Sunday, May 19, 2013

euNetworks Builds Out its London Fibre Network

euNetworks has built a diverse fibre route from London to Basildon, a town 40km east of Central London that is the location of many data centres critical for the financial industry.  euNetworks is now offering connectivity on its London network from 100 Mbps Ethernet to 10 Gbps wavelengths.

In December 2012, euNetworks launched its leading ultra low latency fibre route linking Basildon to Frankfurt.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Telefónica Tests Long-haul IP-over-DWDM with Cisco

Telefónica Global Solutions completed a long-distance, 100 Gbps IP-over-DWDM (IPoDWDM) technology trial with Cisco.

The trial used integrated coherent 100 Gbps optical interfaces in the Cisco CRS Carrier Routing System (CRS) to generate a standards-compliant 100 Gbps "alien wavelength" directly into Telefonica's existing submarine network between Boca Raton, Florida and Puerto Rico. The total distance was a record-setting 4,000 kilometers (nearly 2,500 miles). The underwater round trip span consisted of DWDM transport systems from multiple vendors – the longest such IPoDWDM test ever completed. Additional shorter tests using only terrestrial fibers were also successful.

Cisco said that integrating the DWDM components into the router eliminates the need for a costly external transponder.  Its nLight coherent technology also eliminates the need for additional dispersion compensation units and electrical and optical regeneration equipment that cannot be added to an existing submarine cable links. This helps further reduce capital and operational expenses.

"Integrating long-haul transport interfaces such as coherent 100Gbps IPoDWDM into routers lowers capital expenses while helping to ensure that bandwidth demands on service provider core networks can easily be met. Proving that our nLight silicon works to 4,000 kilometers shows that IPoDWDM is ready to be deployed on many of the world's submarine and terrestrial links," stated Bill Gartner, vice president and general manager, High-End Routing and Optical business Unit, Cisco.

ViaSat Plans World's Highest Capacity Satellite for 2016 Launch

ViaSat awarded a contract to Boeing to build the world's highest capacity satellite for launch in mid-2016.

ViaSat-2, which is based on ViaSat's next generation, Ka-band satellite technology and architecture, will double the bandwidth economics of ViaSat-1 while simultaneously increasing its coverage footprint by seven-fold.

Coverage for ViaSat-2 will include North America, Central America, the Caribbean, a small portion of northern South America as well as the primary aeronautical and maritime routes across the Atlantic Ocean between North America and Europe.   

ViaSat said improvements to its SurfBeam networking technology will yield performance "commensurate with high-speed fiber-to-the-node networks (FTTN)."

ViaSat-2 will be based on the Boeing 702HP satellite bus.  

ViaSat and Boeing also signed a strategic agreement to jointly market and sell satellites systems based on ViaSat-2 technology.  

"The market success of ViaSat-1 class satellites has highlighted the magnitude of the opportunity for truly competitive satellite services," said Mark Dankberg, chairman and CEO of ViaSat. "It's clear that superior bandwidth economics in space create competitive advantages on the ground, in the air, and at sea, compared to other satellite and terrestrial alternatives. ViaSat-2 represents a significant breakthrough in broadband satellite technology – for the very first time combining extremely high bandwidth capacity with very large coverage areas. ViaSat-2 will make it possible to offer superior in-flight connectivity on applications ranging from JetBlue leisure flights to the Caribbean to U.S. government aircraft traveling to Europe or Latin America, to critical national and Homeland Security missions. ViaSat-2 will also combine unprecedented capacity and coverage with operational flexibility – solving historically intractable issues in geographical distribution of bandwidth demand, capital investments, and system performance. We believe ViaSat-2 is more than just state-of-the-art technology, it's a great investment."

  •  ViaSat's "Exede" Internet satellite service for North America is powered by the ViaSat-1 satellite,  which iffers the highest capacity commercial satellite to date with 140 Gbps of capacity.  The Exede service offers up to 12 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps with plans starting at $50 per month.

  • In September 2012, Intelsat selected Boeing's 702MP platform for its first EpicNG high-performance satellite.
Scheduled for launch in 2015, Intelsat 29e will offer high-performance communications coverage spanning North and South America, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the North Atlantic aeronautical route connecting North America and Europe.

Devicescape: 30% of Smartphone Users Not on Home Wi-Fi

The number of device connections to amenity Wi-Fi hotspots via Devicescape's Curated Virtual Network (CVN) has grown by 50 percent in the last year.

Devicescape said it now manages 1.5 billion monthly consumer Wi-Fi connections via client applications provided by mobile operators and device manufacturers. Devicescape's CVN now numbers more than 12 million individual hotspots and is expected to reach 100 million by the end of 2017.

"The fundamental logic of Devicescape's Curated Virtual Network has been established for mobile operators, device manufacturers, hotspot owners and consumers," said the company's CEO, Dave Fraser. "And the logic applies whether the motivation is to ease cellular network congestion, maintain viable margins or to provide best-in-class quality of experience. Seamless access to an actively and intelligently-curated network of amenity Wi-Fi hotspots puts the consumer in touch with capacity when it's most needed."

Some additional developments:

  • Devicescape is introducing a "Personal Curator" solution that uses the company's intelligent network selection software to simplify initial connectivity to home Wi-Fi and maintain efficient connectivity on an ongoing basis.  The solution is aimed at smartphone users that have either never connected to the home Wi-Fi network or have inadvertently opted out by turning off their Wi-Fi radio.  The company estimates that 30% of smartphone users are not using their home Wi-Fi.
  • The Personal Curator has the ability to switch the Wi-Fi radio on and off based on parameters set by the mobile operator around network conditions and usage behavior to ensure the best Quality of Experience (QoE) and conserve battery life. In addition, the software provides operators an in-depth trend analysis of subscriber usage, including cellular, private and public Wi-Fi data consumption.
  • Devicescape has concluded and announced agreements with eight significant cellular operators in the North American and European markets over the last 12 months.
  • Devicescape has recently signed direct agreements with both Intel and Microsoft (licensed by Verizon), which will dramatically increase the number of devices with native support for CVN connection and/or identification.
  • At next week's CTIA 2013 in Las Vegas, Devicescape is releasing a free  Android app to help users automatically connect to thousands of free Wi-Fi hotspots around Las Vegas.  If a Wi-Fi hotspot is deemed to have an insufficient signal, the user is automatically switched back to mobile data. This gives a taste of what it’s like to have the Devicescape client installed.

T-Mobile Deploys Cisco ASR-5000 in Czech Republic

T-Mobile has chosen the Cisco ASR 5000 Series to manage its mobile data traffic from its new LTE network and 2G/3G infrastructure in the Czech Republic.

Cisco said its ASR 5000 routing platform will help enable T-Mobile to optimize video transmissions and offer customers a broader range of multimedia services. In addition, the ASR 5000 Series can help T-Mobile reduce signaling overhead, distribute session management, and take full advantage of the network's control and user plane capabilities.Deployment gets underway this year. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Russia's MegaFon Upgrades Metro DWDM with NEC + Transmode

MegaFon, one of Russia’s largest telecom operators, is upgrading its optical network with metro DWDM equipment supplied by NEC Neva Communications Systems (NEC) and Transmode.  The delivery has been made to six of the eight branches of MegaFon under a frame agreement of expanding the operator’s network capacity.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hibernia Provides Subsea Cable into CoreSite Boston

Hibernia Networks is expanding its relationship with CoreSite to include deployments in both Boston and New York. Specifically, Hibernia Networks is providing a subsea cable connection into CoreSite’s Boston facility, as well as an Ethernet deployment in CoreSite’s New York facility.

The companies said the new gateway in Boston will ensure an ultra-low latency, direct route between Boston and Europe, ensuring the highest reliability and peak performance. This deployment will serve as a new data node for IP peering in the Boston market. CoreSite's Boston campus, which borders Cambridge and Boston's Central Business District, brings together a community of more than 70 content distribution networks (CDNs), tier 1 carriers, cloud computing providers and systems integrators.

UK Court Sentences Four LulzSec Hackers

A court in the UK sentenced four LulzSec members to prison for their roles in prominent cyber attacks in 2011.

Ryan Cleary (aka Viral), Jake Davis (aka Topiary), and Ryan Ackroyd (Kayla) received jail sentences ranging from two to two-and-a-half years. Mustafa al-Bassam (aka T-Flow) was given a suspended sentence because he was 16 at the time of the attacks.

Between December 2010 and June 2011, LulzSec claimed responsibility for a series of brazen cyber attacks, including denial of service (DDoS) attacks against the websites of Sony, News International, PBS, Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal, as well as hacks or DoS attacks on foreign government computer systems.

Hector Xavier Monsegur, also know as "Sabu", "Xavier DeLeon", or "Leon", pled guilty on August 15, 2011 in U.S. District Court to a 12-count information charging him with computer hacking conspiracies and other crimes. His testimony is believed to have led to the arrest of the other members of LulzSec.

Verizon: Time to Update 1996 Telecommunications Act

When Congress last overhauled U.S. telecom rules -- the 1996 Telecommunications Act -- many of today's technologies were closer to science fiction than fact.  Speaking at the Media Institute on Thursday (May 16), Craig Silliman, Verizon's senior vice president of public policy and government relations, called for a proactive, flexible policy approach to replace outdated regulations.

"The act could not have anticipated the policy challenges that we would face 20 years later, particularly given the extraordinary rate of innovation," Silliman said.  "It has been only six years since the first smartphone was released, so 20 years is an eternity.  What guidance does the 1996 act provide in a world where everyone is carrying a broadband cloud-access device with them? Where video content can be accessed anytime, from anywhere?  Where these technologies are beginning to be applied to broader societal challenges like healthcare, energy management, education and more?  Not much. Nor should we expect it to."

"By eliminating antiquated rules, focusing on meeting consumer needs, and encouraging investment and innovation, we will create the right environment for delivering the amazing promise of broadband and wireless technologies," he said.  "And in place of optimistic uncertainty, such policies will create a spirit of innovation and a sense of limitless opportunities."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Reporter Notes: Google I/O - 900 Million Androids, Richer Services

Google showed off dozens of innovations that advance its mission "to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful."

Key themes of this year's Google I/O event in San Francisco include the massive growth in Android and Chrome OS in raw numbers and adoption of APIs, a more unified experience between core Google services, further evolution of its core search, and rapid growth in its cloud resources.  On the communications front, Google is pushing to make its free Hangouts service into the unifying interface for real-time voice, video, texting and photo sharing communications.

Some reporter notes from Google I/O on Wednesday:

  • Google has reached 900 million Android activations.
  • New Google+ Hangouts will be the interface for realtime communications across the Google platform.  Google says its goal is to get technology out of the way so that people can "just hangout" and not think about the medium of communications, the devices, the platforms, or other factors that get in the way today.  Messaging, including voice and video to other Google users and groups of Google users, is a free service.  Google circles are used for setting up the call.
  • Launched  Google Play Music All Access  -- a subscription service featuring extended recommendations, playlists and guidance based on Google analytics. The service is priced at $9.99 per month in the U.S.  Key differences with other subscription music services is that Google can leverage personal data from its other services to generate more accurate recommendations.
  • There are now 750 million active users of Chrome and a lot of Chrome growth is coming from mobile devices.  Data compression on Chrome for Mobile can save users 50% on their monthly bandwidth usage. The WebP format is about 30% more efficient than JPEG. The VP9 codec offers about a 50% reduction in file size compared to H.264.
  • YouTube will implement VP9 later this year.
  • New Chrome APIs for the mobile web are being released enabling developers to leverage the same resources.
  • Google Play has 48 billion app installs.
  • Google Play Services includes new or enhanced APIs, such as Maps API,  Location API, Fused Location API, Geofencing, Google+ Sign-In, Google Cloud Messaging, etc.  The company's goal is to get its services widely embedded by third party developers across all device platforms.
  • New Google Play Game Services APIs are being released for connecting multiple devices, playing with friends from Google+, storing scores and playing data, posting on public leaderboards, etc.
  • The Google+ social media service adds 41  features including a new "stream" interface that is about better design and greater depth.  This leverages cloud-generated hashtags that Google will insert automatically into posts based on content analysis, location and image analysis.
  • Google Photos is adding many new features that use cloud-analytics to sort photos and enhance images.
  • Google Maps is introducing new discovery and rating capabilities aimed at mobile users.  There is a new interface for both mobiles, tablets and desktops that is personalized, offer media-rich experiences, is context-aware,  and offers comparative directions with public transport and real time traffic conditions.
  • Google Maps APIs are used by more than one million active sites and apps, and are reaching one billion unique visitors every week.
  • Google's Cloud service has generated tremendous interest, said Urs Hölzle, Google's senior vice president for technical infrastructure, for its VM and storage capabilities.
  • Google Compute Engine (GCE) is now available for open signups in preview.  The company is introducing new flexible billing options, including per minute pricing.
  • GCE has increased the maximum size of persistent disks from 1TB to 10 TB.
  • Cloud Datastore has more than doubled in past 11 months and now handles 4.5 trillion requests per month.
  • Google's App Engine now has 3 million active apps running.
  • Google is now adding PHP to its App Engine. This provides the ability to run WordPress sites in the Google cloud. Google can scale to multiple instances in under a second.
  • Google Compute Engine now supports software-defined routing capabilities.  This might be useful for configuring VM instances to function as gateways, configuring VPN servers and building applications that span a local network and Google’s cloud.  Google cited its pioneering SDN implementation on its own network.
  • Google Compute Engine now has ISO 27001 Certification.  App Engine and Cloud Storage have also been certified.

Cisco Delivers Solid Results, Sales Hit $12.2 Billion

Cisco reported third quarter net sales of $12.2 billion, net income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of $2.5 billion or $0.46 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $2.7 billion or $0.51 per share.

"Cisco is executing at a very high level in a slow, but steady economic environment. We are especially pleased with our ninth consecutive record revenue quarter. We are starting to see some good signs in the US and other parts of the world which are encouraging," stated Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers. "We have the right products, the right solutions and our customers are coming to us to solve their biggest business problems. The pace of change is increasing and Cisco is well positioned."

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • Ninth consecutive quarter of record revenue and non-GAAP net income.
  • Hottest areas: cloud data center sales were up 77%, wireless up 27, Service Provider Wi-Fi- up >100%, SP video up 30%
  • John Chambers said the company is planning for slow, steady recovery in the U.S. and elsewhere.
  • Regionally: Americas grew 7%, EMEA was flat at 0%, APC was 1%
  • By customer segment: Enterprise sales grew 3%, Public sector grew 1%, Commercial were up 3% and Service Provider sales grew 8%
  • The book-to-bill ratio is approximately 1.

EU Opens Anti-dumping, Anti-subsidy Investigation into Huawei, ZTE

The European Commission is considering an anti-dumping and an anti-subsidy investigation concerning imports of mobile telecommunications networks and their essential elements from China. Products that could be included consist of radio access network elements and mobile network core platforms.

The EC said its has not yet launched the investigation in order to allow time for negotiations towards an amicable solution with the Chinese authorities.

China exports telecommunication network equipment to the EU market with a value of approximately just over 1 billion euros per year.

Mellanox to Acquire Kotura for Silicon Photonic Interconnects

Mellanox Technologies agreed to acquire privately held Kotura, a developer of advanced silicon photonics optical interconnect technology, for a total cash purchase price of approximately $82 million. Both the Mellanox and Kotura boards of directors have approved the deal.

Kotura holds over 120 granted or pending patents in CMOS photonics and packaging design.  The company has made a number of ground breaking innovations in optical interconnects by integrating multiple high speed active and passive optical functions onto a silicon chip. The company is based in Monterey Park, California.

Mellanox said the acquisition enhances its ability to deliver cost-effective, high-speed networks with next generation optical connectivity for servers and storage systems.

Mellanox expects to establish its first R&D center in the United States at Kotura’s current location. Further, Mellanox intends to retain Kotura’s existing product lines to ensure continuity for customers and partners.

“Operating networks at 100 Gigabit per second rates and higher requires careful integration between all parts of the network. We believe that silicon photonics is an important component in the development of 100 Gigabit InfiniBand and Ethernet solutions, and that owning and controlling the technology will allow us to develop the best, most reliable solution for our customers,” said Eyal Waldman, president, CEO and chairman of Mellanox Technologies.

VMware to Announced Cloud Infrastructure Service on May 21

On May 21, VMware executives Pat Gelsinger and Bill Fathers will unveil a new cloud service that will seamlessly extend your data center to the cloud.

In March 2013, Mware outlined its top three growth priorities:

Redefining Infrastructure -- The Software-Defined Data Center 
VMware is aiming to extend virtualization to all areas of the data center – network, security, storage and management. Specifically, the company will merge its VMware vCloud Networking and Security product line with the Nicira Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) into a single product family based on a common technology foundation, to be named VMware NSX.

VMware NSX will extend network virtualization across VMware and non-VMware hypervisors and cloud management systems, as well as any underlying networking hardware.  Additionally, VMware NSX will provide an open framework for the integration of ecosystem services for networking and security.  VMware NSX is expected to launch in the second half of 2013.

Delivering the Hybrid Cloud 
VMware plans to extend the software-defined data center with a hybrid cloud service offering that will allow its customers to reap the benefits of the public cloud without changing their existing applications while using a common management, orchestration, networking and security model. 

A new VMware vCloud Hybrid Service is expected to launch later this year through the company's existing channels and partner ecosystem.  VMware has created a new Hybrid Cloud Services business unit, to be headed by Bill Fathers, who joins VMwarefrom Savvis, where he most recently served as President overseeing sales, marketing, product development, global operations and all corporate functions in North America, Europe and Asia.

Empowering the Multi-Device Era 
A newly released VMware Horizon Suite for workforce mobility uses virtualization to transform silos of data, applications and desktops into centralized IT services that can be provisioned, managed and delivered to end-users on the devices of their choice.  The product was introduced last month.

Successful Launch for 4th Next Gen GPS Satellite

The fourth Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-4 satellite for the U.S. Air Force was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.

GPS IIF-4 is the fourth in a series of next generation GPS satellites and will join a worldwide timing and navigation system utilizing 24 satellites in six different planes, with a minimum of four satellites per plane positioned in orbit approximately 11,000 miles above the Earth's surface. The GPS IIF series provides improved accuracy and enhanced performance for GPS users.

Orange Fab Backs its First Class of Start-ups

Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, welcomed the first six finalists selected by the new Orange Fab, a three-month accelerator program that supports U.S.-based start-ups.

The first class of Orange Fab's accelerator program includes: 

"As a global provider of high quality connectivity, data, and content, Orange has maintained during the last 12 years a history of close engagement with Silicon Valley" noted Elie Girard, EVP - Group Strategy and Development. "Orange Fab is the logical next platform for that engagement, since accelerators have become a strategic component of technologies discovery and adoption. This experience will also inspire accelerators Orange could launch in France and in Europe."

Orange Fab will conduct mentoring sessions with notable Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, world-class engineers, and experienced designers.  Along with the possibility of receiving $20,000 in funding, the start-ups will have the option to work out of Orange Silicon Valley's offices in San Francisco.  The program will culminate with two demo days, one in Paris in June and one in Silicon Valley in August.

The recruitment of the next class of Orange Fab will start in the fall of 2013.

Acacia Raises $20 million for 100G Modules

Acacia Communications raised $20 million in new venture funding for its coherent OIF-compliant AC100 modules.

Acacia designs, manufactures and sells leading-edge optical transponder modules for coherent 100G and above.  The company is headquartered in Maynard MA and has an office in Hazlet, New Jersey. It was founded by Mehrdad Givehchi, Benny Mikkelsen and Christian Rasmussen.

Summit Partners served as the lead investor, with existing investors Matrix Partners, Commonwealth Capital Ventures and Egan Managed Capital also participating in the round.

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) Picks Ericsson for Evolved Packet Core

Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) has selected Ericsson's SSR 8000 family of Smart Service Routers to upgrade its Evolved Packet Core (EPC) networks in western region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deployment will support LTE and prepare the network for Voice over LTE.

As part of the agreement, Ericsson will also provide systems integration, design and managed services, extending the scope of the existing managed services partnership with Mobily, which started in 2005.

Ericsson noted that it now has 51 contracts for the SSR 8000 family of Smart Service Routers.

Deutsche Telekom Picks NetCracker for Fixed Network Billing

Deutsche Telekom awarded a long-term contract to NetCracker for the ongoing support and maintenance of the billing solution for its fixed network in Germany.
In addition, DT is using NetCracker’s Telecom Operations and Management Solutions (TOMS) suite to provide an end-to-end, next-generation solution that encompasses Order Management and OSS. Leveraging these NetCracker solutions and services enables DT to support new business models and reduce costs. Financial terms were not disclosed.

DT first incorporated NetCracker’s TOMS solution as part of its OSS architecture transformation that emphasized simplification and automation of the operations and management of its next-generation network.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

IO Raises $260 Million for Software-Defined Modular Data Centers

IO, which specializes in software-defined, modular data centers, closed a new $260,000,000 multi-year credit facility led by Wells Fargo.

"IO.Anywhere" is a standardized, manufactured, factory-tested, UL-Listed data center in a shipping container, which managed, controlled, and optimized by the IO.OS data center operating system. It can be deployed incrementally at a company location, at an IO facility, or at an IO-partner data center. IO is based in Phoenix, Arizona.

IO’s existing bank group, consisting of Wells Fargo and Mutual Bank of Omaha, has been expanded to include Bank of America, Bank of Montreal, JPMorgan Chase Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, National Bank of Arizona, Goldman Sachs Lending Partners and Morgan Stanley Bank. Wells Fargo Securities, BMO Capital Markets, J.P. Morgan Securities, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated and RBC Capital Markets served as joint lead arrangers.

“This new credit facility will help IO to continue to design, engineer and deliver the world’s leading software-defined data center technology,” said George D. Slessman, IO CEO and Product Architect.