Sunday, April 13, 2014

Ericsson: Services & Software Now Account for 66% of Business

Ericsson hosted its annual Shareholder's Meeting last Friday in Stockholm. Some notes from the general presentation:

  • Software and Services now account for 66% of the company's business, while hardware sales represent 34%.  The Services component was 43% of the total sales in 2013.
  • Ericsson now manages over 1 billion subscriptions on behalf of carrier customers. About 2.5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide are supported on Ericsson platforms.
  • Ericsson currently has about 114,000 employees, of which about 18,000 are in Sweden. 
  • About 64,000 of the employees are Services professionals.
  • In 2013, Ericsson recorded a 5% annual growth rated in sales (adjusted for currency).
All materials are posted online.

Digital Route's Service Control Supports Tiered Data Buckets

Digital Route, a company based in Sweden that provides mediation and data integration solutions, introduced a new Service Control solution that lets network operators support tiered pricing models.

Service Control is a pre-configured Use Case built on DigitalRoute’s MediationZone platform, which is presently used by over 270 communications service providers worldwide. It provides a service delivery and execution engine that is designed to support operators in instances where usage bundles (of voice, data, and/or next generation services) form the core of a competitive strategy.

Digital Route said a key feature of its Service Control is that tiered pricing models can be managed in simple buckets, bypassing costly changes to or even direct involvement with legacy rating and billing. The solution implements a data layer that is system and silo-agnostic.  This enables the offloading of legacy billing.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Trusted Platform Module 2.0 Specs Released

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 library specifications have now been released for silicon makers, software developers, system builders and other members of IT ecosystem.

TPM 2.0, which is positioned as the critical next step for a more secure computing environment, aims to provide a secure root of trust to protect data in computers and mobile devices from digital and physical attacks, theft or loss.

The TPM 2.0 specification is designed with cryptographic agility to allow support for more algorithms in the future. It also offers the flexibility for industry implementations across a broad range of platforms including servers, desktops, embedded systems, mobile devices and network equipment.

The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) is also making available the PC Client Platform TPM Profile (PTP) specification, the first in a series of specifications to enable developers and manufacturers to design TPMs into their products. Specifications for additional platforms, including mobile devices and embedded systems, will follow.

F5 Mitigates Heartbleed Bug

F5 Networks confirmed that its BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager, which can be used to terminate SSL connections, already has the necessary protections in place to secure applications against the Heartbleed bug.

For companies terminating SSL connections on application servers (not utilizing F5 SSL offload), F5 said the threat can be mitigated through open, extensible F5 iRules.

“For organizations using F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) with our SSL stack, applications are already protected from the Heartbleed vulnerability,” said Mark Vondemkamp, VP of Product Management, Security at F5. “They have been protected from the Heartbleed bug since it was introduced in OpenSSL.”

Friday, April 11, 2014

OIF to Host Transport SDN Workshop in Berlin

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) will host a workshop on Transport SDN next month in Berlin.

Speakers will cover specifications and standardization efforts with representatives from the ONF, OGF/NSI, ETSI/NFV and the OIF.  The workshop will also cover the implementation of SDN/NFV with speakers discussing demonstrations, field trials and deployments.

Carrier speakers include OIF president, Vishnu Shukla of Verizon, Joachim Westphal of Deutsche Telekom and Thierry Marcot of Orange.  Forum speakers include Lyndon Ong of Ciena and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Jonathan Sadler of Coriant and the OIF, Guy Roberts of DANTE and the Open Grid Forum(OGF/NSI) and Evelyne Roch of Huawei and the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (ETSI NFV ISG). Vendor speakers include Joerg Elbers of ADVA Optical Networking, Diego Caviglia of Ericsson and Robert Bryttegard of Infinera.

 The workshop, "Transport SDN - Enabling Technologies, Demonstrators, Field Trials, Deployments" is open to the public and will be held on Monday May 19 at Maritim proArte Hotel, Friedrichstra├če 151.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

BT to Provide Private IP VPN to Microsoft Azure

BT and Microsoft announced a global agreement to provide secure cloud connectivity service.

The Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute service will enable customers to bypass the public Internet when connecting to Azure through a private connection based on BT’s IP Connect VPN service.

BT’s IP Connect VPN service, which is available in 198 countries and territories, integrates the Azure infrastructure directly with the wide area networks of customers. Customers will benefit from lower latency, more predictable performance and enhanced security for Azure workloads.

The service is due to go live in summer 2014 in Europe through direct network connectivity to Microsoft Azure data centres in Dublin and Amsterdam. This will be followed by connections in Asia, then by additional locations around the world.

Luis Alvarez, CEO, BT Global Services, said “IT departments everywhere face the same challenge; Cloud offers them the benefits of flexibility and lower costs, but security and reliability of access to data and applications remain main barriers to adoption. We will help customers build on their hybrid cloud strategies by bringing together BT's expertise and global network with the Azure platform. They will benefit from a globally consistent, more secure and reliable solution, helping them innovate and compete in the global market.”

Jean-Philippe Courtois, President, Microsoft International, said “Microsoft and BT have an established history of delivering cloud solutions that meet the evolving needs of business across many industries. Today’s announcement is yet another example of the two companies joining forces to help customers embrace cloud on their terms, by providing a more secure and reliable way to take advantage of the speed, flexibility and scale of hybrid solutions.”

NTT Com Launches U.S. Cloud-based Virtual Desktop Service

NTT Communications announced the US-market launch of an Enterprise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure service based on XenDesktop by Citrix Systems.

The service, which runs on newly-built server infrastructure located in the United States, is aimed at globally active enterprises with a need "to protect information, standardize IT governance and integrate desktop environments with standardized cloud infrastructure rather than having to build desktop environments in each country. PC environments in overseas locations can now be constructed and managed from within the United States on an integrated basis.

NTT Com's Enterprise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is linked to Arcstar Universal One, the company's global network service for enterprises.

Going forward, NTT Com plans to launch Enterprise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure platforms in other markets, including Europe and ex-Japan Asia, as well as enhance the customer portal with added functionality.

“Citrix is developing leading desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) provider programs and new technologies that partners use to differentiate their businesses,” said Mitch Parker, Vice President and General Manager, Citrix Cloud Services, Citrix Systems Inc. “Incorporation of XenDesktop in NTT Com’s Enterprise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure will enable U.S. companies to better satisfy their global computing needs. The combination of industry-leading desktop virtualization technology with U.S.-based cloud service platforms will ensure that customers worldwide can use desktop virtual environments safely on a highly flexible and expandable service platform.”

Earlier this year, NTT Communications began offering U.S. and Europe-based platforms for Arcstar UCaaS, its globally seamless, cloud-based unified communications service for enterprises.

NTT Com's Arcstar UCaaS uses cloud-based infrastructure to assure low-latency, highly redundant communication. It integrates VoIP phones, web and audio conferencing, instant messaging, presence and other collaboration tools in the cloud.

Arcstar UCaaS combines the expertise and experience of NTT Com and group companies including Arkadin in fields such as applications, cloud infrastructure and networks.

In 2013, NTT Communications agreed to acquire the majority stake in Arkadin, which delivers SaaS conference-related solutions covering audio, web, video conferencing and unified communications services.

Arkadin, which was launched in 2001 by CEO, Olivier de Puymorin, serves approximately 37,000 customers in 32 countries, including France, Germany, the UK, USA, Australia, China, Singapore and Japan. The company was based in Paris.  Arkadin was backed by AXA Private Equity.

Arkadin offers unified communications based on Microsoft Lync, as well as Cisco Jabber combined with WebEx. Services are delivered in the cloud.  Arkadin also offers Adobe Connect for audio/video/web conferencing and collaboration.

AT&T Plans 1G Fiber Broadband in North Carolina

AT&T is in advanced discussions with the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) about the possibility of rolling out fiber-based AT&T U-verse with GigaPower broadband service to parts of the Triangle and Piedmont Triad regions. The 100% fiber network deployment would deliver speeds up to 1 Gbps.  NCNGN is a regional initiative focused on stimulating the deployment of next generation networks to North Carolina.

The proposed plan outlines potential fiber deployments in the areas of Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and Winston-Salem where there is demand for ultra-fast broadband and local policies that support broadband network investment. The next step is for the governing bodies of these six NCNGN member communities to ratify the agreement.

The plan includes options for public Wi-Fi hotspots, free AT&T U-verse with GigaPower at up to 100 public sites and an all-fiber network connected to up to 100 business buildings. It also outlines a free 3 Mbps AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet offer available to 10 affordable housing complexes, up to 3,000 homes. These hotspots, public sites, buildings and apartment complexes will be across the six communities and identified by NCNGN. The plan would also bring AT&T U-verse to the residents and businesses of Durham for the first time.

AWS Launches Memory-Optimized EC2 Instances (R3)

Amazon Web Services began offering high-memory performance R3 instances for applications that require instances with high memory footprint and high memory bandwidth. Netflix and MongoDB are customers.  The instances include the following features:

  • Intel Xeon E5-2670 v2 "Ivy Bridge" Processors
  • Hardware Virtualization (HVM) only
  • SSD-backed instance storage, including TRIM support
  • Enhanced 10 Gbps networking with lower latency, low jitter, and high packet-per-second performance.

AWS Adds Cloud Cost Calculator

Amazon Web Services has added a Cost Explorer toolset for managing spending on its cloud services. Cost Explorer is integrated with the new AWS Billing Console launched in November, and features reporting, analytics, and visualization tools.  The calculator shows current month’s spend and automatically pre-populates the last 4 months of AWS spend, allowing users to visualize AWS costs and start analyzing trends and spending patterns.

CyrusOne Begins Construction of Northern Virginia Data Center

CyrusOne, which operates 25 carrier neutral data centers with over one million square feet of total capacity, began construction of a massive, new facility in the Dulles corridor of northern Virginia.

The first phase of construction of the enterprise-class, multi-tenant data center in the Loudoun Tech Center includes a 124,000-square-foot shell with up to 60,000 square feet of raised floor space, 15,000 square feet of office space, and 12 megawatts of critical load. CyrusOne expects the first phase of the new site to be completed in October.  The 14 acres that CyrusOne has purchased is expected to accommodate a shell of approximately 400,000 square feet at full build, with up to 240,000 square feet of raised floor space, 36,000 square feet of Class A office space, and up to 48 megawatts of critical load.

ZTE Sees Larger Q1 Profit

ZTE expects its profit for 1Q2014 will at least double from the same period last year, reflecting the strengthening of core operations.  The company's newly issued guidance calls for net profit attributable to shareholders to be between RMB 425 million and RMB 637 million in the first quarter, a year-on-year increase of between 107.3% to 210.7%, according to ZTE’s preliminary results announcement filed to the Hong Kong stock exchange today. Basic earnings per share will be between RMB 0.12 and 0.19, compared to RMB 0.06 a year earlier, based on pre-audited financial data.

The company did not disclose its overall revenue or revenue trend.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Verizon Lauches Secure Cloud Interconnect Service

Verizon announced the launch of its Secure Cloud Interconnect service (SCI), enabling its enterprise customers to use a Private IP service at up to 10 Gbps to connect to multiple cloud services, including the Verizon cloud and Microsoft Azure.

SCI with Verizon cloud will be immediately available in three locations (Denver, Northern Virginia and Santa Clara, Calif.), with sites in Europe (London, Amsterdam) available in May. Additional sites are planned for Europe and the Asia-Pacific region by year’s end.

The service with Microsoft Azure is expected to be available this summer for customers in the U.S.  Private Cloud Interconnect will be available to an additional half-dozen other major cloud services expected to come online later this year.

In addition, enterprises that have located their private cloud infrastructure in Equinix data centers can directly access Verizon’s Private IP service in 15 Equinix data centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific: Northern Virginia., Newark, N.J., Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Silicon Valley; London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris; Sydney, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore.

Verizon’s Secure Cloud Interconnect service offers dynamic bandwidth allocation with fully redundant connections, application performance throughput and quality of service, usage-based billing, and simple provisioning and management via a centralized portal. In addition, for added protection, clients can also add managed security services on top of their solutions.

“With Secure Cloud Interconnect, Verizon is removing the barriers for enterprise cloud adoption,” said Michael Palmer, vice president of product development for Verizon. “The reality is that many organizations today use multiple clouds to meet their business and technical objectives, but there was no easy way to manage this environment until now. Our new offering uniquely gives enterprises everything they require in a multi-cloud environment – security, private connectivity, performance, simplicity and efficiency. SCI will enable a wide range of applications and use cases for organizations.”

Hibernia Launches Content Delivery Network over its Global Net

Hibernia Networks has launched a Content Delivery Network that leverages its Internet backbone and high-performance IP network to accelerate delivery content for websites, ebooks, music, video and other forms of content.  The company said its network footprint enables it to deliver exceptional capabilities in secure, high-capacity media distribution and data transport. The platform also reflects the company’s continual commitment to and its evolution as a full, ‘end-to-end’ service provider.

The HiberniaCDN is available in the company’s owned and managed 190+ Points of Presence spanning North America, Europe and Asia/Pacific.

“HiberniaCDN provides customers with an end-to-end, cost-effective, content delivery solution that offers outstanding performance and enables the secure delivery of high-speed content to users around the world,” states Bjarni Thorvardarson, the CEO of Hibernia Networks. “HiberniaCDN aligns to our core belief that no matter how or where our clients and their end users are consuming a service — whether in Los Angeles, Dublin, or Singapore — they will always enjoy the same high-performance experience.”

Mid-Atlantic Broadband Tests Multi-Terabit Capacity Across Live Network

Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC), which operates a wholesale fiber-optic open-access network, completed a trial last week delivering multi-terabit capacity on its existing network across southern Virginia.

The demonstration, which was conducted with Infinera's DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform and 500 Gbps super-channels, demonstrated MBC's ability to deliver multi-terabit capacity providing more bandwidth for data center operators, cloud providers, research and technology companies looking to expand into southern Virginia.

"This trial underscores MBC's ability to rapidly deliver terabit capacity on our existing network," said Tad Deriso, President & CEO of MBC. “As we look toward expanding and enhancing MBC's network infrastructure to accommodate 100Gb/s transport circuits throughout the region, this successful trial is validation that MBC will be able to continually deliver high capacity, scalable bandwidth to our carrier customers."

eircom Rolls Out VDSL2 Vectoring with Huawei

eircom is rolling out VDSL2 vectoring to boost broadband speeds up to 100 Mbps for more than 700,000 homes and businesses across Ireland. The deployment uses technology from Huawei.

By the end of March 2014, vectoring has been deployed to the vast majority of eircom’s 3,000 fibre broadband cabinets. eircom estimates that at least 70% of the approximately 700,000 homes and businesses currently passed by its fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) network will be able to achieve speeds of between 70Mbps and 100Mbps.

Commenting on the development Carolan Lennon, Managing Director eircom Wholesale, said "Leading telecoms analysts such as Analysys Mason estimate that by 2020 European homes and small businesses will need download speeds of 100Mbps. With the deployment of vectoring we’re making those speeds available to homes and businesses within our existing national fibre footprint now, and the 1.4 million homes and businesses we intend to reach by 2016. Once completed, the broadband speeds available over our National Next Generation Fibre Access Network are now faster than most Fixed Line Operators across Europe.

We continue to work closely with our Global vendors, such as Huawei, to explore further hugely exciting technological developments in this area such as G.Fast, which offers the potential of future step changes in both upload and download broadband speeds by driving fibre further out into our network."

Huawei Introduces New Intel Xeon Servers

Huawei is introducing new server products based on the latest Intel Xeon processors.

At last week's IDF 2014 in Shenzhen, Huawei showcased its  RH8100 V3 eight-socket mission-critical server, the RH5885H V3 four-socket mission-critical server, and the E9000 converged architecture blade server, all of which use Intel Xeon E7 v2. Huawei also showcased FusionCube and its high-performance computing (HPC) solutions that use Huawei’s innovative servers, and the Trusted FusionCloud solution that includes Huawei next-generation TPM2.0 servers.
Huawei RH8100 V3 runs on Intel’s Xeon E7-8800 v2 processor. Huawei's hardware partitioning technology is leveraged to divide a single eight-socket server into two four-socket servers to support the evolution of processors over the next ten years, addressing the future high-speed interconnection requirements of the next three generations.

The RH5885H V3 four-socket rack server provides 53 RAS features and is powered by the Xeon E7-48000 v2 processor. It offers double the computing performance and triple the memory capacity when compared with Huawei’s RH5885 V2. In addition, up to 16 PCIe slots can be used to address customer requirements for service expansion.

The Huawei E9000 converged architecture blade server converges computing, storage, switching, and management.

Huawei’s FusionCube solution uses the Huawei E9000 converged architecture blade server and enables the automatic deployment of computing, converged network, storage, virtualization, and middleware.

Huawei also showcased its Trusted FusionCloud solution that uses servers based on Huawei's next-generation TPM2.0 technology at IDF 2014. TPM2.0 security chips and Intel Trusted Execution Technology (TXT) together ensure secure and trusted virtualization and cloud computing platforms. TPM virtualization technology (vTPM) enables trust in software running on virtual machines. Huawei’s FusionSphere cloud operating system protects system integrity using TPM2.0 server and vTPM technology. TPM2.0 enables bidirectional access and health checks between cloud resources and terminals.

Comcast Reaches One Million Wi-Fi Hotspots

Comcast now has over one million Wi-Fi hotspots in operation across the U.S. -- the largest network of Wi-Fi hotspots in the nation.

The Comcast Xfinity WiFi network includes:

  • Outdoor Hotspots: Comcast has placed Xfinity WiFi hotspots in public locations across the country, ranging from shopping centers and commuter stations to parks, sporting venues, beaches and boardwalks. Cities include San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta as well as areas of New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware.
  • Business Hotspots: Most Comcast Business Internet customers are eligible to receive an Xfinity WiFi hotspot for no additional charge when they order service. This is a value-added feature that directly improves their patrons’ experience. Examples include restaurants, cafes and bakeries, retail establishments and office waiting rooms.
  • Neighborhood Hotspots: Recently, Comcast began providing residential customers with Xfinity Wireless Gateways the ability to have a second “xfinitywifi” signal (or SSID) in their home that is separate and distinct from their private and secure home Wi-Fi signal. This additional access point provides Xfinity Internet subscribers with a Wi-Fi signal without the need to share a homeowner’s private network password. This service is included at no additional charge.

BTI Systems Names Colin Doherty as President and CEO

BTI Systems, which supplies cloud and metro networking software and systems, named Colin Doherty as its new president and chief executive officer, replacing Steve Waszak, who has served as the company's president and chief executive officer since 2010.

Doherty joins BTI from Arbor Networks, where he has served as CEO since 2009. Doherty guided Arbor through its acquisition by Danaher in 2010 to give it more resources, followed last year by Arbor's acquisition of Packetloop to expand and differentiate its solutions portfolio. Earlier in his career, he served as CEO of Mangrove Systems and held senior management, sales and operations roles with NMS Communications and Nortel Networks.

BTI said it is experiencing strong growth and momentum as evidenced by compound annual revenue growth of 33 percent between 2007 and 2013. More than 40 percent of revenues coming from top-tier content, colocation and service providers.

  • In December, BTI closed a $27 million financing round, bringing to $60 million the amount of growth capital the company has raised since 2011. Investors include Bain Capital Ventures, BDC, Covington Capital, GrowthWorks and additional strategic investors.

Comcast Boosts Internet Speeds in the Northeast

Comcast has increased the speeds of two of its Xfinity Internet tiers in the Northeast, at no additional cost to customers.

In the Northeast, the Xfinity Internet Blast tier now offers speeds of up to 105 Mbps (formerly 50 Mbps), and the Xfinity Extreme 105 tier offers speeds up to 150 Mbps (formerly 105 Mbps).

Comcast noted that this increase marks the 13th time in the past 12 years that it has increased its speeds.