Sunday, January 29, 2006

Hammerhead Secures $30 Million for Layer 2.5 Aggregation

Hammerhead Systems, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, closed $30 million in Series C funding, for its traffic aggregation and switching platform.

Hammerhead's HSX 6000 is a purpose-built Layer 2.5 Aggregation Switch that features MPLS Pseudowire technology. It provides dense Ethernet aggregation, Pseudowire termination, legacy Frame Relay and ATM support, and Service Interworking. It features a "Layer 2.5" edge aggregation approach designed to integrate access services (wireline, broadband, broadband fixed wireless and 3G) that are typically based on Layer 2 connection-oriented technologies with new services that are based on Layer 3. The platform supports the migration of Frame Relay / ATM services onto MPLS backbones, so that it can be used as an aggregation platform in an Ethernet service architecture, offering native Gigabit Ethernet as well as Ethernet-over-SONET (both GFP and x.86) trunking capabilities. On the subscriber side, the HSX 6000 switch offers high-density fan-in across a range of new and legacy service interfaces, media and speeds, including Ethernet.

Hammerhead has a strategic partnership with Fujitsu Network Communications in North America for distribution, joint marketing, product planning, and customer support and services.

The latest funding was led by new investor Silver Creek Ventures and joined by new investor Apex Venture Partners. All existing investors participated in the round which now brings the total equity raised by Hammerhead Systems to $80 million.

The company said it raised the new funding, in part, based on the strength of its top tier customer activity. Commercial installations are underway, although customer names have not been announced. The new funding will be used for working capital including expanding sales, marketing and customer support in North America and internationally, as well as the acceleration of product development in response to customer demand and establishing volume manufacturing.
  • In September 2005, Hammerhead Systems introduced an enhanced EMS capability based on XML/SOAP that enables its HSX 6000 Layer 2.5 aggregation platform to support up to a thousand different service profiles on a single port, including VoIP, IP Video, Internet, email and business services, while supporting up to a million flows per system. Each of these profiles can be "pre-engineered" onto the network, enabling virtually instant provisioning of new services using automated tools.

    Hammerhead's new Pegador SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) supports the TeleManagement Forum 854 XML/SOAP Interface, which is a loosely coupled Internet-based framework mandated by large service providers. SOA will enable service providers to address the operational challenges in the deployment of higher value services and facilitate the development of web-based services and customer network management offerings. This could include the integration of business systems to management systems for reliable billing, web applications for transaction processing as well as integration to supplier and partners for purchase order fulfillment and order tracking, and service revenue opportunities for the enterprise in verticals such as the financial, retail, manufacturing or transportation sectors.

    Hammerhead said its Pegador SOA could be used to facilitate such applications services, to bind IP networks with application networks, and to provide a high levels of flexibility for the service provider. XML/SOAP provides the critical link between service providers' business and management systems to deliver web-based applications that leverage the advanced service, quality and management capabilities of network elements.

Siemens Supplies Real-Time IP System for USAF

Siemens Communications' HiPath 4000 Real-Time IP System will soon serve as the central dispatch and communication platform -- for emergency as well as routine communications -- at more than 100 U.S. Air Force command posts worldwide.

Siemens and RS Information Systems Inc. (RSIS), a federal systems integrator and telecommunication services provider, are part of a nearly $10 million Northrop Grumman Corp. task order to upgrade communication and command and control systems at 26 Air Force posts, including 17 in the United States. The deployment is part of Northrop Grumman's Network Centric Solutions (NETCENTS) contract.

The project will enhance circuit switched Siemens equipment with VoIP capabilities. More than 70 Air Force posts throughout the globe are already IP-enabled with solutions from Siemens.

The Siemens HiPath 4000 solution supports a touch-screen dispatch console for single-touch conferencing and the real-time collaboration of critical contacts, regardless of location and regardless of whether emergency preparedness personnel and others are communicating via landline, air-to-ground, mobile phone, land mobile radio (LMRs), satellite communications (SATCOM) or other devices and modes. Command post upgrades also enable open-line broadcasting, digital recording, easier system management and additional alarm monitoring and sensory capabilities for quicker response to natural disasters, security breeches and other emergencies.

Korea Internet Data Center Installs Force10 10G Switches

Korea Internet Data Center (KIDC), a leading data center operator in Korea, has installed Force10 Networks' TeraScale E-Series family of switch/routers. Through its extensive peering relationships, KIDC has built a network with the largest aggregate bandwidth in Korea. Leveraging that bandwidth, KIDC is building out a resilient, secure infrastructure with the Force10 TeraScale E1200. The high Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet densities of the Force10 TeraScale E-Series, enable KIDC to reduce network complexity as well as capital and operating expenses. The TeraScale platform support 1,260 Gigabit and 224 Ten Gigabit Ethernet ports per system. They also provide the ability to support more than one million access control lists (ACLs) without compromising performance.

Ciena Supplies Access Platform for Slovenia's VDSL Network

T-2, a Slovenian alternative service provider, has selected Ciena's CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform to provide multiservice aggregation and transport of telephone, Internet and television services delivered via VDSL.

Ciena's CN 4200 is a multiservice transport and service aggregation platform that enables service-selectable migration to packet for networks transitioning from TDM. For new networks like T-2, which is using ITU G.709, the platform provides software-defined service ports.

Entone and Verimatrix Partner on VOD Content Protection

Entone Technologies has integrated the Verimatrix Content Authority System (VCAS) into its StreamLiner network video recorder (NVR) for IPTV services.

By integrating the VCAS software with Entone's StreamLiner video streaming technology, the companies are providing a digital rights management (DRM) and video on demand (VOD) solution that streamlines the process from content creation, processing, distribution and playout. Currently with most DRM systems, VOD content is distributed over a core network and stored at the operator's site on a stand-alone system called a "catcher." This content is manually copied to another server where encryption technology is applied, and then copied again to an on-site VOD server.

Entone said its solution enables operators to avoid the extra intermediate step of copying a file. By running VCAS natively on Entone's StreamLiner, when a new VOD asset appears on the catcher, Entone's StreamLiner NVR automatically copies the content and seamlessly moves it to a VOD server for playout. For operators, this results in a simpler and error-free workflow that enables them to deliver VOD assets to subscribers faster and more efficiently.


Texas Instruments Debuts Carrier Infrastructure Platform

Texas Instruments introduced new DSP-based carrier infrastructure platform designed for fixed and mobile communications applications. The new systems on chip (SOC), which is example in the second half of 2006, will be capable of delivering multimedia/3G services, such as fixed-mobile-convergence, within an IP multimedia services (IMS) environment.

TI's new carrier infrastructure platform is comprised of three elements -- silicon, software and reference designs that include evaluation modules.

The silicon architecture expands on that of the company's previous VoIP infrastructure products, offering even higher solution density and the ability to support a greater breadth of applications, like video processing. The new processor is based on the company's TMS320C64x+ core.

The second element of this platform includes the company's widely-deployed Telogy voice software as well as a rich library of software modules designed to support the needs of fixed, mobile and cable network equipment manufacturers. These elements will address a variety of standards and technologies, including those features and functions required for Class 4 and Class 5 replacement, PacketCable 1.5, modem/fax transmission, wireless transcoding applications, wireless media gateways, wireless trunking, encryption, redundancy, diagnostics and service enhancements. TI is also working with key value-added third parties to offer complementary solutions.

The third element of this platform is a fully functional evaluation module.
  • Earlier this month, Texas Instruments introduced a scheme that leverages its digital signal processor (DSP) technology and embedded software solutions to monitor and improve the quality of IP-based services, such as voice, data and video. TI's new "PIQUA" utilizes real-time calculations to instantly assess quality parameters related to the user's experience, allowing both equipment manufacturers and service providers to dynamically adapt to changing conditions and make adjustments which today are either impossible or done manually. These quality management tools enable the discovery, monitoring and repair of services, devices and networks, allowing operators to proactively manage factors like echo, dropped-packets and line-delay.

  • In September 2005, Texas Instruments unveiled its DSP-based DaVinci silicon technology aimed at next generations of digital video products. The DaVinci product portfolio, which will include processors, software, tools and partnership solutions, addresses digital video requirements across a range of applications, including video security, IP set-top boxes, video conferencing, automobile infotainment, portable media players and digital cameras. DaVinci processors, some of which are already on the market, consist of combinations of DSP and ARM cores, memory configurations, video accelerators, and peripheral interfaces for specific applications. DaVinci silicon is based on the new TMS320C64x+ core and it is code compatible with TI�s TMS320C64x DSPs. TI will support a full range of audio, video and imaging codecs. A key feature of the DaVinci portfolio will be common Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to accelerate the development of new consumer products. APIs will make it easier for OEMs to develop interoperable code that will work with other DaVinci-based applications. TI is also developing an en-to-end video ecosystem through a range of partners. Over the coming year, TI and its third parties plan to introduce a large number of products, including multiple development platforms, reference designs, software and silicon based on DaVinci technology.

Virtela Offers Virtualized SSL VPN Integrated With Global MPLS Network

Virtela, a global network solutions provider, introduced a virtualized network-based SSL Virtual Private Network (VPN) service tightly coupled with a global MPLS network. Similar to Virtela's existing Managed SSL VPN Services, the new Virtela SMB SSL VPN service provides highly secure remote access to the corporate network from any Internet web browser without the need for a pre-installed client. Virtela provides expert design, implementation, 24x7 monitoring and management of the SSL VPN infrastructure.

Virtela said the new virtualized design enables small- and medium-sized businesses worldwide to more easily and inexpensively exploit the benefits of SSL-based remote access to their enterprise network resources. The virtualized SSL VPN addresses the expense of SSL equipment, as well as the added costs of training and maintaining staff required to successfully self-manage the service. With the new offering, Virtela hosts the SSL gateway securely within the Virtela network, relieving customers of SSL equipment purchases and ongoing management while delivering optimized performance benefits.

Multinationals can leverage the service in tandem with Virtela's site-to-site MPLS VPN service, bringing SSL access "into the cloud" to create one seamless service for both site-to-site and remote access users.
  • Virtela operates a global, multi-carrier MPLS network with dynamic best path routing and automatic failover capabilities. Network and Security Operations Centers in Denver and Mumbai, India monitor and manage outsourced customer networks. The new Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) suite lets customers maintain control of and visibility into their infrastructures via on-line ticketing, reporting, and administration using a Web portal. The services also provide certified, hands-on expertise for managing and troubleshooting platforms from major equipment vendors worldwide.

Siemens Invests in G2 for Mobile Resource Management Chips

Siemens Venture Capital has made a strategic investment in G2 Microsystems, a start-up based in Oakland, California, that is developing chips for the Mobile Resource Management (MRM) market. Mobile resource management enables businesses to monitor, track and manage assets either within a facility or throughout a supply chain.

G2 Microsystems is developing a range of ultra low-power, active MRM chips that leverage Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11). The company said its system-on-chip (SoC) solutions would provide the right balance of cost, power, functionality, and size to meet the demanding asset tracking (otherwise known as RFID) and monitoring requirements in all industries including healthcare, automotive, transportation, government, biopharmaceutical, oil, gas, and chemical.

Other investors in G2 include UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, Starfish Ventures and DB Capital Partners, the private equity and venture capital arm of Deutsche Asset Management (Australia) Ltd.

Alcatel to OEM Stratex Wireless Platforms

Alcatel will resell a broad range of Stratex Networks Eclipse wireless transmission solutions as part of the Alcatel worldwide product portfolio. Under the terms the four-year agreement, Alcatel will license certain Eclipse software and products from Stratex Networks.

Alcatel said the deal would make its Point-to-Point microwave portfolio even more complete and competitive, particularly in the high capacity mobile backhauling segment.

Separately, Stratex announced the first commercial shipments of next-generation Eclipse products. The first products being introduced extend the E300 family of Eclipse high capacity radios. The new Eclipse E300hp is a high performance, cost-effective, outdoor mounted radio designed for high-volume applications and for wider commercial distribution than any previous product from Stratex Networks.

Stratex Networks is based in San Jose, California.


Limelight Uses Quova for DRM Tied to Geolocation

Quova introduced its geolocation solution developed specifically for online digital rights compliance. The flagship customer for Quova Media is Limelight Networks, which operates a content delivery network for digital media. Limelight is incorporating Quova's technology into its content delivery network to offer customers of its two services, Limelight Content Edge and Limelight MediaEdge Streaming, the precise geographic location of online users in order to comply with content rights restrictions.

Quova said its geolocation technology has already enabled viewers worldwide to watch Major League Baseball, the Tour de France and the World Track and Field Championships live on their personal computers.


Cavium Launches Single and Dual Core MIPS64-based OCTEON Processors

Cavium Networks unveiled ten new highly integrated single and dual core MIPS64 processors starting at under $20 price points and designed for next generation networking, wireless, control and storage applications. Cavium's OCTEON family of MIPS64 processors now scales from single core to sixteen cores. The OCTEON processor family is being designed into a wide array of networking equipment, including routers, switches, unified threat management (UTM) appliances, application- aware gateways, triple-play gateways, WLAN and 3G access and aggregation devices and storage networking equipment.

The new SoC (system on chip) processors integrate a custom MIPS64 processor core with advanced multi-layer application acceleration and security processing hardware, along with a wide range of networking I/O options. The new OCTEON CN31XX and CN30XX are fully software compatible with Caviums' OCTEON CN38XX family of multi-core processors.

The OCTEON CN31XX Processor Family includes the CN3110 and the CN3120 Processors. The CN3120 features dual cnMIPS64 cores while the CN3110 features a single cnMIPS64 core at up to 550MHz with 256KB L2 cache. The I/Os include 3 GE interfaces, 64 bit DDR2-667, optional second 16 bit DDR2 for pattern storage, TDM/PCM, 32/100 PCI-X, USB 2.0 in an 868pin BGA package with 4 - 7W power consumption. Each processor is available in CP, SCP and NSP versions. These processors are ideal for Enterprise Routers, Gateways, UTM appliances, Service cards and Triple Play gateways. The CN31XX Processor Family provides multi-Gbps performance at less than a third system power and cost compared to alternative solutions.

The OCTEON CN30XX Processor Family includes the CN3005 and CN3010 Processors. The CN3005 processor includes a cnMIPS core at up to 400MHz, 64KB L2 cache, 16 bit DDR2, two GE interfaces, 32/66 PCI, USB 2.0 in a 350pin BGA package with a low power consumption of 2-3W. The CN3010 processor include a cnMIPS processor core at up to 500MHz, 128KB L2 cache, 32 bit DDR2, 3 GE interfaces, TDM/PCM, 32/66 PCI, USB 2.0 in a 525pin BGA package with a very low 2-4W power consumption. Each processor is available in CP and SCP versions. These processors are ideal for Wired and Wireless (802.11a/b/g/n) Broadband Routers and Gateways, Wireless Access Points and Home NAS products. The CN30XX Processor Family brings for the first time to the marketplace 64 bit computing with an integrated Level 2 cache at sub $20.

Tektronix Introduces IPTV Video Quality Measurement

Tektronix introduced its "Spectra2|VQM" (Video Quality Measurement) monitoring solution for the diagnosis and analysis of streaming video transmitted over IP.

Spectra2|VQM is a portable monitoring solution that helps identify the causes of poor digital image quality, such as packet loss, delay or data corruption in the IP transport network.
It offers support for multiple-level QoS scores and video industry standard, non-proprietary Forward Error Correction (FEC) analysis.

The Spectra2|VQM is a Windows-based software package that is part of the Tektronix Internet Protocol Diagnostics (IPD) product portfolio. The IPD portfolio provides network equipment manufacturers and service providers with easy-to-use test and measurement tools for the analysis and QoS measurement of media over IP and protocols in the core of converged multi-service networks.

Spectra2|VQM monitors video streams transported over RTP and MPEG2-TS (transport stream) protocols. Spectra2|VQM supports measurement of multiple concurrent standard-definition (SD) video streams as well as high-definition (HD) video streams. Users can generate real-time video streaming quality metrics such as presence, accuracy and objective Mean Opinion Scores (MOS) that they can use to diagnose a range of video-related problems at the IP, transport, and content levels. The availability of MOS QoS measurements based on transport and actual uncompressed video content allows users to correlate QoS at both the transport and content levels.

Spectra2|VQM supports both CoP-R3 and RFC 2733, the two main non- proprietary, video industry FEC analysis standards. Spectra2|VQM can perform and analyze FEC algorithms, a technique for improving the reliability of packet transmission over networks which do not provide guaranteed packet delivery. This technique allows the user to view the effectiveness of the correction mechanism and ensure a successful user experience. The software can detect codec over-compression and incorrectly configured FEC for fine- tuning bandwidth versus quality. Users can detect perceived video image quality in real time or historically for individual video streams so that they can develop systems and services that match the visual quality that viewers have come to expect from traditional television broadcasts.

Atheros Posts Q4 Revenue of $53.1 Million - 7.7 Million Chipsets Shipped in Q4

Atheros Communications reported Q4 revenue of $53.1 million, up 16 percent from the $45.8 million reported in the third quarter and up 27 percent from the $41.7 million reported in the fourth quarter of 2004. Gross margins in the fourth quarter were 46.7 percent, above the company's target range of 43 to 45 percent and above 43.5 percent gross margins recorded in the third quarter. The company recorded fourth quarter net income (GAAP) of $13.1 million or $0.24 per diluted share.

The company shipped a record 7.7 million Wi-Fi chipsets in the fourth quarter, 74 percent of which were single-chip solutions.

AudioCodes Reports Q4 Results

AudioCodes reported Q4 2005 revenue of $30.6 million, compared to $29.7 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2005 and $25.2 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2004. Fourth quarter revenues grew 3% sequentially and increased 21% compared to the fourth quarter of 2004. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2005 was $3.9 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, compared to net income of $3.5 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2005 and $2.6 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, for the corresponding period last year.

Tut Systems to Expand IPTV Headend with MPEG-4 AVC at Iowa Network Services

Iowa Network Services (INS) is deploying Tut Systems' Astria content processor (CP) with MPEG-4 AVC encoding and transcoding solutions.
Tut Systems' Astria CP platform today serves as the core video processing system for INS' 177 channel MPEG-2 digital headend currently serving 17 video service providers throughout the state of Iowa. The headend has the potential to serve more than 100 additional service providers. When deployed, the MPEG- 4 AVC headend from INS will yield better picture quality while significantly lowering the bandwidth required for standard definition video and also will deliver up to 20 channels of HDTV when high-definition set-top boxes become available in 2006. Furthermore, it will allow for overall lower system costs, reduced infrastructure requirements and new video applications for the service providers. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Cavalier Telephone Acquires Elantic

Cavalier Telephone completed its acquisition of Elantic Telecom (formerly known as Dominion Telecom), which operates an 8,200 route mile fiber network connecting major cities on the Eastern portion of the United States. For the past 18 months, Cavalier has been providing management, engineering and operating support to Elantic through a management services agreement.

The Elantic fiber network connects over 52 cities in a self-healing fiber ring design. The network reaches west from Chicago, and North thru New York, expands down the East coast and South to Wilmington, North Carolina. The network also includes former Telergy assets that were deployed throughout many metropolitan areas in New York state. The largest concentration of fiber is in Virginia where fiber rings encircle much of the state. Over $1 billion dollars was invested to create the Elantic footprint.

Cavalier Telephone is a facilities-based, full-service local telephone company (CLEC) serving over 35,000 business and 200,000 residential customers in Richmond, Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia, Delaware, Southern New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.

Cavalier said its existing business customers will benefit from the city to city fiber services not previously available. Gigabit Internet service, video conferencing and multi-office data networking are a few of the enhanced features available to Cavalier customers.

The Elantic network will also play a pivotal role in Cavalier's IPTV initiative. Hundreds of video channels will emit from Cavalier's Superheadend in Richmond for IPTV delivery to homes across the Mid-Atlantic. Cavalier's Triple Play will include Telephone service, Broadband Internet, and Cable TV services for $95.95 per month.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Telecom Italia and Cisco Target DoS/DDoS Attacks

Telecom Italia Sparkle (TI Sparkle) is rolling out a network-based solution designed to provide more effective protection against Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks for international wholesale customers of the TI Sparkle IP backbone (SEABONE). S@FE is the result of close cooperation between TI Sparkle and Cisco Systems. Trials are currently underway.

Deutsche Telekom Reaches 8.5 Million DSL, and 86.6 Million Mobile Subscribers

Deutsche Telekom released key growth figures for 2005, citing gains the broadband and mobile sectors. Some highlights:

  • The Mobile segment remained the key growth driver for Deutsche Telekom in the fourth quarter of 2005 and the group now has over 86.6 million users. Organic customer growth over the full year amounted to just under 12 percent or around 9.0 million. Around another 200,000 customers can be added from the newly consolidated Monet/Montenegro.

  • T-Mobile USA added 1.4 million net new customers in the fourth quarter of 2005 and served 21.7 million customers at the end of the year.

  • T-Mobile Deutschland achieved an increase of more than 2.1 million customers to 29.5 million in 2005, of which over 48 percent postpay customers.

  • During Q4 2005, the number of broadband lines in Germany and abroad rose by around 10 percent, or 762,000, to 8.5 million. In Germany, around 7.9 million DSL lines provided by T-Com were in operation at the end of 2005. Some 660,000 new DSL lines were put into operation in the fourth quarter.

  • The Broadband/Fixed Network segment registered around 182,000 own new DSL lines in the retail business on a net basis and around 479,000 resale lines that are sold by competitors.

  • The number of DSL lines provided by DT companies in Central and Eastern Europe more than doubled year-on-year to 541,000. Broadband lines exceeded the 100,000 mark at both T-Hrvatski Telekom and Slovak Telecom by the end of 2005 as a result. The growth accelerated in the fourth quarter with 48,000 new broadband customers in Hungary, 30,000 new customers in Croatia and 24,000 new customers in the Slovak Republic.

  • The number of narrowband lines in Germany and abroad fell by 3.7 percent to 41.2 million, in Germany by around 4 percent to 35.2 million year-on-year. The decrease in the number of ISDN lines was greater than that of analog lines.

  • T-Online increased the number of customers with a billing relationship to 14.0 million by the end of the year. The company delivered 15.5 million music downloads in 2005. The Video on Demand service offered by T-Online Vision currently delivers about 80,000 movie downloads per month.

3Com Names New CEO

3Com named R. Scott Murray President and Chief Executive Officer, replacing Bruce Claflin who retires. Murray also assumes Claflin's position on the 3Com Board of Directors. Murray will shortly become Chairman of the company's joint venture in China, Huawei-3Com.

Prior to accepting the role of CEO for 3Com, Murray was the CEO of Modus Media International, a global provider of supply chain management and hosted services. While at Modus, he expanded the company's operations in Europe and Asia, particularly in China. In addition to his work with Modus Media, Murray also was president and chief operating officer for Stream International, an outsourced Customer Relationship Management (CRM) services company. He previously served as CFO for the Learning Company, a publicly traded software company.

ITU Standardizes on PacketCable 1.5 Suite

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) approved a suite of CableLabs' PacketCable specifications as standards for the international version of services including VoIP.

PacketCable-based standards are known internationally as IPCablecom, and this recently approved suite covers such topics as architecture, network call signaling, call management server (CMS) to CMS signaling, quality of service (QoS), support for multimedia and other functions necessary to provide time-critical interactive services over a cable television network using IP.

The ITU approval stems from work carried out in October by ITU Study Group (SG) 9, which is entitled Integrated Broadband Cable Networks and Television and Sound Transmission group. SG 9 is chaired by CableLabs President and CEO Dr. Richard R. Green. ITU approval came in late November after consultation with its member states and sector members.

Many of the approved recommendations originated in CableLabs. In addition to the suite of 16 PacketCable 1.5 specifications that now are international standards, the ITU also standardized on CableLabs contributions from the DOCSIS and CableHome projects. J.128 references a Set-top Gateway specification for transmission systems for interactive cable television services. J.197 pertains to high-level requirements for a Digital Rights Management Bridge to a Home Network and a revision to J.192, a residential gateway to support the delivery of cable data services, which aligns it with CableHome 1.1.