Thursday, September 21, 2017

FCC: 95% of Cell Sites down in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria delivered a devastating blow to the mobile networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As of September 21, 2017 at 11:00 AM EDT, FCC data showed that 95% of cell sites in Puerto Rico are out of service. Critically, 48 out of the 78 counties in Puerto Rico have 100% of their cell sites out of service even nearly 24 hours after the storm passed. The FCC database shows that there are 1,789 base stations in Puerto Rico and 1,703 are down.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, 77% of cell sites are out of service.

With the widespread power outages in Puerto Rico it is assumed that cable Internet services are also offline for most customers, but the FCC had not received any data on the status of the networks.

Lumentum showcases 400G at ECOC

At this week's ECOC 2017 in Sweden, Lumentum showcased several 400G transceivers including QSFP-DD FR4, DR4, and OSFP FR4. The QSFP-DD and OSFP transceivers comply with the QSFP-DD Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) and OSFP MSA respectively.

Lumentum showed several advanced modulators supporting 100G, 200G, and 400G applications. The company is actively engaged with both the OIF and customers to define next generation modulators utilizing both Indium Phosphide (InP) and Silicon Photonics (SiP) technologies.

Lumentum also displayed an OFM whitebox, or "greybox", that combines the northbound interface for integration with existing geographic information system (GIS) and operations support system (OSS) solutions.  The whitebox can be used for online optical cable monitoring, alarming, fault analysis and positioning which can alleviate the need to send personnel to test and evaluate systems in the field.

Another highlight at the Lumentum booth was its wide portfolio of 100G Transceivers, including:

  • CFP2/CFP4 LR4: transceiver supports links of up to 10 km on duplex, single-mode fiber.
  • QSFP28 SR4: compact 100G transceiver supporting links of up to 100m on parallel multi-mode fiber.
  • QSFP28 SWDM4: compact 100G transceiver supporting links of up to 150m on duplex multi-mode fiber.
  • QSFP28 LR4: compact 100G transceiver supporting links of up to 10 km on duplex single-mode fiber supporting both Ethernet and OTN rates. 
  • QSFP28 CWDM4: compact 100G transceiver supporting links of up to 2km on duplex single-mode fiber.
  • 4WDM-10, 20: compact 100G transceivers supporting links of up to 10km and 20km on duplex single-mode fiber extending the reach of CWDM4 and LR4 platforms through the use of FEC on the host card. Supporting both Ethernet and OTN rates with a maximum power dissipation of 3.5W.

Former CEO of AFOP charged with insider trading in sale to Corning

Peter C. Chang, the founder and chairman of the board at Alliance Fiber Optic Products (AFOP), was charged with insider trading by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the sale of AFOP to Corning in 2016 for $305 million. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California is also bringing criminal charges against Chang.

The SEC charges that Chang generated more than $2 million in illicit profits and losses avoided by trading on nonpublic information and tipping his brother ahead of two negative earnings announcements and the company’s merger. 

AFOP, which was based in Sunnyvale, California designed and manufactured high-performance passive optical components used by cloud data-center operators and leading datacom and telecom OEMs. Prior to the acquisition, Corning used AFOP products in a number of its existing connectivity solutions. AFOP was founded in 1995 and has manufacturing and product development capabilities in the U.S., Taiwan and China.

Telia agrees to pay US$965 million to settle Uzbek bribery case

Telia Company AB agreed to pay US$965 million in a global settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, and Dutch and Swedish law enforcement.

The case, which dates back to 2007, involved Telia's entrance into the Uzbek telecommunications market. Telia paid at least $330 million in bribes to a shell company under the guise of payments for lobbying and consulting services that never actually occurred. The person receiving the bribes is believed to be a daughter of the President of Uzbekistan.

The SEC said Telia has consented to the order to pay $457 million in disgorgement. Telia has also agreed to pay a criminal fine of more than $508 million imposed by the Department of Justice, although portions of each amount could be offset by payments made in overseas settlements or proceedings brought by the Dutch Openbaar Ministerie or the Swedish Åklagarmyndigheten.

Statement from Telia

“Today’s settlement brings an end to an unfortunate chapter in Telia Company’s history. Since 2013 the new board and management have worked diligently and responsibly to understand what went wrong, to remedy what has been broken and to regain trust from all our stakeholders. We have come a long way to establish a more sustainable company with a strong focus on governance and compliance but it is a never-ending journey as we aspire to embed this into our culture making sure that all employees understand the importance of doing the right thing all the time. The resolution and related financial sanction that we announce today is a painful reminder of what happens if we don't”, says Telia Company’s President and CEO Johan Dennelind.

Statement from SEC

Corporate bribery is not just unfair and illegal, it has terribly corrosive effects on business, government, and society,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division.  “As this global settlement demonstrates, the SEC continues to work closely with our counterparts at home and abroad to expose and pursue such corruption.”

ColorChip ramps up production of 100G QSFP28

ColorChip showcased its 100G QSFP28 transceiver products at this week's ECOC 2017 in Sweden.

ColorChip's 100G product family is now in volume production. The company has invested $80M, secured over the past 2 years, to expand the throughput of its industrialized-optics TOSA/ROSA assembly lines in the Israel based facility and to double the optical module integration and testing floor space to 7,000 square feet in Fabrinet.  The devices are based on ColorChip's SystemOnGlass (SOG) TOSA/ROSA platform. 

ColorChip said its SystemOnGlassTOSA/ROSA platform can be used for both DML and EML based PAM4 optical engines, providing the pathway to compact, QSFPx-based PAM4 transceivers at data rates of 200G and 400G. 

The demo featured a 100G 500m CWDM-Lite datacenter transceiver, accepted by the Open Compute Project (OCP), as well as the MSA compliant 2km CWDM4 and 10km 4WDM-10 offerings.  The 100G transceivers are based on uncooled DML's on the CWDM grid and characterized by typical power consumption of 2.6W, highly compact QSFP28 packaging and a standard Duplex LC optical interconnect.

Cignal AI forecasts 400G Coherent WDM shipments in 2020

Shipments of 400G coherent WDM volume starts to ramp this year, led by Ciena deployments and then followed by other suppliers six to nine months later, according to a newly-published, bi-annual Optical Applications Report report from Cignal AI, an independent research firm based in Boston. The introduction of small form factor 100G and 400G pluggable models will be a major catalyst.

“Cignal AI has close relationships with equipment and component manufacturers, as well as end users, and these relationships give us a unique insight into the optical equipment market.  From this vantage point, we can forecast emerging technologies such as coherent 400G WDM usage,” states Andrew Schmitt, lead analyst for Cignal AI. “Pluggable 400G ZR modules should enter the market by 2019, and they will be the final nail in the coffin for 10G WDM networks.”

Some key findings:

  • Both 100G and 400G coherent will be widely adopted at the edge of the network by the end of 2021.
  • Cisco is growing 100G port deployments faster than all other vendors in the market.
  • Equipment originally designed for DCI applications is rapidly evolving into applications outside the datacenter. Cignal AI is now using "Compact Modular for this class of products.
  • Spending on compact modular equipment more than tripled in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period last year. Ciena, Cisco, and Infinera are the market share and technology leaders for this sector.
  • Revenue for packet-OTN systems grew in the double digits in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period last year.


https://cignal.ai/


TE Subcom launches global network operations center for subsea cables

TE SubCom launched a new global network operations center (NOC) to provide cable operators with a single source for fault, configuration, alarm, performance, security and maintenance network management.

SubCom said it is able to provide global 24x7x365 monitoring coverage and both high-level and regional visibility into a status of subsea systems on behalf of cable operators. The NOC has already been selected for the Monet Submarine Cable, a 10,556km cable consisting of six fibre pairs that is owned and operated by Algar Telecom (a Brazilian telecom company and ISP), Angola Cables (a multinational telecom company operating in the wholesale market), ANTEL (the Uruguayan telecom company) and Google.

“With the ongoing surge in undersea cable investment, more operators are searching for reliable network operations services. They’re finding they need providers that truly understand undersea networks and how to optimize their life cycles,” said Don Rotunno, managing director, sales operations, TE SubCom. “Undersea communications is SubCom’s business and the expertise we’ve amassed over decades in the industry will immediately benefit users of our new NOC solution.”

OFS improves special fibre for aircraft

OFS introduced a new FlightLinx PLUS Fiber Optic Cable designed for in-flight entertainment, Internet access, networking and display systems used in commercial aircraft.

OFS has been offering its original FlightLinx Fiber Optic Cable since 2012. The new product features a cable design that allows for reliable pull-proof termination during harsh aircraft installations.

FlightLinx PLUS Fiber Optic Cable is a 1.8 mm ruggedized single jacket cable design that meets ARINC 802 performance requirements without the need for a double jacket. This lightweight cable design also helps address the demand for lighter aircraft and improved fuel efficiency.

NTT Com's Cloud GPUs powers supercomputer in Japan

Preferred Networks (PFN) has launched of a private supercomputer designed to facilitate research and development of deep learning, including autonomous driving and cancer diagnosis.

The new supercomputer, which is one of the most powerful to be developed by the private sector in Japan, uses NTT Com's cloud-based Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) platform. The deployment uses 1,024 of NVIDIA's Tesla multi-node P100 GPUs. Theoretically, the processing speed of the new supercomputer can reach 4.7 PetaFLOPS — a massive 4,700 trillion floating point operations per second.

Eoptolink samples 200G 2×CWDM4 QSFP-DD

Eoptolink, a supplier of optical components based in Chengdu, China, has begun sampling a 200G CWDM4 QSFP-DD optical module.

QSFP-DD doubles the density of QSFP28.

The new device is based on 8x25G NRZ DML technology and fully complies with QSFP-DD and CWDM4 MSA. The company will offer 2km and 10km versions.

Eoptolink is also developing 400G transceivers.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Infinera and Seaborn set spectral efficiency record for ULH subsea cable

Infinera and Seaborn Networks (Seaborn) reported a new record for highest spectral efficiency on an ultra-long-haul subsea cable.

Seaborn owns and operates the new Seabras-1 submarine cable, which spans 10,600-km and offers a direct connection between São Paulo, Brazil and New York City. Seabras-1, which recently entered commercial service, is the longest uncompensated cable connecting North and South America. It has multiple branching units and is designed to provide additional route diversity to Virginia Beach, Miami, St. Croix, Fortaleza, Rio de Janeiro, southern Brazil and Cape Town. The system is powered by Infinera’s new XTS-3300 meshponders.

To achieve the new benchmark for highest spectral efficiency, Infinera and Seaborn conducted an 8QAM trial at 4.5 bits per second per hertz on the Seabras-1 cable. Infinera and Seaborn validated the performance of the Infinera XTS-3300 meshponder featuring the Advanced Coherent Toolkit (ACT) on the Seabras-1 submarine cable, helping Seaborn to maximize the return on its cable assets.

The XTS-3300 is based on Infinera’s Infinite Capacity Engine 4 (ICE4) and is optimized for long-haul subsea applications. Infinera said its ICE4 technology incorporates unique technologies to boost capacity-reach performance including digitally synthesized Nyquist subcarriers, enhanced pre- and post-dispersion compensation, improved non-linear tolerance and SD-FEC gain sharing which is only possible with dual-channel DSPs. These capabilities collectively support up to 18.2 terabits per second per fiber for distances over 10,000 km, powered by ICE4’s leadership in spectral efficiency.

“This is an impressive achievement that far surpasses what we expected. Infinera has distinguished itself as an industry leader in delivering outstanding subsea optical performance,” said Larry W. Schwartz, Chairman and CEO, Seaborn Networks. “The Infinera XTS-3300 meshponders deliver industry-leading performance over Seabras-1 and validate Infinera’s technology leadership in subsea transmission. The capacity upgrade maximizes our return on investment and further underscores the uniqueness of Seaborn’s capacity on Seabras-1.”

“We are delighted with the performance of the XTS-3300 and the Infinite Capacity Engine 4 for subsea applications. The XTS-3300 delivers industry leading capacity-reach performance for our subsea customers where spectral efficiency is paramount and bandwidth demand is growing at more than 45 percent per year,” said Dave Welch, President and Co-Founder, Infinera.


EFFECT Photonics and Skylane Optics to supply narrow-tunable optical transceivers

Skylane Optics, a privately-held company that supplies a wide range of optical transceivers and other photonic, reached an agreement with EFFECT Photonics to supply narrow-tunable optical transceivers to telecom operators in Europe, North and South America.

EFFECT Photonics, which is based in Eindhoven, Netherlands, develops highly integrated optical products based on InP (Indium Phosphide). The company has recently begun sampling of a narrow-band tunable DWDM optical transceiver designed for next-gen mobile networks. The new product leverages EFFECT's optical System-on-Chip technology with advanced photonic integration and low-cost packaging. The design combines many optical functions within its PIC platform including, tunable lasers, MZI modulators, waveguides, SOAs, photodetectors, along with integrated wavelength lockers.

Skylane Optics said the costs associated with using EFFECT Photonics narrow-band tunable optical transceiver enables a reduction in sparing and provisioning costs by over 90%.

Skylane Optics is based in Belgium.

https://www.skylaneoptics.com/
http://effectphotonics.nl/

Aruba builds analytics-driven security framework for multivendor networks

Aruba, the wireless networking division of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, is launching an analytics-driven attack detection and response framework to bolster enterprise security from the edge, to the core, to the cloud for multivendor networks.

Aruba 360 Secure Fabric is a security framework that builds on User and Entity Behavioral Analytics (UEBA) to detect and respond to advanced cyberattacks from pre-authorization to post-authorization across multivendor networks, not just its own wireless LAN gear. Aruba already offers an IntroSpect UEBA product line that leverages machine learning security to detect anomalous user and traffic patterns across multiple data sources. Aruba Introspect can ingest common data sources including Microsoft Active Directory or other LDAP authentication records and identity information, and firewall logs from sources such as Checkpoint, Palo Alto Networks, or Aruba monitoring (AMON) logs from Aruba infrastructure.

Key components of the Aruba 360 Secure Fabric include:

  • Aruba IntroSpect UEBA solution : A new network-agnostic family of continuous monitoring and advanced attack detection software. Includes a new entry-level edition and uses machine learning to detect changes in user and device behavior that can indicate attacks that have evaded traditional security defenses. Machine-learning algorithms generate a Risk Score based on the severity of an attack to speed up incident investigations for security teams.
  • Aruba ClearPass : A network access control (NAC) and policy management security solution that can profile BYOD and IoT users and devices, enabling automated attack response, is now integrated with Aruba IntroSpect. ClearPass can also be deployed on any vendor’s network.
  • Aruba Secure Core : Essential security capabilities embedded in the foundation across all of Aruba’s Wi-Fi access points, wireless controllers, and switches, including the recently introduced Aruba 8400 campus core and aggregation switch.

Aruba said its new framework delivers betters and complementary attack detection with leading third-party security solutions. An emphasis is places on rapid response for breach investigations based on forensic traffic analysis.

Acacia develops 2 x 600 Gbps Coherent Module

Acacia Communications introduced a coherent optical module that pairs two wavelengths at up to 600 Gbps capacity each to support transmission speeds of up to 1.2 Tbps. The module could be used in systems for DCI, metro, long-haul and submarine networks.

Acacia's AC1200 Coherent Module is based on its Pico digital signal processor (DSP) ASIC. The module's footprint which is 40% less than the size of a 5” x 7” module supporting 400 Gbps today.  Acacia will support security encryption with this new product.

Key features of Acacia’s AC1200 modules:

  • Tunable Baud Rate – enables continuous baud rate adjustment for optimal utilization of the available spectrum
  • Patented Fractional QAM Modulation – provides users with the ability to select very fine resolution of QAM constellations for optimal capacity
  • Enhanced Turbo Product Code SD-FEC – offers ultra-high net coding gain (NCG) and enables maximum reach, while maintaining low power dissipation.

Acacia anticipates sampling in the first half of 2018.

Google acquires HTC's hardware team

Google will hire a team of hardware engineers from HTC, the Taiwan-based mobile and consumer electronics firm.

The HTC team has been working closely with Google on its Pixel smartphone line.

The deal, reportedly worth US$1.1 billion, also includes a non-exclusive license for HTC intellectual property.

Google is planning to unveil its latest line of hardware products on October 4th.

  • In 2012, Google acquired Motorola ia deal valued at US$12.5 billion. The acquisition included an extensive intellectual property portfolio. Google later sold the Motorola handset business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion.

Arista's Any Cloud aims for universal cloud consistency

Arista Networks unveiled its strategy for extending its Extensible Operating System (EOS) across private cloud datacenters and public cloud providers.

The Arista Any Cloud software platform will support Amazon Web Services (AWS), the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, Microsoft Azure Stack, Google Cloud Platform and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.  Arista will also be providing integration with the Equinix Cloud Exchange, which provides direct high-performance connections to 70+ cloud providers.

Key elements of the Arista Any Cloud solution include the Arista vEOS Router for hypervisors (KVM and VMware ESX) and for cloud platforms (AWS and Azure), and the Arista Cloud Tracer as a CloudVision-based application. Arista’s new Cloud Tracer assures that visibility and availability metrics are tracked consistently across the entire hybrid cloud environment, including public cloud direct connections, remote datacenter connections and cloud exchange points.

Arista said its Any Cloud solution will provide its enterprise customers with a common Universal Cloud Network experience.

“Arista’s Any Cloud platform transcends public and private clouds, radically changing the on-premises enterprise datacenter. We are helping customers realize their hybrid-cloud transformation by extending Arista EOS and CloudVision across network boundaries,” said Jayshree Ullal, President and CEO for Arista Networks.

NEC Completes "SKR1M" 100Gbps Subsea Cable in Malaysia

NEC completed the construction of the Sistem Kabel Rakyat 1Malaysia (SKR1M) 100 Gbps submarine cable linking Peninsular Malaysia with Sabah and Sarawak.

The project is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) collaboration between Telekom Malaysia and the Malaysian Government through the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

The new submarine cable system spans over 3,800 kilometers and has six landings, namely, Kuantan, Mersing, Kuching, Bintulu, Miri, and Kota Kinabalu.

NEC said the system is upgradable to 12.8 Tbps of capacity.

NTT Group seeks growth through diversification – part 2

Preamble – The first part of this article presented an organizational look at the NTT Group, which consists of five main groups and an astounding number of subsidiary companies: 944 at last count with interests as diverse as IT outsourcing, mobile apps, real estate, data centers, finance, construction, and even electrical power. We also presented a number of operational showing that NTT is indeed growing again at a 3.4% annual rate, and that in its home market of Japan, NTT continues to hold the largest share of the mobile and fixed line business.

The Global Cloud Strategy

NTT may be the quintessential Japanese conglomerate; however, the company now sees faster growth overseas than in Japan. Recently, thanks to several key acquisitions as well as organic growth, overseas sales and operating income are on a growth spurt. 

                                    Sales                                        Operating income
FY2015/3                    US$15.0B                               US$0.67b
FY2016/3                    US $15.6B                              US$0.69B
FY2017/3                    US $16.9B                              US$0.80B
FY2018/3 (forecast)    US$19.6B                               US$1.5B

The growing sales are based on what NTT calls its Global Cloud Business Promotion System which is aiming for the “full stack” or services, although delivered through sister companies rather than under a unified brand. In that sense, it differs from the pure cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Alibaba or IBM. Of course, NTT also possess the physical network assets, such as dedicated fiber pairs on subsea cables, that few others can rival.


Here is the strategic picture



The Data Centre Layer

Inside the group, the data center layer should be the domain of NTT Communications, although in some overseas markets, other subsidiaries take over this function. Here are some examples.

European data centres: In August, NTT Communications, acting through its European subsidiary e-shelter, inaugurated a new data center in Bonn, Germany. The two-story Rhein-Ruhr 1 offers 2,700 square meters (sqm) of server space, equivalent to 1,100 racks. The facility conforms delivers data-center services based on more than 300 globally unified standards that NTT Com’s Nexcenter facilities have implemented for equipment and operations. In Europe, NTT Com delivers data center services in Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland and the UK (see Appendix 1). NTT Com expands its data center business to the Rhein-Ruhr region, one of the most expected data-center markets in Germany mainly serving the customers from the public sector. In May, NTT Comm inaugurated its Germany Munich 2 data centre (Munich 2) located in Unterschleißheim, a suburb of Munich 16 km from the city centre, with the facility managed by e-shelter, a NTT Com company and data centre services provider in Europe. The two-story Munich 2 data centre initially offers 2,800 sq metres of server space, equivalent to 1,100 racks, with plans to expand the facility to 5,600 sq metres. The facility is operating under NTT Com's Nexcenter brand.

North American data centres: In 2009, NTT Communications acquired an 80% stake in RagingWire, a wholesale data centre operator, for US$350 million. At the time, Raging operated 650,000 square feet of data center space at its campuses in Sacramento, California, and Ashburn, Virginia. Since then, RagingWire has continued to build at a frenetic pace and is now one of the largest data centre shops in the crucial Ashburn market. Late in 2016, Ragingwire announced plans for its third data center in Ashburn’s “Data Center Alley” measuring 245,000 square feet of space and 16 megawatts of power, The VA3 Data Center joins RagingWire’s VA1 and VA2 data centers, which also are in Ashburn. The combination of VA1, VA2 and VA3 creates a data center footprint of over a half million square feet of space and 44.4 megawatts of power. RagingWire also has massive data centers in Dallas, Texas and Sacramento, California.

India: In July, NTT Communications announced the launch of international data network services in India through its affiliate NTT Communications India Network Services (NTTCINS). NTT Com stated that the acquisition of its licence in India follows the launch of construction of two new Indian data centres in Mumbai and Bangalore, through subsidiary Netmagic, a provider of managed hosting and cloud services in India. NTT Com said it plans to invest $160 million in building the two data centres, which are scheduled to become operational by April 2018. The new data centres will add nearly 500,000 sq feet of gross floor space at full build out, increasing NTT Com's total gross footprint in India to 1,100,000 sq feet. The new data centres in Mumbai and Bangalore will accommodate 2,750 racks with 22 MW of power and 1,500 racks with 15 MW of power, respectively.

The Managed ICT Layer

At the managed ICT layer, the NTT Group has several overlapping interests at play.
First, NTT Communications is the wide-area networking division within the group, offering a very wide range of services from legacy corporate voice communications, to data networking, and cloud computing. It has more than 380 subsidiaries of its own (including RagingWire and e-shelter, as mentioned above) and more than 43,800 employees. We can safely say NTT Comm does business pretty much everywhere in the world. The revenue picture for NTT Comm follows.



Global SD-WAN Launch

In June, a NTT SD-WAN Service Portfolio was officially launched, offering coverage spanning over 190 countries, NTT Comm also announced the deployment of a fully software defined network that provides the framework for the delivery of a suite of overlay SD-WAN services for global and regional enterprises.

The NTT SD-WAN platform is based on a new architecture that is locally distributed at sites worldwide via over 75 local cloud centres (LCCs) that are optimised for network, mobility and security. In addition, NTT SD-WAN real-time streaming network analytics offers CIOs and IT staff insight into application performance, network security and the end-user experience. The platform can also support the delivery of services from CPE located at branch offices.

Key features of NTT SD-WAN platform include:
  • Real-time streaming network analytics based on NTT Com's application visibility reporting and analytics tool to help enterprise customers manage network workload and performance.
  • Enterprise connectivity flexibility, with support for connectivity options such as local ISP, Internet, broadband, wireless, MPLS and LTE, plus cloud connectivity to major SaaS and cloud service providers.
  • CPE flexibility, with the ability to select NTT provided or customer provided SD-WAN devices at branch offices.
  • Optimised local ISP selection and routing, offering optimised connectivity to 1,000+ local network providers that connect customer locations in over 190 countries.
  • Enhanced QoS, enabling the application and enforcement of QoS policies.
  • Secure web gateways and application acceleration, with security via NTT Com's secure web gateways at LCCs and application acceleration via its LCCs.

 The Virtela line

The newly-launched SD-WAN service is not the first time the company has reached beyond MPLS or other VPN technologies to build a virtual network service. In 2014, NTT Communications acquired Virtela Technology Services (Virtela) of Denver, Colorado, a global managed and cloud network services provider serving over 500 multinational companies. Virtela idea was to integrated 1,000+ local and regional network providers, enabling the customer to build a virtual overlay network from multi-carrier MPLS, Ethernet, DSL, 3G/4G/LTE and other IP links, while benefitting from a single SLA and management portal. Virtela operates global operations and delivery centers in the U.S., India and the Philippines.  

USAF awards $1 billion Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services contract

In what is described as the largest-ever federal cloud-based unified communications and collaboration contract, the U.S. Air Force awarded a five-year, $1 billion contract to Dell EMC, General Dynamics and Microsoft.

Under the contract, the three partners will implement a Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services (CHES) program aimed at improving efficiency and agility, encouraging innovation, and generating cost savings across the Air Force’s information technology enterprise.

Dell EMC, General Dynamics and Microsoft have also been instrumental in the Air Force's IT transformation initiative, which was launched in 2015 and included deployment of Microsoft Office 365 including email, productivity tools and communications. Over 140,000 users have been migrated to this cloud platform over the past two years. CHES is the follow-on to that program.

The task order was awarded by the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service in Denver.

Inphi announces 100G DWDM QSFP28 modules for DCI

Inphi introduced its "COLORZ-Lite" 100G DWDM QSFP28 form factor modules for campus and data center interconnects spanning up to 20km. The company says its COLORZ-Lite hot-swappable devices can plug into any QSFP28 100G Ethernet port of any standard switch or router. COLORZ-Lite can support up to 40 DWDM channels on a single fiber.

COLORZ-Lite DWDM Key Features:

  • QSFP28 MSA form factor supporting 100G Ethernet
  • Enables 4 Tb/s capacity over a single fiber
  • 4.5 W power dissipation
  • ITU wavelength grid compatible
  • DSP based PAM4 modulation
  • Optimized cost performace for up to 20km

Inphi first announced its COLORZ 100G PAM4 platform solution for 80 km DWDM DCI last year.

Inphi expands PAM4 DSP portfolio for 50G-400G

Inphi Corp. has expanded its 16nm Polaris PAM4 DSP portfolio for next generation 50G-400G cloud deployments. The new Polaris PAM4 DSP PHY ICs, which are now sampling, provide a full bi-directional interface with host ASICs that have 28GBaud PAM4 and NRZ electrical interfaces while bridging to 28GBaud PAM4 optics.

Inphi's 16nm CMOS PAM4 platform is based on four generations of DSP engines. The new devices will support both integrated and non-integrated driver capabilities spanning short reach optical applications, and longer distances of fiber enabled by the use of an external driver.

Polaris 16nm PAM4 DSP PHY with Integrated Driver features:

  • InphiNity DSP Engine with a unique mixed-mode DSP architecture for high-performance, low power applications needing adaptability and configurability
  • Numerous self-test and loopback modes that allow diagnostic monitoring of channel and system parameters
  • Eye-scan, samplers and monitors on all receiver interfaces for link margin and stress testing along with GUI and API routines for data and error analytics
  • Low power 16nm CMOS

II-VI debuts Optical Line Subsystem for DCI

Pittsburgh-based II-VI Incorporated introduced an Optical Line Subsystem platform for datacenter interconnects (DCI).

The new subsystem is optimized for direct-detect DWDM transceivers, including the new COLORZ-Lite 100G PAM4 based on the COLORZ silicon photonics platform from Inphi Corp.

II-VI’s Optical Line Subsystem multiplexes, amplifies and demultiplexes multiple wavelengths of COLORZ-Lite data streams to achieve a combined transmission rate of up to 4 Tb/s over a 20 km reach in a compact one rack
unit (1RU) form factor.

“The COLORZ-Lite direct-detect DWDM technology enables cloud service providers to alleviate fiber exhaust resulting from the high usage of 100G grey optics,” commented Dr. Loi Nguyen, founder, SVP, Optical Interconnect, Inphi. “The key to achieving this is the II-VI Optical Line Subsystem technology, which enables the transport of direct-detect data streams at significantly lower cost points than any other competing solution.”

II-VI demonstrated its Optical Line Subsystem and the COLORZ-Lite 100G PAM4 platforms at ECOC 2017.

EXFO intros 400G test solution

EXFO released its 400G testing solution for telecom network equipment manufacturers (NEMs), carrier labs, and data centers.

The EXFO FTBx-88400NGE Power Blazer provides advanced testing for the full suite of new 400G technologies, including support for FlexE (Flex Ethernet), 400G Ethernet and high-speed transceiver validation. EXFO will offer both a rackmount and a portable version.

Coriant wins Australia's nbn "We Deliver" award

nbn, the company building and operating Australia’s national broadband network, selected Coriant for the ‘We Deliver’ award at its recent nbn Supplier Summit held in Sydney.

The Coriant hiT 7300 Multi-Haul Transport Platform powers the nbn optical transport backbone, which now spans over 60,000 kilometers.

The ‘We Deliver’ award recognizes Coriant’s quality solutions and service excellence consistency since nbn’s inception.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Level 3 introduces encrypted wavelength service

Level 3 Communications has launched an encrypted wavelength service to help global enterprises secure their optical connections from unlawful interception and fiber tapping.

The encrypted waves service, which uses AES 256-bit encryption, provides enterprises with a single network view. Customers maintain complete control over their encryption keys via the MyLevel3 portal and a Level 3-provided key management system.

Unlike with cloud-based encryption schemes, Level 3 says its optical layer service does not incur a performance penalty, ultra-low latency is preserved and there is no throughput degredation. In addition, customers do not need to invest in in additional encryption equipment to leverage encrypted waves between key customer locations.

"Every element of a critical network today has to be hardened against security attacks. Level 3 encrypted waves offer enterprises peace of mind by addressing security threats such as unlawful interception and fiber tapping, without sacrificing network performance. Unlike other optical encryption solutions on the market today, our solution provides greater direct customer control with built-in encryption key management through our portal. This is just one example of how Level 3 continues to deliver a truly customer-defined adaptive networking experience," stated Paul Savill, SVP of Core Products for Level 3.

Oclaro show coherent transceiver for 400G and 600G wavelengths

Oclaro is getting ready to sample its first photonic integrated coherent transmitters (ICTs) and intradyne coherent receiver (ICRs) for 400G and 600G wavelengths. The devices, which could be configured for multiple data rates, are designed for high-performance coherent optical systems for applications ranging from data center interconnects (DCIs) to ultra-long haul transmission.

Oclaro 64Gbaud ICT combines an ultra narrow line width laser with a high-bandwidth dual QPSK Mach Zehnder Modulator to support flexible baud rates up to 64Gbaud and 64-QAM modulation. The device has an integrated semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs), a tunable filter and a variable optical attenuator (VOA). It also includes a local oscillator (LO) feed with +12dBm output power for optimal receiver performance.

The photonic intregration uses indium phosphide technology.

Oclaro is showcasing these two new products at this week's ECOC Exhibition in Sweden. Sampling is expected in Q4 2017.

"With our ICR and ICT product offerings, customers will be able to design high-performance coherent systems that are both flexible in the bandwidth offered per port and cost competitive by maximizing the data that can be carried on a single wavelength," said Beck Mason, President, Integrated Photonics Business Unit at Oclaro.

Oclaro's 400G/Lambda Lithium Niobate Modulator enters volume production

Oclaro has now achieved volume production of its lithium niobate (LiNbO3) Polarization Multiplexed Quad Mach-Zehnder (PM-QMZ) modulators, which enable data rates up to 400G on a single wavelength.

The Oclaro single carrier PM-QMZ lithium niobate external modulator is a high electro-optic bandwidth PM-QMZ device that integrates into a hermetic package an input beam splitter, four parallel Mach-Zehnder modulators configured for I-Q modulation, a polarization combiner, and monitor photodiodes for power and bias control. Key features:

  • 3dB electro-optic bandwidth exceeding 30GHz.
  • Extinction ratio above 25dB to enable complex modulation formats.
  • Insertion loss below 12dB for high efficiency.
  • Supports L-Band operation similar to all other Oclaro LiNbO3 modulators

Finisar shows 100G QSFP28 eSWDM at 300m

Finisar has demonstrated the first 100G QSFP28 eSWDM4 transceiver with extended reach for multimode fiber (MMF), which could enable data centre operators to upgrade from 10G to 100G without installing additional fiber.

The new device, which is a new member of Finisar's suite of extended reach QSFP28 form factor modules, leverages Finisar's SWDM4 technology and enables 200, 300 and 400 meter links at 100G data rates over OM3, OM4, and OM5 duplex MMF, respectively. Finisar now claims the longest fiber reach among duplex MMF solutions in the industry for 100G QSFP28 Ethernet applications.

In a demo at this week's ECOC 2017 in Sweden, Finisar is showing the new QSFP28 eSWDM4 module transmitting live data over 300 meters of OM4 multimode fiber connected to a receiving QSFP28 eSWDM4 module.

At ECOC, Finisar is also showing  a 10G Tunable BiDi Transceiver for Wireless, CATV and Enterprise networks. The demo features multiple tunable Bidi SFP+ modules supporting 40 bidirectional point-to-point links on a
single fiber.

A third ECOC demonstration features a 100G QSFP28 ER4f transceiver supporting 40km 4WDM applications. This transceiver is the newest member of the Finisar suite of extended reach QSFP28 modules. The ER4f module enables 40 km links at 100G data rates over duplex single mode fiber (SMF) with FEC on the host, or 30 km links with duplex SMF without FEC.

CenturyLink packages cloud-managed Business Wi-Fi from Cisco Meraki

CenturyLink is leveraging the Cisco Meraki cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution to offer a bundled service with businesses with up to 250 employees.

CenturyLink Business Wi-Fi provides a secure Wi-Fi with real-time monitoring and analytics for companies that would prefer not to manage their wireless network on their own.

CenturyLink said its Business Wi-Fi provides an enterprise-grade solution with fast deployment, simple administration and increased visibility into network users, all from a single provider. In addition to network transport, CenturyLink provides Cisco Meraki access points and software licenses (eight access points per location for up to five locations), access to Meraki's cloud-based dashboard and 24/7 operational support.

Minio raises $20m for Multi-Cloud Object Storage

Minio, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, raised $20 million in Series A funding for open source object storage for cloud-native and containerized applications.

Minio has developed an object storage server that enables developers to store unstructured data on any public or private cloud infrastructure, including multi-cloud deployments. The solution lets users build their own Amazon S3-compatible object storage on bare metal, public cloud or existing SAN/NAS storage infrastructure.

Minio reports  over 10M downloads since its general availability in January 2017.

The Series A funding round was jointly led by Dell Technologies Capital, General Catalyst Partners and Nexus Venture Partners, with participation by Intel Capital, AME Cloud and Steve Singh.


NTT Group seeks growth through diversification – part 1

The NTT Group ranks among the top carriers worldwide by nearly any metric, whether by revenue, subscribers, traffic, corporate debt, overseas investments or industry influence.  We know the acronym stands for Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, the incumbent telecom provider of Japan that still owns most of the last mile infrastructure of the company and is a leading innovator in optical and mobile networking technologies.  Recently, however, company executives, spelled out the acronym as follows:

Next value partner for
Transformation of business models and lifestyle by
Trusted Solutions of global, secure, end-to-end and full-line ICT services.

There are many key words in this new rendition of the company name but chief among them is “partner”. In its corporate strategy presentation, NTT executives now routinely emphasize the company’s willingness and ambition to seek partners both in Japan and abroad for the many opportunities it sees with artificial intelligence (AI), Big Data, telematics, IoT, entertainment, and even the management of modern sport stadiums.


NTT is certainly a big group. As of March 2017, it had 944 subsidiary companies and 274,850 employees.



Some current metrics on NTT and its User Base
In financial terms, the last quarterly report confirms that NTT continues to grow modestly. For Q2, operating revenues amounted to 2.809 billion yen, an increase of 93 billion yen over the same period in 2016, representing growth of 3.4% year over year. Net income amounted to 271.5 billion yen, up 11.4% year over year.

NTT Group’s highest growth rate occurred in its overseas operations. Overseas sales amounted to US$4.6 billion in Q2, up 21.2% year over year. Overseas operating income amounted to $0.19 billion, up 43% year over year.

Home market

Mobile Subscriptions: 75.11 million mobile subscriptions (net increase of 0.23 million) (Included in the above) Kake-hodai & Pake-aeru: 38.34 million subscriptions (net increase of 1.28 million)

FTTH Subscriptions: 20.29 million subscribers (net increase of 0.24 million) (Included in the above) Hikari Collaboration: 9.57 million (net increase of 0.83 million) Ø Growing number of Wi-Fi area owners*1: 612 (net increase of 55)





WIVE project looks for 5G vertical applications

A new WIVE (WIreless for VErticals) Project has been established by Nokia Bell Labs and leading academic institutions in Finland to identify vertical applications for 5G.

Besides Nokia, participating groups include Teleste, Telia, ABB, Cargotec Kalmar, Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle), Digita, regulator FICORA, key Finnish universities as well as VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

The two-year project is especially focused on opportunities in the following vertical sectors: Media and entertainment (M&E); Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), serving sectors like smart grids and remotely controlled machines; and Massive Machine Type Connectivity (mMTC), allowing a high number of devices to be connected with limited cost and energy consumption

https://wive.turkuamk.fi/

IEEE 802.3 looks to extend Optical PHYs beyond 10km

A new IEEE 802.3 Beyond 10km Optical PHYs Study Group has been formed under the auspices of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group.

The new study group aims to develop a Project Authorization Request (PAR) and Criteria for Standards Development (CSD) responses for optical solutions targeting physical distances beyond 10km for 50 Gb/s, 200 Gb/s, and 400 Gb/s Ethernet.

"The launch of the IEEE 802.3 Beyond 10km Optical PHYs Study Group represents a first step towards standardization that will meet the needs of network providers, such as wireless operators across the globe where bandwidth demands are projected to vary significantly from region to region,” said John D’Ambrosia, chair, IEEE 802.3 Beyond 10km Optical PHYs Study Group, and senior principal engineer, Huawei. “The Ethernet application space being addressed by this new working group will help ensure that a fully comprehensive networked Ethernet ecosystem can meet tomorrow’s demands for the speed and reach needed to support industry growth worldwide."

Monday, September 18, 2017

New double density SFP pluggable spec nears completion

The Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density (SFP-DD) Multi Source Agreement (MSA) Group, which is backed by leading vendors, has released an initial hardware specification for an SFP-DD pluggable interface.

Founding members of the group include Alibaba, Broadcom, Brocade, Cisco, Dell EMC, Finisar, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, Intel, Juniper Networks, Lumentum, Mellanox Technologies, Molex, and TE Connectivity.

The SFP-DD goal is to standardize a high-density, pluggable form factor interface that builds on the existing SFP pluggable form factor by leveraging an additional 2 rows of electrical contacts for double the lane density and data speed in next-generation networking equipment. The new spec will support up to 3.5 W optical modules in an enterprise environment.

SFP-DD key features include

  • A single port SMT connector and cage
  • Heat sink options for thermal management flexibility
  • Module mechanical definition
  • Support for optical and copper interfaces, with physical layer specifications to be determined outside the scope of the SFP-DD MSA
SFP-DD key benefits include

  • Support for up to 3.5 W for optical modules
  • Enables two channels of high-speed electrical interfaces connecting to host
  • Backward compatibility to all current SFP style interfaces
  • Developed by industry consortium to enable multi-vendor interoperability

http://sfp-dd.com/

Kaiam reaches volume production of 100G CWDM4 transceivers

Kaiam, a manufacturer of optical transceivers for hyperscale data centers based in Newark, California, has begun shipping its XQX5000-series of QSFP28 100G-CWDM4 transceivers in commercial volume.

The new transceivers are based on the company's LightScale2 architecture, which eliminates hermetic “gold boxes” and flex circuits. Kaiam maintains large-scale manufacturing in Livingston, Scotland.

The company reports that the LightScale2 production ramp has gone very smoothly.

“Our UK factory has manufactured traditional hermetic TOSAs and ROSAs in high volumes for years. The LightScale2 platform is far simpler to manufacture in terms of assembly steps, capital equipment, and labor. This has allowed us to ramp to high volumes with high yields much more quickly than was possible with more complex legacy products,” stated Russell Childs, GM of Kaiam Europe Ltd.

Kaiam CEO Bardia Pezeshki added, “Our micromechanical alignment technology allows multimode packaging techniques to be used in a single mode application. The Lightscale2 platform is optimized to deliver maximum value and performance in the data center environment at dramatically lower costs than traditionally aligned hybrid approaches.”

VPIphotonics and Fraunhofer HHI showcase DSP algorithms for coherent optical

Berlin-based VPIphotonics, which is a provider of photonic design automation solutions for components, systems and networks, has collaborated with the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz-Institute (HHI) to develop Digital Signal Processing (DSP) algorithms for coherent optical transmission systems.

The new version 3.0 of the VPItoolkit DSP Library is now available as a pluggable toolkit for the company's VPItransmissionMaker Optical Systems, which is a simulation platform for optical transmission systems addressing applications from short-reach to ultra-long-haul. This can be used by developers to simulate arbitrary 2D, 4D and even N dimensional modulation formats, and bit stream en-/decoding using soft and hard decision FEC codes.

The new release of the VPItoolkit DSP Library is also available as pluggable toolkit to the company's VPIlabExpert product, which delivers a set of interface modules for automatic signal conversion and transfer between simulation software and lab equipment.

VPIphotonics said the new version of its VPItoolkit DSP Library, along with its simulation and analysis tools, can significantly accelerate and improve the R&D process as it enables a diversity of important transmitter and receiver-side DSP functions for coherent optical systems. Key functionality includes, but is not limited to, non-linear pre-distortion, I/Q imbalance correction, blind CD estimation and compensation, data-aided channel equalization, clock recovery and deskew, carrier frequency and phase recovery, polarization demultiplexing and PMD compensation.

The new version also introduces a 4x4 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) adaptive equalizer that can perform additional compensation of I/Q imbalance and skew in received signals.

VPIphotonics is demonstrating its VPItoolkit DSP Library Version 3.0 at this week's ECOC 2017 in Gothenburg, Sweden (booth 334).

John Chambers to step down as chairman of Cisco

John Chambers will step down as Executive Chairman of the Cisco Board of Directors in December and he will not stand for re-election to the board of directors.

Cisco's Board plans appoint Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins to serve as its next chairman. Chambers will be given the honorary title of Chairman Emeritus.

Chambers served as CEO of Cisco from January 1995 to July 26, 2015, and as Executive Chairman since then.  Chuck Robbins has served as CEO since July 26, 2015.

Equinix opens another Silicon Valley data center - its 13th

Equinix inaugurated its thirteenth International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Silicon Valley.

The new $122M facility, named SV10, is located at Equinix's Great Oaks campus in San Jose, which also hosts its SV1 and SV5 data centers. The initial phase of SV10 will add 37,000+ square feet (3,400+ square meters) of colocation space, enough for 930 cabinets. Two additional expansion phases are planned, which will bring the SV10 facility to a total capacity of 2,820 cabinets.

Equinix noted that its Silicon Valley sites now host more than 125 service providers, along with cloud services such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle Cloud and others through the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

Versa Networks lands a key SD-WAN contract with China Telecom Global

China Telecom Global Limited (CTG) has selected Versa Networks as its primary vendor for software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) and security (SD-Security). Financial terms were not disclosed.

CTG delivers worldwide networking services to the growing base of Chinese companies with overseas branches. Its managed SD-WAN service is built on Versa’s suite of virtualized network and security functions (VNFs).

Versa confirmed that CTG is deploying its multi-tenant SD-WAN and SD-Security solution in 15 cloud hubs globally for distributed reach and centralized control. CTG is deploying Versa’s SD-WAN software on low-cost x86 appliances at its customer's branch offices.

Intel Capital's AI Investments top $1 billion

Intel Capital has now invested over $1 billion in companies devoted to the advancement of artificial intelligence.

In a blog post, Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich said the company is fully committed to making its silicon the "platform of choice" for AI developers. Key areas of AI development inside Intel include:

  • Intel Xeon Scalable family of processors for evolving AI workloads. Intel also offers purpose-built silicon for deep learning training, code-named “Lake Crest”
  • Intel Mobileye vision technologies for specialized use cases such as active safety and autonomous driving
  • Intel FPGAs, which can serve as programmable accelerators for deep learning inference
  • Intel Movidius low-power vision technology, which provides machine learning at the edge.



Intel Nervana Aims for AI

Intel introduced its "Nervana" platform and outlined its broad for artificial intelligence (AI), encompassing a range of new products, technologies and investments from the edge to the data center.

Intel currently powers 97 percent of data center servers running AI workloads on its existing Intel Xeon processors and Intel Xeon Phi processors, along with more workload-optimized accelerators, including FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays).

Intel said the breakthrough technology acquired from Nervana earlier this summer will be integrated into its product roadmap. Intel will test first silicon (code-named “Lake Crest”) in the first half of 2017 and will make it available to key customers later in the year. In addition, Intel announced a new product (code-named “Knights Crest”) on the roadmap that tightly integrates best-in-class Intel Xeon processors with the technology from Nervana. Lake Crest is optimized specifically for neural networks to deliver the highest performance for deep learning and offers unp

See also