Sunday, October 12, 2014

Dreamforce 2014 Expects 135,000 Registrations

Salesforce.com's 12th annual "Dreamforce" customer conference opens this week in San Francisco. The company is expecting more than 135,000 registered attendees.

Celebrity keynoters include Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, World Economic Forum executive chairman and founder Klaus Schwab, former Vice President Al Gore, Arianna Huffington, Tony Robbins, Neil Young, Marc Andreessen, Reid Hoffman, Affirm CEO Max Levchin, Code.org’s Hadi Partovi, Microsoft’s Tony Prophet, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and i.am+ founder will.i.am.

Bruno Mars will headline the Dreamforce Gala and Benefit Concert to support UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals.

http://www.salesforce.com/dreamforce/DF14/

Nokia Inks US$970 million Deal with China Mobile

Nokia Networks announced a framework agreement with China Mobile for mobile communication equipment and services valued at US$970 million.

Specifically, Nokia Networks will provide its 4G TD-LTE technology including Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and GSM wireless networking equipment, core application platforms, OSS, software, and services to support China Mobile’s 4G wireless broadband network rollout in 2014 and 2015. Deliveries under the agreement commenced in Q1 of this year.

The agreement was signed at the Sino-German Economic Forum in Berlin by Li Huidi, Vice President of China Mobile, and Hans-Juergen Bill, Executive Vice President at Nokia and also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nokia Networks GmbH & Co KG in Germany.

“This contract marks another milestone in the strategic partnership between China Mobile and Nokia Networks. We have been closely cooperating throughout the past years to jointly commercialize and globalize TD-LTE, and this agreement will further accelerate 4G TD-LTE development in China as well as worldwide,” said Markus Borchert, President of the Greater China region at Nokia Networks. “We have been a key global driver over the past 16 years in making TD technologies (TD-SCDMA/TD-LTE/TD-LTE-Advanced) become global standards, both of which are strong proof points of our delivery capabilities for the largest TD-LTE networks in the world. Our proven capabilities and commitment have made Nokia Networks the most reliable partner for China Mobile which is further underscored with this framework agreement.”

http://networks.nokia.com/

China Mobile and DT Establish Connected Car JV

China Mobile and Deutsche Telekom will establish a joint venture in China in which each partner holds a 50-percent stake.

China Mobile will contribute its LTE mobile network resources along with various channel resources and strong integration capabilities.  Deutsche Telekom to provide telematics expertise, the Connected Car platform technology and customer insights.

According to China Mobile, establishing Connected Car with Deutsche Telekom to take full advantage of China Mobile's domestic advantages in network, customer and service resources. Deutsche Telekom's Connected Car platform and operation experience as well as European branded vendors' operation practice can further extend the capacity for providing Connected Car and telematics services to the market and create a new development opportunity.

Reinhard Clemens, Board Member of Deutsche Telekom, says: "Connected Car is a strategic initiative within Deutsche Telekom Group, while China is of strategic importance for our Connected Car business. The partnership with China Mobile is therefore strategically of utmost importance to Deutsche Telekom."

The agreement was signed during the state visit of Chinese prime minister Li Keqiang in Berlin last week.

http://www.telekom.com/media/company/253196

Equinix Doubles the Size of its AM3 Amsterdam Data Center

Equinix has completed phase two of its Amsterdam data center, AM3 at Science Park. The facility now spans 17,800 square meters and delivers space for up to 2,800 cabinets – doubling the 1,400 cabinets available in phase 1.

The company said that the more than 120 cloud providers at AM3 can reach 80 percent of Europe within 50 milliseconds from this location, making the facility a highly sought after location and cloud hotspot in Europe. The high rate of connectivity has made Science Park Amsterdam a highly sought after location and cloud hotspot in Europe; forty-two percent of the Netherlands’ data traffic has been routed through it since its opening two years ago. Amsterdam Science Park is now the second largest data route in the Netherlands behind Amsterdam South East, which handles 43 percent of the country’s data traffic.

“Located at the heart of Europe’s digital gateway, AM3 is one of Equinix’s most innovative and sustainable facilities. By completing phase 2 ahead of schedule, Equinix has doubled capacity at AM3, allowing a greater number of corporations and service providers to leverage the more than 250 networks available at Science Park Amsterdam,” stated Steve Smith, CEO and president, Equinix.

http://www.equinix.com

eircom Picks Ericsson as Exclusive LTE Vendor

Irish operator eircom has awarded a five-year exclusive agreement under which Ericsson becomes the sole vendor for eircom’s radio access solutions for 4G LTE, as well as 3G and 2G mobile technologies across Ireland.

The deal includes multi-standard radio base station equipment from the Ericsson RBS 6000 base station family for macro and small cell networks, LTE RAN software and upgrades of existing 2G and 3G access network software. Ericsson will also provide support services for the equipment for the duration of the agreement.

Richard Moat, eircom Acting CEO, says, "This agreement supports eircom’s ambition to be at the forefront of the Irish mobile market. By selecting Ericsson, we now have a consistent technology supplier across our entire mobile network to help us seamlessly meet the growing customer demands and expectations for mobile data in the consumer, business and the emerging machine to machine segments.

http://www.ericsson.com/news/141010-irelands-eircom-chooses-ericsson-as-exclusive-lte-vendor_244099435_c

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Nutanix Debuts all-Flash Hyper-converged System

Nutanix introduced its NX-9000 appliance -- an all-flash hyper-converged platform for scale-out applications and services.

While all previous Nutanix solutions have incorporated flash new NX-9000 appliance pushes the envelope to run applications with large working sets, such as databases supporting online transaction processing (OLTP).  Flash capacity is optimized using Nutanix’s scale-out compression and de-duplication technologies that leverage unused compute resources across all nodes in the cluster, avoiding performance bottlenecks common in both traditional storage and all-flash arrays that depend on dual-controller designs. List pricing for the NX-9000 all-flash hyper-converged system starts at $110,000 per node.

Nutanix also introduced metro networking capabilities for ensuring continuous data availability in the event of a data center outage or planned maintenance. Using synchronous mirroring, Metro Availability stretches datastores for virtual machine clusters across two or more sites located up to 400km apart. All functionality is natively integrated into Nutanix software, and supported across all Nutanix platforms with no hardware changes. This enables the migration of virtual machines between sites during planned maintenance events, providing continuous data protection with zero recovery point objective (RPO) and a near zero recovery time objective (RTO).

Nutanix is also supporting the option for customers to deploy different configurations for primary and secondary sites, and support one-to-many and many-to-one topologies. Customers are no longer forced to have identical platforms and hardware configurations at each siteMetro Availability will be available in the upcoming 4.1 version of the Nutanix Operating System (NOS), and will be included in Ultimate Edition.

http://www.nutanix.com

In August, Nutanix, a start-up based in San Jose, California, announced a $140 million Series E funding round at over a $2 billion valuation.

Nutanix offers a Virtual Computing Platform, which integrates compute and storage into a single solution for the data center. Its web-scale software runs on all popular virtualization hypervisors, including VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and open source KVM, and is uniquely able to span multiple hypervisors in the same environment.

The latest round brings Nutanix's total funding to $312 million.

Nutanix reports annualized bookings exceeding a run rate of $200 million.  The company has over 800 customers, including 29 customers who have purchased more than $1 million in aggregate products and services.  Nutanix's growing list of customers includes Airbus, China Merchant Bank, Honda, ConocoPhillips, Total SA, Toyota, US Navy and Yahoo! Japan. 

"The convergence of servers, storage and networking in the datacenter has created one of the largest business opportunities in enterprise technology, and Nutanix is at the epicenter of this transformation," said Dheeraj Pandey, co-founder and CEO, Nutanix. "We are proud of the progress we have made, and are confident in capitalizing on the enormous opportunity that lies ahead of us. We recognize the importance of building relationships with leading public market investors, and are honored to welcome them as partners in driving the long-term success of our Company."

In June, Nutanix announced an OEM deal under which Dell will offer a new family of converged infrastructure appliances based on Nutanix web-scale technology under an OEM deal announced by the firms. The companies said the combination of Nutanix’s software running on Dell’s servers delivers a flexible, scale-out platform that brings IT simplicity to modern data centers.

Google Backs Massive Undersea Cable Linking Brazil and Florida

Construction is set to begin on a major new undersea cable linking Santos and Fortaleza in Brazil with Boca Raton, Florida.  Backers of the project include Google, Algar Telecom (Brazil), Angola Cables (Angola) and Antel (Uruguay).

The new cable will span 10,556 km (6,560 miles) and have six fiber pairs. Overall system design capacity is a massive 64 Tbps.

TE Connectivity SubCom was awarded the construction contract for the project.  Work will start immediately. Completion is targeted for the end of 2016.

http://www.subcom.com/company/view.aspx?id=363&type=Press

AT&T Develops Wi-Fi Hub Powered by Accuris, BSG

AT&T is working with Accuris Networks and BSG Wireless on a new AT&T Wi-Fi Hub that enables other wireless operators to deliver turnkey Wi-Fi roaming services to their customers.

The AT&T Wi-Fi Hub, which is expected to launch later this year, addresses common issues that operators face in delivering Wi-Fi roaming services, such as the time-intensive process of identifying Wi-Fi providers, negotiation of terms and implementation of Wi-Fi services.

The AT&T Wi-Fi Hub is being developed using Accuris Networks’ AccuROAM platform, which uses SIM-based account credentials to enable smartphone and tablet users to automatically connect to Wi-Fi hotspots when roaming internationally.  The solution provides a secure authentication framework without the need to enter cumbersome usernames and passwords. It also fully supports Hotspot 2.0 and WBA’s Wireless Roaming Intermediary eXchange (WRIX) specifications.  AccuROAM enables any Wi-Fi to work as a full extension of GSM or CDMA networks for billing, policy and authentication.

AT&T’s Wi-Fi Hub will utilize the advanced reporting and settlement infrastructure capabilities of BSG Wireless, specifically interconnection for the operators, data clearing and financial settlement services.

“Our collaboration with Accuris Networks and BSG Wireless means that we’ll be able to launch our hub quickly and deliver a wholesale Wi-Fi solution that is seamless and secure,” said JR Wilson, Vice President, Partnerships & Alliances, AT&T Mobility.  “For the end user, all they will need to do is download an app from their Wi-Fi provider to access Wi-Fi roaming.

"The AT&T Wi-Fi Hub is an operator-focused hub," said Jeff Brown, CEO of Accuris Networks. "AT&T has spent the time and made the investments to solve the key issues that have challenged many operators who have wanted to offer Wi-Fi roaming. Operators can become part of a Wi-Fi roaming ecosystem on which they can quickly build services and products. Using the hub benefits operators as well as their customers, since it offers Wi-Fi roaming that is secure, simple and easy to use."

http://about.att.com/story/att_accuris_networks_and_bsg_wireless_announce_att_wifi_hub.html

http://www.accuris-networks.com/

In September, Accuris Networks, a start-up based in Dublin, Ireland with offices in the U.S., Malaysia, Brazil and Japan, completed a $15 million equity funding round for its platform for connecting current and emerging mobile broadband networks such as GSM, CDMA, LTE and Wi-Fi.  The company also announced the appointment of Jeff Brown as CEO.

The Accuris AccuROAM platform, which includes smartphone client software, access server/gateway technology and billing integration support, helps service providers interconnect various network technologies and domains for a better subscriber roaming experience.  The platform can be used for Wi-Fi Offload and Wi-Fi Roaming, including Wi-Fi Calling and Wi-Fi Texting. This enables carriers to include Wi-Fi as a full service-capability alongside 3G/4G Mobile, fixed broadband, etc.

The newly named CEO Jeff Brown previously was president and CEO of mobile technology company Kineto Wireless. He held similar positions at RadioFrame Networks and was earlier the CEO of Data Critical, a wireless healthcare company.

Symantec to Split in Two: Security and Information Mgt

Symantec announced a plan to split into two, independent publicly traded companies: one business focused on security and one business focused on information management (“IM”).

The security business, which will retain the Symantec name, generated revenue of $4.2 billion in fiscal year 2014 -- twice the size of the nearest competitor, according to the company. Product lines include consumer and enterprise endpoint security; endpoint management; encryption; mobile; Secure Socket Layer (“SSL”) Certificates; user authentication; mail, web and data center security; data loss prevention; hosted security; and managed security services. Michael A. Brown will be the President and CEO of Symantec and Thomas Seifert will continue to serve as CFO.

The IM business generated revenue of $2.5 billion in fiscal year 2014. The Information Management business will include: backup and recovery; archiving; eDiscovery; storage management; and information availability solutions.  This division will also look at new opportunities, such as integration with cloud providers that enable customers to help manage data across public and private clouds, such as cloud connectors for NetBackup and Recovery-as-a-Service (RaaS) for Azure Cloud.  John Gannon will be General Manager of the new information management business and Don Rath will be its acting CFO.

“As the security and storage industries continue to change at an accelerating pace, Symantec’s security and IM businesses each face unique market opportunities and challenges. It has become clear that winning in both security and information management requires distinct strategies, focused investments and go-to market innovation,” said Michael A. Brown, Symantec president and chief executive officer. “Separating Symantec into two, independent publicly traded companies will provide each business the flexibility and focus to drive growth and enhance shareholder value.”

CyrusOne Secures $600M for Data Center Expansion

CyrusOne closed a new $450 million senior unsecured revolving credit facility and a $150 million senior unsecured term loan. The revolving credit facility replaces the company’s $225 million secured credit facility which previously bore interest at a rate of LIBOR + 3.25%. The new revolving credit facility will initially bear interest at a rate of LIBOR + 1.70%.

CyrusOne specializes in highly reliable enterprise data center services and colocation solutions. The company operates 25 carrier-neutral data center facilities across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

http://www.cyrusone.com/


  • This year, CyrusOne has announced major data center project or expansions in Houston, San Antonio, Phoenix and Dulles (Virginia). When completed, CyrusOne’s new Houston West III facility is going to have 640,000 square feet of infrastructure, class A office and raised white floor space. The San Antonio II shell is set to accommodate nearly 570,000 square feet of infrastructure, class A office and raised white floor space when complete.


  • CyrusOne has also opened a National Internet Exchange (IX) that leverages low-cost connectivity to virtually link more than a dozen of its massively scaled enterprise facilities and third-party locations in multiple metropolitan markets.

Ruckus Supports Latest Hotspot 2.0 Spec

Ruckus Wireless' Hotspot 2.0 Online SignUp, Policy, and Subscription Management Server will be part of the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) Hotspot 2.0 Release 2 certification testbed. Several Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi products, including the Ruckus ZoneFlex 7372 access point (AP) and the Ruckus SmartCell Gateway (SCG) 200 are now Wi-Fi CERTIFIED for Passpoint Release 2.

Ruckus is predicting that Hotspot 2.0 is will revolutionize the process of connecting to a Wi-Fi network while roaming on a mobile device, making the connection process as automatic and secure as the cellular experience.  This will transform the countless islands of Wi-Fi connectivity to be woven together into one seamless and ubiquitous service offering.  The larger this web of connectivity becomes, the greater the utility of the network.  In addition to a totally automatic connection experience, all user traffic over the airlink is encrypted.

Ruckus is also providing the NGH network for the WBA Wi-Fi Global Congress being held this week in San Francisco.  NGH is the WBA program that is tasked with commercializing Hotspot 2.0 technology.  The Ruckus-powered Wi-Fi network for the ‘NGH Live Experience’ at the Congress consists of equipment that carries the WFA Passpoint designation.  This network is also able to roam with the Ruckus Hotspot 2.0 networks that were recently deployed by the City and County of San Francisco and the City of San Jose, CA, as well as the San Francisco network operated by TowerStream.

“We believe this demonstration NGH network at the Wi-Fi Global Congress is just the beginning of how Hotspot 2.0 will revolutionize wireless broadband connectivity,” said Selina Lo, president and CEO of Ruckus Wireless. “In time, we see thousands, tens of thousands, and eventually millions of islands of Wi-Fi connectivity being woven together through roaming consortiums between the operators.”

http://www.ruckuswireless.com/

Radisys’ MPX-12000 MRF Delivers Cloud Conferencing for Zoom

Zoom Video Communications has deployed the Radisys MPX-12000 Broadband Media Resource Function (MRF) to provide scalable and reliable HD media processing for its cloud-based video conferencing service.  The solution is being used in Zoom's Santa Clara, California and New York, New York data centers.

The MPX-12000 Broadband MRF is based on Radisys’ telecom-grade T-Series platforms. It supports narrow and wideband audio codecs, including Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband (AMR-WB) for Voice over LTE endpoints, G.722 for Voice over Wi-Fi, and Opus for WebRTC-based services. For video, it supports H.264, VP8, H.263 and MPEG-4 mobile codecs.

Our company is dedicated to providing high quality cloud collaboration services that are flexible, bullet proof and easy to consume,” said Eric S. Yuan, chief executive officer and founder, Zoom. “Our team was very familiar with Radisys’ leadership in VoIP conferencing having used them in prior solutions, and we knew they were well equipped to address our needs. By integrating Radisys’ MPX-12000 into our cloud infrastructure, Zoom is able to deliver significantly improved HD multi-media conferencing experiences for our customers.”

Big Switch is First with OpenStack Compatible Mark

Big Switch Networks is the first networking vendor to be gain the OpenStack Foundation’s OpenStack Compatible mark. Its solution combines bare metal Ethernet switch hardware, SDN controller software, and OpenStack integration.


The OpenStack Compatible mark indicates interoperability with recent releases of the OpenStack software stack. The company collaborated with Mirantis to secure the OpenStack Compatible mark and is currently the only vendor recognized as OpenStack Compatible for a data center networking fabric optimized for both Neutron and Nova networking environments.

“Our users are deploying OpenStack pods ranging from 2 racks to 16 racks this quarter,” said Kyle Forster, Co-founder at Big Switch. “Even at that scale, our users need to operate less like traditional enterprise IT and more like hyperscale data center architects.  We are accelerating the broad adoption of OpenStack, and OpenStack is accelerating the broad adoption of hyperscale network design.”

http://www.bigswitch.com/openstack-data-centers


In July 2014, Big Switch Networks unveiled its new flagship product -- Big Cloud Fabric, a switching fabric designed for hyperscale data centers powered by SDN software and bare metal switch hardware.

The Big Cloud Fabric leverages the company’s Switch Light Operating System on physical leaf and spine bare metal switch hardware.  It supports the latest Trident II silicon from Broadcom and is designed for 10G and 40G scale and resiliency, featuring headless mode high availability, zero-touch provisioning, L2/3 forwarding options, application-centric policy and service chaining. Management is available via OpenStack, Cloudstack, REST, CLI, or GUI.

Ciena Provides 100G Upgrade for AAG Trans-Pacific Submarine Cable

The Asia America Gateway (AAG) consortium, which operates a 20,000 km submarine cable system connecting Southeast Asia with the U.S. mainland, will deploy Ciena’s GeoMesh submarine solution, including the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, powered by WaveLogic coherent optics with Flexible Grid technology.

The upgrade features Ciena’s plug-and-play programmable network elements and 100G coherent technology, which will enable the AAG consortium to cost-effectively extend the lifetime lifespan of its network by increasing the ultimate cable capacity by as much as three times the original design capacity in some segments.

In addition, Ciena’s OneControl Unified Management System together with the integrated test set capabilities of WaveLogic will provide the operators of AAG end-to-end network management and visibility for early detection, diagnosis, and prioritization of any faults, ensuring that the operators of AAG can resolve issues proactively and maintain network availability.

AAG provides connectivity between Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Hong Kong SAR, Philippines, Guam, Hawaii and the U.S. West Coast.

http://www.ciena.com
http://www.asia-america-gateway.com/

Obama Renominates Mike O'Rielly for FCC Commissioner

President Obama renominated Mike O'Rielly for a new five-year post as FCC Commissioner.  The posting must be approved by the Senate.

O'Rielly took over the seat Robert McDowell, who stepped down in 2013 before his term was over.

O'Rielly previously was a congressional staffer for Senator John Cornyn, a Republican for Texas.

http://www.fcc.gov

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blueprint Column: Women in Engineering - Changing the Odds

by Scott McGregor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Broadcom Corporation

Some of the greatest successes in the modern economy come from finding multibillion-dollar industries that are ripe for disruption. Engineers spend a lot of time looking for such opportunities. And yet, one of the ripest targets for disruption is right before their eyes: the engineering industry itself.

Here’s how to disrupt it: Increase the number of women in the engineering profession.

Of all the science, technology, engineering, and applied mathematics (STEM) professions in which women are under-represented, the disparity is greatest in engineering. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 women comprised 45 percent of scientists, 25 percent of mathematicians, 22 percent of technology workers, but only 10 percent of engineers. Today, there are plenty of young women taking the required high school courses to pursue an engineering degree, including AP calculus and physics. Yet in engineering and computer sciences professions, where workforce demand and salaries are among the highest, the percentages of women earning degrees continues to lag.

By the time young women get to college, only three percent of them will declare a major in engineering and of the three percent, they are least likely to choose electrical and electronic engineering, according to the Department of Education. Female representation declines further at the graduate level and yet again in the transition to the workplace.

The fundamental issue to be addressed is gender bias. So where does it start and what can we do about it?

Middle school is a great place to start, where girls’ achievements and interest are shaped by stereotypes (“boys are better at math and science than girls”), biases (“math is hard”) and cultural beliefs (“engineering is a profession for men”). Researchers discovered that even subtle references to these gender stereotypes have been found to reduce girls’ interest in science and math.

In a landmark paper, “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics,” researchers concluded “The answer lies in our perceptions and unconscious beliefs about gender in mathematics and science.” In other words, we can’t solve the gender disparity problem without first recognizing our own biases that are formed early and all too often persist into the workplace. The good news is that the negative impact of those faulty perceptions can be lessened, just by becoming aware of them.

We must celebrate the achievements of girls and women in STEM professions and provide young hopefuls with role models and mentors along the path from school to the workplace. We must encourage girls and young women to pursue engineering careers through interactive programs in our local schools and community.

We can enhance STEM curricula in schools, beginning in elementary school with hands-on projects that help girls build confidence in spatial skills, an area where girls underperform boys. Even playing with construction kits and toys can help girls build confidence in the spatial skills they will need later on to succeed at engineering. In middle school, 3-D computer games and digital sketching tools can reinforce that confidence. As their confidence increases, girls are less likely to fall back on the traditional stereotypes about gender, and more likely to feel like they “belong” in STEM courses.

Early exposure and encouragement in mathematics is also key. Studies have shown that girls who take calculus in high school are three times more likely to pursue STEM careers, including engineering.

Also crucial is creating a workplace culture that is welcoming and supportive of women. Enlightened work-life policies are important, but so too are active efforts to attract, promote, and retain women. Seminars, luncheons, peer coaching, scholarships, networking gatherings, and continuing education programs have been shown to be effective in turning talented women engineers into talented workplace leaders.

By spearheading women’s leadership programs and providing a range of professional development opportunities geared specifically for women, we can encourage women through all levels of their career. These women, in turn, can take that learning and inspiration back out to the community – which will help attract more young women into engineering as they see more female role models. It’s a virtuous cycle.

The “Why So Few?” report was funded by a number of organizations, including the National Science Foundation, and was published by the American Association of University Women. Here’s a link to thepaper

By the way, for anyone who thinks they can’t possibly have biases that impact the perception of women, or other stereotypes, check out this study at Harvard and take one or more of the tests.

About the Author

Scott McGregor serves as Broadcom's President and Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he is responsible for guiding the vision and direction for the company's corporate strategy. Since joining Broadcom in 2005, the company has expanded from $2.40 billion in revenue to $8.31 billion in 2013 revenue. Broadcom's geographic footprint has grown from 13 countries in 2005 to 25 and its patent portfolio has expanded from 4,800 U.S. and foreign patents and applications to more than 20,850.

McGregor joined Broadcom from Philips Semiconductors (now NXP Semiconductors) where he served as President and CEO from 2001 to 2004. He joined Philips in 1998 and rose through a series of leadership positions.  McGregor received a B.A. in Psychology and a M.S. in Computer Science and Computer Engineering from Stanford University. He serves on the board of Ingram Micro, on the Engineering Advisory Council for Stanford University and President of the Broadcom Foundation. Most recently, McGregor received UCLA's 2013 IS Executive Leadership Award.

Momentum Builds for Wi-Fi Passpoint, New Features Extend Functionality

The Wi-Fi Alliance's Certified Passpoint program is quickly gaining momentum and is poised to become a key enabling technology for connecting mobile devices to public networks.  Passpoint enables seamless connection and WPA2 security for mobile devices in Wi-Fi hotspots.

At a press event in San Francisco, Wi-Fi Alliance officials said hundreds of models of smartphones, tablets, and operator-grade access points have been certified for Passpoint, which was launched in 2012 and is based on Wi-Fi Alliance’s Hotspot 2.0 Technical Specification.

Fixed and mobile operators, including Boingo, Orange, SK Telecom, Time Warner Cable, and Telkom Indonesia have deployed Passpoint networks, and more than 20 operators are now participating in Wi-Fi roaming trials based on Passpoint.

New features in Passpoint make it more versatile and scalable:

Online sign-up and immediate account provisioning: Passpoint now enables a streamlined process to establish a new user account at the point of access. For service providers, this reduces barriers to account creation and usage. For users, this capability takes the complexity out of getting connected and enables in-pocket connection across a service provider’s network of hotspots.

Secure registration: The process of establishing a new account or connecting a second device takes place securely. Devices are provisioned with the appropriate credentials and configuration for network access. Users can be confident they are connecting to their chosen provider’s valid network, and their credentials are exchanged securely.

Operator policy: Passpoint now includes the capability for service providers to distribute their specific subscriber policies, such as which networks to join and in what order of preference. This policy support enables providers to deliver the best user experience on Wi-Fi, while still easily maintaining the business requirements of Wi-Fi roaming agreements.

The Passpoint certification program test suite includes support from Aruba Networks, Broadcom, Cisco, Ericsson, Intel, Marvell, MediaTek, Qualcomm Atheros, and Ruckus Wireless. DigiCert and NetworkFX are authorized certificate authorities for the program.

“Enthusiasm for Passpoint from both mobile and fixed operators continues to mount, and the strategic value of Passpoint extends into new segments as well,” said Edgar Figueroa, CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “What makes the new features exciting is that they empower businesses to realize the powerful commercial impact that Wi-Fi can offer by giving them the ability to engage with customers on a new platform in a secure and streamlined fashion.”

“Passpoint already delivers the best user experience available in public Wi-Fi access, and the new feature enhancements provide a fundamental step forward that enables carriers to identify and provision users on the fly,” said Dr. Derek Petersen, CTO for Boingo Wireless. “We’ve
made Passpoint a standard requirement for every new network we deploy. Carriers, handset manufacturers, and network OEMs should run — not walk — to embrace and deploy Passpoint capabilities as soon as possible to maximize accessibility and dramatically improve the user experience."

http://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/wi-fi-certified-passpoint


Level 3's Cloud Connect Adds HP Helion

Level 3 Communications has added HP Helion Managed Cloud Service to its Cloud Connect Solutions ecosystem, which provides enterprises and government agencies with an MPLS VPN connection over the global Layer 3 network to third party cloud services.

In addition to the security of a private VPN connection, Level 3 said its Cloud Connect offers rapid service provisioning, dynamic bandwidth, and usage-based billing. Level 3 Cloud Connect via the global Level 3 network to HP dual-active cloud sites establishes load balancing and redundant failover.  The companies cited 99.999 percent uptime.

Level 3 Cloud Connect Solutions also delivers direct connections to HP Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud for Public Sector. HP Helion Managed Virtual Private Cloud for Public Sector follows applicable regulatory standards such as FedRAMP and FISMA, which provide customers with reassurances about the security and compliance of their overall cloud strategy.

Level 3 and HP expect these services to be available in North America during the fourth quarter of 2014 with global availability in the first half of 2015.

"The combination of HP and Level 3 delivers the tools for customers to transform their IT and network architecture in the cloud," said Anthony Christie, chief marketing officer of Level 3. "By forging relationships with the most respected brands in the cloud services industry, like HP, enterprises can execute their cloud strategies with confidence in the performance of their cloud environments, allowing customers to focus on the growth of their business."

http://www.level3.com/cloudconnectsolutions

In April 2014, Level 3 and Digital Realty, which owns 131 data centers in major cities worldwide, announced a partnership to deliver direct cloud services to co-location customers.  The initial rollout targets 14 markets in the U.S. and Europe and will include Amazon Web Services (AWS Direct Connect) and Microsoft Azure (ExpressRoute).
Digital Realty said a hybrid cloud environment offers its customers the ability to centralize IT management and also gain the flexibility to respond to changing business needs as a result of data and storage growth. For example, leveraging Level 3's virtual private network services, Digital Realty customers can dynamically scale their bandwidth and only pay for what they consume as demand for computing capacity spikes, say during the holiday shopping season. In a hybrid environment, transferring large data sets is expedited with greater bandwidth capacity, which also improves the performance of real-time voice and data feeds.

See also