Tuesday, August 22, 2017

AT&T Fiber extends its metro footprint

AT&T launched its fiber Internet service in 2 new metro areas – Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss. and Savannah, Georgia. The carrier also expanded availability to over 60 communities across 20 major metros.

AT&T Fiber is now available to over 5.5 million locations across 57 metros, up by 1.5 million this year so far. There are now over 2 million Internet subscribers using AT&T Fiber access.  These plans include AT&T Internet 50, AT&T Internet 100 and AT&T Internet 1000.

AT&T plans to add another 1.5 million locations by the end of the year, which will total at least 7 million locations.

“The boundaries between work and home are collapsing,” said Eric Boyer, senior vice president - product marketing, AT&T. “Customers are using the ultra-fast speeds powered by AT&T Fiber to access remote desktops, stream entertainment, upload to social, use cloud based computing applications and more.”

AT&T Fiber is expanding in these metros:

Atlanta
Augusta
Birmingham
Chicago
Dallas
Detroit
Fresno
Indianapolis
Jacksonville
Los Angeles
Louisville
Memphis
Miami
Milwaukee
Nashville
Oklahoma
Sacramento
San Antonio
San Francisco
St. Louis

http://att.com/getfiber

Comcast Business Rolls DOCSIS 3.1 in Northeast & Mid-Atlantic

Comcast Business is now offering DOCSIS 3.1-based Internet service to business customers in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States including Greater Boston; Greater Philadelphia; New Jersey; and northern Delaware; as well as in Baltimore, MD; Charlottesville, VA; and Washington, D.C.

Comcast plans to rollout DOCSIS 3.1-based Internet in other areas this Fall. The service is already avaialble in Atlanta, Nashville, Chicago, Detroit, Chattanooga, Huntsville and Miami.

“Comcast is building the nation’s largest gig-speed network. We have been at the forefront of DOCSIS 3.1 deployment and today’s roll out further demonstrates our commitment to bringing this transformational technology to all businesses in our footprint,” said Kevin O’Toole, senior vice president of Product Management at Comcast Business. “Our gig-speed network allows businesses to quickly and easily scale network capacity at their locations to suit their individual needs and to support new technology applications on-site or in the cloud."

http://www.comcast.com

Flash Memory Summit – big changes in non-volatile memory - part 2

Over the past year, we’ve seen that HDD capacity increases have plateaued. Spinning disks have been surpassed in storage capacity by SSDs. Performance comparisons between the two is not even a topic of debate. For CIOs, the deployment of flash storage arrays is easy and offers an immediate boost in IOPs for critical applications. More importantly, all the innovation in new drive development has shifted to flash. We are now seeing many approaches being tried in the market to boost SSD performance even further, to scale up to new drive capacities and new array architectures, to adopt new form factors for better rack-scale integration, and increase manufacturing volume to finally meet market demand.

In the first part of this article, we covered Samsung’s rapid progression with 3-D NAND technology. With the arrival of its 5th generation 3D NAND next year we will see 2.5” SSDs soar into the 128TB range. The company says its on-track for 5 more generations of 3-D NAND in the coming decade. In this second part of the article, we’ll look at innovations from another giant, Intel, which has also set its sights on bringing non-volatile memory technologies to the forefront of server, system and data centre design, as well as developments from Nimbus Data and the Gen-Z consortium.

Intel’s non-volatile memory advancements

Intel began shipping its first SSDs as early as 2008 and has been on a continuous improvement path ever since. In 2010, Intel and Micron Technology entered into a partnership focused on NAND flash memory. In 2015, Intel and Micron announced 3D XPoint technology, which was described as the first new memory category since the introduction of NAND flash in 1989, with promises to be up to 1,000 times faster and up to 1,000 times greater endurance than NAND, while being cheaper than DRAM and non-volatile. Intel then adopted the "Optane" brand for products based on thistechnology, while Micron adopted the QuantX brand. Optane is fundamentally different from NAND and uses a combination of unique Intel memory + storage controllers, Intel interconnect IP, and Intel software.

Introducing the memory ruler

Intel's big news at last week's Flash Memory Summit was its new "ruler" form factor for SSD. Instead of the traditional, 2.5" or 3.5" rectangular box for disk drives, Intel's ruler is a long, thin box designed to slide in to a 1" server chassis, plugging in via a PCIe interface at the end of the ruler. It is a slick design. Apart from looking better, the long, thin shape dissipates heat easier. Intel showed a 1” RU server chassis accommodating 32 of these SSD rulers, creating up to 1 petabyte of storage. Intel could offer Optane SSDs and/or 3D NAND SSDs in this form factor.

It’s been a while since a new storage drive format gained widespread acceptance. Intel will need to bring its new form factor to standardization, perhaps via the Open Compute Project, although this was not confirmed. The ruler design should prove to be particularly useful in hyperscale data centres, where plug-n-play convenience is especially useful when 100s of thousands of servers need to be maintained. Intel also noted that its ruler form factor could be used for plug-in accelerators, perhaps FPGA boards optimized for specific functions. No timeline was given for when the ruler might enter the market.

Intel and Attala Systems also announced an FPGA-based accelerated RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE) networking solution designed to serve as high-performance, composable storage infrastructure with features such as self-learning orchestration and provisioning capabilities. The idea is to create an adaptable storage infrastructure that is essentially an elastic block storage (EBS) solution, accelerated. Attala Systems is a start-up based in San Jose, California that was founded by Sujith Arramreddy, who previously co-founded ServerEngines (acquired by Emulex for $250 million in 2010) and ServerWorks (acquired by Broadcom for $1.4 billion in 2001). Attala's CEO is Taufik Ma, who previously was co-GM of Intel's Server System business unit before leaving for a storage/networking start-up. Nimbus Data sees 500 TB SSDs by 2020

Nimbus Data is a privately-held develop of all-flash arrays based in Irvine, California. The company observes that 40 million nearline/high-capacity HDDs are shipped per year, and all of them use the 3.5” form factor. At Flash Memory Summit, Nimbus Data introduced a software and multiprocessor solution for OEMs developing next-generation solid state drives for data centres. Whereas conventional SSDs are based on a single flash controller, Nimbus ExaDrive is based on a distributed multiprocessor architecture. Inside an ExaDrive-powered SSD, multiple ultra-low power ASICs exclusively handle error correction, while an intelligent flash processor provides wear-leveling and capacity management in software. Nimbus sees an opportunity for its ExaDrive being used in super capacity SSDs that let data centers rip-andreplace HDDs with flash. ExaDrive supports the standard SAS interface and is optimized to fully utilize the volume of the 3.5” form factor.

Nimbus said its ExaDrive is used by Viking Technology and SMART Modular Technologies in 50 TB and 25 TB SSDs for cloud infrastructure, technical computing, and digital content storage. The company predicts that its ExaDrive software-defined architecture will enable SSDs as large as 500 TB by the year 2020, achieving up to 600 petabytes in a single rack. This represents a 50x increase over what is possible with HDDs today. “ExaDrive’s software-defined multiprocessor architecture for SSDs delivers a game-changing leap forward in capacity, density, and energy efficiency that HDDs will never be able to recoup,” stated Thomas Isakovich, CEO and Founder of Nimbus Data. “ExaDrive broadens the appeal of flash memory to tier 2 and nearline use cases, enabling flash to become the dominant data center storage media.”

Gen-Z consortium targets data centres

The Gen-Z Consortium is a vendor-led group that is developing an open systems interconnect with memory semantic access to data and devices via direct-attached, switched or fabric topologies. Its major members include AMD, ARM, Broadcom, Cray, Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Huawei, IDT, Micron, Samsung, SK hynix, and Xilinx. At this year’s Flash Memory Summit, the group had planned it’s the Gen-Z multi-vendor technology demonstration, connecting compute, memory, and I/O devices. Despite the unfortunate fire at a vendor booth on the opening day of the event, the demo was still able to occur in a nearby meeting room.

The demo showed FPGA-based Gen-Z adapters connecting compute nodes to memory pools through a Gen-Z switch, creating a fabric connecting multiple server vendors and a variety of memory vendors. Such a highperformance and scalable fabric/interconnect could be implemented in future data centres. The demo also featured a scalable prototype connector defined by the Gen-Z Consortium, running at 112 giga-transfers/sec. “We are excited to showcase the first technology demonstration of Gen-Z that includes solutions from multiple member companies, including a variety of servers, memory and I/O devices, all connected with a Gen-Z fabric,” said Kurtis Bowman, President of the Gen-Z Consortium. “The consortium continues to meet the planned development schedule and we expect to see initial Gen-Z products in the 2019-2020 timeframe.”

http://genzconsortium.org/

Versa confirms that Verizon SD-Branch using its FlexVNF software

Versa Networks confirmed that it has been added to Verizon’s SND platform for its new Software Defined Secure Branch (SD-Branch) managed service. Specifically, Verizon’s SD-Branch offering utilizes the Versa FlexVNF Software, which combines network and security capabilities to provide a full suite of Layer 3 to Layer 7 IP services that are built on a cloud-native, multi-tenant software platform.

The Verizon offering includes software based networking, cloud based end user management and virtualized security services for protecting and simplifying branch network architectures.

Versa said its solution enables Verizon's Virtual Network Services customers to reduce complexity and control costs by virtualizing multiple components of a branch office. These include public and private network connectivity management, wireless connectivity, multi-site network support, application based quality of service and multi layered security.

“Verizon has been an early and aggressive innovator in software defining their network, as well as their customers’ networks,” said Kelly Ahuja, CEO of Versa Networks. “Verizon saw the wider set of challenges that businesses were having across branch offices, and has designed a comprehensive service to virtualize, software define, manage and secure the full branch.”

“Businesses are adopting digital technologies as mainstream elements of their go to market strategy,” said Shawn Hakl, vice president of business networking and security solutions. “Software defining the branch office and WAN provides them with a flexible networking platform to accelerate cloud and digital migration while reducing IT complexity and controlling costs.”

https://www.versa-networks.com/press-release/versa-networks-added-verizons-software-defined-networking-ecosystem/


AT&T Rolls G.fast to MDUs in 22 Metros

AT&T is now rolling out G.fast Internet service for apartment and condominiums (MDUs) in 22 major metro areas across the United States. G.fast can be deployed immediately in MDUs in parts of the following metros:

Boston
Denver
Minneapolis
New York City
Philadelphia
Phoenix
Seattle
Tampa

Additionally, AT&T is offering G.fast to MDUs in parts of 14 other metros, including:

Albany, N.Y.; Baltimore; Buffalo, N.Y.; Cincinnati; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Hartford, Conn.; Omaha, Neb.; Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; Providence, R.I.; Richmond, Va.; Rochester, N.Y.; Washington, D.C.; Salt Lake City

Each of these metros is located outside of AT&T's traditional 21-state home Internet service-area.

"We're tapping into the existing internet infrastructure in some multifamily properties to bring ultra-fast internet in less time and with less disruption than replacing the network with fiber," said Ed Balcerzak, senior vice president, AT&T Connected Communities. "While fiber to the unit remains the best broadband solution for most properties where possible, G.fast and fixed millimeter-wave provide connectivity to properties that aren't able to support fiber. AT&T is committed to providing apartments and condos with connectivity across the nation, and innovations such as G.fast are helping us to do that."

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

ADTRAN's new G.fast extends gigabit services 650m beyond fiber endpoint

ADTRAN introduced a new Gfast deployment model to enable network operators to deliver gigabit speeds as widely as possible throughout their networks.

This is accomplished by combining ADTRAN’s 2nd generation SDX 2200 series of 212MHz, reverse powered Gfast DPUs with the ADTRAN bonded Super-Vectoring (VDSL2 35b) technology, providing gigabit rates from existing cabinet infrastructure and thus extending gigabit services significantly.

ADTRAN said that while Fiber to the Distribution Point (FTTdp) or Building (FTTB) solutions extend fiber services by 50 -100m, its new Gigabit-to-the-Basement (GTTB) solution enables gigabit services to be extended out to 650m from where the fiber ends. This added distance eliminates construction requirements that can often delay service roll outs, enabling service providers to offer gigabit services in just days or weeks versus months or years.

“This innovative solution combines two next-generation ultra-broadband technologies, and allows service providers to use either fiber or bonded vectored VDSL2 to backhaul Gfast services,” said Werner Heinrich, Director, Portfolio Management, Broadband Solutions, ADTRAN. “This announcement showcases ADTRAN’s ability to deliver disruptive solutions to the market, utilizing our deep domain experience in sealed outside plant, reverse power and market leading ultra-broadband technologies like Gfast and Super-Vectoring to enable our customers to meet market demand and exceed their customers’ expectations.”

http://www.adtran.com

Silver Peak EdgeConnect SD-WAN completes tests

Silver Peak's flagship Unity EdgeConnect SD-WAN solution completed a series of rigorous network packet-loss resilience tests conducted by Miercom, a leading independent network test lab.

Specifically, Miercom, subjected the EdgeConnect solution to hands-on stress tests to validate the resiliency of multi-link bonded tunnels combined with path conditioning and dynamic path control.

Key Test Findings:

  • The high availability link bonding policy continued to ensure connectivity during a blackout condition of an underlay
  • Silver Peak high availability link bonding policy managed and adjusted to degrading link conditions and maintained application availability during a brownout condition
  • Even if packets are dropped, bonded links in the high availability mode with forward error correction assured that no application data packets were lost over the connection
  • Business intent overlays utilized tunnels, created by bonding multiple underlay links together to act as one, these overlays can perform micro-segmentation to apply security and QoS policies and to assist in meeting compliance requirements

Silver Peak said the results validated the solution’s ability to maintain peak network and application performance and availability through a series of real-world WAN transport congestion, brownout and blackout scenarios.

“While other SD-WAN vendors claim performance and resiliency, Silver Peak is effectively putting the industry on notice, challenging any vendor to submit their solution to a network torture test,” said Derek Granath, vice president of product marketing at Silver Peak. “Distributed enterprises will quickly find that, while others route around WAN service congestion and disruptions, only Silver Peak addresses underlying link performance issues to deliver a superior application experience, even under the most extreme packet-loss conditions.”

http://www.silver-peak.com

Databricks raises $140 million to bring AI to its analytics platform

Databricks, a start-up that was founded out of the UC Berkeley AMPLab by the team that created Apache Spark, announced $140 million in a Series D funding round, bringing its total capital raised to date to $247 million.

Databricks, which is based in San Francisco, povides a Unified Analytics Platform for data science teams to collaborate with data engineering and lines of business to build data products. The company said the new investment will accelerate its efforts to make Artificial Intelligence (AI) achievable for enterprise organizations.

“AI has enormous promise but also a 1% problem. Less than 10 companies in the world are achieving the full potential of AI and the rest are really struggling. Databricks’ mission is to simplify AI and bring it to the other 99% of enterprise organizations,” said Ali Ghodsi, cofounder and CEO of Databricks. “This funding will enable us to expand our offering and bring it to many more markets, enabling more businesses to reap the benefits of Big Data and AI.”

The new funding round was led by Andreessen Horowitz. New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Battery Ventures also participated, along with new investors included Future Fund Investment Co., A.Capital Partners, Geodesic Capital and Green Bay Ventures.

https://databricks.com/


Druva raises $80 million for data-as-a-service

Druva, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, announced $80 million in new funding for its cloud data protection and management solutions.

Druva provides a data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence. Earlier this month, Druva announced the Druva Cloud Platform Tech Preview, which converges its Druva Phoenix and Druva inSync cloud solutions, and offers a unified view into services and data.

Druva said its success is fueled partially by the rapid expansion of the data protection industry, with market size expected to be $28 billion in 2022 for both cloud-based and on-premises servers, in addition to the rapid cloud data protection and management adoption by Global 5000 organizations.

“We see today’s digital transformation as a data transformation, and protecting data in today’s cloud-connected environment requires a fresh approach,” said Jaspreet Singh, co-founder and chief executive officer at Druva. “Druva’s as-a-Service solution eliminates costly and complex infrastructure to quickly and seamlessly protect, govern, and gain intelligence from their data when and where it’s needed.”

The new funding round was led by Riverwood Capital, with strong participation from Sequoia Capital India, Nexus Venture Partners, Tenaya Capital, and most other existing venture investors.
This brings Druva's total raised to data to approximately $200 million.

https://www.druva.com


  • In May, Druva reported that it is seeing more than 300 percent year-over-year growth in infrastructure data protection revenue. Additionally, Druva Cloud deployments now span more than 4,000 enterprise customers, including 10 percent of the world’s Fortune 500 companies.  


Mellanox Supplies Network Adapters for Alibaba's 25G RoCE Ethernet Cloud

Mellanox Technologies confirmed that its 25GbE and 100GbE ConnectX®-4 EN family of Ethernet adapters has been deployed in Alibaba's data centers.

Key capabilities of the Mellanox ConnectX-4 Network Interface Cards (NICs):

  • RoCE - RDMA over Converged Ethernet - RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access) technology is designed to solve the delay of server-side data processing in network transmission, as it enables network adapters to access the application buffer directly, bypassing the kernel, the CPU, and the protocol stack, so the CPU can perform more useful tasks during the I/O transport. 
  • RDMA (RoCE), based on converged Ethernet, can be implemented on an existing open Ethernet network. With RoCE, there is no need to convert data centers legacy infrastructures, which allows companies to save on capital spending
  • DPDK - Data Path Development Kit - provides a framework for fast packet processing in data plane applications. The tool set allows developers to rapidly build new prototypes. The Mellanox open source DPDK software enables industry standard servers and provides the best performance to support large-scale, efficient production deployments of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) solutions such as gateways, load balancers, and enhanced security solutions that help prevent denial of service attacks in the data center.


http://www.mellanox.com

See also