Tuesday, May 23, 2017

AT&T enhances FlexWare NFV solution and expands availability worldwide

AT&T announced new network connectivity options and security applications for its FlexWare offering, and that it is increasing availability to cover more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

The AT&T FlexWare platform is designed to simplify the delivery and deployment of software-based network functions for business customers. Using the service, businesses can flexibly manage their networks, reduce total costs of ownership and avoid the requirement of utilising proprietary hardware-based solutions. AT&T noted that within a year of launch, over 2,000 FlexWare devices have been sold worldwide to a variety of businesses, both large and small.

With the new enhancements, AT&T FlexWare provides the benefits of network function virtualisation (NFV) to businesses with a broader range of connection types. Specifically, FlexWare now features a range of connectivity options via both AT&T and third party service providers, with options including Ethernet, VPN (MPLS), dedicated Internet and broadband.

In addition, AT&T is adding three new virtual security options for FlexWare. Ads well as Fortinet self-managed and AT&T-managed firewall options, the company has partnered with other companies to offer new software-defined security options as follows: Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform (either AT&T- or self-managed); Juniper Networks vSRX Virtual Firewall (self-managed); and Check Point vSEC (self-managed).



  • Separately, Ericsson announced that it is rolling out availability of AT&T FlexWare across its global corporate network to locations including the U.S., Latin America, Middle East and Europe. Ericsson noted that by virtualising its network services using FlexWare it can adapt its network to changing business needs in near real-time, while lowering its cost of network ownership.
  • In addition to the deployment of AT&T FlexWare, Ericsson stated that it is also expanding the reach of its global AT&T managed VPN solution.

China Telecom selects Huawei for all-optical backbone

Huawei announced that it won the bid as supplier for China Telecom's ROADM Network Project encompassing the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River area, claiming that the project represents the first intelligent ROADM WDM backbone network to be built in China.

The ROADM project is the initial phase of China Telecom's program designed to transition its optical transport network into an intelligent optical network, and also represent a key step for the CTNET2025 network transformation strategy of China Telecom.

Huawei noted that the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River extend across the fastest developing region in China and include the growing Internet industry. By building a ROADM network in the region, China Telecom is seeking to significantly improve the security and intelligence of its optical transport network to enhance its operational capabilities and improve broadband services in support of Internet enterprises, e-commerce and government/enterprise customers.

The project awarded to Huawei covers 21 ROADM sites in Hubei, Jiangxi, Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai, extending along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River. For the project, Huawei is supplying its CD-ROADM technology, which is designed to facilitate the provisioning of new routes on upper-layer service networks, such as routes offering capabilities such as one-hop transmission, full mesh interconnection, optimal path and latency and rapid dynamic recovery.

The project is also designed to address the low latency and high performance requirements for data centre private lines and financial customers. Huawei stated that the current phase of the project will deliver more than three hundred 100 Gbit/s electrical lines and enhanced network recovery capability.

In the all cloud era, to meet the demand for higher bandwidth and lower latency, Huawei noted that it aims to help operators create advanced CloudOptiX transport networks that can enable a simplified, efficient one-hop transmission network architecture.

ZTE claims 70% share of China Mobile's PTN procurement project

ZTE reports that it has been awarded a 70% share, making the company the largest supplier of equipment, for China Mobile's New Packet Transport Network (PTN) Procurement Project.

ZTE stated that this latest contract win follows previous awards under China Mobile's PTN Procurement program, consolidating its position as a supplier of PTN solutions. The company noted that with only two vendors on the shortlist, China Mobile awarded the vendor ranked top in the procurement with a more than 70% allocation for the project, with the second vendor awarded a share of not more than 30%.

ZTE noted that with software-defined networks (SDN) destined to become a key communications network technology in the future, as part of the procurement program China Mobile arranged SDN-based tests covering solutions including SPT controllers and centralised operation and management centres (OMC).

Based on its expertise and capabilities in the SDN field, ZTE's SPTN controller is designed to provide high performance and advanced functionality that can enable centralised intelligent control, together with high resource utilisation and flexible service scheduling, while facilitating the network evolution.


Based on the development of its transport network and technologies, China Mobile is engaged in research into 5G networks and implementing pilot trials. As part of its 5G development effort, ZTE launched its 5G Flexhaul solution at this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC), designed to enable operators to build advanced, flexible, efficient and unified 5G transport networks.



  • Recently, ZTE announced that, working with China Mobile, China Mobile Zhejiang and the China Mobile Jiaxing Branch, it has completed a commercial deployment and multi-scenario test verification of 3D-MIMO technology utilising its Pre5G Massive MIMO solution in Jiaxing.

Crehan: Early 25GbE Adoption Faster than 10GbE

The adoption of 25GbE gigabit Ethernet (GbE) is off to a much stronger start than either 10GbE or 40GbE, according to a new Server-Class Adapter & LAN on-Motherboard (LOM) Report from Crehan Research Inc.

In fact, 25GbE shipments have handily surpassed two hundred thousand ports in just a little over a year, a milestone that took 10GbE about six years to reach and 40GbE about four – see accompanying figure. Moreover, each of these successive Ethernet networking technologies has ramped faster than its predecessor in response to changing data center networking traffic demands.

“The ramp of 25GbE shipments is off to a stellar start, driven by compelling pricing and rapid, broad ecosystem alignment, as well as new data center application bandwidth requirements," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “Looking at the broader high-speed networking adoption arcs, we are seeing an acceleration in adoption as customers move to stay ahead of numerous network traffic demands including big data and related analytics, a rapidly growing and changing mobile internet, Network Function Virtualization (NFV), machine learning, and augmented and virtual reality."

Crehan’s report also notes that in conjunction with the stellar performance of 25GbE, both 50GbE and 100GbE are also seeing rapid growth, with each already exceeding an annualized shipment run-rate of over one hundred thousand ports. “The simultaneous strong initial ramp in three new higher-speed Ethernet networking technologies suggests that we may be at an inflection point in data center networking bandwidth demand," Crehan said. "Furthermore, it reflects additional segmentation of the Ethernet market as this market shifts away from the one-size-fits-all deployment model that used to dominate.”

http://www.CrehanResearch.com

Centec selects 100 Gbit/s QSFP28 active copper cable from Credo and FIT

Credo Semiconductor, a developer of mixed-signal ICs and IP for data centre and enterprise networking applications, and interconnect solutions supplier Foxconn Interconnect Technology (FIT) announced that they will demonstrate robust and error-free 100 Gbit/s QSFP28 active copper cable (ACC) connectivity solutions with reach up to 10 metres during the Computex Show in Taipei.

The new cable assembly is designed to enable server designers to transition to higher bandwidths utilising cost-effective copper connectivity as an alternative to implementing higher cost optical technology.

The companies stated that to enable lower cost high bandwidth solutions, Centec, an established provider of Ethernet switching solutions, plans to adopt ACC technology for its data centre solutions to help speed the transition to the technology in 100 Gbit/s intra-rack and inter-rack applications within the data centre.

The companies noted that with growing demand for bandwidth, maintaining copper interconnects between servers and top-of-rack switches would save significant capex in the transition from 10 to 25 Gbit/s single lane data rates. The new jointly developed 100 Gbit/s QSFP28 ACCs provide connectivity between standard QSFP ports, with a QSFP28 ACC capable of supporting 4x full-duplex lanes, with each lane transmitting at up to 25 Gbit/s in each direction, delivering aggregate bandwidth of up to 100 Gbit/s.


The ACC solution utilises Credo's mixed-signal processing technology to provide cost-effective intermediate-reach data centre interconnects that cannot be achieved with traditional passive copper cable (PCC). In addition, Credo's low power technology means that the 100 Gbit/s ACC consumes significantly less power than competing AOCs (active optical cables).



  • Earlier this year, Credo Semiconductor announced demonstrations of its low power 112 Gbit/s PAM4, 56 Gbit/s PAM4 LR and 56 Gbit/s NRZ LR SerDes technologies at DesignCon 2017. Demonstrations with Keysight and Amphenol showcased Credo's 112 Gbit/s PAM4-SR and 56 Gbit/s PAM4-LR technology, with Molex demonstrating Credo's 56 Gbit/s PAM4-LR and NRZ LR SerDes IP over copper cables and backplanes. Credo also demonstrated long-reach 28 Gbit/s technology for data centre connectivity with Leoni.

Coloclue deploys Juniper vMX virtual router for next-generation network

Juniper Networks announced that Netherlands-based Coloclue, a non-profit, independent association of network specialists, has selected the Juniper Networks vMX Virtual Router for its next-generation production network.

Juniper's vMX, a virtualised MX Series 3D universal edge router, offers a full-featured, carrier-grade virtual router that will enable Coloclue to upgrade its network environment. For the project, Coloclue will deploy the vMX on the NFX250 Network Services Platform and leverage the automation features of Junos OS as part of an effort to create a Self-Driving Network, designed to reduce time required for testing, as well as reduce costs, and allow its staff to focus on higher-value activities.

Deployment of Juniper's vMX on the NFX250 network services platform is intended to enable a high-performance, automated and operationally-efficient network that will deliver an advanced production environment for Coloclue members. Members will also be able to leverage the production network to test and troubleshoot new applications before they are rolled out.

The vMX solution offers a suite of advanced routing functions on an open platform and is designed to support network automation to allow engineers to create a real-world network environment while gaining experience with a variety of automation tools that help to reduce the resources needed to operate the network. This can allow engineers to focus on higher value testing and troubleshooting activities.


Juniper noted that partner Infradata BV, a network integrator focused on designing, implementing and managing next-generation networks, is carrying out the deployment with Coloclue.



  • Juniper recently announced that Dutch Internet connectivity provider A2B Internet had selected its vMX Virtual Routers as the first virtual network function (VNF) for its next-generation network platform. A2B Internet selected the vMX to enable improved service agility for its customers and reduced costs through simplifying its network.

Orange launches brand in Liberia following acquisition of Cellcom

France-based global telco Orange announced the launch of its brand in Liberia in West Africa, so that effective immediately, Cellcom Liberia becomes Orange Liberia, expanding the group's presence in the region.

The re-branding follows the acquisition by Orange of the Liberian operator Cellcom, which was implemented through its subsidiary Orange Côte d’Ivoire and completed in early April 2016.

Orange noted that, in line with its Essentials2020 strategic program, it is focused on building up its presence in the West Africa region as a strategic priority for the group's development, based on the anticipated significant growth potential the region offers.

Following the re-branding, Orange Liberia becomes part of a major international telecoms group. Orange noted that it will provide marketing expertise and technical capabilities to help strengthen the operator's established network and enhance customer service in Liberia.

Orange Liberia served more than 1.6 million customers as of the end of February 2017, making it the leading mobile operator in the country in terms of subscribers. Founded in 2004, the mobile operator was the first in Liberia to launch 3G (HSPA+) services in 2012, followed by the launch of 4G LTE services in 2016. Orange plans to continue to invest in the development of its network to bolster the operator's position as market leader.

Orange noted that, with a population of 4.6 million and a relatively low mobile penetration rate of 70% of the population, Liberia offers growth potential. To support this development, the Orange intends to enhance the quality of access by investing in network expansion. Specifically, it added 39 sites in 2016 and plans to add a further 65 sites in 2017 as part of efforts to accelerate broadband deployment and expand 4G penetration across the country.

In addition, the company aims to enhance Internet quality in Liberia by providing access to Orange Group's submarine and international cable networks in the region. This will provide Orange Liberia with access to two additional connection points, in Abidjan and Paris, that are expected to increase network capacity four-fold.

Orange has a present in 21 countries across Africa and the Middle East, where it serves a total of over 120 million customers. Orange Money, the company's money transfer and mobile financial services offering, is available in 17 countries with more than 31 million customers.

See also