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Home » About » Newsletters » All Access Issue 1
Allied Telesis | All Access
News for Allied Telesis Customers   Issue 1 | Q1 2010

Welcome to Allied Telesis All Access, our new quarterly corporate newsletter, which provides the latest product, partner and industry news as well as updates on exciting developments at Allied Telesis.

Product News

New Virtualization NICs Released

Allied Telesis has now released the AT-2973SX and AT-2973T virtualization Network Interface Cards (NICs), marking the Company's first product for servers running virtual machines

The AT-2973 products improve network efficiency and system performance by increasing resource sharing and utilization, while lowering the overall cost of virtual machines. In addition, the AT-2973 set of virtualization cards are Trade Agreement Act (TAA) compliant, helping Allied Telesis customers and resellers meet the requirements of the General Services Administration (GSA) and the procurement arm of the Federal government.

"With the rise of virtualized server environments, we have seen increased interest in high-performance, cost-effective network interface cards optimized for virtual networks," said Nick Paredes, product marketing manager, Allied Telesis. "Further, by meeting TAA guidelines for manufacturing, we have enhanced our suite of products to meet the standards set by Federal information technology contracts requiring the use of TAA-eligible products."

Coming in Q1
Allied Telesis has enhanced four of our standard high volume-selling fiber NICs, by replacing their multi-mode fiber connectivity with optics for single-mode fiber. Moving to single mode allows for much greater fiber-optic cable distances. These products offer a complete range of cards (Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet) for the two most popular PCI bus standards (PCI and PCI-e). In addition, the AT-2712LX20/SC is the only card on the market that offers data encryption and single-mode fiber.

The four models are:

  • AT-2701LX20/SC-901 - Fast Ethernet, 20km Single Mode fiber, PCI bus-based NIC
  • AT-2712LX20/SC-901 - Fast Ethernet, 20km Single Mode fiber, PCI-e bus-based NIC
  • AT-2916LX10/LC-901 - Gigabit Ethernet, 10km Single Mode fiber, PCI bus-based NIC
  • AT-2972LX10/LC-901 - Gigabit Ethernet, 10km Single Mode fiber, PCI-e bus-based NIC

Also coming in Q1
Allied Telesis will roll out the first ExpressBus fiber network adapters for notebooks and laptops. We will offer one model each in both the Fast Ethernet and Gigabit spaces. The models are AT-2812FX/SC (Fast Ethernet) and AT-2972SX/SC (Gigabit). These network adapters are designed to provide notebook computers with network connections through a high-speed fiber-optic link via a 34mm ExpressCard™ interface.

New Wireless FTTH Product Achieves General Availability

AT-iMG616W Active Ethernet Indoor Fiber Gateway with Analog Voice Ports, multiple LAN ports and IEEE 802.11bg Wireless Interface

The Allied Telesis AT-iMG616W intelligent multi-service gateway is the ideal indoor FTTH customer premise equipment for delivering communications and entertainment services, including carrier-class telephony, high-speed Internet access, IP television, and interactive, two-way video-based services. All services are provided over an Ethernet-based optical distribution network via a single optical fiber to the home. The combined delivery of IP Triple Play services - voice, video and data - benefits both service providers and their customers. Service providers can quickly deliver advanced services in a scalable way with complete remote management. End users benefit by having a unique device interconnecting all peripherals, computers, wireless devices, and analog and VoIP telephones to a single broadband uplink. The AT-iMG616W is supported by software release 3.7-04, which operates across the entire iMG family of gateways. The AT-iMG616W is also supported by the NMS 11 SP5 release offering a complete service management solution.

 
Customer Support

New Global Customer Service Portal Launched

Allied Telesis re-launched our customer service portal, a one-stop-shop for all customer support and service needs, at our Fall NSP Users Conference in Minneapolis. This all new service portal is a global tool, employed by all Allied Telesis support groups. Accessible online via the Allied Telesis corporate Website, it provides a single point of entry for our customers to quickly and easily view and request pertinent support information.

Because it is a single, global support tool, when a customer contacts us via the online service portal, each incident is immediately and automatically routed to the correct support group based on multiple criteria including region, country, product, organization, support contract type, SLA, etc.

Numerous Allied Telesis global organizations, including teams from Europe and the U.S., invested tremendous resources to develop this portal, which is built upon the previous knowledgebase—adding key functionality both from an external, customer perspective and internal, Allied Telesis perspective.

Customers now have many powerful support features available online:

  • Access to our expanded knowledgebase, an online database of support answers for our products
  • Capability to submit technical questions and incidents (trouble tickets) to any of our global support organizations
  • Request an RMA
  • View status updates of all open or closed incidents, as well as to update account profile information via "My Portal"
  • The ability to subscribe to articles in the knowledgebase and receive an email notification that an article has been updated

Service portal features and functionality vary, depending on the customer's service and support contract. An expanded feature set is available for premium service contracts and includes access to higher-level answers, configuration examples, and faster response times to submitted incidents.

Analytics are embedded throughout the service portal system, providing a unified view of all incidents, trending, and call statistics across all regions. With hundreds of standard reports and the ability to create custom reports and dashboards, Allied Telesis can easily measure our most critical performance metrics and quickly respond to changing conditions and our customers' needs—providing unparalleled service and support.

 
Tech Tips

Where is the Software?

To improve your user experience and also to maintain compliance with U.S. export laws, we have relocated all software downloads into a single location. Next year we will be improving the system even more with a unified system for browsing information about all of our products, software, and documentation.

If you have not already registered, please go to this page: http://www.alliedtelesis.com/support/software/restricted/
Once there, click the "Create Account" button. Your account will be activated in approximately one business day.

Check the Release notes on the latest software for your products. There may be some helpful new features or security upgrades you might need.

Change your Passwords

Allied Telesis equipment ships with default user names and passwords. These are circulating on various Internet lists, so if you have Allied Telesis equipment in a network, we recommend you change these passwords. If your device is reachable over the Internet, you can almost guarantee that it will be subject to telnet or SSH password-guessing attacks.

One recommended strategy is to create a backup user name and password that you use only in an emergency. When you have tested that it works (and have saved the configuration) then you should change the password for the default configuration and create a working account (and even delete the default account).

Although traditional wisdom is that you should not write down passwords, we recommend you print a copy of your device configuration, write the backup username and password on it, and store it somewhere safe and secure. Keeping an electronic copy of your device configuration is a good idea, as well.

If you forget the passwords to control your device, sometimes recovery will involve completely erasing its configuration, if it is possible at all.

Check the "User" section of your manual for instructions on adding new users and changing passwords.

 
Shows and Events

Allied Telesis Co-sponsors IP Video Surveillance Solutions Seminar Series with Graybar

Allied Telesis, along with Graybar, Strand Video, and JVC Cameras, sponsored a five-city, East-coast IP Video Surveillance Solutions Seminars series November 9 – 12. The popular seminars provided valuable information on the emergence of innovative, digital IP surveillance options ensuring customers implement the highest-quality IP video surveillance system available. Cities featured included Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC; Glen Allen, VA; Sterling, VA; and College Park, MD.

Amos Green, Allied Telesis senior systems engineer, presented "Best-of-Class Networking Solutions for IP Video Applications," and the content was very well received by the end user and consultant audience. Specifically, Amos covered converged services on IP networks, L2+ network architecture, network planning for multicast and unicast networks, and PoE in video applications. The free, half-day seminars also included breakout meetings for the sponsors to discuss each attendee's application scenario.

According to Sharon Buckley, Allied Telesis national sales manager, "These events were wonderful opportunities for Allied Telesis to reinforce the message that we not only sell a line of proven switches, but rather entire sophisticated solutions geared to key market segments such as IP video surveillance. We look forward to conducting additional seminars in 2010."

2009 NSP Users Conference

The North American NSP Users Conference was held August 30 – 31 at the Dolce Oakridge conference center in Chaska, Minnesota. The conference was highlighted with a keynote address by Steven Ross, senior editor of Broadband Properties magazine, and Phil Jopa, Allied Telesis CTO. The conference featured panel discussions, led by users, on the challenges service providers faced in 2009, Allied Telesis-led product roadmap reviews, as well as reviews by the Allied Telesis support organizations. The event included a welcome reception and relaxing dinner cruise on Lake Minnetonka.

Attendees were complimentary of the Oakridge resort and conference center venue, located in the countryside outside Minneapolis. The conference coincided with the annual OSP Expo in Minneapolis, which provided our attendees with VIP passes to the show following the users conference.

TelcoTV 2009

TelcoTV has grown in importance for the ILECs, becoming to many the new "SuperCom." The 2009 show was held November 10-12 in Orlando, Florida. Allied Telesis used the event as the launch pad for the iMAP 9810 (Integrated Multiservice access and aggregation featuring the new product in a working IPTV demo with HDTV and showcasing Minerva 4.0 middleware with whole-home DVR, operating on an Amino 530 DVR IP STB).

The star attraction at the Allied Telesis booth was "Lucy," a holographic 3D woman who greeted passers-by and talked about Allied Telesis products. She even made the Light Reading online site as a TelcoTV feature.

In addition to "Lucy," Allied Telesis hosted the "booth crawl" on the opening evening and a customer appreciation dinner at a Brazilian steakhouse. Steve Klein, Allied Telesis Marketing and Business Development Consultant, spoke with a representative from OPASTCO on "Why stop at IPTV, why not VoIP?" in one of the TelcoTV sessions. The Allied Telesis booth featured new graphics, a comprehensive array of switch, access, and gateway products, and a working demonstration of AlliedView™ NMS.

 
Industry Analysis

Moving Beyond Bundled Billing to VoIP Triple Play

The following article was presented by Steve Klein, Marketing and Business Development Consultant for Allied Telesis, and Steve Pastorkovich, OPASTCO business development and senior policy analyst at TelcoTV '09 in Orlando, FL.

Allied Telesis Interest in VoIP

Allied Telesis technology focuses on access, switching, intelligent CPE, and routers for the service provider and enterprise markets. Since the Company isn't a softswitch vendor, why is VoIP transition important to Allied Telesis?

Allied Telesis iMAP access platforms support POTS today. As a pure-packet IP access platform, POTS is transported as packetized TDM. VoIP is also supported in MGCP, SIP, and H.323 formats, with interoperability certified through a number of leading softswitch vendors. The iMAP serves as an ideal migration platform from TDM to VoIP as a packet transport system with a GR303 voice gateway. In a triple play service deployment, POTS, IPTV, and HSIA are all transported as packet services from the iMAP to the source, offering a degree of convergence even though POTS remains TDM in its final format. A service provider is supported by the iMAP whether it chooses to continue offering PSTN voice or convert to VoIP.

On a strategic level, Allied Telesis is both a proponent and technology leader in FTTP, believing the network must evolve to an all-fiber, all-IP architecture in order to deliver the bandwidth and services consumers want and need. The PSTN remains an impediment to this goal, requiring the maintenance of the legacy copper distribution plant and the subtending line powering for POTS services. Once service providers commit to making the conversion to IP and the elimination of legacy TDM, and regulatory rules are amended to accommodate today’s technology, all voice, data, and video services will become IP and delivered over an FTTP network as converged services. This will enable greater efficiencies, better economics, and higher-level service. VoIP is therefore viewed by Allied Telesis as a strategic component for IP migration and FTTP expansion.

The PSTN is on the Endangered Species List

The rapid growth of cellular services and entrance by cable operators into the voice business has spurred a rapid decline in the total number of POTS access lines serving residential and business customers. Consumers are making a combination of economic and lifestyle decisions resulting in the elimination of their traditional home phone in growing numbers. Their exodus from the historical core business for telephone companies sparks a multitude of far-reaching implications. This trend is represented in the latest copy of JSI Capital Advisors Phone Lines report:

The implications to the Local Exchange Carrier’s revenues are a cause for great concern. The loss of the phone line means the loss of DSL HSIA in many cases as add-on revenue. So too are the implications to IPTV services. Service Providers have measured retention as a key revenue factor, and now the loss of the phone line revenues and its attending services represents a serious impact on Average Revenues Per Unit (ARPU).

How VOIP Helps the Problem

Transitioning to VoIP from TDM POTS won’t stop the migration to wireless services for voice by itself. It will, however, address two of the problems that can revitalize the carrier service network and deliver more value to the bottom line. The first is in reducing Operating Costs (OpEx). Consumers have sent a clear message: they no longer place a premium value on voice services, and are much more apt to spend their income on HSIA services, cellular services, and, of course, video content services. We see hours of time spent on the Internet increasing, wireless use (voice, text, photos, and applications) rising rapidly, and consumers paying for more HDTV and on-demand video content. A consumer is showing an unwillingness to pay a monthly fee plus local exchange charges and long distance charges for voice service. The following chart indicates the trend of lower revenues and retention represented as ROI versus the increasing costs to maintain an aged copper plant and old Class 5 switches as OAM. A point will be reached in the very near future, assuming present trends continue, where the cost to maintain the network exceeds the returns on investment.

If the "new" value proposition for the consumer is a flat-rate phone service for $25 a month instead of $50, then the cost to provide it must come down accordingly. The current TDM-based PSTN therefore becomes a "dinosaur" on the brink of economic extinction. Consider the costs associated with this phenomenon:

  • Ongoing maintenance of PSTN switches (service packs, RTU fees, and such)
  • The number of bays and power consumed by PSTN switches
  • The amount of stranded plant in the loop resulting from lost POTS services

Replacing the TDM switch with a VoIP switch immediately reduces the central office footprint and power consumption. As a software-driven device, costly spares and hardware support are immediately eliminated. Using the Internet to carry voice traffic is far less costly than traditional inter-exchange trunking. Even as a "like" POTS service, the cost of delivering and supporting MGCP or SIP VoIP is a fraction of that for a TDM switch-based service. Now, a $25 service can be offered profitably, meeting customer value propositions.

Beyond Bundled Billing: Converged IP Triple Play

Stepping beyond merely reducing overhead using VoIP, the real benefit is in the ability to create and deliver truly converged IP services and applications not possible with a TDM PSTN. "Triple Play" once had value some years back when cable did not provide voice, and neither did satellite providers. Today, everyone offers triple play, with its meaning reduced to an ability to bundle voice, data, and video services on one bill. However, the "voice" piece has and continues to be a standalone leg of the stool since it is not IP. In 1999, offering Caller ID on TV was considered revolutionary as the first tiny step in service convergence. Today, as we look at the iPhone® or other new devices, we see IP convergence going far beyond what was ever imagined.

Creating an all-IP triple-play service enables convergence of applications, networks, and services. It also allows the new generation of consumer products, from PCs to game stations and from televisions to cell phones, to share and access information and content, unlike anything for which the TDM network was designed. More importantly, it creates a new service model. Think for a moment about the iPhone® and where revenues come from. The biggest portion of revenues is derived from the applications, not the service. This becomes the "new" converged IP triple-play business model:


The ability to communicate across multiple networks and devices, coupled with demand for more content and real-time information, opens the door for service providers to leverage IPTV, HSIA, and VoIP as a sturdy platform for enhanced services that ultimately creates value and retention. It is a fundamental and revolutionary shift from the legacy metered service rate-of-return business model that has ruled Telcos for decades. The first steps were taken when HSIA was deployed, and furthered with the advent of IPTV. Only VoIP remains as the final piece towards a converged IP services network delivering content and applications rather than a dumb pipe for delivering bandwidth.

Moving from Services to Applications for Profits

An RBOC such as Verizon or ATT that owns a national wireless business can take some solace in a customer dropping home phone service and using their cellular network since they still retain a portion of the revenues. Service providers can take some satisfaction in their take-rate growth for IPTV, although the cost of content makes the margins slim to none. So what does it take to create enhanced service revenues through converged applications that can add to the bottom line?

VoIP softswitch vendors and IPTV middleware vendors are increasingly working together to integrate applications across different appliances. Likewise, VoIP softswitch vendors have developed numerous features and applications operating on a PC as well as telephone set. Exploiting these applications as service features and enhancements enables the service provider to create its version of the "apps store" and generate new revenues. There are several examples worth considering:

  • Text-to-TV messaging
  • Photo downloading and sharing to TV (from cell phone or PC)
  • Social networking via TV
  • Content caching
  • Smart Home applications
  • Online gaming on TV

The willingness of a consumer to pay extra for these types of services and capabilities is the new frontier for revenues in an IP age. Once voice is IP and converged, the possibilities are virtually endless to create new service applications from the power of the IP network.

The Regulatory Changes are Coming

In large part, POTS has been on life support for years because of regulation. The Universal Service Fund (USF), rate of return legislation, and various rules such as CALEA and E911 have not only promulgated POTS deployment by service providers, but also provided incentives not to change. This, however, appears about to change.

The Obama administration has already announced its intent to institute a national broadband policy, and much of the groundwork will be completed by the end of 2011. Under the rules and policies proposed for the new broadband policy, the USF will be directed to provide broadband services to everyone, with each market having at least one wireline and one wireless broadband service provider. In the FCC report, constant references are made to the need to move from the "old" technology to the "new," referring to TDM and POTS in comparison with IP and broadband. The government has even stated its willingness to modify or do away with restrictive regulations impeding broadband deployment (an example cited is CALEA, which can be handled using IP addresses over IP).

The government is not intending to mandate or force service providers to adapt to their new broadband plan, stating the approach will be "market-driven." However, it is clear from the preliminary documents and reports that financial incentives will be directed to broadband, and will be phased on or eliminated for "old" services. The impact on service providers are significant. First, the decline in POTS services are reducing the USF fund pool in general. Second, the fund itself will be re-directed toward broadband services rather than offsetting high-cost phone services in rural markets. Lastly, new USF funds will come from VoIP, Internet, and broadband connections as contributors.

Being in a strong position to leverage the regulatory changes for financial advantage is an excellent argument for converting to VoIP sooner rather than later. The current Economic Stimulus funds are being directed toward expanding broadband to everyone, and with it comes an implicit need to create an IP network to support broadband.

Conclusion

VoIP has been shown to be more than an alternative way to provide voice service, or as a replacement for legacy POTS. There are three strategic reasons to use VoIP as the primary voice technology:

  1. Economics, meaning the rapid decline in home phone services and the rising OpEx associated with the PSTN
  2. The creation of a truly converged voice, data, and video service over IP, enabling value-added features and applications to be developed for more revenues
  3. The regulatory changes coming that impact the USF and economic support for the Telcos will make it economically advantageous to quickly retire the PSTN in favor of a broadband IP-services network.
 
Global View

Allied Telesis Plays Key Role in "Plan Ceibal" Education Initiative

Plan CeibalThe "Educational Network of Basic Information for Online Learning" plan, better known as the "Ceibal Plan," deals with the implementation in Uruguay of the "One Laptop per Child" (OLPC) initiative, promoted by the famed M.I.T. scientist, Nicholas Negroponte.

The Ceibal Plan seeks to promote Internet inclusion to decrease the existing Internet gap between other countries and the citizens of Uruguay, to enable greater access to education and culture.

To achieve this objective, 300,000 laptops will be given to elementary school students and Internet connections will be installed in the schools. As part of the network solution, the Allied Telesis AT-FS708 switch was selected. This switch was chosen due to its high reliability, rack-mountable form factor, resistant metal box, and internal power supply—specifications that no other switch on the market met. A total of 2000 switches will be installed and as of December 7, we have already delivered 850.

 
Allied Telesis in the News

Allied Telesis has Unique Stories to Share

Throughout 2009, Allied Telesis has been part of industry trend stories and analyst reports showcasing the Company as a global provider of secure Ethernet/IP access solutions, and an industry leader in the deployment of IP Triple-Play networks. Please enjoy the following media highlights, which represent a sample of the stories capturing the Company's commitment to innovating the way in which services and applications are delivered and managed.

Cabling Business Magazine
The Industrial Media Converter Moves to the Factory Floor
By Lisa Bakewell
May 1, 2009
http://writerlisabakewell.com/Documents/CBMMay09_F3_Bakewell.pdf
Media conversion technology, which has evolved from a piecemeal solution to a state-of-the-art technology, offers you new choices for adding fiber optics to your existing networks – from the front office to the factory floor and beyond. Allied Telesis was the expert source for the insights and thoughts in this article.

Processor.com
"Over Ethernet" Technology Update
By Carmi Levy
May 22, 2009
http://www.processor.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles%2Fp3115%2F37p15%2F37p15%2F37p15.asp
Power over Ethernet delivers both power and data through common twisted-pair cabling. By extending infrastructure typically used exclusively for data, organizations reduce the size and complexity of their cabling network, reducing total cost of ownership. Allied Telesis lends its expertise in this article, instructing readers in TCO as well as the benefits of PoE.

tmcnet.com
Allied Telesis Announces Membership of Metro Ethernet Forum
By Divya Narain
August 25, 2009
http://ipcommunications.tmcnet.com/topics/ip-communications/articles/62881-allied-telesis-announces-membership-metro-ethernet-forum.htm
Allied Telesis joining the Metro Ethernet Forum is highlighted in this article, and highlights the value Allied Telesis brings by joining the MEF.

Light Reading
TelcoTV Scenes from the Show 2009
November 12, 2009
http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=184526ℑ_number=12
Allied Telesis' booth was highlighted by TelcoTV organizer Light Reading.

Frost & Sullivan
Aerospace and Defense Technology Alert. Diversifying To Defense Manufacturing; Personal Voice Encryption for Fixed and Mobile Communication; Radar Jamming Decoy
By Mike Valenti
September 25, 2009
http://www.frost.com/prod/servlet/segment-toc.pag?segid=D870-00-37-00-00&ctxst=FcmCtx1&ctxht=FcmCtx2&ctxhl=FcmCtx3&ctxixpLink=FcmCtx3&ctxixpLabel=FcmCtx4
Allied Telesis' next generation switches included in the new Edwards Air Force Base Flight Simulator were highlighted in this analyst report.

Current Analysis
Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) Product Assessment
By Yoav Schreiber
November 16, 2009
http://www.currentanalysis.com/p/TelecomInfra-abstracts/BrdbndInfra-fttxaequip-All.htm
Article provides an in-depth evaluation on the iMAP9810 and how it measures up to the competition.

Parks and Associates
Connected Home: Global Outlook
By Kurt Scherf
November 16, 2009
http://www.parksassociates.com/research/reports/tocs/2009/connectedhome.htm
Report provides analysis on the deployment of home networking solutions by worldwide broadband service providers. It examines the role of residential gateways in enabling new applications and services and focuses on issues related to remote management and service provisioning features. The report provides forecasts for service provider-deployed home networks through 2013.