Saturday, February 22, 2014

Juniper Announces Restructring Program

Juniper Networks announced a corporate restructuring aimed at "enhancing its operational efficiency, returning capital to shareholders, refocusing on strategic opportunities and reinvigorating its culture."  The plan has the support of Elliot Management, an outside investment firm that has been lobbying for changes at Juniper.

Juniper said it plans to refocus on "innovation that matters most to service providers and enterprises where demand for High-IQ Networks and best-in-class cloud environments are driving growth.

Key points:

  • Juniper will capitalized on its engineering expertise across routing, switching, security, control and network management
  • The focus is on being a leading provider of secure High-IQ Networks and serving the needs of Cloud Builders.
  • Juniper will create a more focused, connected, agile and execution-oriented company structure driven to deliver on its customers' imperatives for High-IQ Networks and cloud environments.
  • The company will streamline its operations and business portfolio.
  • Juniper said is aiming for a substantial structural reduction to the cost base and a significantly increased operating margin profile through highly detailed and executable actions with directed accountability.
  • The Company expects to exit the first quarter of 2015 with annualized operating expense savings of $160 million from the Q4 2013 level and achieve an operating margin of 25% for 2015 -- an approximate 580 basis point improvement from 2013 -- with operating expenses of 39% of revenue.
  • Juniper will return a minimum of $3 billion to shareholders over the next three years through a combination of share repurchases and dividends.
  • As part of this plan, the board of directors has authorized $2 billion in share repurchases to be executed through the end of the first quarter of 2015, including $1.2 billion through an accelerated share repurchase program to be entered into shortly.
  • Juniper will also initiate a quarterly cash dividend of $0.10 per share of common stock beginning in the third quarter of 2014, with the expectation to increase the dividend over time.
  • Kevin Johnson will retire from the Juniper Board at the end of February 2014. 

Juniper also noted that it has support from Elliott Management, which has agreed among various customary terms, to support the company's restructuring and will vote in favor of Juniper's nominees at its 2014 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

"The cornerstone of our IOP (integrated operating plan) is the belief that our customers, which include some of the world's largest service providers, financial services companies and government agencies, are increasingly building hyper-scale, resilient, secure, highly intelligent, open and virtualized networks," stated Shaygan Kheradpir, chief executive officer of Juniper Networks. "As a pure-play, high-performance networking company with engineering and organic innovation at its core, I believe Juniper is uniquely positioned to help these customers address their rapidly evolving networking needs. Our new, sharpened focus will bring us closer to our customers as we innovate together to address the opportunities ahead, and will enable us to operate much more efficiently as One-Juniper."

http://www.juniper.net

In January, Elliott Management Corp., an investment fund that owns 6.2% of the common stock of Juniper Networks, is pushing for significant changes at Juniper Networks with the goal creating greater shareholder valued.

In an SEC Schedule 13D and presentation, Elliot called for a number of value-accretive steps, including cost realignment, capital return to shareholders, and the optimization of Juniper’s product portfolio. Elliot believes its initiatives can collectively result in a stock price of $35-$40 per share, which is up to 70% above the current price.

Key points include:

  • Cost Realignment: $200M run-rate reduction in operating expenses from 2013 level.  
  • Capital Return: $3.5B share repurchase program comprised of an immediate $2.5B stock repurchase, a $1.0B repurchase in 2015 and an ongoing commitment to return 50% of free cash flow (including a $0.125/share quarterly dividend) 
  • Product Portfolio Optimization: Review of the security and switching businesses to streamline Juniper’s product portfolio to focus on projects and areas where Juniper has clear competencies and the greatest risk-adjusted return on investment.
In January 2014, Juniper Networks' new CEO, Shaygan Kheradpir, joined the company.  Kheradpir succeeds Kevin Johnson, who in July announced his plan to retire as CEO. Johnson will remain as a member of the board.

Kheradpir joins Juniper Networks from Barclays PLC, where he served as the chief operations and technology officer, and as a member of its executive committee. Prior to joining Barclays, he was executive vice president and chief information and technology officer at Verizon Communications. He holds a bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Cornell University.

NSN's Virtualized OSS Offers Rapid Recoveries

Nokia Solutions and Networks announced enhancements to its virtualized Operations Support System (OSS), NetAct 8, to help operators restore large-scale network configurations in record time and keep network operations running even if there are unexpected spikes in demand or in the unlikely event that a Network Operations Center (NOC) goes down.

NetAct 8 now enables operators to change the configuration of up to 10,000 base stations automatically in a few minutes, compared to the hundreds of hours required to do so conventionally by manual reconfiguration. This helps operators ensure continuity of communication, should an unexpected peak in demand congest a network, or severe weather or power outages threaten operational stability.

Also enabled by virtualization is the automatic activation of all NetAct applications and content in a new location, should a disastrous situation damage a Network Operations Centre (NOC).

Operators will also now get automatic, real-time prioritization of netwtork issues based on subscriber impact.

“Unexpected situations can develop rapidly, but with virtualization, automation and moving to more customer-centric management of processes, operators can maintain excellent network and service performance,“ said Peter Patomella, vice president for CEM and OSS at NSN. “To help operators upgrade to NetAct 8, the NSN Services team provides full support to ensure a smooth transition is made to a virtualized OSS. We are able to do this by drawing on our experience as the top OSS vendor and our global service expertise to help operators move to an OSS in the cloud era.”

http://www.nsn.com

Radisys and VMware Collaborate on Virtualized Media Processing

Radisys has partnered with VMware on a virtualized media processing solution for mobile operators that delivers more than 90 percent capacity compared to Software MRF running on a bare metal server.

Radisys’ Software MRF implementation of VMware vSphere 5.5 delivers virtualized high-performance media processing with minimized delay for real-time communications services.

Radisys’ MRF Release 1.7 also works with VMware vSphere vMotion to enable the live migration of Radisys’ MRF virtual machines from one physical server to another, providing mobile
operators with the flexibility to balance their virtual machines across their servers with minimal downtime, continuous availability and complete transaction integrity.

The companies also noted that a European mobile operator is set to begin VoLTE services trial using virtualized media processing based on this implementation.

“We are pleased to work with Radisys and to see Radisys’ Software MRF taking full advantage of the low latency features of vSphere® 5.5,” said Sanjay Katyal, vice president, Global Strategic Alliances, VMware. “With this collaboration, we’re enabling mobile operators around the world to realize the promise of the telecom cloud.”

“Bringing together the combined engineering expertise of Radisys’ media processing experts with VMware vSphere 5.5 has enabled us to deliver an MRF solution that ensures the real-time processing performance of media packet streams in a virtualized environment with impeccable audio and video media quality,” said Denis Bouffard, director of product management, Radisys. “We designed our Software MRF Release 1.7 to embrace all of the real-time application improvements in VMware vSphere 5.5 to deliver a powerful virtualized MRF solution to the market, and we have several mobile operators lined up to start pilot deployments.”

http://www.radisys.com

Gigamon Announces NFV for Tools (NFVfT)

Gigamon introduced an NFV for Tools (NFVfT) concept that aims to standardize APIs and the demarcation point for network traffic and Big Data to be brokered into an elastic compute architecture for analysis. The NFVfT framework would offer visibility arbitration so that the Big Data analytics tools can virtualize their functions and process data on demand enabling a per-unit-of-information-processed pricing model.

Gigamon said its vision is to create a new paradigm for the more effective processing of Big Data by Customer Experience Monitoring (CEM), troubleshooting and Quality of Service (QoS) tools, as well as the OSS/BSS function and other monitoring and analysis solutions. Gigamon’s Visibility Fabric would be used to normalize, filter and forward data in to a storage medium through a virtual demarcation point. The Orchestration Layer of the Unified Visibility Fabric Architecture and any developed APIs would discover which tools are available to the Visibility Fabric and their capabilities. This enables what would be called the Analytic Data Arbitration Function (ADAF) which manages the brokering of analytic tools with the supply of data that needs to be processed or analyzed. The ADAF capability is in many ways similar to a portal, but where a provisioning and arbitration function exists to broker vendors of analytic tools with those who supply data that needs to be processed or analyzed.

“Big Data is changing the status quo for mobile carriers. The current business model for service providers could become problematic as they fund the rising cost of transporting this data,” said Andy Huckridge, Director of Service Provider Solutions at Gigamon. “Many service providers have now realized the value of the Big Data in their pipes and are now in the process of enabling the monetization of that data. However, this model begins to break down with the legacy analytic tool vendors. The NFV for Tools concept empowers the tools of the future to analyze the bandwidth of the future with the end goal of enabling the monetization of Big Data.”

“Vistapointe was founded on this exact NFV vision of decoupling the analytic tools from the underlying custom hardware probes and enabling this functionality via software on x86 compute platforms. This architecture eliminates the current method of deploying multiple custom probe-appliances, and leverages the existing data-center compute infrastructure, therefore drastically reducing the total cost of ownership,” said Ravi Medikonda, CEO, Vistapointe Inc. “With an integrated solution of Vistapointe software analytic tools and Gigamon’s innovative NFVfT, the future of service provider monitoring will create a cost-effective and scalable platform for big-data applications.”

http://www.gigamon.com/visibility-fabric-architecture

Radisys Positions its COTs Platforms for NFV/SDN

Radisys announced its Telecom Cloud-ready T-Series platforms, a commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS), open standards-based ATCA solution that leverages merchant silicon, open source software and a broad range of third-party blades.

The platforms are pre-configured with the latest Intel silicon and integrated load balancing to meet high-performance requirements for Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) deployments. The platform's inclusion of data plane load balancers allows the delivery of up to 1.6 Tbit aggregate performance across the system.

Radisys said the blade architecture of its T-Series enables the migration to SDN by decoupling the control plane and data plane within a single piece of hardware. When operators are ready to physically separate the applications, the bladed architecture of ATCA enables them to easily move the control plane to a dedicated platform. When operators are ready to deploy NFV, they can abstract the application from the hardware. This tiered approach affords operators greater service flexibility, OpEx and CapEx savings and a faster time-to-market. To ensure that operators achieve efficient and seamless integration during their tiered platform integration, Radisys’ Professional Services team is available at each phase to offer full-service consult and assistance.

“Many mobile operators see the value in making the shift to virtualized deployments, but are unsure where to start,” said Grant Henderson, vice president of marketing and product management, Radisys. “Our Telecom Cloud-ready T-Series platforms, available to TEMs and operators alike, provide the flexibility and cost savings that comes with a non-proprietary product, while also breaking the transition to SDN and NFV into convenient steps that support a phased approach to network and service evolution.”

The line up includes:

  • T40 Compact: Designed for data plane appliance applications such as Deep Packet Inspection, Security and Media Optimization, the T40 Compact is an ideal Network Appliance for low-density nodes that require a cost effective but highly flexible platform with a carrier-grade option. It comes with Intel DPDK pre-installed and is supported by a wide range of front serviceable I/O, storage and other hotswap FRUs.
  • T40 Pro: Designed for mid-density node deployments, the T40 Pro is a highly optimized performance/watt/space platform for demanding Policy Enforcement, Security and Service Gateway applications. The T40 Pro, in addition to two 40G switches, sports a 40G backplane and up to four payload slots, allowing a broad range of network processors and compute resource blade options.
  • T40 Ultra: Designed for telecom applications that require the maximum in high density performance, the T40 Ultra provides more than 1 Terabit of switching capacity and the ability to deliver more than 288 Intel cores, making it the highest performing telco-grade platform for SDN/NFV applications.

http://www.radisys.com

Friday, February 21, 2014

TE Connectivity Unveils New Active Optics Platform Technology to Drive 100G, 300G and 400G

TE Connectivity (TE) introduced  "Coolbit optical engines" - new, active 25Gmdevices that convert data from electrical signals to optical signals for 100G, 300G and 400Gs.

In 2014, TE will bring to market four active optics products that include Coolbit optical engine platform:

  • 100G QSFP28 active optical cables (AOCs)
  • 100G QSFP28 transceivers
  • 300G Mid board optical modules
  • 400G CDFP AOCs

The QSFP28 modules perform at less than 1.5 Watts per transceiver. representing up to 60 percent more power savings than existing solutions.

Each Coolbit optical engine, developed in TE's fabrication facility in Jarfalla, Sweden, uses 25G VCSEL and PIN devices, a TIA amplifier and a driver IC. From research to distribution, TE controls the entire manufacturing process of the Coolbit optical engines and active optic end products. This integrated approach allows TE to transfer cost savings to the customer, while helping to ensure the quality and reliability of its products.

"TE is a technology engineering company that operates with the agility of a start-up. Creating 100G to 400G high-speed active optics will enable the industry to create breakthrough platforms and products," said Philip Gilchrist, chief technology officer and vice president of TE Data Communications. "TE makes the hard stuff first. Our long trusted legacy in connectivity, coupled with a dedication to developing the next impossible technology, we've driven active optics to new levels of performance in terms of higher speeds at incredibly lower power consumption. We can't wait to see what radical new products our partners will create with our Coolbit engine-based products."

http://www.te.com/coolbitgo

Violin Memory Cuts Jobs and Restructures its Focus on Flash

Violin Memory implemented a workforce reduction that brings its current employment level to approximately 380 positions, which compares to 483 positions as of October 31, 2013.
The company announced a strategic restructuring plan that includes a global reorganization of its sales, marketing and engineering functions designed to sharpen its focus on core segments of the flash-based storage market, drive greater efficiency and grow revenues by strengthening engagement of indirect channels.

http://www.violin-memory.com

Earlier this month, Violin Memory named Kevin A. DeNuccio as president and chief executive officer, effective immediately, replacing interim CEO Howard A. Bain III.  DeNuccio most recently managed Wild West Capital LLC, an angel investing, management and technology consulting firm he co-founded in 2012. From 2010 to 2012, he served as the chief executive of Metaswitch Networks, and before that he served as President and CEO of Redback Networks, a publicly-traded provider of edge routers that was acquired by Ericsson.

In December, Violin Memory fired CEO Don Basile, three months after the company raised $162 million in an IPO in September.  Since then, the price of shares declined significantly.

Mavenir Posts Stronger Q4

Mavenir Systems reported revenue $27.1 million for Q4 2013, an increase of 62% year-over-year. GAAP operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2013 was $(1.7) million, compared with $(5.6) million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The company notes fifteen customer wins for next generation products, and four major expansions, including VoLTE and RCS, in 2013.

"Mavenir delivered a strong year with solid financial results, setting new quarterly and annual revenue records attributed in part, to the adoption of 4G LTE becoming more broad-based in 2013," said Pardeep Kohli, president and chief executive officer, Mavenir Systems. “We are well positioned to capitalize on 4G LTE adoption and virtualization, two trends which will be key growth drivers for our business in 2014."


Alcatel-Lucent Leverages Red Hat for CloudBand NFV

Alcatel-Lucent is using the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), as the common platform for its CloudBand Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) solution.

Specifically, Alcatel-Lucent chose Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform for use in managing CloudBand Nodes, the turn-key, all-in-one compute, storage and network node system that interfaces with the CloudBand Management System, along with any other OpenStack-enabled nodes.

Additionally, Red Hat was selected for its ability to enable faster, open innovation through contribution in new upstream OpenStack projects. This collaboration is a product of Alcatel-Lucent’s successful CloudBand Ecosystem Program and Red Hat’s ISV Partner Program in which Alcatel-Lucent holds Premier status.

The Alcatel-Lucent CloudBand node also leverages the previously announced partnership between Red Hat and Alcatel-Lucent’s software-defined networking (SDN) venture, Nuage Networks, to provide a single automatically deployable stack that includes Nuage SDN, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, virtual storage and management tools.

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com
http://www.redhat.com

Vitesse Unveils Energy Efficient Gigabit Ethernet PHYs

Vitesse Semiconductor introduced the latest generation of its SimpliPHY Gigabit Ethernet (GE) PHYs based on its Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) EcoEthernet 2.0 technology, which offer IEEE 802.3az idle power savings up to 85 percent compared to 1000BASE-T full data rate.

The new physical layer transceivers are designed for a variety of low-power, small-form factor IoT devices, such as digital signage and IP cameras.

“Vitesse is already experiencing strong demand for network infrastructure equipment designs that will support IoT traffic,” said David Grant, senior product marketing manager at Vitesse. “With the VSC8501, VSC8502 and VSC8514, we broaden our market reach into industrial IoT applications using low-power, small-form factor end-point devices connected via Gigabit Ethernet.”

Key features:

• The VSC8502 is the industry’s smallest form factor dual 10/100/1000BASE-T GE PHY with a GMII interface, while the VSC8514 employs the smallest form factor package used in the industry for a quad GE PHY. The small packaging enables a reduction in design form factor, reducing system BOM costs, and delivers  industrial temperature support from -40 ˚C to 125 ˚C;
• The VSC8501 and VSC8502 are pin-compatible, allowing system flexibility within the same footprint. They also are Vitesse’s first to feature Wake-on-LAN (WoL) support, allowing remote wakeup of target host systems from a power-savings
sleep state;
• The GE PHYs incorporate Vitesse's EcoEthernet 2.0,
• Synchronous Ethernet support: All the devices feature recovered clock output to support timing synchronization in accordance with ITU-T Recommendation G.8261/Y.1361; and
• Robust features meeting SONET-grade requirements: Fast link failover and ring resiliency features enable OEMs to design to meet carrier grade resiliency.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Alcatel-Lucent Outlines its NFV Roadmap

Alcatel-Lucent outlined its product roadmap for network functions virtualization (NFV) technologies, including plans to virtualize every element of its IMS platform and even key elements of its LTE RAN product set.


Specifically, The virtualized portfolio includes:

A virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC). This automates the authentication and management of subscribers and the services they access, as well as the creation of and connectivity to services within the operator’s network and to the wider Internet on a massive scale, with the quality and performance subscribers demand. Alcatel-Lucent’s vEPC leverages a software base that has been proven in the networks of the world’s largest mobile network operators. The company is currently conducting five customer trials using the vEPC.

A virtualized IMS (vIMS) solution – a cloud communications platform for delivering a rich portfolio of multimedia services over IP networks. Alcatel-Lucent’s vIMS embraces new open cloud technologies whilst retaining the high performance leveraged from being operational at scale in the largest communication networks with 100% availability. Alcatel-Lucent’s vIMS is already being deployed within customer networks and the company is engaged in eight vIMS cloud customer trials.

A virtualized RAN portfolio – encompassing a virtualized 3G Radio Network Controller (RNC) and virtualized proof of concept for LTE and LTE-Advanced Radio Access Networks.  The LTE components leverage Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE software deployed in eight of the top ten mobile operator networks and advanced wireless algorithms from Bell Labs.

To leverage the cloud, the functional software must be on-boarded, managed, orchestrated and optimized within the cloud network. The company is using its CloudBand 2.0 NFV platform at its Cloud Innovation Centre lab in Naperville, US, to onboard and manage its virtualized applications. The 2.0 version has been expanded to support greater network control, broader open industry standard technologies, and virtualized network functions. It also integrates the Virtual Service Platform (VSP) from Alcatel-Lucent’s SDN venture, Nuage Networks. Software defined networking (SDN) solutions from Nuage Networks deliver highly automated, programmable and responsive networks in support of IT and telecommunications applications for the cloud era.

Alcatel-Lucent said it is in a unique position to drive NFV technology forward thanks to its existing product sets in each of these areas, its large customer base, its early work on CloudBand technologies and its contributions to standards bodies.

The company is already working with 20 service providers, including China Mobile with whom it is co-demonstrating voice and video delivered over a virtualized proof of concept LTE RAN Baseband Unit (BBU) and virtualized evolved packet core (vEPC) onboarded to the cloud by CloudBand 2.0 – the company’s second generation NFV platform. It is aligned with the ETSI NFV ISG program and is currently delivering on three CloudBand NFV customer contracts and 10 trials.

“Each mobile operator will have different priorities and want to take their own specific path to NFV, based on their business priorities and the state of their network and operations readiness.  Building on our strong IP foundation, we have pioneered an open SDN and NFV architecture that combines the best of IP with the best of IT, to create a truly carrier-grade cloud network solution. Our accelerated investments in virtualized telecom applications, our CloudBand 2.0 platform and our Nuage Networks SDN venture are clear proof points that we have all the elements to help operators create an open agile, efficient cloud environment at a speed that meets their individual needs,” stated Marcus Weldon, Corporate Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs President.

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/

China Mobile and Alcatel-Lucent Demo Cloud-based VoLTE Network

Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile will demonstrate a voice over LTE (VoLTE) implementation using a virtualized proof of concept LTE RAN Baseband Unit (BBU) and virtualized evolved packet core solutions.

The demo, which will be held at China Mobile’s booth at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, will allow visitors to make voice and video calls with VoLTE capable handsets.

These services are enabled by a multi-vendor cloud network including:

  • Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualized proof of concept LTE RAN BBU uses COTS (Commercial-Off-The-Shelf) parts including hardware components, software components and commercial LTE protocols. The solution was developed as part of the Cloud-RAN (C-RAN) program initiated by China Mobile. Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop C-RAN in 2011.
  • Alcatel-Lucent’s vEPC operating with other virtualized core network functions in a multi-vendor environment.  This will be onboarded, managed and orchestrated within the virtual environment by the latest version of Alcatel-Lucent’s NFV platform - CloudBand 2.0.

China Mobile has more than 700 million subscribers and operates a large scale TD-LTE overlay network in which Alcatel-Lucent is a prime vendor.

Dr. Chihlin I, Chief Scientist of CMCC Research Institute, said “China Mobile and Alcatel-Lucent have a long history of working together to deliver innovative solutions that push the boundaries of telecoms and our work on NFV is no exception. Here we are demonstrating how a cloud network environment can help us deliver services faster and better to even greater numbers of people. This will help us meet the explosion in demand for mobile data and allow us to innovate even further with new service offerings.”

Dave Geary, President of Alcatel-Lucent’s wireless business: “As IP Networking and Ultra-Broadband Access specialists, we are delivering carrier grade solutions to some of the largest LTE networks in the world, helping customers such as China Mobile manage the unprecedented demand being placed on their networks today. Having started work on our own virtualization plans before the NFV initiative was founded we are heavily investing in delivering open carrier-grade virtualized solutions and have a real understanding of what is needed in a cloud environment. We are very pleased to have this opportunity to work with China Mobile at Mobile World Congress to show the benefits of this type of solution working in a complete multi-vendor cloud network environment.”

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

DoD Releases Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy

The U.S. Department of Defense released a report of its Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy (EMS) to increase available spectrum in order to meet growing demand from the commercial wireless industry while maintaining critical military capabilities.

The document outlines key goals and objectives that focus on developing systems that are efficient, flexible, and adaptable in their use of the spectrum; increase operational agility in use of the spectrum; and participate in the development of national and international policies and regulations needed to enable these improvements.

The strategy follows the release of a memorandum issued in 2010 by President Obama titled “Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution,” which requires 500 MHz of spectrum be made available for commercial use by 2020 and one issued in June 2013 titled “Expanding America's Leadership in Wireless Innovation” which directed federal agencies and offices to accelerate efforts to allow and encourage shared access to spectrum allocated for federal use.

“The Department’s Electromagnetic Spectrum Strategy addresses the ever increasing need for spectrum to achieve national security goals,” said Teri Takai, DoD chief information officer. “This strategy also addresses short and long-term spectrum challenges as it relates to the growing US demand for wireless broadband services. To achieve the balance required between national security and economic growth, DoD will continue to work in close collaboration with federal regulatory agencies and policymakers, including the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Federal Communications Commission, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), as well as with commercial industry.
Together we must identify ways to make more spectrum available for commercial use, and find technologies that enhance spectrum sharing, all while improving how DoD accesses spectrum, where and when needed to ensure mission success.”

http://www.defense.gov/news/dodspectrumstrategy.pdf

In February 2013, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile USA announced plans to begin testing the viability of sharing 95 MHz of spectrum that is currently used by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and other federal agencies. 

Last year, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) proposed a spectrum sharing scheme between government and industry.  Specifically, the NTIA determined that 95 megahertz (MHz) of prime spectrum in the 1755 – 1850 MHz band could be repurposed for wireless broadband use. Over 20 federal agencies currently hold more than 3,100 individual frequency assignments in this band. Federal uses of this spectrum include law enforcement surveillance, military tactical communications, air combat training, precision-guided munitions, weather balloons, etc.

Sharing and simulation activities are expected in the next few months to determine how federal use of this spectrum is impacted by the introduction of commercial mobile broadband services in this band.  The testing will involve low power mobile broadband uplinks (base station receivers) and four uses identified by NTIA, including air combat training systems, aeronautical mobile telemetry, satellite command and control, and small unmanned aerial vehicles.

Marvell Reports Flat Q4 Revenue

Marvell reported Q4 2013 revenue of $932 million, essentially flat from $931 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2014, ended November 2, 2013, and a 20 percent increase from revenue of $775 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, ended February 2, 2013.  GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 was $107 million, or $0.21 per share (diluted), compared with GAAP net income of $103 million, or $0.21 per share (diluted), for the third quarter of fiscal 2014, and $50 million, or $0.09 per share (diluted), for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013.  

For the fiscal year ended February 1, 2014, revenue was $3.4 billion, an increase of 7 percent from revenue of $3.17 billion for the fiscal year ended February 2, 2013.

"Fiscal year 2014 was the start of a turnaround for Marvell as we delivered year over year growth in revenue and profits. We made good progress in a number of critical areas during the year," said Dr. Sehat Sutardja, Marvell's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are investing in advanced technologies that will help drive increased business opportunities and continued revenue and profit growth in all of our target end markets."


IBM Develops Cybersecurity Framework for Nation’s Critical Infrastructure

IBM, in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and other government agencies,  has developed a new Cybersecurity Framework designed to help organizations assess and manage cybersecurity risk associated with the nation's critical infrastructure.

IBM said its framework establishes a common language for organizations to evaluate their cybersecurity posture and to identify and prioritize opportunities to improve it.

"Cyber threats are not limited to select industries such as financial services and retail companies.  There is a growing need to apply advanced security to our increasingly interconnected critical infrastructure like power facilities, electrical grids, industrial manufacturing operations and others,” said Kris Lovejoy, general manager of IBM Security Services.

IBM’s own analysis shows that that infrastructure-dependent industries are among the most targeted by cyber attackers.  The top five industries that reported the most incidents include:

  • Manufacturing – 26.5% of all observed security incidents
  • Finance and Insurance – 20.9%
  • Information and Communication – 18.7%
  • Health and Social Services – 7.3%
  • Retail and wholesale – 6.6% 

http://www.securityintelligence.com

Level 3 Teams Up with Windows Azure

Level 3 Communications announced a strategic relationship with Microsoft to deliver private, direct network connections to Microsoft Windows Azure as part of the Level 3 Cloud Connect Solutions partner ecosystem.

The "Cloud Connect" solution bypasses the public Internet to provide a secure, high-performance network link into the Azure cloud.  Level 3 Cloud Connect Solutions and Windows Azure support MPLS-based Ethernet Virtual Private Line Service, Virtual Private LAN Service and IP/VPN Service, as well as Level 3's Security Solutions and Application Performance Management Services. Level 3 and Windows Azure are now accepting limited customer trials of Windows Azure with connectivity in San Jose, Calif. and Ashburn, Va. Global availability is scheduled for additional regions throughout the year.

"Microsoft has unmatched experience running datacenters and cloud services at global scale," said Steven Martin, general manager of Windows Azure at Microsoft. "Private, direct network connections between Level 3 Cloud Connect Solutions and Windows Azure put our combined scale and global reach to work for enterprises, helping them to realize greater efficiencies and focus on their core business."

"Level 3 Cloud Connect Solutions and Windows Azure deliver a fast, reliable and cost-effective path for enterprises to migrate and optimize their cloud strategies," said Anthony Christie, chief marketing officer of Level 3. "Level 3 is driving a new, more efficient way to connect to the cloud, and our strategic relationship with Windows Azure represents the most recent addition to the global ecosystem we are developing to provide enterprises with greater choice and flexibility to operate within the cloud as a platform for future growth."

http://www.level3.com/azure

Ericsson Builds a Global CDN Program

Ericsson announced its first three global content delivery network (CDN) partners: Limelight Networks, CDNetworks and ChinaCache.

Ericsson says its global CDN partnership program will facilitate operators' ability to deliver more content to subscribers.

The idea is to create a plug-in ecosystem for operators to add CDNs to their networks. Limelight Networks, CDNetworks and ChinaCache are the first to announce they will integrate their systems with the Ericsson content delivery solution.

Ove Anebygd, Vice President and Head of Solution Area Media, Ericsson, said: "Today's CDNs must be able to deliver all types of content in an ultra-efficient way in order to cope with the pressures of the TV Anywhere era. The convergence of global CDNs with operator networks propels content delivery forward to a new level of effectiveness, and enables the media industry to optimize broadcast potential with the continued explosion of available video content. We have created these partnerships to help operators and content providers to forge even stronger links so that they can continue to deliver the right services to the right audiences at the right time."

The first three CDN partners are:

Limelight Networks -- now with over 9Tbps of egress serving over 3 billion objects an hour, providing website acceleration, cloud storage, media delivery, and video services worldwide.

CDNetworks -- accelerates more than 40,000 websites and cloud services with 140 nodes spanning six continents, including mainland China and Russia, helping content providers break down barriers to new markets.

ChinaCache -- operating more than 17000 servers in more than 120 cities across China and global points of presence on four continents.

http://www.ericsson.com/timetoplay

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

FCC Chairman Calls for New Net Neutrality Rules

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced plans to introduce new Net Neutrality rules saying his intent is to "preserved the Internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace."

The announcement comes a month after 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.  In January, 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.

In a statement, Wheeler said the D.C. Circuit has also previously ruled that the FCC has the legal authority to issue enforceable rules of the road to preserve Internet freedom and openness.  He plans to propose new rules that cover the following:

Enforce and enhance the transparency rule, which requires that network operators disclose how they manage Internet traffic. This is more significant than many people may realize. An explicit purpose of the rule is to afford edge providers the technical information they need to create and maintain their
products and services as well as to assess the risks and benefits of embarking on new projects.

Fulfill the “no blocking” goal. The FCC will consider ways to ensure that edge providers are not unfairly blocked, explicitly or implicitly,from reaching consumers, as well as ensuring that consumers can continue to access any lawful content and services they choose.

Fulfill the goals of the non-discrimination rule.  The FCC should consider (1) setting an enforceable legal standard that provides guidance and predictability to edge providers, consumers, and broadband providers alike; (2) evaluating on a case-by-case basis whether that
 standard is met; and (3) identifying key behaviors by broadband providers that the Commission would view with particular skepticism.

Keep Title II authority on the table -- this gives the FCC the ability to reclassify Internet access service as a telecommunications service.

Forgo judicial review of the Verizon decision. In light of the Court’s finding that the Commission has authority to issue new rules under Section 706 and the ongoing availability of Title II, the Commission will not initiate any further judicial action in connection with the Verizon decision.

Solicit public comment. A new docket called “Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet” has been opened for public input.

Hold Internet Service Providers to their commitment. Major Internet service providers have indicated that they will continue to honor the safeguards articulated in the 2010 Open Internet Order.

Enhance competition -- the FCC will look for opportunities to enhance Internet access competition.

http://www.fcc.gov/document/statement-fcc-chairman-tom-wheeler-fccs-open-internet-rules

Cisco Expands its Service Provider Virtualization Platform

Cisco introduced an Evolved Services Platform (ESP) for Service Providers that leverages its software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) offerings.

The Cisco ESP is a unified virtualization and orchestration software platform that creates, automates and provisions services in real time, across compute, storage and network functions, to deliver desired business outcomes for applications running across multiple domains.

Cisco said the primary characteristics of this virtualization and orchestration software platform are:

  • Open: Cisco ESP is multi-vendor and based on open standards and incorporating Openstack and Open Daylight (SDN) protocol suite, it is fully compliant with ETSI NFV MANO, 3GPP and more. With interoperation of third-party software, Cisco ESP works with Cisco’s virtual functions and with other vendors’ functions and applications such as Metaswitch Networks and Openwave Mobility.
  • Extensible: Cisco ESP offers the most comprehensive broad set of capabilities with more on the way and spanning across the entire service provider architecture – cloud, video, mobile and fixed – to provide service providers greater means to optimize their networks or create, automate the creation of new services as the business needs dictate.
  • Elastic: Cisco ESP allows service providers to seamlessly and dynamically scale their existing services while also dramatically accelerating deployment of new services and network functions. Resources are harnessed in an automated way when and where they are needed to enable providers deliver “On Demand” offerings at web speed.

As part of this ESP framework, Cisco is announcing the the first two modules:

  • Video: Cisco Videoscape Cloud DVR Solution – cloud-driven video recording with capture and storage in the cloud instead of the end device. Consumers can restart shows, catch up on past programs, and play back digital video recorder-captured content from anywhere, on any screen. For the service provider, it enables new multi-screen offers. It is currently deployed in a major North American video operator.
  • Mobility: Cisco Virtualized Mobile Internet – New virtualized mobile services, such as sponsored data, where the content provider pays to deliver data to the user, provide new revenue opportunities for service providers. Such capabilities are now possible in an even broader use case with the introduction of the Cisco Quantum Virtualized Packet Core (vPC), the Cisco Virtual Gi-LAN capabilities and the Cisco Quantum Services Bus. It is currently in trials at China Mobile as well as other service providers.


Significantly, Cisco will sell these SDN + NFV solutions in four ways:

Virtual Functions: Individual virtual functions may be purchased independently as a separate module and run in a network over general computing (e.g., hardware independent and hypervisor independent).

Orchestrated: Virtualized functions and orchestration, which enables the benefits of the all the different capabilities to work in a “networked” or “service chaining” approach  to deliver expanded functionality and address even wider market opportunities.

Pod: Virtualized service functions combined with orchestration and a hardware package -- implementation in a Pod approach -- Cisco leads the deployment of the Cisco ESP and offers service level agreements and guaranteed performance, working atop of Cisco infrastructure and including Cisco integration consulting services.

“As a Service”: A model where complete service offers that include virtualized service functions combined with orchestration and delivered through a hosted or third-party cloud for faster time-to-market, using a pay-as-you-go model.

“Service providers success is dependent on providing a consistent experience, agility to roll out new services and the ease at which these services can be ordered, automated, managed and delivered,” said Pankaj Patel, executive vice president and chief development officer, Cisco. “Service providers globally view virtualization not just to reduce costs but to have it work with their infrastructure to provide even greater value by means of increased agility and elasticity. As the industry leader in networking, we are not only committed to but executing on our strategy to enable our customers through this transition.”

http://www.cisco.com

In January, as part of its recently launched Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) initiative, Cisco introduced an Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) Enterprise Module for extending high-performing applications from the data center to wide-area networks (WAN) and local access networks (LAN). The goal is to provide enterprises with complete visibility into their networks, automating network and policy configuration while managing applications across the WAN and access networks.

The Cisco APIC serves as the single point of automation and fabric element management in
both physical and virtual environments.

The Cisco APIC Enterprise Module is constructed of three elements: a consolidated network information database, policy infrastructure and automation.

To address security concerns, Cisco APIC automates network-wide rapid threat detection and mitigation by integrating and automating Cisco Sourcefire  security solutions.  For compliance management across branches and headquarters, Cisco APIC also provides network-wide Quality of Service (QoS), and accelerates Intelligent WAN (IWAN) deployments. It can also be used with third-party solutions to provide an end-to-end WAN orchestration and management.

Google Looks to Expand Fiber Rollout to 34 More U.S. Cities

The Google Fiber projects is looking to expand it rollout beyond Kansas City, Austin and Provo to include up 34 additional cities over the next few years.

The company is now encouraging cities in 8 metro regions across the U.S. to consider undertake a joint planning process to map out a Google Fiber network in detail and also assess what unique local challenges such a rollout might face.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/