Tuesday, March 2, 2010

ADVA Optical Posts Q4 Revenues of EUR 60M, Topping Expectations

ADVA Optical Networking reported Q4 2009 revenues of EUR 59.6 million, up from EUR 56.8 million in Q4 2008 and EUR 58.1 million in Q3 2009, and slightly above guidance of between EUR 54 million and EUR 59 million. IFRS pro forma operating income, excluding special charges, amounted to EUR 3.1 million in Q4 2009 or 5.2% of revenues, also above guidance of between -1% and +4% of revenues. This compares to a Q4 2008 IFRS pro forma operating income of EUR 0.1 million or 0.1% of revenues, and to Q3 2009 IFRS pro forma operating income of EUR 2.0 million or 3.4% of revenues. The IFRS operating income in Q4 2009 was EUR 2.1 million, after an operating loss of EUR 0.5 million in Q4 2008.

"We are very pleased with our Q4 2009 revenues of EUR 59.6 million. This result slightly exceeds guidance and is up 2.6% vs. the previous quarter and up 4.8% vs. Q4 2008. Our pro forma gross margin increased from 41.8% in Q3 2009 to 45.4% in Q4 2009, principally due to variability of our customer and product mix. In line with strong revenue development, pro forma operating income in Q4 2009 is at 5.2% of revenues, also exceeding guidance," stated Jaswir Singh, chief financial officer & chief operating officer of ADVA Optical Networking.

In Q1 2010, ADVA expects revenues to range between EUR 57 million and EUR 62 million, and anticipates pro forma operating income of between 0% and 4% of revenues. http://www.advaoptical.com

IBM Researchers Create Nanophotonic Avalanche Photodetector

Researchers at IBM published details on a nanophotonic avalanche photodetector that leverages the "avalanche effect" in Germanium, a material currently used in production of microprocessor chips. Analogous to a snow avalanche on a steep mountain slope, an incoming light pulse initially frees just a few charge carriers which in turn free others until the original signal is amplified many times. Conventional avalanche photodetectors are not able to detect fast optical signals because the avalanche builds slowly.

IBM said its device can receive optical information signals at 40 Gbps and simultaneously multiply them tenfold. It operates with just a 1.5V voltage supply, 20 times smaller than previous demonstrations. Thus many of these tiny communication devices could potentially be powered by just a small AA-size battery, while traditional avalanche photodetectors require 20-30V power supplies.

"This invention brings the vision of on-chip optical interconnections much closer to reality," said Dr. T.C. Chen, vice president, Science and Technology, IBM Research. "With optical communications embedded into the processor chips, the prospect of building power-efficient computer systems with performance at the Exaflop level might not be a very distant future."

The report of this work, entitled "Reinventing Germanium Avalanche Photodetector for Nanophotonic On-chip Optical Interconnects," by Solomon Assefa, Fengnian Xia, and Yurii Vlasov of IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. is published in the March 2010 issue of the scientific journal Nature.

The Avalanche Photodetector achievement, which is the last in a series of prior reports from IBM Research, is the last piece of the puzzle that completes the development of the "nanophotonics toolbox" of devices necessary to build the on-chip interconnects.

  • In December 2006, IBM scientists demonstrated silicon nanophotonic delay line that was used to buffer over a byte of information encoded in optical pulses - a requirement for building optical buffers for on-chip optical communications.

  • In December 2007, IBM scientists announced the development of an ultra-compact silicon electro-optic modulator, which converts electrical signals into the light pulses, a prerequisite for enabling on-chip optical communications.

  • In March 2008, IBM scientists announced the world's tiniest nanophotonic switch for "directing traffic" in on-chip optical communications, ensuring that optical messages can be efficiently routed.

  • In December 2008, researchers at Intel announced the development of a silicon-based Avalanche Photodetector (APD) that could be used to provide high-capacity optical communications between processor cores. The APD is a light sensor that achieves superior sensitivity by detecting light and amplifying weak signals as light is directed onto silicon.

Facebook and Twitter Access via Mobile Browser Skyrockets

Over 30 percent of smartphone users accessed social networking sites via their mobile browser in January 2010, up 8.3 points from 22.5 percent one year ago, according to newly published figures from comScore. Access to Facebook via mobile browser grew 112 percent in the past year, while Twitter experienced a 347 percent jump.

"Social networking remains one of the most popular and fastest-growing behaviors on both the PC-based Internet and the mobile Web," said Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile. "Social media is a natural sweet spot for mobile since mobile devices are at the center of how people communicate with their circle of friends, whether by phone, text, email, or, increasingly, accessing social networking sites via a mobile browser."

Some interesting points in the comScore report:

  • In January 2010, 11.1 percent of all mobile phone users accessed a social networking site via mobile browser, an increase of 4.6 percentage points from the previous year.

  • In January 2010, 25.1 million mobile users accessed Facebook via their mobile browser, up 112 percent from the previous year. MySpace attracted 11.4 million users, approximately half that of Facebook, in January.

Open Identity Exchange to Issue Digital Credentials

A new Open Identity Exchange (OIX) has been established with the goal of building trust in the exchange of online identity credentials across public and private sectors.

With initial grants from the OpenID Foundation (OIDF) and Information Card Foundation (ICF), OIX has been approved as a trust framework provider by the United States Government to certify online identity management providers to U.S. federal standards for identity assurance.

Google, Paypal, and Equifax are the first three identity providers certified by OIX to issue digital identity credentials that will be accepted for privacy-protected registration and login at U.S. government websites. Verizon is currently in the certification process and is expected to be completed shortly.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the first government website accepting these credentials, including OpenID and Information Card logins.

"OpenID and Information Card technologies can solve the technical problem of using identity credentials across different websites, but can't solve the problem of how those credentials can be trusted at different levels of assurance. OIX is a solution to this problem not just for the U.S. government, but for many different governments, industry alliances, non-profit associations, telcos, academic networks, and others all over the world who need to establish trust across a wide online population," said Don Thibeau, OIDF Executive Director and OIX Board Chair.

Panda Security Collaborates on Shutdown of Massive Mariposa Botnet

The Mariposa botnet, a massive network of 13 million infected computers designed to steal sensitive information, has been shutdown and three suspected criminals accused of operating the botnet have been arrested by Spanish law enforcement.

According to IT security firms Panda Security and Defence Intelligence, Mariposa stole account information for social media sites and other online email services, usernames and passwords, banking credentials, and credit card data through infiltrating an estimated 12.7 million compromised personal, corporate, government and university IP addresses in more than 190 countries. The botnet was shutdown and rendered inactive on December 23rd, 2009 thanks to the collaborative effort of different security experts and law enforcement, including Panda Security, Defence Intelligence, the FBI and Spanish Guardia Civil.

"It would be easier for me to provide a list of the Fortune 1000 companies that weren't compromised, rather than the long list of those who were," stated Christopher Davis, CEO for Defence Intelligence, who first discovered the Mariposa botnet.

Highlights from Panda Security's preliminary analysis include:

  • Once infected by the Mariposa bot client, the botmaster installed different malware (advanced keyloggers, banking trojans like Zeus, remote access trojans, etc.) in order to gain additional functionality into the zombie PCs.

  • The botmaster made money by selling parts of the botnet, installing pay-per-install toolbars, selling stolen credentials for online services and using the stolen banking credentials and credit cards to make transactions to overseas mules.

  • The Mariposa botnet spread extremely effectively via P2P networks, USB drives, and MSN links.

An interesting note -- In an apparent act of retaliation, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack was initiated against Defence Intelligence shortly after the botnet was shut down in December. The attack was powerful enough to impact one large Internet Service Provider, many of whose customers were knocked offline for several hours.

A short description of the Mariposa botnet software can be found at http://www.pandasecurity.com/homeusers/security-info/217587/ButterflyBot.A.


Verizon Opens Medical Data Exchange

Seeking to accelerate the adoption of electronic health records, Verizon Business has launched an information technology platform that enables the digital sharing of physician-dictated patient notes.

The Verizon Medical Data Exchange provides a way for medical transcriptionists to share digitized patient notes detailing patients' care and treatment with doctors, hospitals and other health care providers.

Verizon Business developed the platform for the Medical Transcription Service Consortium under an agreement announced last November. (See related news release.) Founding consortium members MD-IT and MedQuist currently are using the platform. By August, when the Medical Data Exchange is expected to be in use by all of the consortium's members, 350,000-plus physicians, more than 2,700 clinics and nearly 2,500 hospitals will be supported.

Sandvine Cites New Service Provider Customers in EMEA

Sandvine has won six new service provider customers for its broadband network manager solution.

Three of the customers are DSL service providers, two are cable network operators and one is a mobile broadband service provider. Five of Sandvine's new customers come from the rapidly growing Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, and one from the Asia Pacific region.

Sumitomo and JDSU Demonstrate Error-Free 100GE Traffic Transmission

Sumitomo Electric Industries and JDSU have demonstrated error-free transmission using IEEE-compliant 100GE optics -- an important milestone for the feasibility of pluggable optics for 100GE. This achievement included transmitting and receiving Ethernet traffic at 100GE through a Sumitomo LR4 100GE CFP Multi-Source Agreement (CFP MSA) compliant optical module using the JDSU Optical Network Test instrument (ONT).

Equinix Earns LEED Certification for Silicon Valley Data Center

The Equinix SV2 International Business Exchange in Silicon Valley has earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The company conducted an expansion and green retrofit of the facility in mid-2009.

The retrofit, which included the installation of air-side economizers, fans incorporating variable frequency drives (VFDs) and LED light fixtures and occupancy sensors, has resulted in more than four million kWh in energy savings annually, and will pay for itself in under four years. http://www.equinix.com

DT Launches DeutschlandLAN Converged Enterprise Service

Deutsche Telekom launched a new converged service for enterprise customers in Germany, called DeutschlandLAN.

DeutschlandLAN is based on the Ericsson Business Communication Suite (BCS), which consists of IP telephony, mobility, collaboration and multimedia conferencing applications for smart phones, PCs and IP-based desktop phones. The IMS-compliant solution scales to serve 250,000 subscribers and can be extended if required.

Deutsche Telekom plans the commercial launch for April 2010.

RSA -- Cloud Computing to Turn the Way Security Is Delivered Inside Out

"Something is holding back the full realization of this cloud vision. And that - in a word - is security," stated Art Coviello, President of RSA, The Security Division of EMC, in a keynote address at the RSA Conference in San Francisco . "With 51% of CIOs* citing security as their greatest concern surrounding cloud computing, security has not kept pace with the evolution to the cloud reflected in today's increasingly virtualized and hyper-extended enterprises. We have severely diminished vision as a result and it shows. In short, people everywhere must be able to trust the cloud even if they literally and metaphorically can't see it."

Coviello outlined what RSA sees as the four, well-defined stages on the journey to the private cloud:

1. Initial adoption of virtualization to consolidate non-mission critical infrastructure, like test and development systems as well as low risk applications. It compels the enterprise to become adept with the tools of virtualization and to begin the process of "hardening" the virtual infrastructure.

2. Virtualize critical business applications and ensure the organization maintains the same level of visibility to the state of compliance in the virtual environment to the physical infrastructure.

3. Develop internal clouds and operate their information infrastructure as a utility consisting of a fully virtualized and automated data center where application workloads are policy- and service-level driven.

4. Outsource infrastructure to external service providers. This phase requires careful selection of service providers based on their demonstrated ability to "enforce policy, prove compliance and manage multi-tenancy."http://www.rsa.com

Skype Launches on Nokia Smartphones

Skype and Nokia jointly announced the release of Skype for Symbian.

A Skype client for Nokia smartphones based on the Symbian platform is now available for free in the Ovi store. This enables Nokia smartphone users worldwide to use Skype on the move, over either a WiFi or mobile data connection (GPRS, EDGE, 3G). It is now downloadable for free from the Ovi Store, Nokia's one-stop shop for mobile content.

Skype will soon introduce this client to Symbian mobile devices from other manufacturers, including Sony Ericsson.

"With Skype for Nokia smartphones, more than 200 million smartphone users worldwide** will be able to take the Skype features they love with them on the move. Alongside Skype's relationships with operators and handset manufacturers worldwide, making Skype available direct to consumers will help millions of users keep in contact with the people that are important to them without worrying about the cost, distance or whether they are away from a computer," stated Russ Shaw, General Manager, Mobile at Skype.

Microsoft Advances its End to End Trust Vision with U-Prove

Microsoft is continuing to develop its End to End Trust vision by releasing a community technology preview of its U-Prove technology. This enables online providers to better protect privacy and enhance security through the minimal disclosure of information in online transactions.

Microsoft is providing core portions of the U-Prove intellectual property under the Open Specification Promise, as well as releasing open source software development kits in C# and Java editions. Charney encouraged the industry, developers and IT professionals to develop identity solutions that help protect individual privacy.

The company also shared details about a new partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems in Berlin on an interoperability prototype project integrating U-Prove and the Microsoft identity platform with the German government's future use of electronic identity cards.

Microsoft also released Forefront Identity Manager 2010, a part of its Business Ready Security strategy. Forefront Identity Manager enables policy-based identity management across diverse environments, empowers business customers with self-service capabilities, and provides IT professionals with rich administrative tools.

In a keynote address at the RSA conference in San Francisco, Scott Charney, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group, explained how the company's vision for End to End Trust applies to cloud computing, detailed progress toward a claims-based identity metasystem, and called for public and private organizations alike to prevent and disrupt cybercrime.

In addition, Charney discussed Microsoft's Operation b49, a Microsoft-led initiative to neutralize the Waledac botnet, Charney stated that while focusing on security and privacy fundamentals and threat mitigation remains necessary, the industry needs to be more aggressive in blunting the impact of cybercriminals. Operation b49 is an example of how the private sector can get more creative in its collective approach to fighting criminals online.

Qatar Telecom Secures Capacity on Intelsat 15 to Expand International Services

Qatar Telecom (Qtel) signed a multi-year capacity contract on Intelsat's recently-launched Intelsat 15 satellite (IS-15), located at 85º E. Qtel will utilize the capacity to expand its international connectivity and provide a portfolio of services for its wholesale and enterprise customers in the Middle East.

Intelsat is now host the three leading telecommunications providers in the Middle East on its network.

IBM Extends its Security Initiatives

IBM outlined a number of new security initiatives saying its new approach will focus on securing critical services rather than on the past emphasis on securing network assets. The goal will be to deliver integrated service management - tools that provide can provide a "command center" view into a client's operations and potential areas of risk as infrastructure evolves to cloud computing.

As part of these initiatives, the company is launching the IBM Institute for Advanced Security to help clients, academics, partners and other businesses more easily understand, address and mitigate the issues associated with securing cyberspace. The Institute will collaborate with public and private sector officials in Washington, D.C., and provide access to a wide range of resources to help the government more efficiently and effectively secure and protect critical information threatened by increasingly malicious and costly cyber threats.

New IBM Security Solutions include:

  • IBM Secure Web Gateway Service 2.0 -- IBM X-Force research indicates a dramatic rise in the number and complexity of Web application attacks. This new service enables greater protection against Web-based threats and enforcement of corporate IT policies while lowering overall management costs.

  • IBM Managed Firewall Service and IBM Unified Threat Management Service -- this new bundled offering allows clients to use select Check Point firewall and unified threat management devices while receiving IBM Managed Security Services for those devices for a monthly fee. This provides clients increased levels of protection without the burden of upfront capital expenditures for the devices.

  • IBM Security Information and Event Manager 2.0 -- this updated software helps to reduce costs by automating enterprise log management and central management, reduce insider threats and protect integrity by monitoring and auditing privileged user activities, and facilitate compliance efforts and streamline management with compliance management modules.

  • IBM Security Content Analysis Software Development Kit (SDK) -- rapid growth of the Internet and the constant onslaught of spam requires advanced filtering technology that is expensive to develop and maintain. This new SDK provides developers with up-to-date filter database and accurate analysis -- along with an easy-to-implement application programming interface (API).

  • IBM AppScan Source Edition -- which can scan software source code and identify potential security and compliance vulnerabilities during the earliest stages of software development, when they are less expensive to correct.

  • IBM Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption - for secure collaboration and communication, IBM is announcing a new software product called IBM Lotus Protector for Mail Encryption. Available in April, it extends IBM's flagship messaging software, offering Lotus Notes' native e-mail encryption feature to include any address accessible on the Internet -- irrespective of e-mail system or client used by the recipient.

  • IBM Security Privileged Identity Management and Compliance Solution -- rising trend from attackers to use privileged user identities to gain access to core systems, increasing compliance mandates and high administrative costs all add to the difficulty of managing users and identities and blocking against internal and external threats. This combined solution provides threat prevention, identity management and meeting compliance needs through file integrity monitoring, separation of duties, role hierarchy, and intrusion prevention.

  • IBM z/OS V1.12 - With the latest release of z/OS, IBM helps clients promote improved operations, availability, manageability, and security through self-learning, self-managing, and self-optimization capabilities. z/OS security functions, such as data encryption, encryption key management, digital certificates, password synchronization, and centralized authentication and auditing, can be deployed as part of enterprise-wide security solutions and can help mitigate risk and reduce compliance costs.

Separately, IBM completed the acquisition of National Interest Security Company, LLC (NISC), a privately held company headquartered in Fairfax, VA. Financial terms were not disclosed. The business will be integrated into IBM Global Business Services, operating initially as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Vodafone Germany offers Ethernet Business Services with Alcatel-Lucent

Vodafone Germany has introduced new Ethernet services throughout Germany based on Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS platform. The services allow enterprise customers to connect multiple sites via Ethernet point-to-point or point-to-multipoint as an alternative to leased lines and IP VPNs.

Alcatel-Lucent provided a turnkey IP/MPLS solution including its 7x50 Service Routers and the 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM), as well as Customer Premise Equipment (CPE). In addition to supplying hardware, Alcatel-Lucent will provide a full range of professional services including network design, installation, integration, testing and system maintenance.

Cisco Outlines "Security Without Borders" Architecture

Cisco outlined its plans for a new enterprise network security architecture aimed at enabling business users to access information from any device and any location.

The Cisco Secure Borderless Network architecture focuses on four critical anchors: enterprise endpoints (mobile or fixed), the Internet edge, the data center, and policy that is context- and location-aware.

Key components of this architecture include the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility client, which is a little sliver of software that runs on every PC, laptop and mobile device. Its job is to make sure that every connection coming on or off a device is connected to a security-scanning element somewhere in the network. The solution is designed to provide automatic security gateway detection, trusted network detection, and a hghly secure application access for both managed and unmanaged devices.

Cisco is also expanding its "TrustSec" to provide businesses with identity and granular control over security policy. This is especially important as workforces are increasingly mobile and are using new forms of Web-based collaboration and communication, making traditional security approaches insufficient.

Future plans call for extending the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility solution to include hybrid enforcement delivered through the Cisco IronPort S-Series appliances and cloud-based security delivered through Cisco ScanSafe.

Alcatel-Lucent Names Stephen A. Carter as Chief Marketing Officer

Alcatel-Lucent announced today the appointment of Stephen A. Carter to the newly created position of Chief Marketing, Strategy & Communication Officer. He will also sit on the company's Management Committee.

Most recently, Stephen A. Carter served as the Minister in the UK Government for the Communications, Technology & Broadcasting Sector, where he was the author of the Digital Britain Report, and the follow on Digital Economy Bill.

EU Opens Consultation on Future of Universal Service

The European Commission has opened a public consultation on the future of Universal Services in the digital age.

Current EU rules on universal service obligations for telecoms date from 2002 and guarantee that Europeans have access to public telephone networks and to services like basic internet access.

The new consultation aims to see if these rules and definitions on universal service need to be updated for the digital age, and in particular if they should be extended to cover broadband access. The consultation will run until 7 May 2010.

Among the questions the consultation aims to address are: Should universal service principles help to reach the EU's goal of 'broadband for all', or would competition on the open telecoms market or other policy options be more effective? With regard to the Digital Divide, what is the right balance between a coordinated EU-wide response and the need for national flexibility? How should universal service be financed in the future?http://www.europa.euhttp://

Solera Networks Partners with EMC on Network Forensics Storage

Solera Networks, which specializes in network forensics, will resell a scalable storage area network solution from EMC.

Solera said its DS SAN solution, powered by EMC, breaks the single-system storage barrier by providing incident responders instant assess to the full detail of historical network activity in up to one petabyte of captured network data. Unlike competitive solutions, which require the use of multiple standalone systems to scale to the needs of modern networks, DS SAN simplifies and consolidates hardware deployments while reducing management costs. DS SAN is available immediately in configurations starting at 100 TB of capture storage for network speeds ranging from 100 Mbps through 10 Gbps.

The companies said enterprises need the ability to store network data in a single scalable location, with redundancy built in, without sacrificing instant access to that data. Network forensic tools can then be used to defend against unidentified, persistent threats to the network.