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Cisco, Hyundai to add software-defined platform to vehicles

Cisco and Hyundai will release jointly developed software-defined vehicles in 2019. These connected cars will boast a Cisco-built software-defined platform and 1 Gbps Ethernet.

Cisco and Hyundai Motor Co. said they would work together to develop vehicles anchored by software-defined networking. The first vehicles are slated to roll out next year, the companies said. Cisco and Hyundai released their plans at this year's CES in Las Vegas, following up on an original announcement in 2016.

In smart-car fashion, Cisco and Hyundai will develop the vehicles with a focus on communication and sensors. That's where the "software-defined" status comes in. The premium Hyundai vehicles will integrate a Cisco-built software-defined platform with an Internet Protocol (IP) and 1 Gbps Ethernet in-vehicle network, according to a Cisco statement.

The IP and Ethernet network will enable high-speed connectivity to each vehicle device, the statement said. But more than that, Cisco and Hyundai hope to develop a more open vehicle system to enable the actual communication among smart vehicles, roadways or traffic lights, Ruba Borno, Cisco's vice president of growth initiatives, wrote in a blog post.

"This is the only way to achieve full autonomy and enable vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-roadways communication," Borno wrote. "By putting software inside the central gateway, the new solution enables high-speed connectivity downstream to every device in the car -- and upstream to the cloud. This IP connectivity is required for applications to control devices based on real-time data and analytics."

The software-defined platform will also allow for easier feature updates.

"[The new platform] is highly configurable and secure -- and offers the flexibility to design and build new services," Cisco's statement said. "It will provide 'over-the-air updates' and accelerate the time it takes to bring new capabilities to market."

The software-defined platform will also act as a foundation for security, touting "integrated, multilayered security, as well as full end-to-end networking," according to Cisco. This end-to-end security includes encryption, authentication, intrusion detection, firewall and network traffic analysis, Borno wrote in her blog post.

The companies said they are looking into integrating the software-defined vehicles with Hyundai data centers in order to access real-time data.

Windstream to acquire MassComm

Windstream said it plans to acquire MassComm, a New York-based competitive local exchange carrier, or CLEC, according to a filing submitted to the Federal Communications Commission the last week of December.

The proposal stated that Windstream will purchase in cash all issued and outstanding MassComm capital stock. Once the deal closes, MassComm will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Windstream, the filing said.

MassComm provides voice, data and networking technologies, in addition to telecommunications and connectivity management and consultation. The CLEC is authorized to serve customers in California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Those areas will be combined with Windstream's reach across the U.S.  Windstream runs a fiber network comprising approximately 150,000 miles.

"By combining MassComm's customer base with Windstream's presence and fiber network, the combined company will have the opportunity to serve more of MassComm's current customers on Windstream's own last-mile facilities," the proposal said.

The companies explained the acquisition holds no competitive risks, as MassComm doesn't own any last-mile facilities, thereby eliminating potential overlap with Windstream's facilities. Further, the proposal stated competition in the medium-sized business market will be enhanced. The companies don't expect the transaction to affect current MassComm customer rates or terms of service, according to the filing.

The proposal did not disclose specific financial terms of the transaction. Windstream completed acquisitions of Broadview and EarthLink last year and also partnered with VeloCloud to offer SD-WAN managed services.

Aryaka and Zscaler partner to boost security for cloud-bound traffic

Aryaka is working with Zscaler to offer an SD-WAN package that combines Aryaka's private network connectivity with Zscaler's cloud-delivered security.

The service, available now, directly forwards internet and cloud-bound traffic to Zscaler's cloud via Aryaka's edge device, Aryaka Network Access Point, according to an Aryaka statement. All traffic will then undergo a variety of security processes, including antivirus, threat prevention, data protection and access control.

Aryaka said the security enhancement will allow its customers to use its private network to securely access cloud-based and on-premises applications.

Zscaler already provides security services to other SD-WAN vendors, including VeloCloud, Riverbed and Talari.

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