Monday, February 22, 2010

Gigamon Adds Packet Modification to its Data Tap Switch

Gigamon, a start-up based in Milpitas, California, has added unique 10 Gbps packet modification technology to its GigaVUE-2404 data access switch. The Gigamon switch platform provides data access span ports for monitoring complex and remote networks. The switch aggregates, filters and replicates customized data streams to all monitoring tools.

New software "GigaSMART" software leverages 10 Gbps, full line-rate packet modification technology to offer time stamping, network port labeling, slicing and masking capabilities. These capabilities provide flexibility and security in front of the range of monitoring tools that a network operator might deploy. Existing filters within the GigaVUE-2404 also allow GigaSMART to pin down a subset of traffic for advanced modification.

"Up to now, GigaVUE faithfully transferred packets from the network to the monitoring tools exactly as they appeared on the network," explained Gigamon Co-founder Tom Gallatin. "But in some cases, the monitoring tools will perform more efficiently by eliminating unwanted content, or by adding source or timing information only available at the point of collection, or by hiding confidential information like passwords, financial accounts, or medical data, keeping it away from users who 'don't really need-to-know.' GigaSMART can deliver all this - and more - at 10-Gig full line-rate."

  • Time Stamping of packets provides effective way to troubleshoot and measure application response times, jitter or latency. As the packets flow into GigaVUE, they are time stamped at line-rate, taking place as close to the network as possible, resulting in a permanent time record that remains with the packet for subsequent analysis, such as jitter or latency measurements, at a more convenient time.

  • Packet Slicing can reduce packet size to increase processing and monitoring throughput, optimizing the tools' ability to crunch data. The reduction in packet size can enable more data storage in a recorder application, leaving only the most vital part of the payload.

  • Packet Masking -- even when encrypted, a packet can often still carry private information that can be seen by the tools connected to the network, leading to security vulnerability and compliance threats. A simple mask over this private information increases security and compliance without impact to the monitoring tasks. GigaSMART's customizable masking feature allows any private information within the packet to be masked, keeping the information private while the network tools and the network engineers do their jobs. Gigamon said masking is an especially desirable feature for the financial, insurance and healthcare verticals, because every network has private or sensitive information on it; as packets travel through tools, masking will keep private information private.
  • Earlier this month, Gigamon announced that it had raised $22.8 million from Highland Capital Partners in its first institutional financing to support its data access switching product line.

Palo Alto Networks Fine Tunes its Firewall for App Identification

Palo Alto Networks released new software for its security appliance that combines three identification technologies to provide the necessary visibility and control over applications, users and content. All of the required functionality resides in the firewall, such that a single network device can accurately identify applications, scan content to stop threats and prevent data leakage.

Enhancements in PAN-OS 3.1 software include:

  • App-ID has a new function-based hierarchy (versus a flat structure) for better control over application enablement. The company said this means organizations can easily enable an application and disable certain functions - like enabling Facebook while disabling Facebook apps. This new hierarchical structure in PAN-OS 3.1 allows more powerful, finer-grained policies that are easier to manage.

    Palo Alto Networks has previously said it can identify and control over 900 different applications.

  • User-ID now offers pervasive coverage with support for LDAP directories such as eDirectory and OpenLDAP, in addition to Microsoft Active Directory, so IT managers can link application traffic to specific users and groups - not just IP addresses. User-ID also now features an API for integration with other repositories. User-ID is
    unique in the firewall market in its ability to provide enterprises with both visibility and policy control of users and groups.

  • Content-ID offers even better protection with daily threat signature releases as well as the ability to customize threat signatures for specific applications and vulnerabilities. Additionally, because threat developers continue to exploit the Web 2.0 movement, Palo Alto Networks has added protections against JavaScript and HTML viruses to
    Content-ID in PAN-OS 3.1. As a result, Content-ID is a more powerful, real-time threat prevention engine that detects and blocks a wide range of threats, limits unauthorized transfer of files and data, and controls non-work related Web surfing.
  • In August 2008, Palo Alto Networks, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, secured $27 million in Series C financing for its next-gen firewalls for enterprises. Lehman Brothers Venture Partners led the oversubscribed round, with participation from existing investors Globespan Capital Partners, Greylock Partners and Sequoia Capital. The new funds will be used to support the company's rapid growth by further expanding sales, marketing and customer service initiatives.
    # Palo Alto Networks was founded by Nir Zuk (CTO), Rajiv Batra (VP of Engineering) and Yuming Mao (Chief Architect). Zuk was previously CTO at NetScreen Technologies, which was acquired by Juniper Networks in 2004. Prior to NetScreen, Nir was co-founder and CTO at OneSecure, a pioneer in intrusion prevention and detection appliances. Nir was also a principal engineer at Check Point Software Technologies and was one of the developers of stateful inspection technology.

    Batra previously was the Vice President of Engineering at Peribit, which was acquired by Juniper Networks in 2005. He also co-founded VitalSigns Software and served as Vice President of Engineering at Bay Networks.

    Mao previously was Chief Architect and a Distinguished Engineer at Juniper Networks, which he joined through the NetScreen Technologies acquisition. At NetScreen, he was one of the initial engineering architects.

Occam Supplies Broadband Infrastructure for Micronesia

The Federated States of Micronesia Telecommunications Corporation (FSMTC) has selected Occam Networks for a major network upgrade enabling wireline broadband service to the main population centers of the islands.

Prior to the deployment of Occam's BLC 6000 MSAP solution, FSMTC offered Internet services through T1 access, dial-up and WiFi. While Pohnpei is the first island in the federation to be connected to the submarine fiber cable, a combination of smart solutions and Occam's MSAP equipment will be deployed in all states. FSMTC will offer DSL to business and residential areas, and VDSL2 to larger businesses. Future plans call for Gigabit Ethernet FTTP in select deployments. Financial terms were not disclosed.

U.S. Senate Examines Energy Efficiency in Communications - Sprint

A U.S. Senate Committee heard testimony on Improving Energy Efficiency Through Technology and Communications Innovation. Witnesses included Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint Nextel; Adrian Tuck, Chief Executive Officer, Tendril Networks; Kathrin Winkler, Chief Sustainability Officer, EMC2 Corporation; and Lorie Wigle, General Manager, Eco-Technology Program Office, Intel Corporation.

Some notes from the testimony:

  • Sprint has expanded its commitment to green-power use, recently announcing an agreement with Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) that facilitated the building of the Spearville, KS Wind Farm. As part of that agreement, Sprint agreed to purchase 87M kilowatt hours per year for its 200-acre Overland Park, KS, headquarters campus from
    KCP&L via the Spearville, KS wind farm.

  • Sprint's network consumes approximately 80 percent of its total corporate-energy use.

  • Sprint has a partnership with the Department of Energy to conduct alternative-energy research and
    currently works with two national laboratories -- Sandia in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. Their projects include energy storage and photovoltaic-panel research.

  • Sprint has already deployed more than 250 hydrogen fuel cells at cell sites, with more installations planned. Sprint is also using solar-powered energy at cell sites in California and New York.

  • Sprint has committed to absolutely reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2017 and to increase its use of renewable energy to 10 percent by 2017.

  • Over a 20-month period, Sprint has significantly reduced its IT based power consumption by retiring more than 3,850 servers.

  • Sprint is launching a new, vastly expanded wireless handset buyback program that offers a financial incentive, in the form of instant account credit, to current and new Sprint customers who turn in up to three eligible wireless devices.

  • In June 2009, Intel hosted an IEEE meeting in Santa Clara that brought in energy industry experts to discuss creation of open smart grid standards.

An archived webcast is online.

FCC Confirms March 16 for National Broadband Plan

The FCC has scheduled an Open Meeting on March 16 to present its National Broadband Plan. The Commission will vote on a Broadband Mission Statement, containing goals for U.S. broadband policy.

FCC Survey: 93 Million Americans without Broadband

A total of 93 million Americans -- one-third of the country -- are not connected to high-speed Internet at home, according to the FCC's newly-published National Broadband Plan Consumer Survey. This includes approximately 80
million adults and 13 million children over the age of five.

The survey identifies three main barriers to adoption:

  • Affordability: 36 percent of non-adopters, or 28 million adults, said they do not have home
    broadband because the monthly fee is too expensive (15 percent), they cannot afford a computer,
    the installation fee is too high (10 percent), or they do not want to enter into a long-term service
    contract (9 percent). According to survey respondents, their average monthly broadband bill is

  • Digital Literacy: 22 percent of non-adopters, or 17 million adults, indicated that they do not have
    home broadband because they lack the digital skills (12 percent) or they are concerned about
    potential hazards of online life, such as exposure to inappropriate content or security of personal
    information (10 percent).

  • Relevance: 19 percent of non-adopters, or 15 million adults, said they do not have broadband
    because they say that the Internet is a waste of time, there is no online content of interest to them
    or, for dial-up users, they are content with their current service.

The survey also found that non-adopters usually have more than one barrier that keeps them from having
broadband service at home. Over half of non-adopters, when selecting from a menu of possible barriers to
adoption, chose three or more. For example, more than half of non-adopters who cited cost also listed
reasons relating to digital literacy or relevance.

The full study is online.

IBM Partners with BLADE Network Technologies in FCoE

BLADE Network Technologies introduced an integrated Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) solution inside a blade chassis. This single-chassis FCoE solution is based on IBM BladeCenter H equipped with BLADE's BNT Virtual Fabric 10G Switch Module and QLogic Virtual Fabric Extension Module and Converged Network Adapters.

BLADE's FCoE-ready switch is a key element of the company's Unified FabricArchitecture (UFA). The goal is to tie together best-of-breed servers, storage, hypervisors and core networking systems into a virtual machine aware data center networking platform.

The new solution converts CEE (Converged Enhanced Ethernet) packets to native Fibre Channel, so IBM BladeCenter customers can directly attach to their existing storage targets without any impact to their SAN infrastructure. The lossless, low-latency, low-power and low-cost BLADE switch performs at 10G line-rate throughput with no packet loss as required by Fibre FCoE and the CEE standards for open unified networking.

BLADE Network Technologies calculates that its integrated FCoE solution is 3x less expensive, 2x more energy efficient and requires no cabling between the switch and the gateway compared with external top-of-rack gateway designs. This switch for IBM BladeCenter consumes less power than a standard light bulb -- up to 75 percent less than external switches -- and supports BLADE's VMready software for Virtual Machine-aware networking.

Alcatel-Lucent Cites Market Gains in IP Service Provider Routers

Alcatel-Lucent gained almost five percentage points of market share in 2009, solidifying its number two position in the "edge" segment with over 20 percent market share, according to figures from Dell'Oro Group cited by the company. Alcatel-Lucent was also the only one of the three leading router vendors to gain share in the overall service provider router market, with an increase of almost four percentage points in 2009.

"The service provider edge is where operators define and deliver services for residential, mobile and business customers, making it a key focus for capital investment, despite the tough economic environment throughout 2009. This is the market opportunity that Alcatel-Lucent's service router portfolio is ideally suited to address, and the reason we've taken another five points of market share in the last year," said Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel-Lucent's IP Activities and head of carrier portfolio strategy. http://www.alcatel-lucent.comhttp://

Tata Communications Picks Tyco for TGN Gulf Cable

Tyco Telecommunications has been selected for the construction of the TGN Gulf cable system, a new state-of-the-art undersea network slated for completion during 2011. It will connect countries in the region to the rest of the world via the Tata Global Network (TGN).

Tata Communications' partners in the TGN Gulf project include Bahrain Internet Exchange in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Nawras of Oman, Qatar Telecom of Qatar, Mobily of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates. Tata Communications and its partners intend to build on this cable project as part of strategic relationships that will support the development of an extended portfolio of advanced telecommunications services such as Global Ethernet, MPLS based VPN, Managed Security, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and Global Telepresence.

The announcement was made at a gala event in Dubai hosted by Tata Communications and attended by representatives of the partners as well as Tyco Telecommunications. At the event, Tata Communications also unveiled plans to invest $200 million over the next two years for development of its operations in the Middle East,http://www.tatacommunications.comhttp://

RAYSPAN Shows Multi-band Antenna for LTE Devices

RAYSPAN introduced an LTE antenna solution that can support six or more bands operating from 698 MHz to 960 MHz in the low band and 1710-2170 MHz as well as 2.6 GHz in the high band without requiring any switching elements or matching circuits. The company describes its MTM-E as the smallest LTE antenna platform available, meeting the requirements for portable LTE devices such as mobile phones, laptops, USB dongles, wireless routers and wireless modems. Unlike competing 3D antennas designed for LTE, the MTM-E(TM) antenna is a simple 2D design in which copper artwork is printed directly on a device's printed circuit board (PCB) using standard PCB manufacturing techniques. It supports LTE, 3G, Bluetooth and GPS.

Juniper Licenses IBM Tivoli Netcool Software

Juniper Networks has agreed to license and integrate IBM's Tivoli Netcool service management software into its Junos Space application platform.

Juniper's new Junos Space Fault Suite, which is expected to be available in third-quarter 2010, will provide a turnkey fault and network management solution for enterprises and communication service providers.

IBM's Tivoli Netcool software allows customers to gain real-time, centralized monitoring and network discovery capabilities. The software helps service providers operate more effectively by gaining greater network intelligence and business insight into their networking infrastructures.

"Juniper Networks and IBM share a common vision on developing next-generation platforms that enable new services, new experiences and new business models," said Mike Harding, vice president and general manager of the Junos Space Business Unit at Juniper Networks. "Our combined solution enables customers to simplify network operations and rapidly scale services, which improves the resilience, economics and experience of their networking infrastructures."
  • Earlier this month, Juniper Networks announced a new business group called Junos Ready Software dedicated to creating and delivering an ecosystem of software and applications built on the Junos platform for Service Providers. The Junos Ready Software group will deliver Juniper and partner-built applications, all running on the Junos platform.

PC World: AT&T Wins in 3G Performance Test

AT&T's 3G network pumped out download speeds that were 67% faster than any other national wireless carrier in the latest testing, according to a new series of tests published by The report finds that AT&T's network has undergone a dramatic make-over in the last eight months since the previous test was conducted.

In the 13 cities tested, PC World found AT&T's average download speeds increased by more than 80%.

The AT&T network's reliability improved drastically as well: Last spring, PC World testers got a usable broadband connection with AT&T only 68% of the time. In the latest tests, testers connected to AT&T successfully in 94% of their attempts.

Verizon Wireless, which performed best all-around in last spring's 3G network testing, and Sprint, a close second, both continue to perform well, according to the recent study. The tests found that Sprint's network delivered download speeds nearly identical to those measured eight months ago in the 13 test cities, while Verizon's download speeds decreased by 8% on average.

PC World included T-Mobile in its tests for the first time this winter. Its download speeds were competitive with those of Sprint and Verizon in the tests in most major cities.

Throughout December and January, PC World's testing partner, Novarum Inc., tested the download speeds, upload speeds and network dependability of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon 3G networks from 20 locations in each of 13 U.S. cities. Using laptops running Ixia ixChariot testing software and smartphones running the Internet-based Extreme Labs mobile broadband performance test, Novarum performed more than 10,000 tests in total.

Ericsson Acquire LHS -- Billing & Customer Care

Ericsson has completed its acquisition of LHS, a billing and customer care software company based in Germany.

With the acquisition Ericsson combines its prepaid solutions with LHS postpaid offerings and provides a fully integrated convergent charging and billing solution for mobile and fixed operators. There are now 1 billion subscribers charged and billed using Ericsson and LHS solutions.

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.