120 markets across the 22-state footprint.
  • Online storefront consolidation -- integration of all public internet B2B storefronts into a single business storefront, with a consistent look and feel, intuitive offer buy flows, and consistent back office support processes.

  • Application Services: online inventory, ticketing, router monitoring and performance statistics via AT&T BusinessDirect® for existing VPN-managed router services

  • Mobility: business customers, offer of unlimited calling to a user-defined list of wireless/wireline numbers with any carrier. List will be easily established and maintained online via the AT&T Premier Mobility portal. AT&T will offer a network-based integrated wireline/wireless solution to provide fixed mobile convergence services for enterprises.
Further service initiatives are outlined in the plan.

Cisco Unveils Second Generation Unified Computing System

Cisco announced several additions to its Data Center 3.0 portfolio, including its second-generation Unified Computing System aimed at accelerating the promise of virtualization while uniting compute, network, storage access, and virtualization resources in a single energy-efficient system. The enhancements are aimed at helping data centers to transition to 10 Gigabit architectures, virtualization, unified fabric solutions, cloud computing and green operations.

Cisco's new two-socket and four-socket server additions offer up to 50 percent more processor cores, 300 percent greater application performance, and four times the standard memory footprint compared to first-generation Cisco Unified Computing System servers. The new servers enable up to four times the bandwidth capacity. The two-socket servers are based on the Intel Xeon 5600 Processor Series, while the four-socket servers will incorporate new Intel Xeon 7500 Processor Series.

Significantly, Cisco's unified design seeks to reduce the management headache of separate computing, storage and networking systems. The company calculates that a Unified architecture requires up to 92 percent fewer points of management than legacy networks.

The company also expanded the Cisco Nexus portfolio with the Nexus 2248 and Nexus 2232 fabric extenders, which feature 10-Gigabit Ethernet capabilities. Cisco is partnering with BMC, CA, HP, Microsoft and VMware to provide integrated solutions with Cisco UCS Manager.

One of the innovations is a new Cisco FEX-link architecture, incorporated into both Cisco Nexus and Cisco Unified Computing System Fabric Extenders, that serves as an open, flexible server access layer supporting any fabric, with 100Mb, 1Gb and 10Gb Ethernet, native Fibre Channel as well as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE.), InfiniBand over Ethernet, iSCSI and NAS. Cisco FEX-link simplifies management and is currently supported on the Cisco Unified Computing System and Cisco Nexus 5000 Series, with availability soon on the Nexus 7000 Series switches. In addition, FEX-link architecture will enable the Cisco Unified Computing System to offer up to 160Gb of bandwidth per blade in the coming year.

Cisco noted that over 400 enterprise and service provider customers have adopted its Unified Computing System since it began shipping in July 2009.

U.S. Court Vacates FCC Order on Net Neutrality

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the FCC does not have the authority to regulate the way Comcast manages peer-to-peer traffic on its network. The 3-0 court decision focused on the FCC's "ancillary authority" over broadband services.

The ruling vacated an FCC Order issued in August of 2008 in which the FCC concluded that Comcast's management of its broadband Internet networks contravenes federal policies that protect the vibrant and open nature of the Internet. Specifically, the FCC concluded that by monitoring the content of its customers' traffic and selectively blocking certain peer-to-peer connections, Comcast unduly interfered with Internet users' right to access the lawful Internet content and to use the applications of their choice. The issue was first brought to light by Comcast subscribers who noticed that they had problems using peer-to- peer applications, such as BitTorrent, over their Comcast broadband connections.

In a press statement, Sena Fitzmaurice, Comcast's Vice President of Government Communications, said:

"We are gratified by the Court's decision today to vacate the previous FCC's order. Our primary goal was always to clear our name and reputation. We have always been focused on serving our customers and delivering the quality open-Internet experience consumers want. Comcast remains committed to the FCC's existing open Internet principles, and we will continue to work constructively with this FCC as it determines how best to increase broadband adoption and preserve an open and vibrant Internet."

In a press statement, the FCC said:

"The FCC is firmly committed to promoting an open Internet and to policies that will bring the
enormous benefits of broadband to all Americans. It will rest these policies -- all of which will be
designed to foster innovation and investment while protecting and empowering consumers -- on
a solid legal foundation.

"Today's court decision invalidated the prior Commission's approach to preserving an open
Internet. But the Court in no way disagreed with the importance of preserving a free and open
Internet; nor did it close the door to other methods for achieving this important end."

Vivek Badrinath Named CEO of Orange Business Services

Vivek Badrinath has been appointed executive vice president in charge of Enterprise Communication Services, grouping Orange Business Services and the Enterprise Line of Business. Based in Paris, Vivek Badrinath will report to Stéphane Richard, chief executive officer of France Telecom-Orange, and will be a member of the Group's Executive Committee.

Most recently Vivek Badrinath was executive vice president in charge of the Networks and Operators division of France Telecom. In this position, he led, among others, the enhancement of the Orange Business Services network, particularly in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Middle East. As a result of those significant upgrades, the network is now cloud-ready, capable of handling in-the-cloud "as a service" applications and security as well as converged voice, video and telepresence services.

Badrinath is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique --Télécom (Paris). After beginning his career at the French Ministry of Industry in 1992, Vivek joined the Group's Long Distance Networks Department in 1996 before moving to be CEO of Thomson India in 2000. He returned to the Group as chief technical officer of Orange in 2004.