Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Guardian: Verizon Ordered to Deliver all Call Records to NSA

The Guardian newspaper in the U.K. published a Top Secret U.S. court that requires Verizon to hand over all call metadata on its networks on a daily basis to the National Security Agency (NSA).

The order reportedly covers all calls, both domestic and international inbound or outbound calls in the United States handled by Verizon. 

Telephony metadata, as defined in the order, includes comprehensive communications routing information, session identifying information (e.g., originating and terminating telephone number, International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) number, International Mobile station Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, etc.), trunk identifier, telephone calling card numbers, and time and duration of call.

Juniper Announces Data Center DDoS Solution

Juniper Networks announced Junos DDoS Secure for protecting data centers against increasingly complex Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.

Juniper said its Junos DDoS Secure provides the granular visibility and control of network traffic needed for fully automated DDoS protection against "low-and-slow" application attacks and against volumetric attacks of up to 10 Gbps.  By continually monitoring and logging all inbound and outbound Web traffic using its unique behavioral algorithm, Junos DDoS Secure learns which IP addresses can be trusted. The algorithm is able to detect unusual activity coming from a user and then intelligently respond in real time by dropping suspect or noncompliant traffic as soon as the optimum performance from critical resources begins to degrade.

Further, using advanced dynamic distributed threat intelligence (DDTI) techniques, Junos DDoS Secure also ensures that when a threat is detected at one gateway, within seconds, all the other Junos DDoS Secure appliances on the network.

Dell Optimizes Storage with Multi Flash Technologies and Higher Density Rack Solutions

At the Dell Enterprise Forum in San Jose, Dell announced a Compellent Flash Optimized Solution that supports data placement across multiple types of flash technologies or in combination with traditional drives.  The company said this multi-technology flash storage approach could reduce reduce costs by up to 75 percent compared to other flash solutions while supporting high performance  and data-intensive workloads.

Dell also announced far greater storage density per rack.  The Dell Compellent SC280 boasts up to 2.8 times more capacity than competing 2U enclosures. It can store up to 336 terabytes in a 5U footprint.

 The company is also introducing the Dell Fluid File System (FluidFS) v3 for enterprise-class file storage featuring improved performance at one-third the cost of the market leader,[4] helping customers better accommodate performance-intense file workloads. The FluidFS v3 will be able to support two petabytes in a single namespace and offer customers the best rack density among major vendors in its class. The new release will offer policy-driven, variable block data reduction, de-duplicating and compressing redundant data when no longer needed.

Sprint to Recycle iDEN Network Equipment

Sprint remains on schedule to decommission the iDEN Nextel National Network beginning at 12:01 am Eastern time on June 30.

Sprint said it plans to recycle nearly all of the iDEN network equipment that it can’t reuse – including cables, batteries, even the concrete shelters that many iDEN cell sites occupy. The projected result of the effort is a staggering amount of recycled network gear and other materials weighing more than 100 million pounds.

Sprint will gut hundreds of cell sites of obsolete iDEN equipment -- from radios to server racks, antennas to air conditioners -- and will stage it all for recycling vendors. Most concrete shelters that house iDEN cell sites will be crushed and turned into composite for roads and bridges. Sites where CDMA and LTE equipment is co-located will be left intact, minus the iDEN gear.

When decommissioning of the iDEN network is complete, nearly 30,000 iDEN installations will be taken off air. The iDEN recycling project is expected to continue into early 2014.

Equinix Builds Fifth Data Center in Zurich

Equinix opened the first phase of its fifth data center in Zürich, making it the leading provider of data center space in Switzerland. The ZH5 International Business Exchange (IBX) is connected to the rest of the Equinix Zürich data center campus, which includes ZH1, ZH2 and ZH4, with a dark fiber ring under 10km long.

The new data center provides customers with immediate connectivity to 90 network service providers, plus SIX Swiss Exchange, the Swiss stock exchange, and Switzerland's two largest internet exchanges—Equinix Internet Exchange and Swiss IX. Customers can directly connect to other businesses within ZH5 or between data centers on the same campus.

Phase 1 of ZH5 consists of 1,060 m2 (11,200 square feet) of high-density-power customer space or 420 cabinet equivalents. When the entire facility is completely built out, the data center is expected to provide approximately 6,670 square meters (71,800 square feet), or more than 2600 cabinets of high-density power customer space.

PMC Intros WinPath4 Carrier Ethernet Router-on-Chip for LTE Backhaul

PMC introduced its WinPath4 backhaul processor -- essentially a Carrier Ethernet Router-on-Chip that enables mobile operators to scale capacity in their backhaul networks while transitioning to Layer 3 Packet Transport Networks (PTN).

The device is specifically targeted for LTE backhaul applications where carriers are eliminating the radio node controllers (RNC) used in 3G deployments and distributing the controller function across base stations. This requires migration from a Layer 2 centralized hub network to a Layer 3 mesh IP topology with intelligence at each base station. PMC said WinPath4’s unique, programmable Carrier Ethernet Router-on-Chip architecture allows system vendors to provide new platforms that enable this transition.

Key capabilities of WinPath4 include:

  • Transition from Layer 2 switching to Layer 3 PTN routing networks for 4G LTE
  • Extends range of single chip capacity up to 40G PTN backhaul
  • Scales PMC’s Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) certified and field-proven Carrier Ethernet software suite to LTE:
  • Supports MEF Backhaul services, QoS, service management and reliability
  • Programmable Ethernet & MPLS OAM, packet-timing & traffic management
  • Supports up to two million MPLS-TP and IPv6/IPv4 routes in a single chip
  • Carrier Ethernet Router-on-Chip architecture, which allows OEMs to:
  • Drive product differentiation in mobile backhaul
  • Standardize across small cell, microwave, PTN and CESR platforms
  • Proactively respond to new evolving requirements in PTN backhaul.

“China Mobile has aggressive plans to deploy LTE technology in order to provide higher speed mobile data services and maintain best-in-class subscriber experience,” said Li Han, Deputy Director of the Network Department of China Mobile Research Institute. “To meet the challenges of LTE, we need solutions from the ecosystem that will allow us to scale to 40G capacity and transition to Layer 3 PTN in mobile backhaul aggregation networks.”

“With WinPath4, our WinPath franchise now spans 4G to 40G, providing one common hardware and software architecture to meet the needs of an all-IP backhaul,” said Babak Samimi, vice president of marketing and applications for PMC's Communications Business Unit. “The flexibility and programmability of our WinPath processors allows our customers to respond to new features as the mobile network evolves.”

Single Wire Protocol (SWP) for smartSD Memory Cards Enable NFC

A new Single Wire Protocol (SWP) will support Near Field Communications (NFC) features for the popular microSD memory card.

The SD Association, which develops interoperable SD standards, said the SWP interface enables smartSD memory cards to provide authentication services in microSD slotted smartphones, tablets, computers and other consumer electronic devices.  Contactless communication is made possible by using the additional SWP pin that permits a smartSD memory card to take advantage of an NFC-enabled host.

"Completing the enhancement to smartSD marks the achievement of a strategy announced in 2011 to find new markets that would benefit from SD standards," said Brian Kumagai, president of the SD Association. "Adding smart-chip technology to microSD memory cards gives SD equipped smart phones and phablets new consumer conveniences whether they're connected to the Internet or not. We know consumers want more flexibility to expand their storage needs, and a simple way to participate in a variety of value-added services offered by a variety of companies and institutions today."

Small Cell Forum Looks to Accelerate Rollouts

The Small Cell Forum has established a special interest group (SIG) to drive consensus and create best practice for building and maintaining scalable small cells networks. 

The Deployment SIG will be specifically focused on four areas:
  • Regulatory – relating to site acquisition, zoning, local legislation, city council rules and public liaisons.
  • Business models – considering areas such as neutral/wholesale hosting, leased capacity and shared networks.
  • Build – looking at RF & backhaul planning, installation, integration, power, physical, size/loading, safety and security.
  • Operational – including maintenance, accessibility, SON impact, service level agreements, key performance indicators and capacity provisioning.
"As small cell deployments of all flavours continue to gain momentum around the globe there is a huge value to be had from sharing operator experiences of deploying and maintaining these networks with the wider ecosystem," Graham Wright, CEO of the Small Cell Forum. "The creation of this group provides a single point of focus to work closely with operators to share best practice and reduce deployment challenge."

The Small Cell Forum is also looking at ways to accelerate enterprise small cell deployments.  
The combination of enterprise small cells and network-based management applications allow operators to add significant value and features, such as dedicated voice capacity, mobile unified communications, mobile call recording, local switching of voice traffic and context aware services, as well as the fast-developing field of network analytics.

Zayo Acquires Tier-3 Data Center in Austin

Zayo has acquired a Tier-3 data center located at 7218 McNeil Drive in northwest Austin, Texas.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Core NAP facility offers carrier-neutral colocation consisting of a dense enterprise footprint with over 220 existing customers and five major carriers providing services to cloud, enterprise, financial, carrier, media and other connectivity focused customers.

zColo’s latest data center will provide a colocation space of 15,000 sq. ft., featuring private cages and cabinets, as well as remote hands for on-site for assistance.

In 2012, Zayo expanded its metro and longhaul network in Austin, providing its entire suite of Bandwidth Infrastructure services including Dark Fiber, Wavelengths, Ethernet and IP.

Zayo now operates 21 zColo facilities nationwide.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

IBM to Acquire SoftLayer for Cloud Services

IBM agreed to acquire SoftLayer Technologies, which operates 13 data centers in the United States, Asia and Europe.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bloomberg valued the deal at about $2 billion.

SoftLayer allows clients to buy enterprise-class cloud services on dedicated or shared servers, offering clients a choice of where to deploy their applications. The company is based in Dallas, Texas, and serves approximately 21,000 customers. SoftLayer's majority shareholder is GI Partners of Menlo Park, California.

IBM said the acquisition will strengthen its position in cloud computing and will help speed business adoption of public and private cloud solutions. Already one of the world’s leading cloud providers, IBM expects to reach $7 billion annually in cloud revenue by the end of 2015.

IBM also announced the formation of a new Cloud Services division. The new division will provide a broad range of choices to both IBM and SoftLayer clients, ISVs, channel partners and technology partners. SoftLayer’s services will complement the existing portfolio with its focus, simplicity and speed. The division will report to Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services. IBM plans to expand SoftLayer cloud offerings to include OpenStack capabilities.

“As businesses add public cloud capabilities to their on-premise IT systems, they need enterprise-grade reliability, security and management. To address this opportunity, IBM has built a portfolio of high-value private, public and hybrid cloud offerings, as well as software-as-a-service business solutions,” said Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services. “With SoftLayer, IBM will accelerate the build-out of our public cloud infrastructure to give clients the broadest choice of cloud offerings to drive business innovation.”

Verizon to Deploy Bloom Energy's Fuel Cells

Verizon will to install Bloom Energy fuel cell systems at three of its California-based locations: two call-switching centers in Los Angeles and San Francisco and a data center in San Jose.  The solid oxide fuel cells are expected to generate more than 16 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity for Verizon in California each year.

In April, Verizon announced plans to spend $100 million in a solar and fuel-cell energy projects to help power 19 of its facilities in seven states across the country. Together with this new project, Verizon will be on track to generate more than 90 million kilowatt hours of its own green energy annually.  The project will also eliminate more than 15,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from more than 1.6 million gallons of gasoline consumed.

“The ability to power our facilities and operations with our own on-site alternative energy sources helps Verizon meet our long-term sustainability goals, while also enhancing the resiliency of our networks and reliability of our services,” said James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer. “This is more than the right thing to do for the environment; it is also the right thing to do for our customers and our business.”

Bloom Energy has previously announced data center deployments by AT&T and NTT America.

Google Commits to Wind Power for Finnish Data Center

Google has committed to purchase the entire output power of a new wind farm in northern Sweden for the next decade to power its data center in Finland.

Specifically, O2, the wind farm developer, will build a new 72MW wind farm at Maevaara, in Övertorneå and Pajala municipality in northern Sweden. Allianz will provide 100% of the financing for the project. The wind farm is expected to be come online in 2015.

Dell Converges Branch Office Compute/Storage/Network, Alliance with Oracle

Dell introduced its PowerEdge VRTX combining virtualized server compute/storage/networking in a single box design that does not need data center cooling.  The high-density box promises up to 86 percent fewer cables and can save customers time, compared to installing individual task-specific systems. In addition it can eliminate the complexity, cost and sprawl of disparate external devices and multiple management tools.

For enterprise data centers, Dell also introduced a set of pre-configured "Active Infrastructure" racks for specilized applications, including virtual desktop (VDI) and high-performance clusters for life science environments.

Dell is also announcing Active System Manager 7.1, the management layer for Active System that integrates IP from recently acquired Gale Technologies to automate workload and infrastructure deployment through a single console.

In addition, at Dell Enterprise Forum underway this week in San Jose, Dell announced a strategic alliance with Oracle.  Specifically, Dell will offer optimized x86 infrastructure solutions that integrates Oracle' software.  Oracle has named Dell a preferred x86 partner, and Dell has named Oracle a preferred enterprise infrastructure partner, including Oracle Linux.

“Dell is growing fast in the datacenter and gaining market share across the world in our three core businesses. In part, this success is due to the fact we are focused on building and optimizing Dell infrastructure to help customers run their core mission-critical workloads,” said Marius Haas, president of enterprise solutions for Dell.

Caviums Debuts OCTEON III MIPS64 Multicore Processors

Cavium introduced two new families of 28nm dual and quad core OCTEON III MIPS64 multicore processors designed for a broad range of applications, including Wired and Wireless Gateways, 802.11ac access points, Switches, Routers, UTM/Security Appliances, Network Attached Storage, etc.

The new processors include up to 4 MIPS64 cores with full hardware virtualization, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), Packet processing, Security and QOS capabilities in a highly integrated System on a Chip.

Cavium’s new OCTEON III single, dual and quad-core SoCs are available in a small foot print plastic LBGA package and are targeted for low power and low cost applications. The new designs support full hardware virtualization that allows applications to be 'firewalled' from each other, legacy and newer operating systems to run concurrently and also enables live in-service upgrades. The broad range of connectivity options includes GbE, 10GbE XAUI, SATA 3.0, USB 3.0 and PCIe controllers.

Cavium has also included sophisticated power management techniques including "Power Optimizer" to reduce active power and support for Hibernate, Standby and Idle modes of operations that help slash overall power consumption.

Commercial availability is expected in Q3.

Cavium Shows Dual RAT Octeon Small Cell Design

Cavium unveiled an OCTEON Fusion based reference design for enterprise and service provider small cells that provide simultaneous LTE and WCDMA operations.

Cavium's  Dual-RAT solution extends the capabilities of its widely deployed enterprise-class LTE small cell SoC.  A production-ready reference design is available to further assist Cavium’s customers to quickly bring commercial small cell devices to market. This reference design includes manufacturing files as well as LTE and WCDMA L1 – L3 software stacks, application layer APIs and a software development kit.

“Our 4G LTE solution is already in volume deployment today. We are pleased to add this new dual-RAT reference design that supports both WCDMA and LTE”, said Raj Singh, General Manager of Cavium’s Wireless Broadband Group. “This reference design will expand the addressable markets for our small cell solutions.”

tw telecom Earns Carrier Ethernet 2.0 Certification

tw telecom has gained Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certification from the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) for four of its Ethernet-based products and services.

tw telecom becomes the first U.S. service provider with national E-Access EPL and EVPL CE 2.0 certification. E-Access EPL and EVPL deliver wholesale Ethernet access to an external network-to-network interface (ENNI) with a single point of access, scalable to 10 Gig, on tw telecom's national fiber footprint.

"CE 2.0 certification is very important in the industry and tells business customers that the products and services we offer deliver world-class connectivity, anytime, anywhere," said Harold Teets, tw telecom's Sr. Vice President – Network Engineering and Technologies.  "Our vast national Business Ethernet infrastructure delivers secure, scalable and predictable network connections to thousands of locations and customers."

Broadcom Combines DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem, VoIP and UltraHD STB

Broadcom introduced a hybrid cable gateway set-top box solution combining DOCSIS 3.0 and Gigabit wireless gateway functionality with HEVC video decoders and a quad video transcoder onto a single piece of silicon. Broadcom integrates the functionality previously required by five different devices.

The new device features a dual-core CPU that supports multiple applications running simultaneously in secure memory containers for better security.  It also integrates a quad transcoder to enable "TV everywhere" video services on four wireless mobile devices simultaneously, including smartphones and tablets.  In addition, by integrating H.265/HEVC video decoder technology, Broadcom's new cable hybrid gateway device transmits high quality video at one-fourth the bandwidth required by MPEG-2 HD, enabling the delivery of UltraHD content using similar bandwidth as today's MPEG-2 1080p HD.  It also integrates Full Band Capture tuner, which enables the 32 demodulators to be used for DVB-C/QAM and DOCSIS simultaneously, with complete channel flexibility up to 1GHz.

"Broadcom's new BCM7145 is a giant step forward in set-top box gateway chip design and is a key enabler for an all-IP cable platform," said John Gleiter, Broadcom Vice President of Set-top Box Marketing, Broadband Communications Group. "We have engineered a new solution that builds on Broadcom's unmatched, broad-ranged expertise in set-top box devices and our breadth of broadband, MoCA 2.0, Gigabit routing and leading 5G 802.11ac wireless technologies. As a result, the BCM7145 is a breakthrough that delivers what operators want to compete in their markets."

Compass-EOS Names Manouch Khezri as GM North America

Compass-EOS, which is developing a silicon-to-photonics router, appointed Manouch Khezri as its General Manager North America.

Prior to joining Compass-EOS, Mr. Khezri headed Huawei Technologies Company’s North American MSO business development. He has more than 20 years of experience in direct sales management, sales operations, channel sales, and business development. Prior to Huawei, Mr. Khezri served as a partner of the Jazuc group and Vice President at Adva Optical Networking. He’s also served as Vice President of Global Sales at Movaz Networks, a leading supplier of DWDM transport and switching equipment, where he was responsible for sales growth from $0 to more than $100 million per year. Previous to  Movaz, Mr. Khezri  was Vice President, Sales and Business Development, for Sedona Networks and held sales roles at Premisys Communications and Nortel.

Earlier this year, Compass-EOS 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.

Overture Secures $10 Million Venture Loan

Overture announced a $10 million venture loan facility with Horizon Technology Finance Corporation. 

The new facility follows a recently announced $8 million equity investment that includes an opportunity to secure up to $11.7 million.  

The company said this new facility will accelerate the company’s introduction of its Ensemble Open Service Architecture and continue the expansion of its Carrier Ethernet product portfolio.  

“Obtaining financial backing from Horizon lends credence to the strength of our business model that is built on optimizing service creation, activation and assurance for our customers,” said Mike Aquino, president and CEO,Overture. “These new funds could bring the total to more than $20 million in new operating capital. This will allow us to advance software-defined and virtualized network services and continue to lead the market with the best and most innovative Carrier Ethernet solutions for service providers and operators around the world.”

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ericsson: Mobile Traffic Doubled from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013

Overall data traffic doubled between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013 and is now expected to grow 12-fold by the end of 2018 as the global smartphone subscriber base rises from 1.2 billion in 2013 to 4.5 billion in 2018, according to the newly released Ericsson Mobility Report.  By 2018, Ericsson estimates that 60 percent of the world's population will be covered by LTE.

"We expect LTE subscriptions to exceed 1 billion in 2017, driven by more capable devices and demand for data-intensive services such as video. Owing to the build out of WCDMA/HSPA, network speeds have improved, and so has the user experience," stated Douglas Gilstrap, Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy at Ericsson.

Some highlights:

  • Mobility growth is exceeding expectations and Ericsson is increasing its forecast for LTE adoption.
  • GSM is expected to start declining in 2013/2014.
  • Global mobile penetration was at 90% in Q1 2013 and mobile subscriptions now total around 6.4 billion. The actual number of subscribers is around 4.5 billion when accounting for people who have multiple subscriptions. There are projected to be over 9 billion mobile subscriptions by the end of 2018.
  • Global mobile broadband subscriptions have grown by around 45% year-on-year and have reached around 1.7 billion.
  • For Q1 2013, LTE added about 20 million new subscriptions, GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions added ~30 million, and WCDMA/HSPA ~60 million.
  • Total smartphone subscriptions reached 1.2 billion at the end of 2012 and are expected to grow to 4.5 billion in 2018.
  • LTE reached 100 million subscriptions in the beginning of June 2013.
  • Ericsson predicts LTE will reach 2 billion subscriptions by 2018. In its last forecast in November 2012, Ericsson had predicted 1.7 billion by 2018.
  • Mobile subscriptions will grow at a 6% CAGR from 2012-2018.
  • 50% of phones sold during Q1 2013 were smartphones.
  • By 2018, the average smartphone subscription will used 2 GB of data per month.
  • From the end of 2011 to the end of 2012, the LTE footprint coverage doubled from 5% to 10%.
  • Addressing network performance has the largest impact on customer loyalty -- four times as effective as introducing loyalty rewards.
  • In certain networks, users spend up to 85 minutes per day with social media. This is becoming a leading use for mobile data.