Sunday, November 15, 2009

F5 Enhances BIG-IP for AAA Mobile Scalability

F5 Networks, which specializes in layer 7 traffic management solutions, has enhanced its BIG-IP appliance to help mobile operators scale their authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) infrastructure, without incurring the costly and time-consuming process of replacing existing AAA servers. Existing AAA servers can become overloaded as mobile subscribers use more services. F5's solution helps service providers to protect services from unplanned outages and enables carriers to optimize traffic throughput on current AAA servers. Key capabilities of BIG-IP v10.1 include:

  • Support for Diameter and RADIUS protocols -- New traffic profiles and monitors specifically for Diameter and RADIUS traffic allow service providers to take advantage of the benefits of layer 7 traffic management -- including load balancing, inspection, redirection, high availability, and simplified scaling -- for their AAA infrastructure.

  • On-demand capacity to handle highest levels of traffic -- To help carriers manage massive volumes of revenue-generating traffic, F5 is introducing PB 200 blades for its VIPRION chassis. VIPRION and PB 200 blades provide the throughput needed today as well as a simple method for adding on-demand capacity to future-proof a carriers' infrastructure.

  • Carrier-class availability with Fast Failover -- New failover methods use a combination of metrics to determine when to switch to the standby unit, and reduce the failover time to fractions of a second. Fast Failover, combined with new monitors and carrier-grade hardware, can significantly reduce downtime.

  • Seamless strategy for staging network migration as IPv6 traffic grows -- The BIG-IP IPv6 Gateway feature ensures a carriers' ability to leverage the scalability of IPv6 for all their mobile devices, while still connecting to legacy IPv4 networks.

  • Total traffic control with iRules -- F5's powerful event-driven programming language, iRules, allows system integrators to integrate BIG-IP into their total solution, providing advanced, customized traffic management, such as policy-based traffic steering.

SC09: 100 Gbps Optical Transport from Seattle to Portland

This week's SC09 Conference in Portland, Oregon features a multivendor 100Gbps routing and optical network demonstration backed by Infinera, Internet2, Juniper Networks and Level 3. In this demonstration, 100Gbps of test data (generated by an Ixia test set) was transmitted from Portland to Seattle through a single slot on the Juniper Networks T1600 Series Core Router, populated with a new 10x10GbE physical interface card via an Infinera optical system, over Level 3 and Internet2's nationwide fiber-optic network. The data was then looped back to Juniper's T1600 Series Core Router in Juniper's booth on the SC09 show floor in Portland.

These 100Gbps demonstrations represent the continued advances made by the joint initiative -- announced last year at SC08 -- between the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), Internet2, Infinera, Juniper Networks and Level 3 Communications. The five organizations announced an initiative to work together to develop and deploy 100GbE services. ESnet and Internet2 are planning testbeds and eventual production deployment of 100GbE.

"With ‘Big Science' projects like the Large Hadron Collider expected to be generating data flows of 100Gbps as soon as 2010, it's clear that the world's scientific research and education community needs to move beyond groups of 10Gbps waves and be ready with 100GbE solutions in the very near term," said Kanaiya Vasani, vice president of product management, High-End Systems Business Unit, Juniper Networks.

Juniper Debuts 10x10GbE Interface for Core Router

Juniper Networks introduced a new 10 port, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Physical Interface Card (PIC) for its T1600 Series Core Router.

The new interface card, which is expected to ship commercially in Q1 2010, provides the highest density of 10GbE interfaces on a core router so far. It also features a unique Intelligent Oversubscription capability that can be used to aggregate client-facing access interfaces, or to provide efficient connectivity in and between virtualized routers. This will increase the flexibility of the T1600 and will enable customers to use the router in more diverse deployment scenarios, and to more efficiently leverage virtualization to consolidate edge and core functionality. Intelligent Oversubscription can prioritize services based on a variety of user-configurable characteristics to ensure that mission-critical services are protected even in times of congestion.

The T1600 can support a total of sixteen 10x10GbE PICs per chassis, for a total of 160 10GbE interfaces in a half-rack--more than twice that of the closest competitor. As many as 80 of these interfaces can operate at line-rate speed, or the T1600 can be oversubscribed at a 2:1 ratio.

With the new 10x10GbE PIC and the previously announced 100GbE PIC, the T1600 will support multiple options for 100Gbps.

"The combination of this new high-density 10x10GbE PIC, along with the 802.3ba 100GbE PIC earlier announced by Juniper, provides an incredible amount of flexibility and growth to the already impressive T1600," said Chris Robb, Internet2 manager of network operations.

Mellanox Announces 120 Gbps Per Port InfiniBand Switch Systems

Mellanox Technologies unveiled the industry's first 120 Gbps per port InfiniBand switch systems. The new members of the IS5000 switch system family, which are based on the company's fourth generation InfiniScale IV switching silicon, are aimed at high-performance computing, cloud infrastructures and enterprise data centers. The new switch solutions reduce network congestion and the number of network cables by a factor of three. Mellanox IS5000 family of switch systems, consisting of un-managed and managed edge switches and director-class modular switches, provide industry-leading 51.8 Tbps of non-blocking bandwidth in a single enclosure. Commercial release is expected in the first half of 2010.

"As supercomputers scale, new challenges are created in performance and cabling," said John Monson, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. "Mellanox's new comprehensive family of 120Gb/s switch solutions deliver the performance, density and scalability for large-scale clusters, and provide researchers with essential building blocks for constructing the next generation of Petascale-class clusters."

Separately, Mellanox announced that its ConnectX-2 40Gb/s InfiniBand adapter cards are available now for HP ProLiant BL, DL and SL series servers, as well as HP BladeSystem c-Class enclosures. Mellanox's ConnectX-2 40Gb/s InfiniBand adapter cards with CORE-Direct enable significant improvements in application performance and scalability and increase the productivity of HP-based compute clusters.

"As supercomputers increase in size from mere thousands to hundreds-of-thousands of processor cores, new performance and scalability challenges have emerged," said Monson. "The combination of Mellanox ConnectX-2 40Gb/s InfiniBand adapters with CORE-Direct application interprocessor communication offload and HP ProLiant servers provide end-customers with the highest performance, efficiency and scalability for their next-generation, high-processor node count supercomputer."

Arista, Fulcrum and Ixia Test 10-Gigabit Ethernet for Cloud Networking

Arista Networks, Fulcrum Microsystems and Ixia announced the results of collaborative performance and scalability testing of 10-Gigabit Ethernet in a cloud computing environment. The tests measured the performance of the Arista 7148SX 48-port 10GE SFP+ switch, which features Fulcrum's FocalPoint FM4224 switch silicon. The tests used full line-rate, large-scale traffic running fully meshed and yielded results that validated the switch's ability to provide the low-latency and throughput performance for lossless data center Ethernet transmission.

According to the companies, the test results showed "extraordinarily low latency" in the Arista switch -- as low as 600 nanoseconds (min) between any two ports -- and lossless performance for all frame sizes using IETF RFC 2544 and 2889 throughput test methodologies. This performance means scale-out environments can now get true non-blocking performance using the Arista 7148SX switches, as shown by the absence of packet drops in the RFC 2889 full-mesh test results.

Ruckus Wireless Extends Smart Wi-Fi to Urban Mesh Networks

Ruckus Wireless has extended its "Smart Wi-Fi" intelligent beam steering technology beyond home and enterprise networking into an end-to-end managed, wireless broadband access (WBA) solution.

By combining its beam steering technology with the additional performance boost of 802.11n, Ruckus Wireless believes carrier-grade Wi-Fi services can be delivered in developing urban environments at a fraction of the cost of WiMAX, while overcoming technical hurdles that stymied previous metro Wi-Fi attempts. In particular, the company's dynamic beamforming software addresses the interference problems that have plagued previous outdoor Wi-Fi networks. The Ruckus dynamic antenna system also enables more efficient spatial reuse in wireless mesh networks - by varying the direction of each packet transmission, adjacent mesh APs often can transmit simultaneously on the same channel thereby maximizing network capacity. The solution is aimed at concentrated urban areas where people eat, shop, live or congregate.

The Ruckus WBA solution includes outdoor mesh APs, customer premises equipment (CPE), a new line of smart Wi-Fi backhaul systems and system-wide remote management. These include: ZoneFlex 7762, a dual-band 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi outdoor access point; ZoneFlex 2741, an 802.11g Smart Wi-Fi outdoor access point; and ZoneFlex 7731, a new high-gain, point-to-point 802.11n (5GHz) backhaul system that extends Wi-Fi signals over kilometers at data rates up to 300 Mbps over a secure link. The company's customer premises equipment includes its MediaFlex 2200, a purpose-built wireless gateway that reliably extends Wi-Fi signals indoors.

Ruckus Smart Mesh networking routes traffic over wired and wirelessly meshed APs, using the highest performing path in real time. It allows APs to be aggregated over gigabit Ethernet for capacity without the overhead of additional mesh hops.

Ruckus Wireless cited two lead customers: WiNet Broadband in Malaysia, which plans to deploy 4,000 nodes by the end of 2010 and is targeting to attract 250,000 subscribers by the end of 2010; and India's Tikona Digital Network.

GIPS Targets HD VoIP Apps for Android

Global IP Solutions is enabling Android mobile application developers to build VoIP-enabled clients with its GIPS VoiceEngine Mobile technology.

Nimbuzz, the popular free mobile social messaging application, will be the first customer to offer HD voice (VoIP) on Android phones.

"GIPS VoiceEngine allows Android developers to build VoIP-enabled applications that offer HD voice, while tackling all the typical IP network issues - such as delay, jitter, packet loss, bandwidth constraints, noise and echo," said Roar Hagen, GIPS' Chief Technology Officer. "Today, mobile users desire a smartphone that offers a unique experience, which includes the ability to have great quality communication. With GIPS engineering expertise, developers can quickly and effectively build their applications enabling them to concentrate on their core business."

Motorola to Acquire BitBand for IPTV

Motorola agreed to acquire BitBand, a provider of IPTV content management and delivery systems, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in Q4 2009. BitBand will be integrated into Motorola's Home & Networks Mobility business.

Based in Netanya, Israel, BitBand has more than 60 commercial IPTV deployments worldwide, including TELE2 (Holland), Fastweb (Italy), and Swyazinvest (Russia).

Motorola said the acquisition of BitBand will complement its existing on demand product line which includes the Adaptive Media Management framework for content management and high-performance streaming servers for centralized and edge-based on demand networks. BitBand brings products tailored for IP video and expertise in IPTV solutions, as well as solutions for Content Delivery Networks (CDN) and Over-the-Top video services.

HomeGrid Forum Partners with DRSG Coalition and Z-Wave Alliance

HomeGrid Forum, which promotes the ITU-T's standardization efforts, announced new liaison agreements with the Demand Response Smart Grid (DRSG) Coalition and Z-Wave Alliance. HomeGrid Forum is linking efforts with these organizations to promote and ensure upcoming products and devices are compliant with the requirements for deployment in Smart Grid, home energy management, and home automation applications.

DRSG is the trade association for companies that provide products and services in the areas of demand response, smart meters and Smart Grid technologies.

The Z-Wave Alliance is a consortium of more than 160 leading companies manufacturing a broad assortment of interoperable Z-Wave wireless home control and energy management products including lighting, thermostats, shade, and appliance controllers.

"HomeGrid Forum is aligning with organizations that have a clear understanding of where the Smart Grid market is headed, including groups like DRSG and Z-Wave Alliance," said Matthew Theall, president of the HomeGrid Forum. "The members of Z-Wave Alliance and DRSG are looking for effective ways to leverage both wired and wireless technologies for efficient power utilization and home automation. compliments these efforts with technology that will unify the networking of content and devices, over any wire, while supporting the Smart Grid."http://www.homegridforum.org

Chelsio Raises $17 Million in Funding for 10GbE Adapters

Chelsio Communications, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California raised $17 million in new funding for its 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) adapters, ASICs, and storage solutions. Powered by its 3rd generation Terminator (T3) ASIC, Chelsio's portfolio of unified wire adapters enable 10Gb Ethernet to replace niche fabric technologies such as Fibre Channel and InfiniBand in a wide range of applications, including Network-Attached Storage (NAS) filers, Storage Area Network (SAN) Arrays, Server Adapters, High Performance Cluster Computing, Blade Servers, Video Servers, Application Servers and Web Accelerators. The company claims more than 150 different platform wins and 700 different OEM and end user customers.

The funding is from existing investors, including New Enterprise Associates, INVESCO Private Capital, Investor Growth Capital, LSI Corporation, NTT Finance, Vendanta Capital, Abacus Capital Group, Pacesetter Capital Group, Horizon Ventures, and one new participant, Mobile Internet Capital.

AT&T Unveils Synaptic Compute as a Service

AT&T introduced a global cloud-based service that provides on-demand access to scalable computing capacity. Using technology from VMware and Sun Microsystems, AT&T's Synaptic Compute as a Service provides companies with a self-service approach for using IT solutions delivered by AT&T's network cloud. Customers can use the service to address demands for variable computing processing power.

For example, customers can program their application to routinely expand capacity during a block of days each month to handle their firm's book closing. Transportation firms can increase computing power daily for processing driver schedules, route changes and other logistics. Companies can program the service to respond to spikes in Web traffic from holiday sales or events, sports programs, short-term campaigns, emergencies, etc.

AT&T is also working closely with Sun to use the Sun Cloud Open Cloud Platform, Sun Cloud APIs, cloud reference architecture and design expertise to create an environment to make it easy for developers to build and deploy value-added services.

"As companies increasingly move to cloud-based environments, AT&T Synaptic Compute as a Service provides a much-needed choice for IT executives who worry about over-building or under-investing in the capacity needed to handle their users' traffic demands," said Roman Pacewicz, senior vice president of Strategy and Application Services, AT&T Business Solutions.

AT&T will introduce the service in the fourth quarter of 2009. The service will be deployed in the U.S. and will be accessible via the Web.

Video Interview with FiberTower -- Etherize or Perish!

Telstra Vows 10% Carbon Reduction by 2015

Telstra announced a commitment to reduce its carbon emissions intensity by at least 10 percent by 2015. In 2008/09 Telstra calculates that it emitted 1.52 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or 64 tonnes per million dollars of domestic revenue. The newly announced target requires Telstra to reduce this to at least 58 tonnes per million dollars of domestic revenue by 2015. Telstra will achieve this reduction by:

  • Investing in energy efficient projects and accommodation;

  • Undertaking specific energy saving projects in existing facilities, and decommissioning redundant network assets;

  • Reducing the energy intensity of purchased products and services;

  • Implementing staff training to reduce office and vehicle fleet emissions; and

  • Adopting low carbon information and communications technologies (ICT) solutions such as video conferencing and teleworking.

"We are setting a realistic and achievable target for carbon intensity because we are serious about reducing our impact on the environment," said Telstra CEO David Thodey.

Thodey said the target was ambitious, because it took into account the additional energy required to meet exponential growth in network and data storage capacity.

"Traffic on Telstra's Next G wireless broadband network is doubling every eight months while traffic on the Next IP network is doubling every 20 months."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Huawei Supplies Next-gen Home Location Register in Indonesia

Huawei has installed a next-generation Home Location Register ("ngHLR") for Hutchison CP Telecommunications Indonesia with the capacity to serve more than 16 million wireless subscribers. The deployment in Indonesia represents a major milestone for HCPT as it provides a modernized subscriber data management system and paves the way for growth in a rapidly expanding market over the next five years. The project, which took less than two months to complete, involved the deployment of a pair of Huawei ngHLRs in two strategic locations of Jakarta with seamless geographical redundancy. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Huawei's ngHLR, which uses an ATCA chassis, scales to a maximum capacity of 100 million subscribers while offering over 99.9999% reliability by sites load sharing mode. This solution also supports the evolution to USC (Unified Subscriber Center) functionality.

NTT Labs Develops Gigabit-class "i-Visto" Video Transmission

Researchers at NTT Laboratories in Japan have developed a novel technology to transmit uncompressed video streams through IP networks at rates exceeding 1 Gbps. NTT's "i-Visto" technology, which has been field tested in cooperation with National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), transmits uncompressed HDTV signals by acquiring a path in the optical network whenever it is needed, without allocating additional network resources or re-optimizing the provisioned network resources. The experiment was carried out using GEMnet2 and JGN2plus, the R&D testbed networks provided by NTT and NICT, respectively.

Currently, data transmission exceeding 1 Gbps typically requires the network operator to allocate network resources along the transmission path. NTT Laboratories' low-latency video transmission mechanism features an ultra-high speed server system architecture which enables the recording and playing of multiple high-quality video formats, including DVCproHD, uncompressed HD, and uncompressed 4K-resolution video.

Using GMPLS for signaling between IP routers and optical switches, the system establishes a network path for ultra-wideband video transmission dynamically whenever video transmission is activated by the user. Testing has been conducted using Experiments were done using 1920x1080 resolution images at 60 interlaced fields per second. This uncompressed video interface (HD-SDI) signal for broadcast use consumes about 1.5Gbps of network bandwidth.

FCC Seeks Comment on Universal Service Fund and Intercarrier Compensation

The FCC is seeking additional public comment on universal service and intercarrier compensation (ICC) policies that should be part of its forthcoming National Broadband Plan.

The universal service fund (USF) currently consists of high-cost, low-income (including the Lifeline and Link Up programs), schools and libraries (the E-rate program) and rural health
care support mechanisms. The FCC asks whether the size of funding for each support mechanism is appropriate to achieve the objective of universalization of broadband?
Also under consideration is whether the FCC should modify the current methodology for assessing contributions to the universal service fund.

The FCC is also interested in whether reductions in current levels of universal service high-cost support and/or intercarrier compensation would jeopardize some carrier's ability to continue to serve customers and advance the deployment of next generation broadband-capable networks.

Comments are due by December 7, 2009.

ZTE Ships 200,000th Software Defined Radio Base Station

ZTE noted the shipment of its 200,000th Software Defined Radio (SDR) base station. It took the company almost one year to achieve the first 100,000 SDR units shipped by April 2009, and only six months to ship the second 100,000. The fast growth showcases global operators' recognition and favor of ZTE as a leading provider of SDR base stations, helping them meet the rapid market needs.

A variety of multi-band and multi-standard wireless communications systems can be implemented ZTE's SDR technology, including GSM, UMTS, CDMA2000, TD-SCDMA, FDD LTE, WiMAX and TDD LTE, all on the same hardware platform. 3G networks utilizing ZTE SDR base stations are being constructed across China, including a TD-SCDMA network (China Mobile), WCDMA network (China Unicom) and CDMA2000 network (China Telecom).
  • In September this year, ZTE and CSL, the largest mobile operator in Hong Kong, jointly released an LTE commercial test network. Based on ZTE's SDR base station platform, CSL successfully built GSM/UMTS/HSPA+/LTE multi-mode networks with a maximum download rate of 127.552Mbps and a mobile download rate of 43.9Mbps.

Dell Enters SmartPhone Business, Signs China Mobile and Brazil's Claro

Dell confirmed plans to enter the smart phone business and announced distribution deals with China Mobile and Claro, which serves more than 42 million people in Brazil as part of the America Movil network. The initial Mini 3 smart phones are designed around the Android platform. Details of phone models will be announced on a partner-by-partner basis when devices are available in stores, anticipated in late November for China Mobile and year's end for Claro.

"Our entry into the smart phone category is a logical extension of Dell's consumer product evolution over the past two years," said Ron Garriques, President, Dell Global Consumer Group. "We are developing smaller and smarter mobile products that enable our customers to take their internet experience out of the home and do the things they want to do whenever and wherever they want."

Nortel Postpones Carrier Ethernet Auction

Last Friday, Nortel called off a schedule auction of its global Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet businesses. Nortel said it canceled the auction in light of ongoing discussions with interested parties. Qualified bidders are now required to submit offers by November 17, 2009. The Company expects to provide a further update on the auction process and sale of these businesses shortly.
  • In October, Ciena agreed to acquire all of the optical networking and carrier Ethernet assets of Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) business for $390 million in cash and 10 million shares of Ciena common stock. Based on the closing price of Ciena's stock on Tuesday, October 6, 2009, the full deal is valued at $521 million. The deal is subject to a competitive bidding process and higher offers could emerge.

  • The deal includes Nortel's long-haul optical transport portfolio; metro optical Ethernet switching and transport solutions; Ethernet transport, aggregation and switching technology; multiservice SONET/SDH product families; and network management software products.

Zayo Bandwidth Expands Fiber-to-Tower in Philadelphia

Zayo Bandwidth will deploy TDM and Ethernet services to an additional 300 wireless tower sites in the Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley areas of Pennsylvania in support of the current mobile platform and the upcoming transition to 4th generation technologies. The deployment will enable the delivery of future LTE wireless network services.