Siemon’s comprehensive line of high-performance fiber optic solutions for data centers LANs and Intelligent Buildings are now aligned under the Siemon LightHouse brand.

Siemon has launched its new LightHouse Advanced Fiber Solutions brand.  Aligning the company’s established line of end-to-end fiber cable and connectivity systems with a wide array of new product innovations, Siemon’s LightHouse delivers a comprehensive range of high-performance fiber solutions to support nearly any network infrastructure.

LightHouse takes advantage of competitive pricing levels on the most commonly used fiber cable and connectivity systems, combining them with Siemon’s advanced, problem solving products to deliver a fiber portfolio unmatched in terms of total customer value.

Siemon’s LightHouse Advanced Fiber Solutions portfolio includes:

  • Configurable end-to-end plug and play systems – Pre-terminated MTP, LC and SC cable assemblies and modules in Singlemode and Multimode supporting up to 40/100Gb/s, as well as feature-rich fiber management solutions, including the innovative LightStack ultra high-density plug and play system.
  • Expanded fiber cable offering – Siemon’s comprehensive fiber cable line provides cost effective and readily available options across a full range of fiber types and performance levels, strand counts, jacket types, and constructions.
  • Extensive fiber jumper and pigtail line – LC, SC, and ST assemblies in Singlemode OS1/OS2 and Multimode, ranging from OM1 to OM4.
  • Innovative ultra high-density LC jumper – Siemon’s new LC BladePatch jumper features an innovative push-pull latch and quick and easy field polarity changes designed for ultra high-density patching.
  • Time-saving field-terminated connectors– High-performance epoxy-polish and mechanical splice field-terminated LC and SC connectors
  • Easier fiber management – Expanded rack and wall-mount fiber enclosure options simplify high-density fiber cable and connectivity management and are enhanced by Siemon's data center cabinet and cable management products
  • Ruggedized fiber options – Siemon's ruggedized LC fiber connectivity provides an IP66/67-rated seal for harsh environments
  • Quick splicing – Siemon fusion splice system interfaces between bulk cable and LC duplex jumpers connected directly to active equipment
  • High performance fiber solutions for POL/PONSystems including: Splitters, enclosures, cable, connectors and cable assemblies.

To learn more about Siemon’s LightHouse portfolio of advanced fiber cabling solutions, visit:   http://www.siemon.com/LightHouse

 

Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD), in conjunction with Merit Network, the Michigan Cyber Range and Mile2, recently hosted a groundbreaking veteran's retraining program. The 13-week program-the first of its kind in the nation-prepared a group of military veterans for a career in cybersecurity. 

"We are very proud of this program," said Don Welch, president and CEO of Merit Network. "It meets two important needs: helping our veterans and effective cybersecurity training." 

17 students participated in the retraining program. The veterans were selected based on their experience and aptitude, in conjunction with Wayne County's veterans affairs office. 

Cybersecurity jobs are in high demand, and the intensive curriculum prepared veterans for challenges faced by cybersecurity professionals. The program included five weeks of instructor-led curriculum, four weeks of hands-on lab experience, three weeks of Alphaville capture-the-flag exercises, and a week of resume writing and interview skills development. Students began on October 13th and graduated on January 30th. 

WCCCD hosted the cybersecurity program in its new state-of-the-art cybersecurity lab at the Fort Street Campus in downtown Detroit. Merit also hosted the students for capture the flag exercises at the Michigan Cyber Range.

"Merit and the Michigan Cyber Range are very proud to have been a part of this pilot program," said Joe Adams, vice president for research and cybersecurity for Merit. "As a veteran I know the challenges that these students are facing, and I am very pleased to contribute to their transition from the service to the civilian workforce." 

Instructors from Mile2 taught the five cybersecurity certification courses that are part of the program and provided instructor support and lab guidance to students. Mile2 also provided free lab materials and certification tests to students. Mile2 is accredited by the Committee on National Security Systems (CNSS) and has been mapped by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 

The five cybersecurity courses taught included: Certified Security Sentinel Training, Certified Information Systems Security Officer, Certified Professional Ethical Hacker, Certified Penetration Testing Engineer, and Certified Penetration Testing Consultant. At the end of each course, students took a certification exam provided by Mile2. 

"Mile2 is extremely excited to have been chosen to spearhead the first veterans retraining program of this magnitude," exclaimed Raymond Friedman, CEO of Mile2. "As a cybersecurity officer, I know the challenges of learning new skills in an aggressively evolving technological space, and Mile2 wanted to do it right the first go-around with 100% success!" 

Cybersecurity professionals often deal with issues related to critical infrastructure and dangerous cyber attacks, which can be difficult to simulate outside of a specialized training environment. For seven weeks, students had access to the Michigan Cyber Range's Alphaville environment and Mile2's lab environment. Students were able to safely practice ethical hacking and penetration testing in secure environments that are separated from the Internet. Alphaville was also used for capture-the-flag exercises, where students search for hidden flags within the computer systems of a virtual town. The exercises helped reinforce skills learned during the coursework. 

The veterans spent the final week at WCCCD's Learning Resource Center, where they prepared to enter the workforce. The students received resume-writing advice and practiced interviewing, essential skills for job-seeking professionals. 

The program was a great success, and the participating organizations are planning to offer the cybersecurity retraining program again to military veterans.

CEN Members can now take advantage of Merit's training courses at a discount

Merit Network and the Connecticut Education Network (CEN) have announced a strategic partnership that provides CEN members discounted pricing on Merit's Professional Learning and cyber security certification courses. Merit, a Michigan-based non-profit corporation that operates America's longest-running regional research and education network, and CEN, the nation's first all-optical research and education network, have a common goal of delivering valuable resources for their Members. 

Through this collaboration CEN Members, comprised of educators (K-12 and higher education), municipalities, libraries, local businesses and State of Connecticut agencies, will have access to cyber security courseware and certifications, utilizing the infrastructure of the Michigan Cyber Range. Hosted by Merit, the Michigan Cyber Range is a virtual environment used to teach, train and test the security of strategic systems in the safety of an isolated world. Cyber security courses offered include penetration testing, ethical hacking, information security, digital forensics and more.

Both of the research and education networks have a common mission of providing Internet connectivity to the non-profit community and fostering collaboration between their member organizations, which include higher education institutions, K-12, libraries, municipal governments and healthcare organizations. CEN currently provides a fiber-optic connection to every K-12 school district in the state of Connecticut.

"We are very excited about our partnership with CEN and the State of Connecticut. Our classes and the Michigan Cyber Range will nicely compliment the great value that CEN provides their members," said Don Welch, president and CEO of Merit.

Merit also provides a catalog of in-person and live-online learning courses for IT professionals. These courses are designed to advance technology skills, such as networking, Linux security, business continuity, IPv6, project management and virtualization.

CEN's Member organizations now have the opportunity to advance their information technology capabilities and cyber security skills at a special discounted price, utilizing Merit's Professional Learning calendar. View Merit's schedule of courses and events at www.merit.edu/learning.

This partnership is the first of its kind for CEN. Merit currently has Professional Learning partnerships with other research and education networks, including Great Plains Network, KINBER, NCREN, NJEDge.Net, NYSERNet and WiscNet.

Corsa Technology, ESnet, and REANNZ have successfully demonstrated the first international SDN-only IP transit network of three Autonomous Systems (AS) managed as SDN domains.  The partners took the approach of building and testing an Internet-scale SDN solution that not only embodies the SDN vision of separation of control and data, but enables seamless integration of SDN networks with the Internet.

This first implementation passed through 3 AS domains, namely Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) at Berkeley, REANNZ atWellington, and Google research deployment at Victoria University, Wellington (NZ).  ESnet's node used the Corsa DP6420 640Gbps data plane as the OpenFlow hardware packet forwarder, controlled by the open-source VANDERVECKEN SDN controller stack (based on RouteFlow and Quagga). This demonstration forms part of a project codenamed 'Treehouse' that aims to build a worldwide group of SDN islands interconnected by a SDN-BGP routing stack and controller.  VANDERVECKEN is designed to be multi-vendor compatible for use with commercially available OpenFlow switches.

The Research and Education network infrastructure from CENIC/PacificWave and AARNet provided the data transport functions to connect these AS's together.  This SDN BGP connection between two national-scale network providers shows the potential for a full internet-scale routing to be successfully set up over an international network of mixed SDN and non-SDN autonomous systems. It marks significant progress in helping to broaden Software Defined Networking Exchange (SDX) deployments in real, operational networks.

"The Corsa DP6420 data plane has a full internet scale SDN BGP pipeline.  The SDN autonomous system connectivity we achieved leverages this pipeline that was designed to have massive FIB table capacity in a highly efficient, multi-table configuration." said Corsa Technology CEO Bruce Gregory.  "This connection also takes SDN implementations to a new level, showing how one SDN node can communicate via non-SDN nodes to another SDN node, and still have all the SDN goodness leveraged at the end-points."

"We take the existence of routing and IP for granted, since it is all around us. Once you adopt a SDN approach to building networks – i.e. fully embrace the separation of control plane from the data plane, policy-based IP routing, multi-domain peering and interoperation in an SDN environment needs to be solved." said ESnet CTO Inter Monga. "This production multi-domain SDN BGP pipeline, with a scalable OpenFlow data plane like Corsa, is an important proof point and gives us valuable experience on how to make SDN islands part of current network architectures. We would like more networks and campuses to join this effort, and share the experiences gained with the larger community."

"Establishing an end-to-end SDN BGP, multi-AS network is an important milestone in the development of next-generation IP networks and peering fabrics' said Steve Cotter, CEO of REANNZ.  'By teaming the VANDERVECKEN controller with the Corsa DP6420's scalable data plane, we have moved from the concept phase to actually passing bits across separate production SDN networks.  Treehouse is yet another in a long list of successful projects where research networks and industry come together to develop cutting-edge technologies and demonstrate what is possible. We are excited to be part of this international collaboration and position New Zealand as a leader in Software Defined Networking."

Merit Network has completed the REACH-3MC fiber-optic infrastructure project, which has built 2,287 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure across Michigan and in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Engineers have finished splicing the remaining fiber in the Keweenaw Peninsula, connecting community anchor institutions in Hancock and Calumet, Michigan.

"With this last effort, all of the community anchor institutions are now connected to the network," said Bob Stovall, vice president of network operations and engineering for Merit.

Merit has connected 141 community anchor institutions, which includes schools, libraries, health care, government, and public safety. 70 additional organizations were also connected to the network by constructing last-mile fiber to the network. Each connection is a minimum of 1 gigabit-per-second (Gbps), providing broadband speeds to previously unserved or underserved parts of Michigan.

"We are very proud of this tremendous accomplishment," said Don Welch, president and CEO of Merit. "The REACH infrastructure will provide real benefit to our members and Michigan for many years. Personally, this will be something I can look back on and feel that I have really made a difference."

Merit began the REACH-3MC (Rural, Education, Anchor, Community and Healthcare - Michigan Middle Mile Collaborative) project in January 2010 after receiving a stimulus grant through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP), which was funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). Merit received a second stimulus grant in August 2010.

Construction on the REACH-3MC project started in December 2010, and at its peak, 40 construction crews were working simultaneously in parts of Michigan. Work on Round I of the REACH-3MC project in the Lower Peninsula was completed in April 2013. With the lighting of the remaining Round II fiber, Merit has completed 2,287 miles of fiber-optic infrastructure, which is the equivalent of travelling from Ann Arbor to Orlando, Florida.

Merit now has redundant 10 Gbps routes in the Upper Peninsula that provide reliable connectivity to public universities, private colleges, K-12 institutions, health care organizations, libraries, and more. In addition, there are now three exit routes for traffic in the Upper Peninsula: through Superior, Wisconsin; through Green Bay, Wisconsin; and across the Straits of Mackinac to Mackinaw City.

In the Lower Peninsula, there is now significantly more fiber available. The southern and western counties now have fiber-optic infrastructure from Monroe to Berrien Springs to Traverse City and Mackinaw City. Northern counties that were previously underserved now feature redundant fiber routes, stretching along the sunrise coast of Lake Huron and across to Gaylord, Grayling, Houghton Lake and Indian River.

"The Upper and Lower Peninsulas now have more opportunities. The project has made communities, like Hillsdale, a hub of opportunities. Hillsdale was once a remote location with limited connections. The community now has four fiber connections," Stovall said. "We also built a 1 Gbps fiber ring around Lake Charlevoix, which benefits Boyne City, Charlevoix, and East Jordan. There are now two paths out of Charlevoix, which create a resilient, high-capacity network for future growth. This project is a foundation for Michigan, much like the interstate highway system. More work is needed to truly reach every community in Michigan. More laterals are needed to connect more communities to the REACH-3MC infrastructure."

As part of the economic development component of the project, Merit worked with seven commercial providers to provide service to homes and businesses along the REACH-3MC routes. ACD.net, Boardman River Communications, Great Lakes Comnet, Lynx Network Group, Packerland Broadband, Peninsula Fiber Network, and TC3.net participated on the project and own strands of fiber on the REACH-3MC network.

After almost four years of hard work and dedication, Merit has increased its fiber-optic backbone by 59 percent, growing from 1,700 miles to over 3,900 miles. Merit's network supports the needed bandwidth requirements for K-12 education, higher education, health care, government, and other non-profit organizations.

"This is an exciting opportunity for Michigan," said Elwood Downing, vice president of membership outreach and engagement at Merit. "It has been extremely rewarding to work with so many communities across the state and to see how this infrastructure has improved the quality of life within the communties."

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