Monday, December 20, 2010

Infonetics: Data Center Equipment Market poised for Growth

Worldwide revenue from data center network equipment, including data center Ethernet switches, application delivery controllers (ADCs), and WAN optimization appliances, grew 2% in 3Q10 over 2Q10 to $1.9 billion, according to newly released report from Infonetics. Growth was led by activity in North America and EMEA.

Infonetics reports that 10G now accounts for 14% of data center switch ports and 10G port penetration is predicted to reach about 50% by 2014, aided by rapidly falling prices.

"A new round of data center upgrades is underway, driven by virtualization, surging amounts of data, the growing need for storage, under-investment in 2009, and renewed life in the financial sector. Even with a relatively flat third quarter and an expected down fourth quarter, the market for data center network equipment is poised to grow 67% in 2010 over 2009 to hit a milestone $7.6 billion worldwide," predicts Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

MetroPCS Picks Devicescape for Mobile-to-Wi-Fi Offload

MetroPCS Communications will deploy Devicescape's Easy WiFi in support of its Android-based smartphones. The embedded Devicescape client enables the handsets to transparently offload data traffic to Devicescape's virtual Easy Wi-Fi network, reducing mobile network congestion and helping optimize network efficiencies. No user configuration or interaction is required.

A custom version of Devicescape's Easy WiFi, called "MetroPCS Easy WiFi", is included in MetroPCS' Android smartphones -- starting with the LG Optimus M and Huawei Ascend. The Devicescape technology is used to mitigate costs and reduce congestion through the diversion of data traffic onto the prolific Easy WiFi network.

Devicescape said its Easy WiFi allows data offload at more than 125,000 public hotspots throughout the United States.

Isocore Uses Ixia to Validate Alcatel-Lucent's Service Router

Isocore used Ixia's gear in recent testing of the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router (SR) acting as a broadband network gateway (BNG) for media-rich residential service delivery. The large-scale test covered subscriber management, IPv6 support, video quality assurance, and terabit forwarding capabilities. Specifically, Isocore
employed Ixia's IxNetwork to emulate and scale stateful subscriber hosts using a variety of residential access technologies, while generating high volumes of wire-rate multi-service IPv4 and IPv6 bi-directional traffic flows. Ixia emulated over 250,000 subscribers with various home residence scenarios. Granular QoS settings and analysis enabled Isocore to validate video assurance capabilities and user quality of experience. Ixia was able to deliver high volumes of media-rich traffic over extended periods of time -- a critical step in ensuring the test set-up represented real-world field deployments.

Sprint Hires Qwest's CFO

Sprint named Joseph J. Euteneuer, as its new chief financial officer (CFO), succeeding Bob Brust, who is retiring. Sprint expects Euteneuer, who currently serves as executive vice president, chief financial officer for Qwest Communications International Inc., to join the company following the completion of the proposed merger between Qwest and CenturyLink Inc. Brust, 67, will remain as CFO until that time.

Before serving as Qwest's CFO, Euteneuer served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of XM Satellite Radio Holdings.

Xilinx Trims December Quarter Guidance Citing Wireless

Xilinx now expects December quarter sales to be down approximately 7% to 9% sequentially, compared with earlier sales guidance of flat to down 4% sequentially. The company said this decreased sales guidance is primarily related to weaker than anticipated sales to a few large communications customers, specifically in the wireless segment.

AboveNet Expands Fiber Network in Seattle

AboveNet has expanded its network in Seattle with new fiber rings that provide short, low latency routes from downtown Seattle to the Sabey Data Center Complex in Tukwila and include connections into the new American Life data center. The company's fiber network in Seattle currently spans 250 route miles stretching from Mukilteo to the north to Tacoma in the south, with routes throughout downtown Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, and around Lake Washington.

FCC Opens on Next Gen 9-1-1

The FCC adopted a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking public comment on Next Generation 911 (NG911), which would update the nation's 9-1-1 emergency calling system with the addition of text, photo, and video capabilities. Already, 70% of 9-1-1 calls come from mobile phones and most of these users are frequent users of SMS and picture messaging. However, most 9-1-1 call centers are not capable of receiving text, photo, video or other incoming data.

Specifically, the FCC is seeking public comment on:

  • The technical feasibility and limitations of text messaging video streaming and photos;

  • Consumer privacy issues, particularly related to the sharing of personal electronic medical data;

  • Development of technical and policy standards;

  • Consumer education and awareness; and

  • Inter-governmental coordination and coordination within the public safety community.

Carrier-Class Availability -- "No Upside to Downtime"

Presented by John Fryer, President, Service Availability Forum

FCC's New Internet Rules: Transparency, No Blocking, Reasonable Net Management

The FCC approved new rules governing the management of Internet traffic, with the three Democrats on the commission voting in favor of the measure and the two Republicans voting against.

Key elements of the new Order include:

Rule 1: Transparency -- A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.

Rule 2: No Blocking -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management. A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider's voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network

Rule 3: No Unreasonable Discrimination -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer's broadband Internet access service. Reasonable network management shall not constitute unreasonable discrimination.

Significantly, "reasonable network management" is defined as follows: "A network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service. Legitimate network management purposes include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with a user's choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and by reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network."

The FCC rules go on to say that "Pay for Priority" delivery of packets on wireline broadband networks is likely to run afoul of the "no unreasonable discrimination" clause because it would represent a significant departure from current practices.

Mobile broadband is largely exempt from the "reasonable network management" clause, as the document acknowledges that this market is an earlier-stage platform than fixed broadband, and it is rapidly evolving.

The FCC also acknowledges that "specialized services," such as some broadband providers' existing facilities-based VoIP and IP-video offerings, differ from broadband Internet access service. The FCC said it will continue to monitor whether these specialized services are bypassing open Internet protections, supplanting the open Internet, and enabling anticompetitive conduct.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said "today a strengthened FCC is adopting rules to ensure that the Internet remains a powerful platform for innovation and job creation; to empower consumers and entrepreneurs; and protect free expression. These rules will increase certainty in the marketplace; spur investment both at the edge and in the core of our broadband networks, and contribute to a 21st century job-creation engine in the United States."

Speaking on behalf of the opposition, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell said his dissent to the measures is based on four primary concerns: "1) Nothing is broken in the Internet access market that needs
fixing; 2) The FCC does not have the legal authority to issue these rules; 3) The proposed rules are likely to cause irreparable harm; and 4) Existing law and Internet governance structures provide ample consumer protection in the event a systemic market failure occurs."