Wednesday, July 13, 2016

AT&T Commits its ECOMP Service Orchestrator to Open Source

AT&T confirmed that it is committed to releasing into open source its current Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy (ECOMP) platform, which is the service orchestration system that powers the AT&T software-defined network (SDN).

AT&T said ECOMP is mature, feature-complete, and tested in real-world NFV deployments. The company believes open source ECOMP will bring maturity to SDN and become the industry standard for orchestration, management and policy control.

By releasing the ECOMP code as open source, AT&T said other service providers will be able to use this software to meet non-stop network demands as data-hungry technologies like autonomous cars, augmented and virtual reality, 4K video and the Internet of Things (IoT) take off.

“In March, we opened the hood of our network, showed you the engine and the industry responded asking to join us,” said John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer and Group President, Technology and Operations, AT&T. “Over the last few years, AT&T invented what we believe to be the most sophisticated, comprehensive and scalable software-centric network in the world. Today, we’re letting anyone use and build upon our millions of lines of software code by committing to releasing it into the open source community.”

“This is a big decision and getting it right is crucial,” Donovan continues. “We want to build a community – where people contribute to the code base and advance the platform. And, we want this to help align the global industry. We’ve engaged a third-party company to be the integrator and provide support in the industry for the ECOMP platform. And we’ve received positive feedback from major global telecom companies. We’re excited to share more on that front very soon.”

http://about.att.com/story/network_playbook_into_open_source.html

AT&T's ECOMP is its Next Big Thing

AT&T is moving quickly to transform itself into a software company, said John Donovan, Chief Strategy Officer, in a keynote at the sixth annual Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara, California.  Last year, AT&T hit its target of virtualizing 5% of its network functions.  This year, the company aims to increase its NFV rollout to 30% of network fuctions.  This includes some 39 VNFs going into the production infrastructure. As of today, 14 million wireless customers are on AT&T's fully virtualized mobile packet core

Some additional highlights:

  • AT&T next big thing is ECOMP - Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management & Policy) Architecture. Donovan describes ECOMP as the most sophisticated software project that AT&T has ever undertaken -- the engine that powers its software-centric network.  The goal is to enable high utilization of network resources by combining dynamic, policy-enforced functions forcomponent and workload shaping, placement, execution, and administration. Over the past 18 months, a team of 300 AT&T developers has assembled 8 million lines of codes. It is designed to interoperate with Open Stack.  AT&T has just published a whitepaper (link below) on ECOMP and is inviting industry commentary.  If there enough community interest, AT&T is considering making ECOMP open source.
  • AT&T continues to make progress on Central Office Re-architected as Data Center (CORD), which was first showcased at ONS last year. The idea behind CORD is to use SDN and NFV to transform carrier functions into workloads that are hosted on common, commodity infrastructure. AT&T trials for CORD begin this month.
  • AT&T has doubled its usage of open source software in the past year. The company is participating in many open source initiatives and has just joined the Open Compute Project.
  • Donovan sees virtual reality as being a huge driver of bandwidth
  • Regarding competition and/or cooperation with other big cloud providers, Donovan said AT&T is comfortable with its role as owner/operator of its infrastructure.
  • AT&T is now serving 26 million IoT devices.
  • 60% of AT&T total network traffic is video 
  • AT&T is carrying more than 114 petabytes on its network daily.

http://att.com/ecomp

Verizon Completes 5G Spec

As part of its 5G Technology Forum, Verizon announced completion of its 5G radio specification.

Ericsson, which is part of Verizon’s Technology Forum, said the specification provides guidelines to test and validate crucial 5G technical components. The development of the specification allows industry partners such as chipset vendors, network vendors, and mobile operators to develop interoperable solutions and contribute to pre-standard.

Ericsson noted that it is cooperating with 24 service providers around the world to plan and develop 5G.

http://www.ericsson.com

Verizon Aims for 5G Field Trials in 2016

Verizon announced plans to begin 5G field trials in 2016. The benefits of 5G are expected to include 50x throughput performance over 4G, latency in the single milliseconds, and the ability to handle exponentially more Internet-connected devices to accommodate the expected explosion of the Internet of Everything.

Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung participated in an inaugural Verizon 5G Technology Forum last month. The carrier is building "5G Sandboxes" at its Innovation Centers in Waltham, Mass. and San Francisco for collaborating with ecosystem partners and developers.

“5G is no longer a dream of the distant future,” said Roger Gurnani, executive vice president and chief information and technology architect for Verizon. “We feel a tremendous sense of urgency to push forward on 5G and mobilize the ecosystem by collaborating with industry leaders and developers to usher in a new generation of innovation.”

http://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizon-sets-roadmap-5g-technology-us-field-trials-start-2016

Europe's 5G Manifesto

A "5G Manifesto" from key players in the telecom industry was submitted to EC Commissioner Oettinger with the aim of spurring deployment of 5G infrastructure in Europe.

The 7-page manifesto provides recommendations for a common vision and a calendar for deployment of investments, standards and the synchronized introduction of services in Europe. It underlines the need for spectrum and improved regulatory conditions in terms of local installation of cells, open internet rules which promote innovation, data protection and fair use.

The European Commission is working on a 5G Action plan that will be presented in September that aims at giving Europe the leadership in the deployment of standardized 5G networks as from 2020.

Signatories of the manifesto include the chief executives of BT Group plc., Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Hutchison Whampoa Europe, Inmarsat, Nokia, Orange, Proximus, Royal KPN, SES, Tele2 AB, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telekom Austria, Telenor, Telia, and Vodafone Group.

http://ec.europa.eu/newsroom/dae/document.cfm?action=display&doc_id=16579

Ericsson Signs MoU with China's Inspur

Ericsson and Inspur Group, the leading supplier of data center equipment in China, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

In cloud infrastructure, Ericsson and Inspur will test and verify the compatibility and/or performance of selected Ericsson software solutions related to areas such as Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), IoT, OSS/BSS and cloud on Inspur’s hardware platform, and evaluate joint proof-of-concept (PoC) opportunities.

The two companies will align standardization and participation in open forums such as ODCC and OPNFV, as well as explore possibilities for joint PoCs in areas such as 5G core networks, NFV, and management and orchestration (MANO) with operators and enterprise customers.

In TV and media, the cooperation aims to launch a solution that enables the next generation of media cloud, and will start by integrating Ericsson’s MediaFirst cloud TV platform with Inspur’s cloud portfolio. Inspur has agreed to customize its set-top box and other terminals to meet the requirements of Ericsson and its strategic customers.

The MoU builds upon the existing cooperation between the two parties, which dates back to 2002, when Ericsson and Inspur established a joint venture to develop radio technology and products. With this new agreement, the two companies will expand their collaboration into cloud infrastructure, TV and media, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Through our partnership, Ericsson and Inspur have the ambition to bring advanced technologies and services developed to operators, enterprises and industries around the world. I am excited about taking this next step in our collaboration with Inspur, starting in China but also looking beyond,” stated Hans Vestberg, President and CEO, Ericsson.

http://www.ericsson.com

Cisco Forms $100 Million Joint Venture with China's Inspur

Cisco and Inspur (浪潮), a leader server and super computing company based in China, agreed to set up a joint-venture in China to sell networking technologies and products, build world-class information technologies and solutions, and deliver other advanced technologies and services in areas including IT infrastructure, cloud, data center, smart cities, and big data.

The companies will invest an initial US$100 million in the joint venture.

The announcement comes during President Xi Jingping's first state visit to the United States.

Earlier this year, Cisco said it would invest US$10 billion in China to support local innovation and the country's ongoing technology transformation.

In a blog post, Cisco'c CEO Chuck Robbins writes "I’m optimistic that working with Inspur will add to the recent momentum that we’ve seen in our business in China. Today, China represents approximately 3% of our business, and being the world’s second largest economy, we see the potential to increase this considerably over time. Our fiscal Q4 results in China were more encouraging than any quarter over the past two years. During my June visit, we had incredibly constructive discussions with customers and key ministries that were focused on our ability to deliver customer solutions that only our unique partnership capabilities can bring."

http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-and-china-a-long-term-view

Cisco + Ericsson Partnership Covers Architecture, Sales, Services

Ericsson and Cisco announced a broad strategic partnership focused on Service Providers, enterprise networking and the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.

The companies see an incremental revenue opportunity of $1 billion or more expected for each company by calendar year 2018. For its part, Ericsson said the extended addressable market is primarily in professional services, software and resell of Cisco products. Ericsson also expects the partnership to generate full-year effect from synergies, primarily in expenses of SEK 1 billion in 2018.

The alliance will include commitments to network transformation through reference architectures and joint development, systems-based management and control, a broad reseller agreement, and collaboration in key emerging market segments. The parties have also agreed to discuss FRAND policies and enter a licensing agreement for their respective patent portfolios.  Together, Ericsson and Cisco hold over 56,000 patents and invest $11 billion annually in R&D. The companies will begin working on a joint initiative focused on SDN/NFV and network management and control.

Mellanox Advances Remote Direct Memory Access over Ethernet

Mellanox Technologies released new software drivers for RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet).

The new drivers simplify RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access) deployments on Ethernet networks and enable high-end performance using RoCE, without requiring the network to be configured for lossless operation.

“RoCE has built-in error recovery mechanisms and while a lossless network has never been a strict requirement, customers typically configure their networks to prevent packet loss and ensure the best performance,” said Michael Kagan, chief technology officer, Mellanox. “The new software supports our latest 10, 25, 40, 50, and 100 Gb/s Ethernet adapters and is completely compatible with the RoCE specification. This new software eliminates any special lossy network configuration requirements.”

“Microsoft deploys an advanced datacenter infrastructure delivering an enterprise-grade intelligent cloud platform to our customers,” said Albert Greenberg, Distinguished Engineer, Network Development, Microsoft Corp. “We’re encouraged to see the continued development and evolution of the RoCE technology. RoCE is an example of one of the advanced networking solutions that helps enable Microsoft Azure to deliver cloud services to our customers with superb flexibility, performance, and reliability.”

http://www.mellanox.com

AT&T Business Fiber Expands Gigabit Reach

AT&T announced widened availability of its AT&T Business Fiber service across the United States.  The service supports symmetrical 1 Gbps Internet in major cities in AT&T Fiber Ready buildings. The company said it has expanded coverage over the past few years to reach over 1 million incremental business customer locations in the US.

In just the San Francisco Bay Area, AT&T currently has over 1,600 multi-tenant office buildings and 97,000 business customer locations that are live with
AT&T fiber.

In addition, AT&T announced the nationwide launch of U-verse Business Voice over AT&T Business Fiber.

http://www.att.com

Netcracker Acquires CoralTree

Netcracker has acquired CoralTree Systems, a provider of converged solutions for European service providers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The acquisition includes CoralTree's technology solutions and highly skilled resources in systems integration, business operations support and other professional services. CoralTree’s solutions also include technology assets in video activation, BSS and OSS which complement Netcracker’s solution portfolio.

Netcracker is a division of NEC.

"Our first priority as a business is to meet and exceed our customers' expectations, and our remarkable growth this year is a testament to that," said Andrew Feinberg, President and CEO of Netcracker Technology. "The acquisition of CoralTree Systems will further strengthen our product portfolio and accelerate the great work we are doing on behalf of our service provider customers. CoralTree’s outstanding workforce and technology toolsets perfectly complement Netcracker’s own assets and the combination of these two companies will deepen our relationships with customers around the world."

http://www.netcracker.com

Nokia and Samsung Expand Patent Cross License

Nokia and Samsung agreed to expand their patent cross license deal beyond the scope of the arbitration agreement between the two companies that was announced in February 2016.

The new agreement expands access for each company to patented technologies of the other and reinforces Nokia's leadership in technologies for the programmable world. With this expansion, Nokia expects a positive impact to the net sales of Nokia Technologies starting from the third quarter of 2016.

With this expanded agreement, Nokia Technologies' annualized net sales related to patent and brand licensing is expected to grow to a run rate of approximately EUR 950 million by the end of 2016.

"With intellectual property portfolios from Nokia Technologies, Nokia Networks and Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia has a wealth of technologies relevant to mobile devices and beyond," said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies. "We welcome this expanded agreement with Samsung which recognizes the strength of our assets, and we continue to pursue new licensing opportunities across a number of diverse industries."

http://www.nokia.com

See also