Hungry, hungry network firms: Ericsson, NXP chow down, Ciena on the prowl

Also: New gear out, plus ENISA overlooks squirrels

Freed from the attentions of Qualcomm, NXP Semiconductor has been looking around for its own acquisitions, and this week announced it had slurped OmniPHY.

The six-year-old acquisition target specialises in automotive Ethernet subsystems, with a focus on megabit and gigabit products.

In-vehicle networking, NXP's announcement said, is under pressure from a ballooning number of cameras, high definition radar, LIDAR, and off-vehicle connectivity.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ciena buying Don River

Hot on the heels of a promising third quarter, Ciena has gone shopping: and announced it intends to acquire a company called Don River for an undisclosed sum.

Don River specialises in operational support systems (OSS), network inventory, an OSS federation platform called Fusion, and network planning.

Don River's technologies will come under the umbrella of Ciena's Blue Planet software, which the company says will give customers “a unified inventory view” of all of their network elements.

CENX slurped by Ericsson

The M&A bods have also been busy in Europe: Ericsson is buying company called CENX, and rolling its automation and service assurance into its OSS portfolio. The Swedish behemoth has been a minority shareholder in CENX since 2012.

Ericsson's Mats Karlsson identified the 5G market as a driver for dynamic orchestration, and in turn, drove the acquisition.

Fortinet firewalling IoT

Fortinet has launched a network access controller, FortiNAC, to bring headless and unsecured Internet of Things devices under proper admin.

The company said FortiNAC could give users visibility of “endpoints, users, trusted and untrusted devices and applications”, and make sure Things are properly authorised, authenticated, and policy-managed when they're connected.

FortiNAC is integrated with the company's existing firewall, switch, wireless controller, access point, and security management products.

ADVA pushes out new NFV offering

European vendor ADVA's Ensemble division has updated its network function virtualisation (NFV) suite with new management and orchestration (MANO) features, including simplified NFV infrastructure management, better security, and enhanced service chain creation, visibility, monitoring, and troubleshooting.

The aim is to allow network operators ship unconfigured off-the-shelf devices to customers, and configure them from the carrier cloud.

Large-scale universal CPE deployments are supported with a single management IP address, and in-service software upgrades with reversion; and virtual network functions (VNFs) can be protected with software-based encryption.

Pluribus Networks has expanded the number of Dell EMC Open Networking switches it supports, with the release of Netvisor ONE 3.1, to support new interface speeds and help extend its SDN architecture from the data centre to the network edge.

The system already supported Dell EMC's Z-Series and S-Series switches; units added to the Netvisor ONE support list include the Dell EMC S4148F-ON, S4148T-ON, S4128F-ON, S4128T-ON, and S5048F-ON models, which feature 25 Gbps and 100 Gbps Ethernet interfaces and target virtualised and multi-cloud operations.

ETSI plots next year's work programme

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute has outlined its work programme for 2018-2019, highlighting network virtualisation and automation, AI, augmented reality, IoT, 5G, and quantum cryptography as key areas of attention. You can browse its work agenda here, and search for specific work areas here.

Huawei TelcoCraft and IoT connectivity

As well as its ShapeCloud prefab data centres, Huawei had a few other headliners at its Operations Transformation Forum earlier this week.

With the TelcoCraft Service Crafting Center (SCC) solution, Huawei tossed its hat into the network automation ring. It includes an automation platform called AIDO (for Agile and Intelligent Design and Orchestration), the Intelligent Engine System (IES) OSS platform, a service asset repository to push assets (including service and network element models, test cases, and operation policies) into IES, and a suite of professional services.

Also announced this week was the Huawei IoT Connectivity Enablement Platform (CEP) Cloud.

This carrier-grade connectivity management platform is designed to provide fast IoT service launch and deployment; support for public cloud deployment; and more than 40 RESTful APIs to integrate and manage equipment and software from telcos and other vendors.

ENISA: vendors break more networks than hackers

We missed this at the time, but at the end of August, Euro security-boffins at ENISA published an analysis of 169 telecommunications incidents in Europe from 2012 to 2017.

Their main finding is that hackers are struggling to keep up with all the other causes of outages. Reading from top to bottom:

  • Hardware failures and software bugs caused 62 per cent of incidents, and most of these related to switches, routers, and power supplies;
  • People – that is, “human error” – caused 18.3 per cent of incidents;
  • Natural phenomena – storms and wildfires – caused 17 per cent of incidents;
  • Malicious attackers caused 2.4 per cent of incidents.

Reflecting the times, more than half of the incidents affected mobile networks, and base stations were the most affected components of the network.

Regrettably, the report did not assess the impact of squirrels on telecommunications networks – an inexplicable oversight. ®

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