Monday, August 27, 2012

VMware Builds its SDN Capabilities

At its VMworld event in San Francisco, VMware unveiled its new VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 for software-defined data centers.

The goal is to abstract all hardware resources and pool them into aggregate capacity, enabling tenants to have their own virtual datacenters with a logically isolated collection of all the virtual compute, storage, networking and security resources. VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 introduces a number of virtualization, software-defined data center services, policy-based provisioning, disaster recovery, and application and operations management capabilities.

 On the networking side, the vCloud Suite now enables the dynamic creation of virtual networks and services that are decoupled and independent from the physical network hardware. Specifically, the new vCloud Networking and Security allows for the creation of logical networks for each application or tenant. The system can isolate the network traffic between applications belonging to the same organization – regardless of physical network constraints or boundaries.

VMware said that by creating a pool of network capacity on top of any network hardware, its vCloud Networking and Security can support tens of thousands of isolated virtual networks with the same operational ease of creating and managing VMs.

VMware vCloud Networking and Security integrates the VXLAN protocol and VMware vShield Edge and application security service for virtualizing the network – from virtual switching to virtualized layer 4-7 services. It will also include an extensibility framework to support the integration of a wide range of third-party network and security solutions.

Juniper Expands its 10GbE Switching Line

Juniper Networks introduced the EX4550, the newest member of Juniper’s 10GbE switching line.

The EX 4550, which is available with both fiber and copper interfaces, includes Juniper’s unique Virtual Chassis technology, enabling multiple interconnected switches to operate as a single, logical device.

The EX4550 Ethernet Switch offers 32 wire-speed GbE or 10GbE pluggable ports in a compact one rack unit base platform. It includes two expansion slots, one in front and one in back, that accommodate optional expansion modules that can increase the EX4550’s density to 48 wire-speed GbE or 10GbE ports, delivering 480 Gbps of Layer 2 and Layer 3 connectivity.

The switch can participate in the same Virtual Chassis configuration with EX4200 Ethernet switches, making its suitable for customers migrating from 1GbE to 10GbE servers.

India Sets 800 & 1800 MHz Spectrum Auction for November

India's Department of Telecommunications will conduct an e-auction of spectrum in 1800MHz and 800MHz bands in November.  A document published by the regulator describes qualification criteria and timelines for companies planning to bid for the spectrum.

Holders of CMTS/ UAS licenses will be treated as ‘Existing Player’.  Companies seeking to enter the market (not an existing licensee) need to get a Unified License (UL), which can only be issued to an Indian company with a maximum foreign equity of 74% as per extant guidelines. Hence, foreign entities desirous to participate in the auction(s) will need to form an Indian company accordingly to obtain a Unified Licence (UL).

For the1800MHz band auction, the spectrum Block Size shall be 1.25MHz (Paired). A minimum of 8 blocks each of 1.25MHz (10MHz) will be put to auction in all service areas. In addition, a provision will be made for spectrum up to 3 blocks each of 1.25MHz (3.75 MHz), wherever available, after reserving spectrum for refarming against allocation in 900 MHz band for the licences expiring during 2014 to 2016 and also taking care of guard band requirements, for topping up the 8 blocks of spectrum put to auction i.e. up to a total of 11 blocks each of 1.25MHz to meet the requirement of new entrants, if such an exigency arises, and to ensure that the entire quantum of spectrum of 10MHz in each service area is allocated in the auction.  The existing operators will be allowed to take maximum two blocks of 1.25MHz each in each service area.

For the 800MHz band auction, the spectrum Block Size shall be 1.25MHz (Paired).  A minimum of 3 blocks each of 1.25MHz (3.75MHz), will be put to auction in all service areas. In addition, a provision will be made for spectrum of one block of 1.25MHz, wherever available, for topping up the 3 blocks of spectrum put to auction, to meet the requirement of new entrants, if such an exigency arises, and to ensure that the entire quantum of spectrum of 3.75MHz in each service area is allocated in the auction.

The existing operators will be allowed to bid for 1 block of 1.25MHz in each service area. New entrants will be required to bid for minimum of 2 blocks each of 1.25MHz in each service area.

Start of the e-auction of 1800MHz Band is slated for 12-November-2012.  The 800 MHz e-auction will start 2 days from the day of close of the e-auction of 1800MHz Band.

Cisco and VMware Tighten Strategic Partnership

Cisco and VMware are expanding their strategic partnership to include integrated products and solutions for software defined data centers.  The companies are building dedicated engineering teams to collaborate on deeper integration across the VMware cloud infrastructure and management stacks and Cisco's Data Center Networking and Fabric Computing platforms. 

The companies said their goal is to launch a new set of solutions designed to provide customers unprecedented levels of agile compute and network services, workload and workspace mobility, end-to-end visibility, and ease of troubleshooting across their physical and virtual infrastructures.

Some highlights of the announcement at VMworld:
  • VMware will integrate the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches with the new VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 and other VMware products.
  • Cisco and VMware will develop Cisco Unified Computing Systems (UCS)-based cloud solutions, which will bundle Cisco virtual networking, virtual services and management such as the Nexus 1000V virtual switch, CSR 1000V cloud router, ASA 1000V cloud firewall, virtual WAAS for WAN optimization, and Intelligent Automation for Cloud with VMware vSphere 5.1, VMware vCloud Suite 5.1 and complementary management offerings.
  • Cisco will resell VMware vCloud Suite 5.1, which will feature enhanced interoperability with Cisco Nexus 1000V.
  • VMware and Cisco are expanding their joint solutions with Cisco VXI and VMware View to introduce new integrated solutions for SMB and ROBO customers featuring Cisco e-Series UCS servers and VMware View®.
  • Cisco and VMware will also provide Cisco Validated Designs and reference architectures to simplify and accelerate customer implementation of these joint solutions.
  • Cisco and VMware joint solutions will be made available for VCE, as well as ecosystem partners, to help drive customer adoption of its industry-leading converged infrastructure platforms. Cisco and VMware remain strongly committed, along with EMC, to the VCE partnership.
"The next-generation datacenter will enable customers to capture the value of VMware cloud infrastructure and management stacks along with the next wave of Cisco innovations in hardware, ASICs, systems and network programmability to deliver unprecedented scalability, security, diagnostics and policy management. As the leader in networking, Cisco looks forward to continuing to lead the industry in partnership with VMware," stated Rob Lloyd, Executive Vice President, Cisco.

In June 2012, Cisco outlined its vision for the Open Network Environment (ONE), promising multilayered "full-duplex" programmability across network hardware platforms and its operating systems based on application dynamics. The goal is to enable flexible, application-driven customization of network infrastructures through a rich set of platform APIs, agents and controllers, and overlay network technologies.

The ONE framework consists of three fundamental technology components: Platform Interfaces, Agents and Controllers , and Virtual Overlays. Initial deliverables of the Cisco Open Network Environment include:
  • a developer kit with platform APIs across Cisco IOS, IOS-XR, and NX-OS Software
  • Proof-of-concept controllers and SDN/OpenFlow agents allowing academic research partners to universities to partition or "slice" their campus network to enable academic research on SDN with consistent policy management.
  • Overlay network solutions that include the Cisco Nexus 1000V for scalable, multitenant cloud deployments.

Cisco said its open programmability architecture complements current approaches to software-defined networking while encompassing the entire solution stack from transport to management and orchestration. The new virtual overlay networks capability for multi-tenant cloud deployments with the Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual switch will feature OpenStack support, programmability, multi-hypervisor capability, and VXLAN gateway functionality. The company will also provide proof-of-concept OpenFlow v1.0 agents on the Cisco Catalyst 3750-X and 3560-X Series Switches.

In July 2012, VMware agreed to acquire Nicira, a start-up focused on software-defined networking (SDN) for approximately $1.05 billion in cash plus approximately $210 million of assumed unvested equity awards. The goal of SDN is to allow enterprises and service providers to create the most flexible network topologies that seamlessly span any cloud environment.

Nicira, which is based in Palo Alto, California, has developed a software-based Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) that creates a distributed virtual network infrastructure in cloud data centers that is completely decoupled and independent from physical network hardware. The company says its technology "decouples and isolates virtual networks from the underlying network hardware, like server virtualization decouples and isolates virtual machines from the underlying server hardware."

Nicira's NVP software is implemented at the network edge and managed by distributed clustered controller architecture. The system forms a thin software layer that treats the physical network as an IP backplane. This approach allows the creation of virtual networks that have the same properties and services as physical networks, such as security and QoS policies, L2 reachability, and higher-level service capabilities such as stateful firewalling.

Juniper Scales its Virtual Gateway Security

Juniper Networks is expanding the capabilities of its vGW Virtual Gateway solution to support hybrid private/public cloud security as well as Service Provider business models in cloud security.

Juniper's vGW Virtual Gateway is a hypervisor-based security solution for monitoring and protecting virtualized network environments. It delivers stateful firewall, integrated intrusion detection (IDS), and virtualization-specific antivirus (AV) protection for ensuring VM host capacity and performance.

These latest upgrades to vGW secure both IPv4 and IPv6. Juniper has also added new Cloud API and software developer’s kits (SDKs) to help Service Providers automate security configuration in virtual environments. New vGW management enhancements facilitate security for large-scale multi-tenant cloud deployments by offering more granular and customizable security segmentation.

Broadcom's StrataXGS Trident II Packs 100 10GbE Ports for Virtualized Data Centers

Broadcom unveiled its new StrataXGS Trident II Series Ethernet switching chip designed for extremely dense, cloud-scale data centers.  The design brings 2X greater forwarding density, a 4X increase in network virtualization scale, and the ability to deliver 100 10GbE ports for massive scale in top-of-rack or aggregation switches. Uplink capabilities in the flexibility to support up to 32 40GbE ports.

The performance boosts in this latest generation of StrataXGS silicon are matched by new "SmartSwitch" technologies, including

  • Smart-NV: Delivers up to 4X greater scale, enabling SDN virtualization across both virtual and physical workloads at wire-speed. Enables cloud-scale network infrastructure virtualization using advanced Layer 2 over Layer 3 (L2oL3) network virtualization technologies such as NVGRE and VXLAN.
  • Smart-Buffer: Delivers up to 5X higher packet buffer utilization and burst absorption performance using innovative traffic load-based intelligent and dynamic allocation schemes.
  • Smart-Table: Delivers highest Layer 2 and Layer 3 forwarding scale with network topology-based profiling for maximum deployment flexibility.
  • Smart-Hash: Eliminates polarization and load imbalances in fat-tree networks possessing heavy and diverse traffic patterns. Provides unprecedented network traffic visibility and diagnostics required by software defined networking. 
Sampling of the StrataXGS Trident II Series is expected this quarter with multiple device options.

Dell'Oro: Demand for 40G and 100G Wavelengths in Weak Optical Market for 1H2012

WDM equipment revenue rose five percent in first half 2012 compared to a year ago, according to a newly published report by Dell'Oro Group.  The growth is attributed to strong demand for 40/100 Gbps wavelengths.  However, the report finds that the overall optical transport equipment market declined approximately five percent in the first half of 2012 from year-ago levels to $6.1 billion.

"The optical market contracted in the first half of 2012 due to lower spending in the mature markets of North America and EMEA," said Jimmy Yu, Vice President of Optical Transport research at Dell'Oro Group.  "The emerging regions of Asia Pacific and Latin America, however, did grow as service providers in the regions continued to expand network capacity," added Mr. Yu.

Two other key findings:

  • Huawei captured approximately 20 percent share of the worldwide optical market in first half 2012.
  • Adoption of Optical Packet products continued to rise and contributed close to one-third of the optical market revenues in first half 2012.

New Cloud Advisory Council Gets Started

A new Cloud Advisory Council has been established to support the roll-out of next-generation cloud architecture.

The Cloud Advisory Council brings together original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), strategic technology suppliers, independent software vendors (ISVs), and end-users.

Founding members include: AMAX, AMD, Atlantic.Net, Check Point Software, Colfax, DDN, Eucalyptus, Mellanox Technologies, Nanjing Standard Communication, Nimbula, ProfitBricks, SGI, Sugon, Supermicro, and Xeround.