Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Intel Launches "Powered by Intel Cloud Technology" Badge

Intel is launching a "Powered by Intel Cloud Technology" initiative to identify cloud service providers that are running Intel-based infrastructure.

The Intel Cloud Technology program builds on the collaboration announced last September between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Intel to communicate to customers the specifications, performance, quality, and security benefits of the Intel technology used in AWS instances.

Intel announced the first sixteen cloud service providers to join its marketing program: Virtustream (U.S.); Canopy, an ATOS* company (U.K.); Cloud4com (Czech Republic); CloudWatt (France); Expedient (U.S.); KIO Networks (Mexico); KT (Korea); Locaweb (Brazil); NxtGen (India); (France); OVH (France); Rackspace (U.S.); Savvis, a company of CenturyLink (US); Selectel (Russia); and UOLDIVEO / UOL Host (Brazil).

"Much like when choosing a car, the type of engine that runs a cloud service dramatically affects performance and efficiency," said Jason Waxman, vice president, Data Center Group and general manager, Cloud Platform Group, at Intel. "Cloud customers want to know what technology their applications are running on because it has direct impact to their business. For the first time, users will have the transparency to select the technologies that are optimal for running their applications in the cloud."

Under the program, CSPs will promote the users' benefits of Intel cloud technologies powering their services through multiple channels. The capabilities available today from participating CSPs aim to significantly increase performance of applications and security of end users' data and include Intel Turbo Boost Technology, Intel Advanced Vector Extensions (AVX), Intel Data Protection Technology with Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (AES-NI), and Intel Virtualization Technology (VT).

In September 2013, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Intel announced a technology and marketing collaboration that includes for the first time the use of the "Intel Inside brand for AWS.  This lets AWS customers know that the services it provides are utilizing Intel technologies. AWS instances that exclusively use Intel Xeon processors – intended for basic to performance-intensive use cases – now display the brand.

AWS also said it was adding the latest Xeon processor family to its data centers with services available for customers later this year. 

Amazon Web Services is the first cloud provider to use the Intel Inside brand.

Internap: Performance Top Concern of Cloud Users

There is a significant gap in public cloud infrastructure concerns between the cloud-wise, organizations that are currently using cloud services, and the cloud-wary, organizations that are not using cloud services and have no near-term plans to do so, according to survey conducted by Internap Network Services.

Some key findings:

  • A majority of the cloud-wary (40%) cited cloud security as a concern, whereas only 15% of the cloud-wise cited security as a challenge they’ve encountered.
  • Conversely, the top cloud challenges encountered by cloud-wise organizations were performance (30%) and cost at scale (28%), followed by reliability (22%), compliance (16%), security (15%) and limited configurations (15%).
  • 59% of respondents hosting big data applications in the cloud cited performance challenges.
  • 66% of respondents cited virtualization as a defining characteristic of a public cloud, even though public clouds do not require virtualization.
  • 63% of respondents said a bare-metal cloud would appeal to them. Most of these (73%) cited the “higher performance of dedicated servers” as the reason, and 35% said they would prefer a bare-metal cloud over a virtual cloud.

The survey, which polled nearly 250 Internet infrastructure decision makers globally, also sheds light on new challenges for organizations as they operate fast, big data applications in the cloud and reveals the common misconception that virtualization is a required characteristic of public clouds.

“The survey data clearly indicates that big data applications – such as those that enable personalization and targeting through customer insights, social analytics and location mapping – are pushing the performance limits of virtual public cloud environments at price-points that don’t make business sense,” said Gopala Tumuluri, vice president of hosted services at Internap.  “Performance and price are primary selection criteria for organizations choosing a public cloud provider. Yet, ironically, the top challenges organizations continue to face with their existing public cloud services are performance- and price-related.”

Qualcomm Ventures Kicks Off QPrize 2014 for Promising Start-Ups

Qualcomm Ventures kicked off its QPrize 2014 international seed investment competition, which seeks to identify and fund the industry's next promising, early-stage technology companies.

The QPrize competition is open to entrepreneurs across China, Europe, India, Israel, Korea, Latin America and North America. One finalist from each region will be awarded US$100,000 in convertible note financing from Qualcomm as seed funding and will be invited to compete against other regional finalists in the QPrize Grand Finals competition. The Grand Finals winner will receive an additional US$150,000 of convertible note funding to help transform the company's innovative business plan into reality.

The deadline to submit business plans is April 18, 2014.

"As a leading industry enabler, Qualcomm is committed to fueling innovation and driving cutting-edge technologies into the entire wireless ecosystem," said Nagraj Kashyap, senior vice president of Qualcomm Ventures. "The QPrize competition allows us to take a look at very early stage companies in key regions throughout the world and fund the next wave of up and coming innovators. Last year's entrants redefined the capabilities of mobile technology, which was showcased when the Grand Finals winner, iOnRoad, was acquired less than 30 days after the Grand Finals. QPrize acts as an important validation point for many of these startups, and we look forward to fostering the development and leveraging the QPrize brand to further raise awareness of these breakthrough technologies."

Alcatel-Lucent to Transfer 170 LTE Engineers

Alcatel-Lucent will transfer approximately 170 engineers specialized in 4G technology at its Orvault site located in the West of France into Altran’s telecoms and media teams.

"We are very pleased to enter into this partnership project with Altran, the global leader in consulting and innovation, particularly since this will give our highly-qualified employees the opportunity to pursue their careers in the Nantes area.  We are sure that the management of Altran will enable our staff to further their professional development in accordance with their talent and expertise. Thanks to its wide international spread and presence in many sectors of activity, Altran will, among other things, give our teams access to new growth opportunities in the telecoms industry and, even more so, in the Intelligent Systems sector, stated Loïc le Grouiec, Country Operations Manager of Alcatel-Lucent.

Huawei Posts 2013 Sales of US, up 11.6% YoY

Huawei reported preliminary 2013 global sales of between CNY 238 billion to CNY 240 billion (US$39.3 to US$39.6 billion) an increase of  about 8 percent (~11.6 percent in USD) year-on-year. Final results are usually published in April. Huawei is an employee-owned corporation.

Huawei's operating profit for 2013 is expected to be in the range CNY 28.6 billion to CNY 29.4 billion. Cash flow from operating activities and the company’s asset to liability ratio remained stable.

Huawei’s global sales revenue will reach between CNY 238 billion to CNY 240 billion (Exchange rate: USD1 = CNY6.0569, as at December 31, 2013) in 2013, an increase of ~8 percent (~11.6 percent in USD) year-on- year. Chief Financial Officer Cathy Meng announced that Huawei's operating profit for 2013 is expected to be in the range CNY 28.6 billion to CNY 29.4 billion. Cash flow from operating activities and the company’s asset to liability ratio remained stable. In 2013, Huawei restructured a number of processes to simplifying its management structure and ensure improvements in operating efficiency.

"Every year for over the past 10 years, Huawei has invested more than 10 percent of sales revenue in innovation. In 2013 alone, the company's investment in R&D reached CNY 33 billion, accounting for about 14 percent of our sales revenue." This means Huawei’s annual investment in R&D exceeded 5.4 billion USD for the first time," stated Chief Financial Officer Cathy Meng.

  • In April 2013, Huawei reported 2012 annual revenue of CNY220.2 billion (US$35.35 billion), up 8% for year and ahead of its peers.  Net profit for 2012 amounted to CNY15.38 billion (US$2.47 billion).

DragonWave Signs Sales Partner for the Chinese Mobile Market.

DragonWave announced a sales agreement with Xi’an Potevio Communications, an ICT subsidiary company of China Potevio Corporation, which supplies antennas for many national and provincial networks such as those of China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom, CNC, etc.  As part of the agreement Xi’an Potevio Communications, has made the first deliveries to a leading mobile services provider in mainland China of DragonWave's Horizon Compact all-outdoor radios.

"The 4G deployment in The Peoples’ Republic of China represents a significant and important market for us and we’re pleased to enter into this agreement with Xi’an Potevio to bring DragonWave solutions into play to address a large and rapidly expanding communications infrastructure,” said Peter Allen, DragonWave President and CEO.

DragonWave’s Horizon and Harmony product portfolios are designed to meet the network requirements of new and evolving 2G, 3G and 4G networks. DragonWave’s products are point-to-point packet and Hybrid radios providing scalable, ultra-low latency, native packet and TDM connectivity up to 1.6 Gbps full duplex in 6 to 60GHz frequencies supporting ring and mesh architectures for carrier grade delivery of next generation IP services.

ADVA Cites Data Center Interconnect Customer in Europe

dm Drugstore Corporation is using ADVA Optical Networking's FSP 3000 to transport mission-critical information between its data centers in Europe.

FILIADATA, the IT subsidiary of dm Drugstore Corporation, operates several business continuity and high-availability solutions, including a high-end IBM Parallel Sysplex environment. The backbone of this environment is an optical transmission solution based on the ADVA FSP 3000, which has recently been installed in cooperation with FILIADATA’s long-standing partner, TelemaxX.

ADVA said its FSP 3000 has a long history of being used within the IBM Parallel Sysplex environment. The close interworking relationship between ADVA and IBM was one of the principal reasons that dm Drugstore Corporation chose the ADVA FSP 3000.

“As a partner for network and communication solutions, we've built a strong relationship with the dm Drugstore Corporation. We've helped them to develop a network capable of meeting their customers' demands, of meeting their own business expectations,” commented Stephan Sluzewski, technical manager, TelemaxX. “When FILIADATA discussed the need to connect IBM mainframes in a Parallel Sysplex over more than 10 kilometers, there was only one clear option. The ADVA FSP 3000 is the perfect fit for the data center environment. The superior functionality combined with the extensive IBM test and qualification program provides our customers with the most secure data transport that we've ever encountered. What's more, the ADVA Optical Networking team provides a level of support that is simply unheralded in the industry. This is a package that was tailor-made for dm Drugstore Corporation.”

Harris Broadcast Completes Acquisition of Imagine Communications

Harris Broadcast completed its previously announced acquisition of Imagine Communications, a supplier of digital video solutions for content providers and system operators, for an undisclosed sum.

Harris Broadcast said the acquisition enhances its solutions portfolio as its builds the first true "MultiService SDN", integrating sales, scheduling, automation, playout and delivery throughout both linear and non-linear content distribution networks. It also brings advanced transcoding technology utilizing cutting edge software breakthroughs that run in high density, low power commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and blade-server environments, consistent with Harris Broadcast’s vision of software-centric, virtualized operations.

Imagine Communications supplies TV Everywhere transcoding that utilizes software running in a virtualized blade server environment.  The solution combines video processing, Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) transcoding and statistical multiplexing technology tp provide the bandwidth efficiency and density needed to meet the demand for TV Everywhere services.

“TV Everywhere is the future of our industry, and our customers are vigorously pursuing this path to expand their business models and improve the monetization of content across any screen,” said Charlie Vogt, CEO of Harris Broadcast. “The advanced Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) technology created by Imagine combines quality, density and a small footprint to greatly leapfrog anything else on the market today and improves transcoding economics up to a factor of 10 over competing alternatives. Our content creator and content distribution customers, including cable, MSO and telecommunications service providers, will benefit significantly from end-to-end portfolio integration that establishes a clear pathway to linear and non-linear viewing parity across every screen.”

  • Imagine Communications was founded in 2005 and is based in San Diego.
  • In Dec. 2012, Harris agreed to sell its Broadcast Communications business to an affiliate of The Gores Group $225 million.

Skyera Adds Michael Klayko to Board

Skyera, a start-up specializing in enterprise solid state storage systems, announced that Michael Klayko, former CEO of Brocade Communications, has joined its Board of Directors.  Klayko had previously served the company as a member of its Advisory Board.  Klayko has more than 35 years of experience in the storage, computer and telecommunications industry and is currently CEO of MKA Capital LLC.  In addition to his heading up Brocade, Klayko's previous experience includes executive positions at Rhapsody Networks (CEO), McData (Executive Vice President), EMC (Senior Vice President of Sales), HP and IBM.

  • The Skyera team brings together previous members of Sandforce, the developer of SSD controllers acquired by LSI, including Skyera co-founders Radoslav Danilak and Rod Mullendore.

Ericsson Demos LTE-A Carrier Aggregation with Angola's Unitel

Angola’s leading telecommunications provider Unitel, has successfully tested LTE Advanced (LTE-A) Carrier Aggregation of the 1800MHz and 900MHz spectrum bands on its commercial network.  The demonstration took place on December 18 in Luanda, Angola, in partnership with Ericsson.

Amilcar Safeca, Deputy CEO of Unitel, says: “Unitel is always innovating to enhance the customer experience. With the global leap toward higher data access speeds for sophisticated video and mobility services, we are enhancing our network to ensure we continually provide high-quality services to our high-demanding subscriber base. With this demo, we are well on the way to launching the most advanced mobile network in Angola and perhaps Africa in the near future. We are working with Ericsson to make this happen.”

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

U.S. Court of Appeals Rejects FCC's Open Internet Rules

The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the FCC overstepped its boundaries in setting Net Neutrality rules that compel broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic the same regardless of source.

The court found that even though the FCC has general authority to regulate the Internet, it has previously chosen to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers and the Communications Act expressly prohibits the Commission from regulating them as such. The court therefore decided to vacate portions of the Open Internet Order because broadband providers do not have to meet common carrier obligations.

The court concludes that "the requirements imposed by the Open Internet Order subject broadband
providers to common carrier treatment. If they do, then given the manner in which the Commission has chosen to classify broadband providers, the regulations cannot stand."

The court did not address Verizon’s additional complaint that the Order violates the First Amendment and constitutes an uncompensated taking.

In response to the ruling, FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler issued the following statement:  “The D.C. Circuit has correctly held that ‘Section 706 . . . vests [the Commission] with affirmative authority to enact measures encouraging the deployment of broadband infrastructure’ and therefore may ‘promulgate rules governing broadband providers’ treatment of Internet traffic.’ I am committed to maintaining our networks as engines for economic growth, test beds for innovative services and products, and channels for all forms of speech protected by the First Amendment. We will consider all available options, including those for appeal, to ensure that these networks on which the Internet depends continue to provide a free and open platform for innovation and expression, and operate in the interest of all Americans.”$file/11-1355-1474943.pdf

In Decemcer 2010, the FCC approved new Open Internet rules governing the management of Internet traffic, with the three Democrats on the commission voting in favor of the measure and the two Republicans voting against.

Key elements of the Open Internet Order included:

Rule 1: Transparency -- A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.

Rule 2: No Blocking -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management. A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider's voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network 

Rule 3: No Unreasonable Discrimination -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer's broadband Internet access service. Reasonable network management shall not constitute unreasonable discrimination.

Significantly, "reasonable network management" was defined as follows: "A network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service. Legitimate network management purposes include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with a user's choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and by reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network." The FCC rules go on to say that "Pay for Priority" delivery of packets on wireline broadband networks is likely to run afoul of the "no unreasonable discrimination" clause because it would represent a significant departure from current practices.

Mobile broadband was largely exempt from the "reasonable network management" clause, as the document acknowledges that this market is an earlier-stage platform than fixed broadband, and it is rapidly evolving. 

Nutanix Raises $101 Million for Converged Data Center Solutions

Nutanix closed $101 million in Series D financing co-led by Riverwood Capital and SAP Ventures.

The company, which is based in San Jose, California, said it has exceeded $100 million in lifetime sales and acquired 13 customers who have purchased more than $1 million of products within two years of launching its Virtual Computing Platform. Customers include eBay, McKesson, Toyota, Orange Business Services and Hyundai Hysco.

The Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform is a converged infrastructure solution that consolidates the compute (server) tier and the storage tier into a single, integrated appliance.

In addition to Riverwood Capital and SAP Ventures, Morgan Stanley Expansion Capital and Greenspring Associates participated in the round as new investors, joining existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures and Battery Ventures. The company has now raised a total of $172.2 million in four rounds of funding.

“Adoption of web-scale computing, and Nutanix’s Virtual Computing Platform in particular, has grown explosively over the last two years, yet we’ve only scratched the surface of this $100 billion hybrid computing market,” said Dheeraj Pandey, CEO of Nutanix. “The additional support from such a high-quality investor group leaves us uniquely positioned to capitalize on the opportunity and build one of the elite companies of this decade.”

Pacnet Opens Flagship, Tier III Data Center in Singapore

Pacnet, which operates an extensive submarine networks across the Asia-Pacific region, officially opened CloudSpace II (SGCS2), a Tier III data center that is also designed in accordance with the BCA Green Mark scheme – the equivalent to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification by the US Green Building Council.

The US$90 million facility is one of Pacnet’s flagship data centers built to help meet the rapidly growing demand for interconnected, advanced data and managed services in the Asia-Pacific region.  The eight-storey, 155,000-square foot standalone facility, offers access to Pacnet’s managed services, including Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS) and Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN). Available in the first quarter of 2014, PEN is a Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform that will allow customers in the SGCS2 to manage networking services virtually and build high performance and cloud-ready networks that are cost-efficient, reliable, flexible and scalable.

The newly opened data center is carrier neutral and is directly connected to Pacnet’s submarine cable networks. It boasts fully redundant power and cooling systems, advanced fire detection and suppression systems, as well as a latest-generation security access system.

“With Singapore firmly entrenched as a dynamic financial hub, the Infocomm Development Authority’s recent push to develop into a big data hub translates into a rising need for data center services,” said Mr Giles Proctor, Vice President of Data Center Construction and Operations at Pacnet. “We are excited about launching Singapore’s first data center with Tier III Design Certification from the Uptime Institute, and continuing to grow along with the Lion City in the years ahead.”

In November 2013, Pacnet announced plans for a pan-Asia Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform using Vello’s Connectivity Exchange software and OpenStack from Mirantis.

Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN) will provide carriers and large enterprises with the ability to provision network bandwidth on-demand across the Pacnet undersea cable system.
VellOS Connectivity Exchange also provides Pacnet with "intelligent overprovisioning."  Vello said this ensures that expensive WAN links between countries and data centers are always fully utilized and monetized via software control of data flows associated with tiered SLAs.

Pacnet will provide tiered SLAs with on-demand provisioning, just-in-time provisioning, bandwidth calendaring, and automatic path recalculation and failover. The network-as-a-service will be available via 10 data centers in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore at launch in Q1 2014, followed by the US and China by first half of 2014, and eventually expand to all its interconnected data centers across 14 cities in the Asia-Pacific region.

In October 2013, Pacnet announced its activation of an optical mesh network with 100G on its EAC Pacific fiber optic cable system.  Pacnet can now offer its Carrier and Enterprise customers 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps services between Asia-Pacific and the U.S.

Pacnet said its new backbone integrates subsea fiber infrastructure and terrestrial backhaul links supporting pure packet technology and OTN switching in the optical core.  The upgrade supports both Ethernet and OTN interfaces at a location, allowing flexible selection of whether to multiplex, scale up and down, amplify, groom, optically express, or switch individual data streams. 

Australia Japan Cable Upgrades to 100G with Infinera

Infinera's DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform has been deployed across the Australia Japan Cable (AJC), which spans 12,700 km and offers diverse landings in Australia, Guam and Japan. AJC is composed of a consortium of leading service providers including Telstra, AT&T, NTT, Verizon and Softbank.

Infinera said the Intelligent Transport Network, featuring the DTN-X platform with SD FEC super-channels and integrated OTN switching, enables AJC to significantly expand their cable’s capacity and rapidly deliver 10, 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) services. Infinera's DTN-X platform delivers long haul super-channels with SD-FEC based on its Photonic Integrated Circuit and the FlexCoherent Processor, supporting up to 500 Gbps in a single line card. The DTN-X platform is also equipped with 1 Tbps per slot to support higher capacity 1 Tbps super-channel line cards for future scaling needs.

"To meet the growing bandwidth needs of carrier, enterprise and ISP customers, AJC is significantly increasing the capacity of our network," said Philip Murphy, Head of Engineering at Australia Japan Cable. "We selected an Infinera Intelligent Transport Network because it allowed us to scale capacity while simplifying operations.”

Southern Cross Adds Terabit Trans-Pacific Capacity with Ciena

Southern Cross Cable Network, which implemented Ciena’s 100 Gbps solution across its 30,000km network in July 2013, will use the Ciena WaveLogic 3 platform to add an additional 500 Gbps to both cables by July 2014. This will bring the total lit capacity across the two Southern Cross cables from 2.6 Tbps to 3.6 Tbps. Potential capacity is 12 Tbps.

Southern Cross President and CEO Fiona Beck says “The continued expansion of our network using the best 100G technology available underpins our strategy to support the development of high-speed broadband in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and Fiji.”

“The introduction of the Ciena 6500 Packet-Optical Platform to our network in 2011, allowed us to move from 10G optics, to 40G, and then to 100G in July 2013. At the same time, the implementation of a mesh-enabled submarine network architecture (GeoMesh) increased the resilience of our services significantly, reducing the risk of natural and man-made network disruptions, even under multi-failure conditions,” said Ms Beck.

“The Ciena platform has allowed us to provide sector leading high capacity submarine capacity services such as 10G and 40G OTN along with the introduction of 40G Ethernet and 100G OTN interfacing. In 2014 we will introduce 100GbE services along with the seamless integration of our key internet data center access points such as Equinix in Sydney, CoreSite in San Jose and the Westin Building in Seattle.”

China Mobile Demos First LTE TDD to GSM Voice Handover with Ericsson

Ericsson and China Mobile successfully demonstrated the world’s first enhanced Single Radio Call Continuity (eSRVCC) towards GSM on a live LTE TDD network.  The demo, which occurred in advance of the China Mobile Global Partner Conference 2013 last month, tested devices in a moving vehicle performing seamless eSRVCC voice handover without any perceivable interruption.

SRVCC is a technology which enables seamless handover of voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls to 2G or 3G networks when the user moves out of LTE coverage. The eSRVCC technology applied in the demonstration is based on 3GPP R10 standard. eSRVCC is the enhanced SRVCC used in the China Mobile Lab.

Ericsson said the eSRVCC technology applied in the demonstration was based on 3GPP R10 standard. eSRVCC is the enhanced SRVCC used in the China Mobile Lab. Compared with SRVCC defined in 3GPP R8, when handover occurs during roaming, the newly added ATCF and ATGW functionality in R10 in the IMS domain can prevent the update of E2E signaling and bearer carrier, therefore avoiding call drops caused by long handover delay, which improves the user perception for cross-domain handover in spotty LTE coverage.

In the demonstration, Ericsson provided the end–to-end commercial equipment covering LTE TDD and GSM radio access with RBS 6000, Evolved Packet Core, a complete IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) with TAS (Telephony Application Server), CSCF (Call Session Call Function), SBC (Session Border Controller), MRS (Media Resource System), MGC (Media Gateway Controller), and the Mobile Softswitch Solution with pooled MSC Servers, to successfully implement LTE to GSM voice handover. Handover delay in the live network environment was measured constantly below 200 ms, far less than the 300 ms for SRVCC defined in 3GPP. This provides excellent user experience with seamless voice over LTE to GSM voice handover.

In addition, in the demonstration Ericsson enabled the Fast Return function on the network side, which allows a quick and direct return from 2G to 4G network within one second after the completion of a call, and ensures advanced user experience. With Fast Return function, it is possible to avoid unreachable paging during inter-RAN cell re-selection when Circuit Switched Fallback (CSFB) and eSRVCC are deployed for improved user experience.

Alpheus Expand in Texas with Overture's Carrier Ethernet

Alpheus Communications, a leading metro-regional network provider in Texas, is deploying Overture Neworks' Ethernet over Copper (EoC) solutions as part of a significant, ongoing network expansion.

Overture’s bonded copper solutions deliver Ethernet services from 1 Mbps to 100 Mbps, providing operators a readily available means to reach more customers, more quickly, with high-speed business services, mobile backhaul and cloud connectivity offerings.

Alpheus said its expanded network can now reach 129,000 Ethernet-qualified locations, representing a 36 percent increase in network reach during the last two years. The carrier also credits the ongoing strength of Texas’ economy in attracting new businesses and sparking new-building construction, which combined with Alpheus expanding Ethernet capabilities to more central offices, has broadened the company’s network footprint, including coverage in South Texas.

“We deployed the Overture solution in anticipation of our carrier and business customers migrating from traditional network options to modern, standards-based Ethernet services,” said Francisco Maella, Chief Operating Officer, Alpheus Communications. “By utilizing Ethernet over Copper, carriers and enterprises benefit from scalability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness, while our channel partners have more revenue-generating options from selling a broader portfolio of Ethernet services on the Alpheus network.”

Netsocket Announces a Virtualized Data Center Customer

Catapult Systems, a national Microsoft-focused IT consulting company, has deployed the Netsocket Virtual Network (NVN) in its data center to enable the managed service provider to easily turn on their new remote offices with full virtual networking functionality.

Catapult, which is a Microsoft National Systems Integrator (NSI) providing full range IT services, is using the Netsocket Virtual Network solution for their own new remote offices.

Netsocket Virtual Network is a centrally managed virtual network optimized for enterprise LAN and WAN edge network deployments.  The company said its solution was deployed on commodity x86 servers at the Catapult central data center in less than an hour, resulting in a secure mesh VPN tunnel network between the new remote site and headquarters. The new remote site can now access corporate resources securely.  Additionally, Catapult's IT department has the flexibility to easily deploy additional services or applications to the remote site x86 server which is hosting the NVN.

In July 2013, Netsocket, a start-up based in Plano, Texas, unveiled its flagship Netsocket Virtual Network (NVN) product suite for bringing SDN-based orchestration and automation capabilities to enterprise infrastructure based commodity x86 servers. Netsocket has developed a three-tier SDN architecture for interoperability and integration with legacy routed networks as well as higher level management systems such as Microsoft System Center.  The NetSocketdesign uses a vFlow controller with routing, firewall, and VPN capabilities built-in.

TE Connectivity Reduces Cost of Connecting Distributed Antenna Systems

TE Connectivity introduced a FlexWave Active Integration Panel (AIP) that provides multi-carrier, multi-protocol connectivity between mobile operator base stations (BTS) and distributed antenna systems (DAS).

The FlexWave AIP is a rack-mountable unit that supports up to eight BTS TX/RX inputs, enabling it to connect multiple BTS in a multi-operator or neutral host application. The FlexWave AIP handles BTS power levels up to 100 Watts.  It is compatible with DAS products from TE Connectivity. It can also be used with other vendors’ DAS offerings.

“FlexWave AIP takes the guesswork, complexity, and cost out of integrating multiple BTS in a DAS deployment,” said Tony Lefebvre, director of product management of TE’s Wireless business unit. “With this new addition to the FlexWave family, we continue to simplify DAS deployment, delivering remotely-monitored control of BTS power levels in a compact system.”

Palo Alto Networks Boosts its Cyber Defenses

Palo Alto Networks announced enhancements that enable quick discovery and elimination of previously unknown malware, zero-day exploits, and advanced persistent threats (APTs).

Unlike traditional security measures, such as stateful firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and anti-virus (AV) systems, Palo Alto Networks said its approach begins with positive security controls to reduce the attack surface. It inspects all traffic, ports, and protocols to block all known threats, it rapidly detects unknown threats and then automatically employs new protections back to the front line to ensure previously unknown threats are known to all and blocked.

The company sees its next-generation firewall as the core enforcement vehicle within the network, and this is extended by the advanced detection and analysis capabilities delivered by its WildFire service, which is now used by more than 2,400 customers worldwide.  New advancements include:

  • Extended file visibility – all common file types, including PDFs, Office documents, Java, and APKs, operating systems, and applications (encrypted or not) are now detected, sandboxed and filtered.
  • Zero-day exploit detection – using behavioral analysis, this signature independent capability in the WildFire cloud quickly identifies exploits in common applications and operating systems and distributes the intelligence to subscribing customers in as little as 30 minutes to prevent future attacks.
  • Discovery of malicious domains – blocks the critical command-and-control phase of an advanced attack by building a global database of compromised domains and infrastructure.
  • Single "pane of glass" view into incident response data – in a single view, security administrators have access to a wealth of information on malware, its behavior, compromised hosts, and more, so that incident response teams can quickly address threats and build proactive controls.

The enhancements are accessible via Palo Alto Networks PAN-OS version 6.0, which will be available for all Palo Alto Networks customers with valid support contracts.