Sunday, September 26, 2010

IBM to Acquire BLADE Network Technologies

IBM has agreed to acquire BLADE Network Technologies, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, for an undisclosed sum.

BLADE provides blade server and top-of-rack switches, as well as software to virtualize and manage cloud computing and other workloads. The company has pursued the "switch on a blade" concept and has shipped over 9 million ports to date. BLADE has also developed switching virtualization software for cloud computing environments. This allows servers to more closely integrate with the network so that clients can deploy thousands of virtual machines to run large application workloads in the cloud and reduce complexity through simplified management.

IBM said the acquisition builds on its networking capabilities. IBM and BLADE have worked together since 2002, resulting in thousands of joint clients. In fact, over 50 percent of IBM System x BladeCenters currently attach to or use BLADE products.

This year, IBM introduced a full line-up of new, workload-optimized systems that incorporate innovation at each level -- from microprocessors and firmware software to middleware and hardware.

"BLADE will help IBM better integrate networks with its systems, optimizing them for workloads that require high-speed and low-latency performance such as cloud computing and business analytics. For example, faster data transport enables faster decisions important for analytics workloads," said Brian Truskowski, General Manager, IBM System Storage and Networking. "BLADE will increase IBM's System Networking development, sales, support, skills and awareness and help IBM build smarter systems that are optimized for client requirements."

"BLADE views this as a great opportunity to continue working with the ecosystem of technology providers that have helped make our company successful while allowing our technology to become a more central part of the data center," said Vikram Mehta, CEO of BLADE. "Our very talented and hard working people are focused on building innovative system networking solutions, making BLADE an ideal fit to help IBM execute on its strategy to build smarter systems that deliver more value to clients around the world."
  • BLADE Network Technologies was established in 2006 as a spin out of Nortel’s Blade Server Switch Business Unit (BSSBU)/ Major investors in BLADE include NEC, Juniper Networks, and Garnett & Helfrich Capital.

  • BLADE has previously disclosed OEM relationships with Hewlett Packard, IBM and NEC.

AppliedMicro Introduces PacketPro Multicore Processor

AppliedMicro introduced its next-generation PacketPro multicore processor System-on-a-Chip (SoC) family designed for multifunction printers, network control planes, access points, and industrial/security applications.

PacketPro is AppliedMicro's second-generation embedded processor SoC family and features offload of critical features for multiple PowerPC processors with frequency capabilities ranging in performance from 600 MHz to 2.0 GHz and up. The line will employ 40nm technology and usage-based power management to reduce energy consumption. A multi-level crypto engine offers simultaneous wire-speed performance along with investment protection against product cloning and hardware-software tampering.

"PacketPro is an advanced SoC architecture that offers an ideal combination of high-performance and low power consumption at low cost," said Vinay Ravuri, Vice President and General Manager of AppliedMicro's Processing Products Division. "Flexible power management enables deep sleep operating power of less than 200mW and includes Wake on LAN, USB, PCIe and others. With the ability to scale-down and turn off SoC resources when not in use and to scale-up to full power when system demands require, PacketPro provides developers unprecedented ability to dynamically control power consumption levels."

Some key features include: performance of up to 2 GHz per core, 32KB L1 I/D & 256KB dedicated L2 cache per core, support for full symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and ultra flexible asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP). Memory and bus architecture supports 16/32/64-bit DDR2/3 up to 1,600Mbps and beyond with ECC option. Connectivity features include PCI-e Gen 2 controller, GE, 10GE, SGMII, RGMII, IEEE1588 Rev2 on all Ethernet ports, USB 2.0 - H/D, OTG, all with integrated PHY, USB 3.0, SATA ports and SDHC. The PacketPro family is manufactured on a 40nm TSMC CMOS process and is available in both wire-bond and flip-chip packaging. The first PacketPro device begins sampling in November.

Chunghwa Telecom Lab Implements Mu Test Suite

Chunghwa Telecom Laboratories, the R&D arm of Taiwan's leading service provider, has selected the Mu Test Suite in order to quickly develop and deploy new services, ensure the security of its services and quickly resolve customer issues on the network.

Mu's Test Suite leverages actual traffic pulled from the service provider's network to quickly identify and resolve problems with a given service. This test methodology accurately models how a new service functions in the live production environment prior to deployment, and ensures the overall security of the service. In addition, it allows the service provider to quickly identify and fix any potential customer issues once the service is deployed.

Chunghwa Telecom is employing several product modules in the Mu Test Suite to ensure the security and resilience of its NGN services including protocol fuzzing, denial of service (DoS) and published vulnerability analysis (PVA). For live issues in the field a security alert is triggered by any IPS device and packets are captured along with the suspect traffic. The traffic is then imported into the Mu Test Suite where it is statefully replayed in the test lab to reproduce the alert. Once the problem has been targeted and fixed, it is then re-tested and validated.

"Chunghwa Telecom is recognized worldwide as an innovator that adopts new and exciting technologies," said Dave Kresse, CEO of Mu Dynamics. "With the Mu Test Suite, Chunghwa can now statefully recreate live field issues using actual service traffic and identify security and reliability bugs prior to deployment, enabling increased reliability and a better overall experience for its customers."
  • In July, Mu Dynamics enhanced its IP testing suite with new capabilities that enable developers to simulate huge numbers of users, sessions and applications for next-generation network services.
    Mu's Active Service Replication (ASR) technology transforms the actual service interactions into parameterized test scenarios, which allows the testing of applications, services and the application-aware network. With this approach, customers can automatically generate tailor-made test cases replicating the actual mobile application, service and underlying network infrastructure.

    For instance, the Mu solution could be used to transform captured packets into a test that simulates and verifies the performance of hundreds of virtual machines in a data center, the network impact of 10,000s of gamers on smart phones, or the likely server bottlenecks if a million people simultaneously sent a tweet or SMS in response to a television ad.

Vitesse Optimizes for 10G Stacking Switches

Vitesse Semiconductor introduced a simplified, low-power solution for high-density, managed Layer 2 and Layer 3 stackable, Ethernet enterprise switches.

Vitesse said it is driven to bring cost-effective carrier network features to traditional Enterprise network equipment. Its E-StaX-III switch engines provide fast forwarding with a simplified software management environment, including a single point of management that can oversee up to 768 1-GB ports and 32 10-GB ports. Typical time for failover switching between terminating traffic on one stack and recovering traffic on another stack is less than 100 ms. Worst-case latency is reduced by 50-percent within a stack, or in best cases up to 90-percent over less sophisticated management solutions.

"The unique stacking ports on E-StaX-III allow stacking connectivity between switches with no additional devices needed and over very cost efficient HDMI-like cables with up to 12G full duplex traffic forwarding per stacking port," said Martin Olsen, product marketing manager at Vitesse. "As the industry's lowest chip count solution for Carrier-oriented Enterprise applications, our customers can realize unprecedented BOM cost savings."

Orange Business Builds Cloud Services with Cisco, EMC, VMware

Orange Business Services announced a business alliance with Cisco, EMC and VMware to offer end-to-end cloud computing services for enterprises. The "Flexible 4 Business" alliance will offer optimized cloud solutions delivered over the Orange Business network. This includes:

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

  • Private cloud: Customized solutions based on Vblock Infrastructure Packages that combine virtualization, networking, computing, storage, security, and management technologies from Cisco, EMC and VMware, together with a comprehensive service catalogue (computing, storage, operating systems, middleware) based on platforms hosted in Orange datacenters, sub-parties datacenters or in customers datacenters. The related services are managed by Orange Business Services on an "as-a-service" mode enabling the expected flexibility in a highly secured environment.

  • Back-up services: Highly secure hosted and managed back-up solution delivered as-a-service: evolving and charged according to real usage, enabling customers to benefit from an effective solution that grows with their requirement and does not require initial investments.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

  • Security services: Enable the ability to offer anti-virus and URL filtering solutions as-a-service. These SaaS solutions enable all users to benefit from immediate protection even when out of the office, and for customers to roll out precise security policies within seconds.

  • Unified communications services: Comprehensive unified communications solution hosted and managed from Orange Business Services datacenters to reduce costs. Services are available from all types of terminals. Administrators can allocate services as required and therefore adapt usage and costs to the precise needs of the company.

"Today's business alliance will make cloud computing a reachable reality for global enterprises, providing for our customers' security requirements and mitigating the complexity of technical migration. Orange Business Services has built its reputation catering to the global business needs of multinationals. With industry's top cloud players we will ease the migration for our enterprise customers," stated Vivek Badrinath, chief executive officer, Orange Business Services.

Equinix Builds Third Data Center in Tokyo

Equinix will build its third International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Tokyo, Japan. The new "TY3" will provide close physical proximity to the major financial exchanges in the Japanese capital. The $70 million, 79,600 gross-square-foot TY3 IBX data center, targeted for completion in mid-2011, will offer 960 cabinet equivalents to data centric industries including cloud and IT services providers, online content and financial market participants doing business in Japan. It will have direct fiber connectivity to Equinix's two other IBX data centers in the city, TY1 and TY2. Current and prospective customers will have direct access to more than 50 networks including both international and domestic carriers.

Alcatel-Lucent Files for Managed Services Patents

Alcatel-Lucent filed the first two of a series of patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) relating to Managed Services. The first covers an Operational Competency Center (OCC) methodology for delivering managed network operations services. The second patent filing describes a powerful new "Bottoms-Up" operations cost estimation methodology.

"It was amazing to see Alcatel-Lucent take an idea which had been floated and experimented within the industry and reach such a high level of maturity with it," said Andrew Chalmers, TM Forum Director of Training and IT Consultant. "The concept around the creation of the suite of services mirrors the thinking of TM Forum, but Alcatel-Lucent has actually put it into practice ahead of anyone else."

"The processes we have developed from the pre-contract through the actual services delivery stages show our commitment to excellence and ensure both clear visibility and top quality to our customers" said Andreas Herzog, Head of Alcatel-Lucent Managed Services. "With the help of Bell Labs, our processes are leading edge and protecting our intellectual property is a testament to that."

BlackBerry PlayBook Targets Professional Market

Research In Motion (RIM) unveiled its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and BlackBerry Tablet OS, featuring a 7" display and a 1 GHz dual-core processor for symmetric multiprocessing. It includes dual HD cameras for video capture and video conferencing that can both record HD video at the same time, and an HDMI-out port.

Network interfaces were not specified, apart from Wi-Fi.

The BlackBerry PlayBook will offer pairing with a BlackBerry smartphone using a secure Bluetooth connection. This makes its possible to use the larger tablet display to seamlessly and securely view any of the email, BBM, calendar, tasks, documents and other content that resides on (or is accessible through) the smartphone.

RIM said its BlackBerry PlayBook is enterprise ready and compatible (out-of-the-box) with BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The BlackBerry Tablet OS is built upon the QNX Neutrino microkernel architecture, which the company touts for its stability and field hardened security.

Some specs:

  • 7" LCD display, 1024 x 600 screen resolution, multi-touch capacitive screen

  • 5.1" x 7.6" x 0.4" (130mm x 194mm x 10mm)

  • 0.9 lbs (400g)

  • Adobe Flash 10.1 enabled and support for HTML 5

  • 1 GHz dual-core processor

  • 1GB RAM

  • Built-in microUSB connector

  • 802.11 a/b/g/n

Commercial availability is expected in Q1 2011 in the U.S. and in Q2 2011 for other markets.

RIM also previewed its forthcoming BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware -- an application development platform that will enable commercial enterprise and corporate developers to more easily build "super app" enterprise applications and services for BlackBerry smartphones. IBM Interactive and customer ING DIRECT, Oracle, and SAP are in early trials.

Video over Wi-Fi: MIMO - 2X2, 3X3, or 4X4?

Presented by Dr. Behrooz Rezvani, Founder, Quantenna Communications

Quantenna Raises $21 Million for 802.11n 4x4 MIMO

Quantenna Communications, a start-up based in Fremont, California, raised $21 million in a Series E round of financing for its 4X4 MIMO 802.11n chipsets designed for next gen home networking applications. The funding was led by new investor DAG Ventures, with participation by each of the company's largest investors including Sequoia Capital, Sigma Partners, Southern Cross, and Venrock Associates.

Quantenna leverages dynamic digital beamforming to deliver very high-speed wireless coverage throughout the whole home for sharing high definition (HD) video and multimedia content between home gateways and TVs. Quantenna's silicon is targeted at devices such as home residential gateways, set-top boxes, routers, HDTVs and consumer electronic devices, which all require high bandwidth and reliability to support whole home HD video distribution and networking over standard Wi-Fi networks.

Quantenna said the new funding will be used to help extend its global leadership position in 4x4 MIMO 802.11n Wi-Fi chipsets and accelerate product deployment through carriers and retail channels worldwide. Independent tests of 802.11n antenna configurations show that 4x4 MIMO delivers more than double the throughput of 3x3 MIMO throughput, anywhere in the home, at the near-zero packet error rate (PER) required for HDTV streaming.

"This record financing round for Quantenna is a testament to our growing traction in reliable Wi-Fi video service deployment through leading carriers and home networking vendors, as next-generation standards-based 802.11n 4x4 MIMO becomes the top choice for broadband video entertainment networking in the home," said David French, Quantenna's CEO. "In addition to supporting continued R&D advances, this funding will be used to execute product cost reductions as we accelerate high-volume mainstream deployment, and to expand our marketing, engineering and technical support resources as we rapidly increase our customer engagements, worldwide."
    In May 2010, Quantenna Communications introduced its third-generation Full-11n 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) chipset, enabling whole-home video distribution of multiple HD streams using 802.11n Wi-Fi. Its newest 802.11n Wi-Fi chipset breaks ground in several ways. First, the design has been optimized for volume production and the company estimates it is approaching the 3x3 MIMO price range. Device size has been cut in half and power consumption by one-third as compared to previous solutions. It incorporated features that simplify transceiver certification in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Error vector magnitude (EVM) and phase-noise performance have both been enhanced to boost range and reliability, and the chipset's receiver linearity significantly reduces interference. Quantenna said its solution can reliable deliver multiple HD video streams (100+ Mbps) over distances of 100 feet or more.

    Quantenna's third-generation chipset incorporates all specifications in the IEEE802.11n standard including 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO). It also incorporates extensions to the IEEE802.11n standard including dynamic digital beamforming, and wireless channel monitoring and optimizing. Furthermore, Quantenna has increased channel bandwidth to 80MHz. This will be useful because the IEEE is working on a new 802.11ac specification that promises speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps. Quantenna will leverage these capabilities.

    David French, Quantenna's CEO, said that while other Wi-Fi silicon companies have focused on Wi-Fi designs for mobile handsets, his company has focused on the problem of in-home video delivery. Quantenna believes it is 12 months ahead of other companies in developing 4x4 MIMO silicon. In addition, Quantenna's beamforming technology and dynamic channel characterization enable high performance video bridging between home gateways and set-top boxes, TVs and other consumer electronics.

  • In February 2010, Quantenna Communications raised $15 million in a Series D round of financing for its 4X4 MIMO 802.11n chipsets designed for next gen home networking applications. This round of funding came from Grazia Equity, Sequoia Capital, Sigma Partners, Southern Cross, Swisscom, and Venrock Associates.