Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cisco Integrates ACI with FirePOWER Intrusion Prevention

Cisco is integrating its FirePOWER Next Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS) into its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) architecture.

The integrated ACI + firePOWER security solution, which will be available in June 2015, offers automated threat protection to combat emerging data center security threats. The idea is fine-grained control (including application level security), visibility and centralized automation all the way from infrastructure to the application level.

Cisco ACI also third-party ecosystem solutions from Check Point Software Technologies, Fortinet, Infoblox, Intel Security, Radware, and Symantec.

Cisco said ACI integration with FirePOWER NGIPS (including Advanced Malware Protection) provides security before, during and after an attack, enabling organizations to dynamically detect and block advanced threats with continuous visibility and control across the full attack continuum. These new security capabilities deliver unprecedented control, visibility and centralized security automation in the data center.

Cisco also announced that independent qualified security assessors have validated ACI for deployment in payment card industry (PCI) compliant networks. Managing and simplifying the scope of compliance can help reduce costs for these organizations.

http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1628097

XO Interconnects with Microsoft Azure through Equinix Cloud Exchange

XO Communications (XO) introduced direct links to Microsoft Azure through the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

XO now offers its customers dedicated connections to Azure at bandwidths of 200 Mbps, 500 Mbps and 1 Gbps in Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers in the Washington, D.C., area and Silicon Valley. Enterprises choosing 1 Gbps connectivity to the Azure platform also have the option of leveraging the XO Bandwidth on Demand service with usage-based billing and bandwidth commit rates ranging from 100-500 Mbps.

“Enterprises need to increase the velocity of their business growth while constraining total IT spending,” said Jake Heinz, senior vice president, marketing and product at XO Communications. “XO enables the evolution of the hybrid IT function whereby the IT organization becomes a trusted cloud services broker for the entire organization. With dedicated network connections to Azure, IT managers are now able to cost-effectively drive productivity by deploying true hybrid cloud architectures.”

http://www.xo.com

AT&T Completes Acquisition of Nextel Mexico

AT&T completed its previously announced acquisition of Nextel Mexico from NII Holdings for $1.875 billion, less approximately $427 million of net debt and other adjustments. The deal includes spectrum licenses, network assets, retail stores and subscribers in Mexico.

Earlier this year, AT&T acquired Mexican wireless provider Iusacell. AT&T will integrate Iusacell and Nextel into one company focused on bringing more choices, better service and faster mobile Internet speeds to more locations throughout Mexico. AT&T plans to create the first-ever North American Mobile Service area, which will cover more than 400 million consumers and businesses in Mexico and the United States.

Thaddeus Arroyo, Chief Executive Officer for AT&T Mexico, LLC and Iusacell, will lead the combined company.

http://www.att.com

Boingo Signs Sprint for Airport Wi-Fi

Boingo Wireless announced a multi-year Wi-Fi agreement for providing Sprint customers with access to seamless and secure Boingo Wi-Fi networks in 35 major U.S. airports.

Sprint devices within proximity of a Boingo hotspot can automatically connect to the Wi-Fi network seamlessly, providing service at the fastest speeds available, be that cellular from Sprint or Wi-Fi from Boingo. The auto-authenticating Wi-Fi connections are available at no additional charge to all Sprint customers with capable devices, and usage while connected to Wi-Fi does not count towards a customer’s monthly service plan.

“Boingo's relationship with Sprint removes the traditional barriers between Wi-Fi and cellular service,” said David Hagan, Chief Executive Officer for Boingo Wireless. “Sprint is a market leader with the integration of Wi-Fi and cellular, which is a very customer centric solution to provide an always-best-connected experience through either network.”

http://www.sprint.com
http://www.boingo.com

Amdocs to Acquire Comverse's BSS Unit for $272 Million

Amdocs agreed to acquire a substantial majority of Comverse's business support systems (BSS) business unit assets for approximately $272 million in cash.

Amdocs said it will maintain and support Comverse customers around the world. The acquisition geographically complements Amdocs' market focus by expanding and diversifying Amdocs' global customer base, particularly in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Europe, and including Europe's cable and satellite market.

"Amdocs is a leader in customer experience solutions for the communications industry. With Amdocs' broad range of products and services, this agreement will only serve to benefit existing Comverse BSS customers," said Philippe Tartavull, president and chief executive officer, Comverse. "Customers should feel assured by Amdocs' experience with smoothly integrating acquisitions and their commitment to maintaining and growing relationships."

Comverse will continue to exist as a separate company, with a singular focus on expanding its global market leadership in digital services.

“Size and scale in BSS are critical to succeed in today’s increasingly consolidating telecommunications service provider marketplace, while smaller, niche players face a more uncertain future,” said Philippe Tartavull, President and Chief Executive Officer, Comverse. “The combination of Comverse’s customer base with Amdocs’ BSS products and services creates new opportunities for our clients and Comverse employees joining Amdocs. Now, Comverse can focus exclusively on expanding our existing significant global market leadership in the Digital Services arena, and driving innovation in new segments of the IP communication industry that are expected to grow significantly as CSPs and enterprises take advantage of the rollout of 4G/Volte/LTE services.”

http://www.comverse.com/
http://www.amdocs.com

Midcontinent Deploys Infinera DTN-X

Midcontinent Communications has deployed the Infinera DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform in its Upper Midwest service area of the United States to deliver cable television, high-speed Internet and telecom services to its customers.

Midcontinent is one of the nation's largest independent telecommunications companies, with more than 300,000 residential and business customers in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Midcontinent operates one of the largest and most resilient optical networks in the region, a 7,800 fiber-mile network delivering services to urban and rural areas.

"We are pleased that Midcontinent is extending the benefits of the Infinera Intelligent Transport Network as the company expands," said Gaylord Hart, director of marketing, MSO market at Infinera. "The DTN-X platform offers cable operators the benefits of scalability, ease of use and superb reliability."

http://www.infinera.com/j7/servlet/NewsItem?newsItemID=456

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

IEEE 802.3 Amends Ethernet Standard for 4 x 25Gbps Lanes

IEEE announced the availability of 802.3bm, IEEE Standard for Ethernet Amendment: Physical Layer Specifications and Management Parameters for 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Operation Over Fiber Optic Cables.

The amendment reduces “lane count” for 100 Gbps applications (from 10 lanes at 10 Gbps each to four lanes at 25 Gbps each),  expands the reach for 40 Gbps services to 40 kilometers and expands Energy Efficient Ethernet capability to include optical links.

IEEE said these modifications to the 802.3 standard for Ethernet are driven by a number of advances in optical networking, enabling migration to higher-density applications, reducing cost and power demand of 100 Gbps devices and simplified metropolitan services.

“Significantly higher Ethernet performance, capacity and reach in optical networking are needed especially inside and among data centers across metropolitan areas, given the ongoing proliferation of smartphones, video-on-demand, cloud computing and other bandwidth-intensive applications such as the Internet of Things,” said Dan Dove, chair of the IEEE P802.3bm Task Force and chief consultant with Dove Networking Solutions. “The project to develop IEEE 802.3bm addressed these market needs through a globally open, collaborative effort that drew contributions from a broad spectrum of engineers and end users across the Ethernet ecosystem.”

“The rapid growth of Internet traffic is driving the need for higher data rates, higher density and lower-cost fiber optic solutions for the data center,” said David Law, chair of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group and distinguished engineer with HP Networking. “IEEE 802.3bm demonstrates how IEEE 802.3 is taking a forward-thinking approach to stay ahead of global demands on Ethernet networking, which paves the way for innovation in devices and services.”

http://www.ieee.org/

Video Set: More Changes coming to Ethernet Standards

In this set of four videos, John D'Ambrosia, Chairman of the Ethernet Alliance, discusses how new applications for Ethernet, including Internet of Things (IoT) and automotive Ethernet, are driving the need for more Ethernet speed standards.

Fundamental changes in Ethernet architecture, including the adoption of 25G and 50G signalling at the chip level, suggest that future Ethernet standards will not simply follow the 10X leaps we've seen in the past.

Filmed at the Ethernet Technology Summit in Santa Clara, California.

1. Ethernet Standardizes Lower Speeds - https://youtu.be/J0WnAfX7Hoc
2. Ethernet at 2.5 and 5 Gbps Rates - https://youtu.be/lc5TRUcciF8
3. 400 GbE Ethernet Architecture - https://youtu.be/GxPnYneDdn0
4. Ethernet Rate Roadmap - https://youtu.be/U_-n8FhV_Zs





HP Unveils Campus Switching Modules Optimized for SDN

HP unveiled new campus networking solutions and services including new switching modules powered by the 6th generation HP Networking ASIC, purpose built for SDN.

HP says its new chip delivers more than four times the performance of competitive solutions and three times lower latency.Its two terabits per second backplane supports increased bandwidth and performance requirements including high speed wireless connectivity.

The HP 5400R zl2 Switch Series v3 Modules fully support OpenFlow and can process up to 24 times more flows than it main competitor.The modules also offer programmable OpenFlow processing pipelines and ten parallel Advanced Packet Processor engines with dedicated resources provide scalability and flexibility to support the new wave of SDN applications.

Other key features of the 5400R v3 modules include HP Smart Rate multi-gigabit ports for supporting the next wave of high-speed 802.11 ac Wave 2 access points. The HP Smart Rate technology offers simple self-negotiating and flexible capacity from 1GbE, 2.5 GbE, 5 GbE to 10GbE with Power over Ethernet +.

In addition, HP is introducing a Network Visualizer SDN application that provides IT administrators with real-time detailed visibility of the network to monitor traffic flow and investigate issues. Administrators can identify user complaints without having to identify physical location or IP address, by centering visibility on the user experience rather than the physical network. The increased visibility afforded by SDN technology allows for rapid diagnosis and repair of network issues, without requiring additional costly overlay appliances or probes.

HP also announced enhancements to its HP Network Optimizer SDN application, which offers automated provisioning of network policy and Quality of Service  to ensure an enhanced user experience. The app now offers media path optimization as well as dynamic traffic periodization based on user or device. Other business applications will also be able to take full advantage of HP Network Optimizer through open API integration.

http://www.hp.com

IBM Announces Two Breakthroughs for Quantum Computing

Researchers at IBM have demonstrated for the first time the ability to detect and measure the two types of quantum errors (bit-flip and phase-flip) that will occur in any real quantum computer. The researchers have also shown a new, square quantum bit circuit design that could scale to larger dimensions.

“Quantum computing could be potentially transformative, enabling us to solve problems that are impossible or impractical to solve today," said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president and director of IBM Research. “While quantum computers have traditionally been explored for cryptography, one area we find very compelling is the potential for practical quantum systems to solve problems in physics and quantum chemistry that are unsolvable today. This could have enormous potential in materials or drug design, opening up a new realm of applications.”

The research is published in the April 29 issue of the journal Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7979).

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/46725.wss

Telefónica Selects NetCracker for BSS in 7 Countries

Telefónica has selected NetCracker to transform its BSS platforms for wireless and fixed services in seven Latin American countries. This large-scale, multi-phase BSS and customer experience transformation program encompasses replacing existing billing systems and implementing new product catalog, ordering and omni-channel CRM platforms. The NetCracker BSS solution will support all customers and service offerings for seven LATAM operators. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“NetCracker’s pre-integrated BSS suite will enable our organization to improve customer experience and reduce time-to-market,” said Phil Jordan, Group CIO at Telefónica. “NetCracker’s implementation methodology will also help us standardize our systems and processes across multiple operators.”

“We look forward to delivering this large BSS transformation program for Telefónica, helping the service provider streamline operations and reduce complexity without impairing customer experience,” said Bob Titus, Vice President of Global Solutions at NetCracker. “This is another example of how our industry-leading technology enables service providers to be more nimble, competitive and customer-focused.”

NetCracker Technology is a subsidiary of NEC Corporation.

http://www.NetCracker.com

Broadcom Intros 5G WiFi Wave 2 Silicon

Broadcom introduced a new family of 5G WiFi Wave 2 solutions for enterprise wireless access points (APs).

Broadcom's expanded portfolio includes the BCM43465 (4x4 11ac MU-MIMO) and BCM43525 (3x3 11ac MU-MIMO) for high-performance access points. Sampling is underway.

The BCM43465 chip supports 2.2Gbps and four concurrent MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input, multiple output) devices. MU-MIMO combined with 160MHz enables devices to fully utilize available bandwidth to deliver more than 2x the performance.

The new chips are further enhanced by NitroQAM technology, Broadcom's 1024-QAM modulation scheme, which gives up to a 25 percent throughput boost over 802.11ac's 256-QAM. In addition, by using a powerful Digital Signal Processing (DSP) based architecture, Broadcom's silicon can perform advanced spectrum capture, analysis and classification right on the chip without impacting performance. Broadcom's Advanced Spectrum Capture Engine (AsCE) allows the chip to identify non-Wi-Fi interference and adjust accordingly, delivering improved reliability and quality.

"We're leaving no stone unturned in our mission to drive the transition to 802.11ac across all segments and markets," said Ed Redmond, Broadcom Vice President & General Manager, Compute and Connectivity. "We intend to continue doing so by offering differentiated, comprehensive solutions that assure our OEMs have future-proof solutions that provide end users the quality, reliability and capacity they increasingly demand across high-density applications."

http://www.broadcom.com

SanDisk's New Fusion ioMemory PCIe Bring 61% Price Cut

SanDisk unveiled a new generation of its Fusion ioMemory PCIe application accelerators — comprised of SanDisk NAND flash, and Virtual Storage Layer (VSL) data access acceleration software that bring up to a 4x price performance improvement, with up to a 61 percent list price reduction over the previous generation Fusion ioDrive product.

The Fusion ioMemory portfolio offers an array of form factors ranging from PCIe cards to mezzanine storage for HP and Cisco blade servers. Each card is optimized for mixed-use or read-intensive workloads and can also be paired with SanDisk’s recently announced next generation FlashSoft caching software, which reduces I/O latency in VMware vSphere, Windows Server and Linux environments, helping customers further accelerate enterprise applications.

“Fusion-io’s technology fundamentally transformed expectations about data center performance when it debuted eight years ago and it remains the standard by which all other PCIe products are judged,” said John Scaramuzzo, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Storage Solutions, SanDisk. “Combining the power of Fusion ioMemory technology with SanDisk’s vertically integrated NAND flash, our engineering talent and portfolio of SATA and SAS SSDs, provides customers with an unparalleled combination of flexibility, performance, scalability, quality and value to help solve their data center challenges.”

http://www.sandisk.com

Alcatel-Lucent Selected for Algeria-Spain Undersea Cable

The Algerian Ministry of Post, Information Technology and Communications has awarded a contract to Alcatel-Lucent for the deployment of the Orval system, an over 560 km fiber-optic undersea cable that will link Oran in Algeria to Valencia, Spain.

The 100 Gbps system, which is expected to come online in 2016, will deliver an ultimate design capacity of 20 Tbps.

Alcatel-Lucent will be lead contractor in charge of designing and manufacturing the system in consortium with IT Marine who will be responsible for marine operations.

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Verizon Names Five Vendors for SDN

Verizon named five technology partners for its software-defined architecture: Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Juniper Networks and Nokia Networks.

"Verizon and our key technology partners have always focused on providing high-performance networks for our customers, and with this SDN architecture we will continue to ensure our network and services meet the needs of our customers, today and in the future," stated Roger Gurnani, Verizon chief information and technology architect.

Verizon said its SDN-based architecture will drive a number of key customer facing benefits, including elastic, scalable, network-wide service creation and near real-time service delivery.

To enable its network vision, Verizon and its technology vendors have co-authored a comprehensive SDN network architecture document, which includes all interface specifications and reference architectures plus requirements for both the control layer and forwarding box functions. This network architecture document will enable Verizon's key technology partners to develop solutions to achieve the business and technical benefits of an SDN-enabled network.

http://news.verizonenterprise.com/2015/04/software-defined-network-architecture-hakl/
http://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizon-announces-software-defined-networking-strategy

What Does SDN Need to Succeed? Citrix Responds...

SDN needs to become "business-defined networking," says Graham Melville, Senior Director of Product Marketing, Cloud Networking at Citrix.

Businesses need an IT infrastructure that is more agile, consumes fewer resources, and capable of making intelligent decisions as network loads change.  Application intelligence should drive the way that the network is formed and the way paths are formed.

Filmed at NetEvents' Cloud Innovation Summit 2015 in Tiburon, California.

See: https://youtu.be/YN2BaDWMjtw


Dell's 13th Gen PowerEdge Servers Pack 6 TB of RAM, Eight PCIe SSDs

Dell introduced its 13th generation PowerEdge servers including its most powerful PowerEdge R930 designed for demanding enterprise applications such as in-memory databases, customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP).

Dell noted that the global x86 server market has grown more than 600 percent since it first introduced the PowerEdge portfolio roughly 20 years ago, while the non-x86 market has been on a constant decline – shrinking 70 percent between 2000 and 2013. Even with the declines, the non-x86 market presents a $9.1 billion (USD) addressable market in 2015.

The PowerEdge R930 features the future Intel Xeon processor E7-8800/4800 v3 product families, 6TB of memory in 96 DIMMs, 24 internal hard drives and support for up to eight high performance PowerEdge Express Flash NVMe PCIe SSDs.

Dell was the first to ship NVMe PCIe SSDs and it’s now offering the new 3.2TB PCIe SSD. Dell PowerEdge Express Flash NVMe PCIe SSDs deliver ultra-high performance, front loading, hot pluggable 2.5-inch devices, providing up to 10 times more input /output operations per second (IOPS) over traditional SSDs.

In addition to the PowerEdge R930 rack server, Dell is updating its PowerEdge VRTX and PowerEdge M1000e converged platforms, and introducing the PowerEdge FC830 and the PowerEdge M830 blade server as part of Dell’s 13th generation of PowerEdge servers.

http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/uscorp1/press-releases/2015-04-28-dell-r930-server

Cavium Demos 48-core, ARMv8-A ThunderX_NT Processor

At this week's Interop in Las Vegas, Cavium is demonstrating its 48-core, dual-socket capable ThunderX_NT family of ARMv8-A based processors with integrated security, networking and virtual flow accelerators.

Cavium said its ThunderX_NT-based platforms are well suited for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) applications, such as virtual application delivery controller (vADC), virtual unified threat management (vUTM), virtual router (vRouter), and virtual wireless LAN controllers (vWLANs).  The design offers a large number of cores, integrated standard low latency Ethernet fabric, 10/40/100 GbE networking, end-to-end virtualization enabled through virtSoC technology, and integrated accelerators for packet processing, security, deep packet inspection and virtualization.

“Enterprises, service providers and cloud data center operators are looking to gain the benefits and flexibility of virtualizing the network to manage dynamically changing workloads and massive data requirements,” said Surya Hotha, Director of Product Line Marketing, Infrastructure Processor Group at Cavium. “The ThunderX_NT family provides the processing performance and flexibility by integrating a huge amount of compute along with targeted workload accelerators for secure low-latency networking into a power, space and cost-optimized form factor.”

http://www.cavium.com

Oracle Launched Evolved Communications Application Server

Oracle is introducing an Evolved Communications Application Server for service providers that supports enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity for delivering Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services even when widespread LTE network coverage isn’t available.

Communication Service Providers can configure and extend out-of-the-box VoLTE and Voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi) applications without coding or having to rely on costly vendor customization, enabling them to develop and deliver rich media services more quickly and cost-effectively, while also assuring reliability.

The communications application server offers a network function virtualization (NFV)-enabled environment for VoLTE and VoWi-Fi applications, and is designed to permit virtualization and management by a virtual network function (VNF) manager. The solution also provides automated deployment capabilities across testing, staging, and production environments equating to greater service agility and velocity for CSPs.

“Oracle Communications Evolved Communications Application Server brings the speed of innovation with the low cost profile typically seen in IT initiatives, yet it can deliver the performance of a CSP network appliance,” said Steve Aulds, vice president of products, Oracle Communications. “This is the ideal complement to our converged application server, API exposure platform, and session delivery infrastructure, which CSPs around the world have embraced for nearly a decade.”

https://www.oracle.com/industries/communications/evolved-application-server/index.html

Microsemi Completes Acquisition of Vitesse

Microsemi completed its previously announced acquisition of Vitesse Semiconductor for $5.28 per share in cash.

Vitesse offers a portfolio of high-performance semiconductors, application software, and integrated turnkey systems solutions for carrier, enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks worldwide. Key markets include network infrastructure for mobile access/IP edge, enterprise cloud access, and industrial-IoT markets. Vitesse is headquartered in Camarillo, California.

Microsemi (Nasdaq: MSCC) offers semiconductors and system solutions for communications, defense & security, aerospace and industrial markets. Products include high-performance and radiation-hardened analog mixed-signal integrated circuits, FPGAs, SoCs and ASICs; power management products; timing and synchronization devices and precise time solutions, setting the world's standard for time; voice processing devices; RF solutions; discrete components; security technologies and scalable anti-tamper products; Power-over-Ethernet ICs and midspans; as well as custom design capabilities and services. Microsemi is headquartered in Aliso Viejo, California.

http://www.microsemi.com