Sunday, January 21, 2007

Agilent Joins Alcatel-Lucent IPTV Solution Set

Alcatel-Lucent has chosen Agilent as a formal test and measurement (T&M) partner for its IPTV ecosystem. Alcatel-Lucent's IPTV ecosystem now includes the following Agilent equipment:

  • The Agilent N2X multiservices test solution, which provides pre-deployment verification of IPTV service quality under highly scaled and dynamic triple play network conditions. The N2X emulates thousands of dynamic IPTV subscribers and generates triple play video, voice over IP and data (high-speed Internet) traffic to place significant stress on IPTV network equipment. N2X delivers real-time MDI metrics, protocol decodes and post-capture replay for IPTV traffic.

  • The Agilent J6900A triple play analyzer, which provides complete analysis and troubleshooting in a single platform for installation, monitoring and troubleshooting of voice, data and video services. The analyzer provides accurate measurements of VoIP, IPTV and VoD Quality of Experience as well as real-time channel-zapping analysis.

  • The Agilent FrameScope Pro hand-held instrument, which allows technicians to measure point-to-point network performance and to correlate triple play transport quality and QoS with end-user QoE. Its network test toolbox provides insights into network impairments and helps locate failures and bottlenecks.


Cortina Debuts First 40Gbps Ethernet MAC Aggregator IC

Cortina Systems, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, introduced an Ethernet MAC Aggregator chip with both 10GE LAN and WAN PHY integration to address enterprise and metro needs. The device features four 10GE MACs with Layer 5 classification capabilities to identify and protect critical traffic flows. This level of performance is enabled by the use of Interlaken uplink ports, an open industry standard created by Cortina and Cisco for inter-component connectivity. The Interlaken interface delivers up to 40Gbps uplink capacity for wire speed, 2:1 or 4:1 oversubscription ratio.

Other features include advanced classification and IPv6, MPLS support, multiple queues per port and deep buffer options, and advanced scheduler. It also incorporates subscriber functionality like per-VLAN policing, statistics, tagging, and classification to assist the delivery of metro Ethernet services.

The device integrates direct serial connectivity to XFP optical modules to eliminate power draw, cost and size from the separate serializer chips in use today. Cortina said this provides a complete 10GE solution for both wire speed blades optimized for performance as well as oversubscribed blades optimized for port density and cost.

Sky Angel and ShifTV Launch Canada-Wide Christian IPTV Service

Sky Angel, a U.S. direct broadcast satellite (DBS) provider of Christian TV and radio channels plus family programming, and ShifTV Inc. of Toronto, Canada, launched a multi-channel, Web-based television service throughout Canada.

Sky Angel is providing more than 30 TV and radio channels of Christian and family programming to ShifTV for delivery to a broadband enabled set-top box. The service costs $24.99 CAD per month.

Octasic Subsidiary Targets VoIP End-user Gear

Octasic, which supplies voice processing solutions for TDM and IP networks, has created a new subsidiary, OctWare Inc., that will provide software solutions for VoIP end-user communication equipment.

OctWare's voice processing solutions, which include echo cancellation, are optimized for Asterisk based IP PBX, softphones, IP & speaker phones, and hand-held devices. OctWare's first product, SoftEcho is currently being shipped. OctWare operates out of Montreal in the same location as Octasic and will be run under the same management team.

"Leveraging the Octasic corporate brand, OctWare is the right vehicle to promote our software products to the end-user market. We intend to build and expand the business of OctWare with the same goals, values and dynamics that made Octasic thrive in the infrastructure market." said Michel Laurence, President and CEO, Octasic Inc.

Axerra Networks Announces Executive Appointments

Gil Biran, Founder and previously COO of Axerra Networks, will now take on the dual role of President and Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). Axerra also announced the appointment of Amir Hochbaum as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Hochbaum previously was Senior Vice President, Research, Development and Operations of Vyyo Israel. Prior to Vyyo, Mr. Hochbaum held management positions at Avaya (formerly Lucent, Madge and Lannet) including Managing Director and Vice President of R&D.

Teknovus and Fiberxon Cooperate on “Turbo�? EPON

Teknovus and Fiberxon, a leading supplier of optics for the PON market, announced cooperation in the development of Teknovus' Turbo EPON solutions, beginning with 2.5G. Teknovus' Turbo EPON solutions encompass Fiberxon's advanced transceivers, enabling an easy upgrade to higher speeds by the use of Fiberxon's dual-speed ONU transceivers.

The companies have been collaborating since 2005. Teknovus and Fiberxon have also begun cooperation on 10G EPON reference designs.

Avaya Integrates with IBM Lotus Notes and Domino

Avaya introduced solutions that integrate with IBM Lotus Notes and Domino and IBM Lotus Sametime to deliver Avaya IP telephony, conferencing and messaging to the Lotus environment. The new offerings include:

  • Avaya Meeting Exchange for IBM Lotus Sametime, which extends the latest version of IBM's platform for secure and scalable instant messaging and Web conferencing. By integrating Avaya's market-leading audio conferencing capabilities, the solution provides users with added collaboration capabilities, including multi-party click-to-conference from Lotus Notes and Lotus Sametime contact lists. In addition, Avaya Meeting Exchange integrates with the Web conferencing in Lotus Sametime to offer meeting participants a single, unified interface for both audio and web conferencing.

  • Avaya IP Softphone support for IBM Lotus Sametime, which provides access to advanced enterprise communications capabilities from the familiar Lotus Sametime interface on their PC or laptop. The solution
    enables users to click-to-call from their Lotus Sametime client and contact list and includes features such as transfer, hold and directory access, which can be easily accessed onscreen. Conferencing for up to 6 parties can be launched with the click of a mouse. The solution will be available globally in February 2007.

  • Avaya Modular Messaging 3.1 is the newest release of Avaya's highly scalable, standards-based messaging system. The solution can be deployed in either a traditional configuration, with voicemails kept on a separate Avaya messaging application server, or in a unified configuration where Lotus Domino customers can store both email and voicemail messages on their Lotus Domino email server. When used with Avaya one-X Speech, users have hands-free, eyes-free, speaker- independent speech access to email, voice mail and calendar from any phone. In addition, speech access enables workers to place one-on-one or multi-party conference calls by simply telling the system to dial people from the user's Lotus Notes contacts list or co-workers from the corporate LDAP directory. The solution will be available globally in February 2007.

Ruckus Wireless Notes 1,000,000 Unit Milestone

During 2006, Ruckus Wireless shipped 100,000 of its Ruckus MediaFlex systems to more than 125 broadband operators around the world. Furthermore, since introducing its Smart Wi-Fi technology in 2005, over 1,000,000 BeamFlex-equipped access points have been sold.

TI Posts Q4 Revenue of $3.46 Billion

Texas Instruments reported Q4 2006 revenue of $3.46 billion, down 8 percent compared with the third quarter and up 4 percent compared with the same period last year due to higher demand for the company's semiconductor and calculator products. For the year, TI revenue grew 16 percent to a record $14.25 billion. Growth was driven primarily by strong demand for the company's analog products, especially high-performance analog, and DSP products.

In the fourth quarter, earnings per share (EPS) from continuing operations were $0.45. This included a $0.05 EPS benefit from the reinstatement of the federal research tax credit, which was signed into law in December 2006 and was retroactive to the beginning of the year. Also, in the quarter TI signed new patent license agreements to replace agreements that had previously expired.

"TI delivered important financial achievements in 2006," said Rich Templeton, TI president and CEO. "Specifically, our semiconductor revenue grew more than one and a half times faster than the market, our earnings per share increased almost twice as fast as our revenue, and our return on invested capital expanded to 21.5 percent. Most important to these results was our high-performance analog product line, which grew revenue 33 percent and continued to raise the bar on gross margin for the entire company.

Foundry Confirms Stock Option Grant Discrepancies

Foundry Networks announced a set of key conclusions following its internal investigation of past stock option grants at the company.

Based on its investigation, the Foundry's Special Committee has concluded, among other things, that the company lacks contemporaneous evidence supporting a substantial number of the recorded option grants. The company said that some option grants were prepared or finalized days or, in some cases, weeks after the option grant date recorded in its books. The affected grants include grants to existing employees, newly-hired employees, officers and directors.

Foundry's Special Committee also found that in a substantial number of cases, the company's Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Bobby Johnson, Jr., selected the grant dates for and approved option awards after the grant dates recorded in the company's books. According to the investigators, Mr. Johnson did not receive any options in connection with these grants. Foundry's Vice President, Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer, Timothy D. Heffner, did not select grant dates, but he was involved in the granting process by, among other things, communicating option grants determined by Mr. Johnson to the company's stock option administrators and human resources group. Heffner was a recipient of a limited number of stock options for which the measurement dates will be modified.

To remediate the situation, Foundry currently expects to record a pre-tax charge of approximately $185 million to $205 million for fiscal years 1999 through 2005. The tax benefit associated with this charge is expected to be approximately $65 million to $70 million for a total net charge of approximately $120 million to $135 million.

Other actions include splitting the positions of the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer so that they are held by different persons. Accordingly, Mr. Johnson has resigned as Chairman of the Board, and the Board elected director Alfred J. Amoroso as Chairman. Johnson will continue as a member of the Board and as President and CEO. Heffner will transition from CFO to Vice President of Corporate Development. Daniel W. Fairfax, has been named Vice President, Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer.

Firetide Debuts Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Mesh Nodes with Dual Radio Backhaul

Firetide introduced its new HotPort 6000 indoor and outdoor mesh nodes featuring a dual radio backhaul capability that delivers up to 70 Mbps. Target applications include municipal deployments, video surveillance, industrial, and transportation networks. Multiple radio configuration options increase the overall reliability, capacity and scalability of wireless mesh networks.

The HotPort 6000 mesh nodes feature high powered radios that support both licensed and unlicensed bands eliminating the need to purchase and install separate radios for each spectrum. Bandwidth for both radios can be combined to provide 70 Mbps throughput for "fat" point-to-point backhaul links or for high resolution video surveillance networks. The radios can also be set to deliver a sustained 35 Mbps bandwidth across an unlimited number of hops if a multi-hop or linear network topology is required.

To support the dual radio capability, Firetide enhanced its mesh software to provide intelligent bandwidth optimization for the dual radios. Firetide said it has multiple patents on the technology that controls traffic on the dual radio backhaul, including patents for radio packet switching, topology balancing, and radio channel allocation.

For Wi-Fi access, customers can connect Firetide HotPoint access points directly to the HotPoint 6000 enclosures. Firetide uses separate enclosures and processors for its mesh nodes and access points to maintain modularity and to ensure mesh performance remains unaffected whenever access points are used.

Like Firetide's HotPoint access point product lines, the HotPort 6000 mesh nodes are available in both indoor and outdoor models to ensure a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor areas. Lower cost single radio versions of the mesh nodes are also available and are fully compatible with the dual radio models.

Firetide's HotPort 6000 mesh nodes will be available for delivery by March 1.

Broadcom Integrates Enterprise Security into New Gigabit Switches

Broadcom announced a new generation of multi-layer Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) switches designed to improve enterprise network security.

Broadcom' new StrataXGS III BCM56510 series of multi-layer Gigabit Ethernet switches are a follow-on series to the company's widely deployed BCM56500 series. A key feature will be the new "BroadShield" security technology, which enables network admission control (NAC) and supports Microsoft's Network Access Protection policy enforcement technology to achieve dramatically improved network security and manageability when compared to existing solutions. The key security features include standards-based authentication, user quarantine, denial of service (DoS) attack prevention, "man in the middle" attack prevention, spoofing prevention, and support for advanced access control lists (ACLs).

Broadcom said its technology utilizes a unique flow-based user-classification framework that allows IT managers to enforce secure policies on a packet-by-packet basis without complicated administration of a large numbers of rules. The overriding benefit is the ease at which these secure profiles are implemented and proliferated through the network, regardless of the scale of the user base.

Network Access Protection is a policy enforcement technology built into the Windows Vista and Windows Server, codenamed "Longhorn" operating systems that allows customers to better protect network assets from unhealthy computers by enforcing compliance with network health policies.

Network admission control (NAC) governs how security policies are enforced on any device on the network with the goal of minimizing the damage from emerging security threats. IT managers employing NAC have the ability to control network access for any client that accesses the network (for example, a PC, PDA or other endpoint device), granting the appropriate level of access based on the classification of the endpoint device.

Additional features include:

  • Advanced Layer 2 (L2) switching and Layer 3 (L3) routing, including IPv4/IPv6

  • BroadShield security technology addresses enterprise security with ContentAware-based scalable ACLs, port-level L2 and L3 security, integrated and enhanced DOS prevention mechanism, and L3 traffic virtualization

  • Microsoft Network Access Protection support enables robust network admission control (NAC)

  • Virtual router technology provides secure virtualization of network traffic

  • Tunneling schemes such as IPv6 over IPv4, ISATAP, IP over IP, etc., provide a variety of transition mechanisms

  • High-end IP multicast for video/audio distribution, web conferencing, etc.

  • Supports eight classes of service (CoS) with sophisticated scheduling mechanism

  • Robust 802.1ad support enables scalable carrier access

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Microsoft Adds Unified Communications Tools for Lotus Notes/Domino Users

Microsoft introduced new tools for helping IBM Lotus Notes/Domino customers transition to its new unified communication and collaboration capabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, the 2007 Microsoft Office system and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. These resources include a new suite of tools for managing transitions of IBM's directory, messaging and application solutions, as well as new templates for SharePoint Products and Technologies.

RealNetworks to Offer Free Streaming of Independent Full-Length Movies

RealNetworks' division introduced a new "Movie of the Week" feature, which includes free streaming access to full-length movies along with information, interviews, and background on the movie and its creators. will showcase established and up-and-coming filmmakers and their films throughout 2007.

AT&T Unity Calling Plan Combines Wireline with Wireless Minutes

AT&T has launched a new "Unity" calling plan that lets customers call or receive calls for free from any AT&T wireless and wireline phone numbers nationwide without incurring additional wireline usage fees or using their wireless minutes. To sign up for a new AT&T Unity plan, a customer needs to subscribe to AT&T wireless service and unlimited AT&T local and long distance wireline services. The bundle includes both unlimited local and long distance plans and an AT&T Unity wireless plan.

ClearSight Enhances its VoIP Network Analysis

ClearSight Networks released enhanced features for its Analyzer product line, providing deeper analysis of VoIP performance issues and ease-of-use for monitoring and visualization of live network environments.

ClearSight Analyzer 6.0 evaluates live network traffic and then presents a real-time assessment of network performance in a ladder diagram display of packet flows. The main screen presents a comprehensive overview of the network, and hyperlinks are used to drill down to see more detailed information. The company said this visual approach enables VoIP service providers to quickly identify problems and drill down to resolve these problems in real time. Engineers can troubleshoot application, network, client, and server problems without having to decode packets manually.

UK's Eton College Replaces ATM with Extreme Networks

The renowned boarding school Eton College will replace its legacy ATM network with an advanced Ethernet network infrastructure from Extreme Networks and supplied by partner Data Integration. All pupils have laptops connected to the network throughout dormitories and the school will implement wireless LAN access points. Eton College also needed the flexibility to control access on both a PC-by-PC and user-by-user basis cost effectively connecting all 400 buildings owned by the school in a single LAN.

TI Gilles Delfassy to Retire from Wireless Unit

Texas Instruments announced that Gilles Delfassy, senior vice president and head of TI's wireless terminals unit, will retire. He has been at the helm of the company's successful wireless terminals unit since its inception in 1995, growing it into a multibillion dollar operation. Under his guidance, TI became the world's leading supplier of semiconductors for wireless handsets.

Effective immediately, TI has promoted Greg Delagi to senior vice president and leader of the operation, which develops semiconductors for cell phones. Delagi has presided over the launch of the industry's first 1-gigahertz DSP and the new DaVinci family of hardware and software for video applications.

Netopia and Ubiquisys Partner on FMC Residential Gateways

Netopia and Ubiquisys announced a partnership to accelerate the development of the femtocell market.

Femtocells are cellular access points for mobile operators looking to provide enhanced 3G mobile coverage within homes and small businesses.

Ubiquisys offers a "ZoneGate" cellular access system that sits on a customer's home network, behind a broadband gateway.

The companies noted that mass-market femtocell adoption will require advanced service activation and management technology. To deliver such a system, Ubiquisys is enhancing its ZoneGate access point to support the TR-069 specification and is working with Netopia to create a zero-touch, fully managed software solution that utilizes Netopia's NBBS TR-069 platform. NBBS is a standards-based management system that supports the DSL Forum's TR-069 specification for the remote management of customer premises equipment.

The ZoneGate access point will be shipped to customers with an active SIM card. Once connected to a customer's home network, the access point will first authenticate with the wireless carrier, and then connect to the Netopia NBBS management server hosted by the mobile operator. Based on the customer's service profile, the appropriate configurations will then be automatically downloaded to the access point. Finally, the access point will be tuned to the optimal settings for the particular home environment, and the customer's individual account will be activated. This all occurs without the intervention of either the mobile operator or the customer.

Hawaii IPTV Launches with NeuLion

A new "Hawaii IPTV" service has launched over the Web using NeuLion's iPTV platform. The service will deliver a variety of Hawaii programming, in real-time and on-demand, directly to subscription and pay-for-view consumers anywhere in the world with a broadband connection. The set top box costs $150 and the monthly service fee is $15.