News Briefs – MLS Allstream

MTS Allstream said it is preparing its multi-protocol label-switching network for next-generation Internet protocol services by deploying Cisco Systems Inc.’s Carrier Routing System.

The carrier is about to begin the first of a three-phase implementation of the CRS-1 product line, which will continue this year, an executive said. Allstream has had a multi-core label-switching (MPLS) network since 2000, and the CRS-1 is intended to “future-proof” it against gigabit switch routers (GSR) that are approaching the end of their lives.

MTS Allstream senior vice-president of network services Paul Frizado said the CRS-1 will improve its Business IP service, though putting the routers in place means placing close attention to the network topology.

“When you’re putting in these large routers, you’re running 10 Gbps links between them,” he said. “You build in sections, because there’s a lot of geography between them.”

Cisco launched the CRS-1 in 2004 as a competitor to products from Juniper Networks. At the time, executives said the product represented a US$500-million investment, with much of the engineering work done in Ottawa. It is designed to perform edge, core, peering and service aggregation routing functions in one device with 40 Gbps customer ports.

According to Forrester Research analyst Robert Whiteley, Cisco has signed up at least 28 service providers to the CRS-1 so far. It has gained the support in part by taking a product he estimated would cost US$1 million to deploy and by putting some of the code, features and functions into a more affordable form factor.

“They overshot the market,” he said. “They said, ‘We need to build a product that can last.’ At the time, they humbly said 20 years. It’s far too expensive for service providers to be forklift-upgrading their networks.”

Cisco Canada’s VP of service provider operations, Olaf Krahmer, said carriers are moving from an approach where they dedicate one network per service to one IP-MPLS network.
-Shane Schick
At last month’s RSA Security Conference in San Jose, Calif., three major vendors announced products designed to enforce corporate network security policies.

Cisco Systems Inc. announced Cisco Security Manager (CSM) 3.0, the Monitoring, Analysis and Response System (MARS) 4.2 and a set of modules for its Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) 5500 series.

Meanwhile, Brampton, Ont.-based Nortel Networks Corp. launched Secure Network Access Switch (SNAS) 4050, which is designed to ensure no client can access the network without the correct antivirus, firewall and software patch updates. It also monitors PCs for any changes that could affect network security.

“When somebody comes into the office with their laptop, you really should treat that device almost in the same way as … if someone calls in from home,” over a VPN, said Pat Patterson, Nortel’s director for security solutions.

Corporate networks are often accessed by visitors who bring their own computers, said Jack Sebbag, McAfee Inc.’s vice-president and general manager for Canada.

McAfee has announced Policy Enforcer, is designed to examine all new clients to ensure they comply with corporate security policies – such as having the right anti-virus updates, firewall software and operating system patches – before allowing them access to the network.

“There’s way too many unauthorized machines getting on to corporate networks,” Sebbag said. “Sometimes hundreds of people – consultants, contractors or employees without access – just plug into the network and release malware without their knowledge.”

Policy enforcement is also one aim of Cisco’s Self-Defending Network security strategy. CSM 3.0, which is an update to Cisco’s VPN and Security Management product, is designed to manage security policies on various Cisco routers, firewalls, VPN and intrusion prevention devices. It can provide a network map, create firewall tables and configure VPN connections.

“The management side of things is something we’ve been a bit weak in in the past,” said Dario Zamarian, senior director for product management of Cisco’s security technology group.

While athletes from around the world were competing for gold medals at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, Bell Canada executives were learning from Telecom Italia for the next Olympics, which they hope to run completely over Internet protocol.

The telecommunications giant hosted a Webcast from Torino where leaders of its Vancouver 2010 team discussed their technical preparation for an event that is still four years away. Bell’s vice-president of Olympic services, Justin Webb, said he hopes the experience will lead to a “knowledge transfer” to help the company create a converged infrastructure for the 2010 Games.

Most of the Torino Olympics was based on traditional telephone networks, but Bell’s plans for Vancouver in 2010 include a network with 15,000 IP-based ports connecting more than 10,000 IP phones, and 5,000 two-way radios. Broadcasters will be delivering content over a SONET network, and Bell will also be creating a portal for the games. Converged IP is just easier to manage, Webb said, and the network for Vancouver 2010 will allow a greater use of mobile computing technology.

Bell’s 2010 network will be a mixture of wired and wireless. The company is in the process of building 47 new bay stations on the Sea to Sky Highway, and augmenting capacity for 100 more bay stations. It is also building seven fibre optic rings in the lower mainland, while 50 per cent of the required fibre optics rings in Vancouver have already been built, Webb said.

“The benefit for the communities is huge,” he said. “They will have services unheard-of before.”

The Vancouver Organizing Committee officially picked Bell Canada as its premier national partner for the 2010 Games, signing a contract worth approximately 38 million Euros. Telus, which is the more local telecom provider, had hoped to win that business, committing some $3 million in cash and in-kind services to the bid, including developing the Vancouver 2010 Web site and providing network design for the 2010 bid book. A spokesman confirmed, however, that it will not be providing telecommunication services to the actual Games.
-Greg Meckbach
While athletes from around the world were competing for gold medals at the Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, Bell Canada executives were learning from Telecom Italia for the next Olympics, which they hope to run completely over Internet protocol.

The telecommunications giant hosted a Webcast from Torino where leaders of its Vancouver 2010 team discussed their technical preparation for an event that is still four years away. Bell’s vice-president of Olympic services, Justin Webb, said he hopes the experience will lead to a “knowledge transfer” to help the company create a converged infrastructure for the 2010 Games.

Most of the Torino Olympics was based on traditional telephone networks, but Bell’s plans for Vancouver in 2010 include a network with 15,000 IP-based ports connecting more than 10,000 IP phones, and 5,000 two-way radios. Broadcasters will be delivering content over a SONET network, and Bell will also be creating a portal for the games. Converged IP is just easier to manage, Webb said, and the network for Vancouver 2010 will allow a greater use of mobile computing technology.

Bell’s 2010 network will be a mixture of wired and wireless. The company is in the process of building 47 new bay stations on the Sea to Sky Highway, and augmenting capacity for 100 more bay stations. It is also building seven fibre optic rings in the lower mainland, while 50 per cent of the required fibre optics rings in Vancouver have already been built, Webb said.

“The benefit for the communities is huge,” he said. “They will have services unheard-of before.”

The Vancouver Organizing Committee officially picked Bell Canada as its premier national partner for the 2010 Games, signing a contract worth approximately 38 million Euros. Telus, which is the more local telecom provider, had hoped to win that business, committing some $3 million in cash and in-kind services to the bid, including developing the Vancouver 2010 Web site and providing network design for the 2010 bid book. A spokesman confirmed, however, that it will not be providing telecommunication services to the actual Games.
-Shane Schick

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