Sunday, March 27, 2011

NetScout to Acquire Psytechnics for UC Assurance

NetScout Systems will acquire privately held Psytechnics, which offers performance management technology for unified communications services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Psytechnics, which is based in Ipswich, United Kingdom, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, offers a range of active and passive software solutions for both Enterprises and Service Providers markets. These software solutions are used to demonstrably improve the performance of real-time communications, including the most advanced unified communications applications and networks designs. Its Experience Manager is a software suite that delivers user QoE-based service management for IP voice, video conferencing and Telepresence services. Real-time, objective call analysis details the actual user experience and streamlines both pro-active and reactive processes to remediate. The company claims more than 300 equipment and service provider customers worldwide for its active test solutions. Psytechnics has been backed by leading institutional investors DFJ Esprit, Gimv and New Venture Partners.

NetScout said the acquisition will strengthen its Unified Service Delivery Management strategy by providing more comprehensive management of the quality of IP Voice, Video and Telepresence service delivery along with all other application and data services. The Psytechnics team will be integrated into NetScout's ongoing operations.

"Addressing the quality and reliability of Voice, Video and Telepresence services continues to be a top concern for IT organizations. To proactively manage these services, the IT organization needs application-specific details as well as IP transmission characteristics for voice and video traffic to understand what impacts user service quality and address performance issues," said Anil Singhal, president and CEO of NetScout. "With the acquisition of Psytechnics, NetScout will gain critical technology and expertise that will help us continue to build on our foundation strategy of Packet-Flow intelligence and accelerate our innovation to address our customers' growing Unified Communications footprint."

Sipera Simplifies VoIP Security for Payment Card Privacy Compliance

Sipera Systems said its VoIP security solutions provide compliance with new guidance issued by the industry council for payment card privacy. Earlier this month, the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) issued new guidance to protect credit card and payment card information in telephone-based transactions, including VoIP. The guidance advises businesses that handle credit cards to ensure the privacy and encryption of VoIP communications carrying cardholder data, and to control archiving and monitoring of these communications in compliance with PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) rules.

Sipera's security appliance solution provides comprehensive application-layer security for VoIP, enabling an enterprise to implement these important security controls simply and easily.

"Many in the security community have recently focused on VoIP and Unified Communications application security as essential for safeguarding financial transactions of all kinds," said Adam Boone, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management for Sipera Systems. "The new guidance regarding payment card privacy is a critical development in this area, because VoIP communications are widespread and are now a favored target of hackers and fraudsters."

Broadcom Pumps its StrataXGS Switch for 10G Mobile Backhaul

Broadcom introduced its latest StrataXGS Ethernet switching chip optimized for high-capacity mobile backhaul platforms. The StrataXGS BCM56440 switch, which is implemented in 40nm CMOS, integrates the functionality of up to seven off-the-shelf application-specific standard parts (ASSPs), eliminating the need for power-hungry network processing units (NPUs) and field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

Key areas of integration include switching, traffic management, timing (both IEEE 1588v2 and IEEE 802.1as packet-based clock synchronization), circuit emulation services, and memory.

The switching capability includes an embedded deep buffer an hierarchical Quality of Service (QoS). It handles L2 switching, L3 routing, metro VPN tunneling and access control lists. Connectivity protocols include VPLS, VPWS, MPLS-TP, PBB and PBB-TE tunneling. In addition, the switch supports Ethernet and MPLS OAM in hardware to enable a complete host CPU offload.

The timing capabilities include 1588v2 support for boundary clock, ordinary clock and transparent clock. It also supports synchronous Ethernet clock synchronization on all ports.

Best Buy Connect Launches with Clearwire

Best Buy launched its 4G "Best Buy Connect" mobile broadband service via a wholesale relationship with Clearwire. The Best Buy Connect service will be sold at the company's retail stores across the U.S. Service activation, billing, hardware and connection support will come from Best Buy.

Initially, Best Buy Connect will offer unlimited 4G service for $45 per month with a month-to-month or two-year contract. With the purchase of a two-year contract, customers can waive the $35 activation fee and receive up to an additional $150 off select hardware devices.

The 3G version of Best Buy Connect launched in July 2010.

Telecom Italia to Deploy 7,000 LTE Base Stations from NSN

Telecom Italia will deploy 7,000 base stations (BTS) from Nokia Siemens Networks in several Italian regions, including Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Marche and Umbria. The companies have already tested LTE in some areas of Turin. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia Siemens Networks will undertake the radio network modernization in some Italian regions in the 900-1800 and 2100 MHz frequency bands, supplying its future-proof single Radio Access Network*** Flexi Multiradio Base Stations. These base stations allow smooth implementation of LTE in the 2.6 GHz and 800 MHz bands.

"This network modernization will enable exceptional voice quality and data speeds in addition to optimizing the performance and supporting the strong increase of smartphones," said Massimo Mazzocchini, head of Telecom Italia customer team at Nokia Siemens Networks. "This technology will be able to offer a throughput of more than 140 Mbps per cell with a latency of only 10 milliseconds, demonstrating the true value of a modern network for driving the growth of Italy's economy."

Mobile Apps & Data Center Symbiosis


Tabula Raises $108 Million for 3D Logic Silicon

Tabula, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, announced $108 million in Series D funding for its 3PLD ABAX programmable logic products.

The company's 3D programmable logic devices are positioned as the next generation beyond FPGAs. The Tabula silicon architecture leverages a "Spacetime" technology that reconfigures on the fly at multi-GHz rates, executing each portion of a design in an automatically defined sequence of steps. Tabula said this enables complex designs using only a small fraction of the resources that would be required by an inherently 2D FPGA. It also delivers significantly higher logic density, memory density and DSP performance. Tabula recently completed the roll-out of its 40nm ABAX family of 3PLDs supported by the Stylus development software.

The financing was led by Crosslink Capital and DAG Ventures. Existing investors, Balderton Capital, Benchmark Capital, Greylock Partners, Integral Capital, and NEA also participated in this round.

"The programmable logic market is seeing tremendous growth driven by the build out of the telecommunications infrastructure. This infrastructure build is necessary to keep pace with the global demand for more bandwidth to support smartphone usage for accessing data and video online." said Dennis Segers, CEO of Tabula. "This funding represents a resounding validation of our breakthrough Spacetime 3D programmable logic technology and a vote of confidence for the Tabula team in its ability to bring about both technological innovation as well as business innovation to customers. We will continue to build on our customer momentum by increasing volume shipments of our ABAX 3PLD product family. With the disruption our Spacetime architecture is bringing to the market, we will take programmable devices where they have never gone before and intend on becoming a global semiconductor market leader."

  • Tabula is headed by Dennis Segers, who previously served as president, CEO, and director of Matrix Semiconductor. Matrix pioneered the design and development of three-dimensional integrated circuits and was acquired by SanDisk in January 2006. The Tabula technical team is headed by Steve Teig, who previously was CTO of Cadence Design Systems. Steve joined Cadence through its acquisition of Simplex Solutions (NSDQ: SPLX), where he was also CTO.

Cisco Updates its Data Center Portfolio

Cisco rolled out a series of updates and enhancements across its Data Center Business Advantage portfolio, including the Cisco Nexus 7000 family and Nexus 5000 Series, the new ultra-low latency platform Cisco Nexus 3000, Cisco MDS storage switches, the Cisco Unified Computing System, the Cisco Data Center Network Manager, and Cisco NX-OS, the comprehensive data center operating system that spans the Cisco data center portfolio.

Cisco said its vision continues to be on the tight integration of its Unified Fabric, Unified Computing, and Unified Network Services into a holistic data center fabric. The goal is "wire once", allowing multiple data centers and cloud services to be connected across a common intelligent fabric.

Some highlights:

New Cisco Nexus 5548UP, Nexus 5596UP switches -- Unified Port (UP) capability on all ports for these 48- and 96-port data center switches enable information technology managers to designate any port to be 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel (2/4/8 gigabits) or Fibre Channel over Ethernet. These switches support Layer 2/3, provide support for IEEE 802.1Qbh, and are FabricPath-ready.

New Cisco Nexus 3000 Series Switches -- offering low latency (less than 1usec port to port), in a high-density 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch for specific markets, such as high-frequency trading applications, where low latency is the No. 1 requirement. The one-rack-unit switch supports Layer 2/3 wire-rate switching and a wide range of routing protocols within the Cisco NX-OS operating system.

Fabric Extender Technology (FEX) -- enables customers to build a single, modular fabric that extends from Cisco Nexus switches to Cisco Unified Computing System servers to adapters and to virtual machines. The design flexibility, reduced cabling infrastructure, and simplified management have resulted in equipment and operational savings of up to 50 percent for the more than 5,000 customers who have deployed the Cisco FEX architecture. Today Cisco introduced three additions to its fabric extension portfolio, all based on the IEEE 802.1Qbh emerging standard: Adapter FEX, VM-FEX (virtual machine) and FEX Support for Nexus 7000.

Director-Class Multi-hop Fibre Channel over Ethernet -- Cisco is introducing end-to-end data center convergence from server to storage by delivering new director-class, multi-hop Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) capability for the Nexus 7000 data center switch platform and the MDS 9500 storage switching platform, adding to existing FCoE functionality on the Nexus 5000 switch platform. Cisco provides Unified Fabric support to both the access and core network layers, supporting all storage traffic (Fibre Channel, FCoE, iSCSI, and NAS) over simplified infrastructure based on lossless 10-Gigabit Ethernet.

End-to-End Management With Cisco Data Center Network Manager -- enables SAN, LAN, and server teams to cohesively manage converged end-to-end data center networks up to 150,000 ports, and offers tight integration with VMware vCenter for provisioning, performance, and trouble-shooting.

Scaling the Internet and Enabling Cloud Services with LISP and MPLS on the Nexus 700 -- The Nexus 7000 supports MPLS for Layer 3 VPNs to help enable a highly secure, cloud-ready network infrastructure, and an industry first: Location/ID Separation Protocol. LISP is an IP routing and addressing architecture initiated by Cisco. IT managers can take advantage of LISP to enable highly agile networks for workload mobility; cloud enablement; the transition to IPv6; and scalable multi-tenancy.

Additions for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 series -- including a new Application Control Engine ACE30 module for dynamic workload scaling with Cisco Overlay Transport Virtualization which provides 54 percent higher performance for application delivery; a new ES40 module with 40 gigabit line-rate performance for high-performance Data Center Interconnect, and a new ASA Service module offering embedded firewall and security services.

New MDS 9000 Storage Media Encryption fabric service -- offers highly secure media encryption for disks as well as tapes to meet security requirements for regulatory compliance, and requires no SAN reconfiguration.

Nexus 1010 provides an NX-OS based appliance platform for hosting virtual services -- this platform now supports two additional services: the Cisco Virtual Security Gateway which provides VM-level segmentation in a multi-tenant virtualized data center, and the Cisco Data Center Network Management Center.

Cisco noted that it now has more than 4,000 Unified Computing System (UCS) customers.

Procera Cites Deployments by ISPs

Procera Networks announced growing deployments of its PacketLogic intelligent policy enforcement platform as the central intelligence point and service enabler by small to mid-size Internet service providers (ISPs) who are deploying broadband services in rural areas under the national Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP).

Examples include Arvig Communication Systems, also known as ACS, which is the leading local multi-service communications provider serving residential & business customers throughout northwestern Minnesota. In 2010 ACS was awarded funding through the BIP and, as an existing Procera customer, found the PacketLogic traffic management system instrumental in helping to project their future infrastructure requirements.

Arista's 64-Port 10/40G Switch Leverages Broadcom's Trident+

Arista Networks introduced a 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet switching system that delivers 1.28 Tbps of switching performance at under 2 watts per 10GbE interface – a new industry benchmark for Ethernet switching energy efficiency, according to the company.

The Arista 7050 offers dynamically allocated deep packet buffers and support for Data Center Bridging, making it suitable for interconnecting storage devices and big data applications such as Hadoop. As these applications scale the Arista 7050 can connect up to 18,000 10GbE attached servers through a single Arista Leaf/Spine network architecture.

The Arista 7050-64 is the first Arista switch to utilize the latest Broadcom Trident+ switching silicon.

In a compact 1RU form factor with reversible cooling options, the Arista 7050-64 supports 48 wirespeed 10GbE SFP+ interfaces while providing increased uplink density with 4x40Gb QSFP connectors that can work as either 40GbE or 4x10GbE providing a total of 64 10GbE ports in one switch.

Pricing for the Arista 7050-64 switch starts at $29,995.

Sprint States Opposition to AT&T + T-Mobile USA

Sprint officially announced its opposition to AT&T's proposed $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile USA, which would create a competitor that would be almost three times the size of Sprint in terms of wireless revenue.

"Sprint urges the United States government to block this anti-competitive acquisition," said Vonya McCann, senior vice president, Government Affairs. "This transaction will harm consumers and harm competition at a time when this country can least afford it. As the first national carrier to roll out 4G services and handsets and the carrier that brought simple unlimited pricing to the marketplace, Sprint stands ready to compete in a truly dynamic marketplace. So on behalf of our customers, our industry and our country, Sprint will fight this attempt by AT&T to undo the progress of the past 25 years and create a new Ma Bell duopoly."

Bell Labs Opens Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications in Australia

Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs and University of Melbourne, in partnership with the Victorian State Government, today officially launched the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications (CEET).

CEET will be devoted to innovation in energy-efficient networks and technologies with the ultimate goal of reducing the impact of telecommunications on the environment. The facility will have a staff of researchers and technology experts that will build to a team of 22 over the next three years.

"We've established a leading research program in network energy efficiency that has generated technology breakthroughs like those at the heart the recently announced lightRadio solution," said Jeong Kim, President of Bell Labs. "We look forward to contributing our expertise to help CEET reach its potential."

"Today, telecommunications networks in Australia use about one percent of our energy supply and with increasing demands for bandwidth, this is expected to grow dramatically - unless we find ways to make our networks more efficient," said Rod Tucker, University of Melbourne Laureate Professor.

Australia Debates Uniform Pricing for Fibre & Wireless

Legislative proposals are being debated that would require Australia's NBNCo to charge the same prices for bits delivered over fibre, wireless and satellite, according The Australian newspaper. Rural areas are likely to be served wirelessly or via satellite, so the bills would ensure equal pricing for access across the country.

Qatar Establishes National Broadband Network Company (Q.NBN)

A new company - Qatar National Broadband Network Company (Q.NBN) - has been established by the government of Qatar with a mandate to accelerate the rollout of a nationwide, open, and accessible high-speed broadband Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network.

Q.NBN will focus solely on the deployment of a passive network infrastructure, efficiently leveraging existing and
new infrastructure in Qatar. The company aims to cover in excess of 95 percent of the population by 2015.

This government-led initiative was developed in consultation with existing network operators, Qtel and Vodafone, and will support the development of their broadband service offerings to government, enterprises, and consumers. The government support will help ensure rapid deployment and seamless access in a competitive manner.

"The Qatar National Broadband Network represents a bold step forward in Qatar's drive to be a leading knowledge economy. Ubiquitous access to a high-speed network is essential to business development, economic growth, innovation and enhanced government services for our citizens. This network will do more than connect Qatar to the world; it will truly help enrich the lives of those who live here," said Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber, Secretary General, ictQATAR.

Verizon Wireless Launches New Certification for 3G/4G Chipsets

Verizon Wireless announced two new efforts designed to help chipset providers and device manufacturers develop and build handsets and other devices for use on the company's leading 3G and 4G LTE networks.

Verizon Wireless currently requires all baseband chipsets to go through a common certification process. The company is launching a new certification process that aims to eliminate redundant testing among chip vendors, device vendors and Verizon Wireless, leading to a faster approval cycle for the chipsets. The program simplifies device certification requirements, while ensuring uniform quality across chipsets used in devices launched across Verizon Wireless' networks.

Certification applies to all new chipsets; existing chipsets may be granted certification based on meeting certain criteria and "grandfathered" into the program at the discretion of Verizon Wireless.

In addition, Verizon Wireless has chosen COMPRION to be the official test equipment provider for LTE-USIM and CDMA-CSIM interface testing of handsets. COMPRION, based in Paderborn, Germany, is a leading manufacturer of test equipment for handset testing.

The tests done using COMPRION equipment are based on established ETSI, 3GPP and 3GPP specifications and are augmented with Verizon Wireless-specific requirements. COMPRION SIMfony, the validated conformance test system for combined handset testing is known for its usability and efficiency, and will be used to test both LTE and Multi-Mode handsets.

Symmetricom Builds Momentum for 4G Packet Synchronization

Symmetricom has launched a "SyncWorld" Ecosystem Program to support precise timing and synchronization requirements for 4G/LTE deployments that ensure seamless integration for service provider networks. Initial members include leading network equipment suppliers and silicon developers.

The program requires interoperability testing between Symmetricom and the program members to ensure delivery of precise timing and synchronization services across the network. .

"Time to market demands of service providers requires everyone to pre-define interoperability parameters to ensure deployment of tested and proven solutions," said Manish Gupta, vice president of marketing at Symmetricom. "We look forward to working closely with our partners to test and integrate precise timing and synchronization solutions and support the rapid deployment of 4G/LTE networks."

Service providers benefit from receiving documented test results and joint deployment guidelines developed for

Spread Network Further Trims its Low Latency

Spread Networks, the new a privately owned telecommunications provider that has built a low latency Ethernet wave network connecting New York and Chicago, has further trimmed its low latency benchmark.

The current SLA clocks at 15.75 milliseconds roundtrip, but Spread Networks is lowering
the SLA to 14.75 milliseconds, with measured performance of 14.6 milliseconds.

The latency is identical from Chicago to all four of Spread's New Jersey endpoints.

Spread Networks' low latency wave service is a fully managed and secure point-to-point Ethernet service designed
for enterprise customers that value low latency connectivity between the nation's largest financial centers in New
York and Chicago. The wave service complements Spread Networks' flagship 13.33 millisecond roundtrip dark
fiber network service.