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Broadcom Tomahawk chip

Broadcom looks to 25/50/100 G to drive new chip

Broadcom is lining up its next assault on the cloud-scale Ethernet market, announcing the next iteration of its high-performance switch silicon due to appear in products in 2015. Now sampling with customers, the StrataXGS Tomahawk has a couple of different aims in mind: delivering very high performance and high density switching …

Brocade's Vyatta gets OpenDaylight controller

Brocade has added another piece to its SDN jigsaw, launching the OpenDaylight controller under its Vyatta platform. A big chunk of the company's pitch for the controller is that it offers a low-risk entry to SDN, with the company aiming to let customers migrate current workloads to an SDN environment gradually rather than in a …
Twisted radio beam intensity plot

US boffins demo 'twisted radio' mux

Evidence continues to mount that the orbital angular momentum (OAM) of radio waves – “twisted waves” – can be exploited to modulate multiple data streams on the same spatial path. Researchers from the University of Southern California are claiming an impressive 32 Gbps transmission, albeit over a distance of 2.5 metres, using …

Cisco sprinkles Sourcefire goodies on ASA firewalls

Cisco has taken the next step in wrapping the technology it acquired along with Sourcefire, by putting its Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) next-gen firewalls and the FirePOWER technology into the blender and giving it a good spin. The idea is to run up a combination of firewall, application control, intrusion prevention and …
RoCE v2 stack image

Oi! You noisy servers! Talk among yourselves and stop bothering that poor router!

The group behind the RDMA over converged Ethernet standard – RoCE to its friends – is tweaking the spec to support UPD and IP in the stack. RDMA - remote direct memory access - has become increasingly important in large-scale data centres, since it lets data move between different servers' user space without having to drop down …
Xpliant chip

Xpliant targets white-label Ethernet switch vendors with shiny new silicon

Ethernet silicon vendor Xpliant – currently being digested by Cavium in an acquisition due to conclude in 2015 – is hoping to knock Broadcom out of its spot at the heart of the Ethernet switch market. The upstart, launched in 2011, says it'll have sample silicon in Q4 2014 for an architecture designed to combine speed and …
UCSD's 500 GHz optical switch schematic

Three photons can switch an optical beam at 500 GHz

American photonics researchers have demonstrated an all-optical switching rig that can work at 500 GHz, controlling a beam using just three photons. High-speed switching in the optical domain is important for several reasons: it will let optical networks outperform anything that can be accomplished if the photonic signal has to …

It's a pain in the ASCII, so what can be done to make patching easier?

Like most of you reading this article, I neglect good patching hygiene. There are very good reasons why we should all of us obsessively test every patch and patch our systems immediately, but patching is a pain in the ASCII. The tools suck, rebooting sucks, and most damning of all, something usually breaks. Each PC, and most …
Trevor Pott, 10 Sep 2014
Smart home

Holy sentient blender, Batman: Telefónica to trial AT&T's Internet of Home Stuff in Europe

Telefónica will be trialling AT&T’s home security tech in Europe as the US firm tries to get its foot in the door of the Internet of Stuff. The Spanish company is licensing the tech for limited trials on this side of the pond, after which it will decide if it’s worth signing up for a longer term. The trial will be a version of …
medical_doctor_health_channel

NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine

The NHS has ripped the Oracle backbone from a national patient database system and inserted NoSQL running on an open-source stack. Spine2 has gone live following successful redevelopment including redeployment on new, x86 hardware. The project to replace Spine1 had been running for three years with Spine2 now undergoing a 45-day …
Gavin Clarke, 9 Sep 2014

Zuck: Yo, Mexico! My $19bn WhatsApp could connect THREE BEEELLION people

Mark Zuckerberg wore his special altruistic pants on a trip to Mexico on Friday to flaunt his messaging wares in the country, by claiming that WhatsApp could connect up to three billion people globally. He visited President Peña Nieto in Mexico City on what appeared to be a PR mission to help grow Facebook's business in that …
Kelly Fiveash, 6 Sep 2014
named data networking

DEATH TO TCP/IP cry Cisco, Intel, US gov and boffins galore

The US National Science Foundation, Cisco, Verisign, Panasonic and boffins from around the world have thrown their weight behind a new “Named Data Networking Consortium” that aims to develop “a practically deployable set of protocols replacing TCP/IP that increases network trustworthiness and security, addresses the growing …
arrow pointing up

White box switches out-sell Brocade, Arista in the data centre

Analyst outfit Gartner has noticed something interesting: white box switches destined for the data centre outsold both Brocade and Arista in 2013. Gartner's data covers 1G/10G/40G/100G port shipments and revenue. Counting sales of those sorts found market share for the blank boxen was 3.8 per cent, on sales of 1.8 million ports …

eBay, Facebook, Tumblr ALL go TITSUP in me-too MULTI-FAIL

In what proved to be a frustrating day for online time-wasters everywhere, eBay, Facebook, and Tumblr all experienced brief service outages on Wednesday. Rather than being the result of a coordinated retaliatory strike by Russian hackers, however, it appears that the downtime was all due to IT cockups within the companies' own …
IT Crowd. Source: Channel 4 / 2entertain

Gamma's not a goner! UK ISP sorts out major outage

British ISP Gamma Partners is blaming BT for a 13-hour break in its data and communications services but says the problem has now been fixed. We have now restored service to all our users. Root cause investigations continue and a further update will be issued tomorrrow — Gamma Support (@GammaSvcSupport) August 28, 2014 The …
Iain Thomson, 29 Aug 2014
New York City's Manhattan skyline

New York looks to PROBE TWC over US outage

The Governor of New York is planning to investigate a massive outage which left Time Warner Cable (TWC) customers around the US without service for hours. Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the state would be looking into the outage on the grounds that a disruption in internet service also brings a halt to many personal and …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Aug 2014
medical_doctor_health_channel

Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?

In theory, the definitive treatment for early stage cancer patients should be surgical resection. Just get in there and cut the tumour out. If the lump is small and well-constrained, then surgical removal is all that should be needed. Unfortunately, this isn’t usually what happens. Even when the tumour is nice and small and …
Netflix on TiVo

TV transport tech, part 2: From sofa to server at the touch of a button

Feature These days telly addicts are spoilt for choice with a wealth of services on offer, but what’s behind it all? To find out, The Register was given exclusive access to Virgin Media’s Central Headend – the mothership of its TV services across the UK. Part one covered receiving and redistributing content from disparate sources to …
Bob Dormon, 22 Aug 2014

UK.gov sinks another £1.6m into Internet of Stuff spec HyperCat

Blighty has announced another £1.6m in funding for its Internet of Stuff standard HyperCat, courtesy of the government’s Technology Strategy Board. In a bid to go all Tim Berners-Lee on the much-hyped Internet of Things, UK.gov has teamed up with tech heavyweights like IBM and ARM to deliver an interoperability standard for …
bsodforwrap

The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?

Patch early and patch often is the advice of security professionals when it comes to software updates. After all, who needs to be left wide open to hackers and malware writers when the solution is delivered by the software's maker? Yet sysadmins will be increasingly leery of applying such an approach to Windows systems …
Gavin Clarke, 18 Aug 2014

Boffins brew TCP tuned to perform on lossy links like Wi-Fi networks

The world is awash with proposals to improve the venerable TCP/IP protocol. The latest, from researchers at the University of Cincinnati, addresses shortcomings in the protocol's behaviour on wireless networks. Since wireless, rather than a coloured Ethernet cable, is the default connection for most devices, how WiFi handles TCP …
Ciscoblood

Cisco revenue dip means 6,000 staff to be de-assimilated

Facing rising competition, Cisco has announced another round of layoffs – 6,000 – in financial results that beat analyst expectations but were still flat. Presenting the company's latest quarter results, CEO John Chambers announced the latest round of layoffs, but was at least able to give a sliver of good news, with revenue …
Picture by Afonso Lima

The internet just BROKE under its own weight – we explain how

512KDay On Tuesday, 12 August, 2014, the internet hit an arbitrary limit of more than 512,000 routes. This 512K route limit is something we have known about for some time. The fix for Cisco devices – and possibly others – is fairly straightforward. Internet service providers and businesses around the world chose not to address this …
Trevor Pott, 13 Aug 2014
Network Functions Virtualisation

ETSI publishes nine network function virtualisation standards

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is seeking industry comment for a bunch of network function virtualisation (NFV) standard drafts published at the beginning of August. NFV, the emerging partner to software defined networks (SDN), is the separation of functions like firewalling, packet inspection and the …

AWS adds on-premises Radius MFA to Workspaces DaaS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has added multi-factor authentication to its Workspaces desktop-as-a-service service, but has done so using on-premises RADIUS servers. Workspaces offer the chance to run a desktop – actually re-skinned Windows Server – in a player app. As we've previously noted, AWS has never been afraid to launch a …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Aug 2014

Everyone's an IoT expert but now there's a certificate to prove it

Such is the current level of enthusiasm for the vision of a world wired with myriad sensors, it can sometimes seem that almost everyone is an expert on the Internet of Things. Cisco, however, has now created a way for you to prove your expertise in the form of a new Cisco Industrial Networking Specialist certification. The Borg …

Danes cram 43 Tbps down ONE fibre using ONE laser

Denmark has hauled in some cable in the ongoing tug-o'-war over who has the fastest fibre, claiming a 43 Tbps record using a single laser. The Ultra High-Speed Optical Communications (UHSOC) group at the Denmark Technical University says its demonstration puts it far ahead of the 32 Tbps record formerly held by the Karlsruhe …
No Sale

Hey, big spender. Are you as secure as a whitebox vendor?

Sysadmin blog Security flaws are a great source of inter-company marketing FUD, but it is how a company responds to them that determines how trustworthy they are. Can you bet your business – or your personal data – on a company that simply brushes flaws under a rug? Where does the vendor's responsibility end and that of the customer begin? As …
Trevor Pott, 1 Aug 2014
MDS_9148s_vs_Brocade

House of the rising SAN: Cisco plonks physical 16Gbit/s kit on the table

Virtual SANs are all very well but physical SANs aren't going away – what with Cisco building out its 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel (FC) switching gear. Cisco has improved its storage area networking product set, plunging deeper into the 16Gbit/s FC switch space, thinking that physical SANs and networked block-access storage arrays …
Chris Mellor, 1 Aug 2014
pipes

Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks

The burgeoning Multipath TCP (MPTCP) standard promises to speed up the internet but will also break security solutions including intrusion detection and data leak prevention, says security researcher Catherine Pearce. MPTCP technology is an update to the core communications backbone of the internet that will allow the …
Darren Pauli, 31 Jul 2014

Cisco's application-centric infrastructure arrives at last

Cisco has quit with the long talk and started the walk, announcing that its Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is to ship as a full solution on July 31. The Borg's “here comes our software-defined networking (SDN) solution” Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) can now be ordered with ACI enabled. Cisco …
chain_relationship_channel

Cisco says network virtualisation won't pay off everywhere

Cisco has published an interesting white paper in which it appears to suggest network virtualisation can produce unpleasant and productivity-crimping consequences. “Virtualization is not a new concept but it is now being applied to network functions such as those in switches, routers, and the myriad network appliances deployed …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jul 2014

Texan firm buys disaster recovery bods Neverfail

UK business continuity specialist Neverfail has been acquired by US-based Artisan Infrastructure in a quiet and unannounced deal. Ex-Neverfail MD Martin Mackay said: ”I am not at liberty to give details but we have indeed been acquired by Artisan. They liked our product set a lot and this is good news for customers, partners, …
Chris Mellor, 29 Jul 2014

IEEE gets to work on 25G Ethernet MAC standards

The IEEE has launched a study group to give 25 Gbps Ethernet standardisation a push along. Hang on, you might ask, don't we already have Ethernet running at speeds higher than 25 Gbps? Yes, but only as multiple links running in parallel: a 40 Gbps Ethernet connection is four 10 Gbps Ethernet serial links strapped together, and …
bofh_sidey

Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in

It is 25 July, and that means it's Systems Administrators Appreciation Day once more. Sysadmin Day is that one special day a year where syadmins the world over say to each other "Wow, I can't believe we all made it another year", and everyone else forgets that this has been a thing for 14 years. Despite the inevitable apathy of …

Fortinet fawns over fast-if-unfashionable ASIC

Fortinet is making hefty claims for its latest firewall release. In a world obsessed by squeezing performance out of virtualised functions running on white-box servers, the company is puffing its feathers over a new ASIC it says bestows Terabit-per-second performance on its biggest iron. The ASIC is dubbed NP6, a lower power …
Cat 5 cable

IBM soups up SoftLayer for supers with Infiniband tech

IBM wants to make its newly acquired SoftLayer cloud a destination for high-performance computing workloads – so it has rolled out a high-end connectivity option unavailable in other large clouds. Big Blue announced the addition of InfiniBand networking to SoftLayer on Wednesday. This sees the biz steal a lead on rivals like …
Jack Clark, 23 Jul 2014

FRIKKIN' LASERS could REPLACE fibre-optic comms cables

You may think that a waveguide is something issued to junior members of the royal family ahead of their first pomp parade through London. But it's actually a new communications technique that makes the air behave like a fibre-optic cable. Howard Milchberg, professor of physics and electrical and computer engineering at the …
Jasper Hamill, 23 Jul 2014
cloud

VeloCloud stitches together virty WAN

A startup called VeloCloud has taken the wraps off a cloudy WAN-as-service offering designed to help enterprises wean themselves off branch networks using private WAN services like MPLS or T1 links. Talking to The Register, VeloCloud's CEO Sanjay Uppal (an alumnus of Webvan among other things, but let's not hold that against him …
Octoblu's Chrome demo

IoT has too many platforms, says IoT platform startup

Yet another startup wants to take over the business of connecting your Internet of Things devices. Octoblu, which has “emerged” from “stealth mode” (if you don't count Tweets about its financing in May, or its joining the AllSeen Alliance in June) is pitching an open-source platform called Meshblu that connects devices with or …

Cisco's first 8 Tbps MONSTER router goes live at Telstra

Ten months after the hype first hit the interwebs, Cisco has started pumping electrons through the first live install of its NCS 6008 giant router, at Australian carrier Telstra. Back in September 2013, the Borg described Telstra as one of the customers “deploying the Cisco NCS”, a statement which in retrospect could be …
Fastpass logical diagram

Kill queues for fast data centres: MIT boffins

MIT researchers hope to speed up networking inside the data centre with concepts that will look familiar to old networking hacks: they propose a central arbiter for network traffic that picks out a predetermined path before a packet is transmitted. The boffins call the scheme Fastpass, and its other characteristic is that the …