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Startup 128 Technology offers 'session-oriented' router software

A Boston-area startup launches router software that makes routing session-oriented; Dell sells a software unit; Dell'Oro notes a surge in 40 GbE switch sales.

Startup 128 Technology thinks it has found a better way to route internet traffic.

Headquartered in suburban Boston, 128 has introduced routing software that sends IP traffic on determined paths between source and destination, providing an alternative to the helter-skelter, hop-to-hop journey packets that now travel over the internet.

128 Technology's router software makes routers session-oriented and cloaks each session with attributes that include standardized firewall, encryption, bandwidth and microsegmentation policies, according to 128 Technology CEO Andy Ory.

The software, which runs on standard x86 servers, not only plots the most optimal way to send packets, but it also keeps track of each session to ensure quality of transmission and security.

"Internetworking is broken," Ory said. "You have the cloud, mobility, application consumption is changing and the need for intense security; all of this is taking a very complex, fragile mess and making it even worse."

In many ways, 128 is leveraging the benefits of data center fabric architectures in its router software -- where traffic flows between servers through the most efficient path -- and placing those features on server processors, said Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst at ZK Research in Westminster, Mass.

"They're rethinking how networks should run," he said, citing advances in software-defined networking and processor speed that make 128's approach viable today. "But the key is if this works in scale; they are targeting big companies with this, and we'll find out pretty soon whether this is a vision or actual reality."

Ory said 128 is targeting service providers, cloud service providers and enterprises -- both within the data center and for branch office connectivity -- for its router software. The initial version is rated at 80 Gbps, but 128 will release higher-capacity versions in the future. The virtual routers work in tandem with legacy routers.

The software is available for download on 128's website; customers pay a monthly licensing fee that depends on the amount of traffic they send through the software.

Dell selling software unit; releases upgrade to SonicWall

Dell released an upgrade to its SonicWall secure mobile access software that gives enterprises additional protection as they provide remote workers with access to corporate networks.

The software, version 8.5, will be available next month and beefs up the tools administrators use to manage how remote users connect to corporate servers. The software enables companies to better track the mobile devices used by remote employees and to establish policies governing how those workers connect to VPNs.

Additionally, the software features an upgraded web application firewall, stronger protection against botnets and the ability to restrict users by geographic location.

The software's release comes as Dell agreed to sell its software unit, which includes SonicWall security and Quest systems management software, to Francisco Partners Management LLC and hedge-fund operator Elliott Management Corp. No financial terms were disclosed for the sale of Dell Software Group, but Reuters reported the sale was in excess of $2 billion.

"We see tremendous growth opportunity for these businesses," said Brian Decker, head of security investment at San Francisco-based Francisco Partners, in a statement. "Network security and access management are increasingly strategic imperatives for enterprises."

Dell has been selling off pieces of its business to help finance its forthcoming $67 billion acquisition of EMC.

Dell'Oro reports data center Ethernet and 40 GbE sales surge

Forty Gigabit Ethernet (40 GbE) and data center switch sales surged in the first quarter of 2016, growing 40% year over year, according to a study of the market by Dell'Oro Group Inc. Dell'Oro, based in Redwood City, Calif., cited growth in cloud demand as the driving force behind the soaring shipments. Each of the major 40 GbE vendors -- among them Cisco, Arista, Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Juniper Networks -- racked up more than $40 million in 40 GbE sales during the quarter, Dell'Oro said. The spike in 40 GbE sales may not last long. The research firm projected 100 GbE adoption will ramp up by the end of the year as higher-capacity silicon and components enter the marketplace.

"We anticipate the migration toward 100 GbE will happen in the 2Q16/3Q16 timeframe, with 40 GbE declining significantly by 4Q16," said Alan Weckel, vice president at Dell'Oro Group, in a statement. "The market has not been able to acquire sufficient supplies of silicon for the server [network interface card], top-of-rack switches and core switches in the first quarter of the year to make the transition happen earlier," he added.

Cisco dominated the data center switch market in the quarter, attracting 55% of sales. Arista nabbed 9% of the market, with HPE and white box vendors each carving out an 8% market share. Juniper and Dell each have 4% of the market, Dell'Oro said.

Next Steps

The emerging role of virtual routers

Migrating to 40 GbE

Dell discontinues vWorkspace

Dig Deeper on Data Center Networking