Light Reading

Affirmed Brings Smarts to Mobile Data Flows

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
11/12/2012
50%
50%

A startup led by the former CEO of Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS) is aiming to be a star of software-defined networking (SDN) for mobile voice, video and 4G communications.

Acton, Mass.-based Affirmed Networks Inc. is led by CEO Hassan Ahmed. Starting in 2010, he formed a team of ex-Starent Networks and Airvana Inc. executives to try to create a product aimed at simplifying current network architectures whilst being smarter about the type of data being served up over the network. (See Ahmed Severs Ties With Sonus.)

"This is the new world," Ahmed tells Light Reading Mobile. "Data traffic is growing faster than Moore's Law, basically."

Ahmed says that Affirmed has been trying to stay under the radar for the last two and half years. The company, however, is now ready to come out and compete with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and many others with its AN3000 box and software platform, and Acuitas service management system.

Ahmed claims that his company's box will replace several in a traditional network as well as making mobile services cheaper and quicker to implement. "It's about having networks that are smart and can tell the difference between VoIP flows and video flows," he says.

In an SDN environment, the physical hardware is decoupled from the control plane and data flows can be managed via software. Ahmed argues that mobile operators can no longer "use individual boxes to solve individual problems" because that makes it difficult to scale the network to meet traffic demands.

Over time, this could mean changes to the way networks are managed, he claims. Currently operators can set up the Acuitas management console so that different teams can get standard views into their segments of the network. Eventually, Ahmed expects that teams will take a wider view of the data flows over more of the network.

"Five, six years from now, I think you'll see a lot of more of the kind of network management systems we're talking about and a lot higher level of services management," he claims. "It'll be cool to look back and say, 'Hey, we changed that'."

The AN3000 and the software have now been available to operators for a few months. "We're in a bunch of trials all around the world," Ahmed claims, without giving operator names. These include lab tests, field trials and some that have gone further. The CEO says that the company thinks that its key markets will be in Asia, Europe and the U.S.

The executive team behind Ahmed includes major figures from Airvana, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Arroyo Networks, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Sonus and several key figures from Starent. Ahmed points out that this gives the company expertise in networking equipment, video content and mobility. (See Cisco Snatches VOD Vendor Arroyo and Cisco to Buy Starent for $2.9B.)

LR Mobile couldn't also help but note that both Arroyo and Starent were bought by Cisco. Could a pattern be emerging for Affirmed here too, we wondered?

"Yeah, it's a bad pattern, not one to be repeated," the CEO said, laughing.

Affirmed is backed by Ahmed's recent employer, Charles River Ventures , as well as Lightspeed Venture Partners and Matrix Partners . The company also has strategic investments from T-Venture and Vodafone Ventures.

The company has raised A and B rounds, but has yet to reveal how much it has secured. However, Mass High Tech reported in June 2010 that Affirmed had raised an US$11 million round and could add more.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
joset01
50%
50%
joset01,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:49 PM
re: Affirmed Brings Smarts to Mobile Data Flows


A company to watch I think. Check out the executive list I linked to in the story.

Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
Between the CEOs
Affirmed Networks CEO: Digging Into NFV

5|28|15   |   40:26   |   (2) comments


Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Potholes Lurk in Indian Smart City Project
Gagandeep Kaur, Contributing Editor, 5/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 10 AM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
Hassan Ahmed, CEO of Affirmed Networks, is making some big claims for his NFV startup. I sat down with him at the Light Reading HQ in New York City to get the skinny on what this Acton, Mass.-based startup is up to.
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
Cats with Phones