Saturday, February 26, 2011

AT&T Launches Location-based Shopping Alerts with Placecast

AT&T will begin offering a location-based, opt-in shopping alert service that delivers special offers to consumers via their mobile phones when they are near a participating store or brand. The service works by creating a "geo-fence" – a virtual-perimeter around a retail location, event, or any geographic area – in order to deliver appropriate location-specific messages. Participating consumers receive relevant marketing messages when they are inside a geo-fence.

The service will initially be available to AT&T customers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco. Initial sponsors will be HP, Kmart, JetBlue, SC Johnson, Kibbles 'n Bits, Nature's Recipe and the National Milk Mustache "got milk?" Campaign.

AT&T is working with Placecast, a start-up based in San Francisco and New York, to launch the service.

The companies said that messages can be enhanced with information such as weather, traffic, and local shopping area details to more effectively engage consumers.

"We are proud to take mobile marketing into the future with this unique offering that is being embraced by consumers and brands alike," said Greg McCastle, senior vice president of AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions. "ShopAlerts by AT&T enables brands/advertisers to help link consumer engagement with activation and ultimately to the point of sale."

"Kmart has embraced technology to enhance our customer's experience and maintain our value proposition," said Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer of Kmart. "ShopAlerts allows us to deliver this value directly to our customers through innovative technology."
  • In May 2009, Alcatel-Lucent and 1020 Placecast, a start-up based in San Francisco specializing in location-based advertising, announced a partnership to launch a hosted location-based service for wireless network operators. As part of this service, 1020 Placecast leverages its unique ad engine to weave location information into highly relevant SMS or MMS messages delivered on an opt-in basis to mobile users. Alcatel-Lucent, leveraging its Geographic Messaging Services Platform (GMSP) as a hosted service, tracks opt-in subscribers' locations on behalf of the service provider and pushes mobile content to the subscriber when and where is appropriate - based on the advertising campaign developed and managed by the 1020 Placecast platform.

    Alcatel-Lucent's GMSP leverages algorithms developed at Bell Labs to create a "geo-fence" around a particular mobile user or physical location. This enables messages, promotions and ads to reach subscribers at the most appropriate time and place. When a mobile phone user crosses a given "fence," it triggers the delivery of an SMS text message or multimedia message that is relevant to that individual and that location, such as a promotion for a particular store, or the presence of a friend or associate in the area.

    The companies said their network service can support millions of subscribers tracked within millions of geo fences.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Golden Gate Capital Signs Acquisition Deal with Conexant

Gold Holdings, Inc., an affiliate of Golden Gate Capital, has signed a definitive merger agreement with Conexant Systems. Gold Holdings will purchase all of the outstanding shares of Conexant common stock at a price of $2.40 per share in cash. The transaction is expected to close in Q2 2011.

Golden Gate Capital manages more than $9 billion in capital and has completed over 13 going-private transactions in the technology sector since its inception in 2000. The firm is based in San Francisco.

Deutsche Telekom's 2010 Revenue Increases 0.4%

Deutsche Telekom's net revenue for 2010 increased by 0.4 percent to EUR 62.4 billion excluding the UK. The company turned an adjusted net profit of EUR 3.4 billion, on a par with the 2009 figure. Unadjusted for special factors, net profit stood at EUR 1.7 billion, a substantial increase from EUR 0.4 billion in the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA was EUR 19.5 billion in the financial year just ended, matching the forecast made at the start of 2010 (excluding the deconsolidated T-Mobile UK that accounted for around EUR 0.5 billion). At EUR 6.5 billion, free cash flow was considerably higher than the EUR 6.2 billion originally expected.

Deutsche Telekom asserted that business in its home market of Germany was strong, with mobile Internet, smartphones, broadband lines and IPTV as the growth drivers.

Some highlights:

Cash capex totaled EUR 8.6 billion, around 7 percent less than in 2009.

Deutsche Telekom also invested an additional EUR 1.3 billion in new spectrum acquired in the frequency auction in Germany.

In Germany, Total revenue from the German mobile communications business was almost 2 percent up year-on-year at EUR 2.1 billion in the fourth quarter. Service revenues increased to an even larger extent, by 3.4 percent. Excluding the effects from the reduction in termination charges, service revenues increased by around 5 percent. The share of smartphones sold rose sharply, accounting for 50 percent of all terminal devices sold in the fourth quarter. This is more than 20 percentage points higher than in the prior-year quarter. The fastest-growing group by some margin was devices with the Android operating system.

At EUR 25.1 billion, total revenue from the German business was just slightly down on the prior year by 1.1 percent. However, in the fourth quarter of 2010, total revenue increased by 0.6 percent to EUR 6.4 billion. For the full year 2010, adjusted EBITDA remained stable at the prior-year level and amounted to EUR 9.6 billion.

Revenue in the fixed-network segment decreased by just 0.7 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared with around 3 to 6 percent in the preceding quarters.

In Greece, the economic downturn continued in the financial year under review, which also affected OTE's business, with double-digit percentage declines in revenue and earnings in the fourth quarter.

The number of broadband customers in the Europe segment increased by 12 percent in 2010 to a total of 4.6 million. The number of users of IPTV rose by more than 50 percent to 654,000. In mobile communications, the proportion of new contracts with smartphones doubled to more than 30 percent in the fourth quarter.

T-Mobile USA served 33.73 million customers (as defined in Note 3 to the Selected Data, below) at the end of the fourth quarter of 2010, down from 33.76 million at the end of the third quarter of 2010 and 33.79 million at the end of the fourth quarter of 2009. In the fourth quarter of 2010, net customer losses were 23,000, compared to net additions of 137,000 in the third quarter of 2010 and 371,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009. Contract customers were the primary driver for the sequential and year-on-year change in net customers. Contract churn was 2.5% in the fourth quarter of 2010, up from 2.4% in the third quarter of 2010 and consistent with the fourth quarter of 2009.

T-Systems saw continued revenue growth and a clear improvement in earnings in the fourth quarter. Total revenue increased by 3.8 percent year-on-year, 9 percent of which was driven by international business. Revenue generated outside the Group climbed by almost 6 percent, primarily due to increased demand for cloud services and growth in the systems integration business. Total revenue increased by 2.9 percent year-on-year to EUR 9.1 billion in 2010.

KDDI Debuts First WiMAX Phone in Japan

KDDI and Okinawa Cellular Telephone announced the "htc EVO WiMAX ISW11HT" -- the first WiMAX compatible Android smartphone for Japan.

KDDI said the handset allows up to 40Mbps data downlink speed. It also has "Wi-Fi tethering" function to serve as a wireless LAN router. Up to eight wireless LAN compatible devices such as portable game players and note PCs can be connected to the Internet. With Android 2.2, it offers comfortable maneuvering and viewing of Flash web pages.

KDDI offers server pricing plans, including a packet flat rate plan. "+WiMAX" monthly usage fee of 525 yen (including tax) is charged in the month where customer used WiMAX.

China Mobile Adds 5.2 Million in January 2011

China Mobile continues its rapid growth with addition of 5,263,000 users in January 2011, bringing its total customer base to 589,280,000. This compares to 5,115,000 additions in January 2010 and 4,378,000 in December 2010.

Telefónica's Grows 7% in 2010, Reaches 288 Million

Telefónica's global revenues grew 7.1% in 2010 to 60,737 million euros (+9.9% in 4Q), driven by Latin America (+13.3%) and Europe (+12.7%) and the growing contribution of its mobile data business (close to 9,300 million euros, +19.3% year-on-year organic growth). The number of access lines (mobile and fixed) also grew by 7.2% and the company now has 287.6 million accesses worldwide. In 2010, the Company registered organic net adds of 19.2 million accesses. In Spain, despite the fierce competitive environment, net adds in the last year were six times the gains registered in 2009 in comparable terms.

The company credits its regional diversification: Telefónica Latinoamérica and Telefónica Europe (not including its home market of Spain) represent 68% of the Group's consolidated revenue and generate over 60% of consolidated OIBDA.

Some additional highlights:

Telefónica now has 22.2 million mobile broadband clients (+63.9%), and 17.1 million retail fixed broadband internet accesses (+27%). In addition, as a result of the Group's bundling strategy, 89% of the retail fixed broadband accesses in Spain, and 86% of broadband accesses in Latin America form part of a duo or trio package.

Mobile accesses at the Telefónica Group stood at 220.2 million at the end of 2010, a year-on-year growth of 8.9% (both in organic and reported terms). Organic net additions reached 18.2 million in 2010 (1.3 times those recorded in 2009). The focus on high-value customers has been reflected in a significant increase in contract net additions compared to 2009: 53% of organic net additions corresponded to this segment, compared to 38% in 2009. This has left a total of 69.0 million contract customers (+15.9% year-on-year in organic terms), which represents over 31% of the Group's total mobile accesses (+3 percentage points year-on-year organic).

The strong adoption of mobile broadband services, together with the launch of new and more segmented price schemes has allowed the Group to increase its number of mobile broadband accesses to more than 22.2 million by the end of 2010 (+63.9% year-on-year). This represents a penetration over the total mobile access base of 10.1%, 3.4 percentage points higher than at December 2009.

Retail fixed broadband accesses reached a total of 17.1 million (+27.0% year-on-year in reported terms, +10.9% organic). Net additions picked up in the fourth quarter to reach 422 thousand accesses. In 2010, net additions stood at 3.6 million accesses (1.5 million in organic terms). Brazil was once again the driver of the Group's growth in this type of access, with Telesp registering 681 thousand net additions, a record-high figure in the Company's history.

Bundled voice, broadband, and television services remain key to Group strategy and especially to churn control. In Spain, 89% of retail fixed broadband accesses are bundled as part of either a dual or triple play offer, while in Latin America the figure stands at 86%.

The number of pay-TV accesses stood at 2.8 million in 2010, an 8.9% increase in organic terms on December 2009 (+12.0% reported). Fixed telephony accesses totaled 41.4 million, down 2.7% year-on-year in organic terms, although the rate of decrease was slower in the fourth quarter than in previous periods. In reported terms, the number of accesses rose 1.8%.

The average number of employees in 2010 was 269,047 (13,896 employees more than at December 2009), mainly due to the larger workforce at Atento. Excluding Atento, Telefónica Group's average workforce rose 2% year-on-year to 128,012.

At the close of 2010, OIBDA stood at 25,777 million euros, with year-on-year growth of 14% and an OIBDA margin of 42.4%. Operating cash flow stood at 14,933 million euros for the year.

Telefónica invested over 10,800 million euros in 2010, including the spectrum and license acquisitions carried out in Germany and Mexico. In Spain, despite the difficult economic climate, the company increased its investment by 8.4% to 2,021 million euros, consolidating its solid leadership position in the market and its commitment to the country.

FBI Tracks Growing Internet Crime Wave

In 2010,

the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received the second-highest number of complaints since its inception in 2000 and also marked a major milestone in receiving its its two-millionth complaint. On average,
IC3 receives and processes 25,000 complaints per month.

The most common victim complaints in 2010 were non-delivery of payment/merchandise,
scams impersonating the FBI (hereafter "FBI-related scams") and identity theft. Victims of these
crimes reported losing hundreds of millions of dollars. Of the 303,809 complaints received in 2010, IC3 referred 121,710 to law enforcement.

IC3 serves as a conduit for law enforcement to share information and pursue cases that often span jurisdictional boundaries. The 2010 report has just been posted online.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Verizon's Instant Results" LTE Commercial

DOCOMO Rolls out Three Mobile Devices for New BeeTV

NTT DOCOMO introduced three mobile devices:

The MEDIAS N-04C is the world's thinnest 3G smartphone, measuring just 7.7 mm, and weighs only 105 grams. It is equipped for popular services such as mobile wallet (Osaifu-Keitai) and One-Seg mobile digital terrestrial television, convenient infrared-based data exchange, etc.

The Xperia arc SO-01C is powered by Android 2.3 and will achieve a maximum downlink of 14 Mbps. It is the first handset compatible with DOCOMO's enhanced extra-high-speed downlink service, which is set to launch in HSDPA service areas this June.

The Optimus Pad L-06C is powered by the Android 3.0 operating system for tablet PCs. The model, which only weighs 620 grams, features a high-resolution 8.9-inch display and dynamic stereo speakers for "mobile-theater" experiences.

All three models are compatible with the BeeTV video distribution service for Android smartphones that will launch on March 24.

SandForce Debuts 2nd Gen SSD Processors

SandForce, a start-up based in Milpitas, California, released its second-generation SF-2200 and SF-2100 SSD Processors optimized for SSDs deployed in client computing applications.

The SandForce SF-2200 processors feature a 6 Gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) SATA host interface, a sustained sequential read/write performance of up to 500 Megabytes per second (MB/s), and its "DuraClass" technology. The SF-2100 processors feature a 3 Gb/s SATA host interface, read/write performance up to 250 MB/s, and the same DuraClass Technology.
  • In September 2010, Sandforce raised $25 million in Series D funding for its SSD (Solid State Drive) processors. SandForce's chips are designed to overcome data retention issues associated with NAND flash memory, making it possible to build SSDs that deliver unprecedented performance over the life of the drive with orders-of-magnitude higher reliability than enterprise-class HDDs (Hard Disk Drives). The new funding was led by Canaan Partners. Existing investors who also participated include DCM, Storm Ventures, Translink Capital, LSI Corporation & UMC Capital.

MetroPCS Reaches 8.1 Million Users

MetroPCS Communications ended 2010 with over 8.1 million subscribers. The Company reported full year net income of $193 million, or $0.54 per common share, which includes approximately $59 million in net charges and gains recognized on FCC license exchanges consummated during the year.

On a non-GAAP basis, excluding the loss on extinguishment of debt and gains on FCC license exchanges, net income would have been $252 million, or $0.70 per common share.

"We generated record full year net subscriber additions of over 1.5 million during 2010 and full year consolidated Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $1.18 billion; also a record for the Company. Introduced at the beginning of 2010, adoption of our Wireless for All service plans primarily drove these record results and also contributed to a 190bps decline in full year churn to 3.6%. Our focus on execution, combined with the success of our Wireless for All initiatives, drove approximately 23% year over year subscriber growth and 23% year over year consolidated Adjusted EBITDA growth. Importantly, over the past five years, we have generated impressive results with a CAGR of 29% subscriber growth and 31% Consolidated Adjusted EBITDA growth, both significant accomplishments for a wireless company," said Roger D. Linquist, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MetroPCS.

Chunghwa Telecom and Alcatel-Lucent for GPON

Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan's largest telecommunications provider, has selected Alcatel-Lucent to build the country's first GPON. Commercial operation of the initial phase of Chunghwa's GPON network is set to commence by Q3 of 2011.

Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its 7342 Intelligent Services Access Manager Fiber-to-the-User (ISAM FTTU) for the delivery of ultra-high-speed services to both residential and business users. The GPON platform will be complemented by the Alcatel-Lucent 5520 Access Management System (AMS) – Alcatel-Lucent's next-generation element management system that covers the entire ISAM product portfolio, encompassing DSL as well as fiber-based access. Alcatel-Lucent will also provide its professional services expertise – including software integration, as well as network management system installation and commissioning.

Taiwan's Chunghwa Grows 2.1% for 2010

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom's total consolidated revenue for the full year 2010 increased by 2.1% year-over-year to NT$202.49 billion, of which 44.0% was from the mobile business, 12.1% was from the Internet business, 34.9% was from the domestic fixed business, 7.7% was from the international fixed business, and the remainder was from others. Despite the National Communications Commission (NCC) tariff reduction that became effective from April 1, 2010, Chunghwa maintained its growth pattern, due mainly to an increase in mobile VAS, handset sales and internet services.

For the mobile business, total revenue for 2010 amounted to NT$89.04 billion, representing a year-on-year increase of 2.9%, which was mainly due to growth in mobile VAS revenue relating to smartphone promotions and handset sales.

Chunghwa's Internet business revenue increased by 3.5% year-over-year to NT$24.48 billion in 2010, mainly attributable to growth in the number of broadband subscribers and the migration of ADSL subscribers to fiber solutions.

For 2010, domestic fixed revenue totaled NT$70.69 billion, representing a decrease of 1.1% year-over-year. Local and Domestic Long Distance (DLD) revenues decreased by 2.9% to NT$32.25 billion and 10.2% to NT$6.65 billion year-over-year, respectively. The decrease in local revenue was mainly due to mobile and VOIP substitution. The decrease in DLD revenue was also a result of mobile and VOIP substitution, as well as reflecting the mandated tariff reduction.

Broadband access revenue, including ADSL and FTTx, increased by 2.1% year-over-year to NT$20.32 billion. Although ADSL access revenue decreased as more ADSL subscribers migrated to fiber solutions, the decrease was fully offset by growth in FTTx access revenue.

International fixed revenue increased by 2.6% to NT$15.64 billion, primarily due to growth in leased line revenue.

France Telecom-Orange Reaches 209.6 Million Users

France Telecom-Orange was serving 209.6 million mobile and fixed access lines as of the end of 2010, up by 6% for the year. Consolidated revenues rose 0.6% in 2010, excluding regulatory effects, to 45.503
billion euros, with a second-half increase of 1.2% driven by all countries.

In its home market, the company captured an estimated 36% share of 4th quarter net additions in the ADSL market; and in mobile, its customer market share was 46.6%. However, margins slid -0.9 percentage points, reaching 34.4%, with a total restated EBITDA of 15.642 billion euros.

The company said it achieved many of its goals for 2010 as net debt was reduced, social factors inside the company were ameliorated, and the company's international presence was strengthened despite the turbulent economy.

France Telecom noted its recent alliance with Deutsche Telekom, saying it was looking at possible network sharing, a joint Wi-Fi network for offloading mobile traffic, and other project of joint interest. In a webcast conference, company executives also discussed an increased FTTH push in France as well as LTE rollout after mid-year 2012.

"The Group's strong performance in 2010 signals we are on the right track with our new business plan
Conquests 2015. Thanks to the collective commitment of all our colleagues we have restored both energy and
ambition to our commercial offering while also meeting all our financial objectives.
"For example in France our quadruple play offer, Open, met with great success and as a result our share of
new ADSL subscriber wins," stated France Telecom CEO Stéphane Richard.

Some highlights:

  • Mobile services customers reached 150.4 million at 31 December 2010 (excluding MVNO customers), for year on-year growth of 9.1% and 12.5 million net additions in the period. The majority of this growth was in Africa
    and the Middle East, where total customers reached 59.0 million at 31 December 2010, up 23.1% year on year
    (+11.1 million net additions). France added 595,000 customers, reaching 26.9 million customers at 31
    December 2010, a 2.3% increase. The customer base in Poland grew significantly, with 618,000 additional
    customers in 2010, and Armenia continued to grow rapidly, with 403,000 additional customers for the year.
    The Group added 3.2 million contract customers, bringing the total to 51.2 million with year-on-year growth of
    6.6%, led by the success of smartphones.

  • Fixed broadband services customers totaled 13.7 million at 31 December 2010, for a year-on-year increase of 3.4%
    and 455,000 additional customers, of which 274,000 in France and 188,000 in Africa and the Middle East (Egypt,
    Tunisia, Jordan and Senegal). The share of net additions in France grew significantly for the second consecutive
    4 New operations in Africa: Kenya, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Central African Republic and Uganda.
    6 quarter thanks to new offers and strengthened sales activities, with an estimated 36.0% share in the 4th quarter
    versus 28.2% in the 3rd quarter.

  • Digital TV (IPTV and satellite) customer increased notably, with 4.1 million subscribers in Europe at 31 December 2010, a 28% increase (902,000 additional customers), primarily in France and Poland.

  • Revenues in France rose 0.8% in 2010, with the second half (+1.3%) marked by very strong sales of mobile
    services (+6.9%) led by data services and handset sales, and the rebound of ADSL continuing in the 4th
    quarter, with the share of net additions improving significantly for the second consecutive quarter to an
    estimated 36.0%, after reaching 28.2% in the 3rd quarter;

  • in Spain, the improvement seen in the previous quarters continued, producing annual growth of 2.8%, due to
    steady growth in mobile services (+3.6% for the year) and improvement in fixed services sales, which were up
    1.9% in the 2nd half;

  • in Poland, the success of segmented offers in mobile services resulted in renewed growth of the customer base
    (+4.5% at 31 December 2010) and a 4.3% increase in revenues in the second half ;

  • in the Rest of World segment, Africa and the Middle East (excluding Egypt) showed continued strong growth at
    +8.8% for the year, with new operations in Africa4 up sharply (+37%); Europe rose 0.9% for the year on continued
    strong growth in Belgium (+5.6%), while Romania showed improvement (-7.8%) after the sharp downturn in the
    previous year (-16.7%);

  • the Business segment's downturn in revenues was limited to 3.6% in the 2nd half on improved services sales
    (deployment of service platforms and solutions) and the rebound in network equipment sales.

Intel's Thunderbolt offers Two 10 Gbps Bi-Directional Channels

Intel unveiled its Thunderbolt, a new high-speed PC connection technology that is featured on Apple's new line of MacBook Pro notebooks and a coming wave of higher performance peripherals.

Thunderbolt (formerly codenamed Light Peak) combines high-speed data transfer and HD video connections over a single cable. Thunderbolt uses two communications protocols -- PCI Express for data transfer and DisplayPort for displays. It can support two 10 Gbps bi-directional channels for a total throughput of 40 Gbps.

DisplayPort can drive greater than 1080p resolution displays and up to eight channels of audio simultaneously. Thunderbolt technology is compatible with existing DisplayPort displays and adapters. All Thunderbolt technology devices share a common connector and can be daisy chained.

Initially, Thunderbolt uses copper cables with a reach of 3 meters. It provides up to 10W of power. Intel also plans to introduce fiber-based Thunderbolt connectors, and these are expected to support distances of tens-of-meters.

Unlike with USB, Thunderbold is a proprietary technology and Intel is the only silicon vendor supplying the controller chip for Thunberbolt. Intel said it will continue to support USB 3.0, which offers peak connection speeds of 4.8 Gbps. Thunderbolt is expected to appeal to HD media enthusiasts.

Intel said it expects a range of Thunderbolt technology-enabled products will come to market, including computers, displays, storage devices, audio/video devices, cameras, docking stations, etc. Companies that announced Thunderbolt technology-based products are Aja, Apogee, Avid, Blackmagic, LaCie, Promise, and Western Digital.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

CTIA WIRELESS 2012 Show Set for New Orleans on May 8 - 10

The International CTIA WIRELESS 2012 show has been booked for May 8 – 10 in New Orleans, Louisiana. This year's event, which is expected to host 40,000 attendees, is slated for March 22-24, 2011 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

Broadcom Debuts First Dual-Port 10GBASE-T Adapter with Full Offload

Broadcom unveiled the first dual-port 10GBASE-T adapter with full offload capabilities. The PCI Express adapter supports both networking and storage traffic over a single 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) connection.

Based on Broadcom's proven BCM57712 MAC and BCM84823 PHY components, the new 10GBASET adapter is the first technology to bring full offload capabilities to 10GbE and the first to integrate TCP/IP and iSCSI offload on a 10GBASE-T medium. Tight integration between the MAC and PHY layers and end-to-end interaction between the server and switch provides optimized performance and flexibility.

Huawei Prevails in IPR Case Against NSN

The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued a preliminary injunction in favor of Huawei that prevents Motorola from transferring Huawei's confidential information to Nokia Siemens Networks. The order also requires Motorola to hire a qualified third party to ensure Huawei's confidential information is securely removed, and also allows Huawei to audit NSN's record of service it performs on Motorola-branded system that include Huawei products.

Huawei said its is pleased with the court's decision and that this legal episode gives it confidence to increase its investments in the U.S.

France Telecom Confirms Stephane Richard As Chairman and CEO

The Board of Directors of France Telecom formally confirmed Stephane Richard to the role of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 March 2011. He replaces Didier Lombard, who has served in these roles since 2005.

Stéphane Richard, 48, graduated from Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales and Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA). In January 2003, Stéphane Richard was appointed as Executive Vice President of Veolia Environnement and Chief Executive Officer of Veolia Transport. From May 2007 to June 2009, Stéphane Richard was Chief of Staff for the French Minister for the Economy, Industry and Employment. Until 2007, he was a board member at France Télécom SA, UGC SA and Nexity SA.

Juniper's QFabric Scales the Data Center

Juniper Networks unveiled its QFabric architecture for collapsing multilayer data center infrastructure into a single, any-to-any fabric that unifies networking, storage and cloud computing resources.

QFabric, which is the result of the company's three-year, $100 million "Project Stratus," is composed of three components that create a high-performance, low latency fabric. The QF/Node acts as the distributed decision engine of the fabric; the QF/Interconnect is the high speed transport device; and the QF/Director delivers a common window, controlling all devices as one. The architecture breaks new grounds in its data plane, control plane and management structure. It also leverages custom 40nm ASICs to achieve extremely low latencies.

Initially, QFabric scales to 6,000 network nodes, allowing any network interface within the network to connect to any other interface in a single hop. Juniper achieves this 6,000 port switching fabric by decoupling the line cards on the central fabric and moving them out into the network using dual-homed fiber connections. The entire 6,000 node network is a single switch and can be managed as such.

Juniper believes that collapsing the traditional three-layer network down to a single, high-performance layer, will deliver exponential improvements in data center speed, scale and efficiency. The company calculates that the QFabric architecture is up to ten times faster, uses 77 percent less power, requires 27 percent fewer networking devices, occupies 90 percent less data center floor space, and delivers a nine fold reduction in operating resources than the nearest competitive offering.

"Data center compute and storage technologies have advanced over the last decade, and the legacy approach to networking has not kept pace," said Kevin Johnson, CEO of Juniper Networks. "As cloud computing and the mobile internet accelerate, demand is intensifying for a quantum leap forward in data center capabilities. With QFabric, Juniper is transforming data center economics by introducing the only network fabric that is able to eliminate multiple layers of cost and complexity."

The first product in the QFabric set is a top-of-rack QFX3500 switch, which is now commercially available. It is also capable of operating as a stand-alone 64-port 10Gigabit Ethernet switch with FCoE and Fiber Channel gateway functionality. The QFX3500 offers the fastest unicast and multicast performance in the industry. The QF/Interconnect and QF/Director will be available for order in Q3.

The New York Stock Exchange has committed to teh QFabric architecture.

Additional Juniper partners include IBM, NetApp, CA Technologies and VMware.
  • In May 2010, Juniper Networks outlined its new "3-2-1" data center network architecture aimed at improving latency, increasing density, boosting security, lowering power requirement and simplifying management. Juniper outlined a plan to leverage a "Virtual Chassis" fabric technology to reduce from three to two layers, and then collapse to one layer via Juniper's "Project Stratus" fabric in the future. Data centers typically have access, aggregation and core switching layers. Juniper currently collapses the aggregation and core layers into a single switch. The Virtual Chassis creates a single, logical switching fabric across multiple racks in the data center, so that a pool of compute resources can be more effectively virtualized. Juniper estimates that its Virtual Chassis will let administrators move virtual machines between 10x faster than current approaches. Ultimately, Juniper's Project Stratus seeks to collapse data center switching into a single, logical layer linking potentially thousands of servers.