Sunday, September 30, 2012

VMware Opens vCloud Service Evaluation Beta

VMware has opened its vCloud Service Evaluation Beta to the public, enabling users to run their own tests of vCloud.

VMware's vCloud allows users to migrateVMs on demand from their "internal cloud" of cooperating VMware hypervisors to a remote cloud of VMware hypervisors.  The newly opened vCloud Service Evaluation includes a catalog of useful VM templates, virtual networking, persistent storage, external IP addresses, firewalls, load balancers, the vCloud API, etc.  VMware is also providing some pre-built content templates (at no charge) through the vCloud Service Evaluation, including WordPress, Jommia!, Sugar CRM, LAMP stack, Windows Server, etc.

  • In August, Dell entered the enterprise cloud market with the launch of a VMware vCloud Datacenter Service that provides a seamless multi-tenant environment for running virtual systems. Specifically, Dell and VMware will provide Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) choice for customer organizations, hosting and outsourcing firms, system integrators and service providers. The service is currently in beta testing.This is the first public and hybrid cloud offering.
  • Also in August, Deutsche Telekom's T Systems division has formed a strategic partnership with VMware to provide customers with cloud computing services. The VMware vCloud Datacenter Service to be provided by T-Systems delivers on the hybrid cloud promise, to provide IT infrastructure out of the cloud that has undergone a demanding certification process by VMware.T-Systems plans to launch its VMware vCloud Datacenter Service this fall based on VMware’s cloud infrastructure.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

China's Qihoo Powers New Data Center with Juniper's QFabric

Qihoo 360, a leading Chinese Internet and mobile solution provider, is powering its new data center using Juniper Networks' QFabric architecture. Specifically, the company has deployed a QFX3000-G QFabric System -- designed for large enterprises, service providers and cloud data center environments -- to support its expansion into new web-based services including search and cloud offerings.

Qihoo 360 Technology currently supports more that 435 million users with its PC-based security solutions, 120 million mobile security users and 272 million users of its secure web browser -- almost all of whom are in China.

Juniper's QFabric solution can support up to 6,144 10GbE ports within a single data center network fabric.

The company confirmed that Qihoo 360 is the first site in China to deploy the Juniper Networks QFabric architecture. Qihoo 360 has also deployed Juniper Networks EX3300 Ethernet Switches as a 1GbE access layer to connect its servers.

In addition, Juniper Networks EX4200 Ethernet Switches with Virtual Chassis technology have been deployed to provide control plane access to the network and support connections to multiple Internet service providers. Virtual Chassis technology enables up to 10 interconnected switches to operate as a single, logical device. As part of the same network upgrade project, Qihoo 360 Technology has also deployed Juniper Networks MX960 3D Universal Edge Routers to support high-performance content synchronization between its new and existing data centers.

European Commission Sees Opportunity in Cloud Computing

The European Commission outlined its ambition to drive European business and government productivity via cloud computing.  The EC believes cloud computing could deliver a net gain of 2.5 million new European jobs, and an annual boost of EUR 160 billion to EU GDP (around 1%), by 2020.

Key points of the strategy include:
  • Cutting through the jungle of technical standards so that cloud users get interoperability, data portability and reversibility; necessary standards should be identified by 2013;
  • Support for EU-wide certification schemes for trustworthy cloud providers;
  • Development of model 'safe and fair' contract terms for cloud computing contracts including Service Level Agreements;
  • A European Cloud Partnership with Member States and industry to harness the public sector's buying power (20% of all IT spending) to shape the European cloud market, boost the chances for European cloud providers to grow to achieve a competitive scale, and deliver cheaper and better eGovernment.
"Cloud computing is a game-changer for our economy. Without EU action, we will stay stuck in national fortresses and miss out on billions in economic gains. We must achieve critical mass and a single set of rules across Europe. We must tackle the perceived risks of cloud computing head-on," stated EC Vice-President Neelie Kroes.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Arianespace Launches 2 Satellites: Astra 2F and GSAT-10

An Ariane 5 rocket successfully orbited two telecommunications satellites: Astra 2F, which mainly provides direct-to-home (DTH) broadcast services for the Luxembourg-based operator SES, and the GSAT-10 communications satellite for the Indian Space Research Organization, ISRO.
ASTRA 2F, which was built by Astrium using a Eurostar E3000 platform, weighed 6,000 kg at launch. It carries both Ku- and Ka-band transponders. ASTRA 2F will be positioned at 28.2 degrees East for delivering DTH TV broadcast services to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
GSAT-10, which was designed, assembled and integrated by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) in Bangalore, weighed about 3,400 kg at launch.  The satellite is fitted with 18 C-band and 12 Ku-band transponders. Positioned at 83 degrees East, it will provide direct-to-home broadcasting, weather and radio-navigation services. Its coverage zone encompasses the entire Indian sub-continent.

This marks the fifth Ariane 5 launch in 2012.  Ariane 5 is the only commercial rocket capable of simultaneously launching two payloads.

FCC Readies First Incentive Auction for Repurposed TV Spectrum

The FCC voted to approve plans for the first incentive auction to repurpose broadcast spectrum for mobile broadband use.

Incentive auctions offer financial incentives to broadcasters to put their unused, licensed spectrum up for public auction, including giving broadcasters a portion of the auction proceeds.  The U.S. is the first nation to move ahead with incentive auctions for traditional TV spectrum.

The major outlines of the incentive auction are given as follow in the FCC's NPRM:

(1) a “reverse auction” in which broadcast television licensees submit bids to voluntarily relinquish
spectrum usage rights in exchange for payments.  The reverse auction consists of three broad issues: bid collection, determination of which bids are accepted, and determination of payment amounts to winners.

(2) a reorganization or “repacking” of the broadcast television bands in order to free up a portion of the ultra-high frequency (UHF) band for other uses. Repacking involves reorganizing the broadcast television bands so that the television stations that remain on the air after the incentive auction occupy a smaller portion of the UHF band, subject to interference and other constraints imposed by the Spectrum Act and treaties with Canada and Mexico.   The goal it to configure a portion of the UHF band into contiguous blocks of spectrum suitable for flexible use.

(3) a “forward auction” of initial licenses for flexible use of the newly available spectrum. The forward auction will resemble prior competitive bidding systems that the FCC has utilized,  except that the FCC will not know in advance the amount of spectrum we can make available in the forward auction, the specific frequencies that will be available and, perhaps, the geographic locations of such frequencies.

The FCC is now seeking comment on these issues.

600 MHz Band Plan. The FCC is also seeking comment on a 600 MHz band plan for reclaimed broadcast television spectrum using 5 megahertz blocks and with 6 megahertz guard bands between mobile broadband use and broadcast use.

The FCC said it is committed to make a substantial amount of spectrum available for unlicensed uses, including a significant portion that would be available on a uniform nationwide basis for the first time. This unlicensed spectrum would continue to include television white spaces.  In addition, the FCC is considering making the 6 MHz guard bands in the 600 MHz band plan available for unlicensed use, making channel 37 available for such use, and making two channels currently designated for wireless microphone use available for white space devices.

  • In February 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012", which also granted voluntary incentive auction authority to the FCC.

Alcatel-Lucent Builds Ghana’s e-government Services

Alcatel-Lucent is working with NITA - the information and communications technology (ICT) policy arm of Ghana’s Ministry of Communications - to connect central and regional administration offices in support of "e-Ghana", a national initiative to develop local IT services and improve the transparency and efficiency of government functions.  Alcatel-Lucent will design and implement a 600km fiber backbone. In addition, Alcatel-Lucent will provide a national data center facility to support the network, through close collaboration with HP, a global alliance partner for the delivery of converged ICT solutions.

The network uses Alcatel-Lucent's 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS), which can support a mixture of 10G, 40G and 100G channels on the same fiber pair, helping ensure support for future needs as demand grows. Alcatel-Lucent is working with IPMC, local IT hardware and services provider, to establish a large-scale data center using technology from HP.

Huawei Completes LTE TDD/TD-SCDMA Interoperability Testing

Huawei has completed LTE TDD/TD-SCDMA multi-mode interoperability testing using Qualcomm's MDM9615 modem, which is highly optimized to support LTE (FDD and TDD), dual-carrier HSPA +, and EV-DO Rev. B. In addition, MDM9615 can also support TD-SCDMA, allowing for interoperability to occur between TD-SCDMA and LTE TDD.

ADTRAN Cuts Guidance on Weak U.S. Carrier Spending

Citing weakness in spending by U.S. carriers, ADTRAN cut its revenue and earnings estimates for the third quarter ending September 30, 2012.

The company now expects revenue for the quarter to be approximately $162 million. GAAP earnings per share for the quarter, assuming dilution, are expected to range from $0.14 to $0.15. Non-GAAP earnings per share for the quarter are expected to range from $0.18 to $0.19.

ADTRAN Chief Executive Officer Tom Stanton stated, “Our performance this quarter continued to be affected by a challenging spending environment stemming largely from macro-economic and regulatory concerns. The largest impact continues to be in the U.S. carrier market where we saw continuing delays in project rollouts exacerbated by a decrease in legacy product sales. Although timing the resolution to these macro concerns remains challenging, recent bidding activity in Tier 1 and Tier 2 carrier accounts both domestically and abroad leave us very confident about our positioning as these markets rebound.”

CTIA Endorses FCC's Incentive Auction of Broadcast Television Spectrum

"Since spectrum is a finite resource, we're pleased the Commission has begun the process of establishing the rules that will fulfill the goals of the recently adopted, bipartisan spectrum legislation.  We also commend the Commission for working to ensure that it not only establishes rules that result in a successful auction, but also completes its efforts in a timely manner. In order to maintain our global leadership in the mobile ecosystem, we must ensure that this spectrum is brought to market more quickly than the almost ten years it took to bring the last two spectrum blocks to market," stated CTIA-The Wireless Association President and CEO Steve Largent.

Intel Strikes at the Tablet Market

Intel, in partnership with Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, LG, Samsung and ZTE, showed off new tablets and tablet convertible designs based on Intel Core vPro, Intel Core and Intel Atom processors, including the new Intel Atom processor Z2760 (formerly codenamed "Clover Trail").

Intel said its new chip allow for tablets as thin as 8.5mm and as light as 1.5 pounds. The dual-core, four-thread SoC enables long battery life with more than 3 weeks of connected standby and more than 10 hours of local HD video playback.  Intel also highlighted support for the upcoming Windows 8.

"This is just the beginning of Intel's effort in the tablet market, and our goal is to deliver products that fit the spectrum of evolving needs of both consumers and business users without compromising on compatibility, experience or battery life," said Erik Reid, general manager, Application Processor Platforms for Intel's Mobile and Communications Group. "When people or corporations buy a device with Intel Inside®, they're getting the best of Windows 8 features with a computing experience that just works."

Bloomberg: DDoS Attacks on U.S. Banks Worrisome

A group calling itself Izz ad-Din al-Quassam Cyber Fighters is claiming responsibility for the series of DDoS attacks on major U.S. financial institutions over the past 2 weeks, according to Bloomberg, and were possibly inspired as revenge for the controversial YouTube video.  The attacks, which escalated last week, are raising concerns across the industry in part because it was assumed that the major U.S. banks have sufficient cyber security to defend against distributed denial of service attacks.

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which gathers threat, vulnerability, and risk information about cyber and physical security risks faced by the financial services sector under a Presidential directive, is maintaining an orange "High" warning level on its 5-level warning scale of Cyber Threats. (the highest level is 5-point red for "Severe" risk of cyber attacks on financial institutions).   FS-ISAC raised the warning level to Orange on September 19th.

Crown Castle to Acquire 7,200 Towers from T-Mobile USA for $2.4 Billion

Crown Castle reached an agreement to acquire approximately 7,200 towers from T-Mobile USA for $2.4 billion in cash.

The deal gives Crown Castle the exclusive right to lease and operate the T-Mobile towers for a weighted average term of approximately 28 years. In addition, Crown Castle will have the option to purchase such towers at the end of the respective lease terms for aggregate option payments of approximately $2.4 billion, which payments, if exercised would be primarily between 2025 and 2048.

Crown Castle said the deal helps it to consolidate its share of the telecom tower leasing business.  T-Mobile USA said the cash will help it to accelerate its 4G rollout.

"T-Mobile USA is working aggressively to make our 4G network stronger, faster and more dependable for consumers, and this transaction will support our ongoing $4 billion network modernization initiative that is the cornerstone of this effort as we work tirelessly to continue to deliver our amazing 4G services nationwide."

  • Earlier this year, Crown Castle International acquired NextG Networks for approximately $1.0 billion in cash.  NextG, which specializes in outdoor distributed antenna systems ("DAS"), currently has over 7,000 nodes-on-air and a further 1,500 nodes under construction. In addition, NextG has rights to over 4,600 miles of fiber. Over 90% of NextG nodes are in urban and suburban locations, with 80% in the top ten US metropolitan areas, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas Fort Worth. The NextG assets are expected to provide significant growth, as they currently average only 1.25 tenants per network. Crown Castle said this deal made it the largest independent DAS operator in the US, with approximately 10,000 nodes and 26 venues in operation or under construction. Previously, Crown Castle owned, operated and managed over 22,000 and approximately 1,600 wireless communication sites in the US and Australia,
  • In September, Deutsche Telekom appointed John Legere as CEO of T-Mobile USA, replacing Jim Alling, who will return to his position of Chief Operating Officer. 
  • Legere previously was CEO of Global Crossing.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dish Readies Next Gen Satellite Broadband Service

DISH is launching its next gen satellite Internet service across the U.S. offering download speeds of up to 10 Mbps.  Pricing starts at $39.99 per month (plus equipment fees) for 5 Mbps download/1 Mbps upload speeds and data plans of 10 GB, when bundled with DISH's popular America's Top 120 or higher programming packages and with a two-year agreement.  A higher speed tier is also available.
The company said 19 million Americans lack access to high-speed Internet, including 14.5 million who live in rural regions, according to figures from the FCC.

 "Many unserved and underserved markets are years away from a telco or cable broadband build out, but dishNET is available today," said Brian McIntyre, vice president of Broadband at DISH. "These services will have powerful, positive impacts for kids, educators, businesses, farmers and families -- no matter how far out of town they may choose to live."

Nokia Siemens Networks Envisions 1GB per User per Day by 2020

Nokia Siemens Networks is preparing to launch a series of new capabilities, software and services within the company’s Liquid Net and Customer Experience Management portfolios.

Given the rapid growth of mobile broadband, the company envisions that operators will soon be faced with the challenge of delivering a gigabyte of personalized data, per user, per day on a profitable basis.  As mobile broadband surges, the delivery cost per bit is projected to decline rapidly as well, so Nokia Siemens Networks is discussing a radical market transformation to where the 1GB of data per day costs as little as $1 per day for hundreds of millions of users.

“Over the next eight years the rise in mobile data traffic will accelerate much faster than revenues,” said Marc Rouanne, head of mobile broadband at Nokia Siemens Networks. “We are focused on helping operators deliver mobile broadband profitably in the face of this challenge. In October, we will share with operators how they can meet this demand, delight their users, and still make money.”

Nokia Siemens Networks said its greatest task is in helping mobile operators (1) to reduce the cost per bit delivered, (2) to provide greater flexibility in the network to meet spikes in demands and support specialized services, and (3) to ensure the best end-user experience.  On this last point, NSN is working to deliver a unified Customer Experience Management that pulls together all network performance indicators and customer experience metrics into a single view.

Alvarion Completes BuNGee Project (Beyond 4G)

Alvarion announced the completion of BuNGee (Beyond Next Generation Mobile Networks), a research project funded by the European Commission. Alvarion said the project’s main goals were accomplished.

The mission of the BuNGee project was to improve the overall infrastructure capacity density of the mobile network by an order of magnitude (10x) to an ambitious goal of 1Gbps/km2 anywhere in the cell.

A demonstration of BuNGee took place in a dense urban high-tech industrial park around Alvarion’s offices in Tel Aviv, Israel, on April 17, 2012, before reviewers on behalf of the European Commission.

Partners in BuNGee included Alvarion (IL), ARTTIC (BE), Centre Tecnologic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya (ES), Cobham Antenna Systems, Microwave Antennas (UK), University of York (UK), Thales Communications & Security (FR), Universite Catholique de Louvain (BE), Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa (PL), Siklu Communication Ltd (IL).

Global Capacity Brings its Access Exchange to 60 Hudson

Global Capacity announced the expansion of its One Marketplace Access Exchange with a new Point of Presence (PoP) at 60 Hudson Street, New York. The expansion includes network interconnections with Sidera Networks and Telx.

Global Capacity's One Marketplace Access Exchange offers a transparent means to buy and sell global access services. The platform offers automated pricing, ordering and provisioning of access networks, easily accessible via an online interface.

Huawei Tests LTE-A Uplinks with CoMP

Huawei has completed the first LTE-A uplink coordinated multi-point (CoMP) trial on several commercial LTE networks in Europe and Asia.

Huawei said its testing revealed that uplink CoMP can effectively double data rates at cell edges for a single user, improving network performance in terms of coverage, spectrum efficiency and throughput.

The company has previously demonstrated LTE-A inter-band carrier aggregation (CA) and heterogeneous networks (HetNet).

"This is a key milestone for the LTE industry," said Ying Weimin, Huawei President for GSM/UMTS/LTE Networks. "Our No-Edge Network concept utilizes various LTE, LTE-A and innovative future-oriented technologies to realize ultra-broadband, zero-waiting and ubiquitous connectivity. This results in an enhanced experience and brings users the benefits of speed, quality and simplicity."

OpenStack Adds Networking and Block Storage Services

A new version of OpenStack released on Thursday adds important Networking (Quantum) and Block Storage (Cinder) services, along with many other enhancements.

The OpenStack "Folsom" release, which was built by more than 330 contributors, automates pools of compute, storage and networking resources, now including emerging Software Defined Networking (SDN) solutions via OpenStack Networking plug-ins, to build private and public cloud infrastructures without vendor lock-in.

OpenStack Networking currently includes plug-in support for Open vSwitch, the Ryu open source network operating system, standard Linux bridge networking and commercial solutions from Cisco, Nicira, and NEC, with others in development.

HP and Rackspace, which each operate large OpenStack public clouds, are putting Folsom into production

The OpenStack Foundation highlighted the following capabilities in the latest release.

OpenStack Compute (code-name Nova) - makes it easier for operators to configure large pools of virtual machines. A new "config drive" capability stores network configuration information, eliminating the need for DHCP, and a new "host aggregation" feature places workloads into the best pools of resources for the job, such as GPU clusters for HPC work. Performance and security enhancements enable users to expose unique features of the CPUs powering their cloud, including support for Trusted Computing, which relies on hardware to verify the cloud computing environment's state. A cross-company Hyper-V team has been formed to reintroduce and improve support for the hypervisor.

OpenStack Object Storage (code-name Swift) - operators can now connect OpenStack Object Storage to a statsd server and receive hundreds of real-time metrics about their cluster to help with troubleshooting, diagnostics, day-to-day operational issues, and long-term capacity management. To improve performance, clusters with high write requirements or large quantities of stored objects can now take advantage of solid-state drives (SSDs) for storing metadata without incurring a high overhead in disk space. Additionally, the ability to place data in cluster locations that are "as unique as possible," makes it easier to deploy small clusters and provides better flexibility for all clusters when handling hardware failure.

OpenStack Block Storage (code-name Cinder) - the first full release of OpenStack Block Storage implements advanced, extensible block and volume storage capabilities, while still supporting previously deployed OpenStack Volumes. Previously a sub-component of OpenStack Compute, the Block Storage capabilities of OpenStack have been promoted to a full project with a dedicated development team that will increase the rate of innovation as the OpenStack development community grows.

OpenStack Networking (code-name Quantum) - includes support for Open vSwitch, the Ryu open source network operating system, standard Linux bridge networking and commercial solutions from Cisco, Nicira, and NEC via a plug-in architecture. Additionally, the release includes significant updates to control Layer 2 networking, IP address management, API quotas, notifications, extension support for Layer 3 forwarding, Secure Network Address Translation (SNAT), and floating IPs. An integrated API policy framework allows network control at the tenant level or the admin-only level to be defined using the OpenStack Identity service, depending on an Enterprise or Service Provider's requirements.

OpenStack Dashboard (code-name Horizon) -brings usability improvements in launching Compute instances, working Object Storage resources, and managing OpenStack projects and users. Other feature advances include support for public and private image uploads and management of advanced networks. End users will appreciate better cross-browser support, timezone support, dynamic quota displays, improved error handling, and performance improvements.

OpenStack Identity (code-name Keystone) - brings improved support for Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) authentication and improved integration and management across OpenStack services.

OpenStack Image Service (code-name Glance) - major advancements in usability and functionality to the Image Service, including a new API, a new client library, new replication options for increased performance and security improvements reaching from the client to the image storage system

AT&T Unveils MiFi Liberate Hotspot

AT&T introduced the new MiFi Liberate – the first mobile hotspot with a touchscreen display.

The LTE device, which was developed by Novatel Wireless, features a 2.8” color touchscreen display for viewing data usages and managing network setting.  It supports up to 10 Wi-Fi devices.  The company claims up to 11 hours of continuous use on a single battery charge.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Brocade Shows Service-oriented Orchestration using OpenStack Quantum

Brocade demonstrated service-oriented orchestration using OpenStack software and its Ethernet fabric technologies. Specifically, Brocade is leveraging a customized plug-in for OpenStack Quantum to build a prototype that delivers cloud management capabilities for its Ethernet fabrics deployed in public and private cloud environments.

Quantum is an OpenStack project to provide 'network connectivity as a service' between interface devices (e.g., vNICs) managed by other OpenStack services.

Brocade is demonstrating OpenStack Quantum support for Brocade VCS Fabric technology using RESTful APIs.

Brocade said this demonstration shows how extensions enable OpenStack to orchestrate both physical and logical networking resources as part of a virtual machine (VM) deployment to support multitiered application topologies.

"Our commitment to the OpenStack Foundation is testament to our company's support of open technologies for managing the entire lifecycle of the cloud. Brocade is committed to an open framework for management and orchestration, in order to promote multivendor and system-to-system interoperability for all cloud environments," said Ken Ross, director of product management, Brocade.

BT Expands its Cloud Services

BT announced a series of enhancements to its unified communications portfolio with a range of new cloud-based services. BT One provides a single unified communications framework for devices, legacy systems and one global network for all global users.  

New services include: 

One Cloud Lync: a cloud service based on Microsoft Lync that integrates in a single platform a company’s email with instant messenger (IM), audio, device based video, screen sharing, and interactive white boarding.

One Voice anywhere: a new smartphone app and web client to help dramatically reduce mobile costs with employees who travel internationally. 

One Enterprise Cisco: an “on-site” solution based on Cisco UC9, an upgrade to the Cisco unified communications platform. 

One Collaborate video: new high definition video endpoints that bring immersive face-to-face interaction to the desktop.

One Collaborate: BT is joining forces with Dolby Laboratories on a technology trial based on the BT MeetMe service

BT is also implementing new pricing models for cloud-based services.  Global support by BT Advise professional services specialists are also made available to customers.

BT One Cloud currently utilizes dual redundant data centers in the U.S. and dual redundant data centers in the UK.  Beyond the scope of BT One Cloud, BT utilizes its data centers located in key business locations throughout the world to deliver additional cloud-based  services.  The company said users based in the U.S. are assigned to the US data centers while customer users based in Europe are assigned to the UK data centers.

Sub 10 Supplies Millimetre Radios to Alcatel-Lucent

Sub 10 Systems, a start-up based in the UK, announced a global supply and distribution agreement with Alcatel-Lucent covering Sub 10’s millimetre wave Liberator radio products.  Alcatel-Lucent will resell the Sub10 products as part of its metro cell backhaul portfolio.
Sub 10 said its Liberator wireless links deliver “fibre-thru-the-air” capacity in congested city centres and other areas where fibre would be either too costly or disruptive to install. The company specializes in the 60GHz, 70GHz and 80GHz areas of spectrum.

Xirrus Raises $23.5M for High-Performance Wi-Fi Arrays

Xirrus, a start-up based in Thousand Oaks, California, secured $23.5 million in Series E funding for its high-performance Wi-Fi solutions.

The company offers a Wi-Fi Array that integrates 4, 8, or 16 radios and high-gain directional antennas into a single device along with an onboard Gigabit Switch, Wi-Fi Controller, Firewall, and dedicated Wi-Fi Threat Sensor. The solution is designed as a replacement for Ethernet workgroup switches.  The architecture is distinguished by its dense modular APs, directional antennas and distributed intelligence.

The new funding was led by existing investors August Capital, Canaan Partners, InterWest Partners, QuestMark Partners, and US Venture Partners. Xirrus will use this financing round to accelerate global sales growth and product innovation.

  • In June 2012, Xirrus appointed Shane Buckley as CEO, replacing Xirrus founder and CEO Dirk Gates, who assumed the role of Executive Chairman.   Previously, Mr. Buckley was the General Manager and Senior Vice President at NETGEAR.   Prior to that,. Buckley was President and CEO of Rohati Systems, a leader in Cloud-based access management solutions, Chief Operating Officer of Nevis Networks,  Vice President WW Enterprise at Juniper Networks, and President International at Peribit Networks.

AT&T Advanced Communications Suite Powered by Twilio API

AT&T has selected Twilio's application programming interface (API) for its Advanced Communications Suite -- its collection of web-based cloud applications for enterprises.
AT&T's   Advanced Communications Suite includes voice and SMS-enabled apps — such as appointment reminder services, polling & surveying data collection tools, ad-hoc workgroup calling & messaging, business continuity, and geo-smart messaging.  The collection of apps is available from the Web.
Twilio is a start-up based in San Francisco.  The Twilio API helps developers to integrate voice, SMS or client capabitlities directly into their apps.  

  • Twilio was founded by Jeff Lawson, previously a Product Manager for Amazon Web Services, and Evan Cooke, previously a Postdoctoral research fellow in network security and distributed systems at the University of Michigan.

Cisco Acquires ThinkSmart for Wi-Fi Analytics

Cisco has acquired ThinkSmart Technologies, a software developer specializing in location data analysis using Wi-Fi.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

ThinkSmart’s location analytics collects information on movement within a venue including time of day, traffic patterns and dwell times. The company, which is based in Cork, Ireland, was formed at the Incubation Centre of University College Cork. The company becomes part of Cisco’s Wireless Networking Group.

Cisco said the acquisition reinforces its commitment to deliver an intelligent network by providing customers with enhanced tools, such as location analytics, that increase the value of the network.

Google Powers Oklahoma Data Center with More Wind Power

Google will purchase 48 MW of wind energy from the Canadian Hills Wind Project in Oklahoma, which is expected to come online later this year, to power its data center in Pryor, Oklahoma (east of Tulsa).

Google said the deal brings the total amount of renewable energy it has contracted to over 260 MW.  This deal is notable as well because it is the first time that Google has contracted with a utility company to purchase renewable energy instead of buying directly from the developer of the wind farm.

Google has invested over $700 million in the data center complex in Oklahoma.  

The first building on the 800-acre Oklahoma campus reportedly covers 130,000 square feet (12,000 m2) and a second building of the same size is planned.

SingTel Deploys Ciena's Packet-Optical Reconfigurable Switch

SingTel has deployed Ciena’s 5410 Packet-Optical Reconfigurable Switch System (RSS) and OneConnect Intelligent Control Plane software to augment its global ConnectPlus IPLC network. Financial terms were note disclosed.

SingTel’s newly enhanced network links connects hubs in Asia, Europe and North America, offering data transfers of up to 10Gbps per single connection. Ciena’s 5410 RSS links SingTel’s global points-of-presence to provide efficient aggregation, grooming and intelligent switching of SONET/SDH, OTN and high-capacity leased line, and  Ethernet traffic in a highly resilient mesh network design across existing submarine capacity.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ericsson Acquires Conceptwave for OSS/BSS Software

Ericsson has acquired ConceptWave, a private company specializing in software for managing the lifecycle of telecom services.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

ConceptWave, which is based in Toronto, Canada, has developed Product Lifecycle Management, Order Lifecycle Management and Customer Lifecycle Management solutions for service providers. The company was founded in 2000 and has about 170 employees.

Ericsson said the acquisition complements and strengthens its operations- and business support systems (OSS/BSS) portfolio.

Elisabetta Romano, Head of OSS in Business Unit Support Solutions, Ericsson, says: "There is a trend towards more personalization of services where end-users want to purchase communications services meeting their individual needs. This puts high demand on telecom operators to be able to offer flexible product bundles with customized pricing packages. In this area ConceptWave's solutions and employees' expertise adds considerable value to Ericsson's portfolio."

In January 2012, Ericsson completed its acquisition of Telcordia for US$1.5 billion in cash. 

Huawei Shows 480 Gbps Router Line Card

Huawei unveiled the industry's first and highest-capacity 480 Gbps router line card, enabling a capacity of 15.4 Tbps for its high-end core router with 48x10GE, 12x40GE, or 4x100GE line-rate forwarding per slot.  Huawei will offer various daughter cards with 10GE/40GE/100GE ports for flexible configuration.
Huawei said the capacity is achieved using its third-generation programmable, custom Solar 3.0 ASICs with Smart Memory and Intelligent Frequency Adjustment (IFA) technologies. The company said it is able to achieve a record-low energy use of 0.71 W/g for the line card.
"The global 100G era is coming, with Internet traffic fast approaching terabyte level. 2012 marks the beginning of large-scale commercial deployment of 100G, with the launch of Huawei's 480G line card expected to accelerate the development of the high-end 100G industry. It will help carriers build sustainable and efficient networks, combat the bandwidth challenges created by cloud application proliferation, and reduce network O&M costs." said Gai Gang, President of Huawei's Carrier IP Product Line.
  • Earlier this month, Huawei announced Software Defined Network (SDN) capabilities on its Service Provider routers. The company said its SDN solution is based on its high-performance, large-capacity hardware platform and fully distributed "VRP" software, which enables a centralized control plane and a software-defined forwarding plane.
    Huawei will support Openflow for decoupling of hardware and software. By abstracting the control layer and the orchestration layer, Huawei said its SDN Enabled router enables carriers to rapidly deploy new services without having to change the forwarding hardware.  Another advantage of SDN, according to Huawei, is that end-to-end path calculation based on routing policies is possible with a centralized controller.  The SDN Enabled router is also expected to simplify IP network management.

Huawei Cites 100G Milestones - 40 Carrier Deployments

Huawei confirmed that its 100G networks are now deployed by more than 40 carriers in over 30 countries around the world.  The company claims a 39% share of the 100G market, according to figures from Ovum.

Two leading deployment examples are Rostelecom's national 100G network across Russia, and a pan-European 100G WDM network for KPN (the Netherlands).

More 100G news about Huawei is here:

Huawei Collaborates with Yale on Open Edge Cloud

Huawei is collaborating with Yale University on Open Edge Cloud – an open content delivery infrastructure using data lockers.
Huawei said the idea behind the Open Edge Cloud is to integrate service modules, including storage, computing, video processing and network awareness, over the edge of telecom carrier networks. The service modules are application programmable, enabling a flexible and efficient cloud platform by providing standard APIs and virtualized in-network resources to applications. 
The work will be presented to the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)’s Special Interest Group on Data Communication (SIGCOMM) conference.

Nominum Leverages DNS Query Analytics for New Applications

Nominum introduced its N2 platform and "IDEAL" ecosystem for helping network operators to harness the power of DNS data analytics to improve their networks and offer in-house applications.
Nominum’s DNS software currently processes over one trillion queries per day at over 140 network operators worldwide.  The N2 platform gathers and anonymizes this data allowing application providers seamless access to it.  The N2 platform enables the rapid development and seamless integration of applications that leverage this DNS data.   These applications are generated by the Nominum IDEAL ecosystem, an open ecosystem of application providers. 
Nominum said this approach lets network operators leverage their DNS infrastructure to deploy more highly functional apps more quickly and cost effectively to differentiate their services.
“Traditionally, it’s been hard to take advantage of DNS data to gauge network health and activity or improve the subscriber experience. The tools for collecting, synthesizing, anonymizing, and analyzing it weren’t adequate,” said Nominum’s Chairman Dr. Paul Mockapetris, the inventor of the DNS. “The N2 Platform simplifies the process of collecting large amounts of data in real-time and makes it easier to develop new applications and integrate with other network operator systems."
Additionally, Nominum has released six new Nominum applications built on top of the N2 platform:
  • Nominum Subscriber Safety: Protects subscribers from malicious websites on any device.
  • Nominum Network Security: Deters outbound spam, protects valuable network assets and subscribers.
  • Nominum Personal Internet: Makes it simple for subscribers to personalize their home Internet.
  • Nominum Network View: Provides instant access to high-level network intelligence with drill downs to detailed data. 
  • Nominum Configuration Manager: GUI interface streamlines DNS operations and reduces management costs.
  • Nominum Content Filtering: Gives families the option to keep illegal and offensive content out of their homes and mobile devices.

Ericsson Supports First VoLTE Launches

Ericsson noted its role in the world's first three commercial Voice over LTE (VoLTE) launches: SK Telecom and LG U+ in Korea, and MetroPCS in the US.  All three carriers announced their VoLTE deployments on August 7, 2012.

“Telecom grade telephony is going all-IP over commercial mobile broadband LTE networks for the first time. This is a historic moment in the telecom industry. We see increasing operator interest in VoLTE globally, and we expect broader market take-off in 2013,” said  Johan Wibergh, Head of Business Unit Networks at Ericsson.

DE-CIX Internet Exchange Scales Across Frankfurt with ADVA's 100G

DE-CIX, the world's largest Internet Exchange serving over 480 Internet service providers via a distributed peering fabric in Frankfurt, Germany, will upgrade its metro network to 100G channels using ADVA Optical Networking's FSP 3000 platform.

DE-CIX hit a new data throughput record last week  as Internet traffic across its switching fabric exceeded the 2 Tbps (terabits per second) mark for the first time.

The DE-CIX peering infrastructure has a star-shaped topology and is spread out over a total of twelve data centers operated by different providers in the Frankfurt metropolitan area.  The current 10G DWDM metro network is being upgraded to 100G channels.

ADVA said its100G Metro solution is built on 4x28G direct detection technology delivering four key efficiencies: cost, space, power and spectral. 

"We're seeing a continuous increase in data traffic with a growth rate of about 80% every year, an increase that shows no signs of slowing down," said Arnold Nipper, CTO at DE-CIX. "To meet this enormous surge in data it's critical that we migrate the core of our network. What's more, we need to do so in the most seamless manner possible. We have a record of 100% uptime and this is something we cannot risk. ADVA Optical Networking’s 100G Metro enables us to migrate our current 10G services while at the same time adding 100G capacity in the simplest manner possible. But it's the small footprint and the low power consumption of theADVA solution that make all the difference: ADVA Optical Networking is simply the only vendor out there with 100G in this form factor."

"DE-CIX is faced with aggressive data demands," said Detlev Schmidt, head of the AXIANS Business Unit Carrier & Service Provider. "Serving over 480 customers from more than 50 countries places unprecedented strains on its core network. To ensure that it can meet its customer expectations and scale for future growth, we're helping DE-CIX to build one of the most advanced networks of its kind. Centered upon the ADVA FSP 3000, DE-CIX is building its core infrastructure on a firm foundation: A 100G Metro foundation that has already been tested in some of the most demanding network environments."

  • Equipment deployed in the DE-CIX distributed fabric includes Force10 Networks' Terascale platform.

Australia's NBNCo Picks Cisco for MPLS

Australia's NBN Co has selected Cisco to supply MPLS-enabled routers and firewalls for its National Connectivity Network (NCN) in a deal estimated to be worth up to $38 million over five years. Cisco's solutions will be deployed in NBN Co's depot, aggregation nodes and other key locations and will support the Operations Support System (OSS) and Business Support System (BSS) platforms, signalling and timing.

Cisco said the win formally expands its role in Australia's NBN. In late 2010, a consortium led by Cisco was awarded the contract to provide NBN Co with a data centre platform. Together with its technology partners EMC and VMware, Cisco was commissioned to build a scalable platform to run essential applications, including network management, inventory management, customer care, billing, service provisioning and fulfilment systems, as well as a web portal to support customer self-service and the corporate website.

NBN Co's executive general manager of Network Architecture and Technology, Tony Cross, said: "We are pleased to extend our relationship with Cisco as a supplier of data centre infrastructure to include the supply of a high-performing, highly secure network foundation composed of switches, routers and firewalls to support our NCN."

BT Openreach Extends Fibre Rollout

BT Openreach is extending its fibre rollout to a further 163 exchange areas as part of BT’s £2.5bn Superfast initiative. So far, 11 million premises have access to Superfast broadband delivered via Openreach fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) or fibre to the premises (FTTP).  This extension, which will add more than one million homes and businesses to Openreach’s previously announced fibre footprint, covers exchanges spread across the UK from Torquay, in Devon, to Kilbirnie in Scotland.

Openreach aims to bring fibre broadband available to around two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014.

Monday, September 24, 2012

ECI Announces 100G Optimized Multi-Layer Transport Deployment in Romania

RCS& RDS, a leading cable operator in Romania, is using ECI Telecom's "Apollo" Optimized Multi-Layer Transport (OMLT) platforms to deploy 100G in its network. The 100G DWDM network connects core routers between Oradea to Bucharest -- about 700 km. The operator is using ECI's LightSoft Network Management System to simplify operations and reduce training and personnel expenses. Financial terms were not disclosed. 

ECI has worked with RCS & RDS for more than ten years, supplying them with multiservice provisioning and optical equipment, including its XDM and BG platforms.

  • In November 2011, ECI Telecom announced its next step beyond packet-optical transport system (P-OTS) with a new modular platform that integrates L0 to L3 functionality with a single management system for all layers. The Apollo Optimized Multi-Layer Transport system (OMLT) addresses metro core and regional networks for carriers shifting from traditional ring-based architecture to mesh-based and OTN switching architecture. With the OMLT, ECI's aim is to address shortcomings of packet-optical transport system (P-OTS), especially the need to deploy additional Carrier Ethernet platforms with separate management systems to support advanced data services. The OMLT reduces infrastructure costs by optimizing the whole (multi-layered) architecture instead of the individual parts (layers), while simplifying the provisioning of new wavelength, private line, L2 or L3 services. The OMLT features a Universal fabric supporting OTN, Ethernet and switching between the two. The control plane uses GMPLS across the data (MPLS-TP) and optical layers. 
    The Apollo product launch includes six platforms, along with the LightSoft unified network management system. LightSoft is a graphical automated end-to-end provisioning and management across network layers and technologies. LightSoft's multi-layer interface allows the user to get multiple physical and logical views of the network, facilitating the visualization of connections and correlations between different network layers.

China Mobile Hong Kong Deploys TD-LTE with ZTE

ZTE announced the deployment of the first multi-carrier TD-LTE network with China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK). This is the first TD-LTE network in Hong Kong. The network is also the first global multi-carrier, TD-LTE network.

In July, ZTE partnered with CMHK and Ericsson to announce a deal to deploy the TD-LTE network with a coverage area of more than 70 per cent of the territory. It marked the first time ZTE adopted a multi-carrier technology with a single wireless base station to support complex wireless communication conditions in Hong Kong. The CMHK LTE network is the first dual-mode network in the Asia-Pacific region and the first commercial TD-LTE network in Hong Kong.

ZTE  noted that it deployed TD-LTE trials and commercial networks for 33 leading operators in 19 countries, and won nine large-scale LTE-TDD commercial contracts worldwide.

SimpliVity Raises $25 Million for Software defined Data Center in a Box

SimpliVity, a start-up based in Westborough, MA, raised $25 million in Series B funding for its "OmniCube" Software Defined Data Center in a Box.  SimpliVity describes its OmniCube as the world’s first truly assimilated IT infrastructure platform.  

The 2U rack-mounted box delivers the functionality of more than 10 products for the virtual machine environment. This functionality encompasses enterprise computing, storage services and network functionality, inclusive of WAN optimization, Unified Global Management, Seamless Cloud Integration, Primary Storage Deduplication, Backup Deduplication, Caching, and Global Scale Out.  Multiple OmniCubes can be deployed together to form an OmniCube Global Federation, a massively scalable pool of shared resources that enables efficient data movement, extensive scalability, and enterprise-class system availability--all managed globally from a single interface.

The new funding was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and included existing investors Accel Partners and Charles River Ventures.  The company has raised $43 million to date. 

  • SimpliVity is headed by Mr. Doron Kempel, who previously was the Founder and CEO of Diligent Technologies, a specialist in Enterprise Data Deduplication that was acquired by IBM in April 2008. Prior to Diligent, Doron served as Vice President and General Manager at EMC.

Overture Appoints Mike Aquino as CEO

Overture Networks appointed Mike Aquino as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO)  Co-founder and current CEO Jeff Reedy will continue with the company as Overture’s Chief Strategy Officer.
Aquino joins Overture from Ciena Corporation, where he held a number of executive positions, including Senior VP of Global Field Operations, General Manager of Global Government Solutions, and VP of Americas.  Prior to Ciena, Mr. Aquino held leadership positions at ONI Systems (acquired by Ciena), Bay Networks (acquired by Nortel Networks), and IBM Corporation.
“I’m excited to join the Overture team as President and CEO,” said Mr. Aquino. “Overture has an outstanding base of customers globally, comprised of wireline, wireless, and MSO service providers as well as government and municipality network operators. They’ve become a market leader by providing innovative Carrier Ethernet solutions. I look forward to leading Overture in continuing to broaden our customer base and enable service providers to leverage Carrier Ethernet to scale revenue, streamline operational costs, and deliver highly differentiated services to their end-user customers.”

DragonWave Cranks up Packet Microwave to 1.3 Gbps with 2048 QAM

DragonWave confirmed the functionality of higher modulation modes of up to 2048 QAM on its Horizon packet microwave products. 

In field tests conducted in Odessa, Ukraine, DragonWave's in-country partner UKRCOM and their customer, Intertelecom, demonstrated the radios’ ability to transport up to 37 percent more data through existing microwave channels. This testing was combined with dual channel operation and DragonWave’s unique Bandwidth Accelerator feature. 

DragonWave said the combination of these two features and the higher 2048 QAM modulation, offered an increase in capacity of greater than three times to more than 1.3 Gbps. This improves spectral efficiency and, correspondingly, lowers the operator’s cost per bit. 

DragonWave  noted that it has shipped over 800 Horizon links to Intertelecom through its local integration partner, UKRCOM to date.

“We explored other options for increasing link capacity such as XPIC, but we soon realized that DragonWave’s solution of coupling higher modulation modes with Hitless Automatic Adaptive Modulation allows us to meet the growing backhaul demands without needing to re-engineer existing links or purchase additional radios,” said Boris Akulov, CEO at Intertelecom.  “In effect, we have found a very cost efficient and streamlined means to triple our network capacity.”

“The successful field testing of 2048 QAM marks another milestone in DragonWave being first to market with technology and innovation that sets us apart from the competition,” said DragonWave CEO Peter Allen. “We congratulate our Ukrainian customers on their performance results and are encouraged to be expanding our market share in an important and growing region for microwave transport.”

Mavenir's Circuit Switch Fallback (CSFB) Optimizes LTE Smartphones

Until voice over LTE (VoLTE) services become available, carriers are supporting voice and SMS for the new crop of 4G LTE smartphones, such as iPhone 5, by using their legacy 3G core infrastructure.  One disadvantage, according to Mavenir Systems, is that two radios may be active on the handset -- one for LTE and one for the legacy 3G -- in order to handle the voice and SMS signalling and traffic.

Mavenir proposes a Circuit Switch Fallback (CSFB) solution that overlays the legacy infrastructure that enables delivery of circuit-switched voice services to LTE handsets by triggering "fall back" to the 3G network to complete voice calls.  With CSFB, operators can immediately support new LTE-enabled smartphones, such as the newly announced iPhone 5, for voice and SMS in advance of IMS-based VoLTE solutions that won’t be widely available until 2014.  This overlay approach does not impact the MSC core and means that the operator will not have to invest more in its legacy

Mavenir said it already has several live CSFB deployments with tier 1 operators in multiple countries. Several more are expected to go live in 2012. 

“Our value proposition is combining proven CSFB technology with our speed to market and the ease of integrating into 4G LTE networks.” said Pardeep Kohli, president and chief executive officer of Mavenir Systems. “Our IWF CSFB function helps the network economics of introducing new LTE services quickly and cost effectively. This is the first step for many operators, but they can easily leverage this Mavenir CSFB investment along the path to SRVCC and VoLTE.”