Monday, May 9, 2011

Motorola Mobility Acquires SunUp Digital Systems

Motorola Mobility has acquired SunUp Digital Systems, a software provider based in Santa Clara, California, for an undisclosed sum.

SunUp Digital Systems develops and markets high performance, operating software for IPTV, DTH, Digital Cable, and content distribution networks.

The SunUp software will enhance the Motorola Medios software platform, providing the ability, for example, to enforce content rights and to manage live content across multiple screens.

"Consumers are increasingly using companion devices to augment and personalize their entertainment experience, and with the acquisition of SunUp, Motorola Mobility strengthens its ability to enable service providers to rapidly create and manage advanced revenue-generating video services across multiple screens," said John Burke, senior vice president and general manager, Converged Experiences, Motorola Mobility.

NYC to be First with Personal Localized Alerting Network

New York City will be the first in the nation to activate the Personal Localized Alerting Network, which is the new public safety system that allows customers who own an enabled mobile device to receive geographically-targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area. The NYC network is expected to come online by the end of 2011, at least two calendar quarters before the rest of the nation.

The network is being designed to ensure that emergency alerts will not get stalled by user congestion, which can happen with standard mobile voice and texting services. Authorized government officials can send messages, which participating wireless providers then push using their cell towers to enabled mobile devices in a targeted geographic area.

PLAN complements the existing Emergency Alert System, which is implemented by the FCC and FEMA at the federal level through broadcasters and other media service providers.

Consumers will receive three types of alerts from PLAN: (1) alerts issued by the President; (2) alerts involving
imminent threats to safety of life; and (3) Amber Alerts. Participating carriers may allow subscribers to block all but Presidential alerts.

"Communications technology – and in particular mobile broadband – has the potential to revolutionize emergency response," said FCC Chairman Genachowski. "Our communications networks need to be reliable and resilient in times of emergency. The FCC is working with carriers to ensure that they are."http://www.fcc.govIn November 2010, lcatel-Lucent introduced a Broadcast Message Center (BMC) solution that allows mobile operators to comply with emergency alerting standards in the United States. The BMC system acts as a secure interface between an emergency management agency and the service provider's network, delivering emergency alerts to cell sites in a specific geographic area. For instance, targeted text alerts can be sent to residents threatened by tsunamis, wildfire, tornadoes, floods, etc.; to warn of school emergencies; or to inform citizens of an Amber Alert. Alcatel-Lucent's Broadcast Message Center manages message and delivery priorities, scheduling and re-transmission needs for these alerts.

The FCC has established the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) to standardize this emergency alert system on a national level. The CMAS network will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to accept and aggregate alerts from the President of the United States, the National Weather Service (NWS), and state and local emergency operations centers, and then send the alerts over a secure interface to wireless providers. The location-specific emergency alerts will be classified in one of three categories:

  • Presidential Alerts-- Alerts for all Americans related to national emergencies, such as terrorist attacks, that will preempt any other pending alerts;

  • Imminent Threat Alerts -- Alerts with information on emergencies, such as hurricanes or tornadoes, where life or property is at risk, the event is likely to occur, and some responsive action should be taken; and

  • Child Abduction Emergency/AMBER Alerts -- Alerts related to missing or endangered children due to an abduction or runaway situation.

It will be possible for consumers to opt out of receiving Imminent Threat and Child Abduction/AMBER alerts, but not Presidential Alerts. A unique and dedicated vibration cadence and audio attention signal will be used for emergency alerts. The system will require CMAS-enabled handsets and these are expected to come to market in 2011 or be enabled by software upgrades to mobile handsets. The system is also designed as a priority one-to-all broadcast from the cell tower to all handsets in range, thus avoiding any network congestion issues.

Golden Gate Capital Buys Out Tollgrade Communications

Golden Gate Capital, a global private equity firm, completed its previous announced buy out of Tollgrade Communications, a provider of network assurance solutions. Tollgrade's smart grid solutions for the utilities industry enable electric utilities to provide real-time grid intelligence and immediate fault detection, which helps to minimize the impact of outages and optimize utilization of assets.

Tollgrade is based in Cranberry Township, Pa., and has about 112 employees around the globe.
  • Earlier this year, Gold Holdings, Inc., an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital, acquired Conexant Systems.
    Golden Gate Capital manages more than $9 billion in capital and has completed over 13 going-private transactions in the technology sector since its inception in 2000. The firm is based in San Francisco.

Skype Acquisition Brings 170M Users, New Carrier Relationship to MS

Microsoft's planned acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion in cash -- its biggest acquisition to date -- is driven by real-time communications over the Web and the popularity of the Skype brand, according to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Skype currently claims 170 million users and its service delivered over 207 billion minutes of voice and video conversations in 2010. The companies said Skype continues to add about 600,000 users per day -- and has the potential to reach billions of users with its brand of free or low-cost international calling and video chat service. Skype now routinely has over 20 million users online simultaneously. About 40% of Skype calls are using the video chat feature. The average user is on Skype for 100 minutes per month. Skype believes that advertising on its video-based services will be its key revenue stream in the future.

Going forward, Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft. It supports Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms, as it builds the Skype brand.

Microsoft plans to continue to push Skype forward onto new platforms, including TVs,PCs, and Windows phones.

For business, Microsoft said it has a good success with its Lync unified communications client. It now plans to open Lync up to the Skype user base.
  • In February 2010, Verizon Wireless and Skype kicked off an alliance that puts Skype on Verizon Wireless smartphones. Specifically, Verizon Wireless 3G smartphone users with data plans can use Skype mobile make and receive unlimited Skype-to-Skype voice calls to any Skype user; call international phone numbers at competitive Skype Out calling rates; send and receive instant messages to other Skype users; and remain always connected with the ability to see friends' online presence.

  • In October 2010, KDDI and Skype announced a strategic alliance that will integrate Skype across KDDI's services, starting with its "au" mobile offerings. Skype will initially be made available on the au Android smartphone (IS03 and IS01) starting in November. KDDI plans deeper Skype integration on a range of au Android devices as well as BREW devices in 2011. The companies said they are working to offer a whole new communications experience. Japanese customers on the KDDI network can bring their Skype conversations with them wherever they go and stay connected with their friends at all times by sending and receiving Instant Messages with the Skype app running in the background.

  • In Janaury 2011, Skype reported 27 million simultaneous users. A new peak for the company.

  • In January 2011, Skype acquired Qik, a provider of mobile video software and services, for an undisclosed sum. Qik's app enables mobile phone users to share live or recorded video clips. The Qik service is available on over 200 mobile phones across the Android, iPhone, Symbian, Blackberry and Windows Mobile platforms, and comes pre-loaded on a wide variety of mobile handsets through partnerships with leading handset manufacturers and carriers.

  • Also in January 2011, Skype released a new iPhone application that supports video calling over both 3G and WiFi networks. The new Skype for iPhone app is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 4th generation with i0S 4.0 or above.

Marvell Introduces OpenFlow-enabled Switches

Marvell has introduced an OpenFlow-enabled, fully featured switching solution based on its networking control stack and Prestera family of packet processors. Marvell's new OpenFlow switches support 1GbE, 10GbE and 40GbE port configurations.

The goal of OpenFlow is to enable software-defined networks optimized for specific applications and services. OpenFlow seeks to enable dynamic re-configuration of the network in-situ without a tear-down and new setup of equipment.

Marvell is a founding member of the Open Network Foundation, and is actively involved in the development of OpenFlow.

Dr Nick McKeown, Stanford professor of electrical engineering and computer science, said, "OpenFlow allows for the deployment of innovative routing and switching solutions for applications, like virtual machine mobility, security and other services for next-generation mobile networks. It is exciting to see a growing number of commercially available OpenFlow switches and software-defined networks."

Extreme Networks Debuts its Open Fabric Data Center Switches

Extreme Networks unveiled an Open Fabric data center architecture along with two new Ethernet switches designed for cloud-scale deployments requiring low latency and energy efficiency.

The Extreme Networks Open Fabric data center architecture incorporates standards-based OpenFlow technology to simplify network provisioning and supports Data Center Bridging (DCB) to provide consolidation of LAN and storage fabrics in the data center, including iSCSI and FCoE. The company said its design goals with this new architecture were to scale for huge switching capacity, support vast number of highly dynamic virtual machines, while leveraging standards-based technologies and existing investments.

The Extreme Networks Open Fabric data center solution leverages the ExtremeXOS operating system end-to-end and emphasizes wire-speed switching of Virtual Machines (VMs), intelligence to automate VM mobility through XNV, standards-based, non-blocking high density 10Gbs server connectivity and non-blocking high density 40Gbs fabric interconnect with multi-path forwarding that is also designed to evolve for 100GbE.

Key elements of the introduction:

BlackDiamond X8 modular chassis -- a 20 Terabit chassis featuring up to 768 non-blocking 10GbE ports or 192 non-blocking 40GbE ports in 1/3rd rack or 14.5 RU. The platform is designed to evolve to support 100GbE. It boasts 1.28Tbps bandwidth per slot, performance of 11.4 Billion packets per second (Bpps), and switching up to 128,000 VMs at wire speed. Energy efficiency is rated at 5 watts per 10GbE port. It also offers a latency of less than 3 micro-seconds and support of N+1 grid redundancy further scale data center build outs. The BlackDiamond X8, equipped with redundant power, redundant management, redundant fabrics, and populated for 768 10GbE interfaces, has list pricing of $1,000 per 10GbE port and $4,000 per 40GbE port, and is expected to begin customer trials in October 2011.

Summit X670 Top-of-Rack switches -- up to 64 ports of wire speed 10 GbE or 48 ports of wire speed 10GbE with modular four ports of wire speed 40GbE uplinks. The Summit X670 is designed for high density of 10GbE servers and offers an optional, future-proofing 4x40 GbE uplink support and support from existing 1GbE servers to 10 GbE servers. The X670 switches offer up to 64 ports of high density 10 GbE in 1RU and support up to 448 10 GbE ports in an 8-unit virtual chassis using the SummitStack-V160, delivering up to 160 Gbps stacking bandwidth with distributed forwarding. Extreme Networks has performed compatibility testing on the Summit X70 switches with a number of 10GbE adapters, including the Intel Server Adapter X520.

BlackDiamond 8900 high density, 6x40 GbE blades

"The Extreme Networks Open Fabric data center solution demonstrates our continued innovation in the data center market," said Shehzad Merchant of Extreme Networks. "As the Cloud ramps in its adoption and services, and as applications and Virtual Machines become more mobile and dynamic, so do the requirements for greatly improved performance and control from the network."

AT&T to Invest $1 Billion in Cloud and Mobility Solutions for Businesses

AT&T will invest nearly $1 billion in 2011 to deploy global network-based cloud, mobility and network sourcing solutions for business customers. The spending, which is part of AT&T's previously announced $19 billion CAPEX budget for 2011, will be targeted at companies, government agencies and institutions in industries such as manufacturing, retail, hospitality, healthcare and automotive.

AT&T's 2011 investment priorities for business customers include:

Advanced Mobility Solutions and Connected Devices: In 1Q 2011, AT&T added 1.6 million emerging devices, which included connected devices and embedded computing devices such as tablets, netbooks, and laptops. More than 12 million emerging devices are now connected to the AT&T network. AT&T has seen the use of mobile applications triple since 2009.

Cloud Based and Emerging Services: AT&T has embedded cloud capabilities directly into its network so that the company can manage and deliver services and applications as part of a total solution to any device. These services offer customers tremendous flexibility and shared economics for their compute and storage needs – and are all protected by AT&T's industry-leading network-based security solutions.

Global Enterprise Networking: AT&T has focused investment in business-focused networks, systems and applications to provide a globally consistent set of robust and highly-secure services for our 1700 target multinational customers. More than 70 percent of AT&T's frame relay customers have made the transition to IP-based solutions, which allow them to easily add managed services such as network security, cloud services and IP conferencing on top of their infrastructures.

Small Business Services: To serve its more than 3 million small- and medium-sized business customers in the U.S., AT&T is continuing to invest in delivering new and simplified service bundles and increasing download speeds within its existing 22- state broadband footprint.

Healthcare Industry Focus: Building on the successful launch of AT&T ForHealth practice area in 2010, AT&T plans to continue to accelerate the delivery of innovative wireless, cloud-based and networking services and applications to help the healthcare industry improve patient care and reduce costs.

Marvell Offers 40nm Ultra-Low Power Octal Gigabit Ethernet

Marvell introduced its "Alaska V" series of 40nm ultra-low power, eight-port, energy-efficient gigabit Ethernet transceivers incorporating Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) features based on the IEEE 802.3az standard. The 88E1680 transceiver, which is part of the Alaska V family of transceivers, delivers the lowest active power per port at 10/100/1000Mbps data rates.

The Alaska V 88E1680 transceiver supports EEE technology when interfaced with EEE-aware MAC devices and legacy devices that do not support EEE, enabling a seamless migration to standards-based EEE networking solutions. The 88E1680 transceiver, with innovative mixed-signal design techniques, offers 2x cable performance compared to IEEE 802.3 requirements, all in a small, cost-effective package. With a high level of integration and enriched features, the Alaska V 88E1680 transceiver sets a new standard in energy savings for next-generation cloud infrastructures.

Arbor Introduces Cloud Security Protocol for the Internet Data Center

Arbor Networks introduced a Cloud Signaling protocol that bridges the gap between the data center edge and the provider cloud, where Arbor's Peakflow SP platform is pervasively deployed. The capability is a key feature in the Arbor Pravail Availability Protection System (APS), a new product family focused on securing the Internet data center (IDC) edge.

Arbor Networks said the goal of Cloud Signaling is to automate the connecting of service providers, network operators and data center customers with the mission to ensure the availability of IDC infrastructure and speed time-to-mitigation for distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Cloud Signaling mitigates application-layer attacks at the data center edge and volumetric denial of service attacks in the provider cloud. The Cloud Signaling protocol facilitate both customer on-premise mitigation of application-layer attacks and upstream mitigation of volumetric attacks in an automated and real-time manner.

Arbor said service providers who utilize Cloud Signaling can offer customers a comprehensive, integrated protection from the data center edge to the service provider cloud.

For the second consecutive year, botnet-driven volumetric and application-layer DDoS attacks continue to be the most significant problems facing network operators, according to the Arbor Networks 2010 Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report. In 2010, for the first time, volumetric DDoS attacks topped the 100 Gbps barrier and an alarming 77 percent of respondents detected application-layer attacks. These application-layer attacks are targeting both end customers and network operators' own critical support services, such as HTTP, Web and domain name system (DNS) services.

KT Implement Juniper's Junos Pulse Mobile Security

KT will implement Juniper Networks' Junos Pulse and the Junos Pulse Mobile Security Suite to secure the mobile life of their corporate customers. KT will market the solution directly through established sales channels, and its established partnerships.

KT can us Junos Pulse to provide their customers anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, loss and theft protection, parental controls, and monitoring and control services purpose built for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Additionally, KT users will be able to remotely backup and restore data, locate and track a mobile device in the event it is lost or stolen, remotely lock and wipe it, activate an alarm, and can send an alert when a SIM card has been removed, swapped or replaced.

Verizon Picks Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 7120 Micro Packet ONP

Verizon has selected the Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 7120 Micro Packet Optical Networking Platform (Packet ONP) as the foundation of a communications infrastructure that provides ultra low latency performance, reliability, and expansion capability. The Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 7120 Micro Packet ONP is a combination access WDM and intelligent edge service delivery platform.

"The Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 7120 Micro Packet ONP is a key component to helping deliver the lowest latency in commercial deployments such as stock exchanges that typically support millions of trades per day in an environment where even a millisecond delay in trading can cost significant dollars," said Ihab Tarazi, vice president of global network planning for Verizon.

"In Verizon's year-long benchmarking tests run with a large stock exchange, our FLASHWAVE platforms outperformed service level agreements that demanded the lowest latency and the highest availability," said Rod Naphan, senior vice president of product and strategic planning at Fujitsu Network Communications. "Our solutions are designed to meet the most critical latency requirements, and as this Verizon deployment proves, our platforms are ideal for these tasks."

While performing benchmarking tests, Verizon used the Fujitsu NETSMART® 1500 carrier-class management solution to provision and monitor the Fujitsu FLASHWAVE equipment dedicated to the customer. The software helps assure optimum performance and availability while delivering instantaneous alarm reports, performance data tracking and graphing, and bandwidth capacity reports.

Fujitsu noted that its FLASHWAVE 7120 platform, when working in conjunction with other Fujitsu platforms, such as the Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet ONP, makes core-to-edge deployments possible without the need for back-to-back transponders and separate management systems.

Akamai and Riverbed Align on Hybrid Cloud Acceleration

Akamai Technologies and Riverbed Technology announced a strategic alliance to develop enterprise application acceleration solutions that leverage public cloud services. The partnership combines Akamai's global network of edge servers with Akamai's expertise in WAN acceleration. The planned solution would be designed to accelerate cloud-based applications.

Akamai's globally-distributed network of more than 90,000 servers deployed in the cloud provides route, protocol and application layer optimizations for the Internet, and serves roughly 30 percent of all Web traffic.

Riverbed has thousands of appliances deployed within enterprise networks providing network, application and storage optimizations for the WAN.

The companies said they will integrate Akamai Internet optimization software within Riverbed Steelhead appliances, thereby extending Akamai's edge from close proximity to the data center to directly within the enterprise. In addition, Riverbed WAN optimization software would be integrated within Akamai edge servers with the goal of extending WAN optimization into the public cloud, thereby extending Riverbed's edge from the data center to close proximity to cloud data centers.

"The rapid move to the cloud presents new opportunities for two industry leaders, Riverbed and Akamai, to create solutions for enterprises to simplify their extension to the cloud while leveraging the infrastructure they already have in place," said Eric Wolford, executive vice president of Marketing and Business Development, Riverbed. "Accelerating software as a service, for example, across a hybrid cloud environment helps businesses increase application adoption. We believe that greater adoption means improved business results, operating and infrastructure savings, and user productivity."

"Akamai's highly-distributed architecture is close to any public cloud infrastructure and Riverbed Steelhead appliances stretch across thousands of enterprise IT networks from the data center to the branch office and mobile worker," said Willie Tejada, vice president, Application and Site Acceleration, Akamai.

The joint offering is expected to be available early in 2012.