TechNavio Report Runs Down Data Center Ethernet Switch Market Through 2016

With 2012 now just a memory, the folks at TechNavio earlier today rolled out its report titled "Global Data Center Ethernet Switch Market 2012-2016", out to run down the state of the market in ethernet switches for the data center market worldwide, as well as make some predictions about its future state.

The TechNavio report covers a wide plane of geography, focusing on the market in the Americas, as well as the Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region as well as the Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions, giving it a general rundown over much of the world. The report was generated via input from multiple industry figures, and contains both market and vendor landscape as well as a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis of the vendors in question. But it's what the TechNavio report in general revealed that provides the most interest.

One of the key points in the TechNavio report is the overall change in the kinds of data traffic in the last few years. While previously, according to the report, traffic profiles were heavy on things like e-mail messages and client-server applications, those traffic profiles have since expanded to things like video and audio content. Naturally, a rise in large-scale data traffic that's extremely sensitive to things like network latency is changing the picture of the network as we know it, and in turn, changing what particular items are demanded by the network to keep it up and fully operational.

With trends like voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), bring your own device (BYOD), cloud storage and big data coming into play, that's changing the fundamental layout of the network by changing how businesses react to it. One of the main growth drivers in the market, according to the report, is the increased virtualization of networks, which is requiring more multi-core and blade servers to keep up with the demand. But at the same time, with more demand comes more competition, and this in turn gives rise to one of the market's main challenges: falling equipment prices.

The report also goes on to cover a variety of topics, like the total projected size of the market in 2016, what else--besides the rise of network virtualization--is driving it, and where other threats besides the falling prices on equipment can be found. Vendors involved in the survey include such major names as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Juniper Networks, Huawei (News - Alert), and several others.

Indeed, the content of networks is changing, and it's perhaps easiest to spot at the residential user level. Where even just 10 years prior, a night of Web surfing might cover mainly text pages about certain television shows, or perhaps text-based chat, we now watch those very same shows directly on streaming platforms and talk about them via voice or outright video chat. That's a lot of extra traffic on the network, and requires a fundamental change in the way networks are built and maintained in order to continue operating.

TechNavio's report, meanwhile, will likely go a long way in defining what the changes are, and what measures are required to take fullest advantage of these changes as well as protect against future potential disaster.

Edited by Peter Bernstein

S3 Group Announces Availability of Number of New Mixed-Signal IP Cores

February 18, 2013

S3 Group Announces Availability of Number of New Mixed-Signal IP Cores

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor

S3 Group (News - Alert), a global independent Mixed-Signal IP supplier and provider of Analog, Mixed-Signal, RF, Power Management and professional System-on-Chip (SoC) services to OEMs, system vendors and semiconductor companies, have launched 10 new Mixed-Signal IP cores which have been developed and silicon proven during 2012.

Officials with S3 Group said that the cores are being used in applications such as DVB-C2/S2 demodulators, system power management unit ICs, wireless and wireline communications, LTE (News - Alert) and satellite transceivers.

"We have a healthy obsession with delivering value and quality to our customers and gaining and maintaining their trust is of paramount importance to us. While 2012 was another excellent year for S3 Group, our world-class engineering team is committed to continuing the expansion of a high quality IP portfolio which can be easily integrated into SoCs and is ready for production," said Dermot Barry, VP Silicon BU, S3 Group, in a statement.

Barry said that some of the world's largest fabless semiconductor companies, as well as many ambitious start-ups trust S3 Group with the delivery of key Mixed-Signal IP cores and the company’s ambition is to maintain its position as a leading independent supplier, while others exit the market.

“We look forward to announcing further innovations and successes over the coming quarters," he said.

Back in December, S3 Group, an international digital TV company that enables operators and programmers to accelerate the end-to-end delivery of multi-screen TV, and Teleplan had announced that they have been selected by Sky Deutschland AG to deliver a suite of products and services targeted at increasing the quality of experience for its subscribers.

The solution, which incorporates a number of different StormTest products from S3 Group and services from Teleplan, will be deployed in Sky Deutschland across the engineering, product support and supply chain departments.

By deploying a single integrated solution end-to-end across its operations, Sky Deutschland expects to see significant quality improvements and cost savings in the service being delivered to its more than three million customers.

The announcement highlights how innovation in all aspects of delivering end-to-end all-IP solutions continues to pick up momentum. This includes innovations in solutions from VoIP router and gateway companies like Patton and others that drive the move to VoIP on networks of all types.

Edited by Peter Bernstein

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Intelecom Selects Aculab’s Prosody S

» More IP Fax Feature Articles

February 18, 2013

By Anil Sharma, TMCnet Contributor

Aculab (News - Alert), a provider of computer telephony hardware and software, has announced that Intelecom is using Aculab's Prosody S in its new IP platform.

Prosody S runs on a Windows or Linux host to provide telephony resources for platforms such as contact centres, IP-PBXs, media servers, fax servers and conferencing products.

A customer application using Prosody S makes, receives and interacts with calls using the Aculab Call API, enabling the integration of telephony with business processes. Licensing on a per channel basis and a distributed architecture enables Prosody S to be cost-effective for systems of any size

Officials with Aculab said that Intelecom Group AS, a provider of hosted contact management technology, has integrated the company’s Prosody S telephony recourses into its flagship product Connect to create a flexible, multichannel, cloud contact centre solution. 

Company officials pointed out that this announcement marks the successful culmination of a short term project to develop a single IP-based platform that underlines the longstanding and strong technical collaboration between the two companies.

“Today, our focus is on bringing all customer contact together into one easy to use interface.  By working closely with Aculab and tapping into its sophisticated knowledge and expertise, we can provide our customers with a unified contact centre environment that harnesses the power of multiple consumer devices and accommodates the latest trends such as social media interaction,� said Torkel Engeness, chief executive officer at Intelecom Group AS, in a statement.

In December 2012, Intelecom launched the latest version of ‘Connect’ designed to accelerate customer interaction and provide administrators with powerful self-provisioning facilities, as well as enabling tighter integration with corporate systems.  

David Samuel, global sales and marketing director of Aculab, said that many organisations, ranging from the smallest SME up to multinational corporations, rely on robust contact solutions to maintain customer loyalty and drive new revenue streams. 

“Our innovative technology combines both traditional and IP-based voice processing capabilities such as interactive voice response (IVR), call progress analysis (CPA) and automatic call distribution (ACD).  This gives forward-thinking developers like Intelecom the scalable building blocks they need to deliver technical and commercial excellence to their customers,� said Samuel.

» More IP Fax Feature Articles

MPLS Makes HD Video Conferencing Possible, Even for Small Businesses

February 18, 2013

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Video conferencing is a reality for business in 2013, especially as they do more with less to stay competitive.

“Video conferencing, with its ability to minimize travel expense and time, and make impromptu multi-national or international meetings a reality, can cut a lot of cost out of the business, seriously boost productivity and increase collaboration within the business, with clients and with partners,� noted Danie Fourie, director at XDSL, in a recent article at Gadget.

Small and medium-sized businesses have not always been able to take advantage of the trend, however, due to cost.

Whereas traditional H.323 video might require bandwidth of 960Kbps over asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) technology, according to a white paper by Polycom, high definition video conferencing can take up to 5.1Mpbs.This poses challenges for smaller businesses that cannot always afford the network speeds to supply modern video conferencing with the bandwidth it needs.

And without the bandwidth, video quality of service suffers. In fact, bandwidth is an integral part of video quality of service.

“Sufficient bandwidth must be in place on each link to carry the expected real-time traffic,� the paper noted.

Luckily, multi protocol label switching (MPLS) can power a variety of collaboration tools and much more cheaply. MPLS directs data from one network node to another based on short path labels instead of long network addresses, avoiding complex lookups in routing tables. MPLS virtual private network can also carry and route several types of network traffic securely across public networks and offers guaranteed throughput and reliability.

“An MPLS VPN provides the flexibility to carry and route several types of network traffic using the technologies of a MPLS backbone,� noted Fourie. “Importantly, an MPLS network makes use of Quality of Service (QoS), which means you can prioritize video conferencing over other traffic – so there is reduced latency and packet loss.�

Further, an MPLS VPN can also be used for voice, data or video; it doesn’t have to be exclusively reserved for video conferencing.

“With a cost-effective, reliable, high speed and high quality voice, video and data transmission, businesses can now truly leverage the power of video conferencing to improve operational costs, lower their eco-footprint, and improve business interactions,� added Fourie.

Stratosphere’s New SDN Platform Comes with MPLS Support, Optimized Broadcasting and More

February 18, 2013

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

Recently, Stratosphere unveiled the latest version of its network virtualization platform with advanced features including MPLS compatibility with data center operators, cloud service operators, telecom operators, service providers, and others.

Stratosphere is a joint venture between ACCESS, a provider of software and solutions for today's multi-screen connected world, and Internet Initiative Japan (News - Alert) (IIJ), one of Japan's biggest Internet-access and comprehensive network solutions providers. The new Stratosphere SDN Platform1.1 (SSP 1.1) will be sold through ACCESS and IIJ sales channels.

Released back on October 31, 2012, SSP is a software stack that virtually builds and controls a network that connects various virtual machines distributed over a wide area. However, the revamped SDN platform boasts MPLS functions that can be used to connect virtual networks between data centers. High-performance networks features that MPLS provides can also be used on an SDN, which enables the virtualization of an entire wide-area network. 

As an extension to LAN, the new SDN Gateway (News - Alert) enables existing corporate LAN environments to be securely connected to a virtual network in the cloud that is managed by SSP via SDN Gateway by using IPSec VPN tunnel. Another enhancement of the new SDN platform is a new two-tiered API that is designed to meet the needs of both the end-user and service providers.

SSP1.1 now also provides an original plug-in for CloudStack, a cloud infrastructure open-source application that manages virtualized machines and networks. The new proprietary plug-in replaces the one designed by Nicira, which was earlier used to connect with CloudStack. It will be used to provide a Stratosphere proprietary function. 

An additional improvement to the SDN solution is the optimized broadcasting feature it possesses, an extension to VXLAN. The service uses an IP multicast method or broadcast engine to optimize the traffic load and reduce the communications overhead of broadcast traffic. This avoids the performance degradation associated with edge overlay SDN. 

Last but not the least, the new SSP offers support for both packet conversion configurations. SSP can be used for a built-in configuration, in which the packet conversion virtual switch processes are performed on a physical server or in a separate configuration, in which a dedicated device performs this function.  

Apptix Unveils Mobile Device Management Service to Enable BYOD

February 18, 2013

Apptix (News - Alert), a provider of hosted business security and compliance solutions, recently launched its new mobile device management service to help organizations remain fully protected while implementing the increasingly popular bring your own device (BYOD) trend.

The service addresses organizations’ secure mobility needs through managing mobile device network access, enforcing security policies, generating compromise alerts, and remotely wiping corporate data from corrupt or unauthorized devices. It also is touted as being both HITECH and HIPAA compliant.

“Apptix Mobile Device Manager (News - Alert) is a core resource for organizations to meet compliance requirements, avoid costly government fines and legal action, and keep corporate data and applications secure without hindering the productivity boom driven by the explosion of mobile device options,� said Dave Ehrhardt, president and CEO of Apptix, in a statement.

Thanks to the mobile device management solution, IT administrators can implement an effective BYOD strategy that benefits organizations and employees alike. In fact, when leveraging this solution companies can securely access enterprise resources, applications, and information through most mobile devices.

While ensuring the level of protection is high in regards to enterprise data, firms can still retain the control over them. They can easily create and enforce corporate policies as well as gain a much higher level of visibility into every application being used with the corporate infrastructure.

Further, the mobile device management solution isolates and secures corporate data from personal data and applications on devices, ensuring privacy protection and security is made available within personal data. Even if the organization needs to wipe a device clean, employees will not lose personal data such as photos or text messages.

Other important features of the offering include wireless automated provisioning, enrollment, policy authentication, robust alerts and reporting.

“Research shows that the vast majority of today’s employees use a mobile phone or tablet device for their job, but few organizations can account for all of the devices accessing their corporate data,� added Ehrhardt. “Apptix Mobile Device Manager closes this gap securely. And, the solution is flexible enough to account for all of the additional devices that will be added to your network in the future.�

» More Mobile Device Management Feature Articles

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TMCnet IVR Week in Review

February 17, 2013

By Allison Boccamazzo, TMCnet Web Editor

A lot has been going on in the interactive voice response (IVR) space. From new releases to the latest trends and insights, this is where you’ll find all of the most interesting IVR-related news of the week!

This week, Visa revealed that it was integrating IVR technology into its new mobile managed service, VisaNet. By enabling its new plug-and-play mobile money platform to be access via multiple channels including self-service IVR, consumers so far in India and Rwanda can enjoy the service, hosted in Visa’s managed data centers which are built on Fundamo’s (News - Alert) technology, a company that Visa acquired back in 2011 and has been successfully deployed worldwide.

“We applaud the pioneers in Africa, Asia and the Middle East who have launched closed-loop mobile financial services and reached so many consumers so quickly,� commented Bill Gajda, head of Global Mobile Products for Visa Inc. in a statement. “As demand grows, so does the cost and complexity to maintain these services. Visa’s new mobile money platform is designed to allow mobile operators and financial institutions to focus on their core business, while leaving the management of their mobile money service to Visa.�

Also this week, it was revealed that IVR is working to lessen the effects of cancer treatment. Not only did it help spread important information and messages regarding the swine flu – or H1N1 – flu that happened back in 2009, but it’s now working with the PROST8CARE program, which develops content with the assistance of four oncology nurses and four oncologists provided through the Prostate Cancer Foundation, TMCnet reported this week.

Developed by mHealth solutions company Mobile Commons, Sanofi US and the Prostate Cancer Foundation, this IVR-based program will work to push out information to participating cancer patients via text messages and will include information such as diet tips and dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy.

Wrapping up this week is news concerning the next Xbox release – specifically, that it is being rumored to include significant speech recognition technology, TMCnet writes. It will work by including sensors that will inform the console of when someone is in and out of a room. This seems to be highly influenced and telling of Siri-like speech technology, which has spurred quite a movement since its introduction.

To learn more, check out the full report here.

That’s going to do it this week for the latest news in the IVR space. To see what’s new next week, be sure to check back in same time, same place – only here at TMCnet.

TMCnet SIP Trunking Week in Review

As usual, the SIP trunking community had a busy week with all sorts of certifications and expansions so let’s get right to it.

First off, Net2Phone has finally achieved compliance of its SIP trunking solution with Avaya (News - Alert) IP Office 8.1. After vigorous testing, Net2Phone was deemed compatible for use with both IP Office 500 and IP Office Server Edition. Net2Phone, technology partner in the Avaya DevConnect (News - Alert) Select Product program, focuses on helping businesses reduce its telecommunication costs without sacrificing call quality.

“Net2Phone’s Business VoIP solution enables Avaya customers to make outbound and receive inbound calls from anywhere across the globe using their existing Avaya IP Office system,� said Jonah Fink, senior vice president of Net2Phone, in a statement. 

In other SIP trunking news, Internt2 provided several universities around with the country with good news as it completed its SIP cloud voice services deployment at its new Emeryville, Calif. Offices. The new deployment will include SIP trunking services from Level 3 Communications (News - Alert) and a hosted PBX Solution that will combine with the preexisting NET+ Portfolio. Big name schools like Tulane, Texas A&M, UMBC and Michigan are excited to take advantage of the new services.

Finally, in a move to deliver communications services to South America, Datora Telecom and Vonage (News - Alert) Holdings have announced a joint venture. Vonage, provider of communications services connecting individuals through cloud-connected devices worldwide, has agreed to partner with Datora to deliver the communications services to Brazilian residents.

With the move, Vonage hopes to expand its international markets and Brazil is the perfect starting points. Not only will the country host the 2014 Fifa World cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, but the country boasts one of the fastest growing markets.

"Brazil is one of the fastest growing markets in the world for communications services, and we are excited to partner with Datora to bring new services to Brazilian consumers," said Kimberly O'Loughlin, Vonage's managing director, International Markets, in a statement.

TMCnet Hosted IVR Week in Review

February 16, 2013

By Carlos Olivera
TMCnet Content Producer

This week in Hosted IVR news, ValidSoft Voice Biometric Technology got the good news it has been waiting for. The company finally passed the national Institute of Standards and Technology (NSIT) Speaker Recognition Evaluation verification tests.

With the validation, ValidSoft will now offer clients access to a fully integrated, multi-layer and multi-factor authentication and transaction verification platform.

"We are delighted with our achievement at the NIST Speaker Recognition challenge. We firmly believe that voice biometrics will play an integral part in payment fraud prevention as more of us use our mobile phones to make money transactions. Using a voice print to authenticate a customer and verify transactions provides a natural and efficient security layer,� said Pat Carroll, CEO of ValidSoft in a statement.

Visa recently launched a plug-and-play mobile money platform and Aircel (News - Alert) and ICICI Bank are among the first clients to adopt the new service. The service is a new way to deliver mobile financial services to unbanked customers.

Through the service Visa will be able to host and manage all aspects of mobile money program on behalf of the provider. Some of the managing aspects will include customer enrollment, transactions processing, authorization and others.

“Through the Visa hosted and managed service, Aircel is now able to partner with local banks to offer our mobile subscribers access to money services that will simplify their financial lives,� said Geoff King, head of Mobile Banking, Aircel. “We begin with our partnership with ICICI to offer customers the ability to send cash across the country securely, to top up their prepaid mobile accounts, and pay their utility bills.�

Finally in Hosted IVR news, Enghouse (News - Alert) debuted its latest version of its solution called Contact Center: Service Provider. Enghouse provides technology to maximize the value of every customer interaction and this new solution will be an all-in-one virtual contact center suite. With real-time monitoring and enhanced alerts, the new service is capable of lowering TCO.

 “We are confident that the enhancements to our leading cloud contact center solution will make the product even more accessible and attractive to service providers in this space, helping them drive competitive edge in an increasingly competitive marketplace,� said Alex Black, chief technology officer at Enghouse Interactive (News - Alert) commented in a statement.

TMCnet Session Border Controller Week in Review

February 16, 2013

By Rich Steeves
TMCnet Web Editor

It’s been a busy week in the session border controller space, with lots of news from SBC expert Sonus and with experts trying to absorb the big news about Oracle’s acquisition of Acme Packet (News - Alert). Let’s take a look at some of the top stories.

Looking at Oracle’s recent acquisition of Acme Packet, it’s easy to see that the session border controller space will benefit from new knowledge and exposure. Companies that were on the fence about deploying SIP trunks and unified communications will have their curiosity piqued by this news, and it will drive them to find out more information about the technology. Other companies that provide session border controllers will certainly get long looks from many companies and will definitely see a spike in sales.

One session border controller specialist that had a particularly good week was Sonus Networks (News - Alert). The company announced a closer partnership with BroadSoft (News - Alert). According to Aashu Virmani, senior director of strategy and business development at Sonus, this new relationship will help usher in phase 2.0 of SIP trunking. In phase 2.0, companies will be looking to generate more average revenue per user, and SMBs will be looking for a differentiated experience. Virmani feels that the interoperability between Sonus and BroadSoft will help the companies lead the way into this new iteration of SIP trunking.

Sonus also had news of a customer win this week. The Spanish company Ibercom has chosen the Sonus SBC 5200 session border controller to protect its VoIP network. “We chose the Sonus SBC 5200 because it delivered the best performance in competitive testing,� said Olivier Chico, head of interconnection at Ibercom. “The SBC 5200 provides the greatest amount of versatility to support our company’s future growth into delivering mobile voice services. We see Sonus as a valued partner for the future.�

There you have it! Another exciting week in the SBC space. Check back soon for more news and information!