Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mandiant: Discovery of Cyber Intrusions Typically Take Months

Cyber attackers typically spend an estimated 243 days on a victim’s network before they are discovered, according to the 4th annual cybersecurity report from Mandiant, the a security consulting firm that was recently in the news for its expose of Chinese hacking groups. Mandiant's report highlights incident response best practices including a discussion of technical indicators of advanced threats.

Some of the report’s highlights include:

  • Nearly two-thirds of organizations learn they are breached from an external source.
  • Targeted attacks continue to evade preventive defenses, but organizations are getting better at discovering them on their own. Still, a full 63 percent of victims were made aware they had been breached by an external organization such as law enforcement.
  • The typical advanced attack goes unnoticed for nearly eight months.
  • Attackers are increasingly using outsourced service providers as a means to gain access to their victims.
  • As companies continue to outsource business processes such as finance, accounting, HR, and procurement, advanced attack groups are increasingly taking advantage of those relationships to gain access to the organizations.
  • Attackers are using comprehensive network reconnaissance to help them navigate victims’ networks faster and more effectively.
  • Attackers are frequently stealing data related to network infrastructure, processing methodologies, and system administration guides to gather the reconnaissance data they need to more quickly exploit network and system misconfigurations.
  • Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) attackers continue to target industries that are strategic to their growth and will return until their mission is complete.
  • Mandiant observed a relationship between the strategic priorities of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the operations of PRC state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and data stolen through cyber intrusions from a wide variety of clients and industries. Of the top three industries repeatedly targeted, aerospace topped the list, followed by energy, oil and gas, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Once a Target, Always a Target
  • Organizations are being targeted by more than one attack group, sometimes in succession. In 2012, 38% of targets were attacked again once the original incident was remediated. Of the total cases Mandiant investigated in 2012, attackers lodged more than one thousand attempts to regain entry to former victims.

A full copy of the report is online.

Oracle to Acquire Nimbula for IaaS Software

Oracle agreed to acquire Nimbula, a provider of private cloud infrastructure management software. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nimbula, which is based in Redwood City, California, was founded by the team that developed the Amazon EC2 public cloud service, including Chris Pinkham and Willem van Biljon. The company is focused on blending EC2-like scale, agility and efficiency with private infrastructure customization and control Nimbula Director, Nimbula’s flagship product, combines the public cloud with the control, security and trust of advanced data centers. It is positioned as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) software for building self-service public, private, and hybrid clouds.

Oracle said Nimbula's product is complementary to its own cloud solutions.  The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2013.

  • Investors in Nimbula have included Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital.

Oclaro Intros New Add/Drop Platform

Oclaro introduced a new Add/Drop Routing Platform for next-generation multi-degree, colorless, directionless, contentionless, and flexible-grid (CDC-Flex) ROADM networks.

The new Oclaro platform integrates switching, arrayed amplification, as well as advanced control and monitoring.  It can be used in a line-card, a managed subsystem or a super module.  

Oclaro said its new Add/Drop Routing Platform makes significant gains in density and cost efficiency. Key platform components include:
  • Highly-integrated cost- and space-efficient amplified multi-cast switches with variable optical attenuation (VOA) functionality for colorless, directionless, contentionless and flexible-spectrum add/drop routing in multi-degree ROADM architectures.
  • Advanced arrayed optical amplifier implementations leveraging Oclaro's industry leading 980nm pump portfolio that now also includes Oclaro's uncooled dual-chip pumps. These pumps offer valuable power reduction and enable cost-effective high-density solutions.
  • Multi-port flexible-grid optical channel monitor (OCM) that rapidly measures channel powers and frequencies of 8 DWDM input ports with the accuracy needed for flexible-grid network solutions. The OCM offers enhanced flexibility and incorporates advanced features such as port or channel dwelling and prioritization for signal analysis.
  • Embedded control features to provide fast transient management and advanced signal processing capabilities to support the network intelligence required by next generation network solutions while also meeting customer's stringent space and power constraints.  
"The flexibility of the Add/Drop Routing Platform enables customers to specify customized subsystems that can meet their cost, density and time-to-market requirements while giving them the freedom to create truly differentiated network solutions," said Per Hansen, Vice President of Product Marketing, Optical Networks Solutions, Oclaro, Inc.  "Leveraging Oclaro's recognized strengths in vertical integration combined with a broad set of optical networking components and subsystems, this new platform essentially assembles leading-edge functionalities into a highly-integrated and compact platform solution."

Infinera Powers CyrusOne's Texas Internet Exchange

Infinera is partnering with CyrusOne on its Texas Internet Exchange (IX), the first statewide IX in the United States.

The IX network, powered by the Infinera DTN, will provide cloud-based services between CyrusOne’s major facilities and third-party carrier hotels in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio, as well as to customer data center locations. The CyrusOne Texas IX is expected to launch by the end of March 2013.

“The deployment of Infinera’s Digital Optical Network provides us with a robust platform for high-speed cloud-based services that will ensure service flexibility, minimize bandwidth costs, simplify network operations, and consolidate network architecture. In addition, the Infinera solution reduces latency for active-active disaster recovery requirements,” said Josh Snowhorn, vice president and general manager of interconnection at CyrusOne. “Infinera is one of the most respected optical telecommunications suppliers in the world. To provide this level of technology and support demonstrates our level of dedication to the CyrusOne Texas IX platform.”

Infinera's DTN platform, embedded with the company's Bandwidth Virtualization technology, allows optical capacity to be deployed as and when needed, without lengthy lead times or complex optical engineering. Powered by Infinera’s intelligent Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (GMPLS) software allows CyrusOne to quickly and easily provision bandwidth circuits.

Silver Spring Soars 29% in First Day of Trading

Shares in Silver Spring Networks (NYSE: SSNI) rose 29.41% in their first day of public trading to close at $22.00.

Silver Spring Networks supplies a networking platform for energy utilities. The company is based in Redwood City, California.

Dell Proposes SDN Working Committee in Object Management Group

Dell is proposing a Software-Defined Networking (SDN) standardization working committee within the Object Management Group (OMG).

The OMG develops enterprise integration standards for a wide range of technologies.

"Networks are the last bastion of unvirtualized computing infrastructure," said Dr. Richard Soley, Chairman and CEO of OMG. "The growing interest in software-defined networks needs to be met as early as possible with flexible, transparent, powerful standards that help the industry grow rapidly and allow interoperable and portable solutions, and give customers real choice. OMG welcomes Dell as a Contributing member and looks forward to their leadership in this new activity."

"We are extremely excited to join OMG and further Dell's commitment to open standards through our participation," said Tom Burns, general manager of Dell Networking. "We have a history of working with open standards and open source groups including the OMG, Open Networking Foundation, the Open Compute Project, OpenStack and many others to enable ecosystem development and growth, and customer choice for IT and data center applications and technologies. These communities give customers value because contributions from member companies are advanced based on merit and openness of the contribution. We look forward to furthering that value with OMG, and with companies that join this new working group as OMG advances the SDN concept."

Fujitsu Intros High-Speed, 28nm CMOS Converters

Fujitsu announced the first in a new family of 8-bit, power-efficient, 28nm CMOS analog-to-digital converters (ADC) addresses the need for large-scale global deployment of single-wavelength, 100Gbps optical transport systems, and provides a solution for future short-range optical and backplane interconnects.

Fujitsu's 28nm ADC supports sampling rates from 55 to 70 GSa/s (billions of samples per second) with scalable analog bandwidth.

Fujitsu cited a number of additional appliations, including inter- and intra-datacenter optical links for 100Gbps Ethernet, as well as high-speed electrical interconnects across PCB or backplane channels.

Ericsson Wins Managed Services Deal in Africa

Atlantique Telecom, part of The Etisalat Group, awarded a five year multi-country managed services contract to Ericsson to manage its entire mobile networks. The contract covers network operations, field maintenance, network optimization and spare parts management for Etisalat' s multivendor mobile networks, including access, core and transmission, as well as value added services.  Ericsson said up to 10 million subscribers stand to benefit from improved network quality.

Atlantique Telecom operates in Benin, Central Africa Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Niger and Togo.

Lars Lindén, Head of Ericsson in region sub-Saharan Africa says, "Managed services is a proven business model to support operators in growth mode and it is one of the most dynamic areas in our industry. Our work together will support Atlantique Telecom in defining a new generation of operators in Africa."

New Multi-Source Agreement for 40 Gbps XLMD2 Miniature Pluggable Transceivers

Five leading optical component manufacturers including LAPIS Semiconductor, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Oclaro, Renesas Electronics and Sumitomo Electric Industries, reached agreement on new common specifications for transmitter optical sub-assemblies (TOSAs) and receiver optical sub-assemblies (ROSAs). These specifications are based on the 40 Gbps serial Multi-Source Agreement (XLMD2-MSA) for 40 Gbps pluggable transceiver modules such as the CFP MSA.

The companies said the new, thin, miniature TOSAs and ROSAs are essential for downsizing the pluggable transceiver modules.

Kuwait's Wataniya Upgrades with Ericsson

Wataniya Telecom, Kuwait's leading mobile telecommunications operator, selected Ericsson to upgrade its radio access network.

Under the new contract, which represents the largest Ericsson has signed to date in Kuwait, the company will upgrade Wataniya Telecom's existing 2G and 3G networks, as well as adding WCDMA/HSPA capability on 900MHz and LTE capability on the 1800MHz band.  Ericsson will also provide optimization services, O&M support services, spare parts management, customer support and training.

Oclaro's Pump Lasers Will Reduce Footprint by 2X

Oclaro announced a dual-chip, uncooled 500mW pump laser for ROADMs that features the new industry-standard 10-pin MSA butterfly advanced package format that delivers a smaller footprint compared to conventional 14-pin packages. The new Oclaro dual-chip uncooled pump is designed for amplifier arrays, multi-stage and mid-stage access amplifiers, ROADM on blade and amplifier based line cards.

The new design will bring a 2X reduction in footprint while delivering 60 percent lower power consumption, enabling power efficient add/drop arrayed amplifiers targeted at 4 or 8-degree CDC-Flex node architectures.

"By developing a dual-chip uncooled pump laser, Oclaro is expanding its current leadership position in the pump laser market where the company has shipped more than 500,000 units externally in the last 3 years alone," said Robert Blum, Director of Product Marketing for the Oclaro Photonic Components Business Unit.  

Oclaro expects to be sampling the dual-chip uncooled pump in the third quarter of CY2013.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

MWC Video Perspective: Wireless Backhaul for LTE

Amir Makleff, CEO of BridgeWave Communications, discusses the elements needed for small cell backhaul.

1. Does the backhaul remain the primary obstacle for widespread small cell rollouts?

2. How does BridgeWave's FLEX4G address the LTE backhaul challenge?

3. What is happening with BridgeWave relative to small cell backhaul?

4. Is time-to-market the critical factor that carriers look to when considering wireless backhaul?

Oclaro Develops 100G Indium Phosphide Tunable Transmitter

Oclaro has achieved a key milestone towards the development of a 100G coherent CFP2 pluggable module based on a new generation of indium phosphide (InP) photonic components that can deliver the high density, low power dissipation, and reduced cost.

Specifically, Oclaro demonstrated that its transmitter can achieve the high electro-optic bandwidth and low power dissipation to meet the requirements of an analog coherent CFP2.  The integrated 100G transmitter is based on Oclaro's proven high-volume InP technology and replaces two discrete narrow linewidth tunable lasers (typically external cavity iTLAs), and an external Mach-Zehnder modulator with a single component that serves as both the transmitter and as the local oscillator for the coherent receiver.

"With this accomplishment, Oclaro has reaffirmed its leadership position in indium phosphide technology and is now in an excellent position to deliver a new generation of highly disruptive pluggable modules for coherent applications," said Jim Haynes, President of Global Business for Oclaro, Inc. "We are excited that Oclaro will enable its customers to drive the growth of coherent technology into the metro and long haul markets where higher density and lower power dissipation are critical requirements and where pluggability offers significant benefits."

The coherent CFP2 production ramp is expected for mid-2014.

Compass-EOS Unveils Silicon-to-Photonics Router

Compass-EOS, a start-up based in Israel, unveiled its radical silicon-to-photonics router that essentially leverages an on-chip optical mesh and electronics to route high-densities of 100GbE and 10GbE.

The company's silicon-to-photonics implementation, which it calls icPhotonics, simplifies router design by bringing the entire backplane on-chip, thereby enabling petabit-class scalability, significantly smaller footprint and power consumption, and easier implementation of software-defined networking capabilities.  The on–chip optical integration ensures QoS routing at high utilization rates and congestion-free multicast packet handling. Compass-EOS said it is also able to ensure maximum router protection from DDoS attacks at maximum capacity.

The company's first product, r10004, is a carrier-grade, modular platform offering 800 Gbps Capacity in a 6U enclosure.  It offers 2 x 100G ports or 20 x 10G ports with full Layer 3 routing functionality for core, peering or aggregation deployments. The r10004 router has been shipping since late 2012 and is currently deployed by several top-tier carriers, including a Japan-based cable provider.

Compass-EOS was founded in 2006 by Michael Laor, who previously was a Director of Engineering and Architecture of Cisco Systems, and Dr. Michael Mesh, who had been a co-founder and CTO of PacketLight Networks.

Investors in Compass-EOS is backed by Comcast Ventures, T-Ventures, Cisco Systems, Pitango Venture Capital, Benchmark Capital, Northbridge Venture Partners and Crescent Point.  The company has raised over $120 million to date.

“A major concern for service providers today is how to scale their networks while simplifying operations and improving utilization. We set out to address that concern by building a new breed of routers,” said Gadi Bahat, CEO of Compass-EOS. “Our revolutionary router design built on icPhotonics simplifies the network, brings about cost savings, moves service providers toward SDN and network

Silver Spring Networks Prices IPO at $17

Silver Spring Networks, which supplies a networking platform for energy utilities, announced the pricing of its initial public offering of 4,750,000 shares of common stock at a price to the public of $17.00 per share. This equates to approximately $81 million.

The shares are expected to begin trading on The New York Stock Exchange on March 13, 2013 under the symbol "SSNI."

Silver Spring Networks customers include major utilities around the globe such as Baltimore Gas & Electric, CitiPower & Powercor, Commonwealth Edison, CPS Energy, Florida Power & Light, Jemena Electricity Networks Limited, Pacific Gas & Electric, Pepco Holdings, Inc., and Progress Energy, among others.

FCC Approves MetroPCS + T-Mobile USA Merger

The FCC approved the proposed merger of T-Mobile USA and MetroPCS, including the transfer of control of a number of Personal Communications Service (PCS) and Advanced Wireless Services (AWS-1) licenses and leases, and one lower 700 MHz license.

 “With today’s approval, America’s mobile market continues to strengthen, moving toward robust competition and revitalized competitors. We are seeing billions more in network investment, while the courts have upheld key FCC decisions to accelerate broadband build-out, promote competition, and benefit consumers, including our broadband data roaming and pole attachment rules. Today’s action will benefit millions of American consumers and help the U.S maintain the global leadership in mobile it has regained in recent years," stated FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

On October 3, 2012, MetroPCS agreed to merge with T-Mobile USA (a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom) in a deal that creates a much strengthened No.4 mobile operator in the U.S. market with deeper network coverage and the need for an accelerated path to one common LTE network. 

 Despite operating incompatible legacy networks (CDMA and GSM), the companies said rapid handset turnover (60% - 65% per year) will make for a relatively quick migration of MetroPCS customers to LTE.   MetroPCS customers will also benefit from T-Mobile's much more extensive network.

The basis for the merger will be to re-farm MetroPCS spectrum to create capacity services.  Specifically, the spectrum migration plan for the merged company will be:

  1. GSM will become the merged company's “universal” technology for roaming, M2M and legacy device
  2. MetroPCS PCS spectrum will be migrated to HSPA+
  3. T-Mobile AWS will be repurposed from HSPA+ to LTE over time
  4. Available MetroPCS AWS spectrum will be migrated to LTE
  5. AWS will become NewCo's primary LTE band across Americas

Some other key points of the deal:
  • The merged company will use the T-Mobile name and brand.  It will be traded on the NYSE.
  • The combined company is projected to have 2012 Pro Forma Revenue of $24.8 billion
  • The combined company will have 42.5 million subscribers

  • The annual CAPEX budget for the combined company would be approximately $4.2 billion at current level
  • Deutsche Telekom will receive a 74% stake
  • MetroPCS Shareholders will receive $1.5 billion in cash and 26% ownership in the combined company
  • The new company will continue to position itself as "the best value in wireless" in the U.S. market
  • The combined company will have ~70,000 total points of distribution, including 50,000 retailers
  • The cost synergies are projected $6 - $7 billion over 5 years, including both CAPEX and OPEX on network infrastructure
  • The company’s headquarters will be in Bellevue, Washington and it will retain a significant presence in Dallas, Texas.

ECI Transmits 100G over Bezeq's 4,600Km Submarine Cable

ECI Telecom successfully transported non-regenerated 100G traffic using its Apollo OMLT platform.  The test traveled over the the Jonah international submarine cable, owned by Bezeq International, over a total distance of 4,600 km, from Tel Aviv to Bari, Italy and back.

The 100G trial was carried out over Bezeq International’s live operational submarine fiber, in conjunction with the Tera Santa Consortium, as part of its research on long-distance adaptive coherent channel behavior. This trial demonstrated the advanced capabilities of ECI 100G transmission system and technologies in compensating for non-linear channel impairments and chromatic dispersion utilizing advanced SD-FEC algorithms.

The Optimized Multi-Layer Transport (OMLT) architecture is ECI’s vision for your next-generation packet-optical transport network, with flexible convergence from metro access to core. The Apollo OMLT is optimized for next-generation optics, and it brings transparent aggregation and transport of services over 10G to 100G WDM links.

"ECI once again demonstrated the powerful performance of our innovative coherent technology with SD-FEC algorithms by transmitting 100G link over Bezeq International's submarine cable for 4,600Km with no regeneration. The 100G channels from the Apollo OMLT allow submarine cable operators to increase significantly the network capacity over expensive links with minimal network adjustment. ECI already deployed and trialed 100G solutions in various customer networks and now we also displayed our capability over submarine cables."

Moscow's Akado Telecom Selects Infinera

Akado Telecom , a major multi-service cable network operator in the Moscow region, has selected Infinera's DTN and ATN optical transmission platform for its metro optical network.

Akado Telecom provides a full range of advanced communication services based on its own fiber-optic network, which extends more than 18,000 kilometers. Akado's multi-service network provides high-speed residential Internet access, voice services, and cable TV services, as well as a broad range of enterprise services for businesses.

The Infinera DTN platform, powered by 100 Gb/s photonic integrated circuits (PICs), is designed to scale up to 6.4 Tb/s of transmission capacity per fiber today and support services with speeds up to 100 GbE. The Infinera ATN, a scalable WDM transport platform with multi-service aggregation, brings the intelligence and integration of the Infinera Digital Optical Network to the metro edge.

"The new solution we implemented offers us a flexible next generation DWDM network and intelligent tools to rapidly deploy additional bandwidth resources,” said Vitaly Klishin, business development director at Akado Group. “As one of the first service providers in Russia to offer 100 GbE services, we are committed to continuously satisfying the needs of over 3,500 enterprises, 350 service providers, and over 12,000 state organizations, and will further innovate our backbone network in 2013.”

Utah Education Network PicksCiena for Metro Optical Network

The Utah Education Network (UEN) and the University of Utah have deployed Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform. The network provides 100G connectivity between the University and its new downtown Salt Lake City data center and to UEN member organizations. Ciena’s technology will also provide high-performance optical transport to support UEN, which operates a statewide backbone for K-12 educational schools, Head Start organizations, higher education institutions and public libraries. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Separately, Ciena announced that Ritter Communications, an Arkansas-based communications provider, has deployed Ciena’s packet networking and converged packet optical technologies.
The deployment includes Ciena’s packet networking solutions, including its 5150 Service Aggregation Switch and 3930 Service Delivery Switch, as well as the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform equipped with WaveLogic Coherent Optical Processors.

Infonetics: Network Security Appliance Market Expands

Worldwide, network security appliance and software revenue grew 10% in 2012 to $6.3 billion, and is up 7% from the year-ago 4th quarter, at $1.7 billion, according to a new report from Infonetics Research. Integrated security appliances have gained share every quarter since 4Q11.

In 2012, Cisco, Check Point, Juniper, McAfee, and Fortinet led the network security market, though Infonetics expects possible share changes in 2013.

"In the network security appliances and software market, vendors are actively jockeying to take advantage of competitor slip-ups," observes Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics Research. "Challengers like Palo Alto, Fortinet, Sourcefire, and Dell SonicWALL will continue to make life interesting for Cisco, Check Point, and Juniper in 2013. When they find success, it will be because they exploit dis-satisfaction with the pricing, efficacy, performance, and feature breadth of the products from the top 3 vendors."