Sunday, August 28, 2011

Orange Business Boosts Capacity in Latin America

Orange Business Services will increase the capacity of its Latin American network to accommodate customers' needs for expanding high-speed broadband services, including MPLS (IP VPN and Business VPN), International Ethernet Link and video services, such as Telepresence.

The new network ring, which will offer 10X the capacity of the current one, will connect Latin America to the East Coast of the United States via Brazil and to the West Coast of the United States via Chile (through Peru and Panama). The upgrade will enhance quality of service for customers with improved latency to the West Coast, while also supporting the growing capacity requirements from Asia-Pacific.

Dell Launches VMware vCloud Datacenter Service

Dell entered the enterprise cloud market with the launch of a VMware vCloud Datacenter Service that provides a seamless multi-tenant environment for running virtual systems. Specifically, Dell and VMware will provide Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) choice for customer organizations, hosting and outsourcing firms, system integrators and service providers. The service is currently in beta testing.

This is the first public and hybrid cloud offering by Dell. The company will also offer consulting, application and infrastructure services to help companies migrate to the cloud. Dell noted that it has one of the largest install bases of VMware customers and data center customers, making its entrance into cloud services a natural fit.

Dell Cloud with VMware vCloud Datacenter Services includes several options for customers:

Public - Dell Cloud with VMware vCloud Datacenter Service is an enterprise-class, secure offer of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IAAS) hosted in a secure Dell datacenter. This service provides access to vCPUs, memory, storage networks, IP addresses, firewalls, and catalog capabilities.

Private – Utilizing the same expertise, service and technology delivered in its own datacenters, Dell will build private clouds at either our customer's datacenter or Dell datacenters leveraging VMware offerings including VMware vSphere and VMware vCloud Director as well as Dell's vStart offering.

Hybrid - Dell and VMware provide a single source to substantially simplify the management of customers' physical and VMware vSphere-based virtual data center infrastructure adding flexibility to customer requirements. Utilizing VMware vCloud Connector, the hybrid cloud solution provides management of on- or off-premise private cloud and Dell's Public cloud offering.

MultiService Forum and GSMA Host VoLTE Testing

The MultiService Forum (MSF) is expecting a strong turn out of 25 leading companies for its upcoming Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Interoperability Testing Event, which will be held next month in Beijing and Dusseldorf. Acme Packet, Alcatel-Lucent, Codenomicon, D2 Technologies, EXFO, IPneo, Metaswitch, Samsung, Stoke, Traffix Systems and VSS Monitoring are participating in the event, joining event sponsors GENBAND, Huawei, ZTE, Alepo, Bridgewater Systems, Cisco and WiChorus, a Tellabs company.

Unlike other recent VoLTE events the MSF VoLTE interoperability event is not focused solely on UE interoperability, but in addition targets interoperability of EPC, PCC, and IMS core elements supplied by different vendors. Test scenarios include VoLTE basic interoperability, but also focus on global Roaming and Interconnection as specified by the GSMA.

NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) launched a new MSF initiative to develop conformance test cases for the LTE EPC interfaces. The goal of this initiative is to develop a suite of EPC test documents that can be utilized by third party labs or network operators to evaluate whether a given vendor's implementation of EPC interfaces conforms to the 3GPP specifications. NIST is looking to develop public safety conformance tests, as the basis for a future MSF IOT Event.

Also announced at the MSF Q3 Technical Committee Meeting in Denver was appointment of Jesus Trujillo Gomez, Technical Marketing Engineer of Cisco Systems to the Technical Committee Leadership Team.

"The success of VoLTE requires interoperability to simplify interconnect and roaming. The participants in the MSF's IOT event demonstrate the diverse nature of the players that will make up the VoLTE ecosystem, and represents a significant step towards practical, interoperable implementations of VoLTE," said Dan Warren, Senior Director of Technology, GSMA.

"The event will give operators the confidence that Voice over LTE is a foundation on which to build tomorrow's voice and rich communications services networks," said Kyu-Ouk Lee, Project Leader and Principal Researcher at Korea's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), and newly elected MSF President.
  • The MSF will host the VoLTE IOT 2011 Event in the Vodafone Centre for Test and Innovation in Dusseldorf and the China Mobile Research Institute Lab in Beijing in September 2011. The event is backed by the GSMA following the launch of its global VoLTE initiative in 2010, which is supported by more than 40 leading organisations in the mobile space.

Dell'Oro: Service Provider Market Up 26% in Q2

The worldwide service provider router market grew sharply by 26% in the second quarter of 2011 due to strong demand from the North American and Asia Pacific regions, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. The report points to mobile backhaul projects in the United States and fiber optic broadband initiatives in China as the underlying drivers of the market growth.

"Mobile backhaul has been a key market driver for several quarters, but this was the first quarter where we saw a substantial effect from the China broadband upgrade," said Shin Umeda, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group. "From a vendor perspective, Alcatel-Lucent jumped to an early lead in mobile backhaul, and Huawei is doing very well in its home China market, but we would expect Cisco and Juniper to pursue these opportunities as well," added Umeda.

Samsung Develops ChatON Communications Service

Samsung Electronics introduced a free mobile communication service that works across mobile platforms and allows users to communicate instantly with any mobile phone.

Samsung's ChatON mobile communication service lets all users join in, with text, images, hand-written notes and video shared instantly. Users can chat in groups, while a Web client will allow the easy sharing of content and conversations between mobile and PC. Samsung is releasing ChatON in more than 120 countries, supporting up to 62 languages. A basic functionality option is available for feature phone users who prefer simple and easy usage, allowing users to share text, pictures, calendar, contacts and emotions through an easy-to-access client.

Net Optics Introduces 10 Gbps Aggregation Switch

Net Optics introduced its Phantom HD high-throughput aggregation appliance for network monitoring. It supports 10 Gbps tunnel for aggregating traffic to monitoring tools.

The Phantom HD eliminates the need for a physical, wired connection between the monitoring and access layers and the instrumentation layer. This removes the physical proximity requirement for monitoring tools. Visibility into the virtual network allows raw network traffic to be transported from several remote locations to one central control site, then inspected and stored.

Net Optics said its Phantom HD can aggregate traffic of interest from multiple Phantom Virtual Taps (software Tap) at one location. Network managers can then view and inspect any traffic of interest (wired or virtual) from several remote offices in one central point.

Mellanox Debuts 64-port 10GbE Switch

Mellanox Technologies introduced a low-latency 64-port 10GbE switch delivered in a top-of-rack 1U form factor.

The SX1016, which is based on the company's SwitchX switch silicon ICs, delivers up to 1.28 Tbps of switching bandwidth, extreme port density and 1.8W per port power consumption.

It also features Data Center Bridging and management support of IPv6, with the ability to extend L2 and L3 features through future software upgrades.

The SX1016 supports reversed airflow adding flexibility for data centers with different thermal designs, and consists of redundant fans and PSUs for higher availability. The SX1016 is equipped with enhanced chassis management capabilities supporting Web UI, industry-standard CLI, and is supported by Mellanox Unified Fabric Manager (UFM), which provides extensive end-to-end fabric orchestration and monitoring capabilities for virtualizing and scaling out data centers.

Separately, Mellanox announced it has added Multiple Physical Function (MPF) capabilities to its ConnectX-3 10/40GbE adapters for VMware ESXi 5.0. MPF allows each port of the ConnectX-3 10/40GbE adapter to present itself as multiple, individual physical NICs and to assign different bandwidth and priority to each physical NIC for different traffic types or functionality such as management, storage, VMotion, networking, etc. Mellanox supports up to 4 virtual NICs per port.

Cisco Acquires Versly for MS Office Collaboration Plug-ins

Cisco has acquired privately-held Versly, a software developer based in San Francisco. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Versly integrates collaboration capabilities via a plug-in into Microsoft Office applications, simplifying the way people work by enabling more effective collaboration around content in documents, spreadsheets, presentations and email.

"Collaboration is a top priority at Cisco. With this acquisition we're enhancing our collaboration offerings and improving the user experience by integrating social technologies within the business applications individuals and teams use at work," said Murali Sitaram, vice president and general manager, Collaboration Software Group (CSG), Cisco. "Furthermore, the integration with Versly will drive productivity improvements for organizations and their knowledge workers, many of whom are among the 600 million Microsoft Office users."

  • Cisco's 2011 acquisitions include Axioss for service fulfillment software (August), newScale for Self-Service Portal Software (March), Inlet for Digital Media Processing (February 2011) and Pari Networks for Security Alert Compliance (January).

Juniper Adds Antivirus to Cloud Gateway

Juniper Networks has enhanced its vGW Virtual Gateway solution with virtualization-specific antivirus (AV) protections for continuous monitoring against malware and hackers. Added to vGW Virtual Gateway version 5.0 are increased protection, scalability and compliance features for virtualized workloads. vGW 5.0 integrates monitoring, firewall, intrusion detection and compliance capabilities with new layers of defenses including antivirus protection, hypervisor compliance monitoring, and large-scale virtualization security management capabilities, making it a universal threat management (UTM) solution for cloud computing.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Taiwan's Chunghwa Builds the "Digital Rainforest"

Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom reported Q2 2011 revenue of NT$54.42 billions, up 9.6% year-over-year, of which 41.1% was from the mobile business, 11.5% was from the internet business, 36.3% was from the domestic fixed business, 7.1% was from the international fixed business, and the remainder was from other services. Total operating costs and expenses increased by 12.3% to NT$39.01 billion and net income totaled NT$13.30 billion, representing a 2.8% increase.

Dr. Shyue-Ching Lu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chunghwa Telecom, said "Our desire to build on this top-line growth and leverage our reputation for innovative offerings and premium customer service led to the launch of our "Digital Rainforest" initiative during the second quarter. This initiative builds on the significant traction we have already gained from our inroads into the digital business ecosystem, and represents a cohesive strategy for integrating and reinvigorating our activities within this space. Key elements of "Digital Rainforest" include a cloud computing initiative called hicloud PaaS, a cutting edge broadband service, integrated service platforms, and domestic and international collaboration on reducing carbon emissions to promote sustainability. We are also implementing our new channel strategy by transforming our service centers to convey our new image as we embrace the cloud computing era. I am confident that this "Digital Rainforest" initiative will provide additional momentum to our growth going forward."

Some highlights for the quarter:

Total revenue for the mobile business amounted to NT$22.35 billion for the second quarter 2011, representing a year-on-year increase of 1.1%, mainly due to growth in mobile VAS revenue and handset sales relating to smartphone promotions, which offset the decline in mobile voice revenue. The decline in mobile voice revenue resulted primarily from the shift in pricing right for fixed to mobile calls from mobile to fixed operators.

Chunghwa's Internet business revenue increased by 3.4% year-over-year to NT$6.25 billion in the second quarter of 2011, mainly attributable to growth in the number of broadband subscribers and the migration of ADSL subscribers to fiber solutions.

For the second quarter of 2011, domestic fixed revenue totaled NT$19.78 billion, representing an increase of 14.1% year-over-year. Local revenues increased by 33.6% year-over-year, mainly due to the shift in pricing right for fixed to mobile calls. The 13.9% decline in Domestic Long Distance ("DLD") revenues was due to mobile and Voice over Internet Protocol ("VOIP") substitution, as well as reflecting the mandated tariff reduction.

Broadband access revenue, including ADSL and Fiber to the x (FTTx), increased by 3% year-over-year to NT$5.14 billion. Although ADSL access revenue decreased as more ADSL subscribers migrated to fiber solutions and because of the mandated tariff reduction, the decrease was fully offset by growth in FTTx access revenue.

International fixed line revenue increased by 3.9% to NT$3.86 billion, primarily due to growth in international long distance service and international leased line revenue.

Other revenue grew by 369.3%, primarily due to the increase in construction revenue from the company's property development subsidiary.

CAPEX for Q2 amounted to NT$5.54 billion, a 7.6% year-over-year increase. Of the NT$5.54 billion CAPEX figure, 57.1% was used for the domestic fixed communications business, 21.0% was for the mobile business, 14.3% was for the Internet business, 5.9% was for the international fixed communications business, and the remainder was for other uses.

As of June 30, FTTx subscribers had reached 2.2 million, accounting for 49.7% of total broadband users. This year, the Company is continuing to execute on its strategy to encourage FTTx migration. On June 22, the Company further reduced its broadband service tariffs, especially for speeds of 20Mbps and 50Mbps to stimulate the momentum of migration and subscription. The initiative has been very well received.
HiNet broadband subscribers totaled 3.63 million at the end of June 2011, a year-over-year rise of 2.2%.

As of June 30, 2011, Chunghwa had 9.86 million mobile subscribers, an increase of 4.4% compared to 9.45 million at the end of June 2010.

As of June 30, 2011, the company had 1.15 million mobile internet subscribers, demonstrating strong growth momentum compared to 809 thousand subscribers as of December 2010. As a result, the Company has set a new year-end mobile internet subscriber target of1.4 million.

Chunghwa Telecom now has 17,000 WiFi APs providing 3G offload. The company expects to have 21,000 APs by year end.

Smartphones now represent 40% of handset sales in Taiwan by CHT, up from 25% last year.

Mobile VAS revenue for the second quarter of 2011 rose 42% year-over-year to NT$3.77 billion, with mobile Internet revenue increasing 87.2% year-over-year, making it the largest contributor to VAS revenue.

As of August 26, 2011, Chunghwa's Multimedia-on-demand (MOD) subscriber number reached over 930,000.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

IBM Offers Tools to Connect and Secure Public and Private Clouds

IBM introduced a hybrid cloud solution to help enterprise customers gain greater visibility, control and automation into their assets and computing environments, including public and private clouds. The new SmartCloud tools, which leverage technology from IBM's recent acquisition of Cast Iron, provide:

Control and Management Resources: The new capabilities will define policies, quotas, limits, monitoring and performance rules for the public cloud in the same way as on-premise resources. This allows users to access public cloud resources through a single-service catalog -- enabling IT staff to govern the access and the usage of this information in a simplified, efficient and secure way.

Security: IBM enables better control of users' access by synching the user directories of on-premise and cloud applications. The automated synchronization means users will be able to gain entry to the information they are authorized to access.

Application Integration: Using a simplified "configuration, not coding" approach to application integration, the software combines the power of native connectivity with industry leading applications to provide best-practices for rapid and repeatable project success.

Dynamic Provisioning: IBM's monitoring, provisioning and integration capabilities allow its hybrid cloud to support "cloud bursting," which is the dynamic relocation of workloads from private environments to public clouds during peak times. IBM's technical and business policies control this sophisticated data integration.

WP: Virginia Sees Continued Growth in Data Centers

New data centers continue to pop up in Loudoun County, Virginia, which now has about 40 data centers comprising roughly 4 million square feet of space -- equivalent to 22 Wal-Mart Supercenters -- according to The Washington Post. Equinix plans to build its 10th data center in the area.
Other big data center projects include Raging Wire, Sabey Data Center Properties, and Carpathia.

Huawei Promotes LTE TDD Router as Alternative to Fixed Broadband

Saudi Arabian operator Mobily will be the first carrier to offer Huawei's LTE TDD wireless broadband router beginning in October. The unit is designed to serve as a home media and information gateway offering bandwidth rates comparable to fixed broadband. The Huawei B593 supports LTE TDD and FDD, features a download speed of up to 100M and provides access to up to 32 WiFi devices as well as desktop computers through an Ethernet cable.

Hu Guangping, head of Mobile Broadband LTE division, Huawei Device, said, "The Huawei B593 provides bandwidth comparable with that of fixed broadband. In addition to the obvious benefits this brings consumers, operators now have the ability to provide superfast Internet access without the need for fixed network infrastructure. This enables operators to expand their subscriber base in a more flexible and cost-effective way.

PCCW (Hong Kong) and FPT (Vietnam) Interconnect Ethernet Networks

PCCW Global and FPT Telecom, Vietnam's leading telecommunications services provider, have interconnected their Ethernet networks for improved international network coverage and service availability. The carriers established MPLS interconnectivity in 2008. Enterprise customers can now get MPLS VPN and Switched Ethernet with different classes of service (CoS).

Pandora Delivers 1.8 Billion Hours of Streaming Music in Latest Quarter

In its newly released quarterly financial report, Pandora reported total listener hours of approximately 1.8 billion for the second quarter fiscal 2012, an increase of 125% compared to approximately 0.8 billion for the second quarter fiscal 2011. Estimated share of total U.S. radio listening at the end of the second fiscal quarter was 3.6%, up from 1.8% a year prior.

Politico: FCC to Investigate Earthquake Impact on Cell Network Performance

The FCC is likely to investigate the performance of mobile networks following this week's 5.9 magnitude earthquake in Virginia, according to Cell phone networks remained congested in the minutes and hours following the quake, with many people unable to reach 9-1-1 emergency services.

Big Switch Advances its OpenFlow Platform

Big Switch Networks, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, reached a significant milestone in its bid to build an open, fully-programmable enterprise switching platform based on Open Flow. The Big Switch Controller has now moved into private beta testing.

OpenFlow, a new network protocol pioneered at Stanford University that enables the path of network packets through a series of switches to be determined by software running on a separate server. This network control plane would managed virtualized switching elements in the network. Virtualized programmable network could open the door to various high-performance applications in campus or enterprise networks. The goal of OpenFlow is to enable networks to evolve more rapidly by giving owners and operators better control over their networks and the ability to optimize network behavior.

Big Switch Networks' Controller is based on OpenFlow and virtualizes the network in the enterprise data center, making it possible for an enterprise to overlay virtual networks on top of their physical devices. The company said its three tier architecture comprises:

1. Big Switch Networks' Controller – a software platform that implements the server side of the OpenFlow protocol, virtualizes the physical resources in the network and provides common components used across OpenFlow Applications

2. OpenFlow Applications – network control applications built on an the Controller's open API that represent a tenant's software-defined devices and features, e.g. virtual switches, virtual firewalls or connectors to server virtualization software

3. Switch Vendors' OpenFlow-Enabled Switches – Ethernet switches, both physical and hypervisor-based, that represent the data plane of an OpenFlow architecture by implementing the client side of the OpenFlow protocol.

  • Big Switch is headed by Guido Appenzeller (Co-Founder and CEO), who previously was a Consulting Professor at Stanford University and Head of the Clean Slate Lab where he managed the OpenFlow standards effort and led the team that developed the OpenFlow reference implementation.

Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile Complete Mobile Video Call

Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile completed the first mobile broadband video call over a next-generation 4G LTE mobile network, connecting a fixed location and a car in Shanghai with Alcatel-Lucent offices in New Jersey.

The three-way, trans-Pacific call, which ran over Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio equipment, linked Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs headquarters in Murray Hill, New Jersey, the Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell demonstration center in Shanghai, and the "LTE Connected Car" demonstrator roaming in Shanghai and utilizing China Mobile's fourth-generation TD-LTE trial network.

The companies said the demonstration highlights the advances Alcatel-Lucent is making with lightRadio as well as the progress being made by China Mobile with its TD-LTE trial network.

"This call brings the global commercial reality of lightRadio even closer – and the ability to provide the increased performance and savings that can be made by implementing the technology within an operators' network," stated Wim Sweldens, President of Alcatel-Lucent's Wireless Division.

  • In June, Alcatel-Lucent completed the first long-distance, mobile video-call using its new lightRadio platform from the historic desk of Alexander Graham Bell. Chris Lewis, Group Vice President of industry analysts IDC, hosted the call from Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, connecting with Ben Verwaayen, Chief Executive of Alcatel-Lucent in Paris, and delegates at a business conference in Miami.

  • Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio represents a new architecture where the base station, typically located at the base of each cell site tower, is broken into its components elements and distributed through the antenna or the network for cloud-like processing. Additionally the various cell site tower antennas are combined and shrunk into a single small powerful, Bell Labs-pioneered multi frequency, multi standard (2G, 3G, LTE) device that can be mounted on poles, sides of buildings or anywhere else there is power and a broadband connection.

EXFO Enhances 10G and 40G Transport Test Modules

EXFO enhanced its Power Blazer Next-Generation Multiservice Test Modules and Transport Blazer 40/43 Gigabit SONET/SDH/OTN Test Modules with new multichannel testing capabilities that enable 10G/40G labs and network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) to speed up their verification processes. With these new test capabilities, it is now possible to simultaneously perform SDT measurements on multiple channels and to monitor in real time errors and alarms on all channels for SONET/SDH and OTN signals.

Verizon Acquires CloudSwitch

Verizon Communications has acquired CloudSwitch, a privately-held developer of tools for extending applications in a corporate data center into the public cloud. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CloudSwitch's software enables data loads to move into the cloud without changing the application or the infrastructure layer – eliminating a key barrier to widespread cloud adoption. CloudSwitch claims its solution also enables enterprise applications to remain tightly integrated and managed as if they are running locally.

Verizon plans to combine CloudSwitch with its Terremark IT services subsidiary, further accelerating the company's global cloud strategy by enhancing Verizon's hybrid-cloud and cloud-to-cloud capabilities.

"The cloud market is a rapidly growing opportunity, with very real benefits both for our business customers and the consumers they serve," said Bob Toohey, president of Verizon's global enterprise unit. "With the acquisition of CloudSwitch, Verizon has taken another step forward in defining the enterprise cloud."

John McEleney, CEO of CloudSwitch, said: "By joining Verizon, we will be able to deliver a solution that combines our software with the market-leading infrastructure cloud play. Our founding vision has always been to create a seamless and secure federation of cloud environments across enterprise data centers and global cloud services. Together, we will be able to provide enterprises with an unmatched level of flexibility, scalability and control in the cloud with point-and-click simplicity. This will go a long way in helping achieve widespread adoption of the cloud, especially when managing complex workloads."

CloudSwitch is based in Burlington, MA.

  • CloudSwitch was founded by Ellen Rubin and John Considine. Rubin previously was Vice President of Marketing at Netezza. Prior to Netezza, Ellen founded Manna, an Israeli and Boston-based developer of real-time personalization software. Considine previously was Director of the Platform Products Group at Sun Microsystems, where he was responsible for the 69xx virtualized block storage system, 53xx NAS products, the 5800 Object Archive system, as well as the next generation NAS portfolio.

  • Investors in CloudSwitch include Matrix Partners, Atlas Ventures and Commonwealth Capital Ventures.

  • Earlier this year, Verizon acquired Terremark, a global provider of managed IT infrastructure and cloud services, for $19.00 per share in cash, or a total equity value of $1.4 billion. At the time of the acquisition, Terremark, which is headquartered in Miami, operated 13 data centers in the U.S., Europe and Latin America (Miami, Dallas, Wash. D.C., Santa Clara, Bogota, Sao Paolo, Santo Domingo, Amsterdam, Brussels, Madrid and Istambul. It provides secure cloud computing, colocation, and managed hosting services. For its most recent quarter, Terremark reported revenue of $84.9 million, a 22% increase over the previous year.

    Prior to the deal, Verizon operated more than 220 data centers across 23 countries, including 19 premium centers and five smart centers.