» MU brings “Dynamics” to service assurance
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MU brings “Dynamics” to service assurance
By Carol Wilson

May 19, 2008 12:07 PM

MU Security today announced a major change in its corporate strategy, as well as a new name – MU Dynamics -- to reflect the broader role the company wants to play in helping service providers prevent network downtime. MU Dynamics also announced closing a new ‘C’ round of funding at $10 million, to accelerate its market expansion, and a new denial-of-service module for its MU-4000 appliance.

“The new name reflects the broader value proposition that customers are asking us to fill within their networks and architectures,” said Aswath Mohan, director of product management for MU Dynamics. “The biggest issue that our customers are facing is downtime in services. It’s very costly for them – more than $100,000 per hour for VoIP downtime, for instance.”

In addition to the real costs of losing money to services that aren’t provisioned and operating profitably, Mohan said, downtime affects customer retention, which damages revenue and increases costs.

What MU Dynamics is bringing to market is proactive service assurance that reduces downtime in multi-vendor, standards-based networks, Mohan said. The new DoS module for the MU-4000 helps deliver service assurance by identifying network services or systems that could be knocked out of service or unreachable in the event of a DoS attack.

The challenge of delivering service assurance has been made more complex by the move away from proprietary networks, based on frame relay and ATM, to IP networks based on standardized components, Mohan said.

“What you are seeing now is people like Cox, AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, BT and NTT using standardized components from hundreds of suppliers,” Mohan said. “There is no way that one supplier in the ecosystem of network operators can understand all the intricacies of the network.”

Yet services such as VoIP and IPTV depend on real-time access to resources and are latency sensitive, “so any network weakness represents a revenue problem for network operators,” Mohan said.

MU Dynamic’s MU-4000 has the ability to detect underlying problems in network hardware and software and identify potential downtime problems and reliability issues, Mohan said. “This has benefits for both network operators and equipment suppliers. Service providers gain the ability to roll out new services quickly with confidence, and [the MU-4000] ensures they will be reliable, available, and secure. Vendor suppliers are able to roll out higher quality new products and solutions that enable new services to be delivered on time and with confidence.”

The new DoS module is highly customizable for each service provider’s network, Mohan said. “It allows the user to customize a DoS scenario and create that in the lab network before they go out in dynamic open-network environments. We provide over 40 templates that represent real DoS attacks that have happened.”

Service providers also can use MU Dynamics in the process of developing next-generation services before they are deployed to determine reliability, availability and security of a product going into the network, “instead of having to just take the vendor’s marketing claims,” Mohan said.

The new funding round of $10 million was led by Focus Ventures and previous investors Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital and DAG Ventures. It is intended to enable MU Dynamics to expand its presence among Tier 1 service providers.

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