Icon-5066, Isode’s modem-independent STANAG 5066 server.

We’re pleased to announce the first release of Icon-5066, Isode’s modem-independent STANAG 5066 server.

STANAG 5066 provides a link layer optimized for HF Radio as described in the whitepaper [STANAG 5066: The Standard for Data Applications over HF Radio].

Icon-5066 will connect to one or two HF modems, either through a Crypto box or directly, and provides a single interface to an HF network, which can be shared by multiple applications.  A comprehensive product description of Icon-5066 is available on the Isode website.

Configured using a web interface, Icon-5066 is shipped with three test tools to help partners in testing Icon-5066 deployments:

  1. HF Tool: For running a range of tests to ensure good performance and operation of modem drivers in a range of conditions. It also gives a clear measure of modem performance.
  2. STANAG 5066 Console: Providing STANAG 5066 server discovery, HF operator chat and throughput measurements to peer S5066 Consoles with ARQ and non-ARQ traffic.
  3. MoRaSky: Provides a service equivalent to HF modems connected to Radios and operating over the Ionosphere. It enables sophisticated testing of Icon-5066 and the applications it supports, without use of hardware or Over the Air transmission.

Evaluations of Icon-5066 are available, contact your Account Manager or fill in the evaluation request form for more information.

R17.0 Now Available

R17.0, a major update to Isode’s product set, is now available, from our website, for customers and evaluators. Significant changes include:

  • Harrier for Exchange: Introduced with R16.6 for use with Isode products, our web based messaging client is now available for use with Microsoft Exchange.
  • Every IM domain in M-Link can now be configured to run with an independent directory. This enables support of multi-domain configurations with independent directories for users and groups.
  • Extensive improvements to ACP127 and ACP142 capabilities and management in M-Switch have been made, including a wide range of capabilities aimed specifically at Operators.
  • M-Vault has enhancements to OCSP support and built-in Web user password changing.

A comprehensive list of the new features in R17.0 can be found on the R17.0 Release Page.

Military Messaging at NITEC’18

NITEC is the annual flagship event of the NATO Communications and Information Agency, which took place this year in Berlin between 22nd and 24th May.

Isode took a small stand, alongside the main conference room, to demonstrate our server, gateway and client products. The main focus of Isode’s demonstration this year was Harrier, our web based military messaging client which works alongside both Isode’s own messaging servers and Microsoft Exchange.

As well as bringing a modern user interface to military messaging, Harrier’s small footprint and easy deployment makes it ideal for those organisations looking to upgrade with a minimum amount of disruption to existing infrastructure. Harrier was demonstrated with Isode’s messaging servers and messaging gateways, showing email over a simulated HF link between a fixed and mobile unit using a variety of military messaging formats.

With the commercial focus of this year’s NITEC being the recently announced competition for the New NATO Messaging Service (NNMS), many visitors commenting on the suitability of Isode’s products for the core messaging requirement of that competition.

Isode is 15 years old

Fifteen years ago, six of us started the current Isode company. We’ve had quite an adventure and this seems an appropriate time to step back and reflect.

I founded the original Isode organization 25 years ago and we focussed on the M-Vault Directory and M-Switch SMTP/X.400 products (which had different names then). Isode became a part of MessagingDirect which did e-Billing and was sold to ACI (as US Company). New Isode took on M-Vault and M-Switch in 2002, along with a number of customers still using these products. We were fortunate that many old Isode customers had continued to use M-Switch/M-Vault and were delighted to see Isode return.

I started drafting this message with a history of new products, customers, and markets. It became clear that this would end up as a very long messages of limited interest. So I have picked out a few highlights of the 15 year road from a start-up without offices or cash to a financially stable company with many products, customers and markets.

The Isode achievements I am most proud of are where our software products get deployed to support mission critical deployments around the world. Some of my favourites are:

  • The AMHS (Aviation) market, where M-Switch is used in a majority of countries in the world to support ground to ground communication in support of civil and military flights.
  • The NATO M-Link deployment in Afghanistan, in support of the Resolute Support Mission.
  • Use of M-Vault directory to underpin most of our messaging and XMPP deployments, and as standalone services such as support of the US Government Federal PKI and our oldest UK customer.
  • M-Switch MIXER deployments, particularly in the UK, to support transition from X.400 to SMTP

We are foremost a technology company and I’m proud that we are able to lead in new technology areas (notably XMPP and HF Radio) and to apply modern innovative engineering to our products supporting older technologies (notably the world of ACP 127, Serial Lines, and messaging without lower case letters that we have recently embarked upon). Open Standards are central to the Isode Philosophy and I’m delight that Isode staff (including me) have been able to contribute to new standards in IETF, XSF and NATO. We plan to continue this and to have products supporting new open standards to help effective deployment.

A board member of the original Isode told me that start-ups initially see technology as the priority and as they evolve the priority shifts to people; he was spot on. I am immensely proud of the Isode family of staff; there are about 40 of us now, with a few who have been with Isode for over 20 years. We are centred in Hampton, with individuals spread around the world (Canada, Netherlands, USA, Germany, Peru and Turkey). This relatively small group of people have brought a wide range of high-end software products to market and are able to support them through a wide range of our channel partners.

15 years is not an end point, but where we are on the journey. We are seeing exciting growth opportunities, particularly in our military markets, and we plan to take advantage of this. Over 15 years we have shifted from “server only” to providing clients, servers and comprehensive management and provisioning for both Messaging and XMPP. Our initial client focus is very much for our evolving military markets, but I am looking forward to applying the security and resilience characteristics that are central to these markets into broader areas in the next 15 years.

Onward!

Steve Kille
CEO, Isode

Improving HF Communications Now and in the Future Whitepaper.

NATO plans to move BRASS (Broadcast and Ship to Shore) HF services to the new BRE1TA (BRASS Enhancement One Technical Architecture) which was initially set out in 2008. There have been important technical developments since the BRE1TA vision was set out, in particular the work on Wideband HF (WBHF). There is also increased technical understanding and experience with some of the technologies associated with BRE1TA. This has led to a number of detailed technical discussions, such as those set out in the Isode White Paper [Architecture for IP Application Services over HF Radio: Point to Point, Multicast and Broadcast], which was written to support NATO BRE1TA planning.

A new whitepaper on the Isode website [From BRASS to BRE1TA: Improving HF Communications Now and in the Future] gives a higher level summary of what is going on, with the aim of providing an explanation to those interested in BLOS (Beyond Line of Sight) communication, but who do not have detailed understanding of HF technologies. The paper looks at BRASS capabilities and sets out what can be achieved beyond core BRASS with technologies that can be purchased today. This includes four of the five BRE1TA goals and a few capabilities beyond BRE1TA. Finally the paper considers capabilities that are anticipated, but are not yet ready to deploy. This includes the fifth BRE1TA goal of providing generic IP services over HF.