Wednesday, March 22, 2017

AT&T Conducts 400G Field Trial

AT&T completed the first of a multi-phase trial testing 400 gigabit Ethernet data speeds. This first phase used optical gear from Coriant to carry a true 400GbE service across a long-distance span of AT&T global backbone from New York to Washington, demonstrating that AT&T’s nationwide software-centric network is 400G-ready.

A second phase of the trial will carry a 400GbE on a single 400G wavelength across AT&T’s OpenROADM metro network. This phase is expected to use optical gear from Ciena.

 A third phase is expected to test the first instance of a 400GbE open router platform. The “disaggregated router” platform uses merchant silicon and open source software – and this is expected to be another industry first.

“Our approach to roll out the next generation of Ethernet speeds is working. We continue to see enormous data growth on our network, fueled by video. And this will help with that growth,” said Rick Hubbard, senior vice president, AT&T Network Product Management.

In a post deadline paper at OFC, researchers at AT&T Labs described the trial, which encompassed an end-to-end 400G Ethernet circuit, inclusive of 400GbE client cards with a CPF8 interface and dual-carrier 16QAM line-side. The trial demonstrated the feasibility of SDN-enabled creation, deletion, and re-routing of the 400G service.

http://www.att.com

Mellanox Intros Silicon Photonics-based 200G Transceivers

Mellanox Technologies introduced a new line of new line of 200 Gbit/s silicon photonics and VCSEL-based transceivers in a QSFP28 package and 100 Gbit/s silicon photonics components designed for hyperscale Web 2.0 and cloud optical interconnect applications.

200 Gbit/s transceivers

Mellanox new 200 Gbit/s silicon photonics and VCSEL-based transceivers are offered in the same QSFP28 package as current 100 Gbit/s products and target hyperscale Web 2.0 and cloud 100 Gbit/s networks. Mellanox is also introducing 200 Gbit/s active optical cables (AOCs) and direct attach copper cables (DACs), including breakout cables, enabling end-to-end 200 Gbit/s Ethernet networks.

Specifically, Mellanox is introducing the following 200 Gbit/s products:

1.  1550 nm DR4 QSFP28 silicon photonics transceiver for reach up to 500 metres on single mode fibre.

2.  SR4 VCSEL QSFP28 transceiver for reach up to 100 metres on OM4 multi-mode fibre.

3.  QSFP28 AOC for reach up to 100 metres.

4.  QSFP28 DAC cable for reaches up to 3 metres.

5.  QSFP28 to 4 x 50 Gbit/s SFP28 copper splitter cables for connecting 50 Gbit/s servers to ToR switches.

Mellanox noted that the transceivers and DACs support the new IEEE 200GAUI electrical standard using 25 GBaud PAM4 signalling.

100 Gbit/s silicon photonics components

Mellanox also unveiled new 100 Gbit/s silicon photonics components and announced the availability of the following solutions:

1.  PSM4 silicon photonics 1550 nm transmitter with flip-chip bonded DFB lasers and attached 1 metre fibre pigtail for reach up to 2 km.

2.  PSM4 silicon photonics 1550 nm transmitter with flip-chip bonded DFB lasers and attached fibre stub for connectorised transceivers with reach up to 2 km.

3.  Low-power 100 Gbit/s (4 x 25 Gbit/s) modulator driver IC.

4.  PSM4 silicon photonics 1310 and 1550 nm receiver array with 1 metre fibre pigtail.

5.  PSM4 silicon photonics 1310 and 1550 nm receiver array for connectorised transceivers.

6.  Low-power 100 Gbit/s (4 x 25 Gbit/s) trans-impedance amplifier IC.


At OFC Mellanox held live demonstrations of its end-to-end solutions, including: Spectrum 100 Gbit/s QSFP28/ SFP28 switches; ConnectX-4 and ConnectX-5 25/50/100 Gbit/s QSFP28/SFP28 network adapters; LinkX 25/50/100 Gbit/s DAC and AOC cables and 100 Gbit/s SR4 and PSM4 transceivers; Quantum switches with 40 ports of 200 Gbit/s QSFP28 in a 1 RU chassis; and ConnectX-6 adapters with 2 ports of 200 Gbit/s QSFP28.

ADVA enhances FSP 3000 CloudConnect for 600G

ADVA Optical Networking unveiled its next generation terminal for the FSP 3000 CloudConnect, designed for hyperscale data centre interconnect (DCI) applications, with the TeraFlex solution, enabling transport of 600 Gbit/s of data over a single wavelength for total duplex capacity of 3.6 Tbit/s in a single rack unit.

ADVA claims that the new TeraFlex terminal delivers 50% greater density than competing technology and enables the ADVA FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform to meet the demands of Internet content providers (ICPs) and carrier-neutral providers (CNPs) seeking scale their DCI networks to support data traffic growth.

The new TeraFlex terminal expands the capabilities of the FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform, launched in 2015 and designed to offer an open, modular and scalable solution for DCI applications.

The FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform is offered as a complete solution or as a disaggregated open line system (OLS). ADVA noted that by decoupling the terminal functions from the line system, customers have the ability to change and optimise each network layer separately and according to different development cycles.

In addition, via open APIs and management interfaces, the ADVA FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform is able to support any DCI architecture.

Recently, ADVA enhanced the FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform with direct detect open optical layer functionality, offering an alternative for customers that do not wish to deploy traditional coherent solutions. The direct detect technology is available either as an open line system (OLS) in a disaggregated form or as a complete solution incorporating the terminal and line system. A key feature of the OLS solution is SmartAmp technology, which enables direct detect transmissions to be transported up to 100 km.

Describing the CloudConnect platform, Stephan Rettenberger, SVP, marketing and investor relations at ADVA, said, "… the FSP 3000 CloudConnect platform (offers) a choice of terminal options… coherent optics, direct detect solutions and even support (for) alien wavelengths… ADVA is pushing the boundaries of what open DCI technology can be".

http://www.advaoptical.com

Facebook shows its progress with Open Compute Project

The latest instalment of the annual Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit, which was held March 8-9 in Silicon Valley, brought new open source designs for next-generation data centres. It is six years since Facebook launched OCP and it has grown into quite an institution. Membership in the group has doubled over the past year to 195 companies and it is clear that OCP is having an impact in adjacent sectors such as enterprise storage and telecom infrastructure gear.

The OCP was never intended to be a traditional standards organisation, serving more as a public forum in which Facebook, Microsoft and potentially other big buyers of data centre equipment can share their engineering designs with the industry. The hyper-scale cloud market, which also includes Amazon Web Services, Google, Alibaba and potentially others such as IBM and Tencent, are where the growth is at. IDC, in its Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker, estimates total spending on IT infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage and Ethernet switches) for deployment in cloud environments will increase by 18% in 2017 to reach $44.2 billion. Of this, IDC estimates that 61% of spending will be by public cloud data centres, while off-premises private cloud environments constitute 15% of spending.

It is clear from previous disclosures that all Facebook data centres have adopted the OCP architecture, including its primary facilities in Prineville (Oregon), Forest City (North Carolina), Altoona (Iowa) and Luleå (Sweden). Meanwhile, the newest Facebook data centres, under construction in Fort Worth (Texas) and Clonee, Ireland are pushing OCP boundaries even further in terms of energy efficiency.

Facebook's ambitions famously extend to connecting all people on the planet and it has already passed the billion monthly user milestone for both its mobile and web platforms. The latest metrics indicate that Facebook is delivering 100 million hours of video content every day to its users; 95+ million photos and videos are shared on Instagram on a daily basis; and 400 million people now use Messenger for voice and video chat on a routine basis.

At this year's OCP Summit, Facebook is rolling out refreshed designs for all of its 'vanity-free' servers, each optimised for a particular workload type, and Facebook engineers can choose to run their applications on any of the supported server types. Highlights of the new designs include:

·         Bryce Canyon, a very high-density storage server for photos and videos that features a 20% higher hard disk drive density and a 4x increase in compute capability over its predecessor, Honey Badger.

·         Yosemite v2, a compute server that features 'hot' service, meaning servers do not need to be powered down when the sled is pulled out of the chassis in order for components to be serviced.

·         Tioga Pass, a compute server with dual-socket motherboards and more IO bandwidth (i.e. more bandwidth to flash, network cards and GPUs) than its predecessor, Leopard, enabling larger memory configurations and faster compute time.

·         Big Basin, a server designed for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, optimised for image processing and training neural networks. Compared to its predecessor, Big Basin can train machine learning models that are 30% larger due to greater arithmetical throughput and by implementing more memory (12 to 16 Gbytes).

Facebook currently has web server capacity to deliver 7.5 quadrillion instructions per second and its 10-year roadmap for data centre infrastructure, also highlighted at the OCP Summit, predicts that AI and machine learning will be applied to a wide range of applications hosted on the Facebook platform. Photos and videos uploaded to any of the Facebook services will routinely go through machine-based image recognition and to handle this load Facebook is pursuing additional OCP designs that bring fast storage capabilities closer to its compute resources. It will leverage silicon photonics to provide fast connectivity between resources inside its hyper-scale data centres and new open source models designed to speed innovation in both hardware and software.

Luxtera unveils Duplex 100G CWDM2 QSFP with PAM4

Luxtera, a leading supplier of silicon photonics solutions, announced the sampling of its 100G-CWDM2 QSFP optical transceiver module based on its latest silicon photonics chipset and targeting applications in cloud, enterprise and high performance computing,

Luxtera's new LUX45202 optical transceiver is a 100 Gbit/s duplex solution developed for 100 Gbit/s deployments for cloud, enterprise and high performance computing end users, and is designed to offer high performance and reliability at a low price point. The solution implements PAM4 modulation, enabling the device to deliver using two lasers the performance that current solutions require four lasers to achieve.

The new LUX45202 transceiver module offers key features including:

1. 100 Gbit optical transceiver in QSFP28-compliant form-factor.

2. Multi-rate capability, with support for 10.3125, 20.625 or 25.78125 Gbit/s per electrical channel.

3. Support for CWDM2 and reach of over 2 km.

4. Power consumption of less than 3.5 W.

Luxtera's LUX45202 100 Gbit/s duplex CWDM2 optical transceiver is currently sampling to select customers, with volume production scheduled for the second half of 2017.

Recently, Luxtera announced a partnership with TSMC for next generation silicon photonics manufacturing. Under the agreement, Luxtera and TSMC are developing a new silicon photonics technology platform designed to double optical link performance while enabling four times the raw data rate of existing silicon photonics solutions. The technology will provide SoC integration of optical interconnect with the CMOS logic for applications including network switch, storage and compute solutions.

Cavium and Elenion offer silicon photonics-based reference architecture

Cavium, a provider of semiconductor products designed to enable secure, intelligent packet processing, and Elenion Technologies, a developer of silicon photonics technology, announced an end-to-end reference architecture for use in enterprise and cloud data centres.

Integrating Cavium's QLogic network interface cards (NICs) and XPliant-based switches, with Elenion's silicon photonics on-board optics, the direct fibre-to-the-server and parallel multi-channel on-board solution for switches is designed to provide increased bandwidth to the server, aggregation at 400 Gbit/s and beyond, lower power consumption and offer a path to achieving the target of less than $1 per Gbit.


For the joint solution, Cavium is contributing its QLogic high performance, multi-protocol Ethernet adapters, which support 10/25/40/100 Gbit/s speeds, and the XPliant Ethernet switch family, providing a high throughput, programmable data centre switching solution.

Cavium noted that platforms based on the XPliant Ethernet switches are able to leverage its programmatic control of table resources and pipeline logic to address the specific needs of the network architecture, while also providing a high degree of packet visibility and telemetry.

Cavium and Elenion are displaying the reference design for fibre-to-the-server solutions during OFC 2017 in Los Angeles. A demonstration based on Elenion's next-generation photonics platform and packaging technology, combined with the Cavium solutions, showcases advanced on-board transceivers with light sources integrated onto the silicon photonics to enable a scalable, cost disruptive on-board solutions for NIC and switch applications within the data centre.


Recently, Coriant introduced a short reach CFP2-ACO pluggable module for its Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform (NDP) that included silicon photonics technology from Elenion, The Groove short reach CFP2-ACO pluggable is designed to enable cost-optimised, power-efficient 200 Gbit/s connectivity for carrier transport and DCI applications.

EXFO launches FTB-4 Pro platform for spectral and transport

EXFO has announced the launch of the FTB-4 Pro platform for 100 Gbit/s networks, which it claims is the most compact platform for testing high speed and optical networks, expanding the company's test orchestration portfolio designed to enable efficient and scalable network testing in support of field operations, network performance assurance and service delivery.

EXFO's new 4 slot modular FTB-4 Pro platform combines support for 100 Gbit/s commissioning, turn-up and troubleshooting. The solution includes the FTBx-88200NGE 100 Gbit/s multi-service tester featuring its iOptics transceiver validation software, and the FTB-5240S-P optical spectrum analyser. The solution is designed to eliminate the need for additional platforms or swap modules by enabling transport and spectral testing using a single platform.

The FTB-4 Pro platform supports a range of modules for field testing, data centre interconnect, submarine testing and lab applications to provide increased flexibility and support testing across all phases of the service delivery chain, from development to deployment, maintenance and troubleshooting.

Additional module combinations provided by the FTB-4 Pro platform also include iOLM/OTDRs, OLTS for fibre characterisation, dispersion solutions and other transport modules, all of which offer compatibility with EXFO's fibre inspection probes.

EXFO noted that the FTB-4 Pro platform features a 10-inch high-resolution widescreen display and a QUAD core processor and operates on the latest Microsoft Windows 10 OS.

http://www.exfo.com

Menara samples C-band tunable coherent CFP-DCO transceivers

Menara Networks, an IPG Photonics business and vertically integrated provider of IP/Ethernet DWDM transport solutions, has announced immediate sampling of its coherent CFP-DCO transceivers to select customers.

Based on an advanced 16 nm coherent processor, Menara's latest digital CFP-DCO DWDM transceiver is designed to support DWDM coherent transmission for 100 and 200 Gbit/s per wavelength in a CFP MSA form factor. The device performs functionality including adaptive advanced modulation, digital signal processing for linear and non-linear fibre impairments compensation, G.709-compliant OTN framing and a range of hard and soft decision-based FEC encoding/decoding.


Compatible with 100 Gigabit Ethernet, CAUI, OTL4.10 and OTL 4.4 interfaces, Menara's new coherent CFP-DCO is full C-band tunable and offers support for ITU-T G.694.1 12.5 GHz flexible grid. The solution is designed to support ZR, data centre interconnection (DCI), metro and long haul network applications.

At OFC 2017, Menara is showcasing its new coherent CFP-DCO transceivers on a 250 km repeater-less fibre link featuring IPG Photonics' compact hybrid EDFA/Raman Optical Services Transport Platform (OSTP). The company will also demonstrate its transceiver solution integrating C-band tunability, OTN framing and FEC in a SFP+ transceiver MSA form factor.


In March 2016, Menara announced the availability of a MSA CFP-2 100 Gbit/s adapter module designed to accommodate QSFP28 transceivers covering all 100 Gbit/s MSAs and reaches. Menara claimed this was the first solution able to adapt any MSA QSFP28 100 Gbit/s module into a MSA-compliant CFP2 100 Gbit/s module.

FatPipe enhances SD-WAN with L2/3 load balancing

FatPipe Networks, the developer of software-defined networks for wide area connectivity and hybrid WANs, has announced its Next Gen SD-WAN platform, version 9, which is designed to simplify the management of a WAN and provide load balancing for Layer 2 and 3 networks, thereby eliminating the need for routers.

FatPipe's Next Gen Version 9 SD-WAN platform is designed to enable customers to fully integrate its SDN at the data centre with the SD-WAN at the branch level, providing a scalable SDN + SD-WAN solution that is claimed to offer superior functionality to current SD-WAN products. In addition, virtual versions are available for Amazon and Azure platforms, plus VMWare and other popular platforms.

FatPipe's latest Next Gen SD-WAN platform is designed to deliver feature including:

1. Layer 2 and 3 support, enabling routed and switched topologies for global SDN deployments that bridge the LAN and WAN, while also providing low-latency performance and enabling lower-cost deployments.

2. New configuration design with a web-based interface that scales for any screen and offers a unified view across the network and a simplified configuration view to help bring appliances online.

3. New auto-configuration functionality designed to reduce the complexity of configuring multiple appliances, with MPSec, VPN and policy routing rules propagated to remote/branch devices automatically from a central location, plus improved support for legacy routing protocols via BGP and OSPF support.

4. Application visibility and performance allow application flows to be managed across the WAN, with enhanced flexibility in application identification and control over flow direction and a holistic view across the network providing granular application visibility.

FatPipe's 'branch in a box' SD-WAN product integrates all branch requirements, including multi-line load balancing, firewall, VPN, QoS and local Smart DNS. The company noted that with Smart DNS hosted at the local branch, if the cloud-based management product, FatPipe Orchestrator, is inaccessible, the local appliances can continue to perform and transmit data.

http://www.fatpipeinc.com/

See also