Monday, July 2, 2012

Ixia Acquires Breaking Point Systems for Security Stress Testing

Ixia agreed to acquire BreakingPoint Systems, which specializes in security testing, for $160 million in cash.

BreakingPoint's Actionable Security Intelligence (ASI) provides global visibility into emerging threats, and actionable insight to harden and maintain resilient defenses. BreakingPoint's FireStorm appliances simulates hundreds of stateful applications and provides the ultimate application control necessary to stress deep packet inspection (DPI) devices. The 3-slot BreakingPoint FireStorm can create 90 million simultaneous wired and wireless users at live network speeds of up to 120 Gbps.

The company's platforms are kept current via an intelligence subscription service that regularly pushes newly discovered attacks, malware, and other intelligence aggregated from proprietary research, strategic customer relationships, and carrier feeds.

BreakingPoint is based in Austin, Texas.

Ixia said the acquisition enables it to provide an end-to-end solution that monitors, tests, and optimizes converged networks.

The company's noted that BreakingPoint grew revenue over 40 percent in calendar 2011 to $33.5 million while generating gross margin of 87 percent for the year. For calendar 2012, Ixia expects BreakingPoint’s revenue to again grow by more than 40 percent, and anticipates that the BreakingPoint transaction will be accretive to non-GAAP earnings in the first full quarter of operations after the acquisition closes. Non-GAAP earnings exclude stock-based compensation, amortization of acquired intangible assets, and other non-recurring charges, net of the applicable tax effects.

"As a leader in cyber security research, BreakingPoint has built a library of more than 34,000 attacks, exploits, malware, and more,” said Dennis Cox, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of BreakingPoint. “Joining forces with Ixia creates a powerful platform in security and application testing – one with an extensive global sales reach into enterprises, service providers, and government agencies."

Ixia also updated its revenue guidance for the second quarter of 2012 to a range of $87 million to $89 million for its core business. This compares to the previously stated guidance of $86 million to $89 million. In addition to this amount, Ixia expects its recent Anue Systems, Inc. acquisition to add approximately $3 million to $4 million in additional revenue in the second quarter for the period from the June 1, 2012 acquisition closing date to June 30, 2012.
Some other recent acquisitions of testing firms:

  • In May 2012, Ixia agreed to acquire Anue Systems, which offers a network monitoring solutions, for $145 million in cash. Anue Systems offers a Net Tool Optimizer that provides traffic visibility for Service Providers and enterprises by enabling test tools to access taps across the network. Anue aggregates and filters network traffic to optimize network monitoring tool usage. Anue also can replicate network traffic from a single tap or SPAN port and send it to multiple monitoring tools simultaneously. The company was founded in 2002 and is based in Austin, Texas.
  • In April 2012, Danaher Corporation agreed to acquire VSS Monitoring, a privately-held company based in San Mateo, California, for its distributed traffic capture system for network and security monitoring. The company's Distributed Traffic Capture Systems provide an intelligent and robust platform for centralized monitoring, tool optimization, and scalability for the network monitoring and security infrastructure. VSS Monitoring optimizes the way data is extracted from high speed networks and then intelligently groomed and distributed to the eco-system of tools that require this data. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • In April 2012, Spirent Communications agreed to acquire Mu Dynamics, which offers a network security and application performance testing tools, for $40.0 million in cash. Mu Studio, the company's flag ship product line, enables performance and security testing of cloud infrastructure, including network security systems, deep packet inspection (DPI) solutions, and LTE networks. Its Blitz is a self-service load and performance testing solution for cloud applications. Mu TestCloud compiles thousands of ready-to-runs tests, covering hundreds of applications.
  • In 2011, Ixia acquired VeriWave, a performance testing company for wireless LAN (WLAN) and Wi-Fi enabled smart devices, for an undisclosed sum. VeriWave wireless test solutions validate Wi-Fi networks, smart devices, and applications by benchmarking and measuring speed, quality, interoperability, compliance, and other pivotal aspects of wireless performance.

Rob Pullen, CEO of Tellabs

Robert W. Pullen (50), President and CEO of Tellabs, passed away on July 2, 2012 following a battle with cancer.

Rob Pullen has served as Tellabs' CEO since 2008, when he replaced Krish Prabhu. He began his career at Tellabs in 1985 as an electrical engineer and held a series of increasingly responsible positions in engineering, sales, marketing and services. Prior to being named CEO, Pullen was vice president and general manager of global services. From 2002 to 2005, he was senior vice president of North American sales. Previously, he served as senior vice president of optical networking.

VMware to Acquire DynamicOps for Cloud Mgt Features

VMware will acquire DynamicOps, a provider of cloud automation solutions that enable provisioning and management of IT services across heterogeneous environments – VMware-based private and public clouds, physical infrastructures, multiple hypervisors and Amazon Web Services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DynamicOps originated in 2008 as a spin-off of Credit Suisse’s IT unit, which had developed Virtual Resource Manager (VRM) software to address the operational and governance challenges of rolling out virtualization technology across a global organization comprising several distinct businesses. The company is based in Burlington, MA.

VMware said customers that have standardized their private and public clouds on VMware vSphere should continue to rely on VMware vCloud Director to enable aggregation and management of virtual and cloud resources. For those with requirements beyond VMware-only environments, DynamicOps builds on the capabilities of vCloud Director by enabling customers to consume multi-cloud resources (e.g., physical environments, Hyper-V- and Xen-based hypervisors, and Amazon EC2).

"As IT organizations evolve from builders to brokers of services many seek to provide access to diverse cloud resources in a controlled, managed fashion,” said Ramin Sayar, vice president and general manager, Virtualization and Cloud Management, VMware. “DynamicOps’ multi-cloud and multi-platform capabilities help to strengthen VMware’s position as the infrastructure and management vendor of choice for cloud computing."

Microsoft Takes $6.2 Billion Charge for Online Services

 Microsoft will take a $6.2 billion accounting charge as a write down of its Online Services Division.
The charge relates to its 2007 acquisition of aQuantive, which provided tools for its online advertising efforts. Microsoft said while its Online Services Division business has been improving, the company’s expectations for future growth and profitability are lower than previous estimates.

Consolidated Comm Completes SureWest Acquisition

Consolidated Communications Holdings completed it previously announced acquisition of SureWest Communications for approximately $324 million, exclusive of debt, based upon the closing price of Consolidated's common stock on June 29, 2012.

"We are excited to complete this process and are looking forward to the opportunities that lie ahead," said Bob Currey, Consolidated's President and Chief Executive Officer. "This transaction with SureWest brings together our consistent cash flows with SureWest's growth to create a financially strong company with a robust balance sheet and attractive dividend payout ratio. The combined company provides a diverse set of revenues and cash flows across multiple markets resulting in a stronger, more competitive company."

SureWest Communications, based in Roseville, California, started as a rural provider of telephone service in 1914 and has evolved into a leading provider of high-quality telecommunications and broadband services with about 800 employees and approximately 282,000 connections.

  • As of March 31, 2012, Consolidated served 226,167 ILEC access lines, 89,672 Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) access line equivalents, 112,368 high-speed internet subscribers, 35,337 IPTV subscribers and 9,569 VOIP lines for residential and business customers in Illinois, Texas and Pennsylvania.

C Spire Picks Alcatel-Lucent for LTE

C Spire Wireless, which serves Mississippi and parts of Alabama and the Florida panhandle, is working with Alcatel-Lucent to build and deploy the initial phase of its 4G LTE network. The company is investing $60 million for the initial phase of 4G LTE mobile broadband services in 20 Mississippi markets beginning in September covering 2,700 square miles, a population of 1.2 million and more than 360 cell sites.

C Spire is deploying Alcatel-Lucent’s base stations, IP mobile backhaul for 4G LTE and existing 3G CDMA traffic, Wireless Packet Core (WPC) and a complete IP Multi-Media Subsystem (IMS) network core, which will allow C Spire to develop and offer an increasingly rich portfolio of advanced IP-based services, such as Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE), according to Eric Hollingsworth, vice president of Network Operations for C Spire Wireless.

Alcatel-Lucent also is providing a complete portfolio of professional and network integration services.

Samsung Electronics Adopts Windows Azure for Smart TV Infrastructure in the Cloud

Samsung Electronics Co. will adopt Windows Azure cloud technology to manage its Smart TV infrastructure. The companies said the Windows Azure cloud provides a tenfold cost reduction compared with building out in-house infrastructure. In addition, Windows Azure gives Samsung the ability to help secure the server and storage resources it needs quickly, giving Samsung the time to focus on providing high-quality software and services to its customers.

Broadcom and Emulex Announce Patent Deal

Broadcom and Emulex announced a partial settlement and worldwide patent license agreement relating to the patent litigation in the U.S. Federal District Court. Broadcom will dismiss certain infringement claims against Emulex and will grant a license to certain patents related to Fibre Channel applications. The fields of use licensed to Emulex are related, in part, to the Emulex XE201 (Lancer) ASICs, that are capable of Fibre Channel and Ethernet, 16Gbps Fiber Channel HBAs, Fibre Channel SOCs and other FC products. Emulex will pay to Broadcom a release and license fee of $58 million in cash. In addition, Emulex agreed to provide certain rights to Broadcom protecting Broadcom from Emulex patent assertions.

AT&T U-verse TV Reaches Programming Deal

AT&T announced a distribution agreement with AMC Networks enabling U-verse TV to continue offering AMC, IFC, Sundance and WE tv. The deal was reached on Sunday, July 1. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Extreme Networks Adds OpenFlow with Support for NEC, BigSwitch

Extreme Networks confirmed plans to provide OpenFlow support across its ExtremeXOS-based Ethernet switch portfolio and will support multiple OpenFlow controllers including NEC and BigSwitch. The company will introduce a plug-in for OpenStack to manage network switches using the Quantum APIs. Lastly, a new Web portal called xKIT will be launched aimed at sharing SDN applications. These OpenFlow capabilities will be available this month.

Extreme Networks said its goal is to enable application developers can build SDN applications for campus, cloud and carrier networks using a consistent framework powered by ExtremeXOS.

Additionally, by supporting multiple controllers, Extreme Networks offers customers a set of choices when it comes to their SDN deployment. "An SDN approach that provides network abstraction, centralized intelligence and programmability is fundamental to addressing the fast evolving challenges associated with mobility, cloud sourcing and the consumerization of IT," said Shehzad Merchant, vice president of technology strategy for Extreme Networks. "The benefits of SDN are applicable across the cloud, campus and carrier networks."

ZTE Confirms High End Router Sale to China Telecom

 ZTE announced a contract to deliver its M6000 high-end router to China Telecom.
The IP procurement contract with China Telecom also involves broadband remote access servers, service routers, multi-service edge, aggregation switches, and high-end routing switches. China Telecom's large-scale IP purchase supports the carrier's plan to deliver fiber capabilities to over 100 million customers.

Infinera Powers Colt’s New Low Latency Route into Ireland

 Infinera confirmed that Colt is using its DTN platform for a new low latency fiber route into Ireland.
This new extension to Colt’s high capacity network results in a record low latency of 4.267ms from Dublin to London. The new route is part of Colt s ongoing investment in its network infrastructure in Ireland and will be followed by an extension from Dublin to Cork, Ireland s second largest city, toward the end of the year. The route incorporates the new Sea Fibre Networks cable, CeltixConnect (the shortest, most diverse sub-sea link between Ireland and the UK) and has an optical layer based on the Infinera DTN platform for seamless integration into Colt's existing 100Gbps ready long distance network.

Colt currently carries over 500 Gbps of traffic across the Irish Sea. With this announcement, Colt s total capacity between Dublin and London is now 4.8Tbps. Colt first selected the Infinera DTN platform for their pan-European long distance network to speed the delivery of new services in 2009. Colt’s infrastructure consist of a 43,000km European network connecting 39 metropolitan area networks, 100+ cities and 20 Colt data centers. In 2010, Infinera helped Colt complete its first European field trial of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) services.

Telstra Global Launches Public Cloud Contact Centre

 Telstra Global introduced its Virtual Contact Centre (VCC) solution powered by IPscape. The enterprise-grade service allows companies to quickly scale their contact centre capabilities to accommodate initiatives such as new product launches, trials or peaks in customer demand, with no long term commitment or new license fees.

The VCC software can be updated or changed within minutes to update campaign scripts, add agents to different campaigns or activate remote agents. It also offers real time CRM integration to direct customer calls to the right operator regardless of the contact channel used. Telstra Global provides multi-channel customer service experience with a single service level agreement.

Telstra’s Applications and Ventures Group recently made an investment in IPscape.

Firefox Mobile OS Gains Key Backing

 Mozilla plans to launch a new fully open mobile ecosystem based on HTML5 has gained the backing of some leading mobile operators, including Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telef√≥nica and Telenor.

The idea is an open mobile OS and device architecture where every phone feature (calling, messaging, games, etc.) is an HTML5 application. The Firefox OS for mobile devices is built on Mozilla’s “Boot to Gecko project”.

TCL Communication Technology (under the Alcatel One Touch brand) and ZTE have announced their intentions to manufacture the first devices to feature the new Firefox OS, using Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm. The first Firefox OS powered devices are expected to launch commercially in Brazil in early 2013 through Telef√≥nica’s commercial brand, Vivo.

“The introduction of the open mobile OS continues the Mozilla mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web for users and developers. As billions of users are expected to come online for the first time in the coming years, it is important to deliver a compelling smartphone experience that anyone can use,” said Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla. “The large number of operators and manufacturers now supporting this effort will bring additional resources and diversity to our global offerings.”