Thursday, December 29, 2016

Huawei Forecasts 2017 Sales will Continue to Rise Dramatically

Huawei expects its 2017 sales revenue to reach 520 billion yuan (US$74.8 billion), up 32% year-on-year.

In a New Year's message, Huawei Rotating CEO Eric Xu said the company made significant progress in 2016 in improving its efficiency and quality.

"Fear not the drifting clouds that block your eyes: beneath shifting sands bright gold still lies. The year 2016 has seen a flock of black swans – both political and economic – sweep across the globe. Nevertheless, we have remained focused on our strategy and have patiently applied ourselves to making breakthroughs and creating real value for our customers."

Some priorities for 2017:
  • Cut down on empty and extravagant marketing events and conferences; have more meaningful meetings with customers to address their real problems
  • Talk less about trends, vision, and new concepts; develop more scenario-specific summaries and case studies based on our practices, experiences, and lessons learned
  • Have fewer empty talks in offices that are far removed from actual business; pay more visits to equipment rooms, base stations, street cabinets, and shops
  • Avoid blind optimism and rhetoric about Huawei as an industry leader or how it has entered uncharted territory; give due respect to uncertainty and prepare for the unknown with more independent thinking
  • Avoid demonstrations of "value" to managers, with fancy internal promotional videos and slides; focus on creating value for customers

http://www.huawei.com/en/special-release/new-year-message-2017?utm_medium=sm&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=MBBF

Huawei's First Half Sales Hit CNY245.5 billion, up 40% YoY


Huawei reported sales revenue for the first half of 2016 of CNY245.5 billion (US$36.75 billion), an increase of 40% comparing with the same period last year. The company's operating margin was 12%. "We achieved steady growth across all three of our business groups, thanks to a well-balanced global presence and an unwavering focus on our pipe strategy," said Sabrina Meng, Huawei's Chief Financial Officer. "We are confident that Huawei will maintain...

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ford Cites Progress in Autonomous Vehicles, to Double Silicon Valley Team

The Ford Motor Company is on track to build a high-volume, fully autonomous SAE level 4-capable vehicle by 2021.

At CES and the North American International Auto Show in January, Ford is expected to show its next-generation Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle featuring new new computer hardware, electrical controls and LiDAR sensors.

In a blog posting, Chris Brewer, chief program engineer, Ford Autonomous Vehicle Development, writes that the company plans to double the size of its Palo Alto research team by the end of 2017. Brewer cited work with four startups in areas such as advanced algorithms, 3D mapping, LiDAR, and radar and camera sensors:

Velodyne: Ford has invested in Velodyne, a Silicon Valley-based leader in light detection and ranging (LiDAR) sensors. The aim is to quickly mass-produce a more affordable automotive LiDAR sensor. Ford has a longstanding relationship with Velodyne, and was among the first to use LiDAR for both high-resolution mapping and autonomous driving beginning more than 10 years ago

SAIPS: Ford has acquired the Israel-based computer vision and machine learning company to further strengthen its expertise in artificial intelligence and enhance computer vision. SAIPS has developed algorithmic solutions in image and video processing, deep learning, signal processing and classification. This expertise will help Ford autonomous vehicles learn and adapt to the surroundings of their environment

Nirenberg Neuroscience LLC: Ford has an exclusive licensing agreement with Nirenberg Neuroscience, a machine vision company founded by neuroscientist Dr. Sheila Nirenberg, who cracked the neural code the eye uses to transmit visual information to the brain. This has led to a powerful machine vision platform for performing navigation, object recognition, facial recognition and other functions, with many potential applications. For example, it is already being applied by Dr. Nirenberg to develop a device for restoring sight to patients with degenerative diseases of the retina. Ford’s partnership with Nirenberg Neuroscience will help bring humanlike intelligence to the machine learning modules of its autonomous vehicle virtual driver system

Civil Maps: Ford has invested in Berkeley, California-based Civil Maps to further develop high-resolution 3D mapping capabilities. Civil Maps has pioneered an innovative 3D mapping technique that is scalable and more efficient than existing processes. This provides Ford another way to develop high-resolution 3D maps of autonomous vehicle environments.

https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2016/08/16/ford-targets-fully-autonomous-vehicle-for-ride-sharing-in-2021.html

Sprint Commits to Create or Bring Back to America 5,000 Jobs

Sprint announced a commitment to create or bring back to America 5,000 jobs by the end of its fiscal year 2017.

“We are excited to work with President-Elect Trump and his Administration to do our part to drive economic growth and create jobs in the U.S.,” said Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure. “We believe it is critical for business and government to partner together to create more job opportunities in the U.S. and ensure prosperity for all Americans.”

Sprint said it anticipates these jobs will support a variety of functions across the organization including its Customer Care and Sales teams.

http://www.sprint.com

Friday, December 23, 2016

Video - The Story of Facebook's Infrastructure



The Facebook Engineering team talks about building the company's leading-edge data center infrastructure. In a few years, Facebook has gone from rented space in colocation facilities to a network of hyperscale data centers with global connections.



Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Predictions 2017: IaaS Becomes the Next Launching Pad for Cyber Threats

by Corey Nachreiner, Chief Technology Officer, WatchGuard Technologies

Cloud technology has had an incredible impact on the business landscape over the last five years. Public infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platforms like Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft Azure, in particular, are growing at incredible rates – even among small businesses. According to RightScale’s 2016 State of the Cloud report, 71 percent of small and medium businesses (SMBs) are running at least one application in AWS or Azure. It’s clear that IaaS solutions provide a ton of business opportunities for organizations, especially those without the financial or personnel resources necessary to manage physical network infrastructure.

However, as the public cloud becomes more engrained in the fabric of everyday business operations, it has also become a serious target for hackers. The question: How safe is it really? With so much valuable customer, financial and healthcare data stored in one place, and managed by a third party, it’s easy to see why criminals have begun to focus their efforts on IaaS.  

In the past, we’ve seen threat actors target or infect servers running in public cloud services. For example, there have been cases where hackers take over servers running in Amazon EC2—the virtualized compute portion of Amazon AWS. Remember, servers you spin up in EC2 are no different from servers on your premises. If you leave a port open, without a firewall or access control rules, hackers can attack it in the same way they attack physical servers. To illustrate this, a honeypot organization spun up some fake SSH servers in Amazon EC2 to see whether they’d get targeted. Even without publishing the servers’ IP addresses, or attaching them to a domain, attackers found and started brute-force attacks the IaaS-based honeypots within 10 hours.

We’ve also seen criminals target IaaS customers through their cloud credentials. An Amazon AWS account is powerful. Customers can spin up almost endless servers, as long as they are willing to pay Amazon for the compute power they use. In 2014, one AWS customers had a very costly AWS credential breach. Some criminal learned his AWS credential, and used its administrative powers to spin up more EC2 server instances, which he used to mine bitcoin. This credential leak (due to the victim accidentally leaving credentials in a Github project), almost cost the victim over $5000 in AWS bills.

In short, without the proper protections, attackers can hack servers in the public cloud just as easily as the ones on your premises. As we move more and more of our data to IaaS servers, you can expect criminal hackers to follow.

Iaas doesn’t only make a good attack target, but also provides a powerful attack platform. We’ve seen cybercriminals leveraging these robust virtualization cloud platforms to build their attack infrastructure. For instance, criminals started putting their botnet command and control (C&C) servers in Amazon EC2 shortly after its launch, one example being the Zeus botnet. Despite increased monitoring and security from Amazon, attackers still use AWS infrastructure for attacks.

More recently, a web security company did a study of all the web application attacks launched on the Internet, and found that 20 percent of these attacks from AWS’s IP addresses. This comes as no surprise, since public IaaS services can provide single individuals with more scalable compute and network power one person could easily harness on their own. As long as public clouds offer impressive distributed computing capabilities to customers, hacker will search for ways to exploit these powers for evil.

In 2017, I expect to see attackers increasingly leverage public IaaS both as a potential attack surface, and as a powerful platform to build their attack networks. It’s highly likely there will be at least one headline-generating cyberattack either targeting, or launched from a public IaaS service next year.

So what can businesses to do protect their IaaS properties from being attacked in 2017?

In short, extend your existing network perimeter security tactics to the public cloud. There are a number of simple best practices I’d recommend to proactively protect your IaaS credentials and business critical data:
       
·        Properly implement IaaS’s existing access controls: IaaS services like AWS and Azure have built-in security tools you can use to protect your cloud servers in the same way you do physical ones. While cloud services don’t offer Unified Threat Management (UTM) or Next-generation Firewall (NGFW) services, they do have basic stateful firewalls. At the very least, make sure you firewall your cloud servers, and only expose the network services you really need to. 

·        Use strong authentication or two-factor authentication (2FA) whenever possible: Passwords are not perfect. They can get stolen, or you might accidentally leave them in a Github project, like the victim mentioned above. If you’re only using a password to authenticate to your IaaS service, a lost password gives attackers everything they need to take over your account. However, most public clouds offer two-factor authentication (2FA), where you can pair your password with some other authentication token, such as a secure code delivered to your mobile phone. With 2FA enabled, cybercriminals won’t be able to access your IaaS account even if they compromise your password.

·        Bring your on-prem security to the cloud: Most organizations protect their premise servers with UTM and NGFW appliances that combine many different security controls into one easy to manage appliance. Luckily, you can now bring these advanced premise security solutions to IaaS as well. Search your IaaS marketplace for your favorite security solution and you might find it.

·        Check out your IaaS provider’s security best practices: Frankly, there are more security tips and practices to protect your cloud servers that I can share in one short article. The good news is your favorite IaaS provider may already have you covered. For instance, AWS users can find a white paper on all Amazon’s best practices in this PDF.


Business will continue to boom for the IaaS industry. According to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC), worldwide spending on public cloud services is expected to reach upwards of $141 billion by 2019, up from nearly $70 billion last year. With the sustained growth and prevalence of IaaS, organizations need to constantly educate themselves on new ways cybercriminals are leveraging it and focus on effectively extending their network security into the public cloud. 

About the Author

Corey Nachreiner is Chief Technology Officer of Watchguard Technologies.

Recognized as a thought leader in IT security, Nachreiner spearheads WatchGuard's technology vision and direction. Previously, he was the director of strategy and research at WatchGuard. Nachreiner has operated at the frontline of cyber security for 16 years, and for nearly a decade has been evaluating and making accurate predictions about information security trends. As an authority on network security and internationally quoted commentator, Nachreiner's expertise and ability to dissect complex security topics make him a sought-after speaker at forums such as Gartner, Infosec and RSA. He is also a regular contributor to leading publications including CNET, Dark Reading, eWeek, Help Net Security, Information Week and Infosecurity, and delivers WatchGuard's "Daily Security Byte" video on Facebook.

Qualcomm, Ericsson, SK Telecom Set 5G NR Trials

Ericsson, Qualcomm, and SK Telecom will conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials in the second half of 2017 based on 3GPP's 5G New Radio (NR) standards, which utilize wide bandwidths available at higher frequency bands to increase network capacity and achieve multi-gigabit per second data rates.

The first 3GPP 5G NR specification that will be part of Release 15 - the global 5G standard that will make use of both sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands.

The companies said the upcoming trials will employ 3GPP 5G NR Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques, including non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments and device mobility. It will also make use of scalable OFDM-based waveforms and a new flexible framework design that are also part of the 5G NR specifications. The trials are expected to yield valuable insight into the unique challenges of integrating 5G NR technologies into mobile networks and devices.

"As we did in both 3G and 4G, we are excited about collaborating with leading operators and industry stakeholders such as Ericsson and SK Telecom to accelerate the path to 5G," said Matt Grob, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "The roadmap of 5G technologies is incredibly complex, and trials based on the global 3GPP 5G standard, such as this, are critical to continuing our long history of leadership integrating advanced wireless technologies in form-factor accurate devices to ensure timely deployment of 5G networks."

"As 5G rapidly gains momentum, a globally agreed and unified standard becomes imperative to achieve early commercialization of 5G and build an efficient ecosystem around it," said Alex Jinsung Choi, EVP, Chief Technology Officer, SK Telecom, "As 3GPP NR is a global 5G standard, we are delighted to announce early 3GPP NR trials with leading 5G players, Ericsson and Qualcomm, with which we have made remarkable world's first footprints in the past with previous generations of groundbreaking mobile technologies.."

http://www.ericsson.com
http://www.qualcomm.com

Vendors Back New NFV Interoperability Testing Initiative

Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia signed Memorandum of Understanding to create the NFV Interoperability Testing Initiative (NFV-ITI) whose main objective is to promote competition and create industry alignment on generic principles for NFV interoperability testing and support for specific customer situations.

NFV-ITI members agreed to cooperatively support the interoperability of NFV elements in specific customer situations to accelerate the commercial implementations, and to reduce the time-to-market for new applications and services.

The members said guiding principles of the initiative are openness, fairness, reasonableness and non-discriminatory treatment. All relevant NFV vendors are welcome to join this initiative by ratifying the NFV-ITI MoU.

http://www.cisco.com
http://www.ericsson.com
http://www.nokia.com
http://www.huawei.com

Enea Completes Acquisition of Qosmos

Enea completed its acquisition of Qosmos, a privately held company with leading positions in IP traffic classification and network intelligence, for approximately EUR 52.7 million. Qosmos is estimated to generate sales of approximately EUR 14.2 million in 2016.

Qosmos is a supplier of Network Intelligence software based on Deep Packet Inspection. Its software provides detailed real-time traffic visibility for applications such as mobile traffic management, cyber security, and network analytics.

“We will be able to help customers identify, classify, and analyze network traffic in real-time, and we will be able to serve and assist them in new areas such as traffic management and network security analytics”, said Anders Lidbeck, President and CEO, Enea. “Customers will also find a strong partner and supplier in us as a company, with increased resources, broadened expertise, and expanded geographical presence”.

http://www.enea.com/
http://www.qosmos.com

Zayo Supplies Metro Fiber and Wavelengths to Genomics Firm

Zayo was selected to deliver dark fiber and wavelength connectivity in a major West Coast metro market to a leading genomics firm.  The connectivity, which will use Zayo's existing fiber network, includes a dark fiber connection between the client’s headquarters and data center, along with secure, high-bandwidth wavelength connectivity among satellite offices, headquarters and the data center.

“Our dark fiber provided a significant competitive advantage in winning this business in an exciting and rapidly expanding market,” said Chris Morley, Zayo’s chief operating officer. “The customer required a solution that could scale to accommodate continued growth, and also wanted the flexibility to use and manage their own equipment. We’re well positioned to provide them both dark and lit services that meet their specific needs -- and, more broadly, to meet the growing communications infrastructure demand in this emerging sector.”

http://www.zayo.com

Telia Carrier Expands in Germany

Telia Carrier is expanding the availability of its IP, Wavelength and Ethernet services in Germany through new partnership with Savecall, Germany's top consultant and broker of ICT services with offices in Munich, Wiesbaden and Berlin. In addition to Savecall's consulting and brokering services, this partnership allows the company to act as a reseller of Telia Carrier's complete suite of IP, Wavelength and Ethernet services.

Savecall mediates provider-neutral expert solutions including point-to-point Ethernet, leased line and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) services for IT and telecommunications companies. The company offers customers risk and cost reduction through the standardization of basic IT services coupled with powerful virtualization solutions.

"At Savecall, one of our guiding principles is to rapidly deliver competitive and agile solutions to our customers," saidNikolaus von Johnston, General Manager, Savecall. "Leveraging Telia Carrier's expertise in this market and superior customer service, our customers will benefit from the inclusion of Telia Carrier's top-ranked network services in our portfolio."

http://www.teliacarrier.com/

SK Telecom Selects Coriant 100G for New Undersea Link

SK Telecom has selected a Coriant submarine solution to extend 100G connectivity to Ulleungdo Island, which lies off the east coast of Korea.

The deployment will use the Coriant hiT 7300 Multi-Haul Transport Platform and Coriant Transport Network Management System (TNMS).

"Uncompromising quality is critical in today’s transport networks as they scale to support ever-increasing amounts of customer traffic," said Petri Markkanen, General Manager and Vice President of Sales, Asia Pacific, Coriant. "Following rigorous testing for this submarine application, SK Telecom selected the Coriant hiT 7300 submarine solution for its superior 100G reach and performance, as well as proven features including flexible configuration, advanced optical link control, and integrated RAMAN amplification."

http://www.coriant.com

Monday, December 19, 2016

Predictions 2017: The Age of Collaboration and Interoperability

by Daniel Kurgan,
CEO, BICS

2016 proved to be a remarkable year for the telecoms industry. In its crudest form, mobile was previously synonymous with the core voice services provided by operators. And while voice remains one of the biggest revenue streams for MNOs, the digital revolution has sparked a new age for communication. New, branded digital experiences – messaging apps, chat bots and even the Internet of Things – have pervaded mobile devices globally, as consumers expect instant connectivity and seamless services, wherever they are in the world.

As operators and internet service providers make great headway in giving subscribers the ultimate user experience with faster, more qualitative and cost-effective voice and data services,  2017 – despite its imminent challenges – could prove to be a turning point for the industry as a whole, with new revenue opportunities and partnerships to be reaped for those who have readied themselves to take advantage.

The abolition of EU roaming charges will force significant change in the industry

June 2017 will mark a huge juncture in mobile history as EU regulators abolish roaming charges, allowing subscribers to use their mobile phones abroad as they would at home.
The abolition of roaming charges in Europe for consumers will have a knock on effect for wholesalers, who will be under increasing pressure to reduce their own fees. However, roaming traffic is expected to grow significantly as more subscribers will be inclined to switch on data roaming as they travel. This surge in usage of mobile voice and data services abroad should offset the impact of the changes in legislation.

The wholesale telecoms sector will experience a period of upheaval as the new measures come into place. However, the blow could be softened by the decision made by EU ministers in December 2016 to cap wholesale rates. Essentially, this will give mobile operators and wholesale carriers time to adjust. Either way, mobile operators will need to adapt if they want to reap the rewards of the industry’s digital transformation.

The Internet of Things will spark new services and revenue streams

In 2017, we will witness more convergence across the telecoms space as service providers develop cross-platform propositions to support content services, and also look to diversify in order to target vertical markets.

The IoT will be a key driver of this transformation, as an increasing number of industries become reliant on mobile to provide the connectivity and infrastructure needed to support IoT implementations. IoT has become integral to the growth of smart homes, smart factories, automated production lines and the emergence of driverless cars.

We have already seen several deployments of global IoT solutions, but in 2017 these are likely to gain traction as more and more equipment manufacturers and enterprises look to embed global connectivity into their devices. Wholesalers will play a key role in bringing disparate players from other markets together, helping to drive collaboration that will support innovation in telecoms.

Increased M&A activity will prompt collaboration to take advantage of industry opportunities

Wholesalers are set to play a crucial role in the development and transformation of the telecoms industry in 2017, acting as a facilitator of new partnerships across the sector.

In 2016, we saw a number of high-profile M&As as major operators looked to enhance their digital propositions to offer content and media services. This was evident in the U.S. with the Verizon- Yahoo M&A and the recent move by AT&T to acquire Time Warner. On the consolidation front, the UK incumbent BT acquired EE, the country’s largest mobile operator.

In 2017, we’ll see similar activity again, but on a micro-level, as mobile operators and pure-play telecoms businesses look to partner with digital service providers, cloud communications companies and even fintech companies to embed mobile and rich communications services into their core proposition. In order for these players to capitalise on the opportunities before them, they will need to look at partnering with wholesalers, retail service providers and vendors to help make the connections, share assets and intelligence in order to develop and roll out new services and to new markets in order to differentiate.

About the Author

Daniel Kurgan, Chief Executive Officer, BICS Daniel Kurgan was appointed CEO of BICS SA/NV on March 2nd 2007 after being COO from July 1st 2006 onwards. He started his career as Contracts Manager at SABCA (biggest Belgian aerospace company, subsidiary of French Group Dassault), where he negotiated and managed major industrial sales, subcontracting and purchase contracts with customers like Boeing, Airbus, Aerospatiale (EADS), Asian governments, and suppliers like GEC Marconi and Litton.

Daniel joined Belgacom’s Carrier Division at the start of the carrier's commercial operations in January 1997, where he held several positions including International Account Manager, Head of International Relations & Sales, Sales Director (domestic and international wholesale) and VP International Wholesale, in charge of Sales & Marketing, Buying & LCR, and Customer Service and Network. In 2005 Daniel was VP Commercial of BICS, and contributed to the spin-off of Belgacom’s international carrier business.

Daniel graduated from the Solvay Business School of the University of Brussels.

Fujitsu Demos Open ROADM Interoperability in AT&T Field Trial

Fujitsu completed an Open ROADM interoperability field trial on AT&T’s network using the Virtuora multivendor software-defined networking solution and 1FINITY open hardware platform.

The trial was an extension of the Open ROADM Multi-Source Agreement (MSA), which defines interoperability specifications for Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexers (ROADMs), including the ROADM switches, transponders and pluggable optics. The goal of the MSA is to move away from a traditionally closed ROADM optical transport network and toward a disaggregated open transport network, while allowing for centralized software control.

The multivendor field trial consisted of a 100 Gbps optical wavelength in the Dallas metro area carrying live customer traffic. Fujitsu provided transponders and ROADMs from their 1FINITY open hardware platform (1FINITY T300, 1FINITY L100/L110) connecting to high capacity IP/MPLS routers. The 100G wavelength was provisioned using the Virtuora SDN Network Controller, which was integrated into the AT&T ECOMP architecture via REST APIs.

“As an Open ROADM MSA member, Fujitsu shares our customers' vision for software-defined optical networks,” said Rod Naphan, chief technology officer at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. “Our 1FINITY hardware and Virtuora multivendor software platforms were designed based on the principles of openness, scalability and interoperability – which translate to cost savings, faster services deployment and improved network performance for service providers. We will continue striving to help customers like AT&T achieve their network vision.”

http://www.fujitsu.com/us/products/network/

AT&T Activates First Open ROADMs with Ciena and Fujitsu

AT&T recently activated a 100 Gbps wavelength in its production network in the Dallas area that uses Open ROADM-compliant technology. Specifically, AT&T connected 2 high capacity IP/MPLS routers with transponders and ROADMs provided by Ciena and Fujitsu.

Open ROADM project is a project underway with the backing of AT&T and a goal of driving faster innovation and open software control for the Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexers (ROADMs) used in optical transport networks. An Open ROADM Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) defines interoperability specifications for Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexers (ROADM). Included are the ROADM switch as well as transponders and pluggable optics. Specifications consist of both Optical interoperability as well as YANG data models.

In a blog posting, Andre Fuetsch, President of AT&T Labs and CTO, said the newly installed ROADMs support full software control according to the published Open ROADM specification. NetConf/YANG APIs are used for controlling and managing the optical network. The 100G wavelength was provisioned using an SDN ROADM Controller developed by Fujitsu and integrated into the AT&T ECOMP architecture.

http://about.att.com/innovationblog/open_roadms
http://openroadm.org/home.html

VMware Acquires Plumgrid

PLUMgrid, a start-up offering an Open Networking Suite (ONS) for clouds based on OpenStack, confirmed that its technology, intellectual property, and many of its employees have been acquired. Media sources cited VMware as the buyer.  Neither company commented on financial terms or other highlights of the deal.

PLUMgrid,which was founded in 2011 and is based in Santa Clara, California, pioneered the concept of providing programmability and extensibility in the data plane by introducing the notion of an IO processor with the canonical operations of Parse, Lookup, Update, and Modify and distributing them in software defined data centers.  The company built and delivered a platform-based SDN architecture designed to provide network virtualization, network automation and security across any hypervisor, any container, any device, and any hardware.

http://www.plumgrid.com/plumgrid-blog/2016/12/an-update-on-plumgrid-for-customers-and-partners/


IEEE Kicks of 5G Initiative

IEEE is kicking off a 5G Initiative with the purpose of engaging professionals worldwide from industry, government, and academia to work to solve the challenges associated with 5G and lay the foundation to realize its many opportunities.

The IEEE 5G Initiative, which includes contributions from many IEEE societies, has several working groups for which it seeks volunteers from both industry and academia to participate.

IEEE 5G Initiative working groups are focused around activities like its 5G Roadmap project, which will identify short (~3 years), mid-term (~5 years), and long-term (~10 years) research, innovation, and technology trends in the communications ecosystem for the purpose of establishing a living document with a clear set of recommendations. Other working groups will develop standards, organize events and conferences such as the IEEE 5G Summits and IEEE 5G World Forum to convene professionals working on 5G, establish educational materials, conduct 5G training, and contribute to publications such as magazines and journals.

The co-chairs of the IEEE 5G Initiative are Ashutosh Dutta and Gerhard Fettweis. In the private sector, Dutta serves as Lead Member of Technical Staff at AT&T. Fettweis serves as Senior Research Scientist at the International Computer Science Institute and as Vodafone Chair Professor at TU Dresden. Both Dutta and Fettweis serve on the IEEE Communications Society’s Board of Governors and Dutta also serves as ComSoc’s Industry Outreach Director.

“5G is not only evolutionary, providing higher bandwidth and lower latency than current-generation technology; more importantly, 5G is revolutionary, in that it is expected to enable fundamentally new applications with much more stringent requirements in latency and bandwidth," said Dutta. “5G should help solve the last-mile/last-kilometer problem and provide broadband access to the next billion users on earth at much lower cost because of its use of new spectrum and its improvements in spectral efficiency.”

https://www.facebook.com/ieee5g/

Ixia Ships First 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Test Solution to Carrier

Ixia announced the first shipment of a 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) test solution to a major, worldwide carrier.

“Ixia continues to lead the market in developing validation solutions and our list of firsts continues to grow,” said Dennis Cox, Chief Product Officer at Ixia. “Over the past 15 years, Ixia has been first to develop test systems supporting 10GbE, 100GbE, 40GbE, 25GbE, and 50 GbE, and now 400 GbE.”

Ixia noted that it was the first vendor to successfully and publicly demonstrate leading edge, IEEE802.3bs draft compliant 400GbE technology at several industry events in 2016. These demonstrations, held in Japan and Germany, confirmed that 400GbE technology, including key elements such as field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) running Ixia intellectual property, CFP8 connectors, and optics, are available and ready to build the next generation of high speed networking products.

http://www.ixiacom.com

NeoPhotonics to Sell Low Speed Transceiver Business to APAT Optoelectronics

NeoPhotonics will sell its Access and Low Speed transceiver product lines to APAT Optoelectronics Components Co., of Shenzhen, China. The transaction is valued at approximately $26.4 million, inclusive of post-closing payments under a Transition Services Agreement.

In 2015, and for the first 9 months of 2016, the Low Speed Business generated $92.8 million and $50.7 million in revenue, respectively, and gross profit of $16.7 million and $9.7 million, respectively. Net assets for the business were approximately $18.0 million as of September 30, 2016.

Commenting on the transaction, Tim Jenks, NeoPhotonics Chief Executive Officer, stated, “After a comprehensive evaluation of the alternatives available for the Low Speed Business, we believe this transaction will best benefit our shareholders, customers, and employees. This transaction underscores our objective to focus our efforts on growing high speed optical networking products and solutions based on our advanced hybrid photonic integration technology platform to meet customer demand.” Jenks continued, “We believe the Low Speed Business will benefit from APAT OE's expertise in Access and PON products while continuing to provide quality products, support and services to customers.”

http://www.neophotonics.com

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Perspectives 2017: Financial Agility for Digital Transformation

by Andrew Blacklock, Senior Director, Strategy and Products, Cisco Capital

Ten years ago, companies like Uber and Airbnb were ideas waiting for technology to catch up. Now, these two brands represent a shift in the global economy in what’s known as digital transformation. This evolution towards digital-everything is constantly accelerating, leaving non-digital companies scrambling for a means to kickstart their digitization projects.

According to Gartner, there are 125,000 enterprises in the U.S. alone that are currently launching digital transformation projects. These companies are of all sizes, from nimble startups to global conglomerates. Despite the strong drive to a digital future, 40% of businesses will be unsuccessful in their digital transformation, according to Cisco’s Digital Vortex study.

Many attribute the difficulties associated with the digital transition to the significant costs of restructuring an organization’s technological backbone. Because of these challenges, many companies opt for an agile approach to financial restructuring.

Financial agility allows companies to evolve and meet the rapidly changing demands of digital business through liquid, scalable options that won’t break the bank. While it is not always possible to predict changes in the business environment, agile financing allows companies to acquire the proper technology and tools necessary to plan, work and expand their businesses.

Financial agility isn’t just another buzzword – it’s a characteristic that organizations of all sizes in all industries need to champion in order to drive efficiencies and competitive advantages. It’s a way that companies can acquire the technologies needed to shift their business without having to “go all in.” This allows companies to avoid large up-front capital investment, help with cash flow by spreading costs over time and preserve existing sources of capital to allocate to other areas of the transformation.

Organizations now need to decide how they can best adjust to the transformation and transition for the next stage of digital business. With financial options that enable organizations to acquire technology and scale quickly, companies can pivot with agility to meet the constantly-evolving demands of our digital age.

Looking at the bigger picture, financial agility is a crucial piece of an organization’s overall digital transformation puzzle. While the digital landscape might be constantly changing, flexible financing helps set an organization up for a successful transformation to the future of digital business.

About the Author

Andrew Blacklock is Senior Director, Strategy and Financial Product Development at Cisco Capital. As director of strategy & business operations, Andrew is responsible for strategy, program management and business operations. He has been with Cisco Capital for 17 years with more than 20 years of experience in captive financing. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

SUPERNAP Opens in Milano

SUPERNAP International officially opened "the largest, most advanced data center in Southern Europe." The new facility is built to the specifications of the company's flagship, Tier IV Gold-rated Switch LAS VEGAS multi-tenant/colocation data center.

The SUPERNAP ITALIA data center in Milano will include:

42,000 square meters of data center space with four data halls
40 mega volt amps of power distributed through two 132 kilovolt transmission paths
Proprietary tri-redundant UPS power system
Up to 40 kilowatts of power per cabinet
200 multi-carrier fiber couples with separate paths
Patented Switch SHIELD: dual independent roof decks rated to withstand 322 kph winds
24/7 on-site network operations center (NOC), fire, safety and security
On-site, on-net member resources including conference spaces

The company said 500 cabinets and more than 3.3 megawatts of power have already been sold.

"The lightning fast growth of the data that is running our planet has driven the demand from our clients who are global, industry-leading companies to be operating inside the most advanced, innovative and sustainable data center environment," according to SUPERNAP ITALIA Managing Director Luca Beltramino, a data center industry veteran who recently joined to lead the Italian operation. "They want their worldwide technology operations in the SUPERNAP International data centers."

Telia Carrier, the operator of one of the world's largest fiber-optic networks chose SUPERNAP ITALIA's data center in Milano as a key location for its expansion in Southern Europe. "Telia Carrier is expanding into the SUPERNAP ITALIA data center for many reasons, including its high standards of data center security, availability and scalability, in addition to its carrier-neutrality and key geographical position," said Davide Binaghi, managing director of Telia Carrier Italy.

http://www.supernap.com

Google Joins Cloud Foundry

The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is now part of Cloud Foundry.

Google noted that it has been very active this year with the Cloud Foundry community, including the delivery of the BOSH Google CPI release, enabling the deployment of Cloud Foundry on GCP, and the recent release of the Open Service Broker API. The efforts have led to custom service brokers for eight of GCP services:

  • Google BigQuery
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Google Cloud SQL
  • Google Cloud Pub/Sub
  • Google Cloud Vision API
  • Google Cloud Speech API
  • Google Cloud Natural Language API
  • Google Translation API


https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/

DOCOMO Partners with China's CAICT on 5G

NTT DOCOMO and the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT) agreed to jointly investigate the standardization of 5G technologies and available frequency bands.

CAICT, a national research organization directly under the Provincial Government of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, is in charge of policies and standardization strategies on information and communication in China.

Under the MOU, DOCOMO will participate in the 5G Trial launched by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group to verify 5G technologies and systems. The group is driving research and development to help standardize 5G technologies in China as quickly as possible. During the trial, DOCOMO and CAICT will also study a possible frequency bands for 5G networks.

https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/info/media_center/pr/2016/1215_00.html

Violin Memory Enters Chapter 11, Seeks Auction in January

Violin Memory, which offers flash memory arrays, filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.  The company said its will streamline its operations and balance sheet, while simultaneously pursuing a sale of its business. The company is seeking to hold an auction in early January for the business.

Violin Memory, founded in 2005, said its assets include annual recurring service revenue, a portfolio of 58 US Patents/24 pending, a single O/S for public, private and hybrid cloud environments, integrated hardware and software solutions, and a customer base that includes some of the largest enterprises in the world.

Kevin A. DeNuccio, Violin Memory's President and CEO stated: "We are taking this action, which should conclude by the end of January 2017, to bolster Violin's ability to serve the needs of its customers. Violin intends to continue to sell solutions to customers and prospects as well as service and

http://www.violin-memory.com

Rob Sherwood leaves Big Switch for Facebook

Rob Sherwood is leaving Big Switch Networks to take up a research role at Facebook. Sherwood currently serves as Chief Technology Officer of Big Switch.


http://www.bigswitch.com/blog/2016/12/16/and-now-for-something-completely-different

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Perspectives 2017: Today’s Internet of Things Reality

And an analysis of the why and how of developing an IoT strategy

by Patrick Hubbard, Head Geek, SolarWinds

The Internet of Things (IoT) has been a buzzword for quite a while now. For many, it conjures up images of smart thermostats, home security systems, app-powered office coffeemakers, and even internet-connected crockpots. Consumer IoT devices such as these, often referred to as internet-connected appliances, are certainly experiencing exponential growth, but the growth of business or industrial IoT is even more astounding: Gartner estimates that there will 21 billion endpoints in use by 2020, resulting in massive potential for data generation in 2020.

The Challenges of IoT

Enterprise and industrial IoT devices themselves can be very helpful in determining such things as soil moisture in smart agriculture, improving asset tracking in the shipping industry, and determining temperature and utilization in a manufacturing facility. However, the sheer volume of these devices presents an issue when they are added to a network without a strategy, much like BYOD when it first came about.

But unlike with phones, tablets, or laptops, a majority of IT professionals managing networks with IoT-connected devices aren’t conducting software updates on the devices; instead, the primary focus has been on how these appliances can be used in novel ways, with the risks of their unmonitored internet connectivity falling by the wayside. This common oversight and its consequences were illustrated via the recent Dyn DDoS attack—many of the devices used in the attack were connected to corporate networks and improperly monitored. In consequence, we need to stop thinking about IoT as “BYOD on steroids.” Instead, we need very different and customized strategies because IoT has the power to disrupt operations in a dangerous way.

Thus, it’s clear that IoT devices are changing networks and our ability to monitor and manage them. With that in mind, it’s important to note IoT device class (0, 1, or 2). This refers to the variety of ways the network is affected by IoT devices. Class 0 devices are light, use low power and aren’t truly IoT devices that require dramatic shifts in the way we monitor and manage our networks

Monitoring and management of classes 1 and 2 are a different story, though. Managing class 1 and 2 IoT devices comes down to managing access properties on the routers and switches that allow devices to get to the internet. Monitoring these devices is more application traffic-specific, calling for Netflow or quality-of-service (QoS) in order to see what the devices are doing because they won’t typically allow for SNMP or provide a management interface to determine performance. This factor makes security information and event management (SIEM) and important consideration as well—you need to be able to detect that a network device is conducting a port scan or file share logons, for example.

In terms of capacity planning, if you believe the estimation of billions of devices in use by 2020, then we will undoubtedly overwhelm our networks in ways we can’t even imagine right now. If subnetting is a problem now, with the typical and somewhat manageable systems, then the order of magnitude brought on by IoT devices would likely force companies into IPv6, which they may not be ready for. They will cause transience with IP addresses and difficulty understanding what the bandwidth is of any given device—different devices have different behaviors, and they all communicate with different servers. Some will be well-optimized for this, and some won’t be. The retail industry, as an example, uses immense hyper-personalization based on IoT, so network capacity and utilization is of utmost importance. In order to avoid latency or downtime, they will need to undertake tremendous network capacity planning and utilization, or risk their reputation and customer experience.

The Benefits of an IoT Strategy

Although it may seem like the industry is moving at too rapid of a pace for you to slow down and implement and test an effective IoT strategy, it’s imperative to do so; the fact that there are a multitude of adoptable standards in existence already may help.

The first and perhaps most obvious benefit of implementing an IoT strategy is the reduced risk of data breach. Without knowledge of possible vulnerabilities, your organization may be open to security compromises in ways that could be harmful to your business and appear to come out of left field, although they could have been left unnoticed for a long period of time. A recent yet admittedly simple poll of IT professionals showed that while some organizations still don’t manage any IoT devices (or none that IT knows about), some, even in regulated industries such as healthcare, manage thousands of devices without following specific protocol.

The second benefit is financial: organizations can anticipate extra costs by conducting capacity planning and network management before IoT devices are put on a network. Additionally, organizations will be more likely to obtain what they set out to in the first place: bottom line savings advantages gained by implementing innovative IoT devices; for example, in HVAC efficiency, physical security, short lead manufacturing efficiency, and production rate optimization in the supply chain. Companies who are using IoT in truly transformative ways within the framework of formulated strategies for their customers will be the first out of the gate to experience unprecedented benefits.

Getting Started On an IoT Strategy

As a first step to gaining knowledge and control over IoT, you should take inventory of what you already have happening from an IoT device perspective within your environment. Without this baseline knowledge, there’s no way to move ahead with any kind of semblance of a strategy.

Next, you need to come to the table with business executives and discuss what they intend to do with IoT devices. Seek to understand how many devices there may be and what type.

Once there’s collective agreement about how many IoT devices will be in your environment, it’s up to you to formulate a security policy, outlining what’s acceptable in terms of risk. This is also dependent on your industry—retail versus financial services versus healthcare, for example. You may need to consider PCI, HIPAA and other compliance issues. The security policy will also drive reconsideration of network and security segmentation.

When having these conversations with business leaders, it’s also a time to calculate business risk and put a hard, defensible number behind the financial hit to the business in the event of a serious security breach as a result of IoT. Once you are able to calculate financial damage estimations, then it becomes easier to have discussions with management about security, network security, configuration, performance and quality of experience (QoE) monitoring needs.

In addition to aligning with the business on security policies and business risks, this is also the time to consider what to do with the huge amounts of data the devices will generate. And because so many organizations are moving towards hybrid IT, you may need to consider how both on-premises and cloud data will be managed from a services, applications, and storage perspective, in order to best manipulate the data to improve marketing, service delivery, or increase yield in a factory setting.

Conclusion

IoT should be an active concern for you. If you’re not already, you will soon be asked to manage more and more network-connected devices, resulting in security issues and a monumental challenge in storing, managing and analyzing mountains of data. The risk is that without a proper strategy to do so, you’ll be tackling all this on an ad hoc basis on an ad hoc basis. Instead, stop what you’re doing and start developing your IoT strategy. Begin by surveying your network today to get a baseline, then come to the table with your organization’s IoT stakeholders to determine why they need IoT and how they plan to use the devices, discuss the security implications and define a security policy, and decide what to do with all the data the devices will generate. Doing this, ahead of time if still possible, will help you ensure that your organization doesn’t become an IoT victim, but an IoT victor.

About the Author

Patrick Hubbard is a head geek and senior technical product marketing manager at SolarWinds. With 20 years of technical expertise and IT customer perspective, his networking management experience includes work with campus, data center, storage networks, VoIP and virtualization, with a focus on application and service delivery in both Fortune 500 companies and startups in high tech, transportation, financial services and telecom industries.

About SolarWinds

SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) provides powerful and affordable hybrid IT infrastructure management software to customers worldwide from Fortune 500® enterprises to small businesses, government agencies and educational institutions. We are committed to focusing exclusively on IT Pros, and strive to eliminate the complexity that they have been forced to accept from traditional enterprise software vendors. Regardless of where the IT asset or user sits, SolarWinds delivers products that are easy to find, buy, use, maintain and scale while providing the power to address all key areas of the infrastructure from on premises to the cloud. Our solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base, which interacts in our thwack online community to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly participate in our product development process. 


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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to Step Down

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will step down on January 20, 2017.

“Serving as F.C.C. Chairman during this period of historic technological change has been the greatest honor of my professional life. I am deeply grateful to the President for giving me this opportunity. I am especially thankful to the talented Commission staff for their service and sacrifice during my tenure. Their achievements have contributed to a thriving communications sector, where robust investment and world-leading innovation continue to drive our economy and meaningful improvements in the lives of the American people. It has been a privilege to work with my fellow Commissioners to help protect consumers, strengthen public safety and cybersecurity, and ensure fast, fair and open networks for all Americans.”

http://www.fcc.gov

  • Tom Wheeler previously served as Managing Director of Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. Earlier in his career, he served as President of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1984, and later as CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) until 2004.

FCC Chairman Calls for New Net Neutrality Rules



FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced plans to introduce new Net Neutrality rules saying his intent is to "preserved the Internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace." The announcement comes a month after the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the FCC overstepped its boundaries in setting Net Neutrality rules that compel broadband providers to...





FCC Eyes Residential Fiber Build-out as Condition for AT&T/DirecTV Deal


FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated a draft recommendation to his fellow FCC commissioners recommending that the AT&T/DirecTV transaction be approved with conditions concerning future fiber rollouts by AT&T. Namely, Wheeler would like 12.5 million customer locations to have access to a competitive high-speed fiber connection -- an additional build-out that is about 10 times the size of AT&T’s current fiber-to-the-premise deployment....

FCC Chairman Seeks to Extend Title II Authority to Wireless Too


FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed that he circulating a proposal this week with his fellow commissioners that would  implement and enforce open Internet protections using Title II authority.  In a column published by Wired.com, Wheeler describes his proposal as "the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the FCC." Specifically, Wheeler seeks enforceable, bright-line rules to ban paid prioritization, and the blocking and...

Bell Canada Evaluates AT&T’s Open Source ECOMP

Bell Canada is currently testing AT&T’s ECOMP platform to create and manage software-defined networks.

ECOMP, which stands for Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy, is the software platform AT&T created to power its new network. ECOMP lets service providers quickly add features and drive down operations costs.

AT&T has committed to release its ECOMP platform as open source software in conjunction with the Linux Foundation in the first quarter of 2017.

“ECOMP represents a significant investment in the software-centric networks of the future.  We have committed to taking this investment into open source through the Linux Foundation,” said Chris Rice, senior vice president – AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design. “We welcome Bell Canada’s collaboration in driving a new network approach that is faster, more efficient and ultimately more responsive to customer needs.”

“Bell Canada is committed to leading broadband network and service innovation in Canada. We believe software-defined networks will advance the future of both wireless and wireline connectivity by adapting to customer needs quickly, and enabling a seamless user experience,” said Petri Lyytikainen, Bell’s vice president, Network Strategy, Services and Management. “We are pleased to collaborate with AT&T and other leading communications companies to evaluate the promising capabilities of the open-source ECOMP platform.”
 
“It’s exciting to see the communications industry coalescing around ECOMP,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation. “ECOMP is the most comprehensive and complete architecture for VNF/SDN automation we have seen. AT&T has had this platform in production for over 2 years now. This technology is unique in that it’s both disruptive and battle-tested. We can’t wait to host it at the Linux Foundation and open it up to the broader developer community.”

http://www.att.com


  • In September, Orange agreed to test the platform for creating and managing its own software-defined network. Orange is the first telecom company to join AT&T’s ECOMP effort. The carriers have agreed to collaborate on open source and standardization initiatives to accelerate the standardization of SDN and NFV.

Nokia to acquire Deepfield for Big Data Analytics

Nokia agreed to acquire Deepfield, a start-up specializing in in real-time analytics for IP network performance management and security.

Deepfield, which  was founded in 2011 and is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, developed an analytics platform that identifies over 30 000 popular cloud applications and services.  Its Internet Genome tracks how traffic runs to and through networks to reach subscribers, in real time, and without the need for probes, taps and monitors in the network itself.

Nokia said it plans couple Deepfield big data analytics with the dynamic control capabilities of open SDN platforms, such as the Nokia Network Services Platform (NSP) and Nuage Networks Virtualized Services Platform (VSP). Together, these products become the cognitive "brain" that makes real-time, automated changes to wide area networks (WANs) and datacenter networks so they can quickly adapt to changes in application demand, flow and traffic patterns. This will allow Nokia customers to drive greater network efficiency, help assure quality and enhance security - without manual intervention, and in real-time.

Nokia's service assurance and customer experience management portfolios would also leverage Deepfield's big data analytics, including per subscriber application performance, to automate actions that ensure ongoing service health and customer satisfaction.

Basil Alwan, president of Nokia's IP/Optical Networks business group, said: "We are impressed with Deepfield's unique approach to network analytics and their deployments with major providers around the globe, delivering critical visibility into how leading cloud applications and services flow through their networks. Combining Deepfield's cutting-edge analytics with Software Defined Networking techniques (SDN) will allow our customers to automate engineering and assurance processes while enhancing performance, utilization and security. We believe this capability will only increase in importance as networks and applications become more complex, diverse and dynamic."

Craig Labovitz, founder and CEO of Deepfield, said: "We are very pleased to join Nokia, a like-minded global leader in IP networking with shared values in network innovation. I look forward to leveraging the strength of Nokia's world-class customer, sales and support footprint to take our Deepfield technology worldwide. This will also give us a solid foundation from which to accelerate the creation of new value - both in the Deepfield portfolio, and in joint areas such as telemetry and automation."

http://www.nokia.com

See also