Cisco Preps 'Arista Killer'

2012-09-04 15:17:40
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Cox Braces for Hurricane Isaac
Cox Communications Inc. has activated its "business continuity process" in parts of Florida and Louisiana as the cable operator prepares for Hurricane Isaac, which is expected to reach landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday morning.That process includes the re-routing of care calls, readying fuel and generators, lining up additional technicians from other markets, and setting up lines so friends and family can check the safety of Cox employees. (See How Wireless Operators Get Hurricane-Ready.)"[N]ormal business operations have been suspended in Florida's Gulf Coast, New Orleans and Baton Rouge and will resume when conditions are safe," Cox spokesman Todd Smith wrote in an email to the media. "As soon as it's safe, our crews will return to the streets to assess damage to our plant and begin restoring any service outages as quickly as possible. As during other natural disasters, we will work closely with local power providers to fully restore Cox services."Cox, whose systems were ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, has also set up a page on Facebook and on the Web to provide customers with regular updates before, during and after the storm, as well as safety advice should anyone come across any downed lines.
The Cox Louisiana page notes that the company has about 1,600 employees in the area, and that crews will return to assess damage caused by the hurricane and begin to restore any service outages once it's deemed safe to do so.
Cisco Preps 'Arista Killer'
In fact, Arista is running a demo here showing off its virtual-machine capabilities. It was the subject of an Arista press release Friday.
The Nexus 3500 reportedly will be based on a Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) Ethernet switching chip -- the Trident II that was announced Monday, according to one source. But sources say it's also going to include an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) for Layer 3 multicast -- which is necessary for a virtual machine, after it's been moved, to communicate with the rest of the network.That ASIC was designed by the team at Insieme, Cisco's spin-in startup run by the same team that did Cisco's Nuovo and Andiamo spin-ins, sources agree. The team has been moved off that product and onto the next big thing -- possibly a super-dense 100Gbit/s switch, as Light Reading reported Friday. (See Cisco's Insieme Building Massively Scalable Switch.)Let's get virtual That Layer 3 ASIC would be useful for a technology called virtual extensible LAN (VXLAN), developed by VMware and partners. VXLAN moves virtual machines via a Layer 3 tunnel (technically, it encapsulates the packets so that the Layer 3 network can move them around). Normal virtual-machine movement happens at Layer 2, but VXLAN is more scalable and can cross network boundaries.VXLAN, which VMware just started shipping, is one of a few technologies being proposed for this task. Microsoft has its own version, called NVGRE. (See VMware Looks Into the Network.)Arista's VMworld demo shows VXLAN hardware virtual endpoints running inside a switch, one that's part of the 7000 family but hasn't yet been announced, says Doug Gourlay, Arista's VP of marketing.The technologies are relatively new, so Arista is trying to grab a leader's position in supporting them. That's the purpose of this week's demo, which shows interoperability with some big-name companies including F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV), Palo Alto Networks Inc. and the Isilon branch of EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC).As is often the case, interoperability is important for smaller players like Arista, because they're up against all-in-one offerings from the bigger names, such as Cisco and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW)."This has become a game of stacks. Cisco's got a stack. VMware's got a stack. Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) has a stack. This is how Arista can counter that," says Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research . It's aligning itself with the right companies -- F5, Palo Alto. That's a Who's Who."Lowering latency But getting back to that Nexus thing. The 3000 line is the variety of Nexus that's built specifically for low latency, targeting markets such as financial trading. It's also one of Cisco's first product lines to dabble in the OpenFlow protocol, at least according to one engineer last fall. (See Cisco Will Support OpenFlow.)Kerravala wouldn't discuss the 3500 specifically, but he did think that an ASIC-based Nexus 3000 would be a logical next step. Cisco, which tends to be ASIC-happy, has been using merchant Ethernet chips in the Nexus 3000 series.Network World uncovered some more details about the 3500 earlier in August, finding that the switch will have low enough latency to rival InfiniBand gear. Low latency has made InfiniBand, rather than Ethernet, a favored data-center fabric protocol.Gourlay declined to comment on the existence of a potential Arista killer at Cisco. A Cisco spokeswoman declined comment as well.
TW Cable Strings More Fiber in NYC
Welcome to today's broadband and cable news roundup.Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC)'s Business Class unit is spending $25 million to expand fiber in New York City so it can reach more of the region's emerging business locations, including the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which houses about 275 businesses over a 300-acre area. TW Cable said its new dedicated fiber lines will offer speeds of 1Gbit/s and support the company's bundle of voice, Ethernet, subscription video and high-bandwidth video transport services. The Brooklyn Navy Yard's employment center will also house a new TW Cable Learning Lab, which will provide free access to computers and broadband connections when it opens later this year.The expansion comes as business services continue to represent a key growth engine for the cable industry. TW Cable pulled in $464 million in business services revenue in the second quarter, up 29 percent year-on-year, and putting it on pace for an annual take of $1.78 billion.OnLive Inc. founder and CEO Steve Perlman has been ousted soon after the struggling cloud-based gaming service let go of about half its staff and sold off its assets. Gary Lauder, the lead investor in the new incarnation of OnLive, has been named chairman, and Charlie Jablonski will become COO and acting CEO, reports VentureBeat. OnLive didn't disclose the terms of the asset sale, but VC Experts Inc. estimates that its value once could have been as much as $1.9 billion if all the authorized shares listed in public filings as of March 20 were issued, according to The Wall Street Journal. Lauder's VC, Lauder Partners LLC, holds stakes in several companies with ties to video technology, including Aereo Inc. , RGB Networks Inc. and ActiveVideo Networks Inc. (See OnLive Stays Alive.)
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)-owned thePlatform Inc. has added transactional, digital video storefront capabilities to its mpx media publishing system to help its pay-TV and programming partners sell content (either as one-offs or as part of a more customized video packages) via PCs, tablets and mobile phones. Most of thePlatform's partners are already using its system to run authenticated TV Everywhere services that come with a consumer's pay-TV subscription, but this new element would enable them, for example, to sell season passes for TV shows or a movies trilogy bundle.AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) said its AdWorks unit will launch a multi-screen targeted advertising platform in mid-September, hoping it will help advertisers "bridge the gap between online and TV and mobile media." The AdWorks Reflection service will rely on a proprietary algorithm developed by AT&T Labs, and aggregate anonymous TV viewing data from about 10 million U-verse receivers and mobile content usage data from the company's 69 million-plus post-paid mobile phone subs. AT&T didn't disclose a vendor partner, but in January confirmed it was evaluating SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC)'s Infusion platform for its advanced ad project. (See AT&T Eyes SeaChange for TV Everywhere Ad Trial .)Hisense, a maker of low-cost HDTVs, is the latest CE company to introduce a new generation of Google TV devices. The broadband-connected Hisense Pulse with Google TV will sell for $99 and will go on sale in North America in mid-November following its launch in Germany on Aug. 31.
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