Monday, February 4, 2013

Cisco Expands its Open Networking Fabric with Nexus 6000

Cisco is rolling out a number of new products for its data center fabric, including new Cisco Nexus 6000 Series Switches, new hybrid cloud functionality via the Cisco Nexus 1000V InterCloud, and a network- programmable controller. The new offering are part of the Cisco ONE strategy, which addresses emerging trends around open networking, programmability and software defined networking (SDN) for data center, campus, cloud, and service provider deployments.

Cisco said its goal is to scale, extend, and open the networking fabric of data center, cloud and provider environments as well as bring consistency across physical, virtual and cloud-based deployments.

Key elements of the announcement:

Cisco Nexus 6000 Series Switches -- high-density 10GE/40GE data center switches with L2/L3 capability, deep packet visibility and programmability via the Cisco NX-OS.  Two Nexus 6000 models are being introduced. The Nexus 6004 offers up to 96 ports of line rate 40GE (384 ports of line rate 10GE) in a 4 RU (rack unit) form factor; and the Nexus 6001, which offers line rate 48 ports of GE/10GE fixed ports with 4 ports of 40GE (or 16 ports of 10GE) uplinks in 1 RU form factor. The Nexus 6000 Series is purpose-built for high performance access, leaf/spine architectures, compact aggregation, or high-density FEX aggregation deployment options for building a scalable Cisco Unified Fabric.  The Nexus 6004 24 x 40 GE is scheduled to be available Q1CY2013 and is priced at $90,000; the Nexus 6004 48 x 40 GE is scheduled to be available Q1CY2013 and is priced at $195,000; the Nexus 6004, 12 x 40 GE LEM is scheduled to be available Q1CY2013 and is priced at $40,000; the Nexus 6001 is scheduled to be available in 1HCY2013 and pricing will be announced at a later date.

Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Network Analysis Module (NAM) -- this blade for the flagship Nexus 7000 data center switch brings application awareness and performance analytics, empowering IT with unparalleled actionable visibility into the network, improving application performance, optimizing network resources and  helping to more effectively manage services delivery in cloud and virtualized deployments.

Cisco Nexus 2248PQ fabric extender and the Nexus 5500 Series switch 40 gigabit Ethernet uplink -- gives customers the option of deploying 40GE uplinks in their existing Nexus 5500 to reduce over-subscription, while the new Nexus 2248PQ switch provides a 10GE top-of-rack fabric extender with 40GE uplinks.

The Nexus 1000V InterCloud -- an orchestration solution for extending corporate enterprise environments into the provider cloud with simplicity and security.  The Nexus 1000V InterCloud  preserves existing networking capabilities and L4-7 services while bringing manageability of the enterprise into the provider cloud to create a consistent, reliable, predictable environment for physical, virtual and cloud workloads, freeing IT management to run and move applications without compromise.  The solution provides choice of provider clouds and operates in a hypervisor-agnostic manner.

A new Cisco ONE Software Controller -- the industry’s first multiprotocol interfaces with One Platform Kit (onePK) and OpenFlow.  It offers consistent management, troubleshooting and security features;.  Fuilt-in applications include network slicing functionality for enabling logical partitioning of network resources. In addition, the ONE Controller will interact with Cisco networking applications such as Custom Forwarding and Network Tapping.

Expanded platform support for Cisco onePK developer environment with Nexus 3000, Nexus 7000 and ASR 9000.  

Solutions for overlay networks including Nexus 1000V support for VXLAN Gateway; Nexus 1000V support for Microsoft Hyper-V and integration with Microsoft System Center VM Manager; virtual Network Analysis Module (vNAM) for network analysis and monitoring of virtualized and cloud workloads

Expanded OpenFlow support on the Nexus 3000, Nexus 7000, ASR 9000 and Catalyst 6500.

Dow Corning and IBM Develop Polymer Waveguide

Dow Corning and IBM have developed a new type of polymer material capable of transmitting photonic signals at high speed.

The researchers have fabricated thin sheets into flexible optical waveguides. The material is stable at extreme operating conditions including 85 percent humidity and 85°C.

In a presentation at the Photonics West conference in San Francisco, Brandon Swatowski, application engineer for Dow Corning Electronics Solutions, reported that fabrication of full waveguide builds can be completed in less than 45 minutes, and enable a high degree of process flexibility. Silicone polymer material, which is dispensed as a liquid, processes more quickly than competitive waveguide materials such as glass and does not require a controlled atmosphere chamber.

"Polymer waveguides provide an integrated means to route optical signals similar to how copper lines route electrical signals," explains Dr. Bert Jan Offrein, manager of the Photonics Research Group at IBM Research. "Our design is highly flexible, resistant to high temperatures and has strong adhesion properties – these waveguides were designed with no compromises."

"Dow Corning’s breakthrough polymer waveguide silicone has positioned us at the forefront of a new era in robust, data-rich computing, especially as we continue to collaborate with outstanding industry leaders like IBM," said Eric Peeters, vice president, Dow Corning Electronic Solutions. "Optical waveguides made from Dow Corning's silicone polymer technology offer customers revolutionary new options for transmitting data substantially faster, and with lower heat and energy consumption. We are confident that silicone-based board-level interconnects will quickly supersede conventional electronic signal distribution to deliver the amazing speeds needed for tomorrow’s supercomputers."

Sandvine: Network Traffic Dips 15% during Super Bowl

Network traffic dipped by about 15% during the Super Bowl, according to Sandvine, which analyzed data from an network operator in the eastern U.S.

The Super Bowl was streamed live via the CBS website, which saw a substantial spike in traffic for the broadcast.  However, this traffic amounted to 3% of the total, leading Sandvine to conclude that the majority of viewers tuned in via regular TV over cable, satellite or free over-the-air.

This happened last year as well, according to Sandvine's blog.

KDDI Selects Infinera's DTN-X

KDDI has selected Infinera's DTN-X platform to upgrade the Miyazaki – Okinawa Cable network in Japan.  The upgrade will enable 100G services across the country.

KDDI owns and operates the Miyazaki – Okinawa Cable, an independent cable system that links to the Japan Information Highway cable system, stretching 10,300 km.

Nisho Electronics is Infinera's local partner.

"The DTN-X provides us with an industry leading 100G transport solution that differentiates us in the marketplace,” said Shigeto Kiritani, General Manager and Head of International Network Department at KDDI. “By deploying the DTN-X we can rapidly increase the capacity of our system while enabling a robust network that is scalable and efficient. With Infinera’s Instant Bandwidth™ feature on the DTN-X, we are able to activate 100G services instantly on an as-needed basis.”

C Spire Deploys Tekelec Diamater Signaling on LTE Network

C Spire Wireless, which serves Mississippi and parts of Alabama and the Florida panhandle, is deploying Tekelec’s Diameter Signaling Router (DSR) to deliver personalized services on its LTE network. The DSR intelligently routes the policy, charging, roaming, authorization, authentication and mobility management messages that enable mobile data services.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Tekelec said its DSR will support subscribers’ personalized LTE services by binding a subscriber’s mobile data activities – including browsing and voice over LTE (VoLTE) – to a single policy server. This allows C Spire to offer new tightly integrated VoLTE and data services.  All of C Spire’s Diameter traffic will flow through the DSR,

Tekelec has 75 percent to 85 percent share of the Diameter signaling control market, according to industry analyst firm Exact Ventures, including eight North American mobile operators.

Dell'Oro: Flat Spending Trend for Session Border Controller Market

Service provider voice core equipment spending over the next five years is expected to remain approximately constant at nearly $7 billion per year, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.  This compares with decline over the past five years.  Growth segments such as IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Core, Voice Application Servers and Session Border Controllers (SBC) are forecast to offset declines in mature product segments such as Softswitch and Media Gateway.
Dell'Oro expects the Session Border Controller market remain essentially unchanged despite volatile results from some vendors in this market.

"What has changed is that service providers are now offering commercial Voice over LTE systems in Korea and the United States.  The underlying IMS architecture enables not just voice, but also messaging, file transfer, and video calls.  As service providers deploy these services, they will be more effective in competing with Over-the-Top services that consumers purchase directly with their smartphones," said Chris DePuy, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group.  "We expect to see a significant increase in IMS-based commercial deployments over the next year," concluded DePuy.

Oracle to Acquire Acme Packet for Session Border Control

Oracle agreed to acquire Acme Packet, a leading supplier of session border controllers, for $29.25 per share in cash, representing an enterprise value of $1.7 billion net of cash.

Acme Packet supplies session delivery solutions to both carriers and enterprises
Oracle said it would make Acme Packet a core offering in its Oracle Communications portfolio to enable customers to more rapidly innovate while simplifying their IT and network infrastructures.

“The proposed acquisition of Acme Packet is another important piece in Oracle’s overall strategy to deliver integrated best-in-class products that address critical customer requirements in key industries,” said Oracle President Mark Hurd. “The addition of Acme Packet to Oracle’s leading communications portfolio will enable service providers and enterprises to deliver innovative solutions that will change the way we interact, conduct commerce, deliver healthcare, secure our homes, and much more.”

Separately, Acme Packet reported Q4 revenue of $70.7 million, compared to $83.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2011 and $65.3 million in the third quarter of 2012. GAAP net loss for the fourth quarter of 2012 was $2.0 million, or $(0.03) per share, compared to GAAP net income of $8.7 million, or $0.12 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2011 and GAAP net loss of $5.5 million, or $(0.08) per share, in the third quarter of 2012.

  • In 2010, Oracle acquired Convergin, an Israeli start-up specializing in real-time service brokering solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.Convergin offers a J2EE-based Service Broker platform that enables communications service providers (CSPs) to manage services for a wide range of networks and application platforms, including pre-paid charging.

    The solution can be used for migrating pre-paid voice from IN- to IP-based networks. Convergin provides the mediation of wide range of protocols, enabling the orchestration and blending of services and capabilities across networks and application domains. Oracle said the combination of its service environment with Convergin's Service Broker provides a single carrier-grade, standards-based IT platform for CSPs.

Dell'Oro: Service Provider Router Market Growth to Fall Under 5% by 2017

The market for Service Provider routers will transition to lower growth below 5% by 2017, according to a newly published report by Dell'Oro Group.  The market is forecast to mature as Service Providers reduce their router investments in the coming years as network traffic growth slows, equipment prices shrink, and networks are more efficiently provisioned.

"In the recent past, it was common for the Service Provider Router market to grow annually by 20 percent or more as network operators allocated larger portions of their capital expenditures to routers to support Internet traffic growth.  In stark contrast, we forecast annual market growth to remain below ten percent from 2012-2017," said Shin Umeda, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group.

 "Service Providers will need to take advantage of new products and network architectures, and improve operating processes to make their networks more efficient and obtain the most return on their investment," added Umeda.

ZTE Prepares Modular, Small Cell Backhaul Solutions

 ZTE is planning to launch a new series of backhaul solutions aimed at LTE small cells, offering support for a wide range of data transmission methods, including packet bearer network backhaul solution, fixed broadband backhaul solution (through PON, xDSL and Cable), Microwave Wireless backhaul solution, WiFi Non-line-of-sight (NLOS) Wireless backhaul solution and TD-LTE backhaul solution.

ZTE will offer transmission modules for DSL, PON, Cable, Wifi and TD-LTE.  The support for wireless transmission modules such as Wifi and TD-LTE also addresses the non-line-of-sight (NLOS) challenges of network construction in urban areas.

Sumitomo Develops Power Amp for LTE-Advanced Base Stations

Sumitomo Electric Industries announced a high-efficiency broadband power amplifier for base stations. The device covers  a wide radio frequency (RF) bandwidth and conforms to LTE-Advanced specifications.

Sumitomo notes that RF power amplifiers typically consume most of power required in a cellular base station.

The company said its design optimizes the fundamental frequency and the high-order harmonics over a wide frequency range inside the amplifier modules incorporated in a Doherty amplifier.  Its design achieves a high power efficiency of 53% or more at a wide band of over 100 MHz.

Statoil Picks ALU for Subsea Control System

Norway's Statoil has selected Alcatel-Lucent to co-design and deliver a solution incorporating high-bandwidth communications and electrical power supply into subsea control systems for offshore oil and gas production facilities. Alcatel-Lucent said it is working on an independent submarine electrical and optical fiber cable connecting the production facility with subsea nodes positioned anywhere along the submarine cable outlet.

Sea Launch Failure -- Intelsat 27 Lost

Sea Launch suffered a catastrophic failure 14 seconds after ignition and as result terminated rocket thrust.  The Zenit-3SL rocket with the IS-27 spacecraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean approximately 4 km from the Odyssey Launch Platform.

Intelsat 27 was to operate from 304.5ยบ East, an orbital location currently occupied by Intelsat 805 and Galaxy 11. The satellite is designed to serve customers in North America, South America, the North Atlantic and Europe. The Boeing satellite carried 20 C-band transponders for coverage over the Americas and Europe, and 20 Ku-band transponders with mobility beams spanning the north Atlantic, Mexico and Brazil.

“We are clearly disappointed with the outcome of the launch. The cause of the failure is unknown, but we will work closely with our launch and manufacturing partners to determine the necessary next steps,” said Intelsat CEO David McGlade.

In January 2007, Sea Launch suffered a failed launch resulting in total loss of the NSS-8 satellite along with substantial damage to its Odyssey Launch platform.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Carriers Test Spectrum Sharing with U.S. DoD

 AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile USA will begin testing the viability of sharing 95 MHz of spectrum that is currently used by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies.

Last year, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) proposed a spectrum sharing scheme between government and industry.  Specifically, the NTIA determined that 95 megahertz (MHz) of prime spectrum in the 1755 – 1850 MHz band could be repurposed for wireless broadband use. Over 20 federal agencies currently hold more than 3,100 individual frequency assignments in this band. Federal uses of this spectrum include law enforcement surveillance, military tactical communications, air combat training, precision-guided munitions, weather balloons, etc.

Sharing and simulation activities are expected in the next few months to determine how federal use of this spectrum is impacted by the introduction of commercial mobile broadband services in this band.  The testing will involve low power mobile broadband uplinks (base station receivers) and four uses identified by NTIA, including air combat training systems, aeronautical mobile telemetry, satellite command and control, and small unmanned aerial vehicles.

On a blog posting, Stacey Black, AT&T Assistant Vice President of Federal Regulatory, stated  "I want to emphasize that we continue to believe that clearing and reallocating is the best approach to freeing up much needed spectrum for commercial mobile broadband use. The existing exclusive licensing regime has resulted in billions of dollars in wireless infrastructure investment, enabling the U.S. to lead the way in the global mobile broadband marketplace.  While clearing spectrum for exclusive commercial licensing must remain the top priority, when that is neither time nor cost effective, AT&T supports exploring sharing arrangements."

  • In June 2010, President Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum committing the federal government to make available 500 MHz of federal and commercial spectrum available to new mobile broadband usage over the next 10 years. The effort, which would nearly double the amount of commercial spectrum currently available for commercial use, was expected to result new rounds of spectrum auctions.

Fujitsu's Vector Processing DSP Promises LTE Performance Gains

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a digital signal processor (DSP) for mobile device baseband processing that uses the same vector processing architecture employed in supercomputers.

Fujitsu's 28-nanometer DSP runs at 250 MHz and is  capable of processing data at 12 GOPS (12 billion operations per second). Excluding memory, the DSP measures only 0.4 mm2, and it consumes 30 milliwatts (mW) of power, 20% less than existing DSPs. It can run highly repetitive processes common in LTE and other wireless processes.

Fujitsu said that while typical processors execute a single instruction on a single piece of data at a time (scalar data), its vector processor will execute a single instruction on multiple pieces of data (vector data) at a time. The company said this vector approach is especially effective with LTE, which uses OFDM modulation and communicates by bundling data that is carried by up to 1,200 "subcarriers" in a wireless signal. The vector DSP can be used to extract information from an incoming signal.

Fujitsu said its new DSP can lengthen talk times, usage times and standby times for smartphones and other mobile devices. In addition, the DSP can handle ongoing upgrades to the signal processing algorithm.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Infinera Completes OSMINE Services Process for DTN-X and DTN

Infinera has completed Operations Systems Modification for the Integration of Network Elements (OSMINE) Services process for the its DTN-X platform and the latest release of its DTN platform. This was fulfilled for various products within the OSMINE process including inventory management via TIRKS, fault management via NMA System, and service provisioning via Transport Element Activation Manager.

Ericsson’s OSMINE certification enables U.S. Tier 1 service providers to successfully integrate Infinera's DTN-X and the latest release of DTN into Ericsson Operations Support Systems (OSS) ensuring the interoperability of Infinera platforms with existing systems and enabling service providers to accelerate their network deployment rapidly upon selection of Infinera. 

Infinera noted that this is also a first for any network equipment vendor to accomplish an OTN-based OSMINE certification that includes ODUflex capabilities as the Infinera DTN-X and DTN are based on an advanced architecture that integrates WDM transport and OTN switching including ODUflex/ODU0 granularity in a single platform.

"Completion of the Ericsson OSMINE process is an important achievement for network equipment suppliers looking to sell into the Tier 1 market," said Elisabetta Romano, Head of OSS, Business Unit Support Solutions, Ericsson. "This industry-recognized OSS network integration process validates that vendors like Infinera are ready to sell into the Tier 1 market and provides service providers with the confidence that the DTN-X and DTN platforms are network-ready solutions."

"The test completion of OSMINE for DTN-X and DTN is a critical milestone for Infinera," said Tom Fallon, Infinera CEO. "This certification satisfies the requirements for our existing customer and proves to U.S. Tier 1 service providers that Infinera solutions can now operate with the Ericsson OSSs."

IBM to Acquire Star Analytics

IBM agreed to acquire Star Analytics, a privately held software developer based in Redwood City, California for an undisclosed sum.

Star Analytics offers two products: Star Command Center (SCC) to automate and control processes across heterogeneous computing applications and environments, and Star Integration Server (SIS) for sharing Hyperion data.

IBM said Star Analytics software will further advance its own business analytics initiatives, allowing organizations to gain faster access and real-time insight into specialized data sources.

"Star Analytics software allows organizations to move critical analytics source data at will and use it regardless of which application they need to use it with, providing both flexibility and accessibility," said Quinlan Eddy, CEO, Star Analytics.  "As part of IBM, we can now bring our technologies to a broader range of clients to help them uncover new, untapped growth opportunities."

Cisco Adds Motorola's Greg Brown to Board

Cisco appointed Greg Brown, Chairman and CEO of Motorola Solutions, to its board of directors.  Brown, 52, is chairman and chief executive officer of Motorola Solutions, Inc. He joined Motorola in January 2003 and was elected to the company's board of directors in 2007. He became CEO of Motorola in January 2008 and led the spin-off of the consumer-focused Motorola Mobility in 2011.  He also served as president and chief operating officer of Motorola beginning in March 2007. Prior to joining Motorola, he was chairman and CEO of Micromuse Inc. from 1999 to 2003.

With the appointment of Brown, Cisco's board now consists of 14 members, including Carol A. Bartz, former CEO, Yahoo!; Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO,, inc.; M. Michele Burns, former chairman and CEO, Mercer LLC; Michael D. Capellas, former CEO, VCE Company; Larry R. Carter, former SVP, Office of the Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems; John T. Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems, Inc.; Brian L. Halla, former chairman and CEO, National Semiconductor Corporation; John L. Hennessy, Ph.D., president, Stanford University; Kristina M. Johnson, Ph.D., CEO, Enduring Hydro; Richard M. Kovacevich, retired chairman and CEO, Wells Fargo & Company; Roderick C. McGeary, former vice chairman, consulting, KPMG, LLP; Arun Sarin, KBE, senior advisor, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and former CEO, Vodafone Group; and Steven M. West, founder and partner, Emerging Company Partners.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Marlin Equity Partners Acquires Sycamore Networks

Marlin Equity Partners, a Los Angeles California-based private investment firm with over US$1 billion of capital under management, completed its acquisition of Sycamore Networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sycamore Networks has been relaunched as a private company focused on intelligent optical networking and multiservice access solutions.

The new Sycamore is headed by John Scully (president and CEO), who previously served as vice president of worldwide sales and support at Eastern Research. Before that, Mr. Scully held senior management positions at Test Link/Tel Link, Datatel, Cray Communications, and Data Decisions. Mr. Scully holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio.

 In December, Marlin Equity Partners agreed to acquire Nokia Siemens Networks' Optical Networks business. Marlin plans to form a new optical company to be headquartered in Munich, Germany with operations around the world. This new optical company will be led by its existing management team with Herbert Merz nominated as chief executive officer. Up to 1,900 employees – mainly in Germany, Portugal and China – from the optical business unit and related functions are expected to transfer to the new company. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

TeliaSonera's CEO Resigns Following Uzbekistan Report

Lars Nyberg resigned as President and CEO of TeliaSonera following an outside review of  Mannheimer Swartling regarding illegal business practices by the firm in Uzbekistan.  While the review did not find evidence that TeliaSonera engaged in bribery or participated in money laundering, it did criticize TeliaSonera for not vetting its investment partners in Uzbekistan.

TeliaSonera's Board of Directors has appointed Per-Arne Blomquist as acting President and CEO.

  • In October 2012, TeliaSonera's Board of Directors hired the law firm Mannheimer Swartling to investigate whether TeliaSonera's investment in a 3G license, frequencies and number blocks in Uzbekistan in 2007 involved corruption or money laundering. Later, the investigation was expanded to include more recent investments in connection with TeliaSonera's operations in Uzbekistan.

BT Super Fast Broadband Passing 100,000 Premises

BT's fibre broadband now passes more than 13 million premises across the UK and the network is passing around 100,000 additional premises every week.

BT said take-up is growing strongly.  Around 1.25 million homes and businesses now using the fibre broadband service. The company is preparing to push into TV and Sport later this year.

"Our engineers have worked tirelessly following some of the wettest weather on record. Not only did they complete a record number of field visits in the quarter, they also connected a further 281,000 homes and businesses to broadband and helped us grow the number of landlines. BT Global Services has also done well securing £1.9bn of new orders, up 17%.