Thursday, May 9, 2013

Open Compute Project to Develop Top-of-rack Switch

The Open Compute Project, which was launched by Facebook to build better data center systems, confirmed plans to develop an open, OS-agnostic top-of-rack switch.  The effort will be led by Najam Ahmad, who runs the network engineering team at Facebook.

Companies that are supporting the effort include Big Switch Networks, Broadcom, Cumulus Networks, Facebook, Intel, Netronome, OpenDaylight, the Open Networking Foundation, and VMware.

In a blog posting, Frank Frankovsky, Chairman/President, Open Compute Project, says the goal of this undertaking is to create "an open, disaggregated switch will enable a faster pace of innovation in the development of networking hardware; help software-defined networking continue to evolve and flourish; and ultimately provide consumers of these technologies with the freedom they need to build infrastructures that are flexible, scalable, and efficient across the entire stack."

AT&T's Project VIP On Track - Small Cells and DAS

AT&T is on-track to bring LTE to 90% of its wireless footprint to year-end and Project VIP will extend the network significantly in both the wireless and wireline domains, said Bill Smith, President of AT&T Network Operations, speaking at the Jeffries 2013 Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.  AT&T's CAPEX budget for 2013 is in the $21 billion range.
Some notes from his presentation.

  • Project VIP aims to reach 10,000+ macro cell sites by year-end 2015, along with 1,000 DAS and 40,000+ small cell sites.
  • Project VIP also aims to bring fiber to 1 million new business locations by year-end 2015.
  • In 2012, AT&T installed 800 distributed antenna systems and deployed 81,000 new antennas.
  • More than 90% of traffic on AT&T's wireless network is now carried of its enhanced backhaul (Ethernet)
  • AT&T now has more than 33,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • AT&T's plan is to move to small cells that have UMTS + LTE + Wi-Fi

  • AT&T's network carries 43.4 petabytes on average business day

Blue Coat Acquires Netronome's SSL Inspector Line

Blue Coat has acquired Netronome's SSL appliance product line for an undisclosed sum.

The SSL appliances, which are based on Netronome’s NFP family of flow processors, provide visibility into encrypted SSL traffic. Driven by the adoption of cloud-based SaaS applications and the growing use of HTTPS for Web sites such as Google and Facebook, encrypted SSL packets can account for a significant percentage of the traffic on a corporate network.   Netronome’s SSL appliances deliver SSL decryption in networks ranging from 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps full duplex.

Blue Coat said the Netronome SSL appliance technology will be fully integrated with its existing Blue Coat products.  The appliances also provide up to four data feeds to a wide range of in-network security applications, such as intrusion prevention, intrusion detection, sandboxing and forensics, which can then analyze the data for threats or data breaches.

“The SSL appliances are the industry’s highest performance transparent proxy for SSL network communications, and provide unique visibility exposing inbound threats and outbound leaks,” said Howard Bubb, chief executive officer at Netronome. “The product is an ideal complement to Blue Coat’s comprehensive suite of cyber security products, and extends their leadership position in securing SSL communications.”
“Netronome’s SSL appliances are crucial for helping customers address a threat landscape made more complex by the growing amount of SSL traffic on the network,” said Greg Clark, CEO at Blue Coat Systems. “Netronome’s leading high performance flow processors are at the foundation of its SSL appliances and will play an important role in our product portfolio moving forward.”

Netronome said the deal enables it to focus on its flow processors and flow processing technology.

Cyan Completes its IPO

Cyan completed its initial public offering (IPO) and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol "CYNI".

Mark Floyd, Cyan's Chairman and CEO, joined by members of the company’s management team, rang The Opening Bell on the NYSE.

"Listing on the NYSE marks a major milestone for the company and I want to thank the entire Cyan team, without whose tireless efforts this could never have happened," said Mark Floyd, chief executive officer, Cyan, Inc. "As a natural next step, we expect this event to enable Cyan to continue to catalyze the transformation and virtualization of networks globally. Our cutting edge Z-Series platforms combined with our unique, open and proven Blue Planet software, positions Cyan to benefit from the change in the way networks are designed and managed."

AT&T's Aio Wireless Offers Unlimited Talk/Text/Data with No Contract

AT&T has launched a new subsidiary -- Aio Wireless (pronounced "A-O") -- to deliver a new nationwide wireless service for consumers interested in value pricing without an annual contract.

Aio kicks off today Houston, Orlando and Tampa, offering a pre-paid, unlimited talk/text/data plan with no annual contract. Pricing ranges from $35 to $70 per month.  Download speeds on AT&T's 4G network are capped at 4 Mbps.

Aio expects the service to roll out in multiple markets across the U.S. over the next year.

“We talked with no-annual-contract customers and created our service around what they want.  They want simple, easy plan choices with unlimited offers; first-class service at affordable prices; great devices; nationwide voice and data coverage; and no annual contracts. Today’s wireless customers don't want to compromise,” said Jennifer Van Buskirk, president of Aio Wireless. “We are set up to win over value-conscious customers who are increasingly moving towards smartphones and mobile broadband.”

Devices offered include smartphones, tablets, and feature phones from Samsung, Nokia, ZTE and others.

Huawei's Founder Gives First Media Interview

Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei, made his first media appearance since establishing the company over 26 years ago.

Speaking to the media in New Zealand, Ren said Huawei does not present a cyber security threat and there is no factual basis to make such accusations.

Huawei recently won a major bid to supply LTE equipment to  Telecom New Zealand.

Equinix Expands its AWS Direct Connect Service

Equinix continues its rollout of AWS Direct Connect Service, which is now available at the Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers in Seattle (SE2 and SE3).

AWS Direct Connect provides a private connection to Amazon Web Services (AWS) via a cross connect at the Equinix data center.  It can also be used to onnect to the AWS GovCloud (US) from all existing AWS Direct Connect locations in North America.

Existing Equinix customers can connect to AWS Direct Connect inside the Seattle data center.  Customers can achieve millisecond latency between their infrastructure and AWS infrastructure.

Since the roll out of AWS Direct Connect in Equinix’s Ashburn, Virginia data center campus, AWS Direct Connect has expanded to Equinix locations in Seattle, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. Equinix customers such as Badgeville, Box, Carpathia Hosting and NetApp are using AWS Direct Connect to lower network costs into and out of AWS, bypassing the public internet.

McAfee Announces 40 Gbps Intrusion Prevention Powered by Intel

McAfee introduced its Network Security Platform NS-series, a new network intrusion prevention system (IPS) appliance powered by Intel processors and capable of 40 Gbps throughput performance with all of the NGIPS services running.

The NS-series, which is McAfee’s first IPS hardware platform based on Intel technology, is more compact than previous appliances while retaining substantial port density.

“Although the raw throughput of the new McAfee NS-series is impressive by any measure, the real story is the full next generation IPS services at those throughputs,” said Pat Calhoun, senior vice president and general manager of network security at McAfee. “The IPS industry has been talking about next generation IPS functionality for several years now, but when scalability tests are run, these services are almost always disabled, sacrificing security to boost throughput. These next generation IPS services, such as application visibility, situational and behavioral analysis, are needed to address today’s advanced threats.”

BT Selects Level 3 for SIP Toll-Free in U.S.

Level 3 Communications will provide SIP Toll-Free Services BT over its MPLS network, enabling BT Conferencing to provide its flexible communications solutions in the U.S. The two-year agreement builds upon the existing business relationship between the two companies.

Dish Network Closes Q1 with 14 Million Subscribers, Higher Costs

DISH Network posted Q1 revenue of $3.56 billion, down from $3.58 billion for the corresponding period in 2012. The company cited declines its Blockbuster unit and said subscriber-related revenue for its DISH segment increased from $3.22 billion to $3.35 billion, or 4.0 percent.

Net income attributable to DISH Network totaled $216 million for the quarter ending March 31, 2013, compared to $360 million from the year-ago quarter. The company cited higher subscriber-related expenses driven by increased programming and subscriber acquisition costs.

Some highlights:

  • DISH added about 654,000 gross new pay-TV subscribers compared to approximately 673,000 gross new pay-TV subscribers in the prior year’s first quarter.
  • Net subscribers grew by approximately 36,000 in the first quarter. The company closed the first quarter with 14.092 million pay-TV subscribers compared to 14.071 million pay-TV subscribers at the end of first quarter 2012.
  • Pay-TV ARPU for the first quarter totaled $78.54, an improvement over the first quarter 2012 pay-TV ARPU of $76.24. Pay-TV subscriber churn rate was 1.47 percent versus 1.35 percent for first quarter 2012.
  • DISH also added about 66,000 net broadband subscribers in the first quarter, compared to the addition of approximately 6,000 broadband subscribers in the year-ago period.

SingTel Launches Mobile Broadband 150 Service

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) launched Mobile Broadband 150, a 4G mobile broadband service boasting top theoretical download speed of 150 Mbps.  Plans start at S$60 per month with a 5GB cap.

SingTel is offering a mobile Wi-Fi USB dongle modem as a promotion.

The service is accessible at many outdoor locations across Singapore, as well as popular indoor locations such as Jurong Point, Raffles City, Tampines Mall, Bishan Junction 8, Bugis Junction and Changi Airport.  SingTel is working closely with building owners and property developers to implement 150Mbps 4G capabilities in as many buildings as possible.