Sunday, March 4, 2007

Riverbed Accelerates SSL Traffic over WAN Links

Riverbed Technology released the fourth generation of its Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS) featuring the ability to accelerate SSL traffic. Specifically, Riverbed has added SSL acceleration to its existing support for site-to-site VPNs and its site-to-site IPSEC option.

Previously, WAN acceleration platforms required enterprises either to turn off SSL to achieve acceleration, or destroy the trust model by requiring SSL certificates and private keys to be copied and moved outside of the data center onto remote servers, a process commonly referred to as certificate faking or certificate spoofing. Alternatives such as SSL offload accelerate traffic moving over the Internet by offloading CPU cycles from a web server so that it can handle more requests but have minimal impact on TCP, data, or application optimizations.

Riverbed said it can now accelerate SSL across the WAN without compromising the security trust model, while eliminating distributed key management problems.

Riverbed has also added enhancements for Web-based business applications that are now a critical component of day-to-day business operations for its global customer base. Most SSL traffic on the network is HTTPS. RiOS 4.0 further accelerates HTTP and now can accelerate HTTPS, the underlying protocols that support web-based business applications such as SAP, Siebel, Peoplesoft, IBM Websphere and MS Sharepoint, among others.

RiOS 4.0 also contains enhancements to its intelligent learning mechanism that discovers and tracks objects on Web pages, such as images, scripts and cascading style sheets.

Cisco Acquires Utah Street Networks for Social Networking Software

Cisco Systems has acquired select assets of privately-held Utah Street Networks, the operator of the social networking site The deal does not include the site, which will remain completely independent of Cisco. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Utah Street Networks uses a proprietary software infrastructure to create and maintain online communities on the website.

Cisco said this software will be integrated into the Cisco Media Solutions Group (CMSG), which is focused on infrastructure products to help digital media content owners improve the consumer experience. Employees from Utah Street Networks, Inc. will also be joining Cisco to continue software development.

Cisco also announced the close of the acquisition of Five Across. With the close of the transaction, the Five Across team and technology now report into Scheinman.

World Wide Packets Enhances Carrier Ethernet Delivery

World Wide Packets released its Ethernet Services Manager 5.0, a carrier-grade service creation, activation and management platform for Carrier Ethernet aggregation and access networks. The company said its ESM offers low-touch and zero-touch automation of network and service management processes, and unlike existing products, is designed for the massive scale of the Carrier Ethernet edge.

Instead of using a high-touch visually intensive architecture, ESM breaks new ground with a low-touch event driven architecture that delivers valuable network, service and process automation. Additionally, ESM transparently handles all the complexities and details of deploying, delivering and sustaining True Carrier Ethernet services.

ESM 5.0 enhanced capabilities include:

  • Process Acceleration -- The ESM 5.0 offers automated activation services, provision accuracy and market readiness, guaranteeing service providers a complete range of services right out of the box.

  • Economies of Scale -- The ESM 5.0 offers integration with multi-protocol systems and is built to grow with the network.

  • Service Availability -- The ESM 5.0 offers consistent and reliable service availability through automated monitoring and isolation, testing and validation and services restoration.

Nevis Networks Enhances its Persistent LAN Security, Per-User Costs at $15

Nevis Networks, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, has enhanced its persistent LAN security solution with new operating software that extends the capabilities of existing NAC solutions.

The upgrade simplifies the deployment of Nevis' LANenforcer appliances by providing resilient, single sign on security posture checks for end users. The new OS also provides an extended range of pre-defined policies and "white lists" to protect network-attached devices that enable security administrators to easily and quickly create new access control policies. For example, pre-defined policies for VoIP devices can be applied to all phones on the network, allowing only valid SIP protocol traffic from the endpoint and preventing an attacker from masquerading as the phone.

Key highlights of LANsecure OS 3.0 include:

  • Accelerated endpoint posture checks coupled with identity-based access control without any disruption to network performance or end users, regardless of where or how they log in.

  • A three-fold increase in user capacity on Nevis LANenforcer appliances. This increase in scalability slashes per user LAN security costs significantly, and establishes Nevis as the most cost-effective LAN security solution provider.

  • Integration with existing identity management systems to enforce pre-defined, user-based application access policies to dramatically simplify administration.

Nevis' LANenforcers can be positioned anywhere in the network and will provide scalability options to support up to 3,000 concurrent users accessing an organization's LAN, representing a 3X improvement over the previous maximum.

The company said this level of density enables is platform to cut per-user LAN security costs below current industry benchmarks and protect users and assets for less than $15 per user.

Mitsubishi Develops 10 Gbps XFP Transceiver at 40Km

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation has developed a new 10 Gbps transceiver module capable of a 40 km optical communication transmission. The module has the lowest power consumption in the industry, and complies with the 10 Gbps Form-factor Pluggable Extended Multi-Source Agreement (XFP MSA). Sampling is underway.

Nortel Teams with NDS for IPTV

Nortel and NDS are collaborating on a new set of IPTV services for the European market.

Specifically, Nortel has signed a global reseller and joint marketing agreement with NDS, and the companies are working together to facilitate the integration of Nortel's voice and multimedia features into the TV environment.

Plans include integrating Nortel's voice and multimedia products into NDS' MediaHighway middleware, to produce a new set of communications services for television. The solution will deliver an enriched user experience through the ability to control various communication services from the TV. Planned features include caller ID, call handling, address book, click-to-dial, call-logs, IM messaging and other IP-based communication services.

Speedus Seeks to Build Free Nationwide Wireless Public Broadband Service

Speedus Corp., a holding company that owns significant equity interests in diverse businesses, has asked the FCC for authority to manage a new nationwide Wireless Public Broadband (WPB) network in the 2155- 2175 MHz frequency band.

The company said its service would be entirely free for consumers, like free over-the-air television and radio. WPB will promote localism and the provision of advertising and public service messages targeted to local interests and communities, as well as local business and economic development, through ubiquitous coverage provided by small-footprint networks. In addition, user-designated advertising would permit local customization of advertising messages to inform users about products and services of interest in the community.

The Speedus business plan would be to sign and coordinate third-party lessees ,who would own and operate wireless access points ("WAPs"). Initially, no lessee would be authorized to operate more than fifty (50) WAPs.

TI Debuts New DSPs for Telecom and Networked DSP Applications

Texas Instruments (TI) released two new digital signal processors (DSPs) -- the TMS320C6424 DSP and the TMS320C6421 DSP -- that deliver more than 2.5X price/performance improvement. Target applications include enterprise gateway and IP-PBX products. Additional applications that are well-suited for the C642x DSPs include printers, scanners, copiers and wireless applications such as pico base stations, home gateways and wireless entertainment devices.

The performance of the C6424 DSP and C6421 DSP peaks at 4800 MMACs at 600 MHz. I/O capabilities are enabled by the EDMA 3.0 with 4.8 GB/s throughput and the 333 MHz DDR2 memory interface.

Lenovo to Support Avaya's Softphone on ThinkPad Notebooks

Lenovo and Avaya announced an alliance to collaborate on IP and unified communications solutions. The joint solution will enable Lenovo's integrated fingerprint reader and Password Manager technologies to, for the first time, support Avaya's IP Softphone solution to boost user authentication with a swipe of a finger. The combination aims to help prevent unauthorized calls from the PC, and prevent unauthorized access to the user's contact list and call history.

Global Crossing Enhances Monitoring Tools for Enterprise Customers

Global Crossing has enhanced its network monitoring and control tools for enterprise customers by integrating Network Integrity into its standard IP VPN service.

The standard IP VPN offer allows enterprises to monitor key performance metrics -- in real-time -- across their networks via Global Crossing's "uCommand" portal. Monthly site-to-site performance reports by the customer's Classes of Service (CoS) are provided as assurance that Global Crossing stands behind, and is compliant with, its performance guarantees. In addition, the standard IP VPN offer alerts users when network performance is affected, providing an immediate proactive notification for their network. The service includes proactive notification of significant network events.

XO Launches MPLS IP-VPN Service in 75 US Cities

XO Communications launched its MPLS IP-VPN service in 75 major metropolitan markets across the United States. The company said its MPLS service represents the initial step in a broader IP convergence services strategy. Later this year, XO plans to integrate its MPLS IP- VPN service with its business-class VoIP service, XOptions Flex.

XO MPLS IP-VPN enables businesses to allocate bandwidth and prioritize applications and have any class of service using up to the full available bandwidth without incurring additional charges. XO is offering four classes of service:

  • Real Time CoS - for applications that are very sensitive to latency and jitter, such as VoIP.

  • Critical CoS -for applications that can withstand higher latency and jitter, but still need guarantees on both delay and jitter such as video applications.

  • Priority CoS -for applications which need to take priority, but are not susceptible to variations in latency or jitter such as database applications.

  • Standard CoS - for applications which can withstand moderate to high variations in latency or jitter such as email and web browsing.

Meraki Uses WiFi Repeaters to Test Free Access in San Francisco

Meraki Networks is sponsoring and supporting a network that it calls the "The First Mile in Unwiring the World" in San Francisco.

In the San Francisco network, Meraki will set up indoor and outdoor wireless routers to offer free WiFi. Meraki is providing the wireless routers and mesh technology. It is asking local families, residents and business owners to host a repeater on their windows, balconies or rooftops. Some participants are asked if they would share their broadband connection or it they would serve as host for a Meraki-installed broadband node.

The SF network will extend from Mission Dolores Park through the Castro and Duboce Park Neighborhoods and up to Alamo Square Park.

Meraki is working with Bay Area wireless groups and will use this first network in San Francisco to showcase new features being developed at Meraki as well as features community members' request.

Meraki also plans to sell its technology, offering an inexpensive way for consumers and communities to start creating their own mesh networks.

Panasonic Launches $399 Skype Phone

Panasonic Communications (Matsushita) introduced a Wi-Fi phone for use with Skype. This is the first in a series of planned products from Panasonic that will be Skype Certified.

Panasonic is including aWi-Fi base unit that enables the phone to be used without a PC. The AC adapter is compatible with all voltages from 100V to 240V, so it can be used internationally.

Skype features accessible by this phone include:

  • Free Skype-to-Skype calling

  • Online Presence

  • SkypeOut - calling from Skype to traditional landlines or mobiles.

  • SkypeIn - a premium Skype product which provides a number people can call that users answer in Skype.

  • Skype Voicemail - takes your calls when you're busy or offline.

  • Skype Call Forwarding - can be set right from the Panasonic phone.

  • Skype Conference Calls - the Panasonic KX-WP1050 can be added to Skype conference calls.

The MSRP is $399.http;//

FCC Adopts Simplified Video Franchising Rules

The FCC formally adopted new rules aimed at simplifying the franchising process for new entrants into the video market.

In late December 2006, the FCC voted 3-to-2 to approve new rules that prohibit local franchising authorities from unreasonably refusing to award competitive franchises for the provision of cable services. The vote is a victory for A&T, Verizon and other telephone providers seeking to enter the market for video services.

The majority of FCC commissioners concluded that the current franchising process required by local municipalities constitutes an unreasonable barrier to entry that impedes the achievement of the interrelated federal goals of enhanced cable competition and accelerated broadband deployment.

The new rules would prohibit towns or cities from engaging new market entrants in drawn-out local negotiations with no time limits; unreasonable build-out requirements; unreasonable requests for "in-kind" payments that attempt to subvert the five percent cap on franchise fees; and unreasonable demands with respect to public, educational and government access.

Shenick Adds High Definition IPTV and VoD Test Capabilities

Shenick Network Systems released version 4.0 of its "diversifEye" software, enabling the testing of both standard and high definition (HD) IPTV and Video On Demand (VoD) right down to the individual TV viewer level.

Shenick's diversifEye 4.0 allows network equipment vendors and service providers to test real world VoD functionality, as well as determine how networks perform under high load conditions such as network surges which occur during high demand viewing, such as a new video release.

Shenick will continue to offer a full range of video codec types for VoD testing which have been supported in previous releases of diversifEye's multicast IPTV tests including high definition MPEG4 and H.264.

diversifEye 4.0 will work with both Shenick's diversifEye and diversifEye10G, a single module 10 Gbps stateful IP application traffic tester. Users can conduct IPTV channel change testing that emulates live head end IPTV channel feeds with real video of any codec type facilitating monitoring of both standard and high definition TV channels. In addition, the new UI offers an easier and intuitive work environment for test personnel.

Testing: Considerations Prior to Deployment

Saturday, March 3, 2007

MediaFLO Technology Trial Planned for Taiwan

China Network Systems (CNS) together with Taiwan Television Enterprise Ltd. (TTV) will conduct a technical trial of QUALCOMM's MediaFLO technology in Taipei.

The technical trial will feature four live channels of CNS content and up to three live channels of TTV content distributed to mobile devices.

MediaFLO technology is complementary to UMTS/WCDMA and CDMA2000 EV-DO infrastructure.
  • In December 2006, British Sky Broadcasting Limited (BSkyB) and QUALCOMM completed a joint technical trial of QUALCOMM's MediaFLO System in the United Kingdom. The technical trial, conducted over two months in Cambridge, featured 11 channels from the BSkyB content menu delivered to non-commercial devices from QUALCOMM and aimed to demonstrate the performance of the MediaFLO System in both laboratory and mixed field test environments.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Akros Silicon Raises $10 Million for PoE Network-Attached Appliances

Akros Silicon, a start-up based in Folsom, California, secured $10.1 million in Series B financing for its silicon designs.

Akros is developing system level ICs that manage power at the edge of the network. In less than 18 months, Akros Silicon has developed a mixed signal system-level IC solution that integrates Power over Ethernet (PoE) control, power management and interface to the Ethernet world. The company is sampling highly integrated and differentiated ICs used for bringing power to network attached appliances such as VoIP phones, wireless LAN access points, RFID tag readers, point-of-sale terminals, security cameras, remote access and home networked systems which will accelerate the convergence of data, audio and video transmission.

The funding was led by Levensohn Venture Partners and included existing Series A investors, Bay Partners, SPM Capital and US Venture Partners.

YouTube Signs BBC as Content Partner

The BBC will post some of its video content on YouTube.

The non-exclusive partnership will create branded BBC "Channels" on YouTube operating under separate BBC and BBC Worldwide agreements.

YouTube said the partnership reflects its commitment to work with content owners to make compelling video accessible online.

Espial's IPTV Middleware Surpasses One Million Subscribers

Espial, a provider of IPTV middleware and applications, has reached the one million subscriber unit milestone for its Evo family of IPTV products. During 2006, the company shipped over 750,000 Evo subscriber licenses to operator customers and partners around the globe.

Espial's flagship Evo IPTV Service Platform product family includes Evo Client middleware, various data-driven applications including Evo EPG, Evo VOD, Evo DVR, Evo Browser and Evo BML, the carrier-grade Evo Server, and the open Evo Future-Proof Framework.

CableLabs Works On Spec for Receiving Off-Air Digital Broadcasts

CableLabs is launching an initiative to develop cable interface specifications for receipt of off-air digital broadcast signals. The interface specifications would enable devices to receive digital off-air television signals and would deliver these digital signals seamlessly through a cable set-top box.

CableLabs said this technology would allow consumers to receive broadcast television signals as an integrated viewing experience. The concept combines over-the-air digital television transmission with television programming carried by the cable provider.