Sunday, June 14, 2009

IBM Wins 7-Year Services Deal with Canada's Rogers Comm

Canada-based Rogers Communications has awarded a seven-year contract to IBM for information technology (IT) services and support. Specifically, IBM will support Rogers' ongoing information technology transformation with a stable and highly available IT environment. To accommodate future growth, Rogers will have immediate access to IBM's state-of-the-art data center located outside Toronto. This will be linked to Rogers' existing data center facility using Rogers Business Services networking technology. IBM will also upgrade Rogers' existing data center facilities and storage capabilities over the next several years. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • Earlier this month, IBM announced an outsourcing deal with Telstra.

Britain's Ocado Supermarket Deploying Juniper Edge Routers

Ocado, an online supermarket in the U.K., is building a hosting environment for its online retail operation with Juniper Networks EX Series Ethernet Switches, M Series Multiservice Edge Routers and ISG Series Integrated Security Gateways with IPS. The Juniper gear link's Ocado's data center and the Internet. Ocado expects the Juniper solution is expected to deliver significant cost savings via simplified infrastructure and decreased operational overhead, optimized performance and long-term investment protection through scalability.

Ocado is deploying Juniper Networks M Series Multiservice Edge Routers together with EX Series Ethernet Switches and ISG1000 Integrated Security Gateways with IPS. Fundamental to the connection of the data center to the Internet, the M7i Multiservice Edge Routers will be deployed at the network edge to control application paths, provide Quality of Service (QoS) functionality, and identify and discard Denial of Service (DoS) traffic, while the EX 4200 line of switches will deliver DMZ switching. The EX Series switches provide carrier-class reliability, security risk management, and the scalability to meet Ocado s future web traffic requirements.

To ensure the highest level of data security, the ISG1000s are also being deployed. These purpose-built, high-performance security gateways integrate intrusion prevention with proven firewall and IPSec VPN technology to facilitate application-level security at up to 1 Gbps of IDP throughput. IDP protects critical high-speed networks against the penetration and proliferation of existing and emerging application level threats such as worms, Trojans, Spyware and Malware.

Vitesse Announces Settlement With KPMG

Vitesse Semiconductor has reached a settlement with its former auditing firm KPMG LLP. Under the settlement, KPMG has agreed to pay Vitesse $22.5 million and forgive all past indebtedness. Additionally, the parties agreed to execute mutual general releases of all claims.

In June 2007, the company filed suit against KPMG alleging that KPMG was negligent in auditing the company's stock option grants and financial statements during the years 1994 to 2000. The Company later amended its Complaint to include the years 2001 to 2004.

Brocade's Net Iron Products See Growth Among Independent U.S. Telcos

Brocade's NetIron MLX MPLS routers and FastIron 10 GbE switches have been installed by approximately 90 U.S.-based regional Independent Operating Companies (IOCs) . This list of customers now includes West Carolina Rural Telephone Cooperative (South Carolina), Rural Telephone (Kansas), and Etex Communications (Texas).

Freescale Debuts VortiQa Software for its Multicore Processors

Freescale introduced new application-level software specifically optimized to unleash the performance of its multicore QorIQ and PowerQUICC processors. The company is launching
the first four "VortiQa" software lines targeted at the service provider, enterprise, small business and SOHO/residential market segments. Freescale's PowerQUICC processors are used widely in a broad range of networking devices. QorIQ communications platforms are Freescale's next-generation evolution of PowerQUICC processors and operate at up to 1.5 GHz per core.

The new VortiQa software leverages technology and talent obtained through the October 2008 acquisition of Intoto, Inc., a leading provider of software products for networking and security equipment manufacturers. Freescale combined its PowerQUICC and QorIQ processors with Intoto's broad, application-based products built on modular, scalable software architecture, as well as the deep multicore software engineering expertise of both companies.

The new VortiQa software aims to remove programming bottlenecks in designing networking gear with multi-core processors, which promise greater performance and better energy-efficiency. For example, VortiQa software for enterprise network equipment leverages Freescale hardware acceleration technology to provide up to 10x VPN performance in security-enabled network equipment compared to non-optimized solutions, while dramatically reducing development time.

VortiQa software is optimized to take full advantage of Freescale's QorIQ processor technology, including pattern matching engine, security accelerator, datapath acceleration and other features, thereby boosting performance in embedded systems. It eliminates the time-consuming task of creating application-optimal mapping of functionality and core assignments for asymmetric multi-processing (AMP), symmetric multi-processing (SMP) and hybrid AMP+SMP configurations.

With the launch of VortiQa software, Freescale introduces four product lines targeting key markets:

  • VortiQa software for service provider equipment leverages hybrid software architecture and delivers high performance in both throughput and session processing for data plane applications. Example applications include routers and switches, metro carrier edge routers, UTM devices and IMS controllers.

  • VortiQa software for enterprise equipment uses SMP-based software architecture and delivers scalable performance across multiple cores. Example applications include SSL and IPSec firewalls, UTM devices, converged media gateways and access gateways.

  • VortiQa software for small business gateways uses either AMP- or SMP-based software architecture, delivers complete functionality for small business gateways and is performance-tuned for specific PowerQUICC silicon. Example applications include branch office routers and multi-service business gateways.

  • VortiQa software for SOHO/residential gateways targets low-end gateways with additional capabilities for provisioning by service providers. Example applications include broadband routers and digital home gateways.

Freescale has also expanded its ecosystem of partners:

  • Hardware and JDM/ODM partners, including Advantech and Flextronics, to provide turn-key manufacturing, fulfillment and pre-build hardware manufacturing.

  • OS, tools and development solutions partners, including Green Hills Software, MontaVista and Virtutech to provide development tools, operating systems and BSP support.

  • Independent software vendors (ISVs), including 6WIND, Dimark Technologies, D2 Technologies, Mocana and Synology America, to provide software applications, stacks and related services in specific vertical segments. These products and services can be delivered either independently of, or integrated with, Freescale VortiQa software.

  • Systems integrators, including Aricent, GDA Technologies and Patni Computer Systems, to provide product development, integration and professional services capabilities.

InnoPath Enhances its MDM Client

InnoPath Software announced the commercial availability of its Embedded Client v5.5, a modular, next-generation OMA-DM standards compliant device management and software update client for handset vendors. The client is a combination of InnoPath's on-device foundation, the Device Management Engine, and the company's Device Update Agent.

The Embedded Client v5.5 provides significant performance and diff file size enhancements, with FOTA package file sizes up to 73% smaller than earlier clients. In addition to the diff size enhancements, update time and memory use have also been optimized. InnoPath's approach of incremental improvement has resulted in across the board performance enhancements with each release. The company's utilities allow the OEM to tune the diff package in order to optimize for different parameters, such as package size or update time. This flexibility is important, allowing operators to deliver the best possible subscriber experience within the constraints imposed by limited memory and CPU on the device.

The new release of Embedded Client also delivers enhanced capabilities in the following areas:

  • Firmware Version Rollback

  • Symbian Image Diff-Update Support

  • Dynamic File System Support

  • Background Update

InnoPath said it has seen the use of FOTA increase over fourfold over the last 12 months. The size of update packages has also grown substantially due to the number of issues addressed per update. Reliability is also a key concern, with InnoPath-driven mass FOTA campaigns successfully updating an industry-leading 96% of devices targeted.

The standards-based Embedded Client delivers InnoPath's Mobile Update FOTA capability to CDMA, GSM, and in the future LTE operators.

NTT Com Test 100Gbps between Chiba and Tokyo with Ixia

NTT Communications has employed Ixia's K2 100Gbps layer 2-7 network test solution to validate a next generation ultra high speed network between Makuhari (Chiba) and Otemachi (Tokyo). Ixia's K2 40 GE and 100 GE modules are the first-to-market test solution that allows network equipment manufacturers to test higher speed Ethernet (HSE) standard-compliant devices at line rate.

During Interop Tokyo, NTT Communications conducted a public demonstration at their booth to showcase their next generation ultra high speed network technology. The company connected the Shownet (an interoperability test demo environment at Interop Tokyo), NTT Communications' booth and one of the company's sites in Otemachi, Tokyo in order to test the interoperability and the performance of 100 Gbps routers, switches and transmission equipment.

Limelight Adds IPv6 to its Content Delivery Service

Limelight Networks has added IPv6 support to its content delivery service with Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) support.
Specific IPv6 capabilities include:

  • Ability to offer dual-stack (IPv6/IPv4) or IPv6 connectivity at company-owned locations

  • /32 allocations from the American Registry of Internet Numbers (ARIN), Asia-Pacific Network Information Centre (APNIC), and Reseaux Internet Protocol Europeens (RIPE)

  • Full IPv6 transit routes from multiple providers

  • Full IPv6 Domain Name Services (DNS)

  • IPv6 peering at v6 enabled-exchanges

  • IPv6 (dual-stack) capable from any transit or peering or customer origin ingress to the edge

  • Customer and end-user IPv6 interface for existing or new IPv4 content.

Limelight Networks will run IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously across its entire network platform.

EarthLink Names Cardi Prinzi as President of New Edge Networks

EarthLink has appointed Cardi Prinzi as president of New Edge Networks, the company's business communications division. Prinzi joins EarthLink from TelePacific Communications where he was Senior Vice President of Marketing for the full service business telecommunications company. While at TelePacific Prinzi was responsible for sales, product development and management, marketing, regulatory and external affairs. He led the development of transformational data product and VoIP strategies, as well as played a leadership role in the planning and integration of three acquisitions.

Baylor University Installs Crossbeam's Security Platform

Baylor University has deployed Crossbeam's X-Series Next Generation Security Platform to secure campus-wide communications for its 14,000-plus student body as well as administrators, faculty and staff. With Crossbeam, Baylor continues to use its security applications of choice--Check Point firewall and Websense Web filtering--while building a more change-ready security infrastructure. In addition to consolidating both security applications on Crossbeam, installing the X-Series eliminated the need to purchase more than 10 security appliances and related network infrastructure that Baylor would have needed to accommodate its security and bandwidth requirements. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Nominum Enhances its DHCP Server with IPv6

Nominum has enhanced its commercial-grade Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server with support for DHCPv6 and extensive new management capabilities that allow network operations staff to make the best use of precious IP addresses.

Personal computers have long used DHCP for connecting to the Internet, but now a multitude of new devices such as smart phones, VoIP devices, and netbooks also depend on it to get network access. With IPv6 gaining traction, hundreds of millions of additional devices will need connectivity and configuration parameters; and common applications such as voice over IP are not tolerant of any down time.

Nominum said most existing DHCP servers are significantly challenged supporting IPv4 networks, lacking the underlying architecture to allocate and manage IP addresses and host configuration parameters while maintaining performance at massive scale; these requirements are magnified with IPv6. Nominum developed a special in-memory database for DCS that is completely optimized to deliver high performance. A transaction log is maintained on the server's hard disk so the database can be recovered instantly in the event of a system crash. In addition, DCS has open interfaces to integrate with databases commonly used in conjunction with DHCP servers such as RADIUS, provisioning databases, or LDAP.

New features in Nominum's Dynamic Configuration System (DCS) include:

  • SNMP-based management with alerts (traps) for critical notification of events

  • Abandoned addresses to flag potential problems on the network or detect DoS attacks

  • Notification when a "remaining address" threshold is exceeded to allow high service levels to be maintained with an absolute minimum of IP addresses

  • High performance Dynamic DNS (DDNS) support for IPv4 and IPv6 allows automated updates of host information in authoritative DNS servers

  • Complete standards-based support for both DHCPv4 and DHCPv6 as well as IPv4 and IPv6 transport on a single server

Ericsson Secures US$625 Million Loan from Swedish Export Credit Corp.

Ericsson signed a long-term bilateral loan of USD$625 million with SEK (The Swedish Export Credit Corporation), partially backed by EKN (The Swedish Export Credit Guarantee Board) working capital guarantee. Ericsson has signed a USD denominated 625 million seven-year loan with SEK. Ericsson said it intends to use the proceeds of the offering for refinancing of bonds maturing within the current and next year and for general corporate purposes. The loan will lengthen Ericsson's average debt maturity profile and provide a more efficient capital structure.

European Commission Seeks Public Input on Next Gen Access (NGA) Networks

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on its revised proposals for the regulation of Next Generation Access (NGA) broadband networks.

A previous public consultation held during the last quarter of 2008 confirmed general support for the objective of the Commission to achieve a common regulatory framework for NGA in order to foster timely investment in very high speed networks while ensuring that the competitive structure of the market is maintained. In the light of comments from stakeholders, the revised draft Recommendation includes mechanisms to allocate the investment risk between investors and operators seeking access to NGA networks.

The revised draft Recommendation would include mechanisms to allocate investment risk between investors and access seekers. In particular, to foster market-driven investment outside densely populated areas, the draft Recommendation defines conditions under which co-investment schemes could be deemed pro-competitive. Under the draft Recommendation, deployment by the dominant operator of multiple fibres could justify less stringent regulatory obligations. The competitive advantage of having multiple fibres in the ground is that it allows immediate and undistorted infrastructure competition.

In addition, the revised draft Recommendation endeavours to develop a pan-EU common regulatory approach, which telecoms regulators would adapt to national market conditions. The approach proposed by the Commission aims at driving infrastructure-based competition where it is possible and efficient, while ensuring a seamless migration from copper to fibre-based networks.

EU Telecoms Commissioner Viviane Reding said: "High speed fibre networks are the new generation of broadband infrastructures in Europe. In order to give citizens and businesses across Europe access to fast broadband Internet, very large sums of private and also public money will need to be injected in the coming years. Investors therefore need to know the rules of the game. The aim of the planned Commission Recommendation on next generation access is to provide legal certainty for all players by providing national regulators across Europe with clear guidance on the regulatory approach to be taken. I call on all stakeholders to contribute actively to the new public consultation in order to help us achieve the right balance between effective competition in the broadband market and giving the right incentives for sustainable investment in Europe's high speed networks."

Michigan's Merit Network Deploys Juniper EX, M and MX Series

Merit Network, a Michigan-based non-profit provider of high-performance networking and services, has deployed Juniper Networks' EX Series Ethernet Switches, M Series Multiservice Edge Routers and MX Series Ethernet Services Routers. the installation more than doubled the capacity of Merit's research and education network to support new services for its Members and manage growing application demands.

Merit will be able to support next-generation, bandwidth-intensive applications such as high-definition classroom video conferencing and virtual field trips. Additionally, the increased capacity allows Merit to grant Members full access to Internet2, the U.S. advanced networking consortium, without causing network congestion.

Sprint Nextel to Divest iDEN Assets in Parts of Midwestern States

Sprint Nextel is seeking a buyer for certain of its Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) assets in parts of several Midwestern states.

The sale of these assets will bring Sprint into compliance with an Illinois court ruling requiring the company to cease owning, operating or managing the Nextel National Network in markets primarily located in parts of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska. Sprint said the sale would have an minimal impact on its financial results.

Paul Geason appointed Group Managing Director of Telstra Wholesale

Paul Geason has been appointed to Group Managing Director, Telstra Wholesale, effective from June 30. Mr Geason has been Executive Director, Convergent Sales at Telstra Enterprise and Government (TE&G) since returning to Telstra in August 2006. In this role, he has been responsible for the marketing and sale of voice, data, mobile and unified communications to Telstra's enterprise and government customers.

Prior to re-joining Telstra in 2006, Mr Geason was Senior Vice President of Sales at Netcracker in Boston.

Australia's Regulatory Reform Submissions Published

A public discussion paper for Australia's National Broadband Network: Regulatory Reform for 21st Century Broadband paper have been published. The Regulatory Reform paper canvassed a range of options for reforming the critical competition and consumer-protection arrangements for the telecommunications sector. More than 120 submissions were received from a range of individuals, industry players and other stakeholders.

"There has been an extremely strong response to the Government's public consultation on the future of Australia's telecommunications regime," the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, said.

"The submissions support the Government's conviction that regulatory reform is urgently required to deliver better outcomes for consumers while the National Broadband Network is being rolled out."

"The Government is giving careful consideration to the submissions put forward. We are determined to proceed with our reform agenda and we will be working hard to introduce legislation this year."

"The regulatory reforms we are now developing will improve competition and service during the transition to the National Broadband Network," Senator Conroy said.

"The National Broadband Network will form the foundation for Australia's future broadband market and our participation in the digital economy by delivering high-speed broadband to every home, workplace and school."

Submissions to the National Broadband Network: Regulatory Reform for 21st Century Broadband discussion paper are available online.
  • The Australian government rejected all five bids for the next generation national broadband network and instead announced plans to build the A$43 billion (US$30.7 billion) FTTP network itself.

    Under the Rudd Government's new national broadband network every house, school and business in Australia will get access to affordable fast broadband. The plan calls for the government to set-up a new entity that would install fiber connections to ninety percent of Australian homes and businesses over an eight year period. The network will deliver wholesale services of 100 Mbps or better. Locations outside the fiber footprint would be served by high-speed (12 Mbps) wireless connections. Private investors could take a minority stake in the project and after five years the government would sell its majority stake. The Government's investment in the company will be funded through the Building Australia Fund and the issuance of Aussie Infrastructure Bonds (AIBs), which will provide an opportunity for households and institutions to invest in the national broadband network.

    Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd described the initiative as the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the Australian government.
    The project is expected to create 25,000 and possibly as many as 37,000 jobs during the peak of installation.

  • In December 2008. Telstra was excluded from any further consideration in Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) Request for Proposals (RFP) process. Senator Stephen Conroy, Austalia's Minister for Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy, said Telstra "excluded itself" from the NBN process for failing to submit a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Participation Plan, which is one of five mandatory requirements of the RFP. He also confirmed that the five proponents who have made public statements about their participation in the process Acacia, Axia, Optus-Terria, TransACT and the Tasmanian Government have all met the requirements and conditions for participation.

Nokia Life Tools Make Commercial Launch

After a successful pilot in the state of Maharashtra, Nokia announced the commercial launch of its pioneering Nokia Life Tools service in India. The service will be rolled out first in Maharashtra in association with the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB). Designed specifically for the emerging markets, Nokia Life Tools is a range of Agriculture, Education and Entertainment services sharply addressing the information gaps of target consumers.

The Nokia Life Tools Agriculture service offers consumers a choice of 2 plans. The basic plan, available across India at Rs 30/month, provides daily weather updates and relevant agriculture-related news, advice and tips. The premium plan, at Rs 60/month, will be available in 10 states, including Maharashtra, and provides the closest market prices for three crops chosen by the subscriber, as well as weather, news, advice and tips.

The Nokia Life Tools Education service, available throughout India, offers three components: Learn English, with basic, intermediate and advanced levels; Exam preparation, which offers students tips and advice for ICSE, CBSE and State Board-level exams mapped to the relevant curriculum; and General Knowledge, which gives subscribers useful information about the world around them. Each of the Education services will be offered at Rs 30/month. Information and content from multiple local and international companies will be aggregated and delivered to Nokia Life Tools by EnableM.

The Nokia Life Tools Entertainment service at launch will include Astrology, News, Jokes, Cricket and ringtones, offered at existing market prices. The content is aggregated and brought to Life Tools by OnMobile. The complete Nokia Life Tools solution will be available on the newly launched Nokia 2323 classic and Nokia 2330 classic devices, and will be later expanded to other Nokia devices.

Nokia Life Tools service will be expanded to select countries across Asia and Africa later in 2009 and beyond.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Avaya and IBM Expand Relationship With Focus on Unified Communications

Avaya and IBM announced an expansion of their alliance to deliver unified communications solutions backed by newly Avaya certified security products for enterprise clients and government organizations worldwide.

The two companies also plan to focus support on Avaya Aura -- Avaya's new unified communications architecture -- by incorporating Avaya Aura into existing IBM converged communications services.

In addition, Avaya has certified the IBM Internet Security Systems' Proventia GX 5208 and Proventia Management SiteProtector SP1001 as compliant with IP telephony solutions from Avaya, enabling IBM to offer comprehensive intrusion protection for Avaya Aura's communication system.

"As more and more companies move toward unified communications, it's important that they take a holistic approach to security that encompasses multi-vendor applications in mobile and virtual environments," said Dan Powers, vice president of brand, strategy, marketing and business development at IBM ISS. "Individual workers will assume security comes from the core, but they can be one of the most vulnerable points of entry if it does not. IBM has created solutions in our Intrusion Prevention Systems designed to help prevent current and emerging threats and help keep unified communications deployments secure."

"IBM and Avaya have had a strong alliance for more than eight years, and with this expansion, we can offer a breadth of business communications solutions and truly complimentary portfolios designed to meet client demands around the globe," said Laurence Guihard-Joly, vice-president of Integrated Communications Services, IBM. "Together, IBM and Avaya offer robust and security rich mission critical solutions while adopting industry protocols and open standards."

U.S. Completes Historic Transition to DTV

On June 11, the United States completed its technological transition from analog to digital television. On June 12, all full-power television stations in the United States are required to stop analog TV broadcast service and transmit only digital signals.

The digital TV (DTV) transition, which was first proposed and mapped out two decades ago, clears valuable airwaves for new advanced wireless services, including first-responder radio.

Earlier this week, the Nielsen Company reported that 2.8 million U.S. households, or 2.5% of the television market, are completely unready for the transition. That represents about a 50%
improvement in readiness levels since the decision was made in February to delay the DTV transition.

"In any change this big, there are going to be disruptions," said FCC Acting Chairman Michael J. Copps. "We are trying our best to provide people, especially those who are most at risk,
with the help they need to make the switch as smoothly as possible. And we're going to keep offering it after June 12, so people should call us at 1-888-CALL-FCC."