Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Microsoft Positions Windows Server 2012 + Azure as Cloud OS


Microsoft officially released Windows Server 2012, a major upgrade featuring significant advancements in virtualization, storage, networking and automation. In combination with Windows Azure and System Center, Microsoft is positioning Windows Server 2012 as its "Cloud OS" for running applications and services seamlessly across private, hosted and public data center infrastructure.

In a launch event, Microsoft said it built Windows Server 2012 "from the cloud up," applying its experience operating global datacenters that rely on hundreds of thousands of servers to deliver more than 200 cloud services.

"The operating system has always been the heartbeat of IT and is now undergoing a renaissance in the new world of continuous cloud services, connected devices and big data," Nadella said. "Microsoft's unique legacy in the most widely used operating systems, applications and cloud services positions us to deliver the Cloud OS, based on Windows Server and Windows Azure, helping customers achieve a datacenter without boundaries," said Satya Nadella, president of Microsoft Server and Tools Business.

Among its features:


  • Windows Server 2012 uses a common identity and management framework for more secure connectivity to public cloud services.
  • Virtual Desktop Infrastructure in Windows Server 2012 makes it possible for users to access IT from virtually anywhere on popular devices
  • Windows Server 2012 and Virtual Machine Manager aim to be an end-to-end SDN solution for public, private, and hybrid clouds.  By building all the pieces as part of a solution — the hypervisor, the SDN control surface on the end host, and the management software — Microsoft said it can ensure a set of seamless experiences for datacenter administrators.  
  • Virtual Machine Manager plays a key role in automating configuration of SDN policies for Hyper-V Network Virtualization. 
  • VMM allows customers to unify the individual virtual switches on each Hyper-V host in the datacenter into a distributed logical switch that is dynamically programmed with SDN traffic control policies. 
  • A new Hyper-V Extensible Switch capability enable Microsoft partners to extend SDN policies within the switc, such as integrating the virtual switch with the rest of the physical network infrastructure.

http://www.windows-server-launch.com/


Harnessing Next-Generation Network Timing and LTE

By Martin Nuss, Ph.D., Vice President, Technology and Strategy and Chief Technology Officer, Vitesse

LTE has been rapidly moving towards a packet based backhaul network, while still trying to cope with a dated and inadequate timing model based on TDM.  Timing is necessary for both 3G and 4G deployments. Today, timing is typically delivered by either a SONET/SDH-based T1/E1 line or from GPS satellites.  SONET/SDH is not only expensive, but also inadequate for next-generation wireless networks, since it can only deliver frequency synchronization, but not the time-of-day (ToD) synchronization that is mandatory for TD-LTE and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) – the “true 4G.”

In many cases, operators use GPS satellites, rather than T1/E1, to provide both phase and frequency synchronization. However, GPS is prone to jamming and faces reception issues for small cell deployments inside a building or in urban corridors, due to the lack of direct GPS satellite visibility. With the advent of LTE-A, with support for multi-band operation, wide use of Multiple-Input/Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna systems, and increased use of micro and picocells to expand capacity and coverage, the GPS issues become intractable for many operators. For example, many picocell and microcell base stations will be deployed in locations such as lampposts and at the sides of buildings. They are positioned in urban corridors where tall buildings likely will block access to multiple GPS satellites, which would preclude meeting the LTE-A timing specifications.  The optimal solution is to deliver timing through the network, but this has challenges.

Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) offers a direct replacement for TDM-derived timing as the backhaul network converts to all-Ethernet protocols. However SyncE, like T1/E1-based TDM timing, can support only frequency synchronization, not the newly required time-of-day synchronization. The good news is that the IEEE and the ITU have worked on standardizing a packet-based timing for both frequency and ToD delivery in telecom networks – IEEE 1588v2 Precision Timing Protocol, or PTP.  IEEE 1588v2 or “1588v2” for short has now gained widespread acceptance as the de facto packet based timing protocol for mobile operators.  Market analysts predict that by 2015, Synchronous Ethernet could be used in 30 percent of timing solutions, greater than T1/E1 or GPS deployments. However, in the same timeframe, 1588v2 is expected to grow to over 50 percent of all deployments.

IEEE1588v2: Better Timing Through Time Stamp Collection

Targeted at packet-based backhaul networks, IEEE 1588v2 carries time of day information (also known as timestamps) directly within the data packets.  The packets carrying the timestamps flow along with the rest of the data traffic in the network from networking equipment that generates the timestamps (also known as primary reference clock) all the way to base station equipment where these timestamps are used to recover the original time using IEEE 1588v2. The difference between primary reference clock and recovered clock (i.e. the synchronization error) needs to be within the accuracy requirement shown in Figure 2.  This synchronization error is cumulative across every node in the network in the path between the network node generating the master clock and the base station. Meanwhile, the challenge of migration from FD-LTE to TD-LTE/LTE-A, makes the synchronization error limits even more challenging.

Providing an IEEE 1558v2 implementation with timing errors below the network requirements is paramount to a successful deployment of this technology.   The primary source of the IEEE 1588v2 synchronization error comes from the packet delay variations (PDV) that are inherent in any packet network. The key to meeting the accuracy requirements is an IEEE 1588v2 compliant solution that can compensate for the PDV in the most cost effective way.  The IEEE 1588v2 standard specifies multiple clock types.  Besides ordinary clocks at the beginning and the end of the timing chain, boundary clocks (BC) and transparent clocks (TC) are defined for network elements in between.

In general, a BC node is more complex and costly to implement than a TC node. A node that implements BC regenerates the timing based on the timestamps that it receives and a node that implements TC simply forwards the incoming timestamps after correcting for any error it may introduce. So a TC node requires only accurate time stamping and time stamp correction mechanism, while a BC node requires timestamping, time stamp correction, a reliable PDV filtering algorithm, and a IEEE 1588v2-aware timing complex that can be synchronized to the network.

The only way to meet LTE-A accuracy requirements for both BC and TC is with a well-architected time stamping architecture.  As shown by silicon vendors, such time stamping and correction mechanism can be incorporated into port-level PHY silicon that can be universally used by the equipment vendors in the datapath without any other changes to the system.  In fact, such a port-based PHY solution is completely sufficient to implement a highly accurate TC node, while any BC node also greatly benefits from port-level accurate time stamping.  Under the bottom line, the most cost effective way to upgrading the network for LTE-A and future small-cell networks is to deploy distributed TC’s everywhere, augmented with BC’s only where necessary to segment timing domains. The use of TC’s can increase timing accuracy to the nanosecond range, as shown by Vitesse in a recent submission to the ITU-T standards committee.  Silicon advances available today will insure that such solutions will carry only a nominal premium over non-IEEE 1588v2 aware systems designed for 3G networks today.

Careful TC planning can allow for picocell synchronization in an outdoor environment, and synchronization down to the femtocell in large indoor multi-floor installations.  In the former case, TCs can even be carried over microwave and millimeter-wave links and still meeting TD-LTE and LTE-A specifications while eliminating the requirement for GPS signals or fiber links at the small cell.  In an indoor environment, the access network itself can generate IEEE1588v2 timing, or a GPS antenna on the roof of the building can generate time packets for synchronization of services inside the building, using IEEE 1588v2 to distribute timing within the building.

Upgrading Via a Painless Path

IEEE 1588v2 promises a simple, low-cost option for packet network timing upgrades and an ideal alternative and backup to GPS for TD-LTE and LTE-A networks. In many instances, full IEEE 1588v2 awareness is only needed right at the base station or cell site where timing needs to be provided to the cell.  Within the many hops in the network along the way, Transparent Clocks provide the most cost effective way to upgrade the network to LTE and LTE-Advanced simply by replacing port-level PHYs with new devices such as the ones from Vitesse, that can implement a nanosecond-accurate and highly stable time-of-day forwarding architecture, while fully compensating for transit time and PDV.


About the Author

Martin Nuss joined Vitesse in November 2007 as Vice President, Technology and Strategy and Chief Technical Officer. With more than 20 years of technical and management experience, Mr. Nuss was most recently, chief technology officer of Ciena's Optical Ethernet group where he led the successful integration of the products and technology acquired from Internet Photonics. Prior to Ciena's acquisition of the company, he was founder and CTO of Internet Photonics. He also served 15 years at Bell Labs in various technical and management roles including director of the Optical Data Networks Research Department, where he was responsible for research on Lucent's 10 Gigabit Multimode Fiber and innovations in the 10 GbE Metro Networking space. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America and a member of IEEE. Mr. Nuss holds a doctorate in applied physics from the Technical University in Munich, Germany.

Russia's VimpelCom Picks Ciena for National Optical Network

VimpelCom has selected Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform for the upgrade and expansion of its national optical network. The upgraded network spans over approximately 10,700 km, including major routes from Moscow - Urals and Urals - Siberia and the southern part of the Western Russia network (the ‘Big European Ring’), as well as the construction of a 100G network in the far eastern part of the country.

The core network will support the roll-out of VimpelCom’s LTE network in Russia.

The upgrade will use Ciena’s 40G/100G coherent technology.

Ciena noted that its 6500 Packet-Optical Platform can operate over existing fiber and amplifier chains, reducing the need for regeneration, and enabling scalability of up to 8.8 Terabits per second on a single fiber pair.

http:/www.ciena.com

Intelsat Picks Boeing for its EpicNG Satellite


Intelsat has selected Boeing's 702MP platform for its first EpicNG high-performance satellite

Scheduled for launch in 2015, Intelsat 29e will offer high-performance communications coverage spanning North and South America, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the North Atlantic aeronautical route connecting North America and Europe.

Intelsat's recently unveiled EpicNG platform promises a new approach to satellite and network architecture utilizing multiple frequency bands, wide beams, spot beams and frequency reuse technology. EpicNG will be the company's next generation of satellites, promising higher throughputs and lower cost per bit. It will be a complementary overlay to the company's existing constellation of satellites and global IntelsatONE terrestrial network. In Junee, Intelsat said its EpicNG platform will bring high throughput technology to its spectral rights in the C-, Ku- and Ka-bands. Customers will be able to use existing hardware and network topologies, and in many cases, define their own service characteristics, enabling them to offer customized solutions to their end users and build upon their current business success.

“Our customers require an advanced architecture specially designed to meet their fixed and mobile communications needs,” said Intelsat SVP and chief technical officer Thierry Guillemin. “With higher throughput, strong economics and a degree of control that meets our customers’ business requirements, Intelsat EpicNG caters to this environment. Its architecture combines multi-band frequency reuse with the benefits of backward and forward compatibility, resulting in a high-performance solution not previously available in the commercial satellite sector. We selected Boeing because they were able to meet this challenge.”

With Intelsat 29e, the first Intelsat EpicNG satellite, Intelsat completes its four-satellite order with Boeing. The first satellite in the order, Intelsat 22, is nearing six months of flawless operations in geostationary orbit. Intelsat 21, recently launched by a Sea Launch rocket, is now fully deployed and undergoing in-orbit testing. The third satellite, Intelsat 27, is set for launch in the first quarter of 2013.

http://www.boeing.com
http://www.intelsatepic.com

Procera Confirms ILEC Order


Procera Networks confirmed the receipt an initial order for its PacketLogicTM 8920s from a large, US-based Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Procera said these systems will support detailed subscriber-aware traffic analysis and reporting across much of the carrier’s fixed-line broadband network. The carrier selected Procera’s Intelligent Policy Enforcement systems due to their ability to develop fine-grained subscriber usage profiles in real-time for a large number of active subscribers generating very high data traffic volumes.



Zayo Completes Acquisition of FiberGate

Zayo completed its previously announced acquisition of FiberGate, which delivers dark fiber connectivity in the Washington, D.C. metro area. The acquisition adds 399 new route miles and 130,000 fiber miles in Washington, D.C., Northern Virginia, Baltimore, and suburban Maryland to Zayo’s network.

Zayo plans to continue to offer Dark Fiber and expand the service portfolio to include lit bandwidth infrastructure services like Wavelengths, Ethernet, IP and SONET.

The $117M transaction closed August 31 and was funded from available cash.

http://www.zayo.com


Telefónica Amérigo €300m Venture Fund Looks Outside Silicon Valley

Telefónica is launching Amérigo, an international venture capital fund that will develop digital opportunities outside of Silicon Valley and London.

Promoted by Telefónica Digital, this initiative lays the foundation to attract and create a global network of innovation funds which will work as a platform, open to the participation of other companies and institutions, both public and private. New creative and technological projects will be promoted from this network through direct funding managed by professionals in the venture capital sector.

The Amérigo program, which is promoted by Telefónica Digital, will be a global network of innovation funds which will work as a platform, open to the participation of other companies and institutions, both public and private.  Amérigo starts its activity with a capital of about EUR 300 million, provided by its promoting entities - in particular Telefónica has undertaken initially investments of EUR 68 million for the next five years- and the funds subscribed to the program. This initial capital will allow managing business projects with an aggregated estimated value of €1 billion.

In a first stage, the programme is focused on four countries, Spain, Colombia, Chile and Brazil, where Amérigo already has the support of governments and public financial institutions and also from other private partners.

http://www.telefonica.com




  • In July, Telefónica Digital, the company's new business division focused on cloud computing, mobile advertising, M2M and eHealth, reiterated its commitment to driving openness in mobile ecosystems and support for Mozilla’s HTML5 platform.
  • Telefónica Digital now has global framework agreements with Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Research In Motion (RIM). In addition, Telefónica will offer Direct to Bill payments as a means of driving the monetisation of mobile content. Telefónica has started to roll out Direct to Bill in Europe, where it is already proving popular with customers. In Germany, 400,000 customers per month on average are now making payments for a variety of products and services across different platforms. Telefónica plans to have the capability live in 14 markets globally by year end.





Equinix Tightens Focus on Key Markets and Platform


Equinix is selling 16 data centers across the U.S. to an investment group consisting of 365 Main, Crosslink Capital and Housatonic Partners, as part of a strategic plan to focus on key facilities and partner ecosystems in major markets.

The deal, which is valued at about $75 million, includes approximately 280,000 total gross square feet of data center space in 16 facilities.  Revenue from these data centers represents about 2 percent of Equinix's annual turnover. The transaction is exexpected to close in Q4.


Nine of the 16 data centers are in markets Equinix will exit with the close of the sale. Those markets include Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Pittsburg, St. Louis and Tampa. The remaining seven data centers are in markets where Equinix will retain a presence and currently has sufficient capacity to meet customer demand. These sites include CH6 (427 La Salle, Chicago), DC9 (11513-19 Sunset Hills Road, Reston, VA), DA5 (4101 Bryan St., Dallas), NY10 (65 Broadway, New York), PH2 (3701 Market St., Philadelphia), SE1 (1914 Third Ave., Seattle), and SV7 (534 Stockton Ave., San Jose).


“As we sharpen our focus on developing business ecosystems, we are prioritizing the largest global markets required by our targeted customers and applications that are driving growth across Platform Equinix,” said Charles Meyers, president of the Americas for Equinix. “We believe the divestiture of these assets will allow us to focus our capital and energy on our most productive data centers and will ensure that customers at these sites will be supported by an experienced data center operator that will continue to invest in these locations. We are excited to partner with 365 Main to make this transaction a success.”

http://www.equinix.com

Infonetics: Strong Wireless LAN Sales in Q2


Global wireless LAN equipment and WiFi phone sales grew 16% sequentially in 2Q12, to $993 million, driven by strong demand in North America and the education and retail verticals, according to a new Infonetics report, which tracks 802.11 a/b/g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac access points (APs), wireless LAN (WLAN) controllers, and WiFi phones for the enterprise.

"Wireless LAN has had a very good run over the last couple of years, even outperforming wired LAN, and the WLAN market is now approaching the $1-billion-per-quarter mark," notes Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.  "The world is going wireless, and users expect fast, always-on connectivity no matter where they are. Enterprises need to keep pace with ever-increasing bandwidth demands, and next-gen WLAN gear based on fast 802.11n and soon 802.11ac technologies gives them a reason to upgrade."

Some additional highlights:

WLAN equipment revenue in EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) is up by more than 1/3 year-over-year

Revenue for outdoor access points rose 45% from the year-ago 2nd quarter due to increasing deployments of WiFi by service providers

Cisco, the perennial leader in the wireless LAN equipment market, gained about 4 market share points year-over-year in 2Q12; Aruba again took the #2 spot; HP leapfrogged Motorola to take 3rd

Vocera widened its lead over Polycom and Cisco in the race for enterprise WiFi phone market share in 2Q12

http://www.infonetics.com

Infonetics: Ethernet switch sales top $5 billion in 2Q12

Global Ethernet switch revenue topped $5 billion in 2Q12, up 9% from the previous quarter, and up 13% year-over-year, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.  Sales were driven by strong performance in North America.

"All the negative economic news in the world didn't keep Ethernet switch buyers from propelling the market past $5 billion in sales this quarter," reports Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.  "Sales in North America, the largest Ethernet switch market, did especially well, providing an important boost to the overall market," Machowinski adds. "As usual, demand for 10G switches was strong, almost doubling from a year ago, and the 40G Ethernet market is taking off, as vendors round out their 40G solution portfolio."

Some additional highlights:

  • Revenue for 1G ports, the largest segment of the Ethernet switch market, is up year-over-year in 2Q12, a positive sign for the overall switching market
  • For the 2nd straight quarter, 40G Ethernet sales grew 50%
  • Market share leaders Cisco, HP, and Juniper posted revenue gains in 2Q12, although Cisco and HP lost market share on a year-over-year basis
  • Dell's Ethernet switch revenue is up by double-digit percentages from the year-ago 2nd quarter, driven in part by its acquisition of Force10.

http://www.infonetics.com

See also