Sunday, February 21, 2010

ADVA Adds Fiber-Plant Analysis to FSP 3000

ADVA Optical Networking has enhanced its FSP 3000 platform with an integrated Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) capability for end-to-end analysis and monitoring of the fiber transport network. This enables testing of dark fiber issues such as fiber breaks or bends, deficient fiber splices, damaged connectors or other issues that degrade or destroy the performance of services. It also performs in-service OTDR monitoring, enabling the operator to identify and isolate fiber issues without interruption of existing services. ADVA also noted that OTDR analysis can reveal security issues such as illegal fiber taps that jeopardize the integrity of mission-critical data. It operates over distances of up to 100 km.

KEYMILE Adds Optical Ethernet Card

KEYMILE introduced a 24-port FTTH Ethernet card for its multi-service access system MileGate. Per rack, the card will allow connection of up to 1,920 households by optical fiber. The new card also enables an additional cable TV signal can be transmitted on each port at the same time as IP data traffic. This enables FTTH operators to offer conventional TV without having to deploy IPTV.

In a typical FTTH environment, the network operator connects homes via a single fibre optic connection directly to a port. The card transmits the Ethernet/IP signal in both directions at different wavelengths. The cable TV signal is added to the Ethernet/IP signal via a third wavelength with a wavelength multiplexer (an RF overlay for CATV) which is integrated on the card. When it reaches the subscriber, the CPE separates the Ethernet and cable TV signal from one another. The cable TV signal is changed into an electrical TV signal and fed into the existing co-axial cables. The Ethernet signal is completed on the CPE and residential customers can then connect their computers for Internet access, or other IP-based terminal equipment (for example SIP telephones, set-top boxes).

McAfee's Saas-based Security Service Surpasses 575,000 users

McAfee has surpassed 575,000 users for its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings, including email and web protection, email continuity and archiving services, endpoint protection and vulnerability management.

McAfee's SaaS-based security solutions include email, web, email continuity, email archiving, endpoint protection and vulnerability management. The company also announced a number of enhancements to it SaaS solutions.

  • Enforced TLS for SaaS Email Protection -- Enforced Transport Layer Security (TLS) gives customers the option to force inbound and outbound delivery of mail via TLS for specified domains, proving even greater security.

  • Outlook 2003/2007 Integration for SaaS Email Archiving -- A new downloadable Outlook 2003/2007 integration add-in will be available, enabling Message Archive administrators to more easily search for, view and save copies of archived messages directly through a Microsoft Outlook 2003 or 2007 email client.

3Com and Tipping Point Offer Secure Virtualized Data Center Products

3Com's TippingPoint division introduced its Virtual Controller (vController), a software solution that extends the company's network security into virtual environments.

The vController is the first product in TippingPoint's Secure Virtualization Framework, the company's vision for securing all elements of the data center and a core element of 3Com's Secure Network Fabric, which combines security technology from TippingPoint with LAN infrastructure equipment from H3C, the enterprise networking brand of 3Com.

The SVF software will enable organizations to pass virtual machine (VM) traffic -- including host-to-host traffic -- through a TippingPoint Intrusion Prevention System. This product takes advantage of the specialized processing performance built into TippingPoint's N-Platform, including a newly redesigned and more powerful Threat Suppression Engine (TSE) that can effectively inspect more traffic. Since the traffic is passed through the IPS, it is inspected and filtered with TippingPoint's Digital Vaccine service, which uses security intelligence from TippingPoint's DVLabs, as well as its external research program the Zero Day Initiative, to provide data center organizations with up-to-date network protection.

TippingPoint's vController includes integrated management capabilities that are compatible with VMware's VMsafe API via the Reflex Systems vTrust technology and Virtual Management Center (VMC). This provides customers with a more granular level of visibility and control into communication within the VMware virtual environment.

3Com New Enterprise Core Switch Packs up to 192 10GE Ports

3Com introduced its H3C S9500E modular switch chassis, a new enterprise core switch optimized for enterprise core and medium-sized data center networks. The H3C S9500E features an Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) technology that enables multiple H3C S9500E switches to be linked as a single virtual switch, doubling performance and utilization, increasing capacity, while also eliminating the need for legacy resiliency protocols.The new switch fills the gap between the company's H3C S7500E 10 Gigabit Ethernet switch and its H3C S12500 core data center, "big iron" switch.

The H3C S9500E platform is available in three chassis models offering 12, eight and five input/output (I/O) modules respectively, the H3C S9512E, the H3C S9508E-V (vertical alignment) and the H3C S9505E. It offers a maximum switching capacity of 1.4 Tbps and up to 192 10-Gigabit ports or 576 Gigabit ports (fiber or copper), with embedded, extensible security and robust network and service virtualization to help consolidate, secure and simplify network deployments for large data centers and virtual networks.

The company claims a Resilient Virtual Switch Fabric (RVSF) delivers greater than "five nines" availability.

The H3C S9500E options include the network-embedded H3C SecBlades for VPN Firewall, NetStream Monitoring, Load Balancing and, expected later this year, a TippingPoint IPS module. Integrated visibility, management and security are a key component to 3Com's Secure Network Fabric strategy, enabling network administrators to distribute network applications and services throughout the network, maximizing control and minimizing bottlenecks.

"3Com's new H3C S9500E platform was designed to address the growing demand for 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity and virtualization services," said Saar Gillai, senior vice president Product and Solutions at 3Com."Coupled with the TippingPoint IPS and the overall total cost of ownership advantages of the H3C portfolio, 3Com offers today's enterprises a compelling security and network infrastructure solution for virtualized networks and data centers that is unique in the industry."
  • In November 2009, HP announced its intention to acquire 3Com for approximately $2.7 billion in cash ($7.90 per share). The deal would make HP the No.2 enterprise networking vendor worldwide with a growing share of the Chinese market. HP said the acquisition accelerates its next-generation data center strategy focused on the convergence of servers, storage, networking, management, facilities and services. In particular, the acquisition of 3Com will dramatically expand HP's Ethernet switching offerings, add routing solutions and significantly strengthen the company's position in China via the H3C offerings. In addition, the combination will add a team of 2,400 engineers in China.

  • In May 2009, 3Com outlined plans to return to the global enterprise networking market by leveraging its broad portfolio of H3C edge-to-data-center solutions. As a first step, the company is introduced two new switching platforms, the H3C S12500 for end-of-rack in data centers, and a "flex-chassis" switching platform, the H3C S5800, for wiring closets, smaller network cores and top-of-rack in data centers. The products are manageable by a new platform.

Brocade Posts $539.5 Million in Revenue -- Storage Grows, Ethernet Weak

Brocade posted quarterly revenue of $539.5 million for its first fiscal quarter ended January 30, 2010, up 25% year-over-year. Q1 GAAP EPS (diluted) was $0.11, increasing 57% sequentially and from a loss in Q1 2009.

"Brocade's Q1 performance exceeded consensus non-GAAP EPS expectations for the 18th consecutive quarter thanks to the balance and diversity of our business model, our highly variable cost structure and our ability to execute," said Michael Klayko, CEO of Brocade. "At the same time, Q1 highlights the work ahead in building our Ethernet business to the levels we expect. Going forward, Brocade plans to reenergize our Ethernet business strategy, which targets opening hundreds of new direct enterprise Ethernet accounts each quarter. As one of two end-to-end networking companies worldwide, we believe Brocade is well-positioned and are optimistic about our ability to take advantage of the expected worldwide growth of networking spending in 2010 and beyond."

Brocade noted that storage strengthened to 65% of revenues in Q1 versus 58% in Q4. The company said migration to 8 Gig Fibre Channel continued to accelerate during the quarter, with identifiable 8 Gig Fibre Channel Director shipments increasing over 145% sequentially and now representing 77% of identifiable Director shipments.

However, Brocade's Ethernet business declined 25.7% sequentially and represented 18% of revenues in the quarter, versus 25% in Q4. The company said Ethernet revenues performance was mixed. While US enterprise (non-Government) revenues increased 8% quarter over quarter, government sales declined in part to delays to the US Defense appropriations bill, which was signed in mid-December instead of late November as previously
expected. Additionally, Brocade's Data Center Ethernet revenues did not grow as anticipated.

Softbank Mobile Picks Ericsson for 42 Mbps HSPA

Softbank Mobile has selected Ericsson for an upgrade of its 3G network.

Specifically, Ericsson is delivering RBS6000 HSPA/LTE multi standard base stations. The upgraded network will use multi-carrier HSPA technology which provides speeds up to 42Mbps for the most data dense areas in Japan: the Tokyo, Kansai and Tokai (Nagoya) regions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

TerreStar Completes Ground Based Beam Forming Test

TerreStar Networks completed its initial on-orbit testing of Ground Based Beam Forming (GBBF) is complete, clearing another hurdle prior to the launch of its hybrid satellite+terrestrial smartphone service. The service is expected to launch in the second half of this year.

The TerreStar GBBF system is the first two-way GBBF system to employ both ground based calibration and beam forming. The system provides the flexibility to deploy over 500 spot beams and manage power and capacity as customer demand dictates.

"Stable, configurable beams are being formed and link performance is meeting our expectations for this phase," said Dennis Matheson, chief technology officer, TerreStar. "We could not have made this tremendous progress without our dedicated partners Hughes Network Systems and Space Systems/Loral."

"Since the launch of our satellite, TerreStar-1, on July 1, 2009, TerreStar has continued to execute on its vision of offering ubiquitous, reliable and resilient mobile service -- virtually anywhere in North America," said Jeffrey Epstein, president & CEO, TerreStar. "Today's 'first' is another milestone on the path to deliver the next generation of mobile services."
  • In September 2009, AT&T agreed to market TerreStar's satellite cellular smartphone. The TerreStar GENUS Smartphone combines AT&T's 3G terrestrial wireless service with TerreStar's all-IP satellite voice and data as a back-up throughout the United States. The TerreStar satellite footprint also covers Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and offshore coastal waters. The satellite-terrestrial smartphone reference design represents the world's first quad-band GSM and tri-band WCDMA/HSPA device running the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system, and offering integrated satellite-terrestrial voice and data capabilities.

  • In July 2009, TerreStar Networks successfully completed the first end-to-end VoIP phone call over its newly launched TerreStar-1, the world's largest, most advanced commercial communications satellite. The call used two handsets developed by EB (Elektrobit).

Comcast DOCSIS 3.0 in Indianapolis

Comcast is launching DOCSIS 3.0 in the Indianapolis area. Comcast is introducing the new Extreme 50 tier with download speeds of up to 50 Mbps to many Indianapolis area communities served by Comcast, including Indianapolis, Anderson, Bloomington, Kokomo, Greenwood, Noblesville, Fishers, Lafayette, Attica and Muncie. Wideband is already available in the Fort Wayne and South Bend areas.

Verizon Wireless Builds "Super Switch" for South Florida

Verizon Wireless has completed construction of a $50 million "super switch" facility capable of handling tens of millions of voice calls and wireless data transmissions each day.

The 45,000-square-foot Mobile Telephone Switching Office (MTSO) will serve as the company's main call-processing hub for South Florida, serving an area from Key West and continuing through all of Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The MTSO is located on five acres in west Broward County. It is designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane or other major disaster.

"Our network teams have been working extremely long and hard on this giant jewel of wireless network technology," said Frank Wise, Florida executive network director. "This is a big moment for our technicians and a great moment for wireless customers in South Florida."

With construction complete, technicians are currently conducting final tests for the network "cutover" of these wireless transmissions. The cutover - in which wireless traffic will be transferred to the new switch from existing Verizon Wireless facilities - is scheduled for early March.

Walmart to Acquire VUDU for Movie Streaming

Walmart has agreed to acquire VUDU, a start-up that streams movies to US viewers. Financial terms were not disclosed. The deal is expected to close within the next few weeks.

VUDU initially started offering its movie service through it own set-top box, but has moved to a new distribution model whereby its service application is built into broadband-ready TVs and Blu-ray players. Customers with broadband Internet access and an Internet-ready TV or Blu-ray player can rent or purchase movies, typically in high-definition, without needing a connected computer or cable/satellite service. The company has also been building partnerships to offer applications on its platform including Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, The New York Times and The Associated Press.

VUDU has licensing agreements with major movie studio and dozens of independent and international distributors. Its library includes approximately 16,000 movies. including many in 1080p.

Walmart said its size and retail expertise would help grow the VUDU service.
  • In 2007, Wal-Mart launched its own video download service, but later withdrew it from the market.

Twitter: 50 million Tweets Per Day

Twitter is now handling 50 million tweets per day, according to new usage metrics posted on the company's blog.

This compares to around 5,000 tweets were sent per day in 2007. The daily figure grew to 35 million per day by the end of last year and has now shot up to 50 million tweets per day.

Japan's Kyushu University Streams Live Surgery in HD Video

Japan's Kyushu University has partnered with OKI Networks to successfully stream live HD-resolution video of a surgical procedure to Seoul National University Bundang Hospital in Seoul, Korea, and to the Kyoto Second Red Cross Hospital, in Kyoto, Japan. The video was also streamed to the 29th Asia-Pacific Advanced Network Conference, which was held in Sydney, Australia earlier this month.

The experimental system compressed the surgical videos to H.264/AVC using an HVE9100 high-performance hardware encoder from NTT Electronics. The encoder was located at Kyushu University hospital, thereby enabling concurrent streaming through an "OKI MediaServer" to multiple domestic and international sites. Standard PCs running the "OKI Player" software were used at the receiving ends.

Thailand's DTAC Implements Nokia Siemens Networks' Energy Solutions

DTAC, the second largest mobile operator in Thailand, has signed Nokia Siemens Networks to modernize its network with a new architecture, technology, and approach that aims to significantly lower its carbon emission.

Under the deal, Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy its latest mobile softswitching platforms to reduce the number of switching sites needed in the core network. The company will also remove a significant number of transcoder nodes by providing the same functionality with Nokia Siemens Networks software features, and improve ventilation at radio network sites to reduce dependency on air conditioning. Nokia Siemens Networks estimates that these modernized elements will reduce carbon emissions by at least 60% compared to the previous generation of infrastructure providing the same amount of capacity. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Total Access Communication Public Company Limited (DTAC), a subsidiary of Telenor, currently serves about 19.7 million phone numbers.

NTT Com to Offer Cloud-based PC Security Services

NTT Communications (NTT Com) is preparing launch a cloud-based service on April 1 for the total security management of PCs and other IT assets on an integrated, low-cost basis.

The new Biz Security PC Management service will be NTT Com's latest offering under its cloud-based "BizCITY" concept of providing secure access to enterprise services from anyplace at anytime.

One of the primary causes of information leaks is that security measures, such as applying patches and enforcing data exportation restrictions, are difficult to fully implement. To ensure total security and asset management for all licensed hardware and software, systems administrators must spend a great deal of time and money installing, operating and managing different systems and services. In the case of overseas offices of multinational companies, they also must ensure that their security policies are the same as those used in the home office.

NTT Com said its new cloud-based service will help overcome these problems by conveniently integrating security and asset management features. Total security for each device includes patch management, restrictions on data export or adding new applications, and exhaustive measures for preventing information leaks or virus infections. The service generates lists of hardware requiring specific patches, enables one-time patching of devices, and creates operation logs. Unregistered PCs can be detected and reported (optional service) as long as they are connected to the internal network. The service also helps to prevent software license violations and overpayment of licensing fees. Optional services include the management of PC power settings to lower a company's environmental footprint, and the automated distribution of files, such as applications and user-specified files.

NTT Com plans to make the service compatible with smartphones in the future.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

SJ Mercury News: Upturn in Silicon Valley Venture Capital Survey

Silicon Valley captured nearly 40% of all venture capital in the U.S. during 2009, according to data from Pricewaterhouse Coopers that was published by the San Jose Mercury News. The report indicates the VC investments in the region rebounded slightly in the second half of last year following two years of declines. However, nationwide VC funding was down significantly again in 2009, reaching its lowest level since 1997.

The Venture Capital Quarterly Report lists over Silicon Valley 190 companies receiving funding. A small sampling of notable start-ups on the list in the networking and telecom sectors includes:

  • Aquantia - PHY devices

  • ASSIA - DSL software

  • Bigfoot Networks - gaming network tech

  • Bridgewave -- broadband wireless

  • Cloud Engines -- access

  • Cyan Optics -- telecom infrastructure gear

  • Fanfare - test software

  • GridIron -- data center systems

  • Innovalight -- optoelectronics

  • IP Wireless -- wireless tech

  • Sezmi -- video entertainment

See the full report online.

TI Unveils Multicore Architecture for Communications Equipment

Texas Instruments unveiled a new System-on-a-Chip (SoC) architecture based on its multicore digital signal processors (DSPs) and designed for the next generation of wireless base stations, media gateways and video infrastructure equipment.

Significantly, TI has integrated fixed and floating point capabilities, pushing beyond the traditional functionality of DSPs to take on the multilayer processing roles of network processors. This paves the way for highly integrated base station designs with the ability to support various access types and while retaining a low-power consumption profile.

In terms of raw performance, TI's new multicore SoCs will run at up to 1.2GHz, providing an engine with up to 256 GMACS and 128 GFLOPS -- this is over five times the performance of existing solutions in the market. The higher performance is needed to drive advanced functionality such as handling advanced matrix processing for MIMO implementations and other spectral efficiency processing.

Key features and benefits:

  • Multiple high-performance DSPs operating at up to 1.2GHz in an innovative SoC architecture;

  • Integrated fixed and floating point processing within each DSP core combining ease of use with unprecedented signal processing performance;

  • Robust suite of tools, application-specific software libraries and platform software enabling faster development cycles and more effective debug and analysis;

  • Five times the DMA capability and twice the memory per core of other SoCs ensuring robust application performance for customers;

  • Product family to include range of devices starting with four-core device for wireless base stations and eight-core device for media gateway and networking applications;

  • Direct communication between cores and memory access with TI's Multicore Navigator freeing peripheral access and unleashing multicore performance;

  • A 2 terabit per second on-chip switch fabric, TeraNet 2, providing high bandwidth and low latency interconnection of all of the SoC elements;

  • A Multicore Shared Memory Controller allowing faster on-chip and external memory access;

  • High-performance layer 1, layer 2 and network co-processors.

TI expects its products from the new multicore portfolio to begin sampling in the second half of 2010.

"Manufacturers of communications infrastructure equipment have very specific requirements for differentiating their products and innovating beyond a single portfolio. It was clear to us that TI had the opportunity to introduce a new platform to customers with a ‘smart design' approach that meets their needs for years to come," said Brian Glinsman, general manager of TI's communications infrastructure business."With this new multicore architecture, we challenged ourselves to exceed Moore's Law by bucking the trend of simply linearly increasing the amount of cores on each platform; instead, we increased overall performance with significant enhancements to the DSP, a new breed of coprocessors, and reduced power consumption."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Anritsu Shows Handheld LTE Tester

Anritsu has extended its BTS Master handheld base station analyzer with new options to measure all defined LTE bandwidths and frequencies. The handheld instrument allows field engineers and technicians to conduct RF, modulation, and Over-the-Air (OTA) measurements on signals during the deployment, installation, and operation of LTE networks.

With the new options, Anritsu's tester provides RF and modulation quality measurement capabilities for LTE bandwidths from 1.4 MHz all the way through to 20 MHz. The company has also developed LTE options for its MT8222A BTS Master and MT8212E Cell Master, to offer operators testing flexibility. The LTE option for the MT8212E allows the handheld instrument to measure RF and modulation at 1.4 MHz, 3 MHz, 5 MHz, and 10 MHz bandwidths, while the option for the MT8222A extends its LTE bandwidth coverage down to 1.4 MHz. An existing option allowed the MT8222A to measure the 10 MHz bandwidth.

Anritsu said its solution allows users to validate the over-the-air performance of the complete eNode-B system, as well as troubleshoot problems with an LTE signal when the BTS Master and Cell Master analyzers are equipped with the OTA option. The OTA option can also be used to verify/validate LTE signal coverage with the instruments' scanner functionality.

The MT8212E is a handheld multi-function base station analyzer that combines all the tools required to deploy, maintain and troubleshoot wireless base stations into a lightweight, battery-operated package. BTS Master is an integrated multi-functional base station test tool that eliminates the need to carry and learn multiple test sets. In addition to RF, demodulation and OTA measurements, capabilities include spectrum analysis, precision return loss, VSWR, cable loss, distance-to-fault, two-port gain/loss, one- and two-port magnitude and phase, interference analysis, and spectrogram.

Zayo Lands $25.1M Federal Stimulus Award

Zayo Bandwidth was awarded $25.1 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to connect 21 Ivy Tech Community College campuses to the I-Light network, Indiana's high-performance, optical-fiber telecommunications network for research and education. The award also will allow Zayo Bandwidth to expand broadband connectivity to certain unserved and underserved areas across Indiana.

Zayo Bandwidth will add 620 miles of fiber to its existing 2,750 mile network across the state. The new network will pass through 80 communities in unserved and underserved regions that include 480,300 households, 49,070 businesses, 3,270 health centers, 420 public safety centers, 1,070 education centers and 2380 government centers.

The total project cost will be $35.8M which includes $4.4M of Zayo in-kind contribution and $6.3M of Zayo cash match. The project announced today is part of a $7.2 billion program being implemented under the Recovery Act to expand broadband access and adoption across the country.

FCC Highlights Elements of Upcoming National Broadband Plan

With the deadline for delivering a National Broadband Plan to Congress on March 17 less than a month away, the FCC team developing the plan presented elements under consideration in the "national purposes" section of the plan. The working recommendations highlight the role of broadband to healthcare, education, energy and the environment, government, public safety and homeland security, job training, and small business.

Government plays a major role in these sectors as policymaker, buyer, or supplier, but its
policies have often inhibited or failed to provide incentives for investment in and innovative use
of broadband.

More detail can be found in the presentation made to the Commission, which is
posted online.