Monday, August 20, 2012

NTT Com Finds High Interest in Virtualized Network Services

Enterprises continue to be enthusiastic about cloud computing services and report high levels of satisfaction with the effectiveness of their cloud investments in enabling flexibility and improved scalability but network performance issue remain a concern, according to a newly published Cloud Computing Infrastructure Study, which was commissioned by NTT Communications and conducted by IDG Research Services. Among the most critical network performance issues around cloud adoption, the study found capacity limitations, possible downtime when changing network configurations and lead-time to change network configurations topped the list, with more than 70% of IT decision makers citing these as areas of concern.

Some key findings of the study:
  • Forty percent (40%) of respondents worldwide report a high level of familiarity with virtualized network services.
  • Most respondents (91%) are interested in learning more after seeing a description of virtualized network services (53% extremely or very interested and 38% somewhat interested).
  • Common drivers for using cloud services – performance, reliability, cost efficiency, flexibility – remain high on IT decision makers’ list of deliverables by a cloud service embedded with a virtualized network.
  • Relatively lower expectations for network-related deliverables – such as better bandwidth utilization and simplified network management – indicate IT decision makers are still thinking about virtualization primarily as a technology for servers, not networks.
  • Simplified network management is largely unrecognized as a cloud benefit, suggesting relatively low maturity of the technology.
NTT Communications is already offering OpenFlow-based virtualized network services. The company said virtualized networks enable enterprises to expand network bandwidth on demand, allowing them to pay for only what they need at any given moment. Changes to capacity and routing over virtual networks are made via software command, negating the need for physical changes at the location of the routers.
  • In June 2012, NTT Communications launched a globally seamless enterprise cloud service using OpenFlow network virtualization technology within and between data centers. The service, which launches June 20, is initially provided via NTT Com data centers in Japan and Hong Kong, followed by data centers in the United States (two locations), the United Kingdom and Singapore in December and in Australia, Malaysia and Thailand in March 2013.

    NTT Com’s new infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering, Enterprise Cloud, provides global cloud resources that enterprise customers can easily control and manage to optimize their ICT costs and support the global expansion of corporate operations.

    NTT Com said its new service will provide greater flexibility allowing system changes to be performed automatically using virtualized servers and networks, and a convenient customer portal. Primary features of the new Enterprise Cloud service include free-of-charge broadband connection from this service directly to the Arcstar Universal One cloud-based enterprise network in NTT Com data centers. On-demand backup is also provided via other data centers worldwide using NTT Com’s global and secure broadband virtualized networks. In addition, NTT Com will enable customers to perform precise, small-increment control of server resources, such as CPU, memory and disk, and network resources, such as virtual firewall, virtual load balancer and virtualized networks. ICT costs can be trimmed on a pay-as-you-go basis down to the per-minute level.

TrustGo: SMSZombie Attacks Android on China Mobile

TrustGo Security Labs calculates that an SMS Zombie virus has infected some 500,000 Android smartphones on China Mobile's network.

The malware, which has been detected in a variety of wallpaper apps, will request the user to install additional "Android System Service" files by which the virus payload is delivered. The SMSZombie then exploits a vulnerability in the mobile payment system used by China Mobile to generate unauthorized payments, steal bank card numbers and money transfer receipt information. The virus disables the user's ability to delete it and the amount and timing unauthorized charges can be changed at anytime by the malware makers.

TrustGo is developing an automated removal process that it hopes to releases later this month.

  • In July, TrustGo discovered a different virus targeting China Mobile’s Mobile Market. Named the Trojan!MMarketPay.A@Android, the virus automatically places orders and downloads paid apps and video content which can result in unexpectedly high phone bills. Infections were estimated at more than 100,000 devices.

LTE Uptake Accelerates at Docomo

As of August 19, NTT Docomo surpassed five million subscribers to its Xi (pronounced 'crossy') LTE service.

The four million mark was passed on July 22nd. Docomo attributed the faster pace to its recent introduction of a new lineup of a Xi-compatible smartphones. Going forward, the company aims to deliver enhanced customer satisfaction with its Xi smartphones, as well as compatible mobile Wi-Fi routers and other devices, and services such as Xi Talk 24 for free, unlimited voice calls between Xi subscribers.

  • In June 2012, DOCOMO announced flat-rate billing plans for Xi compatible smartphones, tablets and other data communication devices from October 1. The new offerings are lower cost than existing plans and are expected to benefit light users who do not download large-sized data such as video content. "Xi Pake-hodai Light" and "Xi Data Plan Light Ninen" plans will be available for 4,935 yen (including tax) per month, and the "Xi Data Plan Light" plan will be available for 6,405 yen (including tax) per month. Downlinks at a maximum of 75 Mbps will be available for up to 3 GB of data. For users who exceed 3 GB in a given month, the downlink speed will be reduced to a maximum of 128 Kbps for the remainder of that month, although users will have the option of continuing service at a maximum of 75 Mbps by paying an additional 2,625 yen (including tax) per 2 GB. 

TeliaSonera to Acquire Cygate for Data Center Integration Expertise

Cygate, a subsidiary of TeliaSonera has acquired Information Infrastructure Management (IIM), a niche system integrator company in the data center market. The company has 27 employees and its turnover is close to 100 million SEK with high profitability. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"The IIM acquisition complements Cygate�s strategic roadmap as the market for data centres is growing fast and is high up on the agenda for Nordic CIOs when it comes to prioritizing their IT investments�, says Bengt Lundgren, Managing Director Cygate.

"We were one of the first players to bet on backup, storage and virtualization services � areas with staggering growth and are pleased with this acquisition. We feel that we have found a company with a highly technically oriented culture, one which suits us perfectly and its strengths in security and networks complements our knowledge in datacenters," says H�kan Axtelius, Managing Director, IIM.
  • TeliaSonera acquired Cygate in 2006.

Telefonica Germany and NSN Bring LTE to Berlin Campus Party

Telef�nica Germany and Nokia Siemens Networks are participating in a weeklong, 24-hour a day, "Campus Party" technology festival at the former airport area "Tempelhof" in Berlin, Germany. The companies are showcasing LTE's low latency and high data transmission rates.

The event runs from August 21-26, 2012. Some 7,000 "campuseros" are expected to attend.

Highlights of this year�s Campus Party will include mobile gaming and video streaming demonstrations, including LTE mobile reporter, where camera equipped reporters interview participants and highlight HD TV transmission over LTE; and online gaming, where two players compete interactively using a gaming system connected by LTE. These demos will allow participants to experience the benefits of LTE mobile broadband first hand.

Kymeta Raises $12M for Broadband Satellite Antennas

Kymeta, a start-up based in Redmond, Washington, has closed a $12 million funding round to develop and bring to market Metamaterials Surface Antenna Technology (MSA-T). The company was incubated by Intellectual Ventures and is backed by investments from Bill Gates, Liberty Global and Lux Capital.

Kymeta says its mTenna product line will simplify the satellite connection needed for broadband Internet on the go, anywhere in the world. The company uses metamaterials to manipulate electromagnetic radiation to electronically point and steer a radio signal toward a satellite. The technology could be used to maintain a continuous broadband link between a satellite and a moving platform such as an aircraft, car or boat. The metamaterials could be manufactured using established lithographic techniques.

"Metamaterials were an early focus for IV, so the spinout of Kymeta marks an important milestone in our invention work," said Casey Tegreene, executive vice president and chief patent counsel at IV. "As groundbreaking as it is, the satellite antenna technology behind Kymeta only scratches the surface of what metamaterials can do. Thanks to nearly a decade of work with scientists like Sir John Pendry of Imperial College and Professor David Smith of Duke University, we have a portfolio of metamaterials inventions that cover a variety of industries and applications."

Kymeta also plans to develop a portable, laptop-sized satellite hotspot product for individual users.
  • Kymeta is the second company to spin out of Intellectual Ventures. The first, TerraPower, was created in 2008 to develop a new class of nuclear reactor.

LightSquared Appoints New CEO as it Seeks Resolution

Doug Smith will serve as the new chairman and CEO for LightSquared. Mr. Smith was previously serving as co-chief operating officer for the company. He is credited with LightSquared�s network design, deployment and operations, helping to develop the technical characteristics necessary to bring to market a competitive high-speed wireless network. Previously, he worked for Clearwire and Sprint Nextel.

"LightSquared remains committed to working with all stakeholders to find an equitable resolution to the regulatory challenges that the company has faced this past year,� Mr. Smith said. �We are very confident that working together, we can provide the American public with both a protected and robust GPS system while enabling LightSquared to offer consumers and businesses more choice and a lower priced 4G wireless alternative they need and deserve."

Alcatel-Lucent Introduces LTE First Responder Video Solution

Alcatel-Lucent introduced a First Responder Video solution that enable emergency teams to view and rapidly share multiple video and data feeds simultaneously on mobile devices using LTE networks.

Alcatel-Lucent's First Responder Video solution leverages Bell Labs' research in multimedia and cloud to optimize bandwidth use and integrate multiple video feeds and other operational data into one single stream to transmit to situation commanders. First Responder Video employs a 'thin client' strategy, which ensures that data processing takes place at the powerful control centers to free up the device itself to focus on receiving and sending images and data. It works seamlessly with existing control center dispatch applications and allows teams to send video and data to many different types of 'smart' mobile devices at the same time.

Philippe Agard, Vice President of Public Safety, Alcatel-Lucent said: "Alcatel-Lucent's First Responder Video capitalizes on our leading capabilities and expertise in mobile broadband solutions to deliver real efficiencies for public safety agencies. The solution has seen great results in a live end-to-end trial with the Policia Militar do Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil, allowing teams to be sent views from in-car cameras. Easy-to-use screens enhance operations in the toughest environments and the ability to maximize available bandwidth to share multiple high-quality video images on a variety of mobile devices maximizes cost of ownership at a time when budgets are being stretched."