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NZ network specialist eyes ultra-fast future

Monday 23rd May 2011

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New Zealand network monitoring and recording specialist Endace says it is stepping up its capability to offer 100% capture of telecommunications data at high speeds.

It said phone companies, cable companies, and internet service providers as well as some big commercial sectors were starting to look toward 100 gigabytes/second (GB/s) networks for both local connections and for long distance links, and there was a growing need to accurately monitor, protect and analyse them.

The company promotes its hardware-based tools for capturing and analysing high-speed data as being more reliable than other approaches which rely heavily on using software to do the work. It has claimed that rival companies using software can begin missing "packets" of data at speeds of about 2 GB/s plus, which can cause the same sort of security problems as an airport metal detector skipping three people in every 10.

Endace vice-president of global marketing, Tim Nichols, said big international businesses were facing a "packet tsunami" as network speeds rose, and the organisations themselves had to handle data at speeds of more than 10Gb/s.

"We're seeing 40 GB/s and 100 GB/s on the horizon far sooner than anyone was expecting".

Because the company's business was built around high-speed networks, it had been drawn into markets where "bleeding edge" technologies with high network speeds had been deployed, and about 60% of its business was in the USA, 30% in Europe, and the rest in Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Though New Zealand didn't have an extensive ultra-high speed network, it was heading toward that and would increasingly need to look to security.

"We are intimately involved with the Government in a number of initiatives around cyber-security and intelligence-gathering" Nichols told NZPA. "Our product is ... already in Wellington."

But he noted that where Governments were the end-user, the company often did not know exactly how or where its products were being deployed, because the uses were secret.

Some of the high-population markets had drivers such as fear, uncertainty and doubt over security issues ranging from privacy to terrorism.

"Cyber-security has been a really hot topic - and, obviously, the same for the UK," he said. "Where that state of fear exists, Endace has a very good opportunity to go and sell its products, and has been very successful in doing so".

The main four lines of business were big telecommunications companies, financial services organisations, government business and an enterprise business.

But its roots were in the closely-linked government and telecommunications sectors.

"As telcos deploy faster speeds and different technologies, so governments have a need to monitor and wiretap ..." Nichols said.

"We have a very healthy relationship with some large intelligence agencies in Europe, and we have a growing relationship with the National Security Agency (NSA) and the large intelligence agencies in the US".

Endace saw itself with a technology platform in a climate and landscape that could only become more favourable, Mr Nichols said on the eve of the company's release of its final results for 2010-2011 on Tuesday.

It said in an April update that the both revenues and profit for the year were above earlier expectations: revenue at US$38.4 million (US$31 million in 2010) and profit before tax was US$2.9 million (US$400,000). It is listed on the London Stock Exchange.



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