Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sandvine Enhances its Fairshare Traffic Management

Sandvine announced an updated version of Fairshare Traffic Management
for fixed and mobile broadband customers featuring interoperability with DOCSIS 3.0 compatible Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTS). Sandvine's platform helps manage the competition for network resources so that the best possible quality of experience is preserved for the maximum number of subscribers for the maximum amount of time.

The new version 3.2, which is in beta trials in four tier-one cable service provider networks in North America and Europe, also includes:

  • Enhanced policy options that address and manage network resources based on application, subscriber, time of day and congestion awareness

  • Advanced reporting tools that deliver detailed descriptions of policy actions, outcomes and impact

  • Sophisticated and customizable congestion management policies that operate only when and where they are needed.

"Broadband connections are increasingly being managed to ensure that all users and applications receive a fair share of network resources," said Tom Donnelly, EVP marketing and sales, Sandvine. "Fairshare Traffic Management is on its third iteration to address the growing complexity of modern operator networks. Our product manages traffic in a way that considers all types of use cases and variations of applications, users and congestion state."

Sandvine's Fairshare Traffic Management solution was first launched in May 2008. The company noted that, to date, more than 30 service provider networks serving over 90 million fixed and mobile subscribers worldwide have purchased Sandvine's Fairshare Traffic Management solution. Almost half of the customers are mobile operators.

Alcatel-Lucent Tracks "The Shift" in Service Models

Service Providers could tap into a potential $100 billion in new annual revenues in the U.S. alone if only they successfully expose the intelligent capabilities of their network to enable a new ecosystem of content and applications, according to a newly published book from Alcatel-Lucent.

The Shift: The Evolving Market, Players and Business Models in a 2.0 World discusses how the emerging ecosystem of service providers, developers, advertisers, consumers and business uses stands to benefit when smarter networks are used as development platforms.

The book analyzes the rapid pace of consumer technology adoption and its impact on service providers, enterprises, application developers, content providers, and handset manufacturers as they scramble to meet the exploding demand for bandwidth and Web 2.0 service access anytime, anywhere and over any device. It cites market research commissioned by Alcatel-Lucent to demonstrate how a collaborative communications ecosystem is necessary to address the challenges of consumer, enterprise and vertical markets currently limited by industry fragmentation.

"The Shift is the result of over a year of research and analysis and maps a compelling and profitable future for both the service provider and application developer in the Web 2.0 world," said Allison Cerra, head of marketing for Alcatel-Lucent Americas and one of the book's authors. "Specifically we outline how additional value is inserted into the ecosystem when service providers expose intelligent network capabilities. The resulting benefits are clear for everyone -- end users, developers, advertisers and service providers. It requires an approach where consumers have control of their experience, developers benefit from enhanced capabilities, and service providers monetize their investments to fuel future innovation."

Among the book's findings:

  • Parents, social networkers, online video enthusiasts and gamers value applications that incorporate network-based intelligence. They will pay 25-35 percent more for a service with three capabilities operating simultaneously vs. a service with one capability.

  • Over 50% of consumers are comfortable sharing sensitive profile information, such as location, presence and online behaviors, with their mobile provider.

  • Nearly 50 percent of commercial developers would use network-based APIs and are willing to pay twice as much for APIs bundled together vs. those sold separately. Enterprise IP developers will pay up to three times more.

  • A third of U.S. advertisers would use network services that enable them to deliver advertisements across social media sites based on user interests and behaviors.

Bivio Announce Cyber Partnership with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems

Bivio Networks announced a partnership with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, to drive deployment of advanced cyber security solutions in the federal market.

General Dynamics is a principal contractor to defense, intelligence and homeland security agencies. The two companies will offer enhanced network security solutions that integrate the most up-to-date cyber security products and technologies to deliver situation awareness, allowing enterprises to proactively address cyber threats in real-time.

"With malicious cyber activity on the rise, the ability to act on secure, real-time communications is vital for agencies to make timely and accurate decisions in support of mission-critical operations," said Dr. Elan Amir, president and CEO of Bivio Networks.

Intel to Acquire Texas Instruments' Cable Modem Unit

Intel agreed to acquire Texas Instruments' cable modem business for an undisclosed sum.

TI's Puma 5 family supports a wide-range of DOCSIS 3.0 end-equipment that can deliver speeds up to 400 Mbps downstream. Additionally, TI provides customers with a cost-optimized, high-performance solution designed for mass market demands of up to 200 Mbps downstream, helping manufacturers get to market quickly in volume.

All employees of Texas Instruments' cable modem team received offers to join Intel at sites in their home countries, primarily Israel, and will become part of Intel's Digital Home Group.

Intel said the acquisition enhances its focus on the cable industry and related consumer electronics (CE) market segments. Intel plans to combine TI's Puma product lines with the Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) standard technology and Intel SoCs to deliver advanced set top box, residential gateway and modem products for the cable industry. The objective is to provide cable OEMs with an open and powerful platform for delivering innovative and differentiated products to service providers that improve the video, voice and data content experience at home.

Intel Updates Atom Processors for Network Storage Appliances

Intel added two new Atom processors designed for network storage appliances for consumers and small businesses. These are the 1.8GHz Intel Atom processor D425 single-core and D525 dual-core processor, both of which feature higher CPU frequencies for faster storage processing and support for new double-data-rate three small outline dual in-line memory modules, also known as DDR3 SODIMM.

Since Intel's initial foray in this area in March, leading storage manufacturers, including Acer, Cisco, LaCie, LG Electronics, NETGEAR, QNAP, Super Micro, Synology and Thecus have announced products based on the energy-efficient Intel Atom processor platform.

BelAir Introduces Picocell for Cable Operators

BelAir Networks introduced a compact wireless base station for delivering mobile broadband Internet via both licensed and unlicensed wireless spectrum. The company said its compact design overcomes challenges in providing power, mounting and backhaul to small, wireless base stations.

The new BelAir100SP Strand Picocell is designed to be mounted on existing cable infrastructure, with both power and backhaul provided by the broadband hybrid fiber coax (HFC) plant.

A modular design of the BelAir100SP currently supports a range of licensed 3G radios, with a migration to LTE, along with dual 802.11n Wi-Fi radios.

BelAir is offering a range of mounting options, enabling the picocell to be deployed from cable plant installed on poles, in cabinets and pedestals and even underground.

BelAir's operating system software also supports carrier-grade security, edge based policy enforcement, and network-wide mobility. In addition to the 3G and dual 802.11n radios and associated antennas and duplexers, the BelAir100SP includes a DOCSIS 3.0 Modem, plant power supply, and power protection/splitter.

The company notes that many mobile carriers already partner with Cable Operators, leveraging the hybrid fiber coax infrastructure to backhaul mobile traffic from 2G and 3G macrocells.

Sonus Offers Fixed-Smartphone Convergence for Cable Operators

Sonus Networks introduced a new Fixed-Smartphone Convergence solution that enables cable operators to offer unified SIP-based calling to residences and smartphones. The new capabilities in the Sonus Networks ASX Telephony Application Server allow cable subscribers with home phone service to combine their existing phone line with up to five additional SIP-enabled devices including 3G/Wi-Fi enabled smartphones.

Subscribers can receive or place calls using both their home telephone line (using NCS or SIP call control) and nearly any SIP-enabled device connected to the Internet. The solution will ring all of the devices simultaneously and allows users to make and receive multiple calls concurrently as well as allow calls to be transferred to other users. It is an ideal solution for families with multiple smart devices and mobile lifestyles.

"Cable operators are looking for ways to add more value for fixed line customers, and also get more involved in offering mobile services," said Greg Zweig, director of access product management at Sonus Networks. "With Fixed - Smartphone Convergence powered by the ASX Telephony Application Server, we are giving cable operators a way to make a subscriber's home number more valuable and more convenient to access, anywhere in the world. The solution gives MSOs a compelling new offering that leverages the explosion in smart mobile phones and tablet computers."

Exar Intros GbE Mapper

Exar introduced an optimized Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Mapper for access and transport applications in C/DWDM networks. The new GEM250 mapper provides direct connection to GbE PHYs on the client side and SDH/SONET SerDes on the line side. It combines all the functions necessary to multiplex 2 Gigabit Ethernet streams into a single 2.5 Gbps signal. Integrated GbE MACs provide Ethernet statistics while Ethernet frames can be encapsulated with HDLC or GFP. All SDH/SONET Regenerator/Multiplex Section and Trail/Path monitoring functions are also implemented in hardware.

Verizon Tests Gigabit Ethernet Service on FiOS

Verizon has achieved performance of approximately 1 Gbps to a customer on its currently deployed GPON FiOS infrastructure. Verizon's GPON platform supports a total throughput of 2.4 Gbps downstream and 1.2 Gbps upstream to customers connected to the PON. This test successfully demonstrated the ability to serve customers on the FiOS network with Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) service.

Verizon said its latest field trial was conducted in June in Taunton, using an existing GPON system developed by Motorola, a current supplier to Verizon of both BPON and GPON equipment. The trial, conducted at an existing FiOS business customer location, was intended to demonstrate in a live network setting that currently deployed FiOS equipment can support higher bandwidth services and can deliver 1 Gbps without major change to the network.

The test involved bringing a new fiber connection from an existing operating GPON system at the company's Taunton call-switching office to a second optical network terminal (ONT) located at the business customer's facility. The second ONT was provisioned for the new 1 Gbps service tier, and the speed was tested to a local speed test server over an optimized route, as well as across the public Internet to a regional speed test server located more than 400 miles away.

The throughput speeds were measured at 925 Mbps to a local server and more than 800 Mbps to the regional test speed servers. The customer's existing FiOS service was left in place, and showed no degradation in the voice, data or video services during this trial.

"This trial demonstrated that the current architecture has sufficient headroom to allow for a progressive increase in capacity as needed by our residential and business customers on our current GPON platform, and validates our decision to support both residential and business services on the same platform," said Vincent O'Byrne, director of Verizon's technology organization, who managed the trial.
  • In June 2010, Verizon has completed a field trial of a second XG-PON fiber-optic distribution system connecting at 10 Gbps downstream and 2.5 Gbps upstream to a FiOS customer location in Taunton, Mass. The test, which was completed in May, used an XG-PON system developed by Motorola.

    The field test used Motorola equipment deployed with dual fibers from an OLT (optical line terminal) in a Verizon switching facility to a combiner that coupled the XG-PON system with the existing GPON system. On the customer-facing side of the network, the test data traveled over a single FiOS fiber link to the customer test location.

    At the customer's home, the optical network terminal (ONT) received the 10/2.5 Gbps feed and used two data communication ports to simultaneously provide transmission speeds of close to 1 Gbps to each of two PCs inside the home. Combined, the two ports delivered approximately 1.85 Gbps in aggregate bandwidth in each direction. In addition, speed tests were performed to Verizon's speed test server located more than 400 miles away in Reston, Va., realized speeds of up to 915 Mbps between the PC and the speed test server.

LG-Ericsson USA Launches, Integrates Accton's SMC Networks

LG-Ericsson USA launched its new brand of data and voice networking product for business customers. The company's product portfolio includes IP PBX systems and a full complement of business-class digital, IP, WiFi, SIP, soft phones, and multimedia terminals, as well as a host of smart, fully-managed and unmanaged switches with a robust Network Management Services (NMS) and Unified Device Manager (UDM) platform to provide easy management.

LG-Ericsson USA (formerly Edgecore Networks), is a joint venture between Korea-based LG-Ericsson Co. and Taiwan-based Accton Technology Corporation, a global provider of voice and data networking solutions. LG-Ericsson USA is based in Irvine, California.

LG-Ericsson owns 60 percent share in the joint venture while Accton owns 40 percent. Accton also own SMC Networks, which will now be part of LG-Ericsson USA, although the company says some SMC branding will continue forwards.

PMC-Sierra Collaborates with Incognito Software on FTTx for MSOs

PMC-Sierra and Incognito Software are hosting a demonstration at this week's CableLabs Summer Conference focused on EPON provisioning for cable operators. The demonstration combines PMC-Sierra's high-speed standard-compliant EPON and 10G EPON solutions and Incognito Software's Broadband Command Center, which is a device provisioning solution. The focus is on network management, QoS, and service assurance for a DOCSIS environment.

Dell to Acquire 3PAR for Virtualization-Optimized Storage

Dell agreed to acquire 3PAR, a supplier of highly-virtualized storage solutions, for approximately $1.15 billion, net of 3PAR's cash.

3PAR's storage arrays offer advanced data management features, including dynamic tiering and thin provisioning, for multi-tenant cloud-computing environments. This reduces upfront costs and power consumption while providing easy scalability of storage capacity in flexible workload applications.

3PAR was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Fremont, California. After closing, Dell plans to maintain and invest in additional engineering and sales capability. There are no plans to move the current operations.

Dell said it plans to make 3PAR an integral part of its industry-leading storage portfolio, including PowerVault, EqualLogic and Dell/EMC. With 3PAR, Dell will offer innovative systems and customer choice at every storage tier, from direct-attach to highly-virtualized, clustered SANS.