Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Facebook Deploys Backpack -- its 2nd Gen Data Center Switch

Facebook unveiled Backpack, its second-generation modular switch platform developed in house at Facebook for 100G data center infrastructure. It leverages Facebook's recently announced Wedge switch.

Backpack is designed with a clear separation of the data, control, and management planes. It uses simple building blocks called switch elements. The Backpack chassis is equivalent to a set of 12 Wedge 100 switches connected together. The orthogonal direct chassis architecture opens up more air channel space for a better thermal performance for managing the heat from 100G ASICs and optics.  Facebook will use the BGP routing protocol for the distribution of routes between the different line cards in the chassis.

The design has already entered production and deployment in Facebook data centers.  The company plans to submit the design to the Open Compute Project.

https://code.facebook.com/posts/864213503715814/introducing-backpack-our-second-generation-modular-open-switch/

Facebook Targets 32x100G Wedge Data Center Switch

Facebook confirmed that work is already underway on Wedge 100, a 32x100G switch for its hyperscale data centers.

Facebook is also adapting Wedge to a much bigger aggregation switch called 6-pack, which uses Wedge as its foundation and stacks 12 of these Wedges in a modular and nonblocking aggregation switch. FBOSS will be used as a software stack across the growing platform of network switches: Wedge, 6-pack, and now Wedge 100.

In an engineering blog post, Facebook said thousands of its initial Wedge top-of-rack network switch have already been deployed.  The design has been contributed to the Open Compute Project and is now commercially available from various vendors.

Facebook also revealed that its FBOSS software undergoes a weekly cadence of new features and bug fixes. Facebook is able to update thousands of switches seamlessly, without any traffic loss, to keep up with this pace.  Some new capabilities include detailed monitoring, non-stop forwarding, warm boot, etc.

https://code.facebook.com/posts/145488969140934/open-networking-advances-with-wedge-and-fboss/

AT&T and Colt Hold SDN Interoperability Trial

AT&T and Colt Technology Services announced a trial of a standard SDN application programming interface (API) that enabled users to reserve ports, order a point-to-point Ethernet service, flex the bandwidth up and down and turn down the service in near-real time.

During the trial between the two networks in the U.S. and Europe, AT&T successfully provisioned network services between the east coast of the U.S. and various locations in Europe. This allowed SDN-to-SDN control using a programmatic API-to-API interface between the separate SDN architectures, proving that SDN-managed services can be set up and run across multiple networks in just minutes. They can also be managed and flexed in near-real time. This creates a template for providers to deploy new services in a matter of minutes over each other's networks.

The companies said they plan to share the network-to-network interface and open API code with standards bodies and industry forums.

“Our work at AT&T Labs and AT&T Foundry, and our collaboration with Colt will help enable customers to have more cost-efficient, flexible and adaptable networks,” said Roman Pacewicz, senior vice president, Offer Management and Service Integration, AT&T Business Solutions. “Businesses looking to provide a seamless connected environment for their customers can benefit greatly from a unified industry ecosystem that’s focused on interoperability.”

“This proof of concept is a key building block giving enterprises the power to provision scalable, flexible network services on-demand. The API in our trial makes managing integrated SDNs accessible, agile, flexible, and easy to adopt,” said Rajiv Datta, chief technology officer, Colt. “As use cases and APIs continue to evolve, we’ll be able to add attributes, services and enhancements that will drive further innovation. This will be critical as SDN becomes increasingl­­­y important in our business climate.”

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

Amdocs Launches Mobile Financial Services Card

Amdocs introduced a Mobile Financial Services card management system for helping service providers in launching their own debit or prepaid payment cards. The cards can be linked to a mobile wallet, with stored monetary value, loyalty points or airtime as the source of funds.

Amdocs said its card management system can be quickly deployed on the cloud as Software as a Service (SaaS), integrating securely with local card-manufacturing companies for card printing and distribution. The system incorporates a back-office administration user interface that manages card specifications, card product definitions and issuer identification number (IIN) ranges.

The company also noted that customers who don’t have a bank account can use these cards to pay for purchases at retail point of sale terminals, to withdraw cash from an ATM or for online shopping.

“Enabling unbanked and under-banked consumers to own debit or prepaid payment cards will empower them to join the modern digital economy and further encourage them to adopt more mobile financial services,” said Patrick McGrory, president for Amdocs’ emerging offerings. “Amdocs’ Mobile Financial Services card management system supports our mobile financial services offerings in digital banking, remittances, and digital commerce and payments markets. The ability to issue debit or prepaid payment cards, without investing in technology infrastructure or third-party systems, enables mobile financial service providers across all industries to offer a true multi-channel consumer experience, driving the growth of mobile financial services adoption and usage.”

http://www.amdocs.com

Velostrata Tunes its Cloud Mobility Software

Velostrata, which specializes in cloud workload mobility, has added key new features to its software aimed at bringing  automation, acceleration and simplicity to public cloud adoption.

The update adds new functionality to help organizations test applications in the cloud before they migrate, unique support for AWS Spot Instances, and WAN optimization enhancements that can result in 1000x faster migrations when compared to replication-based solutions.

Highlights of Velostrata 2.3 include:
  • Leveraging AWS Spot Instances: Users can now move workloads to and from AWS Spot Instances in minutes, allowing them to cut compute costs by up to 90% over on-demand public cloud rates. Velostrata synchronizes all changes made to cloud workloads back on-premises, preserving work even if AWS recalls the instance, making it feasible to use them for development and testing of stateful workloads. This real-time data synchronization used to require special applications and/or code to deal with the short lifespan of spot instances. Velostrata solves this challenge entirely.
  • Agentless Clone-to-Cloud: With the click of a mouse in vCenter, IT can now quickly clone a copy of a production application (even when it spans multiple VMs) and boot it in the cloud in minutes, without installing agents on the source or destination VM(s). This allows IT to verify operations, test across different clouds, identify fit, prove out cost structure, and/or verify configurations, without taking their production applications offline.
  • Bandwidth Multiplier: Users can perform mass workload migrations with new WAN optimization capabilities which includes cross-VM deduplication, resulting in significantly better scalability. For example, Velostrata can migrate 200 VMs over the same bandwidth other solutions would require to move a single VM. This means IT can perform workload migrations over slower uplinks and/or complete the migration operations much faster.
  • AWS Marketplace Support: Customers can now license Velostrata as pay-per-use, directly through AWS billing, saving time and simplifying billing by customers using their native AWS dashboard.
Velostrata software will be available via Amazon Marketplace beginning November 15, 2016.

http://www.velostrata.com

China Mobile Launches Wideband Massive MIMO with Huawei

China Mobile Shanghai Branch has deployed a wideband Massive MIMO site using Huawei's solution.

Huawei said its next-generation Massive MIMO solution provides an uplink 8-stream capability configuration to continuously enhance the uplink performance of China Mobile's TD-LTE networks. The live network in Shanghai acts as a verification platform, with peak cell throughput rates reaching 72 Mbps uplink and 630 Mbps downlink.

A single module supports activation of three carriers on 2.6GHz. The expedient delivery of this solution is guaranteed as only one optical fiber and one power cable are required to ensure smooth deployment from an engineering perspective. The adoption of the latest chips helps provide processing capabilities 4-fold higher than that of the industry standard, clearly demonstrating the performance advantages inherent to Massive MIMO.

http://www.huawei.com

See also