Thursday, June 30, 2016

Blueprint: LSO Hackathons Bring Open Standards, Open Source

Open standards and open source projects are both essential ingredients for advancing the cause of interoperable next-generation carrier networks.

When a standards developing organization (SDO), like MEF, creates standards, those written documents themselves aren’t the end goal. Sure, the specifications look good on paper, but it takes a lot of work to turn those words and diagrams into hardware, software and services. And if there are any ambiguities in those specifications, or misinterpretations by vendors building out their products and services, interoperability could be problematic at best.

By contrast, when an open-source project is formed, the team’s job is obvious: to create software and solutions. All too often, the members of the project are focused on reaching a particularly objective. In those cases they are working in a vacuum, and might write code that works great but which can’t be abstracted to solve a more general problem. In those cases, interoperability may also be a huge issue.

The answer is clear: bring together SDOs and open-source teams to write open-source code that’s aligned with open specifications. That’s what is happening at the LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Hackathons hosted by MEF: open source teams come together to work on evolving specifications, and the end result is not only solid code but also effective feedback to MEF about its specs and architecture. Another benefit: networking experts from across the communications industry work together with software developers from the IT world face-to-face, fostering mutual understanding of the constraints of their peers in ways that lead to more effective interaction in their day jobs.


MEF recently completed its Euro16 LSO Hackathon held in Rome, Italy during April 27-29, 2016. This followed the debut LSO Hackathon at MEF’s GEN15 conference in Dallas in November 2015. (See “The MEF LSO Hackathon: Building Community, Swatting Bugs, Writing Code,” published in Telecom Ramblings.)

“The Euro16 LSO Hackathon built on what we started in the first Hackathon at GEN15,” said Daniel Bar-Lev, Director of Certification and Strategic Programs, MEF and one of the architects of the LSO Hackathon series.

One big change: not everything had to be physically present in Rome, which expanded both the technology platform and the pool of participants. “We enabled work to be done remotely, said Bar-Lev. “While most of our participants were in Rome, we had people engaged from all over the United States. We also didn’t need to bring the networking equipment to Rome. Most of it remained installed and configured in the San Francisco Bay area. Instead of shipping racks of equipment, we set up remote access and were able to position the hardware and software in the optimal places to get development done.”

Lifecycle Service Orchestration and the Third Network Vision

Why “Lifecycle Service Orchestration” for the MEF-hosted LSO Hackathons? Bar-Lev explained that it ties into MEF’s broad vision for Third Network services that combine the ubiquity and flexibility of the public Internet with the quality and assurance of private connectivity services such as CE 2.0.

 “When we think of traditional CE 2.0 services, we tend to think of them as “static” — often taking weeks or months to provision or change a service,” said Bar-Lev. “With the Third Network vision, we are driving specifications for services like CE 2.0 that can be created and modified in minutes instead of months and also be orchestrated over multiple provider networks.”

As Bar-Lev explained, the real work of MEF today is to formally define Third Network services and all the related services required to implement flexible inter-network communications. “End-to-end LSO is essential for that,” he continued, “along with SDN and NFV.”

That’s where open standards and open source projects converge, with MEF initiatives like OpenLSO (Open Lifecycle Service Orchestration) and OpenCS (Open Connectivity Services). “It’s all about creating and trying out building blocks, so we can give service providers reference designs from which they can develop their offerings more quickly. They don’t have to define those services themselves from scratch; rather they can access them at MEF, which gives them a valuable and time-saving starting point,” Bar-Lev said.

Indeed, the OpenLSO and OpenCS projects describe a wide range of L1-L7 services that service providers need in order to implement Third Network services. MEF is defining these services, and developers work on evolving elements of the reference designs during LSO Hackathons.

A Broad Array of Projects and Participants at Euro16 LSO Hackathon

According to MEF, the OpenLSO scenarios worked upon at Euro16 LSO Hackathon were OpenLSO Inter-Carrier Ordering and OpenLSO Service Function Chaining. The OpenCS use cases were OpenCS Packet WAN and OpenCS Data Center. The primary objectives of the Euro16 LSO Hackathon included:

        Accelerate the development of comprehensive OpenLSO scenarios and OpenCS use cases as part of MEF's Open Initiative for the benefit of the open source communities and the industry as a whole.

        Provide feedback to ongoing MEF projects in support of MEF's Agile Standards Development approach to specification development.

        Facilitate discussion, collaboration, and the development of ideas, sample code, and solutions that can be used for the benefit of service providers and technology providers.

        Encourage interdepartmental collaboration and communications within MEF member companies, especially between BSS/OSS/service orchestration professionals and networking service/infrastructure professionals

Strong Industry Participation at Euro16

Around 45 people participated in the Euro16 LSO Hackathon – the majority in Rome and the remainder being the AT&T Remote Team in Plano, Texas as well as other participants attending remotely from other parts of the United States.

“We brought people together with widely divergent backgrounds,” said MEF’s Bar-Lev. “We had software developers with no networking expertise, and network experts with no software skills. The core group worked in the same room in Rome for three days, with additional folks working independently and syncing up with the Rome teams when appropriate.”

The Euro16 LSO Hackathon included participants from Amartus, Amdocs, AT&T, CableLabs, CenturyLink, Ciena, Cisco, Edge Core Networks, Ericsson, Gigaspaces, HPE, Huawei, Infinera, Iometrix, Microsemi, NEC, Netcracker, NTT, ON.Lab, Telecom Italia Sparkle and ZTE. The whole process was managed by Bar-Lev and Charles Eckel, Open Source Developer Evangelist at Cisco DevNet.

“What is most important about the LSO Hackathon is that it takes the specifications that are being defined and transforms them into code”, said Eckel. “It moves that process forward dramatically. The way standards have traditionally been done is a very long process in which people spend months and sometimes years getting the details of documents figured out, and then it can turn out that the specification is almost non-implementable. With the LSO Hackathon we create code based on early versions of the specifications. This helps the process move forward because we identify what’s wrong, what’s missing, and what’s unclear, then we update the specs accordingly. This is an important reason for doing the LSO Hackathon.”

Eckels continued, “Equally important is the positive impact on the participating open source projects and open source communities. Usability issues and gaps in functionality are identified and addressed. The code implemented during the Hackathon is contributed back upstream, making those projects better suited to address the requirements mapped out by the specifications.”

Dawn Kaplan, Solution Architect, Ericsson, added: “The Euro16 LSO Hackathon aimed to solve a very crucial inter-carrier business problem that will change our industry when solved.  The ordering project in the LSO Hackathon is focused on implementing the inter-carrier ordering process between service providers. At the Hackathon we built upon the defined use case, information model, and a sample API to enable service providers to order from one another in a completely automated fashion. With the code and practices developed at the Euro16 LSO Hackathon we will come much closer to tackling this very real issue.”

“We are a new participant in the LSO Hackathon and find this initiative very important on a community level,” explained Shay Naeh, Solution Architect for NFV/SDN Projects at Cloudify by GigaSpaces. “Through the Euro16 LSO Hackathon, we are learning how to contribute our own  open source code solutions and combine them alongside closed source solutions to make the whole ecosystem work. Open source is very important to us,  and we are excited to see telcos coming around to the open source model as well. By having a close relationship with open source communities, the telcos influence those projects to take into account their operational requirements while reducing the chances of being locked into relationships with specific technology providers. You can mix and match vendor components and avoid having a vertical or silo solution. What is very important to telcos is to introduce new business services with a click of a button and this is definitely achievable.”

MEF Euro16 LSO Hackathon Report

MEF has published a new report spotlighting recent advances in development of LSO capabilities and APIs that are key to enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services over multiple provider networks. The report describes objectives, achievements, and recommendations from multiple teams of professionals who participated in the Euro16 LSO Hackathon.

Coming Next:  MEF16 LSO Hackathon, November 2016

The next MEF LSO Hackathon will be at upcoming MEF16 global networking conference, in Baltimore, November 7-10, 2016. The work will support Third Network service projects that are built upon key OpenLSO scenarios and OpenCS use cases.

“We will have different teams working on Third Network services,” said MEF’s Bar-Lev. The work will accelerate the delivery of descriptions of how to create Third network services, such as Layer 2 and Layer 3 services. Participants will get hands-on experience and involvement in identifying the different pieces of technology needed to develop those projects."

About the Author
Alan Zeichick is founder, president and principal analyst, Camden Associates. 
Follow Alan on Twitter @zeichick

IDC: Q1 Cloud Infrastructure Spending Grows 3.9% to $6.6 Billion

Sales of infrastructure products (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud IT, including public and private cloud, grew by 3.9% year over year to $6.6 billion in the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16) on slowed demand from the hyperscale public cloud sector, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker.

"A slowdown in hyperscale public cloud infrastructure deployment demand negatively impacted growth in both public cloud and cloud IT overall," said Kuba Stolarski, research director for Computing Platforms at IDC. "Private cloud deployment growth also slowed, as 2016 began with difficult comparisons to 1Q15, when server and storage refresh drove a high level of spend and high growth. As the system refresh has mostly ended, this will continue to push private cloud and, more generally, enterprise IT growth downwards in the near term. Hyperscale demand should return to higher deployment levels later this year, bolstered by service providers who have announced new datacenter builds expected to go online this year. As the market continues to work through this short term adjustment period, with geopolitical wild cards such as Brexit looming, end-customers' decisions about where and how to deploy IT resources may be impacted. If new data sovereignty concerns arise, service providers will experience added pressure to increase local datacenter presence, or face potential loss of certain customers' workloads."

Some highlights:

  • Total cloud IT infrastructure revenues climbed to a 32.3% share of overall IT revenues in 1Q16, up from 30.2% a year ago. 
  • Revenue from infrastructure sales to private cloud grew by 6.8% to $2.8 billion, and to public cloud by 1.9% to $3.9 billion. In comparison, revenue in the traditional (non-cloud) IT infrastructure segment decreased by 6.0% year over year in the first quarter, with declines in both storage and servers, and growth in Ethernet switch. 
  • Ethernet switch also showed strong year-on-year growth in both private and public cloud, 53.7% and 69.4%, respectively. 
  • Storage grew 11.5% year over year in private cloud, but declined 29.6% in public cloud. Conversely, server declined 1.1% in private cloud and grew 8.7% in public cloud.
  • From a regional perspective, vendor revenue from cloud IT infrastructure sales grew fastest in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) at 25.9% year over year in 1Q16, followed by Western Europe at 20.6%, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) at 18.5%, Japan at 17.7%, and Canada at 9.5%. Latin America declined 21.2% year over year, while the United States declined 4.1% and Central & Eastern Europe fell just 0.1%.


http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS41567916

Faster Wi-Fi Wave 2 Approaches

The Wi-Fi Alliance is expanding its certification program to include "wave 2" features, including:

MU-MIMO: Networks with MU-MIMO are capable of multitasking by sending data to multiple devices at once rather than one-at-a-time, improving overall network efficiency and throughput
160 MHz channels: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac increases the maximum channel bandwidth from 80 MHz channels to 160 MHz channels, potentially doubling transmission speeds
Four spatial streams: Device speeds are proportional to the number of spatial streams. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac now includes support for four spatial streams, up from three spatial streams.
Extended 5 GHz channel support: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac encourages device support for a greater number of available channels in 5 GHz. Support for additional channels makes more efficient use of available spectrum and reduces interference and congestion by minimizing the number of networks operating on overlapping channels.

“In today’s world, people have more Wi-Fi devices per person and per household, and those devices require significantly more bandwidth,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi Alliance updated the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac program to meet increasing user demands and to stay ahead of emerging applications, while preserving interoperability.”

The first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac products to support new features and which comprise the test bed for interoperability certification are:

  • Broadcom BCM94709R4366AC
  • Marvell Avastar 88W8964
  • MediaTek MT7615 AP Reference Design and MT6632 STA Reference Design
  • Qualcomm IPQ8065 802.11ac 4-stream Dual-band, Dual-concurrent Router
  • Quantenna QSR1000 4x4 802.11ac Wave 2 Chipset Family


http://www.wi-ficertifiedac.com

Xirrus Announces Cloud-Managed Wave 2 Portfolio

Xirrus announced new four-and eight-radio high density 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points (APs), which the company says can deliver up to eight times the Wave 2 capacity per AP compared to competitive solutions.

The new four radio XD4 and eight radio XR high density Wave 2 solutions were built specifically for enterprises, educational institutions and large public venues face. Key features:

  • Full spectrum of Wave 2 Wi-Fi features on four and eight Wave 2 radios per AP, each capable of up to 3.47 Gbps (3x faster than Wave 1) and four-stream multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) compared to three-stream MU-MIMO supported by other solutions
  • Enables migration to Wave 2 over time by working with existing and new Wi-Fi clients
  • Provides software-defined radios that empower one-click upgrades for migration to a 100 percent Wave 2 network at the most appropriate time
  • Cloud-based or on-premise Xirrus Management System (XMS) offer zero-touch software provisioning and EasyPass access control
  • Four and eight radio Xirrus high density APs reduce the quantity of APs required to deliver needed capacity. Integrated controllers in each AP eliminate cost and complexity that centralized controllers associated with competitive APs and significantly reduce overall network equipment and deployment cost. 


“Xirrus offers the fastest Wi-Fi on the planet with the broadest and most flexible portfolio of Wave 2 products available on the market,” said Bruce Miller, VP of product marketing, Xirrus. “Many Wi-Fi vendors offer Wave 2, but none offer the full spectrum of features and speed available with the latest standard. Xirrus Wave 2 solutions provide the greatest flexibility, density and adaptivity at the lowest cost in the industry.  

https://www.xirrus.com/wave2/

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Transpacific FASTER Cable Enters Service with 60 Tbps Capacity

The world's highest capacity undersea cable system has entered commercial service -- six fiber pairs capable of delivering 60 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth across the Pacific.

FASTER is a 9,000km trans-Pacific cable connecting Oregon and two landing sites in Japan (Chiba and Mie prefectures). The system has extended connections to major hubs on the West Coast of the U.S. covering Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland and Seattle. The design features extremely low-loss fiber, without a dispersion compensation section, and the latest digital signal processing technology.

Google will have sole access to a dedicated fiber pair. This enables Google to carry 10 Tbps of traffic (100 wavelengths at 100 Gbps). In addition to greater capacity, the FASTER Cable System brings much needed diversity to East Asia, writes Alan Chin-Lun Cheung, Google Submarine Networking Infrastructure.

"From the very beginning of the project, we repeatedly said to each other, 'faster, Faster and FASTER,' and at one point it became the project name, and today it becomes a reality. This is the outcome of six members' collaborative contribution and expertise together with NEC's support," said Hiromitsu Todokoro, Chairman of the FASTER Management Committee.

"This was the first trans-Pacific submarine cable built solely by NEC Corporation, employing the latest 100Gbps digital coherent optical transmission technology. We are honored that the consortium entrusted us to build FASTER. Although we faced many challenges during the construction, I am truly glad that we were able to overcome these and to welcome this day," said Kenichi Yoneyama, Project Manager for FASTER at NEC's Submarine Network Division. "This epoch-making cable will not only bring benefits to the United States and Japan, but to the entire Asia-Pacific region."

Construction of the system was announced in August 2014 by the FASTER consortium, consisting of China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and Singtel.

http://www.nec.com
https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/2016/06/Google-Cloud-customers-run-at-the-speed-of-light-with-new-FASTER-undersea-pipe.html


  • Google previously invested in the 7.68 Tbps Pacific Unity cable system, which came online in 2010.

Video: The Increasing Impact of Cloud Providers in Submarine Cables

What impact are big cloud companies such as AWS, Facebook, Google and Microsoft having on the market for submarine cable capacity?

The big content providers are having a positive impact on the submarine cable market, says Julian Rawles, Principal at Julian Rawles Consulting, particularly with the development and financing of new cable projects. Traditional carriers, which have long been the main sponsors of undersea cables, are under pressure and frankly do not have the same kind of bandwidth demands as the cloud providers.

See video:
https://youtu.be/xlrnfA8GpYQ


Microsoft and Facebook to Build 160 Tbps Transatlantic Cable

Microsoft and Facebook will jointly fund a new transatlantic cable system linking Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain.

The MAREA cable, which will be managed by Telxius, Telefónica’s new infrastructure company, will feature eight fiber pairs and an initial estimated design capacity of 160 Tbps. The new 6,600 km submarine cable system will take a more southern route than other transatlantic cables, which mostly connect northern Europe to the New York/New Jersey region.

Construction is set to begin in August 2016 with completion targeted for October 2017.

“In order to better serve our customers and provide the type of reliable and low-latency connectivity they deserve, we are continuing to invest in new and innovative ways to continuously upgrade both the Microsoft Cloud and the global Internet infrastructure,” said Frank Rey, director, global network acquisition, Microsoft Corp. “This marks an important new step in building the next generation infrastructure of the Internet.”

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/server-cloud/2016/05/26/microsoft-and-facebook-to-build-subsea-cable-across-atlantic/

  • Microsoft has previously announced investments with Hibernia and Aqua Comms for fiber connectivity from North America to Ireland and on to the United Kingdom.
  • Microsoft is a consortium partner in the New Cross Pacific (NCP) Cable Network.  Other partners include China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, and KT. TE SubCom its the cable supplier.


O3b Beams "Fiber from the Sky" to Amazon

O3b Networks began delivering its "Fiber from the Sky" satellite service to Tefé, a city of 60,000 located in the interior of the Amazon, about 500km from the regional capital of Manaus.

The announcement marks O3b's entrance into the Brazilian market. O3b provides high-performance connectivity to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and government so that they enjoy a link via satellite with fiber optic quality (high throughput and low latency), enabling 3G and 4G/LTE performance. O3b satellites are located only 8,000km from Earth, far closer than traditional geostationary satellites which are 36,000km from Earth.

"Our technology provides the same high quality connectivity for a remote region as a large urban center would have,” said Sandro Barros, General Manager of O3b Networks in Brazil. “We want to bring to Tefé citizens, as well as many other similarly under-connected cities in Brazil, the ability to access the same type of connection found in Rio or São Paulo. Any city that has difficulty being connected with fiber is a potential market for O3b."

By 2018, O3b Networks will add another eight satellites to the 12 which comprise the company’s constellation today.

http://www.o3bnetworks.com/

Nokia Intros Cloud-based Diameter Engine

Nokia introduced a cloud-based Dynamic Diameter Engine (DDE) aimed at simplifying, scaling and securing control plane traffic in mobile and fixed networks.

The platform is the first to incorporate Nokia's Agile Rules Technology (A.R.T.), which is backed by more than 150 patents. It can run on commercial off the shelf hardware but is designed to run in the Telco Cloud. It is integrated with Nokia's CloudBand portfolio that hosts, orchestrates, automates, and manages virtualized network functions and services.

Nokia said its DDE serves as a control plane "traffic cop" with a rules-based engine that reduces operational expenses by allowing operators to quickly create and modify rules.

Bhaskar Gorti, president of the Applications and Analytics Business Group at Nokia: "There are plenty of established signaling control solutions that do the job as required today. However they typically are not built for virtualization and often lack the flexibility needed for the signaling requirements of IoT and VoLTE. In contrast, Nokia DDE was built for the Cloud and is ready to support emerging signaling requirements."

http://company.nokia.com/en/news/press-releases/2016/06/29/nokia-dynamic-diameter-engine-prepares-networks-to-handle-growing-iot-and-volte-signaling-traffic

Windstream Launches Cloud Connect

Windstream introduced its new Cloud Connect service for making it easier for companies to access the cloud and use it as a foundational element of their IT strategy.

Windstream Cloud Connect benefits new and existing Ethernet, MPLS and Wave (optical) customers, by providing mission critical cloud connectivity through highly secure, performance-optimized virtual and dedicated private access to third party public and private cloud providers. Bandwidth options range from 50 Mbps to 10 Gbps.  Connectivity options include switched Ethernet, MPLS, VPN or point-to-point. Initial clouds supported are AWS and Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute.

“More companies are moving mission-critical applications and business processes to the cloud to take advantage of the flexibility and cost savings that cloud infrastructure can provide, but using the public internet for such applications has a number of downsides: poor performance that affects accessibility, iffy security that puts sensitive data at risk, just to name two,” said David Works, president of Enterprise at Windstream. “The solution to that is dedicated cloud connectivity, but in the past, that has only been available to the largest companies with the deepest pockets. Now, Windstream’s Cloud Connect solution makes it possible for a much larger swath of companies to have much more reliable, faster, safer cloud connectivity.”

http://www.windstream.com

Google's Project Zero Discloses Symantec Vulnerabilities

The Project Zero team at Google published details of multiple critical vulnerabilities in all platform editions of Symantec Endpoint Protection.

The report said the "vulnerabilities are as bad as it gets", with the potentila for remote exploits corrupting kernel memory without requiring any user action.

Symantec has responded by publishing a long list of security advisories.

http://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com/2016/06/how-to-compromise-enterprise-endpoint.html

Australia's Vocus to Acquire Nextgen

Vocus Communications agreed to acquire NextGen Group, including its North West Cable system and the planned Australia Singapore Cable.

Vocus Communications, which is headquartered in Sydney, owns a significant fibre network across Australia and New Zealand. Vocus also owns and operates 18 data centers across Australia and New Zealand.

The deal includes Nextgen’s 17,000km national fiber network, the almost‐completed subsea Port Hedland to Darwin cable and the proposed Perth to Singapore subsea cable. The Nextgen Group will continue to own its data center business, Metronode, which operates as a separate entity.

Nextgen Group is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (71%) and CIMIC Group Limited (29%). Both OTPP and CIMIC Group will retain ownership of the Group after the sale.

https://www.nextgengroup.com.au
http://www.vocus.com.au/

Red Hat Insights Now Extends to Containers, OpenStack

Red Hat announced a number of enhancement to its analytics platform, including  risk assessment and remediation planning capabilities for virtualization hosts, containers, and OpenStack-based private clouds.

Red Hat Insights provides highly scalable, prescriptive analytics across users’ hybrid IT infrastructure. It is delivered as a Software-as-a-Service offering and generates tailored remediation steps that can be fully automated. The newest additions and enhancements to Red Hat Insights include:

  • Container workload analysis: Red Hat Insights now offers workload analysis for containers, giving operations the visibility they need to more safely adopt containers.
  • Actionable intelligence for OpenStack private clouds and KVM virtualized environments: Operating at both the infrastructure and guest level, Red Hat Insights now offers real-time, full-stack analysis of OpenStack-based private clouds and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization environments. 
  • Insights Action Planner: This new feature on the Insights Dashboard enables teams to identify and assign remediation tasks individually or in groups. 
  • Insights Early Access mode: A new opt-in modality gives users visibility into upcoming new features, allowing users to test out functionality, give feedback, and help shape the evolution of Red Hat Insights. 

http://www.redhat.com

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

GSMA: Over 2.5 Billion Mobile Subscribers in Asia-Pac

The number of mobile subscribers in the Asia Pacific region reached 2.5 billion at the end of last year and will grow to 3.1 billion by 2020, according to a new GSMA study published at GSMA Mobile World Congress Shanghai.

Some highlights of the report:

  • 62 per cent of the Asia Pacific population was subscribed to a mobile service in 2015 and this is forecast to rise to almost three-quarters of the population by 2020 as a further 600 million new subscribers are added over the period
  • Mobile technologies and services made up 5.4 per cent of Asia Pacific’s GDP last year, equivalent to $1.3 trillion in economic value; this economic contribution is set to increase to $1.7 trillion by 2020.
  • Asia Pacific will account for 60 per cent of the one billion unique mobile subscribers that will be added to the global total by 2020, with the region continuing to add subscribers at a faster rate than the global average. 
  • The four largest markets in the region – China, India, Indonesia and Japan – together accounted for more than three-quarters of the region’s total subscriber base. 
  • India alone is expected to add nearly 250 million new subscribers by 2020 but smaller countries in the region such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar and Pakistan will also make major contributions to subscriber growth.
  • Mobile broadband (3G/4G) accounted for 45 per cent of total mobile connections in Asia Pacific last year, forecast to rise to 70 per cent by 2020 as operators continue to invest in 4G network build-outs and subscribers migrate to higher-speed networks. 
  • 4G is on track to account for more than a third of total connections in Asia Pacific by 2020. 
  • At the end of 2015, the region had 76 live 4G-LTE networks and 20 live VoLTE networks. 
  • The number of smartphone connections in Asia Pacific totaled 1.7 billion at the end of 2015, accounting for 45 per cent of regional connections. 
  • China, India and Indonesia have been the main drivers of smartphone growth, helping the region double its overall smartphone base over the last two years. The region will add a further 1.3 billion smartphone connections by 2020, reaching 3 billion, or two-thirds of the region’s total connections base by that point.
  • The mobile ecosystem in Asia also supported 15 million jobs in 2015. 
  • There were 1.8 billion citizens across Asia Pacific accessing the internet over mobile devices at the end of last year, equivalent to 45 per cent of the region’s population. 
  • A further 800 million people in Asia will connect to the mobile internet by 2020 (63 per cent of expected population). 


“More than half the world’s mobile subscribers are based in Asia Pacific and the region will be the main engine of global subscriber growth for the remainder of the decade,” said Mats Granryd, GSMA Director General. “Rising subscriber penetration, alongside accelerating migration to faster networks and more advanced services, continues to fuel innovation and digitisation across both advanced and emerging markets in this highly diverse region. Mobile is helping Asia build digital societies that allow its citizens to access services, anytime and anywhere – and these mobile-powered digital societies are becoming major drivers of social and economic development.”

http://www.gsma.com/mobileeconomy/asiapacific/

AWS Launches Elastic File System

Amazon Web Services introduced a fully managed service to simplify the process of setting up and scaling file storage in the AWS Cloud.

Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) can be used to create file systems that are accessible to multiple Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instances via the Network File System (NFS) protocol. Amazon EFS can automatically scale without needing to provision storage or throughput, enabling file systems to grow seamlessly to petabyte scale, while supporting thousands of concurrent client connections with consistent performance. Amazon EFS is designed to support a broad range of file workloads – from big data analytics, media processing, and genomics analysis that are massively parallelized and require high levels of throughput, to latency-sensitive use cases such as content management, home directory storage, and web serving.

http://aws.amazon.com/efs

Open-NFP Opens Cloud-based Lab for SDN and NFV Apps

Open-NFP (Open Network Function Processing), an industry group focused on on research and development in datapath offloads and acceleration for SDN and NFV applications, will host a series of webinars focused on P4 programming techniques, applications and usage. The six session series runs from July 13 through September 21, 2016.

Open-NFP also announced the creation of a cloud-based infrastructure for server hardware-accelerated P4-based application development. The infrastructure utilizes the Netronome generally available Integrated development environment (IDE) connected to a pool of servers with Agilio™ intelligent server adapters (ISAs). The IDE supports P4 development tools from the P4 Language Consortium (www.P4.org) and provides extensions for optional C-based programming for sophisticated functions such as stateful processing.

“We are pleased to provide our first summer series of online trainings that focus on the P4 and C programming language, as well as a cloud-based infrastructure that can be of service to researchers offering their own P4 and C-based lectures and labs,” said Dr. Bapi Vinnakota, managing director of Open-NFP. “Our educational series of webinars will feature introductory and advanced levels of P4-based topics such as custom tagging, time stamping, NFV and building a network time server. We look forward to working with the academic, industry and research communities to further enhance their programming education and productivity.”

http://open-nfp.org/

VMware's Yanbing Li on the Future of Software-defined Storage

Big changes are underway in the IT industry, with new architectures being defined for application delivery, new cloud models, and the rise of software-defined everything, says VMware's Yanbing Li, Senior VP and GM of Storage and Availability.


In this video, she talks about software-defined storage, including hyper-converged software.  The future is about the explosive growth of data.



See video: https://youtu.be/j2lFBKV4A4U


Cisco to Acquire Cloudlock for $293 Million

Cisco agreed to acquire CloudLock, a start-up focused on cloud security, for $293 million in cash and assumed equity awards.

CloudLock specializes in cloud access security broker (CASB) technology that provides enterprises with visibility and analytics around user behavior and sensitive data in cloud services, including SaaS, IaaS and PaaS. The company is based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

Cisco said the deal extends its Security Everywhere strategy, designed to provide protection from the cloud to the network to the endpoint.

“As companies are migrating to the cloud, they need a technology partner that can accelerate that transition and deliver critical security capabilities for all their users, apps and data in a seamless way,” said Rob Salvagno, vice president of Cisco Corporate Development. “CloudLock brings a unique cloud-native, platform and API-based approach to cloud security which allows them to build powerful security solutions that are easy to deploy and simple to manage.”

http://www.cloudlock.com
http://www.cisco.com



Cisco to Acquire Sourcefire, Creator of Snort Intrusion Detection


Cisco agreed to acquire Sourcefire (NASDAQ: FIRE) today announced a definitive agreement for Cisco to acquire Sourcefire, a leader in intelligent cybersecurity, for $76 per share in cash, representing an aggregate purchase price of approximately $2.7 billion. Sourcefire, which is based in Columbia, Maryland, was founded in 2001 by Martin Roesch, author of open source Snort, the world’s most widely deployed intrusion detection and prevention technology....

Cisco to acquire OpenDNS for $635 Million


Cisco agreed to acquire OpenDNS, a privately held security company based in San Francisco, for approximately $635 million in cash and assumed equity awards. OpenDNS provides a secure DNS offering with advanced threat protection for "any device, across any port, protocol or app." Its predictive security model is designed to anticipate malicious activity, including botnets and phishing. Its DNSCrypt technology converts regular DNS traffic into encrypted...

Distil Raises $21M for B

Brocade-Viavi Partner on Mobile Analytics

Viavi Solutions and Brocade are rolling out a joint solution that enables mobile operators to capture and analyze subscriber data to quickly resolve quality of experience (QoE) issues.

Viavi’s xSIGHT Targeted Subscriber Search (TSS) leverages the Brocade Packet Broker and Brocade Session Director to filter and deliver targeted subscriber traffic so only the data required to resolve customer experience problems is forwarded to xSIGHT TSS. The joint solution is in production at a U.S. Tier-1 mobile operator.

The companies said this solution also enables mobile operators to open up opportunities for new value-added services.

“As mobile operators chart the course to 5G and re-architect their networks to software-based, virtualized, and open New IP architectures, their visibility and analytics infrastructure needs to follow suit,” said Kevin Shatzkamer, chief technology officer of mobile networking, Brocade. “With solutions from Brocade and Viavi, mobile subscribers can rest assured that networks are monitored, key performance indicators are measured, and service level agreements are provided to meet their growing need for reliable mobile communications. This allows operators to efficiently manage the consumption of Internet and video services as well as Internet of Things and machine-to-machine (M2M) connections.”

xSIGHT is Viavi’s customer experience assurance portfolio including an analytics platform fed by agents distributed throughout the network. The agents passively analyze traffic in real time, build network and application performance metrics and selectively store traffic for troubleshooting purposes. xSIGHT TSS is an agent which can be programmed to capture all control and user plane data for targeted subscribers defined by the service provider.

The Brocade Packet Broker helps to scale the capacity of the xSIGHT solution to thousands of dynamically targeted subscribers per TSS, with programmability of all dynamic rules and filters with less than 1 ms latency, a critical requirement for today’s mobile provider networks.

http://www.viavisolutions.com
http://www.brocade.com

SanDisk Pops 256GB MicroSD Cards

SanDisk introduced two 256 gigabyte (GB) microSD cards -- a high-performance 256GB SanDisk Extreme microSDXC UHS-I card – the fastest microSD card in its class, and the 256GB SanDisk Ultra microSDXC UHS-I card, Premium Edition, for mainstream consumers.

“Our microSD cards are now at the center of many consumer devices, and we’re excited to not only raise the bar with the launch of the world’s fastest microSD card, but to also offer a family of 256GB microSD cards that give consumers the flexibility they need to capture life at its fullest,” said Dinesh Bahal, vice president of SanDisk product marketing, Western Digital. “As a leading global storage provider with one of the most trusted flash brands, we take pride in transforming the way consumers capture, store and share their content.”

http://www.sandisk.com

Monday, June 27, 2016

OIF Approves Multi-Link Gearbox 3.0

The Optical Internetworking Forum has approved Multi-Link Gearbox (MLG) 3.0, an agreement that supports 100G links and allows independent 10GBASE-R signals to transit physical 20G and 40G lanes for higher bandwidth capability.

The MLG 3.0 specifies a logic layer between the Ethernet MAC and PHY layer hardware that allows the data from multiple MACs to be aggregated onto higher speed data links.  This allows independent 10GBASE-R and 40GBASE-R signals to transit 4x25G and 8x25G gearboxes. The agreement defines three MLG configurations: A 4x25G lane configuration is comprised of 20 MLG lanes. An 8x25G lane configuration is comprised of 40 MLG lanes. A 2x20G/1x40G lane configuration is comprised of 4 MLG lanes (similar to 40GBASE-R) to carry up to four 10GBASE-R signals.

In addition, the OIF has commenced work on a new analog coherent optics project that supports higher baud rate and higher wavelength/ carrier-count applications at higher density than the existing CFP2-ACO. The new project, dubbed CFP8-ACO, utilizes the existing CFP8 definition from the CFP-MSA group and provides up to 4 wavelengths/carriers per module. In addition to a 20w power profile, the new specification includes a 9.5mm module height, allowing for a double-stack line card or belly-to-belly. A 40mm module width will enable a 2 x 8 configuration for a 16 module line card.  This allows for an increased number of modules as well as an increased number of wavelength/carriers.

“The OIF is looking ahead to what is needed in 2018 and we need to get started now to support the market needs for more wavelength/carriers in coherent optics modules,” said Karl Gass of Qorvo and the OIF Physical and Link Layer Working Group optical vice chair.  “Our goal with the CFP8-ACO module is a 4x increase in faceplate density and we expect to complete this next year.”

http://www.oiforum.com/

3GPP Outlines Work Plan for 5G Specs

The 3GPP Technical Specifications Group outlined a detailed workplan for Release-15, the first release of 5G specifications.

The plan includes a set of intermediate tasks and check-points for putting 3GPP in a position to make the next major round of workplan decisions when transitioning from the ongoing studies to the normative phase of the work in December 2016:- the start of SA2 normative work on Next Generation (NexGen) architecture and in March 2017:- the beginning of the RAN Working Group’s specification of the 5G New Radio (NR).

“We now have a more concrete plan to guide the studies in the Working Groups and to put us in the position to address both short term and long term opportunities of 5G” Dino Flore, Chairman of 3GPP TSG RAN, said.

“3GPP continues to actively coordinate radio access NR and Next Generation system level work to standardize target services on schedule” added Erik Guttman, Chairman of 3GPP TSG SA.

http://www.3gpp.org/news-events/3gpp-news/1787-ontrack_5g

Qualcomm Shows 5G Prototype in Sub-6GHz Band

Qualcomm unveiled a 5G New Radio (NR) prototype system and trial platform that operates in the sub-6 GHz spectrum bands and is being utilized to showcase the company’s innovative 5G designs to efficiently achieve multi-gigabit per second data rates and low latency.

The 5G NR prototype system consists of both a base station and user equipment (UE), serving as a testbed for verifying 5G NR capabilities. It supports wide RF bandwidths over 100 MHz, capable of delivering multi-gigabit per second data rates. It also supports a new integrated subframe design for significantly lower over-the-air latency than what is possible in today’s 4G LTE network.

The prototype system is being utilized to drive 3GPP standardization for a new, OFDM-based 5G NR air interface.

“The 5G NR prototype further demonstrates our leadership in developing a unified, more capable 5G air interface, building upon our long-standing expertise in delivering OFDM chips and technology with LTE and Wi-Fi,” said Matt Grob, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are excited to collaborate with leading network operators like China Mobile Communications Corporation on 5G technology development and testing to support the work required for 3GPP 5G standardization.”

“We are happy to be working with Qualcomm to showcase the sub-6 GHz 5G prototype system at Mobile World Congress Shanghai,” said Madam Huang Yuhong, the DGM of China Mobile Research Institute. “This is a great example of the 5G technology collaboration we set out to accomplish when we announced the 5G Joint Innovation Center earlier this year.”

http://www.qualcomm.com

Red Hat JBoss Targets Cloud-Native Apps

Red Hat released its JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7 (JBoss EAP), an open source Java EE 7 compliant application server, and introduced JBoss Core Services Collection, a set of technologies that provide customers with common and fundamental application components.

Red Hat said these releases will help enterprises to transition to emerging architectures and programming paradigms that will require a lightweight, highly modular, cloud-native platform.

Specifically, JBoss EAP 7 has been optimized for cloud environments. When deployed with Red Hat OpenShift, JBoss EAP 7 offers containers, load balancing, elastic scaling, health monitoring, and the ability to deploy to a container directly from the IDE which can improve developer productivity and experience. In addition, JBoss EAP with OpenShift contributes to a more architecturally efficient DevOps environment since overlapping features are no longer needed. This DevOps efficiency can be compounded when using additional middleware components on OpenShift.

“Organizations should be able to choose when and how they move to new architectures and programming paradigms. This freedom is a hallmark of open source, and something we embrace at Red Hat. With JBoss EAP 7, we are addressing the needs of both enterprise IT and developers with a balanced vision designed to bridge the reality of building and maintaining a business today with the aspiration of IT innovation tomorrow,” stated Mike Piech, vice president and general manager, Middleware, Red Hat.

http://www.redhat.com

Quantum Random Number Generators for Better Encryption

Quantum random number generators could become the building blocks for effective encryption, according to the Cloud Security Alliance's Quantum-Safe Security (QSS) Working Group.

A newly published whitepaper titled Quantum Random Number Generators looks at leveraging quantum mechanics in the real of cyber security as an improvement over today's software or hardware-based random number generators.

https://downloads.cloudsecurityalliance.org/assets/research/quantum-safe-security/quantum-random-number-generators.pdf

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Blueprint: Why SD-WAN Cannot Solve for the MPLS Conundrum

by Gur Shatz, Co-Founder and CTO, Cato Networks

Software-defined infrastructure has firmly gained traction in public and private data centers and clouds, because of its game-changing nature: It has virtualized the server, giving it scalable capacity on demand at a fraction of the cost of its hardware counterpart. And what software-defined did for the server and storage markets, it is bound to do for the network, too.

Initial advances in software-defined networking include SD-WAN, which is poised to grow from $225 million in 2015 to $6 billion by 2020, according to IDC. Yet, SD-WAN has not fully cracked the network performance and security conundrum. SD-WAN still relies on MPLS links to ensure low-latency connectivity, and the use of the Internet is mostly for WAN backhauling and doesn’t fully address the need for secure Internet and cloud access.  This points to the need for a new software-defined approach that firmly binds network and security as one, and which frees up valuable networking resources.

Why SD-WAN Is Not Enough

The promise of SD-WAN lies in providing standard, low-cost Internet connections to supplement the managed, low-latency, yet expensive MPLS with its guaranteed capacity. However, a survey of network security professionals found that one-third cited latency between locations as their biggest network security challenge, and a quarter cite direct Internet access from remote locations.[1]

SD-WAN, while taking some of the network performance issues and costs out, cannot fully provide the game-changing impact of true software-defined infrastructure; it is a primarily a networking technology, not a security solution. For SD-WAN to be a viable solution for today’s hybrid networks, it needs to be secured in a way MPLS is not. Due to its nature as a private network, companies didn’t need to encrypt MPLS traffic. While MPLS networks are often not encrypted, SD-WAN cannot forego encryption – a new problem for most network teams. Furthermore, it has no impact on enabling direct internet access – for example, at the branch level – without adding third-party security solutions. SD-WAN requires investment in core security capabilities, such as app control, URL filtering, next-generation firewalls, and cloud access control (among others) – all of which add costs and management complexity right back into the enterprise.

SD-WAN++

SD-WAN tackles the legacy enterprise WAN: branches and datacenters. It adds Internet links to the MPLS-based WAN, but must continue and rely on MPLS for low-latency connectivity. This limits its impact. A contemporary WAN design should integrate, in addition to physical locations, mobile users and public cloud infrastructure. It should enable low-latency connectivity on a global basis to ensure consistent user experience, even if MPLS is not used. And, it should include an integrated security stack to protect WAN and Internet-bound traffic to Public Cloud Applications (SaaS) for all network users. To truly evolve the network, today’s IT leaders need a new simple, scalable and secure solution that binds a global network and built-in security. Such a unified, software-defined solution could enforce policies for all users and locations, with access to all data, in a way that reduces complexity and management overhead.  

Effectively, such a system becomes the real solution to the MPLS conundrum: it optimizes performance/latency and enables enterprise-grade security, creating the true hybrid network of the future - today. 

About the Author

Gur is co-founder and CTO of Cato Networks. Prior to Cato Networks, he was the co-founder and CEO of Incapsula Inc., a cloud-based web applications security and acceleration company. Before Incaspula, Gur was Director of Product Development, Vice President of Engineering and Vice President of Products at Imperva, a web application security and data security company.
Gur holds a BSc in Computer Science from Tel Aviv College.

About Cato Networks

Cato Networks is rethinking network security from the ground up and into the cloud. Cato has developed a new Network Security as a Service (NSaaS) platform that is changing the way network security is delivered, managed, and evolved for the distributed, cloud-centric, and mobile-first enterprise. Based in Tel Aviv, Israel, Cato Networks was founded in 2015 by cybersecurity luminary Shlomo Kramer, who previously cofounded Check Point Software Technologies and Imperva, and Gur Shatz, who previously cofounded Incapsula. Cato Networks is backed by Aspect Ventures and U.S. Venture Partners. For more information, visit http://www.catonetworks.com/.




[1] Based on feedback from 70+ network professionals who took part in “MPLS, SD-WAN and Cloud Networks: The path to a better, secure and more affordable WAN," May 18, 2016.


Ayla Networks Raises $39 Million for IoT Platform

Ayla Networks, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, announced $39 million in Series C funding to propelling its global Internet of Things (IoT) platform for manufacturers.

Ayla's end-to-end software, which is offered as a Platform-as-a-Service, runs across devices, the cloud, and applications to provide secure connectivity, data analytics, and feature-rich user experiences for our customers as well as the end consumer. The company has now established IoT clouds in North America, China and Europe.

The company said its IoT platform is gaining traction with manufacturers in many markets, including home appliances, residential and commercial HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems, water heaters, water softeners, and home fire and safety products. During the past year, the company has announced new or expanded relationships with manufacturing customers that include Changhong, Dimplex, Fujitsu General, Hampton Brinks, Hunter Fan, Kidde, LockState, Ozner, TCL and United Technologies Electronic Controls (UTEC).

The Series C financing round was led by Ants Capital, a boutique investment bank based in China, and co-led 3NOD, a leading original design manufacturer (ODM) of smart lifestyle products; and joined by new investors Mitsui and Acorn Pacific. Existing Ayla investors Cisco Investments, Crosslink Capital, International Finance Corp. (IFC, a division of World Bank Group), Linear Venture, SAIF Partners/Oriza Ventures, SJF Ventures and Voyager Capital also reinvested in this financing round.

http://www.aylanetworks.com

Big Switch Rolls Out Big Enhancements for SDN

Big Switch Networks rolled out significant updates to its SDN-based Big Monitoring Fabric and Big Cloud Fabric solutions. The enhancements target use cases in security monitoring, network function virtualization (NFV) and IP storage, as well as support for the latest open networking switches.

Big Monitoring Fabric (BMF) is a next-generation network packet broker (NPB) that leverages SDN principles, Open Networking switches and an x86-based DPDK service node to provide feature-rich, scale-out data center monitoring.  New capabilities in Big Monitoring Fabric include advanced feature additions to the Big Switch DPDK service node and enhanced network services for out-of-band network monitoring to achieve pervasive network visibility and security. Big Cloud Fabric updates include deeper integration with VMware vSphere, and support for Red Hat OpenStack Platform 8, with a recently completed 300 node scale benchmark validation test with Dell & Red Hat. Big Switch is also announcing support for the latest open networking switches based on Broadcom Trident-II+ and Tomahawk ASICs, including copper 10G (10GbT) and higher-density 64x40G to double the scale of both SDN fabric solutions.

Big Cloud Fabric (BCF) is a leaf/spine SDN fabric promising hyper-scale agility, economics and operational simplicity for OpenStack Platform clouds or VMware virtualization environments. Updates to Big Cloud Fabric include:

  • NFV Everywhere -- To expand NFV deployments beyond the data center to Central Offices, smaller POPs and remote locations via NEBS support, a new VM controller option and stretched-fabric deployments
  • Enhanced VMware vCenter GUI Plug-in -- To deliver physical network automation, visibility and now troubleshooting directly from vCenter to simplify provisioning and operations for the cloud/virtualization admin.
  • Support for Software-Defined Storage -- In addition to traditional IP storage, now supports production deployments with Red Hat Ceph
  • Inter-Pod/Inter-DC L2 Extension -- Enables tenant services and application mobility across pods and data centers leveraging VXLAN (beta support)
  • Expanded SDN Security -- Crypto security for SDN control-plane (CPSec) now includes controller-to-vSwitch and controller-to-controller traffic as well as controller-to-pSwitch previously supported
  • Container Networking Demonstration -- Plug-in for Kubernetes container orchestration to demonstrate network automation, visibility and troubleshooting in Docker container environment

Expanded Support for Open Networking Hardware -- Both Big Monitoring Fabric and Big Cloud Fabric to support latest Broadcom Trident-II+ and Tomahawk based Open Networking switches from Dell and Edgecore Networks, including:

  • 64x40G: Dell's S6100 high-density Broadcom Tomahawk-based platform to double 40G fabric scale for both Big Cloud Fabric and Big Monitoring Fabric
  • 10GbT: Copper 10G platform (48x10GbT + 6x40G) based on Broadcom Trident-II+ for cost-optimized deployments
  • 32x40G and 48x10G + 6x40G: fiber 10G and 40G platforms based on Broadcom Trident-II+
  • These platforms are available for beta trials in Q3 2016.


http://www.bigswitch.com

See also