Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Symmetricom and Cavium Partner on IEEE 1588 Synchronization

Symmetricom and Cavium announced a collaboration for delivering synchronization for 3G and 4G/LTE equipment.

Symmetricom's SoftClock fully supports both the IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) standard as well as the Network Time Protocol (NTP) and has now been certified for operation on Cavium's OCTEON Fusion base station-on-a-chip products.

Dell'Oro: LTE RAN Sales up in Q3, NSN Gains Share

Sales of LTE radio access network equipment increased almost 3X in 3Q12 over a year earlier but this was not enough to offset lower carrier spending on 2G/3G gear, according to a recently published report from Dell'Oro Group.  The report finds that the total mobile RAN market declined 11 percent in 3Q12, and that Ericsson maintained its leadership position in LTE while Nokia Siemens Networks passed Alcatel-Lucent to become the number two LTE vendor.  Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent shared the third spot with approximately 15 percent of LTE RAN revenue shares respectively.

"This is the fourth straight quarter that total mobile RAN revenues have suffered double-digit declines year over year,” said Stefan Pongratz, analyst with Dell’Oro Group. “The good news is that we are seeing operators increasingly putting an emphasis on network coverage, performance, and quality, in the hope of differentiating their networks. They know that once they fall behind on LTE coverage/performance, it will become increasingly challenging to generate net adds. This is spurring LTE spending/commitments not only in the US, Japan, and Korea, but now also in Russia, Brazil, and even the UK and France,” continued Pongratz.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

GÉANT’s Brings High Capacity Network to Hungary

Hungary's Wigner Research Centre for Physics in Budapest will host CERN’s new remote data center and will process and store data from CERN for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).   The centre will be connected with multiple 100G links.

NIIF/Hungarnet, the Hungarian National Research and Education Network (NREN) has a central role to play in providing extreme high speed connectivity for data communication between the GÉANT Point of Presence in Budapest and the Wigner site hosting CERN’s remote centre.

In a joint statement, Matthew Scott and Niels Hersoug, joint General Managers of DANTE, the organisation which on behalf of Europe’s NRENs has built and operates the GÉANT network, said, “We’re delighted that CERN value the substantial benefits offered by the GÉANT network and services, and are continuing the long-standing and successful relationship that has seen GÉANT at the centre of the LHC data needs for many years. The Wigner data centre is exactly the kind of power user that the upgraded network will continue to support, and we look forward to working with all the partners involved to ensure the continued success of the LHC research.”

Extreme Debuts 100 & 40 GbE Modules for BlackDiamond

Extreme Networks introduced new 4 port 100GbE and 12 port 40GbE modules for its BlackDiamond X8 Open Fabric switch.

The new 100/40GbE XL modules, which are designed for highly virtualized multi-tenant cloud data centers, Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and data center core deployments, support up to a million routes, Virtual Machines (VMs) and flow entries in the network.   The modules support 100GbE & 40GbE with non-blocking, wire-speed performance of Layer 2/3 services,  Layer 2/3 ACLs and flow flexibility with support of 100G-SR (100m) and 100G-OR (10Km) optics, a boost in scale of tables supported via an upgraded TCAM, and fault tolerance and redundancy with N+1 power support.  

Customer trials of the 12-port 40 and 4 port 100GbE XL modules begin in CY'13.  NTE list pricing includes: 40GbE 12 port XL module at US $6,000.00 per port; 100GbE 4 port XL module at US $35,000 per port.

Extreme Networks also announced support of Big Switch Networks Software Defined Networking (SDN) applications providing progressive and centralized methods to achieve network monitoring and virtualize networks. Specifically, Extreme is supporting Big Switch's Big Tap for traffic monitoring and dynamic network visibility with flow filtering.  Extreme is also supporting the Big Virtual Switch application, which virtualizes the network by provisioning the physical network into multiple logical networks across the stack, from Layer 2 to 7.

Ciena Announces Another 100G Customer - CENIC

The Pacific Wave international network peering facility, which connects research and education (R&E) networks in 40 Pacific Rim countries, was recently upgraded with Ciena’s6500 Packet-Optical Platform and 100G interfaces.

The 100G backbone brings Pacific Wave in line with the recent Internet2 and the US Department of Energy (ESnet) 100G backbone upgrades.

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives (CENIC) and the Pacific Northwest Gigapop (PNWGP) operate the Pacific Wave facility, which is a distributed peering fabric with nodes in five locations in three cities: Los Angeles, Sunnyvale, and Seattle.

EMerge Alliance Sets Standard for Hybrid AC and DC in Data Centers

The EMerge Alliance, an open industry association developing standards leading to the rapid adoption of DC power distribution in commercial buildings, has completed its namesake standard for facilitating the hybrid use of AC and DC power within data centers and telecommunications central offices.

The EMerge Alliance Data/Telecom Standard creates an integrated, open platform for power, infrastructure, peripheral device and control applications using AC and DC power.  This change in power distribution architecture involves making a single conversion of the incoming line of AC voltage to 380VDC, and then distributing it directly to rack-mounted ICT equipment, simplifying the otherwise unnecessarily complex power management provisions generally used in today's AC-powered data centers.

"The benefits are clear. By requiring fewer components and conversions than their AC counterparts, DC power systems in data centers suffer fewer heat related failures and require less space, energy, and maintenance to operate," said Dennis Symanski, senior project manager at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and chair of the Alliance's technical standard committee. "DC power collection and distribution systems also simplify the use of locally generated power, providing an effective integration of on-site energy generation and storage with direct delivery of controlled power."

Stoke Introduces Wi-Fi eXchange Gateway

Stoke introduced a wireless offload gateway, the Wi-Fi eXchange, that provides mobile network operators with the traffic insight and steering capabilities for managing and monetizing Wi-Fi connected subscribers.

Stoke's Wi-Fi eXchange provides granular control over subscriber sessions, enabling mobile broadband operators to apply policy to route some sessions to the mobile core, while Internet bound sessions bypass core network elements.

The solution support multiple authentication specifications, including WFA Passpoint, and a range of connection protocols.  It is interoperable with WI-Fi equipment from Aruba, Ericsson/Belair, Cisco, Meraki and Ruckus as well as mobile core element (GGSN) vendors including Ericsson, Cisco, Huawei and Nokia Siemens. Multiple trials are underway worldwide.

Stoke said its Wi-Fi eXchange also opens the door for operators to capture revenues from advertising and other premium services.  

'We know from current engagements that seamless connections and monetization have now become a top priority for operators," said Dan McBride, Vice President of Marketing at Stoke. 'Their ultimate vision for Wi-Fi is to deliver the same experience and service over Wi-Fi as they do over the cellular network. Stoke's Wi-Fi eXchange makes this possible today, by providing standards-based solutions to congestion issues, user connectivity problems, and operators' need to control and monetize Wi-Fi traffic.  We leverage key principles from market-leading but not yet broadly implemented standards, meaning that operators can execute to their vision now, without waiting for upgrades or replacements to tens of millions of hotspots."

Cisco Posts Strong Quarterly Results- Sales +6%, Income + 18% YoY

Cisco reported net sales of $11.9 billion, net income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of $2.1 billion or $0.39 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $2.6 billion or $0.48 per share, for its first fiscal quarter ended October 27, 2012.

"We delivered record results this quarter -- with revenue growth of 6 percent and strong earnings per share growth -- demonstrating our vision and strategy are working," said John Chambers, chairman and chief executive officer, Cisco. "Our innovation engine, operational discipline and on-going evolution are enabling us to differentiate in the market. Cisco is at the center of the major market transitions -- cloud, mobility, video -- and yet we believe the largest market transition lies ahead of us, as the Internet of Everything becomes a reality."

Some highlights:

  • Revenue growth of 6% occurred in very challenging market conditions. The service business continues to grow at double digit rates. Sales to US enterprises grew 95, sales to U.S. service providers grew 13%, while sales to U.S. commercial sector was down 5%.
  • Cisco is making progress in becoming a major IT player and not just network equipment supplier
  • The government market is expected to remain challenging going forward. The telepresence business was down in the mid teens.  
  • Cisco believes it is well positioned for next gen data centers thanks to its ability to unify the physical and the virtual.
  • In Q1, product orders were flat YoY. Geographically: Americas +2%, Latin America +3%, led by Brazil at 24% and Mexico at 11%, Canada was down 12%; APAC was up 7%, India was up 50%, Japan grew in the mid single digits, and China was flat; EMEA declined 10%. 
  • Europe may get worse before it gets better.  There are signs of improvement in the U.S. market. APAC likely to remain fastest growing area.
  • Cash flows from operations were $2.5 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, compared with $2.3 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, and compared with $3.1 billion for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.
  • Cash and cash equivalents and investments were $45.0 billion at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2013, compared with $48.7 billion at the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.

Amazon Web Services Opens in Sydney

Amazon Web Services activated a new Asia Pacific (Sydney) Region to reduce latency to end-users based in Australia and New Zealand. Sydney joins Singapore and Tokyo as the third Region in Asia Pacific and as the ninth Region worldwide. The facility is delivering multiple services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS).

 Separately, Equinix announced the availability of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect to the Equinix SY3 International Business Exchange data center in Sydney.

Calient Adds OpenFlow to its Data Center Optical Switch

CALIENT Technologies will be releasing an application programming interface (API) for OpenFlow on its S320 optical circuit switch. This will allow the S320 to optimize high-capacity data flows at the optical layer and to function as part of an integrated packet-circuit switched software-defined network (SDN).

Calient's 320-port (full duplex) S320 is a MEMS-based optical switch that connects top-of-rack switches in a data center. The OpenFlow API runs on the S320’s MEMS Switching Module (MSM), a high-availability switching and control subsystem with redundant control processors and a Linux-based operating system.

Calient said an OpenFlow controller can reconfigure S320 connections based on time of day, real-time application flows or predictive algorithms.

Avaya and GENBAND Collaborate on Unified Comm Roadmap

GENBAND and Avaya are jointly offering a Unified Communications (UC) roadmap for carrier class enterprise users of Avaya Communications Server 2100 (CS 2100) and Avaya SL-100. The collaboration will enable customers of both companies to use multimedia applications powered by Avaya Aura and the GENBAND GENiUS platform. Together the companies will continue to deliver a SIP-based UC solution that spans all fixed and mobile business communications functions for carrier-class enterprises in the higher education, healthcare, finance and government verticals.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Big Switch Ships its Open SDN

Big Switch, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, announced the full commercial release of its Open Software-Defined Networking (SDN) product suite, encompassing a Big Network Controller (BNC), the Open SDN platform for network applications which scales to more than a thousand switches and 250,000 new host connections per second; Big Tap, a unified network monitoring application which provides cost-effective enterprise-wide network visibility; and Big Virtual Switch (BVS), a data center network virtualization application that makes the data center network as agile and dynamic as cloud compute resources, while also driving dramatic increases in compute utilization through automated network provisioning. 

Compared to other SDN approaches, Big Switch said its architecture is distinguished by its large ecosystem of physical and hypervisor switch, security, cloud orchestration and application partners. These include: A10 Networks, Arista Networks, Broadcom, Brocade, Canonical, Cariden Technologies, Citrix, Cloudscaling, Coraid, Dell, Endace, Extreme Networks, F5, Fortinet, Gigamon, Infoblox, Juniper Networks, Mellanox Technologies, Microsoft, Mirantis, Nebula, Palo Alto Networks, Piston Cloud Computing, Radware, StackOps, ThreatSTOP, and vArmour.  

Big Switch's vision is to focus on open APIs, open standards, and platform-independence with the goal of transforming the network from the seven-layer OSI model to a simpler SDN model with a data layer, a controller layer and an application layer.  Significantly, the company said its solutions will operated in pure SDN mode, as an SDN overlay to an existing network, or in a hybrid deployment.

“SDN is the most disruptive and transformative trend to hit the networking industry in over 20 years and Big Switch Networks Open SDN product suite delivers on the promise of the full potential that we envisioned when we started this company,” said Guido Appenzeller, CEO and co-founder of Big Switch Networks.  “Big Switch Networks ecosystem ensures customers the broadest range of choice in physical and virtual infrastructure and applications, coupled with the industry’s only open network application platform. Our Big Virtual Switch network virtualization application enables up to 50% more VMs per rack, resulting in as much as $500K/rack in CAPEX savings and $30K/rack/year OPEX savings, based on a 40 server rack.”

Some highlights of the product suite:

Big Virtual Switch dynamically provisions up to 32,000 Virtual Network Segments while enabling multi-tenancy in cloud infrastructure.  The company estimates the Big Virtual Switch can improve compute utilization by 25% to 50% while rescuing stranded compute capacity providing up to 50%+ more VMs per rack.  It supports a range of topologies including: hypervisor switch overlays, physical switches or Hybrid Network Virtualization, which includes any combination of the above
Big Tap delivers monitoring functions to an Open SDN. Big Tap provides enterprise-wide network visibility by optimizing the utility of security tools, performance tools, and network packet brokers.
Big Network Controller is the Open SDN application platform and includes an open programming interface, open core controller based on Floodlight, and open protocols to deliver unified network intelligence, programmability and scalability.  The Big Network Controller provides common network abstraction on network infrastructure.
  • Big Switch has raised $39 million from Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Goldman Sachs and others.  The company was founded in 2010 by Guido Appenzeller and Kyle Forster.

Cyan Sets its Sights Internationally with Key Appointments

Cyan announced the addition of four executives to target international markets and expand the sales and reach of its Blue Planet software-defined network (SDN) system and Z-Series packet-optical transport platforms. These appointments include: Paul Couturier, vice president and general manager, Europe, Middle East, and Africa; Mike Scheck, vice president, Latin America; Andy Wu, vice president, North Asia and Japan; and Chris Jacobson, vice president, Southeast Asia. These additions are led by John Halliwell and join a North American team led by Eric Clelland.

 "Cyan's software and hardware solutions allow service providers to contain costs, accelerate service delivery, and increase profitability. These are vital issues for our customers in every region of the world and our products are universally applicable," said Mark Floyd, Cyan chairman and CEO. "Cyan has enjoyed remarkable growth since introducing our unique SDN solution, and we continue to see strong demand worldwide. Assembling this incredibly talented team gives us a presence in all global markets and enables us to meet continued demand for our solutions."

Sidera Links CoreSite Data Centers with Low Latency Fiber

Sidera Networks is providing connectivity between CoreSite data centers in Chicago, Boston, New York, Washington, DC, and Reston, Virginia. Sidera's fiber network leverages unique rights-of-way between the major metropolitan areas from Maine to Virginia and out to Chicago, as well as access to Toronto and London. Sidera's facilities-based services include Ethernet, SONET, wavelength, dark fiber, and internet access.

The companies note that this arrangement gives CoreSite customers immediate access to over 40 financial exchanges and the Sidera Xtreme Ultra-Low Latency Network, which was specifically designed for applications demanding the lowest latency and highest performance.

Additionally, as a result of the expansion into additional CoreSite data centers, Sidera will extend peering on CoreSite's Any2 exchange, the nation's second largest peering exchange. Sidera also will be able to provide seamless access to CoreSite's Open Internet Exchange, an aggregation hub that gives expanded peering and interconnection opportunities to CoreSite customers.

Box Scales Up its Cloud Storage in Equinix Data Centers

Box, which delivers cloud storage to enterprises and consumers, has selected Equinix data centers as a key part of its growing infrastructure.

Equinix said it worked with Box to develop a comprehensive strategy for distributing its growing global network via the global footprint of Equinix International Business Exchanges. Specifically, Box initially moved its infrastructure into an Equinix Silicon Valley facility and recently added infrastructure in Equinix data centers around the globe including Chicago, Ashburn, Va., Amsterdam, Sydney, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

"With Equinix, we know we’ll get consistently high performance and reliability across our data centers. In addition, having our largest customers just a cross connect away helps us forge stronger business relationships. Other colocation sites give you four walls. Equinix is a partner that cares about our business and helps us connect with a global marketplace of partners and customers," stated Stefan Apitz, vice president of Operations, Box.

Ofcom Plans 4G Spectrum Auction for January

Ofcom, the official regulator for the UK, published final regulations and a timetable for the 4G mobile spectrum auction. Ofcom has set  the reserve prices for the spectrum at £1.3 billion -- making this the largest ever sale of mobile airwaves in the UK.

Applications are due in December.  Qualification will happen in December, followed by the principal stage of the auction in January. New 4G services using this spectrum are expected to go live in May/June 2013.

"Today marks an important shift from preparation to the delivery of the auction, which will see widespread 4G mobile services from a range of providers. The entire industry is now focused on the auction itself, with a shared goal of delivering new and improved mobile services for consumers," said Ed Richards, Ofcom Chief Executive.

Infinera's Instant Bandwidth Provisions Capacity in 100G Chunks

Infinera introduced an "Instant Bandwidth" capability that enables its DTN-X platform to provision capacity in 100G increments.

Instant Bandwidth provides one-click software control to unlock and add up to five 100G circuits on new line cards for the DTN-X.  The new line card supports 500G long-haul super-channels with 100G activated initially.  When additional capacity is needed in the bandwidth pool, the operator can unlock an additional 100G increment via software control.  The DTN-X platform leverages Infinera’s 500G Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) and FlexCoherent processor technology. The platform enables 5 Terabits of OTN switching per bay, enabling enabling services to be aggregated into the bandwidth pool for efficient wavelength utilization.

Infinera said a key advantage of its Instant Bandwidth capability is that network operators gain the ability to rapidly add 100G circuits while moving to a success based business model.  Provisioning time is nearly eliminated while the operator does not pay for 100G interfaces that are not yet in use.

TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) will use the Infinera DTN-X platform with Instant Bandwidth in their nationwide 100G U.S. network.   This enables TSIC to turn up 100G of transport capacity via one-click software control.

“Instant Bandwidth on the DTN-X creates more opportunities for our customers to win by using time as a weapon to compete and respond to increasingly variable demands to flexibly grow and manage network capacity,” said Dave Welch, Infinera Co-founder, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. “Software activated bandwidth changes the business model and the economics of transport networking, accelerating time to revenue for operators while boosting their competitiveness.”

Infinera started shipping the DTN-X platform earlier this year and the Instant Bandwidth solution for it is now available.

See our Blueprint column on:

TeliaSonera IC Deploys Infinera's Instant Bandwidth in North America

TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC), which operates a wholly owned fiber optic network connecting 200 Point of Presence (PoPs)) across Europe, North America and Asia, has selected Infinera's DTN-X platform with Instant Bandwidth capability for its North American network.  TeliaSonera International Carrier is the first to deploy the DTN-X with Instant Bandwidth.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

The DTN-X platform enables TSIC to offer its customers up to 100G bandwidth-on-demand across its North American fiber network, which spans 18,000 km and connects 35 PoPs in 23 cities.

"Infinera's DTN-X with Instant Bandwidth gives us a competitive edge enabling significantly shorter customer delivery times for 100G services and allows us to offer one of the most advanced and scalable networks in North America," said Erik Hallberg, President of TeliaSonera International Carrier.

"TeliaSonera International Carrier's selection of the DTN-X with Instant Bandwidth demonstrates the strength of the relationship that began with our DTN in the 10G era and is now entering the 100G era with the DTN-X," said Chris Champion, Infinera Vice President, EMEA sales. "As TSIC continues to grow their business, Instant Bandwidth on DTN-X provides a flexible infrastructure, one-click capacity and lower operational costs as they face increasing demands for bandwidth in a more competitive environment.

  • In November 2011, TeliaSonera International Carrier and Infinera performed the world's first terabit trial in California based on DTN-X equipment.
  • In August 2012, TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) and Hibernia formed a strategic partnership for global media distribution. Under the deal, Hibernia Media will acquire TSIC's MediaConnect business, while TSIC's  fiber backbone will form the core of the new network.
  • In July 2012, TeliaSonera International Carrier comfirmed deployment of a new 100G DWDM overlay network across Europe based on Nokia Siemens Networks' hiT7300 platform and its coherent CP-QPSK technology. The CP-QPSK modulation format is also used for TeliaSonera’s existing network to improve performance. Nokia Siemens Networks also provides a full set of care services including software maintenance, help desk as well as spare part management services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Crossbeam Acquired by Private Equity Firm

Crossbeam Systems has been acquired by Thoma Bravo, a private equity firm, for an undisclosed sum.  Crossbeam’s current senior management team will continue to manage the company.

Crossbeam is best known for its X-Series network security platform or network operators.  The company is based in Boxborough, Mass. and has more than 200 employees worldwide.

Thoma Bravo currently manages a series of private equity funds representing almost $4 billion of equity commitments.  In software, Thoma Bravo has completed 54 add-on acquisitions across 25 platform companies with total annual earnings of approximately $1 billion.

“Crossbeam is in a stronger-than-ever position to strengthen and expand our customer solutions,” said Mike Ruffolo, president and CEO of Crossbeam. “Thoma Bravo’s support and expertise in the software and technology industries will allow us to pursue new products and services through strategic initiatives and potential acquisitions to enhance our offerings.”

Google Venture Fund Boosted to $300 Million/Year

Google announced a 50% increase in the size of the Google Ventures fund to $300 million in new investments per year.  The company now has over 130 start-ups in its portfolio.