Tuesday, January 14, 2014

U.S. Court of Appeals Rejects FCC's Open Internet Rules

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the FCC overstepped its boundaries in setting Net Neutrality rules that compel broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic the same regardless of source.

The court found that even though the FCC has general authority to regulate the Internet, it has previously chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers and the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from regulating them as such. The court therefore decided to vacate portions of the Open Internet Order because broadband providers do not have to meet common carrier obligations.

The court concludes that "the requirements imposed by the Open Internet Order subject broadband
providers to common carrier treatment. If they do, then given the manner in which the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers, the regulations cannot stand."

The court did not address Verizon’s additional complaint that the Order violates the First Amendment and constitutes an uncompensated taking.

In response to the ruling, FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler issued the following statement:  “The D.C. Circuit has correctly held that ‘Section 706 . . . vests [the Commission] with affirmative authority to enact measures encouraging the deployment of broadband infrastructure’ and therefore may ‘promulgate rules governing broadband providers’ treatment of Internet traffic.’ I am committed to maintaining our networks as engines for economic growth, test beds for innovative services and products, and channels for all forms of speech protected by the First Amendment. We will consider all available options, including those for appeal, to ensure that these networks on which the Internet depends continue to provide a free and open platform for innovation and expression, and operate in the interest of all Americans.” 


In Decemcer 2010, the FCC approved new Open Internet rules governing the management of Internet traffic, with the three Democrats on the commission voting in favor of the measure and the two Republicans voting against.

Key elements of the Open Internet Order included:

Rule 1: Transparency -- A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.

Rule 2: No Blocking -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management. A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider's voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network 

Rule 3: No Unreasonable Discrimination -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer's broadband Internet access service. Reasonable network management shall not constitute unreasonable discrimination.

Significantly, "reasonable network management" was defined as follows: "A network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service. Legitimate network management purposes include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with a user's choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and by reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network." The FCC rules go on to say that "Pay for Priority" delivery of packets on wireline broadband networks is likely to run afoul of the "no unreasonable discrimination" clause because it would represent a significant departure from current practices.

Mobile broadband was largely exempt from the "reasonable network management" clause, as the document acknowledges that this market is an earlier-stage platform than fixed broadband, and it is rapidly evolving. 

Nutanix Raises $101 Million for Converged Data Center Solutions

Nutanix closed $101 million in Series D financing co-led by Riverwood Capital and SAP Ventures.

The company, which is based in San Jose, California, said it has exceeded $100 million in lifetime sales and acquired 13 customers who have purchased more than $1 million of products within two years of launching its Virtual Computing Platform. Customers include eBay, McKesson, Toyota, Orange Business Services and Hyundai Hysco.

The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform is a converged infrastructure solution that consolidates the compute (server) tier and the storage tier into a single, integrated appliance.

In addition to Riverwood Capital and SAP Ventures, Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital and Greenspring Associates participated in the round as new investors, joining existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures and Battery Ventures. The company has now raised a total of $172.2 million in four rounds of funding.

“Adoption of web-scale computing, and Nutanix’s Virtual Computing Platform in particular, has grown explosively over the last two years, yet we’ve only scratched the surface of this $100 billion hybrid computing market,” said Dheeraj Pandey, CEO of Nutanix. “The additional support from such a high-quality investor group leaves us uniquely positioned to capitalize on the opportunity and build one of the elite companies of this decade.”


Pacnet Opens Flagship, Tier III Data Center in Singapore

Pacnet, which operates an extensive submarine networks across the Asia-Pacific region, officially opened CloudSpace II (SGCS2), a Tier III data center that is also designed in accordance with the BCA Green Mark scheme – the equivalent to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the US Green Building Council.

The US$90 million facility is one of Pacnet’s flagship data centers built to help meet the rapidly growing demand for interconnected, advanced data and managed services in the Asia-Pacific region.  The eight-storey, 155,000-square foot standalone facility, offers access to Pacnet’s managed services, including Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) and Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN). Available in the first quarter of 2014, PEN is a Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform that will allow customers in the SGCS2 to manage networking services virtually and build high performance and cloud-ready networks that are cost-efficient, reliable, flexible and scalable.

The newly opened data center is carrier neutral and is directly connected to Pacnet’s submarine cable networks. It boasts fully redundant power and cooling systems, advanced fire detection and suppression systems, as well as a latest-generation security access system.

“With Singapore firmly entrenched as a dynamic financial hub, the Infocomm Development Authority’s recent push to develop into a big data hub translates into a rising need for data center services,” said Mr Giles Proctor, Vice President of Data Center Construction and Operations at Pacnet. “We are excited about launching Singapore’s first data center with Tier III Design Certification from the Uptime Institute, and continuing to grow along with the Lion City in the years ahead.”


In November 2013, Pacnet announced plans for a pan-Asia Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform using Vello’s Connectivity Exchange software and OpenStack from Mirantis.

Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN) will provide carriers and large enterprises with the ability to provision network bandwidth on-demand across the Pacnet undersea cable system.
VellOS Connectivity Exchange also provides Pacnet with "intelligent overprovisioning."  Vello said this ensures that expensive WAN links between countries and data centers are always fully utilized and monetized via software control of data flows associated with tiered SLAs.

Pacnet will provide tiered SLAs with on-demand provisioning, just-in-time provisioning, bandwidth calendaring, and automatic path recalculation and failover. The network-as-a-service will be available via 10 data centers in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore at launch in Q1 2014, followed by the US and China by first half of 2014, and eventually expand to all its interconnected data centers across 14 cities in the Asia-Pacific region.

In October 2013, Pacnet announced its activation of an optical mesh network with 100G on its EAC Pacific fiber optic cable system.  Pacnet can now offer its Carrier and Enterprise customers 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps services between Asia-Pacific and the U.S.

Pacnet said its new backbone integrates subsea fiber infrastructure and terrestrial backhaul links supporting pure packet technology and OTN switching in the optical core.  The upgrade supports both Ethernet and OTN interfaces at a location, allowing flexible selection of whether to multiplex, scale up and down, amplify, groom, optically express, or switch individual data streams. 

Australia Japan Cable Upgrades to 100G with Infinera

Infinera's DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform has been deployed across the Australia Japan Cable (AJC), which spans 12,700 km and offers diverse landings in Australia, Guam and Japan. AJC is composed of a consortium of leading service providers including Telstra, AT&T, NTT, Verizon and Softbank.

Infinera said the Intelligent Transport Network, featuring the DTN-X platform with SD FEC super-channels and integrated OTN switching, enables AJC to significantly expand their cable’s capacity and rapidly deliver 10, 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) services. Infinera's DTN-X platform delivers long haul super-channels with SD-FEC based on its Photonic Integrated Circuit and the FlexCoherent Processor, supporting up to 500 Gbps in a single line card. The DTN-X platform is also equipped with 1 Tbps per slot to support higher capacity 1 Tbps super-channel line cards for future scaling needs.

"To meet the growing bandwidth needs of carrier, enterprise and ISP customers, AJC is significantly increasing the capacity of our network," said Philip Murphy, Head of Engineering at Australia Japan Cable. "We selected an Infinera Intelligent Transport Network because it allowed us to scale capacity while simplifying operations.”


Southern Cross Adds Terabit Trans-Pacific Capacity with Ciena

Southern Cross Cable Network, which implemented Ciena’s 100 Gbps solution across its 30,000km network in July 2013, will use the Ciena WaveLogic 3 platform to add an additional 500 Gbps to both cables by July 2014. This will bring the total lit capacity across the two Southern Cross cables from 2.6 Tbps to 3.6 Tbps. Potential capacity is 12 Tbps.

Southern Cross President and CEO Fiona Beck says “The continued expansion of our network using the best 100G technology available underpins our strategy to support the development of high-speed broadband in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Fiji.”

“The introduction of the Ciena 6500 Packet-Optical Platform to our network in 2011, allowed us to move from 10G optics, to 40G, and then to 100G in July 2013. At the same time, the implementation of a mesh-enabled submarine network architecture (GeoMesh) increased the resilience of our services significantly, reducing the risk of natural and man-made network disruptions, even under multi-failure conditions,” said Ms Beck.

“The Ciena platform has allowed us to provide sector leading high capacity submarine capacity services such as 10G and 40G OTN along with the introduction of 40G Ethernet and 100G OTN interfacing. In 2014 we will introduce 100GbE services along with the seamless integration of our key internet data center access points such as Equinix in Sydney, CoreSite in San Jose and the Westin Building in Seattle.”


China Mobile Demos First LTE TDD to GSM Voice Handover with Ericsson

Ericsson and China Mobile successfully demonstrated the world’s first enhanced Single Radio Call Continuity (eSRVCC) towards GSM on a live LTE TDD network.  The demo, which occurred in advance of the China Mobile Global Partner Conference 2013 last month, tested devices in a moving vehicle performing seamless eSRVCC voice handover without any perceivable interruption.

SRVCC is a technology which enables seamless handover of voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls to 2G or 3G networks when the user moves out of LTE coverage. The eSRVCC technology applied in the demonstration is based on 3GPP R10 standard. eSRVCC is the enhanced SRVCC used in the China Mobile Lab.

Ericsson said the eSRVCC technology applied in the demonstration was based on 3GPP R10 standard. eSRVCC is the enhanced SRVCC used in the China Mobile Lab. Compared with SRVCC defined in 3GPP R8, when handover occurs during roaming, the newly added ATCF and ATGW functionality in R10 in the IMS domain can prevent the update of E2E signaling and bearer carrier, therefore avoiding call drops caused by long handover delay, which improves the user perception for cross-domain handover in spotty LTE coverage.

In the demonstration, Ericsson provided the end–to-end commercial equipment covering LTE TDD and GSM radio access with RBS 6000, Evolved Packet Core, a complete IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) with TAS (Telephony Application Server), CSCF (Call Session Call Function), SBC (Session Border Controller), MRS (Media Resource System), MGC (Media Gateway Controller), and the Mobile Softswitch Solution with pooled MSC Servers, to successfully implement LTE to GSM voice handover. Handover delay in the live network environment was measured constantly below 200 ms, far less than the 300 ms for SRVCC defined in 3GPP. This provides excellent user experience with seamless voice over LTE to GSM voice handover.

In addition, in the demonstration Ericsson enabled the Fast Return function on the network side, which allows a quick and direct return from 2G to 4G network within one second after the completion of a call, and ensures advanced user experience. With Fast Return function, it is possible to avoid unreachable paging during inter-RAN cell re-selection when Circuit Switched Fallback (CSFB) and eSRVCC are deployed for improved user experience.


Alpheus Expand in Texas with Overture's Carrier Ethernet

Alpheus Communications, a leading metro-regional network provider in Texas, is deploying Overture Neworks' Ethernet over Copper (EoC) solutions as part of a significant, ongoing network expansion.

Overture’s bonded copper solutions deliver Ethernet services from 1 Mbps to 100 Mbps, providing operators a readily available means to reach more customers, more quickly, with high-speed business services, mobile backhaul and cloud connectivity offerings.

Alpheus said its expanded network can now reach 129,000 Ethernet-qualified locations, representing a 36 percent increase in network reach during the last two years. The carrier also credits the ongoing strength of Texas’ economy in attracting new businesses and sparking new-building construction, which combined with Alpheus expanding Ethernet capabilities to more central offices, has broadened the company’s network footprint, including coverage in South Texas.

“We deployed the Overture solution in anticipation of our carrier and business customers migrating from traditional network options to modern, standards-based Ethernet services,” said Francisco Maella, Chief Operating Officer, Alpheus Communications. “By utilizing Ethernet over Copper, carriers and enterprises benefit from scalability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, while our channel partners have more revenue-generating options from selling a broader portfolio of Ethernet services on the Alpheus network.”


Netsocket Announces a Virtualized Data Center Customer

Catapult Systems, a national Microsoft-focused IT consulting company, has deployed the Netsocket Virtual Network (NVN) in its data center to enable the managed service provider to easily turn on their new remote offices with full virtual networking functionality.

Catapult, which is a Microsoft National Systems Integrator (NSI) providing full range IT services, is using the Netsocket Virtual Network solution for their own new remote offices.

Netsocket Virtual Network is a centrally managed virtual network optimized for enterprise LAN and WAN edge network deployments.  The company said its solution was deployed on commodity x86 servers at the Catapult central data center in less than an hour, resulting in a secure mesh VPN tunnel network between the new remote site and headquarters. The new remote site can now access corporate resources securely.  Additionally, Catapult's IT department has the flexibility to easily deploy additional services or applications to the remote site x86 server which is hosting the NVN.


In July 2013, Netsocket, a start-up based in Plano, Texas, unveiled its flagship Netsocket Virtual Network (NVN) product suite for bringing SDN-based orchestration and automation capabilities to enterprise infrastructure based commodity x86 servers. Netsocket has developed a three-tier SDN architecture for interoperability and integration with legacy routed networks as well as higher level management systems such as Microsoft System Center.  The NetSocketdesign uses a vFlow controller with routing, firewall, and VPN capabilities built-in.

TE Connectivity Reduces Cost of Connecting Distributed Antenna Systems

TE Connectivity introduced a FlexWave Active Integration Panel (AIP) that provides multi-carrier, multi-protocol connectivity between mobile operator base stations (BTS) and distributed antenna systems (DAS).

The FlexWave AIP is a rack-mountable unit that supports up to eight BTS TX/RX inputs, enabling it to connect multiple BTS in a multi-operator or neutral host application. The FlexWave AIP handles BTS power levels up to 100 Watts.  It is compatible with DAS products from TE Connectivity. It can also be used with other vendors’ DAS offerings.

“FlexWave AIP takes the guesswork, complexity, and cost out of integrating multiple BTS in a DAS deployment,” said Tony Lefebvre, director of product management of TE’s Wireless business unit. “With this new addition to the FlexWave family, we continue to simplify DAS deployment, delivering remotely-monitored control of BTS power levels in a compact system.”


Palo Alto Networks Boosts its Cyber Defenses

Palo Alto Networks announced enhancements that enable quick discovery and elimination of previously unknown malware, zero-day exploits, and advanced persistent threats (APTs).

Unlike traditional security measures, such as stateful firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and anti-virus (AV) systems, Palo Alto Networks said its approach begins with positive security controls to reduce the attack surface. It inspects all traffic, ports, and protocols to block all known threats, it rapidly detects unknown threats and then automatically employs new protections back to the front line to ensure previously unknown threats are known to all and blocked.

The company sees its next-generation firewall as the core enforcement vehicle within the network, and this is extended by the advanced detection and analysis capabilities delivered by its WildFire service, which is now used by more than 2,400 customers worldwide.  New advancements include:

  • Extended file visibility – all common file types, including PDFs, Office documents, Java, and APKs, operating systems, and applications (encrypted or not) are now detected, sandboxed and filtered.
  • Zero-day exploit detection – using behavioral analysis, this signature independent capability in the WildFire cloud quickly identifies exploits in common applications and operating systems and distributes the intelligence to subscribing customers in as little as 30 minutes to prevent future attacks.
  • Discovery of malicious domains – blocks the critical command-and-control phase of an advanced attack by building a global database of compromised domains and infrastructure.
  • Single "pane of glass" view into incident response data – in a single view, security administrators have access to a wealth of information on malware, its behavior, compromised hosts, and more, so that incident response teams can quickly address threats and build proactive controls.

The enhancements are accessible via Palo Alto Networks PAN-OS version 6.0, which will be available for all Palo Alto Networks customers with valid support contracts.


Tesco Selects Verizon for Global Network

Tesco, one of the world's leading retailers, has selected Verizon to migrated to a single global network infrastructure, which will underpin Tesco's ongoing application and infrastructure centralization program.  Specifically, Verizon is providing secure connectivity to link Tesco's suppliers, partners, customers and colleagues in 12 countries.


Emerson Embedded Computing & Power Relaunches as Artesyn

The former Emerson Embedded Computing & Power business of Emerson Network Power relaunched as Artesyn Embedded Technologies.

Platinum Equity, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, acquired a majority interest in the company from Emerson in November. Emerson retained a 49 percent stake.

Artesyn Embedded Technologies will continue to design and manufacture of highly reliable power conversion and embedded computing solutions for a wide range of industries including communications, computing, medical, military, aerospace and industrial. The company is headquartered in Carlsbad, California and has 20,000 employees worldwide.
“As a standalone private company, Artesyn will create significant value-driven growth based on our global reach, an unrivalled understanding of our customers, excellence in engineering and world class manufacturing.  Our energized and dedicated team will continue its outstanding track record of delivering high quality solutions and technology leadership," stated Jay Geldmacher, CEO of Artesyn Embedded Technologies.


Transmode Misses Q4 Sales Expectations

Transmode, which supplies packet optical networking solutions, announced preliminary sales for the fourth quarter 2013 of SEK 223 million (US$35 million), which is below the expected level reported previously.

CEO Karl Thedéen commented: "Order intake in the fourth quarter was in line with our expectations and the fourth quarter of the previous year. The main reason for fourth-quarter sales being below the expected level stated in the Third-quarter Interim Report is that we could not recognize late orders as revenue during 2013."

The company's preliminary sales for the fourth quarter 2013 were SEK 223 (251) m, down by 11.1%, preliminarily. In the Third-quarter Report, the company communicated "As a result of the situation in the Americas and the merger of two of our major European customers, the company's sales in the fourth quarter will show low growth compared to the corresponding quarter of the previous year."

Preliminary fourth-quarter sales by region were as follows: Europe, SEK 193 (200) m; Americas, SEK 24 (46) m and APAC, SEK 6 (5) m.

Preliminary operating profit for the fourth quarter 2013 is expected between SEK 8.3 m and SEK 9.6 (37.1) m, equating to an operating margin of between 3.7% and 4.3% (14.7%).


LSI Supplies PCIe Flash for Oracle's Next-Gen Exadata X4 Systems

LSI's Nytro flash accelerator cards have been selected as the PCIe flash acceleration technology for Oracle’s next-generation Database Machine, Oracle Exadata X4. In addition, the companies have collaborated on bringing a new LSI Nytro technology called Dynamic Logical Capacity (DLC) to Exadata customers.

“Oracle Exadata X4 is a fully integrated and optimized database platform combining hardware and software designed from the ground up to work together to deliver maximum performance and value to customers,” said Juan Loiaza, senior vice president for Exadata systems at Oracle. “Flash-based storage is a key element of Exadata, and LSI Nytro flash accelerator cards deliver the performance and reliability that Oracle demands for Exadata. The expanded flash capacity enabled by DLC technology further enhances cost-effectiveness, raising the value we’re able to deliver customers.”

LSI said its Nytro DLC technology can extend the logical flash storage capacity of Exadata beyond the system’s physical flash capacity by leveraging intelligent caching and management software.