Monday, October 1, 2012

Level 3 Launches New Security Services

Level 3 Communications introduced a suite of layered security solutions matched with its advanced network services, including its global IP network, domain naming system (DNS) caching servers and content delivery network (CDN). The new capabilities include:

  • ·Level 3 Secure Access Services, Managed Security Services, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation and Security Consulting Services.
  • Vulnerability scanning, DDoS blocking and cleansing, proactive alerts, incident reporting, site-to-site remote user access, content filtering, anti-virus, anti-spam, and firewall and intrusion prevention.
  • Customer ability to receive network access and protection from a single provider, simplifying the operational complexity inherent to internal network security management.
  • 24x7x365 access to dedicated, skilled security professionals coordinated from four redundant security operation centers (SOCs).
Level 3 is introducing a new standard of security, with a multi-layered portfolio of protection for customers that we believe is unparalleled in the industry,” said Anthony Christie, Level 3’s chief marketing officer. “Our protection covers our customers from the earth to the cloud, integrating seamlessly across our broad range of advanced network services. It combines a number of layers of increasingly sophisticated protection from the ground up, beginning with the way our network was designed and constructed in the ground, with diverse routes and other structural protection. Additionally, our integrated CDN and network infrastructure, firewalls and capabilities are combined with redundant layers of advanced, proprietary protocols and algorithms that extend to the cloud.” 

Riverbed Offers Upgrade Path for Juniper WAN Optimization Customers

Riverbed introduced a trade-in program for customers of Juniper Networks' WX/WXC Series Application Acceleration Platforms to migrate and upgrade to the Riverbed Steelhead product family.  Juniper recently announced it has endorsed Riverbed as its provider of choice for WAN optimization solutions and is collaborating with Riverbed on this trade-in program to help customers with their transition from the WX/WXC Series Application Acceleration Platforms to the Riverbed Steelhead product family.

Internet2's 100G Backbone Open for SDN

Internet2's new 100G-enabled and 8.8 Terabit per second optical network is now operational for member institutions.
The new capabilities now available on the Internet2 Network include:
  • An upgraded Advanced Layer 3 Service, that will provide extraordinary broadband capabilities for science, medicine and education not only to the higher education community, but also to hundreds of thousands of community anchor institutions through partnerships with regional networks and Internet2's United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) project.
  • A nationwide 100 Gbps Software Defined Network offering both production services like the Layer-2 Open Science, Scholarship and Service Exchange built in partnership with Indiana University and support of new network innovations through software defined networking support.
  • Over 8.8 Tbps of optical network capacity through 88, 100 Gbps-waves that are delivered in a unique partnership, between Internet2 and the Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) that will share this capacity and operations of the infrastructure to advance national programs.

"We are excited about officially launching the new capabilities of the nation's first 100G open, national-scale, software-defined network through massive collaboration with our partners in government and business that will be used by Internet2 members to help solve practical, far-reaching problems that benefit society," said Internet2 CEO and President H. David Lambert. "We look forward to seeing the collaboration of our community using this dynamic network to advance education, transform university business models, and accelerate global Big Data collaborative research outcomes. When we equip the research and education community with great technology and no barriers to innovation, that's when they start creating the future."

  • Earlier this year, Internet2 formed partnerships with 16 leading technology companies to provide cloud services to college campuses across the U.S.
  • Cloud partners include Aastra; Adobe; Box; CENIC; Dell; Desire2Learn; Duo Security; DuraSpace; Evogh; HP; Level 3 Communications; Merit Network, Inc.; Microsoft; Savvis, a CenturyLink Company; SHI International; and The Solution Design Group.

    "These major cloud service partnerships are customized to meet the needs of the Internet2 community and these offerings range in stages from incubator, proof-of-concept, early adopter and general availability," said Dave Lambert, Internet2 CEO and president. "No other organization in the United States is able to offer this level of collaboration between higher education and the technology industry to launch these strategic cloud services to effectively and efficiently advance research, innovation and the education mission of our nation's leading universities."

GSA: 105 LTE Networks Now in Commercial Operation

The GSA confirmed that 105 operators have launched commercial LTE networks in 48 countries. 

A further 194 network deployments are in progress. GSA forecasts that 159 networks will be commercially launched in 68 countries by the end of 2012, which is expected to rise to 195 live networks in 72 countries by the end of the following year. 

Summary of commercial LTE network launches annually:

2009 = 2 
2010 = 15 (year-end cumulative total = 17)
2011 = 30 (year-end cumulative total = 47)
Year to October 1, 2012 = 58 (cumulative total to date = 105)

GSA end 2012 outlook = 159 commercial LTE networks in 68 countries
GSA end 2013 outlook = 195 commercial LTE networks in 72 countries

Broadcom Samples 28nm XLP 200-Series Multicore Processor

Broadcom has begun sampling its 28nm XLP 200-Series network processor for enterprise, service provider 4G/LTE, data center, cloud computing and software defined networking (SDN) equipment.  The processor family, which is the world's first 28nm multicore communications processor family, promises up to 400 percent faster performance than competing solutions while lowering power consumption by up to 60 percent. 

Broadcom said the product launch demonstrates its successful integration of NetLogic Microsystems, which developed the XLP processors.

The new processors combine quad issue, quad threading and 2 GHz out-of-order execution capabilities with integrated networking and security acceleration.  The XLP 200-Series is the first to integrate a grammar processing engine, a fourth generation regular expression (RegEx) engine, and a broad range of autonomous encryption and authentication processing engines to deliver comprehensive Layer 7 deep-packet inspection (DPI) capabilities and complete offload of the compute-intensive security functions from the CPU cores. 
Some key capabilities
  • Quad-issue, quad-threading and out-of-order execution
  • Total Security Acceleration Technology: High performance grammar processing, DPI/RegEx engine, encryption/decryption and authentication 
  • Autonomous Acceleration Engine Modules: Offloads processing tasks, freeing up the cores to perform other compute-intensive application dependent tasks
  • Hardware Acceleration for packet ordering, network management, compression/decompression and RAID5/6 storage, etc.
  • Processor Core Enhancements for improved pre-fetch performance and branch mis-predict penalties
  • Processor Cache Architecture: MOESI+ coherent, three-level cache architecture and shared 16-way set associative Layer 3 cache
  • Memory Subsystem: On-chip DDR3 memory controller; configurable channel width (40 or 72 bits)
  • Fast Messaging Network System: Low-latency, high-speed system allows non-intrusive internal communication and control messaging among NXCPUs, acceleration engines and input/output
  • Software Development Kit (SDK): Comprehensive SDK with reference and production-ready software components accelerates time-to-market

  • In September 2011, NetLogic first unveiled its XLP II family of processors based on 28nm process technology, packing up to 80 high-performance NXCPUs per chip, and promising 5-7x performance enhancement over the existing XLP processors. NetLogic said its XLP II processor family is designed to deliver over 100 Gbps of network processing performance per device and over 800 Gbps in a clustered, fully-coherent system. The devices integrate up to 80 high-performance NXCPUs per chip, featuring an enhanced quad-issue, quad-threaded, superscalar out-of-order processor architecture capable of operating at up to 2.5 GHz to provide unmatched control and data plane processing and low-power profile. 
    NetLogic is adding innovations that improve pre-fetch performance, branch mis-predict penalties and cache access latencies. The family also significantly expands the tri-level cache architecture to over 32MB of fully coherent on-chip cache which represents over 260MB of on-chip cache in the maximum clustered configuration of 8 fully-coherent XLP II processors.

    NetLogic also introduced a second-generation high-speed Inter-chip Coherency Interface (ICI) that will enable systems designs with eight sockets of XLP II processors for scalability of up to 640 NXCPUs. Full processor and memory coherency are enabled across all 640 NXCPUs, allowing software applications to run in Symmetric Multi Processing (SMP) or Asymmetric Multi Processing (AMP) modes.

  • Earlier this year, Broadcom acquire NetLogic Microsystems in a deal valued at $3.7 billion ($50 per share) net of cash assumed.  NetLogic Microsystems, which was based in Santa Clara, California, added a number of critical new product lines and technologies to Broadcom's portfolio, including knowledge-based processors, multi-core embedded processors, and digital front-end processors.

HughesNet Gen4 Satellite Internet Service Goes Live with Speeds up to 15 Mbps

Hughes Network Systems activated its new HughesNet Gen4 satellite Internet service.

HughesNet Gen4 delivers downlink speeds of up to 15 Mbps, depending on the plan. Pricing starts at $49.99 per month for 10 Mbps downlink with a 10 GB cap for a 24 month term , plus $9.99 per month to lease the equipment.

"Our new fourth generation high-speed satellite Internet service is an industry game changer, allowing customers to do more of what they love online, from shopping and social networking to movies and music," said Mike Cook, senior vice president, North American Division at Hughes. "Hughes pioneered the satellite broadband industry, and HughesNet Gen4 continues our long tradition of innovation to bring the many benefits of high-speed Internet access to people everywhere across America—no matter where they live or work."

  • In July, Hughes Network Systems confirmed that its newly launched EchoStar XVII satellite was successful placement into its permanent geosynchronous orbital slot of 107.1 degrees West longitude. The new generation Ka-band satellite was built by Space Systems/Loral and launched by Arianespace.

Accenture Buys NSN's IPTV Assets

Accenture has acquired the software and skills of Nokia Siemens Networks' IPTV business.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Accenture already offers pre-integrated Over-the-top TV (OTTV) solution that has been deployed by several large video providers.  The software delivers a seamless consumer experience for accessing linear video content, such as traditional, real-time video, through the broadcast network, as well as non-linear services, such as catch-up TV and video on demand (VOD) through a broadband network.  The newly-acquired IPTV software, assets and capabilities from NSN will be integrated with this Accenture Video Solution.
“The combination of Nokia Siemens Networks’ IPTV assets with Accenture’s over-the-top TV software and capabilities, will deliver an exciting new combination of services to the global video industry,” said Marco Vernocchi, managing director of Accenture’s Media & Entertainment industry group. “The scalable and flexible end solution we are creating will help video service providers dramatically change the way they approach content distribution while balancing costs.”

Big Switch's Rob Sherwood to Chair ONF's Architecture Working Group

Rob Sherwood, who is Principal Architect at Big Switch Networks, has been appointed chair of the Open Networking Foundation's (ONF) new Architecture & Framework Working Group (ArchWG). The ONF ArchWG will map out the scope of SDN in terms of architecture and framework for OpenFlow and other components. 
At Big Switch, Sherwood is credited with developing and evangelizing the emerging OpenFlow standard and network virtualization. He has been heavily involved in the standards development and evolution since OpenFlow 0.82 and was most recently vice-chair for the ONF Testing & Interoperability Working Group; he has also been recognized twice as an ONF "Outstanding Technical Contributor."  
Dan Talayco, another Member of the Technical Staff at Big Switch Networks, serves as vice-chair of the ONF's Hybrid Programmable Forwarding Plane Working Group.
"The efforts of the Architecture and Framework Working Group are of central importance to all of ONF's work and to everyone interested in SDN," said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. "This working group will help us advance the adoption of SDN and the OpenFlow protocol, and the deep SDN expertise possessed by active ONF members will lead the industry to rapidly utilize the OpenFlow framework for implementation on hardware forwarding, hypervisor, and applications targets as well as the all-important provision of valuable services built on the OpenFlow foundation."

Softbank Mobile + EMOBILE Combines Japan's No. 3 + No.4 Mobile Operators

Softbank Mobile agreed to acquire eAccess in a deal that combines Japan's No.3 and No.4 mobile operators.  The stock-swap was valued at approximately ¥180 billion, or $2.3 billion.

The companies plan to continue to operate both the Softbank and EMOBILE brands following the merger.  Network and spectrum integration will provide key advantages to both brands.

SOFTBANK MOBILE will provide eAccess with access to its 900 MHz network (Band8, operating band specified in 3GPP) and 2.1 GHz network (Band1, operating band specified in 3GPP), which will allow eAccess to provide the voice and data communications service in broader areas.
eAccess will provide SOFTBANK MOBILE with access to its 1.7 GHz (Band3, operating band specified in 3GPP) FDD LTE network for the data communications service, which will allow SOFTBANK MOBILE to use both 2.1 GHz and 1.7 GHz for its FDD LTE service.

SOFTBANK MOBILE and eAccess will integrate their base station sites, enabling both brands to expand service coverage more quickly and to decrease capital expenditures and maintenance costs.  The backbone and backhaul networks will also be integrated.

Softbanks currently has more than 9,000 LTE base stations in operation.  It plans to scale this to 20,000 LTE base stations by March 2013.  At this point, eAccess should have about 10,000 LTE base stations of its own.

Softbank said the deal gives it a key spectrum advantage over Japan's No. mobile operator, KDDI-au.  For iPhone 5 service, Softbank will be able to offer coverage over both the 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz bands, whereas au will be limited to its 2.1 GHz spectrum footprint.

  • In April 2012, Ericsson confirmed that it has a contract to build the LTE radio access network for SOFTBANK MOBILE. The deployment will cover Japan's major cities - Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya - which together account for 70 percent of the country's total data and voice traffic. In addition, Ericsson will upgrade SOFTBANK MOBILE's packet core network, including systems integration and deployment of an Evolved Packet Core.

  • Ericsson has been the main network equipment to eAccess since 2006.

NSN Boosts its LTE Capabilities

Nokia Siemens Networks is introducing a 6-pipe radio module for its Flexi Multiradio Base Station family to cover the APT 700 MHz Digital Dividend spectrum in the Asia Pacific region, Latin America and other parts of the world.  The company is also enabling Liquid Radio LTE load-balancing capabilities and announcing plans to support carrier aggregation for LTE-Advanced in 2013.

The new 6-pipe radio modules uses 3-sector MIMO2x2.  Japan, Australia, New Zealand, other Asia Pacific countries, and most recently Mexico, intend to adopt the APT 700 MHz spectrum as part of their mobile broadband strategy. The 6-pipe radio module for APT 700 will be available during the second half of 2013.

The Liquid Radio LTE load-balancing feature builds on experience gained from the Korean market, where Nokia Siemens Networks has launched a two-step approach for the most efficient use of multiband LTE networks. Liquid Radio LTE load-balancing helps operators to distribute traffic across various LTE carriers. The Liquid Radio LTE load-balancing feature will be available by the end of 2012.

NSN said this LTE load-balancing capability will be enhanced by LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation via a software upgrade once LTE-Advanced devices become available in 2013. The aggregated bandwidth can double the data speed improving service experience for users and increasing revenue for operators.

“We consider carrier aggregation as an essential functionality of LTE-Advanced”, said Kang, Jong-Ryeol, senior vice president and head of network R&D center, SK Telecom. “Together with Nokia Siemens Networks, we have already demonstrated carrier aggregation at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012. As one of the world’s leading LTE operators, we are looking forward to providing our customers the superior data rates delivered by the technology.”

“We are excited to see the momentum in LTE adoption worldwide. With our expanded LTE portfolio, we are committed to helping operators take full advantage of LTE to meet bandwidth demand, offer their subscribers superior data rates and generate new revenue opportunities”, said Tero Peltola, head of LTE business line, Nokia Siemens Networks.

Nokia Siemens Networks noted that it now has 66 commercial LTE deals globally.

6connect Brings IPv4/IPv6 Tools to the Cloud

6connect, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, introduced a set of cloud-based tools for helping enterprises and service providers to migrate their IPv4 networks to IPv6.

The 6connect ProVision Suite is a unified SaaS platform for provisioning and managing networks in IPv4 and IPv6.  The company said its solution the key challenges of IP address management, DNS, DHCP and asset management that make IPv6 transistions such a headache for network operators. The Service Provider Edition also incorporates peering management and SWIP automation.

“With the number of connected devices and virtual machines growing exponentially and regional internet registries for Europe and Asia already out of IPv4 space, network architectures are undergoing fundamental change,” said Bill Bien, CEO of 6connect.  “Legacy DDI and automation solutions are no longer efficient. We’ve designed ProVision as a disruptive, next-generation platform for automated management control of complex IP address zones, virtual machines, mobile devices, and all types of corporate assets.”

Motorola Completes Acquisition of Psion

Motorola Solutions' offer to acquire Psion Plc., a supplier of ruggedized mobile devices, for $200 million in cash has been accepted.  Psion, which is based in London and has operations in Toronto, has been a pioneer in ruggedized mobile computing products and their application in industrial segments around the world. The company was founded in 1980 and was a pioneer in personal digital organizers but exited the consumer market in 2001.