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Apache Foundation rushes out Arrow as 'Top-Level Project'

The Apache Software Foundation has today announced Apache Arrow, its new project which aims to provide a cross-system data layer for columnar in-memory analytics. While Apache projects normally go through incubation periods, Arrow has been immediately announced as a Top-Level Project, and its code – seeded from the Apache …
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Linux Foundation whistles up 'Fido' for SDN, NFV

The Linux Foundation has kicked off a new collaboration designed to push open I/O closer to the metal, to squeeze higher performance out of the white-box world. Fd.io – which the outfit assures the world is pronounced “Fido” – builds on efforts like Intel's Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK). The other foundation technology …
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Brocade steps up mobile strategy with virtual EPC software

A year on from kicking off its mobile strategy, Brocade has followed up with a pre-Mobile-World-Congress announcement of its first virtualised Evolved Packet Core (EPC) offering. Its Virtual Core for Mobile (VCM) is part of the company's strategy to target cellular networks with commodity Intel-based kit. Speaking to Vulture …
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Cisco customers on alert over new vulns

Cisco is warning customers of a couple of new medium-level security vulnerabilities. The first is a bug in Cisco's Emergency Responder (CER) software, part of the company's Unified Communications System. CER is a purpose-built module for emergency services customers, feeding the location of phones making incoming calls to the …
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Cisco's Chambers mulls Indian manufacturing base

Cisco has foreshadowed adding India to its global manufacturing chain, suggesting the city of Pune as a possible location. John Chambers made the comments in a speech to the CNN Business Forum 2016 in Mumbai, as reported by India's Economic Times. The former Cisco CEO, and now executive chairman, said businesses who fail to …
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Bluetooth direct to the internet: What could possibly go wrong?

The Bluetooth special interest group (SIG) reckons connecting "things" to PCs and smartphones is passé and wants to add direct-to-router connections to its technology. It's published a guide to using a bunch of RESTful APIs to build a gateway between Bluetooth and IP networking without an intermediary device. Explaining its …
Cisco RFGW-1-D Edge QAM

Enterprise network spend hits the brakes – and Cisco's OK with that

The financial market turmoil that's characterized 2016 has led Cisco to set modest expectations for the coming three months. Having said that, the networking giant is pleased with its performance in Q2 of its fiscal 2016, aka the quarter to January 23. Its US$11.8bn second quarter revenue (normalized to exclude the cable …
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Cisco forgets to ship management software with security appliances

Cisco has 'fessed up to forgetting the software needed to manage its Adaptive Security Appliances. “Some … security appliances were shipped without the Adaptive Security Device Manager (ASDM) on-box management software,” Cisco says in a field notice. And it forget for quite a while: product shipped between February to October …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Feb 2016
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Cisco recalls switches that could short power to the case. And hurt you

Cisco is recalling a bunch of industrial Ethernet switches because it discovered the power source wiring could potentially short to the case. The IE 5000 is the company's series of ruggedised Ethernet switches, and the recall affects both version in the series, the IE-5000-12S12P-10G (1Gbps / 10Gbps, 28 ports) and the IE-5000- …
Ethernet cable rises up like a snake (artist's impression). Image via shutterstock

While we weren't looking, the WAN changed

Sysadmin Blog: Wide Area Networking (WAN) solutions are not discussed enough in the tech press. We babble incessantly about consumer broadband, or some new top end fibre speed achieved in a lab, but this is merely a fraction of the story. There is a very real revolution in WAN connectivity that is occurring right now, today. It goes largely …
Trevor Pott, 5 Feb 2016

MapR claims big-data wrangling Hadoop patent first

Opensourcer MapR has been granted a patent for technology to reliably herd big data. The Hadoop flinger claims its architecture would safeguard "against data loss with optimised replication techniques and tolerance for multiple node failures in a cluster." MapR is using the filing to try to differentiate against rival Hadoop …
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Cisco splats Nexus, APIC, and security manager bugs

Grab the Cisco-branded fly-swatter, it's time for your weekly bug-splat. Top of the list are four high-severity bugs, in Nexus 9000 switches, security managers, and application policy controllers. The Nexus 9000 ACI Mode Switch has an issue in its ICMP implementation, remotely exploitable to cause a denial-of-service. An …

Cisco borgs IoT outfit Jasper Tech for US$1.4 billion

Internet of Things service platform outfit Jasper Technologies has fallen into the maw of Cisco for US$1.4 billion. Twelve-year-old Jasper started life as a machine-to-machine wireless comms specialist (Jasper Wireless) before changing its name in 2014. According to Cisco's blog post about the acquisition, Jasper has 3,500- …
Satan in Hell from South Park

Cisco slings speedier SAN switches

Cisco's taken the whip to the FibreChannel horse, shipping a bunch of kit ready for the next iteration of the venerable storage area network (SAN) standard. In the kind of cutesy marketing-speak that makes people want to set fire to blog posts, The Borg reckons its 32G-ready, 768-16G-port MDS 9718 Director is called “the beast …

Japanese wireless boffins demo 56Gbps fibre replacement*

Come close. No, closer. Much closer: Fujitsu and the Tokyo Institute of Technology have demonstrated millimetre-wave transmissions operating at an eye-watering 56Gbps, over a far-less-impressive 10cm. Probably more impressive is that they did it with a CMOS transceiver that puts the "broad" into broadband processing: the chip …

International Trade Commission pens patent love letter to Cisco

The International Trade Commission has handed Cisco another gun to fire at antagonist Arista, finding that the latter violated three Cisco software patents. The patents in question cover router management (US 7,162,537), and private VLANs (US 6,741,592 and 7,200,145). Since Cisco reckons Arista's in violation of twelve …
NASA's Mike Krainak with the silicon-photonic chip

NASA preps silicon-photonic modem for space laser internet test

NASA's preparing the next step of its lasers-in-space optical communications strategy, announcing the development of a silicon photonic modem for space applications. The agency's engineering team is getting ready to build the modem, which integrates electrical and optical signalling and processing on a single chip. The news …
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EU agency warns of cyber risks from using big data tools

Businesses that use software and systems to collect, analyse and use data are increasingly vulnerable to cyber risks, according to a new report. The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) urged companies to embrace "the security-by-default principle" to better safeguard data and systems against privacy and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 1 Feb 2016
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Give me POWER! Under resourced, overloaded - a moving story

This Damn War I was the senior systems administrator (in fact I was the only IT person, but not the IT "manager" as that would entail a whole new level of paperwork for the client) and had been tasked with moving our central office to an office one kilometre away. As a joint venture, we were moving into the majority owner's existing office …
OnG IT guy, 29 Jan 2016
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Juniper turns around in 2015, worried about 2016

Juniper Networks has managed to disappoint Wall Street with revenue growth, a turnaround from loss to profit and earnings per share better than analyst forecasts. The problem? It doesn't like next year's outlook. Its Q4 2015 revenue of US$1,319.6 million was 20 per cent better than Q4 2014 and six per cent ahead of Q3, with a …
White boxes

AT&T and Big Telco pals join Facebook OCP club

Facebook's Open Compute Project has staked out its next battlefield: the conservative world of the telco. The OCP Telco Project whichjust launched counts AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, EE, SK Telecom, Verizon, Nexius, Nokia Networks and Equinix as its foundation members. The aims of OCP the Telco Project are: communicate telco …

Juniper slurps packet-optical outfit BTI Systems

Juniper Networks has announced it's going to acquire BTI Systems. Once a packet-optical specialist, BTI Systems spent much of 2015 positioning itself into the software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) markets. That work included giving its 8700 Series the ability to work with OpenDaylight SDN …
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Arista slaps Cisco with countersuit in network hardware row

Arista Networks has countersued Cisco, accusing the network giant of unfair competition practices. On Monday, Arista submitted paperwork with the US Northern California District Court alleging that Cisco unfairly stifles competition by wielding copyright claims against rivals and coercing customers to only use Cisco hardware …
Shaun Nichols, 26 Jan 2016
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China has a chip to fry with y'all: Wants its own chip smarts and fabs

China is making more moves as it tries to set up an indigenous and patent-protected semi-conductor chip capability. Xu Jinghong, the chairman of Tsinghua Holdings, said in a Davos World Economic Forum interview that Tsinghua wanted to buy two semi-conductor manufacturing companies. Analyst haus Stifel Nicolaus' MD Aaron …
Chris Mellor, 25 Jan 2016

Thought you were safe from the Fortinet SSH backdoor? Think again

Fortinet has admitted that many more of its networking boxes have the SSH backdoor that was found hardcoded into FortiOS – with FortiSwitch, FortiAnalyzer and FortiCache all vulnerable. Last week, a Python script emerged that could allow anyone to get administrator-level access to some of Fortinet's firewall devices using …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jan 2016
Chick egg, photo via Shutterstock

From DNA to Twitter: Data's digital journey to commodity

Big Data and All That In attempting any technological history, one of the traditional difficulties is to know where to begin. This difficulty follows from a flawed assumption that there is a story that is linear and began in one place at one time. The real world is not like that. Technology is more like a river that has its origins in any number of …
John Watkinson, 22 Jan 2016
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Arista adds Docker support to EOS

Arista has launched an upgrade to its network operating system, adding a million-route-plus database to act as a network state repository. NetDB is an extension to SysDB that originally powered the EOS (Extensible Operating System). As well as more than a million route table entries, it can support 100,000 tunnel entries for “ …
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Cisco patch day fixes CGI script blunder, hard-coded credentials

If you've got a Cisco Unified Computing System or a Firepower 9000 Series appliance, get busy patching. The Borg says it slipped up and let a CGI script make unprotected calls to shell commands. By fooling around with the URL, an attacker would be able to send arbitrary commands to the affected kit. All versions of UCS …
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Riverbed slurps German SD-WAN expert Ocedo

Riverbed has announced its first acquisition since 2013: German-based software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) outfit Ocedo. Ocedo's software suite includes hybrid WAN, various provisioning tools, a connectivity solution designed for AWS users, and a cloudy firewall. Its pitch is that SD-WANs offer better performance than …
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Cisco patches borked web box proxy hole

Cisco has patched a vulnerability in its Web Security Appliance that allows unauthenticated remote attackers to bypass security controls. The bug (CVE-2016-1296) allows attackers to use proxies when such traffic should be restricted. Affected users of versions 8.5.3-055, 9.1.0-000, and 9.5.0-235 should apply the released fix …
Team Register, 20 Jan 2016

AMD's 64-bit ARM server chip Seattle finally flies the coop ... but where will it call home?

AMD is at last officially shipping its 64-bit ARM-based server chip, the Opteron A1100 aka Seattle. This wee beastie packs a load of networking and storage interfaces, and is seemingly eyeing up hyper-converged boxes in data centers. We've gone into plenty of detail on the processor in the past, but to recap: it's a quad or …
Chris Williams, 14 Jan 2016
Amazon data center

MapR offers free test drive to AWS wannabes

NoSQL startup MapR is offering a free taster of its partners' technology through AWS's Test Drive, to be launched from MapR's site. The AWS Test Drives are sandboxed environments that contain preconfigured server-based "solutions", as vendors like to say. They are provided free of charge – supposedly "for education, …
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EFF wants Cisco in front of a judge over tech for China's 'Great Firewall'

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is hoping to help re-start a lawsuit against Cisco over whether or not it provided technology China's government used to facilitate human rights abuses. The row over China's "Golden Shield" (aka the Great Firewall) has gone on practically forever, with Amnesty accusing Cisco of …

Fortinet tries to explain weird SSH 'backdoor' discovered in firewalls

Enterprise security vendor Fortinet has attempted to explain why its FortiOS firewalls were shipped with hardcoded SSH logins. It appears Fortinet's engineers implemented their own method of authentication for logging-into FortiOS-powered devices, and the mechanism ultimately uses a secret passphrase. This code was reverse- …
Iain Thomson, 12 Jan 2016
Samsung Chef Collection Oven

Samsung turns to smart home, wearables chips as mobile declines

Analysis Looking for a radical change in culture and product mix is Samsung, which has ridden high on the smartphone boom but is now refocusing its growth efforts on the IoT, chips and displays. The decade of the smartphone will end this year, and growth in sales will fall below 10 per cent for the first time ever, according to …
Wireless Watch, 11 Jan 2016

Juniper resets 'days since last rogue code incident' clock

Juniper Networks has announced its own investigations have found none of the "oops ... how did that code get there" trouble in Junos OS and that it will kill off Dual Elliptic Curve (Dual_EC) encryption in ScreenOS. The company says it hired a "respected security organization" that "undertook a detailed investigation of …
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UK universities unveil £28m hub for Internet of Things

Blighty's universities have teamed up to today unveil a £28m "Internet of Things" research hub in a bid to make the UK a "world leader" in the much-hyped technology. The Hub is a consortium of nine universities and 47 partners from industry and the public sector. Funding for the Hub includes a £9.8m grant from the Engineering …
Kat Hall, 6 Jan 2016
photonic chip

Boffins unwrap bargain-basement processor that talks light and current

Christmas is a time of miracles, to paraphrase Hans Gruber, and US researchers claim to have pulled off one in silicon photonics: they say they've mainlined super-fast optic communications into a RISC CPU using cheap, bog-standard manufacturing techniques. Chips using light to shunt data around a processor and to and from its …
Iain Thomson, 24 Dec 2015

Cisco probes self for Juniper-style backdoors, silently mouths: 'We're doing this for yooou'

In the wake of the Juniper firewall backdoor scandal, Cisco is reviewing its source code to make sure there are no similar nasty surprises lurking within. "Our development practices specifically prohibit any intentional behaviors or product features designed to allow unauthorized device or network access, exposure of sensitive …
Iain Thomson, 22 Dec 2015
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Juniper 'fesses up to TWO attacks from 'unauthorised code'

Updated Juniper Networks has offered a more detailed description of the security issues resulting from its find of “unauthorised code” in ScreenOS, the software that powers its firewalls. The company's knowledge base article on the incident says: “The first issue allows unauthorized remote administrative access to the device over SSH …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2015
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'Unauthorized code' that decrypts VPNs found in Juniper's ScreenOS

Juniper Networks has admitted that “unauthorized code” has been found in ScreenOS, the operating system for its NetScreen firewalls. The code “could allow a knowledgeable attacker to gain administrative access to NetScreen devices and to decrypt VPN connections.” And on The Register's reading of the situation, the …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Dec 2015

Cisco forgot to install two LEDs in routers

Cisco has forgotten to install all the light emitting diodes (LEDs) in some routers. The Register understands that the LTE-enabled C800 integrated service routers. models C896, C897, and C898, lack LEDs that indicate traffic is passing over the WAN. Cisco has 'fessed up to the mess in a field notice that says "... two LEDs and …
Darren Pauli, 15 Dec 2015