Thursday, January 23, 2014

IBM to Sell x86 Server Business to Lenovo for $2.3 Billion

IBM will sell its x86 server business to Lenovo for $2.3 billion.

The deal includes IBM's System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and associated software, blade networking and maintenance operations.

IBM will retain its System z mainframes, Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power-based Flex servers, and PureApplication and PureData appliances.

IBM said it will continue to develop and evolve its Windows and Linux software portfolio for the x86 platform.

Approximately 7,500 IBM employees around the world, including those based at major locations such as Raleigh, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Taipei, are expected to be offered employment by Lenovo.

“This divestiture allows IBM to focus on system and software innovations that bring new kinds of value to strategic areas of our business, such as cognitive computing, Big Data and cloud,” said Steve Mills, Senior Vice President and Group Executive, IBM Software and Systems. “IBM has a proven record of innovation and transformation, which has enabled us to create solutions that are highly valued by our clients.”

“This acquisition demonstrates our willingness to invest in businesses that can help fuel profitable growth and extend our PC Plus strategy,” said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO, Lenovo. “With the right strategy, great execution, continued innovation and a clear commitment to the x86 industry, we are confident that we can grow this business successfully for the long-term, just as we have done with our worldwide PC business.”

In 2005, when Lenovo acquired IBM’s PC business, which included the ThinkPad line of PCs. In the period since the companies have continued to collaborate in many areas. The companies are planning to enter into a strategic relationship which will include a global OEM and reseller agreement for sales of IBM’s entry and midrange Storwize disk storage systems, tape storage systems, General Parallel File System software, SmartCloud Entry offering, and elements of IBM’s system software portfolio, including Systems Director and Platform Computing solutions.

Earlier this month, IBM announced plans to invest $1.2 billion to expand its cloud business and build on its acquisition of Softlayer data centers last year. The plans call for 15 new data centers worldwide, including new Softlayer facilities in Washington D.C., Mexico City, Dallas, China, Hong Kong, London, Japan, India and Canada. The expansion will bring the number of IBM cloud data centers to about 40 worldwide.

IBM agreed to acquired SoftLayer Technologies, which operates 13 data centers in the United States, Asia and Europe, last summer.  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.  

IBM also announced plans to invest $1 billion in a new initiative to deliver Watson services over the cloud.  The company has established a new IBM Watson Group in NYC to build additional cognitive computing services, software and apps into the marketplace that analyze, improve by learning, and discover answers and insights to complex questions from massive amounts of disparate data. IBM plans to invest more than $1 billion in the initiative.

Also earlier this month, IBM introduced the sixth generation of its enterprise X-Architecture for System x and PureSystems servers, featuring optimized x86-based systems for analytics and cloud applications.

Some highlights of the X6 architecture:
  • Integrated eXFlash memory-channel storage -- an industry first, this DIMM-based storage provides up to 12.8 terabytes of ultrafast flash storage close to the processor, increasing application performance by providing the lowest system write latency available, essential for analytics applications. X6 can provide significantly lower latency for database operations, which can lower licensing costs and reduce storage costs by reducing or eliminating the need for external SAN/NAS storage units;
  • A modular, scalable design that supports multiple generations of CPU -- another industry first -- and can reduce acquisition costs, up to 28 percent in comparison to one competitive offering. [3] X6 provides stability and flexibility through forthcoming technology developments, allowing users to scale up now and upgrade efficiently in the future;
  • Resiliency features for cloud delivery models of mission-critical applications -- memory and storage increase virtual machine capacity to allow SaaS delivery of applications. Autonomous self-healing CPU and memory systems maximize application uptime by proactively identifying potential failures and taking action to correct them. In addition, Upward Integration Modules can help reduce the cost and complexity of system administration by allowing operators to perform management tasks through virtualization tools. 

Huawei Tests Ultra-Flash Circuit-Switched Fallback with Qualcomm

Huawei completed an interoperability test (IOT) for an Ultra-Flash Circuit-switched fallback (CSFB) solution using its infrastructure and chipsets from Qualcomm Technologies.

The tests, which were conducted at Huawei’s Shanghai R&D facility, demonstrated shortened voice call setup times for 4G networks.

Ultra-Flash CSFB makes special use of a single radio voice call continuity (SRVCC) process to significantly shorten voice call setup times for 4G networks. Huawei said another advantage is that Ultra-Flash reduces CSFB deployment cost and complexity compared to standard solutions, which typically require upgrades to the entire 2G/3G radio network. The Ultra-Flash solution also helps operators smoothly evolve from CSFB to voice over LTE (VoLTE)-enabled networks. Huawei's solution is now ready for commercial deployment on both mobile networks and smartphones.

Huawei also tested several commercial smartphones running on Qualcomm Technologies’ chipsets. The test results showed that it is not necessary to modify smartphones to be able to make use of the Ultra-Flash CSFB solution and that only chipsets that support SRVCC are needed to do so.

  • As of December 2013, Huawei has deployed 50 commercial CSFB and won 14 commercial VoLTE networks contracts. To date, Huawei has submitted 12,686 LTE/EPC standards proposals to 3GPP, more than any other company.

Finland's Elisa Picks NSN as Sole Supplier for 800 MHz LTE

Nokia Solutions and Networks has been named sole supplier for Elisa's next-generation mobile broadband network in Finland. NSN previously supplied Elisa's 2G and 3G infrastructure. NSN said the contract marks the single largest mobile telecommunications deal in Finland and covers a period of 5 years from 2014 to 2018. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the contract, NSN will upgrade its efficient NetAct network management system to integrate the operator’s LTE network into the existing management framework. It will implement its innovative Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations that support Elisa’s network across all technologies and allow the operator to scale capacity depending on changing customer demands. In addition, the agreement covers Care Services, including Active Software Support, Hardware Services and Competence Development Solutions.

“By utilizing the 800 MHz frequency band we can build an extremely fast mobile broadband network in rural areas cost-effectively and provide our customers better coverage in urban areas. High speed 4G services provide better user experience for example in video on demand services and new possibilities to distance working and video conferencing,” said Sami Komulainen, Vice President at Elisa’s Mobile Network Services.

“Our successful collaboration with Elisa started well over 20 years ago – in 1991 – with Elisa’s launch of the world’s first commercial GSM network. Now we are taking that collaboration even further, into a whole new world of speed and superior customer experience,” said Petteri Terho, account director at NSN in Finland. “NSN’s future-proof solutions make it possible to run different radio technologies on shared hardware so that the operator can take advantage of synergies in its network and significantly reduce its total cost of ownership compared to an LTE overlay network.”

  • In October 2013, Elisa obtained 800 MHz licenses for its LTE network in Finland's spectrum auction.

AMD Adds 12- and 16-core "Warsaw" Opteron Server Processors

AMD released new 12- and 16-core AMD Opteron 6300 Series server processors, code named “Warsaw,” designed for virtualized enterprise workloads.

The new AMD Opteron 6300 Series processors feature the "Piledriver" core and are fully socket and software compatible with the existing AMD Opteron 6300 Series. The company said the power efficiency and cost effectiveness of the new processors make them a good fit for the AMD Open 3.0 Open Compute Platform.

“With the continued move to virtualized environments for more efficient server utilization, more and more workloads are limited by memory capacity and I/O bandwidth,” said Suresh Gopalakrishnan, corporate vice president and general manager, Server Business Unit, AMD. “The Opteron 6338P and 6370P processors are server CPUs optimized to deliver improved performance per-watt for virtualized private cloud deployments with less power and at lower cost points.”

In May 2013, AMD introduced its Opteron X-Series x86 processors for scale-out server architectures.

The first AMD Opteron X-Series processors, formerly known as “Kyoto,” will come in two variants:
  • The AMD Opteron X2150, which consumes as little as 11 watts, is the first server APU system-on-a-chip integrating CPU and GPU engines with a high-speed bus on a single die. It incorporates AMD Radeon HD 8000 graphics technology for multimedia-oriented server workloads.
  • The AMD Opteron X1150, which consumes as little as 9 watts, is a CPU-only version optimized for general scale-out workloads.

“The data center is at an inflection point and requires a high number of cores in a dense form factor with integrated graphics, massive amounts of DRAM and unprecedented power efficiency to keep up with the pace of innovation of Internet services,” said Andrew Feldman, corporate vice president and general manager, Server Business Unit at AMD. 

Huawei Purchased US$3.4 billion from Europe in 2013

Saying that its business practices are a win-win, Huawei announced that it procured US$3.4 billion worth of components, engineering services, and logistical services from Europe in 2013. In addition, Huawei said it now has more than 7,700 employees in Europe and it has has set up two R&D centers with total 14 locations, and established six centers of expertise encompassing finance, marketing, service, and other fields.  Huawei has also set-up partnerships with leading European carriers, universities, and industry organizations.

"Our core business principle in Europe is to achieve mutual benefits and win-win outcomes," said Ken Hu, Huawei's Deputy Chairman and Rotating CEO, at World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2014 in Davos. "Europe benefits from a deep-rooted history of culture, management, and technology expertise as well as a great tradition for innovation. Huawei regards Europe as a key competency center. By localizing our operations and collaborating extensively with European partners, we have improved our overall capabilities. At the same time, our global value chain enabled the capability transfer from Europe to other parts of the world, which generated even greater value from these capabilities. In this process, we have also created a large number of job opportunities for Europe and helped move the industry forward."

Looking into the future, Ken Hu remarked: “We believe that open and free trade policies, the foundation of Europe’s prosperity for the past centuries, will continue to pave the way for improving ICT industry’s competitiveness and fueling the growth of digital economy. With full confidence in the future of Europe, we will continue to invest in this region, cooperate with European industry players to promote innovations, and play a more active role in reshaping the society."

Equinix to Open Sixth London Data Center

Citing demand from the financial services, content, cloud and enterprise segments, Equinix announced plans for a sixth data center at its London Slough campus.

The new LD6 data center will provide total capacity of approximately 8,000 square meters (86,000 square feet; 2,770 cabinet equivalents). With $79 million of capital expenditures invested, the first phase is scheduled to open in in the first half of 2015 and will provide initial capacity of 1,385 cabinets.

Additionally, Equinix has invested $37 million in the acquisition of its existing LD4 and LD5 campus buildings and concurrently entered into long-term ground leases for the entire LD4, LD5 and LD6 campus with SEGRO plc. This acquisition gives Equinix effective 50-year control of one of the UK’s largest, fastest-growing and most network-dense data center campuses, supporting customer continuity and future expansion.

Some other notes:

  • LD6 aims to be Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) platinum-accredited for energy efficiency
  • LD6 will use mass air cooling technology with indirect heat exchange and 100 percent natural ventilation. 
  • Once LD6 is complete, the Equinix London Slough campus will provide over 36,000 square meters (388,000 square feet) of net premium colocation space interconnected by more than 1,000 diverse dark fiber links.
  • The London Slough campus provides access to over 90 network service providers and a range of transatlantic cables
  • The London Slough campus is one of the busiest network nodes in the UK, and offers latency in the region of 30 milliseconds to New York and 4 milliseconds to Frankfurt.
  • The campus currently houses over 170 financial services businesses – and has the largest array of trading venues across multiple asset classes in Europe – which collectively account for 25 percent of the total European equities trade count.

Qualcomm Acquires Palm, IPAQ and Bitfone Patent Portfolio from HP

Qualcomm has acquired approximately 1,400 granted patents and pending patent applications from from Hewlett-Packard Company, Hewlett-Packard Development Co LP and Palm Inc.   The patent portfolio covers technologies that include fundamental mobile operating system techniques. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Equinix Builds US$60M Data Center in Melbourne

Equinix plans to invest approximately US$60 million to build a new data center in Melbourne, Australia.

The new ME1 data center will provide a capacity of 1,500 cabinets, with the first phase of 375 cabinets scheduled for completion in Q4 2014. Equinix will construct a specially built 105,000 square foot building shell to house the new ME1 data center and allow for future development.

Dell’Oro: Microwave Transmission Equipment Market to Reach $4.5 Billion by 2018

The point-to-point Microwave Transmission equipment market is forecast to reach $4.5 billion by 2018, following two recent years of market contraction in 2012 and 2013, according to a newly published report by Dell’Oro Group.

Two segments of the Microwave Transmission equipment market that are expected to benefit the most during the forecast period through 2018 are:

  • Packet microwave systems that hold all data transmissions in native Ethernet are forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 6 percent.
  • Ultra-high capacity products that use V-band and E-band frequencies are forecast to grow at an average annual rate of 30 percent.

“After a couple years of steady decline, we think the microwave market is positioned for growth,” said Jimmy Yu, Vice President of Microwave Transmission research at Dell’Oro Group. “The microwave market contraction over the past two years was due to a number of factors that included recessions, regulatory changes, and adjustments in operator priorities.  We believe these, and other negative issues, are behind us as we enter 2014 and operators work towards expanding their LTE mobile radio coverage.  The microwave market will also be further assisted by the eventual roll out of outdoor small cells,” Yu added.

Cisco Offers Cybersecurity Specialist Training & Certification

Cisco has updated its professional training program to include a new Cisco Cybersecurity Specialist certification.  The new Cisco Cybersecurity Specialist Certification focuses on the latest threat detection and mitigation skills using the most advanced security solutions. The certification recognizes security professionals that have attained specialist in-depth expertise and proven kno
wledge in the essential areas of proactive cyber threat detection and mitigation.

In addition, Cisco has redesigned its CCNP Security Certification to focus on engineering skills that are required to design, deploy, maintain and manage end-to-end network security solutions.
The updated certification and training provides a holistic understanding of the elements that coexist to provide a complete network security posture.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

VMware to Acquire AirWatch for Mobile Mgt. & Security

VMware agreed to acquire AirWatch, a leading supplier of enterprise mobile management and security solutions, for approximately $1.175 billion in cash and approximately $365 million of installment payments and assumed unvested equity.

AirWatch, which is headquartered in Atlanta, offer Mobile Device Management, Mobile Application Management and Mobile Content Management. It claims more than 10,000 customers globally and has about 1,600 employees across nine global offices.  AirWatch is privately-held.

VMware said the acquisition expands its End-User Computing group.  The AirWatch team will continue to report to founder and chief executive officer John Marshall as part of VMware's End-User Computing group, led by Sanjay Poonen, EVP and GM. Alan Dabbiere, AirWatch's co-founder and chairman, will be overseeing a new AirWatch operating board which will report to Pat Gelsinger, VMware CEO.

The acquisition will be funded through a combination of balance sheet cash and proceeds from approximately $1B of additional debt to be provided by EMC. VMware will also continue with its ongoing share buyback program.

"Our vision is to provide a secure virtual workspace that allows end users to work at the speed of life," said Sanjay Poonen, EVP and GM of VMware's End-User Computing group. "The combination of AirWatch and VMware will enable us to deliver unprecedented value to our customers and partners across their desktop and mobile environments."

  • VMware also announced preliminary Q4 2013 financial results for the fourth quarter of 2013:  the company now expects Q4 2013 revenues to be $1.48 billion, an increase of 15% from the fourth quarter of 2012. Excluding revenues attributable to Pivotal Software Inc. and all divestitures that occurred in 2013, revenues for the fourth quarter are expected to have increased 20% from the fourth quarter of 2012.

    "I'm delighted with our overall Q4 performance, with total revenue expected to exceed the high end of our guidance range," said Jonathan Chadwick, chief financial officer and executive vice president, VMware.
  • In February 2013, AirWatch received $200 million in Series A funding.  Investors included Accel Partners and Insight Venture Partners.  

Tata Communications Completes 100G Upgrades to Pacific Cables

Tata Communications completed a 100G upgrade along the TGN-Pacific (TGN-P) submarine cable system that connects the U.S. to Japan and three routes in the TGN-Intra-Asia (TGN-IA) market across Asia. With these upgrades complete, Tata Communications now has 100G deployed across major routes around the world on its own infrastructure -- the first private subsea cable owner to achieve this.

The upgrades on the TGN-P submarine cables – which is the longest segment in route km and believed to be the highest capacity subsea cables deployed in the Pacific – used Ciena’s 6500 Converged Packet Optical platform and GeoMesh solution.  As a result, Tata Communications now offers 100G transport services on its TGN-P submarine cable system that links the U.S. to Japan, a distance spanning 22,300 km. The cable connects Emi, Chiba to Hillsboro, Oregon and Toyohashi as well as Aichi Prefecture to Hillsboro, Oregon. In addition, Ciena’s solutions also supports Tata Communications’ Intra-Asia network, which spans roughly 6,700 km.

Genius Wong, Senior Vice President, Global Network Services, Tata Communications says, "We continue to make significant investments to our global network as we understand that connectivity is one of the most critical backbones in a world where hyper-connectivity has become a part of the everyday fabric of life and business. Investments such as the 100G upgrade to our TGN-Pacific submarine cable and Intra-Asia routes enable us to meet customer demand for high-bandwidth services and applications, whilst ensuring end-to-end network performance for our enterprise and carrier customers across the US and Asia."

Telstra Global Expands MPLS Network

Telstra Global activated new MPLS Points-of-Presence (PoPs) in Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam and Chicago.

The company's MPLS network now offers more than 1,900 POPs worldwide, including 377 PoPs in Europe and 341 PoPs in the United States.

Telstra Global's Network Operations Centre proactively monitors the new PoPs and associated infrastructure via the Customer Control Centre – a unified portal interface designed to enhance communications between Telstra Global and its customers particularly during times of issue resolution and performance management.

Pacnet Enhances Wavelength Protection of International Private Lines

Pacnet is enhancing its Wavelength Premium International Private Line (Wave Premium) service now that its 100G Asia-Pacific network upgrade has been completed. The expanded network capacity provides carriers and service providers higher availability and priority restoration capabilities through unparalleled route diversity.

Pacnet offers Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with service credits up to 100 percent of monthly service charges, and will significantly decrease restoration time when a subsea outage occurs. With multiple subsea cables connecting major markets in the region, Pacnet has the ability to provide carriers and service providers multiple route options and assurances for restoration.

“The vast majority of subsea outages are caused by external aggression, not technical defaults or other operational issues and the time required to make repairs results in significant business impact for customers,” said John Garrett, President of Carrier Services, Pacnet. “With the 100G upgrade, our capacity enables us to offer a resilient, meshed network that provides customers redundancy with multiple routes to the same destinations.”

Pacnet owns and operates Asia’s largest Trans-Pacific and intra-Asia subsea fiber optic cable network that spans 36,800 kilometers and connects to cable landing stations and Points of Presence (PoPs) in key Asian markets including Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. With up to 10.24 Terabytes per second (TBps) of combined design capacity and multiple landing points in most locations, Pacnet provides customers with low latency connectivity and network resilience through increased route diversity.

FCC Opens Auction for 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz Bands

The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau commenced the qualified auction of 176 H Block licenses in the 1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz bands (Auction 96). The FCC qualified 23 bidders to participate in the auction.

Bids are being taken electronically using RSA SecurID tokens.  Three rounds of bidding will be held each day. Anonymous bidding procedures are in effect for Auction 96.

Verizon to Add SAP HANA to Cloud Infrastructure

Verizon Enterprise Solutions plans to deploy the SAP HANA platform in Verizon's data centers, making it available to customers across Verizon's cloud offerings, including eCloud, Managed Hosting and the new Verizon Cloud.

SAP HANA is the in-memory data base platform at the core of SAP's cloud vision. SAP HANA was introduced to the market two years ago and has since gained more than 3,000 customers.

"As cloud computing trends upward in our industry, our ecosystem will play an even more important role in our overall strategy and vision for offering a complete portfolio of cloud solutions," said Bob Grazioli, global head, Cloud Ecosystem, SAP. "Through collaboration with leading companies such as Verizon, we intend to provide our customers with even more choices to run applications developed on SAP HANA.  We expect that our partners' cloud offerings will be able to offer SAP customers the world-class service and innovation they have come to expect from SAP."

Verizon Cloud was announced in October 2013 and is currently in beta.

AT&T to Double Down on Austin Fiber Rollout as Sales Exceed Expectations

AT&T confirmed that sales of the fiber broadband service in Austin, Texas has exceeded its expectations. AT&T now plans to expand the all-fiber network to reach twice as many Austin area households in 2014. Planned expansions in 2014 include areas of Zilker, Homestead, and North Lamar, among many other neighborhoods throughout the city.

AT&T U-verse with "GigaPower" currently offers consumer broadband speeds at up to 300 megabits per second, AT&T plans to increase speeds to up to 1 Gbps later this year.

"Austin's response to our blazing fast broadband and enhanced TV services has been incredible and validates why we decided to roll this out in Austin first," said Dahna Hull, vice president and general manager, Austin, AT&T Services Inc. "Austinites consume data at rates 15 percent to 20 percent higher than the average U-verse user, and the overwhelming adoption of our new U-verse High Speed Internet 300 broadband service confirms that this community also values time and speed."

  • AT&T noted that it first began serving Austin more than 134 years ago and today has a base of 2,600 active employees and close to 1,000 retirees in Austin, and 63 AT&T retail stores in and around the city.

  • In April 2013, Google selected Austin as the second rollout city for its Google Fiber project.  AT&T announced its fiber project in Austin days later.

Austrian Utility Carrier Tests WDM-PON with ADVA

ADVA Optical Networking, Energie AG Oberösterreich Data GmbH (Data GmbH) and ELCON Systemtechnik GmbH,are conducting a WDM-PON trial in Allhaming, Austria.

The network uses dedicated wavelength connections to subscribers, achieving symmetrical access speeds exceeding current commercial offerings by more than a factor of 10. Allhaming was chosen for the trial because of its location in an underserved rural area with poor broadband access.

ADVA said the trial forms part of the collaborative EU PIANO+ projects TUCAN and IMPACT that are fostering the development of ultra-broadband WDM-PON networks.

“This trial isn't just about technology, it's about people, it's about communities, it's about the digital society,” commented J√∂rg-Peter Elbers, vice president, Advanced Technology, ADVA Optical Networking. “Working with the residents of Allhaming, you see firsthand how important dependable access to high-speed broadband is. People of this municipality are now able to video chat with distant relatives, participate in online learning and benefit from all the other applications that depend upon broadband access. All this is possible because of our WDM-PON technology. What's even more exciting is that this is only the first stage of the trial. In 2014, we will go even further – connecting more users and bringing additional technology developed with other collaboration partners, such as Oclaro, that provides the integrated tunable laser devices for the trial.”

DragonWave Supplies Microwave Backhaul for Gogo's Expansion

DragonWave has been selected as a microwave solutions provider for backhaul connectivity as part of Gogo‘s ongoing expansion efforts. Gogo will use the DragonWave Horizon Quantum and Horizon Compact+ radios for linking its remote tower locations back into a wired network.  DragonWave’s links are designed into the Gogo network by Future Technologies Venture.

Gogo's in-flight services are available on more than 2,000 commercial aircraft and more than 6,500 business jets.

“Our requirements are unique in that we needed to find a cost effective, reliable and quick solution to link our customers back into a wired network from our remotely positioned towers,” said Anand Chari, Gogo’s Chief Technology Officer. “We’ve selected DragonWave, as we’ve had a strong relationship with them over the past few years and have had reliable performance, service and support of the company’s products, which, in turn, has helped us provide a reliable quality of service to our inflight customers”

“We’ve enjoyed helping support the unique vision Gogo is pursuing to provide airline travelers around the world with dependable inflight entertainment services,” said Peter Allen, DragonWave President and CEO. “Probably the best compliment one gets from a customer is repeat business, and we’re committed to help Gogo succeed as they expand their business of connecting passengers to the Internet at 30,000 feet."

NextG-Com Launches LTE Release 11 Protocol Stack

UK-based NextG-Com has launched an LTE protocol stack compliant to 3GPP Release 11 and designed for niche markets such as machine-to-machine (M2M) devices, LTE backhaul, relay nodes, routers and gateways.

The company said its ALPS 520 suite has been tested against 3GPP standard conformance test cases and includes a host of tools - Trace, ASN.1, SE-RTOS™ - that help to accelerate product development and reduce third party licensing costs. It also includes L1 adaptation layer APIs which can be customized based on the different MAC and Physical Layer architecture. These APIs makes ALPS 520 portable to different real-time operating systems (RTOS) on different platforms.