Thursday, May 15, 2014

Juniper Forms OpenContrail Advisory Board

Juniper Networks announced the formation of an OpenContrail Advisory Board (OCAB) aimed at providing input to the project leadership team on strategic priorities, community evolution, development roadmap, project governance and operational efficiency.

The board is comprised of the top 10 contributors and stakeholders of the project representing both users and developers.

Qualcomm Demos LTE-TDD Broadcast in China

Qualcomm, in collaboration with, conducted a live public demonstration of LTE-TDD Broadcast in China, featuring High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and Dynamic Adaptive Streaming Over HTTP (DASH) technologies.  LTE Broadcast enables the multicast of high-demand content such as live sporting events, breaking news or software updates, so that multiple users receive the same content simultaneously.

Qualcomm said the demo utilized its LTE Broadcast solution for the evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) platform along with devices based on its reference designs, Snapdragon 400 processors and integrated Qualcomm Gobi modems.

The demo took place today during the Qualcomm Reference Design & Wireless Innovation Summit in Shenzhen.

"We're excited to be supporting the growth and evolution of LTE networks worldwide," said Raj Talluri, Senior Vice President of Product Management, QTI. "With LTE Broadcast, operators can better utilize their existing LTE infrastructure to deliver customers an optimized, premium video experience on the latest mobile devices without overloading their networks."

"This demonstration marks an important milestone in the deployment of LTE Broadcast, which we believe will significantly enhance our customers' ability to view popular, live content directly on their mobile devices," said Zeng, Xiongjie, President of Sohu Mobile Video.  "We're excited to be working with QTI to bring this innovative technology to market."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Video: SDN and the Future of Service Provider Networks

SDN makes for better transport in the network says David Jameson, Principal Solutions Architect for Fujitsu.  Networks are no longer being defined by the hardware that is in place. SDN is opening the door to programmable networks, making new service types more easily implementable.  Fujitsu has multiple proof-of-concepts under development globally, including a bandwidth-on-demand and provisioning tool that can automatically create a circuit across existing FLASHWAVE 9500 and CDS platforms.

See 3-minute video:

Cisco Beats Estimates with Quarterly Revenue of $11.5 Billion

Cisco reported third quarter revenue of $11.5 billion, net income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of $2.2 billion or $0.42 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $2.6 billion or $0.51 per share. Revenue was down 5.5% compared with the same period last year, while net income declined 12% compared to last year.

"I'm pleased with our performance in Q3. Our financial results exceeded the guidance we provided last quarter as we demonstrated clear progress on returning to growth. The entire team is focused on moving Cisco forward aggressively and we remain confident in our long-term goal to be the #1 IT company," stated John Chambers, Cisco chairman and chief executive officer.

Some highlights:

  • Total US orders grew 7% y/y, while U.S. commercial and US enterprise orders were both up 10% y/y.  However, emerging markets continued to be challenged with orders declining (7%) y/y.  BRIC+M orders were down (13%) y/y.
  • Customer reception for the new Application Centric Infrastructure architecture is "very strong."  It will take several quarters before high-end switching really begins growing. There were 175 customers for the Nexus 9000 and the pipeline is close to 1,000.
  • Data center revenue overall grew 29% y/y.  The UCS product line experienced its 17th consecutive quarter of market share gains
  • Sourcefire fuels security revenue up 10% y/y; orders up 20% y/y.
  • Service Provider orders declined (5%) y/y, which is up from a (12%) decline in Q2.
  • ASR 9000 revenue grew 59% y/y. 
  • Switching revenue declined (6%) y/y; switching gross margins remain strong.

Riverbed Tunes its SteelHead WAN Optimization for Microsoft Azure

Riverbed Technology announced a series of enhancements for its SteelHead WAN optimization solution for accelerating application performance to the Microsoft Azure cloud.  Connections into Azure and be accelerated and optimized by spinning up a virtual SteelHead in the Microsoft cloud to sync with a SteelHead at an enterprise data center or branch office. In addition to de-duplicating traffic traversing the WAN, Riverbed can identify over 1,000 different applications and optimize the transfer for each.  There are also Azure-specific use cases, such as Office 365 Mailbox Migration to Azure or Hyper-V replication to Azure, which can be significantly accelerated by the SteelHead solution.

Riverbed's SteelHead already supported AWS and other public clouds.

What’s New in SteelHead 8.6

  • Now available for Microsoft Azure: SteelHead CX cloud instances are now available as a subscription-based offering in Microsoft Azure, making SteelHead available for 90% of public cloud deployments. SteelHead enables enterprises to host their applications with the cloud vendor that best meets their business
  • Enterprise-scale SteelHead for virtual environments and private/hybrid clouds: When virtualized infrastructure is required, IT can avoid multiple SteelHead virtual devices and simplify their network architecture with SteelHead CX 7055V, a new virtual appliance that can optimize up to 1Gbps of traffic. The SteelHead CX 7055v simplifies deployment in private cloud architectures and enterprise-scale virtualized datacenters with a single virtualized 1G appliance deployed on a standard server.
  • App Engine upgrade for greater control over all network traffic: SteelHead users can now set policies and classes for over 1,100 applications. As a result, SteelHead now enables more granular control over all network traffic, automatically reserving bandwidth for business-critical apps and steering them on to low-latency, uncongested links. This allows IT to align application delivery more directly with business needs.
  • A higher-performance mid-range application acceleration platform: For mid-range enterprise deployments, the new CX570 and CX770 deliver higher performance and better diagnostics and are simple to upgrade at the same price as their predecessors, CX555 and CX755.  

Riverbed also introduced SteelHead CX 7055v, an enterprise-scale virtual solution delivering up to 1 Gbps of optimized traffic for private and hybrid clouds.

“SteelHead is the dominant platform for accelerating business applications across enterprise networks. Our customers are now deploying applications in multiple clouds and scaling their network infrastructure to 1Gbps to ensure the highest level of user experience at all locations. SteelHead 8.6 simplifies these deployment challenges by allowing our customers to deliver consistent application performance across an increasingly dynamic IT environment,” said Paul O’Farrell, Senior Vice President and General Manager, SteelHead Products Group at Riverbed. “With SteelHead 8.6, enterprises can enjoy an enhanced user experience for the full range of Microsoft business apps and Microsoft Azure-based cloud workloads.”

“As Microsoft Azure works to erase the boundaries between cloud development and operational management, we look to partners like Riverbed to provide the application performance infrastructure that optimizes the end user’s experience when apps are delivered via the cloud,” said Garth Fort, General Manager of System Center and Virtualization, Microsoft Corporation. “In a cloud-first world, applications should be accessed and delivered quickly − without the challenges of application latency, competition among applications, and bandwidth restrictions. This is what’s required for the best user experience in today’s app-driven economy, and that’s what Riverbed is all about.”

Russia's MTS Tests VoLTE on Telco Cloud with NSN

MTS, the leading operator in Russia and CIS, completed the first Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call on a telco cloud infrastructure using Nokia’s technology and expertise. Nokia said the end-to-end testing, conducted in the operator’s live LTE network, was the first such trial to leverage the virtualization of service and control functions in the core network, including its IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), Telephony Application Server (TAS) and Home Subscriber Server (HSS). The company’s Cloud Application Manager provided automated deployment and management of all cloud applications. MTS used Nokia’s commercial portfolio and a cloud management system that controls the VoLTE applications in MTS’s private telco cloud.

“VoLTE and telco cloud are principal technologies that will help us address new business opportunities and deliver a superior voice experience to our customers,” said Andrey Ushatskiy, chief technical and IT officer at MTS Group. “This live implementation of virtualized VoLTE with our long-standing partner, Nokia, is an important proof-of-concept and shows our commitment to offering our customers the most advanced voice services possible. We expect that the compound annual growth of mobile data traffic will reach 79% by 2020 and have to prepare our networks to deliver a quality mobile broadband experience to our customers.”

“We are delighted to join forces in this pioneer project supporting MTS’s demonstration of voice services using LTE in a telco cloud,” said Kristina Tikhonova, Head of East region, Networks. “We have the most comprehensive VoLTE solution on the market and our goal is to support operators’ migrations of voice and messaging traffic to LTE. With this demonstration, we further underscore that we are commercially ready and able to do this.”

ADVA's 100G Metro Adds On-the-Fly Encryption

ADVA Optical Networking introduced a new 100G Metro solution with built-in on-the-fly encryption and fully integrated with its ADVA FSP 3000 platform.  The card, which is based upon the 4x28G technology of the original ADVA 100G Metro, leverages Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with a key size of 256 bits. It features a Diffie Hellmann dynamic key exchange with over 60 exchanges per hour.

ADVA said its solution provides encryption at the lowest network layer and is completely agnostic to protocols such as Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and Ethernet. It also supports a wide variety of data rates from 5 Gbps, to 10 Gbps to 40 Gbps and onto 100 Gbps. To ensure compatibility in point-to-point and multi-hop infrastructures, the ADVA 100G Metro with built-in encryption uses optical transport network (OTN) framing. It also adds very little latency to the transmission link – less than 150 nanoseconds – compared to our non-encrypted version. This stands in stark contrast to higher layer encryption technologies that often add significant overhead and multiply the latency of the data stream.

The company also noted that its solution also encrypts the header and checksum of the signal, not just the payload or select bytes in the header, leaving no breadcrumbs that may be intercepted and analyzed.

“The security of data has never been so important; its integrity never so public. We're living in a new era of data awareness,” said Uli Schlegel, director, data center business development, ADVA Optical Networking. “In the wake of Heartbleed and other data security scares, businesses are only too aware of how vulnerable their mission-critical data is. How susceptible it is to theft and malicious use. Data security is now of paramount importance. At the same time, the volume of data has never been so immense. Transporting and protecting this data requires something purpose built, something special. That's what sets our 100G Metro with built-in encryption technology apart. It's the only product on the market capable of securely transporting big data.”

ADVA confirmed that its 100G Metro with built-in encryption has already been deployed by a number of enterprises and service providers.

Mid-Atlantic Broadband Deploys Cyan's Blue Planet SDN

Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC), a wholesale fiber-optic open-access network transport provider, selected Cyan’s Blue Planet SDN software along with Cyan’s Z-Series Packet-Optical Platforms for its regional metro network in southern Virginia.

MBC deployed Cyan’s Z-Series Packet-Optical Platforms to provide optical scale and Ethernet services across their network. In addition, MBC deployed Blue Planet, an open SDN orchestration platform that enables network operators to simplify, manage and orchestrate multi-vendor networks to achieve end-to-end network control, service automation, and service agility. With Blue Planet, MBC can orchestrate multiple layers across the backhaul link to guarantee predictable packet services performance, high availability, and low latency. Among the first to fully comply with the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) initiative, Cyan also will help MBC execute on future-looking plans to deliver new metro Ethernet services to customers in the coming years.

MBC is a non-profit organization that operates an open-access wholesale transport network that enables businesses to work with the communication provider of their choice to secure diverse network access. By delivering reliable high-speed broadband access across underserved communities, MBC enables local businesses across Southern Virginia to increase revenue and grow jobs.

Hughes Signs Xplornet for Echostar XIX Broadband over Canada

Xplornet Communications, Canada's largest rural broadband provider, signed a lifetime lease for all of the Canadian satellite broadband capacity on Hughes' Echostar XIX, a next-generation high throughput satellite due for launch in mid-2016. In addition to satellite capacity, Xplornet will take delivery of satellite gateways, operational and support services and consumer user terminals in a program that is expected to be worth more than $200 million.

Built by Space Systems Loral, EchoStar XIX will have over 160 Gbps throughput, approximately 50 percent more capacity than EchoStar XVII which was launched in 2012, and is the primary platform supporting over 916,000 HughesNet users across the USA. The new satellite is being designed with next-generation architecture with more than 120 spot beams, facilitating the delivery of high-quality, high-speed services for at least 15 years.

"This agreement for all of the Canadian broadband capacity on the upcoming Echostar XIX satellite is another milestone in our long and successful relationship with Hughes," said Allison Lenehan, CEO of Xplornet. He added, "This capacity will enable us to continue to meet the growing demands of our rural customers. We are investing to deliver on the promise of making faster, more affordable high-speed Internet service available for every Canadian."

AT&T Continues Roll-out of Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles

AT&T recently deployed its 8,000th compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle, achieving a major milestone in the company's overall 10-year, $565 million commitment to add approximately 15,000 alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) to its fleet by end of year 2018. The company also has hybrid electric, all electric and extended-range electric vehicles, achieving a total fleet of more than 10,000 alternative vehicles located in 43 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. AT&T's AFV fleet allowed the company to avoid the purchase of 12.4 million gallons of gasoline as of the end of 2013, over the 5-year period since the company's commitment to alternative fuels was first announced.

Cisco Looks to Expand Customer Financing in Latin America

Cisco Capital has established operations in Mexico, expanding its financing capabilities in Latin America.

Cisco plans to provide direct local financing to customers, beginning in Mexico, complementing its existing network of financing partners in the region.

“This represents a significant milestone for Cisco Capital and our customers in Latin America,” said Kristine A. Snow, president of Cisco Capital. “This is the first time we have had direct operations in this region, which will help Mexican businesses acquire new technologies with flexible and competitive direct financing options, including local currency offers.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DOCOMO Readies VoLTE Launch in Japan

NTT DOCOMO is preparing to launch Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) in its home market in late June -- the first such launch in Japan.

Four smartphones and two tablets in DOCOMO's summer lineup will become compatible with the new service after a software update scheduled in or after late June.

The carrier said its VoLTE service will newly enable users to receive Area Mail disaster-information notifications while making VoLTE voice/video calls. Also, users will be able to experience data rate of up to 150 Mbps during VoLTE voice calls.

DOCOMO's new VoLTE service will require a subscription to Xi. Existing Xi billing plans, packet flat-rate services, discounts and dialing charges will be applicable to VoLTE voice calls, including the new Kake-hodai & Pake-aeru billing plans for flat-rate voice and data, as well as data sharing with family members.

Packet communication charges for VoLTE video calls will be offered free of charge until September 2015, after which video calls will incur both voice and packet communication charges.

IBM Wins 7-Year, $600M Contract with NiSource for Hybrid Cloud

NiSource, a Fortune 500 company engaged in natural gas transmission, storage and distribution, awarded a seven-year agreement valued at $600 million to IBM to continue providing a broad range of IT services, including the creation and management of a hybrid cloud computing environment.

Under the contract, IBM will help NiSource implement a hybrid IT model using SoftLayer, an IBM Company, as well as a private, secure cloud powered by traditional infrastructure.

"NiSource is a powerful example of how companies today are turning to the cloud as a competitive lever for their business,” said Philip Guido, General Manager, IBM Global Technology Services, North America. “Embracing the cloud not only provides a better way to integrate hybrid IT systems, it enables companies to forge new pathways to innovation and improve services by applying technologies such as analytics across their enterprise,” he said.

Hibernia Upgrades Trans-Atlantic Cable to 100G with Ciena

Hibernia Networks is deploying Ciena's Programmable GeoMesh solution on its Trans-Atlantic cable system to enable rapid service provisioning.

The deployment includes Ciena’s GeoMesh submarine solution, including the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, WaveLogic coherent optics and full ROADM. Together, these components lay the foundation for an OP network architecture that will enable Hibernia to scale and react quickly to address changing trans-Atlantic traffic patterns. Hibernia will also leverage Ciena’s OneConnect Intelligent Control Planeplatform, which provides seamless end-to-end service provisioning and creation.

Hibernia Networks owns and operates a global network connecting North America, Europe and Asia. Hibernia offers over 200 network Points of Presence (PoPs) in 89 markets and 25 countries. Its services include IP transit, CDN, carrier Ethernet, Spectrum and others. Its network provides service to global investment banks, content delivery networks (CDN), broadcasters, cloud services, enterprises, international PTTs and ISPs. Hibernia also provides low-latency routes to 31 different financial exchanges around the globe through its Global Financial Network (GFN).

As part of the new relationship with Ciena, Hibernia has also joined Ciena’s BizConnect partner program, which includes joint marketing, training and technical support to penetrate new customers and industries in North America and Europe.

SEACOM to Deploy Infinera on Terrestrial Network

SEACOM has deployed the Infinera DTN-X platform across its terrestrial network providing services to the African continent. The Infinera Intelligent Transport Network, featuring the DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform, enables SEACOM to differentiate its services and manage costs as it scales network capabilities.

SEACOM owns and operates a high-capacity international network consisting of multiple submarine cable systems connecting Africa to Europe, Asia and the Middle East. SEACOM's submarine and terrestrial networks, stretching across 17,000 km, enable connectivity solutions that give carriers, network operators, and service providers the ability to expand and grow their operations across Africa and beyond.

Infinera said its platform provides SEACOM with the only commercially available single-card 500 Gbps FlexCoherent super-channel solution, which is based on Infinera's widely deployed photonic integrated circuits. These 500 Gbps super-channels enable SEACOM to scale to terabits of transmission capacity, integrating DWDM optical transmission in a single platform that is capable of supporting up to 12 terabits per second of non-blocking OTN switching as their traffic requirements grow in the future.

AT&T Will Add LTE-Connected Cars to Mobile Share Plans

Starting later this year, AT&T will allow customers to add selected connected cars to their existing Mobile Share Value plans for as low as an additional $10 per month. Essentially, the cost for connecting a GM car will be the same as a tablet, $10 a month when added to a Mobile Share Value plan.

OnStar will usher in a new generation of connected vehicles next month, starting with the 2015 Chevrolet Malibu and followed by more than 30 other Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of the year.

Ixia Advances Network Visibility with Application Intelligence

Ixia introduced an Application and Threat Intelligence (ATI) Processor that extends its network visibility architecture. The goal is to provide real-time information about users and applications in any format – raw packets, filtered packets or metadata.

The Ixia ATI Processor is a 48 x 10GE interface card that can be used within an Ixia Net Tool Optimizer (NTO) 7300 network packet broker (NPB).   The solution integrates technology that Ixia gained through its acquisiong of BreakingPoint with the network visibility platform developed by Anue, which Ixia also acquired.

Ixia said its ATI Processor is able to leverage distinct Application Fingerprints, along with a patent pending dynamic identification capability, to help network managers gain a complete view of their networks. By combining rich contextual information such as geo-location of application usage, handset or device type, operating system and browser type, the ATI Processor helps to identify suspicious activity such as unauthorized BYOD usage or business connections from untrusted locations.

CenturyLink Offers DDoS Mitigation Appliance

CenturyLink will begin selling a network appliance for on-site, distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation that is integrated with CenturyLink's network of global, network-based scrubbing system.

CenturyLink said its DDoS Mitigation Service analyzes traffic 24/7 and diverts and scrubs potentially malicious packets. The solution protects environments whether they are accessed via CenturyLink’s network, one of CenturyLink’s more than 55 data centers, customer premises or a third-party data center or network.

“DDoS attacks continue to evolve, becoming more sophisticated in scale and complexity and resulting in greater downtime for organizations,” said Chris Richter, vice president, managed security products and services, at CenturyLink Technology Solutions. “We designed our DDoS service to enable global protection through multiple cleansing centers around the world and flexible commercial terms. With the integration of a network-based solution with an on-site appliance, we can further serve businesses that require always-on mitigation and deliver protection for multiple third-party networks while providing full visibility and reporting across all of their networks.”

Norwest Venture Partners Raises $1.2 Billion

Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), a global, multi-stage venture and growth equity investment firm, announced a new fund with $1.2 billion.

The new Norwest Venture Partners XII fund bring NVP's total capital and commitments to approximately $5 billion

In 2013, more than 11 of the firm’s portfolio companies experienced liquidity events. NVP has invested in nearly 550 companies since inception, and currently has over 120 active companies across its venture and growth equity portfolio, including Adaptive Insights, Apigee, BlueJeans Network, CareCloud, Clarus Marketing Group, Gilt Groupe, Health Catalyst, Intersect ENT, Lending Club, Lumosity, MobileIron, Skybox Imaging, Spotify, Turn and Yatra.

“A key strategy for success at NVP is investment diversification. We invest across multiple sectors, stages and geographies, all with a team approach that enables our portfolio companies to tap into the breadth and depth of our expertise,” said Promod Haque, senior managing partner at Norwest Venture Partners. “The closing of NVP XII will enable us to expand our focus in the enterprise IT, consumer Internet, healthcare, consumer products and services sectors and grow our presence in thriving entrepreneurial hubs. We look forward to working closely with passionate and talented entrepreneurs to build the next wave of successful companies.”

AT&T's Top Suppliers: Amdocs, EMC, Fujitsu, Samsung

AT&T named eight companies as its top vendors over the past year: Amdocs, CEB, EMC, FleishmanHillard, Fujitsu Network Communications, KGP Companies, MasTec Network Solutions, and Samsung Telecommunications America.

Our suppliers play a vital role in helping us deliver the great products and services that our customers have come to expect from AT&T,” said Tim Harden, President of AT&T Supply Chain and Fleet Operations. “We acknowledge our most strategic suppliers by awarding those that have stood out in providing value and exceeding expectations with the AT&T Supplier Award.”