Thursday, October 31, 2013

Brocade Releases Blueprint for Dynamic Network Resource Manager

Brocade is proposing a Dynamic Network Resource Manager (DNRM) blueprint to simplify the deployment and management of physical and virtual networking resources within cloud infrastructures.  The goal is to enable OpenStack cloud environments to more easily access pooled resources in multivendor networks. Brocade intends to present its proposal at next week's OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong.

Highlights of the Brocade DNRM proposal include:

  • Policy-based management of physical and virtual network resources from multiple vendors that will allow OpenStack Neutron to deliver operational efficiency and flexibility for Layers 3-7 of the network
  • Four primary components -- Supervisor, Interceptor, Plugins and Appliance Container -- and several supporting elements, such as a management dashboard
  • Support for emerging technologies, such as Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
  • Continued work with partners of the OpenStack community to deliver DNRM capabilities as part of the Spring 2014 OpenStack release, codenamed "IceHouse"
  • A proof-of-concept implementation of DNRM that will be demonstrated at the OpenStack Summit
  • Brocade is also updating several other OpenStack contributions in its continued drive toward open networking solutions.

Brocade also highlighted the Red Hat Certification of the Brocade VCS Fabric plugin as part of RHEL OpenStack distribution.  The Brocade VCS plugin is part of the current OpenStack Havana release. With it, OpenStack now has a single logical interface to the entire Brocade Ethernet Fabric instead of interfacing with individual switches.

In addition,  the company will support the next "IceHouse" release of OpenStack in Spring 2014 with Brocade SAN Fibre Channel, Brocade ADX Load Balancing as a Service (LBaaS) and an OpenStack solution with Brocade Vyatta vRouter plugins.

"Public and private clouds are evolving from basic, homogenous entities to rich, service-oriented clouds that combine best-of-breed solutions, including both physical and virtual resources. To ensure these next-generation cloud architectures properly serve customers, Brocade is continuing to expand its investment and participation in open projects such as OpenStack and OpenDaylight. It is our belief that contributions such as the Dynamic Network Resource Manager equip customers to build the next-generation services cloud to deliver the flexibility and agility it needs," stated Ken Cheng, CTO and Vice President, Corporate Development and Emerging Business at Brocade.

In October, the OpenStack community marked the eighth release of its open source software for building public, private, and hybrid clouds.  OpenStack Havana introduces nearly 400 new features to support software development, managing data and running application infrastructure at scale.  There were over 900 contributors to the Havana software release, a more than 70% increase from the Grizzly release six months ago. Two new projects, OpenStack Orchestration and Metering, were incubated during the Grizzly release cycle and are now available in the Havana release.

Some of the New Capabilities in OpenStack Havana:

  • Application-Driven Capabilities – OpenStack Orchestration, now available as part of the Havana release, is a template-driven service for describing and automating the deployment of compute, storage and networking resources for an application. The new global clusters feature for Object Storage enables you to cut costs and improve performance by replicating and delivering data around the world, and the new QoS capability across Block Storage drivers allows you to guarantee performance requirements for an application.  Docker support was also added to speed application deployment using containers.
  • Improved Operational Experience – During this release cycle, significant effort went into increasing the breadth of functionality that is exposed through the Dashboard. A new team of user experience experts also contributed their time to improve the UI, workflows and productivity. OpenStack Metering, another new service in Havana, provides users with a single source of usage data across OpenStack services for activities like enterprise chargebacks and feeding systems monitoring tools.
  • More Enterprise Features – OpenStack continues to mature and support enterprise-driven features such as end-to-end encryption across all Block Storage drivers, SSL support across all service APIs, new VPN and Firewall-as-a-Service capabilities, and support for rolling upgrades and boot from volume, which provides the foundation for live migration. Additionally, popular storage and networking providers continue to improve and write new plugins for OpenStack, making it easier for enterprises to work with their trusted vendors and take advantage of existing infrastructure.

Japan's Softbank Mobile Picks Ericsson for VoLTE

SoftBank Mobile has selected Ericsson's voice over LTE (VoLTE)solution.  The network upgrade will support High Definition (HD) voice and video calling, and new enriched multimedia services.

Specifically, Ericsson is upgrading SoftBank Mobile's existing mobile core network (Ericsson Mobile Softswitch Solution and Evolved Packet Core) with a complete IMS core, which includes the Multimedia Telephony Application Server (MTAS). SoftBank Mobile's best-in-class Ericsson-based LTE network is also being upgraded with new VoLTE software. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson noted that until nationwide LTE coverage is deployed, seamless handover of ongoing voice calls from LTE to WCDMA is needed to ensure uninterrupted voice services as the user moves out of LTE coverage. Ericsson will also deploy this end-to-end network handover functionality, SRVCC (Single Radio Voice Call Continuity).

Qualcomm's Snapdragon Powers Google's New Nexus 5

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 processor powers Google's newest Android smartphone, the Nexus 5, which is the first smartphone to be released with global LTE support and Android 4.4 (KitKat).

The Nexus 5 also utilizes the Qualcomm's new envelope tracking (ET) technology for 3G/4G LTE devices and offers significant performance improvements, including reduced heat by up to 30 percent and decreased power consumption by up to 20 percent, enabling thinner form factors with longer battery life.

The Nexus 5 also will include new Android Camera HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) capabilities, which utilizes Qualcomm Technologies' integrated Image Signal Processor and color science algorithms to enable all-new imaging experiences with burst-mode computational photography.

Dell'Oro: Fast Growth Trajectory for SDN Market

The Software Defined Networking (SDN) Market will grow more than six-fold over the next five years, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.  The majority of this market (75%) will consist of Ethernet switches and network security appliances.

"Almost every major Ethernet Switch vendor with exposure in the data center is announcing significant new products over the next several weeks.  To put perspective on the order of magnitude of the data center equipment market, in 2013 sales will exceed $100 B, split between Servers, Storage, Ethernet Switches, and Data Center Appliances, etc.  We predict a wide variety of manufacturers will engage in battle for the supremacy of data center spending and control," said Alan Weckel, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group.

"For Ethernet Switching, data center share will become an increasingly important metric for three reasons: almost all revenue growth in the market over the next five years will come from data center products; vendors will have to fight each other for ever-fewer, although larger, deals; and SDN is changing who owns application and network control points," Weckel stated.

The report examines the disruptive elements to the Ethernet Switch market in the data center, including SDN, Cloud, Virtualization, and the impact of White Box Switching.  The Report addresses issues such as: the importance of SDN to the data center; the portion of the market attributed to White Box and the effect of the Cloud on Ethernet Switch, Application Delivery Controller and Network Security Appliance Markets.  The report also reveals first half 2013 vendor placement in the data center Ethernet Switch market and how Brocade, Cisco, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Extreme, Huawei, IBM, and Juniper place in this increasingly important segment.

Infonetics: Distributed Antenna System (DAS) Market Continues to Expand

Over 1 million distributed antenna system (DAS) nodes were shipped in 2012, sending worldwide DAS revenue to $1.9 billion — an increase of 4% over 2011, according to a new report from Infonetics.  And the market is predicted to continue expanding at a steady rate despite the arrival of small cells.

“DAS first became commercially viable in the late 1980s with the advent of optical fiber installed as a transport medium. Since then, the DAS business has been brisk with its lot of boom and bust, growing into a multi-billion dollar market crowded with a flurry of vendor specialists,” explains Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.

“And contrary to all the hype and buzz surrounding small cells, the need for DAS is not going away anytime soon! In fact, most service providers have already included DAS as a key component of their future ‘small cell’ mobile network expansion plans,” continues Téral. “With no signs of abating over the next 5 years, we believe global DAS revenue will grow at a CAGR of 3% from 2012 to 2017 and DAS node shipments will double, driven by a combination of coverage and capacity improvements in specific venues.”

Some highlights:

  • DAS revenue represents just 5% of the total mobile infrastructure market
  • U.S.-based CommScope leads the global DAS market with 17% market share, followed by Hong Kong–headquartered Comba
  • adaptability
  • Sports and entertainment stadiums make up the bulk of the DAS business and are considered in-building or indoor DAS; outdoor DAS is a niche market
  • The U.S. and China are the world’s largest DAS markets and are expected to remain so through at least 2017 due to the number and size of their stadiums, convention centers, and transportation stations and ports.

Alcatel-Lucent Posts Revenue of EUR 3.7 Billion, up 7% YoY

Alcatel-Lucent posted Q3 2013 revenue of Euro 3,668 million, up 7.0% year-on-year at constant exchange rates, and a gross profit of Euro 1,196  million, or 32.6% of revenues, up from 27.8% in Q3 2012.  There was a net loss of (group share) of Euro (200) million for the period, or Euro (0.09) per share. This includes restructuring charges of Euro (117) million and other special charges.

"We are seeing the first positive signs of our new operating model in our day-to-day business and are encouraged by the substantial progress in the Shift Plan key metrics. Going forward, we remain fully focused on execution to leverage the momentum we are building," stated Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent.

Some highlights for the period:

  • The Core Networking segment grew 6.0% year-on-year, driven by a strong performance from IP Routing, and reflecting an improvement in IP Transport, mainly formed by terrestrial and submarine optics, which stabilized after quarters of revenue decline.
  • Revenues for the IP Routing division were Euro 580 million, increasing 7.0% from the year-ago quarter and 14.6% at constant currency, driven by strength in the APAC and EMEA regions, where the latter grew nearly 50% compared to the year-ago quarter.
  • There were four new customers in the quarter for the 7950 XRS core router.
  • Within IP Transport, sales of WDM witnessed a 10% growth in the quarter at constant rate, led by both the Americas and APAC regions. The 1830 Photonic Service Switch represented 38% of optical revenues in the third quarter, and is now deployed with more than 360 customers, including more than 150 100G customers.
  • In the Access segment, both Wireless and Fixed Networks enjoyed a strong performance, driven by broadband roll-outs partially offset by declines in legacy technologies. This is partially offset by the decrease in revenues from Managed Services.
  • Revenues for the Wireless division were Euro 1,196 million, an increase of 12.6% from the year-ago quarter where strong growth in LTE was driven by ongoing investments in the US, in addition to positive trends in both the APAC and EMEA regions.
  • Revenues for the Fixed Networks division were Euro 541 million, an increase of 0.7% from the year-ago quarter on a reported basis and 5.8% at constant currency exchange rate. The VDSL2 vectoring products are now being used by 17 customers, including 4 new contracts in the third quarter.
  • North America posted its second consecutive quarter of nearly 20% year-on-year growth, continuing to be the key driver for the Group.
  • China was stable in terms of revenues, but the rest of the Asia Pacific region declined at a low single digit rate.
  • Encouraging trends continued in Western Europe, growing more than 5%, while Eastern Europe reduced its pace of decline.
  • The recovery in the Middle East and Africa accelerated, witnessing growth in the mid-teens, which was offset by a slowdown in Central and Latin America, resulting in a -9% rate of decline in the Rest of World area.
  • At September 30, 2013, the Group had net debt of Euro (1,004) million, versus Euro (794) million at June 30, 2013.

Ericsson Wins Upgrade Project with Zain Bahrain

Zain has appointed Ericsson to implement the latest LTE technology and prepaid charging including consulting and systems integration services for its network in Bahrain.

Ericsson will replace existing 2G and 3G radio network equipment while adding 4G functionality with the Ericsson RBS 6000 family of base stations. Ericsson will also deploy Evolved Packet Core with triple-access SGSN-MME and Ericsson Evolved Packet Gateway based on Ericsson SSR 8000 family of Smart Services Routers as well as MINI-LINK PT and SP for IP backhaul.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sprint's "Spark" Leverages Carrier Aggregation to Hit 1 Gbps

Sprint demonstrated 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) over-the-air speeds at its lab near Silicon Valley, California.

Sprint Spark, which is still in prototype status, uses carrier aggregation to combine FDD-LTE at 800 MHz and 1.9 GHz with TDD-LTE at 2.5GHz.

Sprint claims that it is technically feasible to deliver more than 2 Gbps per sector of over-the-air speed given its extensive spectrum licenses, especially in the 2.5 GHz band.
high-speed capability demonstrates 50-60 Megabits per second (Mbps) peak speeds today with increasing speed potential over time. Given Sprint's spectrum and technology assets, it is technically feasible to deliver more than 2Gbps per sector of over-the-air speed.

"Sprint Spark is a combination of advanced capabilities, like 1x, 2x and 3x carrier aggregation for speed, 8T8R for coverage, MIMO for capacity, TDD for spectral efficiency, together with the most advanced devices offering both tri-band capability and high-definition voice for the best possible customer experience," said Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint.

Sprint announced plans to deploy Spark in about 100 of America's largest cities during the next three years, with initial availability in five markets today at lower speeds in the 50-60 Mbps range.

Sprint 4G LTE service will be available by mid-2014 to approximately 250 million Americans, and Sprint expects 100 million Americans will have Sprint Spark or 2.5GHz coverage by the end of 2014. The first markets with limited availability are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami. The first smartphones with Sprint Spark capability are scheduled for customer availability in early November.

Some other key points of the announcement:

  • Sprint current has approximately 55,000 macro cell sites and plans to stay at this level for the next few years.
  • A rollout of small cells beginning next year will augment capacity, coverage and speed.
  • Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Solutions and Networks and Samsung have been selected to provide 2.5GHz radio heads and to enable Sprint Spark. Each company will service approximately one-third of Sprint's deployment markets.
  • The 2.5GHz radios are expected to have capabilities for 8 Transmitters 8 Receivers (8T8R), which will be a first deployment of its kind in North America. These radios will be capable of improved coverage, capacity and speeds when compared to the more traditional 2T2R or 4T4R radios used by our competitors.
  • Sprint Spark is designed to accommodate all of Sprint's spectrum bands on a single tri-band smartphone. The first tri-band devices will be available to customers in the next few weeks and offered by HTC, LG and Samsung.
  • Sprint's HD Voice capability, which is also supported on 3G, reaches approximately 85 million people across the Sprint network today, and the company expects 250 million to have access to HD Voice capability by mid-2014. Sprint expects 12 million HD Voice devices in the customer base by the end of 2013, growing to 20 million by the end of 2014.

NSN Confirms TDD LTE Roll-out with Sprint

Nokia Solutions and Networks confirmed a new contract with Sprint for the deployment of TDD LTE in 2.5 GHz spectrum across the United States.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the contract, NSN will implement its TDD LTE Radio solution with the latest LTE-Advanced-ready software capabilities and NetAct network management system. NSN will also provide professional services. NSN’s TDD LTE Radio solution features the company’s Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station using high capacity baseband platform and high bandwidth TDD LTE 8-pipe radio.

NSN noted a top downlink thoughput of 1.3 Gbps using its Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station at the demonstration of Sprint Spark at the Sprint facility in Burlingame, California.

"As we enhance our network, we need not only a return on our invested capital, but also a partner with proven TDD LTE leadership, innovation and commercialization expertise,” said Bob Azzi, senior vice president of Network Operations for Sprint. “NSN is an ideal vendor for our deployment, which will provide our customers with increased speeds and capacity in densely populated cities. We are excited to showcase what the future might hold through a live demonstration of TDD LTE Advanced with NSN’s commercial base station."

“Our aim is to help our customers drive a superior mobile broadband experience with the latest innovations,” said Rick Corker, executive vice president and president of North America for NSN. “NSN has a track record of delivering TDD LTE solutions, which have proven their worth time and again with tier one operators around the world. Our demonstration with Sprint at its lab is yet another testament to NSN’s TDD LTE expertise. We are delighted to provide Sprint with proven technology that will further enhance its goal of delivering a quality mobile broadband experience to its U.S. subscribers.”

Internap to Acquire iWeb for $145 Million

Internap Network Services agreed to acquire hosting and cloud provider iWeb for approximately $145 million.

Montreal-based iWeb provides on-demand server and cloud infrastructure to over 10,000 customers.

The combination creates a top five pure-play IT infrastructure services provider, with trailing twelve months revenue in excess of $320 million. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, iWeb serves 10,000 SMB customers in more than 100 countries and has approximately 200 employees.

Internap said iWeb’s dedicated and cloud hosting offerings complement its own portfolio of bare-metal and virtual cloud, managed hosting and colocation services while significantly expanding its addressable market to SMBs.

"iWeb fits perfectly into our strategy to deliver a comprehensive portfolio that can serve the needs of our customers at every stage of their business lifecycle, from an initial start-up wanting a single dedicated server to a scale-out Internet app provider or global enterprise requiring a hybrid solution across multiple data centers around the world,” said Eric Cooney, president and chief executive officer of Internap. "This combination represents a milestone in the transformation of Internap’s business to a leading IT infrastructure services provider that can deliver on customers’ complete range of IaaS demands."

CableLabs Releases DOCSIS 3.1 Specs

CableLabs announced the availability of its DOCSIS 3.1 PHY (physical layer) and MULPI (MAC and Upper Layer Protocol) specifications.

Some highlights:

  • Speed: Defines support for up to 10 Gbps downstream and up to 1 Gbps upstream network capabilities.
  • Quality of Experience: Utilizes Active Queue Management to significantly reduce network delay as data traffic grows in the home network, dramatically improving responsiveness for applications such as online gaming.
  • Higher Capacity: Enables a significant increase in network capacity with the ability to transmit up to 50 percent more data over the same spectrum, on existing HFC networks.
  • Energy Efficiency: Enhancements to the DOCSIS protocols will increase cable modem energy efficiency.
  • Flexible Migration Strategy: DOCSIS 3.1 modems are designed to co-exist with older versions enabling incremental deployment based on market demand.

“To meet the demand for higher speed access and increased network efficiency, CableLabs completed the development of DOCSIS 3.1 specifications 40 percent faster than previous DOCSIS projects,” said Phil McKinney, president and chief executive officer of CableLabs. “These specifications represent the combined work of a large consortium of cable industry stakeholders.”

DB Systel Picks ADVA's FSP 3000

DB Systel GmbH has selected the ADVA Optical Networking's FSP 3000 platform to support metro and long distance network applications. AXIANS is named as systems integrator.

DB Systel, which is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bah and based in Frankfurt, is one of the leading providers of ICT services in Germany.  As DB Group’s internal ICT provider, DB Systel provides data center services, connection of ticketing machines, online bookings, sales and passenger information systems, schedule control, video surveillance and internal office communications.

“We are now able to address the increasing demand for bandwidth arising from different applications and departments of the DB Group, as well as internal office communications in the most flexible, cost-effective and future-proof way with service provider based solutions as well as our own optical network implementation,” said Brigitte Baumgartner, head of Access and Carrier Services, DB Systel GmbH. “The ADVA FSP 3000 offers the modularity, ease of use and reliability we need in a platform to support our varied connectivity needs. What’s more, AXIANS and ADVA Optical Networking have established themselves as leading players in the marketplace.”

Tollgrade Launches "Virtual Broadband Technician" CPE

Tollgrade Communications introduced a "Virtual Broadband Technician" (VBT) customer premise device for diagnosing slow broadband connections.

The device can be used to pinpoint problems like intermittent faults, noise on the line and unresolved line speed instability.  The VBT is placed in line with the residential DSL modem.  It then performs a series of 50 tests, and can diagnose the cause of the problem – whether it lies within the customer premises (e.g., electromagnetic interference in the home) or anywhere in the local access network.

Tollgrade said its data from VBT field deployments found that 82 percent of tested customer premises equipment (CPE) would have been returned unnecessarily had it not been for the diagnostic capability of the VBT. By correctly pinpointing problems inside the home that would otherwise have been left undiagnosed, the VBT reduced repeat dispatches by over 50 percent, saving millions and reducing customer churn.

JDSU Reports Revenue of $429 Million

JDSU reported revenue of $429.0 million for its fiscal 2014 first quarter ended September 28, 2013, with net income of $0.3 million, or $0.00 per share. Prior quarter net revenue was $421.3 million, with net income of $92.5 million, or $0.38 per share. Net revenue for fiscal 2013 first quarter was $420.9 million, with net loss of $(11.6) million, or $(0.05) per share.

“We are pleased to have delivered our 28th consecutive quarter of positive operating cash flow, further strengthening our balance sheet and ability to fuel JDSU’s strong innovation pipeline,” said Tom Waechter, JDSU’s President and CEO. “Our results for the quarter were driven by strong growth in products that help our customers build out network capacity and this, coupled with robust customer adoption of our new products, positions JDSU well in the markets we serve."

  • Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific customers represented 46.4%, 24.3% and 29.3%, respectively, of total net revenue for the quarter.
  • The company held $1,087.3 million in total cash and investments and generated $29.5 million of cash from operations for the quarter.

Aviat Networks Hires Ericsson Exec

Aviat Networks has hired Ola Gustafsson as senior vice president, product and services portfolio management.
He most recently served as Ericsson's head of product line microwave and mobile backhaul.

ARRIS Sees Strong Q3

ARRIS reported Q3 revenue of $1,067.8 million and GAAP net income in the third quarter 2013 was $0.13 per diluted share.  The company ended the third quarter 2013 with $695.0 million of cash resources.

"I am very pleased with our third quarter results and our outlook for the balance of the year.  Our customers continue to react positively to our Motorola Home acquisition and we are making good progress in delivering new products to our customers," said Bob Stanzione, ARRIS Chairman and CEO.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Juniper Outlines MetaFabric Architecture for Cloud Data Centers

Juniper Networks introduced its MetaFabric architecture for next generation data centers with the goal of simplifying and accelerating the deployment and delivery of applications within and across multiple facilities.

The key design principles for MetaFabric are to be Open (standard interfaces for integration with multi-vendor data center equipment), Simple (single pane of glass management), and Smart (leverage traffic analytics to adapt the network for cloud, mobile and Big Data applications).  The MetaFabric architecture could be used in existing data centers or with next gen SDN controllers, including Juniper Networks Contrail and VMware NsX, and cloud orchestration platforms such as Openstack.  A consistent control plane is used across all systems to shared information and propagate state within and across data center locations.

Juniper's MetaFabric encompasses switching, routing, orchestration, SDN controllers and security hardware. Within a specific data center, Juniper's MetaFabric could be used with its QFabric family of products, Virtual Chassis technology, and Virtual Chassis Fabric switching architectures, or it could be implemented on traditional equipment. Across locations, protocols such as Ethernet VPN (EVPN) automatically and dynamically change the path for traffic flows.  MetaFabric could also use VPLS or MPLS to link data centers.

So far, Juniper has released MetaFabric Reference Architecture 1.0, which provide guidance to customers and partners deploying a VMware virtualized data center. The company said this tested reference architecture combines its routers, switches and security solutions with EMC, VMware and IBM systems running Microsoft applications. Juniper will support MetaFabric with its own professional services and with industry partnerships.

Juniper announced the following new products :
  • QFX5100 family of 10G and 40G access switches: The QFX5100 family is made up of top-of-rack (ToR) switches designed for the hitless, zero downtime data center. The rollout includes the QFX5100-48S, a10GbE switch offering 48 dual-mode, small form-factor pluggable transceiver (SFP/SFP+) ports and six quad small form-factor pluggable plus (QSFP+) 40GbE ports; the QFX5100-96S, a10GbE switch providing 96 dual-mode, small form-factor pluggable transceiver (SFP/SFP+) ports and eight quad small form-factor pluggable plus (QSFP+) 40GbE ports; and the QFX5100-24Q, a 40GbE switch supporting up to 32 quad small form-factor pluggable plus (QSFP+) ports.
  • New SDN and WAN capabilities on MX Series routers: Juniper Networks MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers can now act as universal SDN gateways to connect physical and virtual networks seamlessly.  Juniper also added support for Ethernet VPN (EVPN), which maximizes performance by creating the most efficient forwarding paths across the WAN.
  • SDN solutions for data center optimization: MetaFabric can be the foundation for the emerging ecosystem of SDN controllers.  Juniper Networks Contrail will support VMware ESXi, providing customers with an even broader array of choices. In addition, MetaFabric allows customers to connect Juniper systems directly to OpenStack and CloudStack orchestration platforms, and SDN controllers, such as Juniper Networks Contrail and VMware NSX. 
"For the first time, MetaFabric will allow companies to operate multiple data centers - physical and virtual, private and cloud - as a single, flexible pool of network resources, providing tremendous levels of flexibility and efficiency, as enterprises and service providers shift towards an application-driven world." stated Rami Rahim, executive vice president, Platform Systems Division, Juniper Networks.

In September, Juniper Networks announced the commercial launch of its Contrail software-defined networking (SDN) solution for enterprise data centers and Service Provider networks.  The company said the primary benefit of Contrail is that it provides a simple way to connect physical networks with a virtual environment and provision underlying services, reducing the time, cost and risk for customers when configuring the network. In addition to virtualizing network resources, Contrail promises automated configuration for Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV). The launch represents the third step in Juniper's SDN strategy announced earlier this year (see below)

Juniper Networks Contrail, formerly known as JunosV Contrail, is comprised of an SDN controller, vRouter, and analytics engine.  It creates a virtual network, enabling seamless integration between physical and virtual networks.  Contrail's hypervisor forwarding plane provides line rate routing and switching in a multi-tenant virtualized environment that is completely decoupled from the underlying physical fabric switches. Contrail enables a variety of VPNs in software, including L3 VPNs, E-VPNs, Site-to-Site IPSec, and SSL VPNs.

Contrail also features built-in load balancing across application tiers or network services.  As for security, Juniper said its hypervisor forwarding plane includes built-in policy enforcement.  Contrail seamlessly integrates with Juniper's virtual firewall, Firefly Perimeter. In addition, Distributed Threat Prevention can be delivered in software using JunosWebApp Secure.

Contrail seamlessly integrates with the Juniper Networks MX, EX and QFX Series switches.  The company said it will be interoperable with most industry switches and routers.

In an enterprise setting, Contrail could be used for combining private and public clouds, enabling workload mobility between resources.  In a Service Provider setting, Contrail can dynamically service-chain virtualized or physical network resources, such as for NFV. 

In June 2012, Juniper Networks introduced a smaller version of its QFabric System aimed at mid-sized data centers. The QFabric architecture, which was first unveiled in February 2011 and began shipping in September 2011, collapses multilayer data center infrastructure into a single, any-to-any fabric that unifies networking, storage and cloud computing resources. The product set is composed of three components that create a high-performance, low latency fabric. The QF/Node acts as the distributed decision engine of the fabric; the QF/Interconnect is the high speed transport device; and the QF/Director delivers a common window, controlling all devices as one.   Specifically, the new and smaller QFX3000-M enables scalability from 48 10GbE ports and up to 6,144 10GbE ports using the QFX3000-G QFabric System. The smaller version delivers three microseconds latency, compared with five microseconds for the larger Qfabric.

Wheeler Confirmed as FCC Chairman

The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Thomas Wheeler as Chairman of the FCC and Michael P. O'Rielly as FCC Commissioner for the term previously help by Robert McDowell (ending June 2014).

Tom Wheeler previously served as Managing Director of Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. with approximately $350 million under management. Portfolio investments of Core Capital Partners include Sourcefire (NASDAQ: FIRE), Inlet Technologies (acquired by Cisco), SwapDrive (acquired by Symantec), IXI Corporation (acquired by Equifax), SilverStorm (acquired by QLogic), Roundbox, Twisted Pair Solutions, BridgeWave Communications, UpdateLogic, Infinite Power Solutions, GENBAND, PureWave, Trust Digital and others.  Wheeler served as President of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1984.  He then served as CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) until 2004.

Mike O'Rielly is a congressional staffer for Senator John Cornyn, a Republican for Texas.

Ixia to acquire Net Optics for $190 million

Ixia agreed to acquire Net Optics for $190 million in cash, in a cash-free/debt-free transaction and subject to certain adjustments based on Net Optics’ net working capital at closing.

Net Optics, which is based in Santa Clara, California, specializes in application and network visibility solutions for real-time network intelligence. Its product lines include taps and virtualized taps, bypass and in-line switches, and network packet brokers.  The company recorded revenue of $49 million in 2012. In the first nine months of 2013, Net Optics revenue grew 21% over the same period in 2012, reaching $42 million, with Q3 revenue growth of 31% year-over-year to reach a record $15.5 million. Ixia expects the acquisition to be accretive to non-GAAP earnings by the second full quarter after the acquisition closes.

Ixia said the deal enhances its position as a supplier of network packet brokers and application-aware visibility solutions.

“Next-generation cloud providers, mobility operators and enterprises demand more visibility into their global networks in order to maintain quality of service across virtualization, application and service delivery,” said Errol Ginsberg, Ixia Chairman and Acting CEO. “The acquisition of Net Optics solidifies our position as a market leader with a comprehensive product offering including network packet brokers, comprehensive physical and virtual taps and application aware capabilities. Additionally, the acquisition strengthens our service provider customer base, increases our footprint in the enterprise, and broadens our sales channel and partner programs.”

“The combined Ixia and Net Optics technology and capabilities will create a very compelling value proposition for enterprises and service providers around the world,” said Eldad Matityahu, Net Optics Founder and Chairman. “Ixia will offer visibility solutions that will address the full network, and I am very excited about the opportunities that the acquisition will create for our customers, partners and employees.”

OIF Members Approve Smaller 100G Modules

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) members approved three Implementation Agreements (IAs) addressing the needs for smaller modules for 100G deployments:

  • The 100G Long-Haul DWDM Transmission Module IA specifies key electromechanical aspects of Generation 2.0 of a 100G Long-Haul DWDM Transmission Module, for optical line interface and specifically 100G PM-QPSK long-haul DWDM transmission applications. The module size has been decreased by 40% to 4x5 inches to accommodate technological advances made since the first module was introduced and to reflect lower power consumption.
  • The Integrated Polarization Multiplexed Quadrature Modulated Transmitters IA specifies key aspects of optical transmitters operating at rates up to 32 GBd per channel for applications such as 100G PM-QPSK DWDM transmission. The agreement reduces the size of the transmitter to fit into the Gen 2 LH DWDM Transmission Module.
  • The Intradyne Coherent Receivers IA also targets 100G PM-QPSK applications with nominal rates up to 32 GBd.  This IA reduces the size of the receiver to fit within the smaller 4x5 module and also will now fit into future CFP modules.

A fourth implementation agreement defines medium reach Common Electrical I/O (CEI)-28G-MR, for an electrical channel operating at peak speeds. This expands on the OIF's CEI work that defines the characteristics required to communicate between a CEI-28G-MR transmitter and a CEI-28G-MR receiver. This clause details the requirements for the CEI-28G-MR medium reach high-speed electrical interface between nominal baud rates of 19.90 Gsym/s and 28.1 Gsym/s using NRZ coding. Medium reach is defined as capable of driving up to 500 mm of PCB and up to 1 connector.

“100G DWDM represents a significant development expense for component and system suppliers,” said Nathan Tracy of TE Connectivity and the OIF technical committee chair.    “The original implementation agreements for 100G have been refreshed to support second generation smaller form factor modules and the expectation for future pluggable modules. Smaller form factor modules enable higher density, lower power equipment.”

Pacnet Activates 100G Mesh on Transpacific Cable System

Pacnet has activated an optical mesh network with 100G on its EAC Pacific fiber optic cable system.  Pacnet can now offer its Carrier and Enterprise customers 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps services between Asia-Pacific and the U.S.

Pacnet said its new backbone integrates subsea fiber infrastructure and terrestrial backhaul links supporting pure packet technology and OTN switching in the optical core.  The upgrade supports both Ethernet and OTN interfaces at a location, allowing flexible selection of whether to multiplex, scale up and down, amplify, groom, optically express, or switch individual data streams.

"We are the first carrier to support 100G service between Asia and the United States,” says Andy Lumsden, Chief Technology Officer of Pacnet.  “With this successful upgrade, we have significantly boosted our bandwidth capacity and scalability to serve the dynamic needs of carriers and enterprises that support compute-intensive operations in the region.”

  • EAC Pacific is a trans-Pacific cable system providing connectivity between Chikura, located off the coast of Japan near Tokyo, to Los Angeles, California and other network Points of Presence (PoPs) on the West Coast of the United States.  The two fiber pairs, collectively known as EAC Pacific, provide up to 1.92 Terabytes per second (TBps) of capacity.

  • Pacnet owns and operates EAC-C2C, Asia’s largest privately-owned submarine cable network at 36,800 km, as well as EAC Pacific, which spans 9,620 km across the Pacific Ocean.  EAC-C2C connects to cable landing stations in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, the Philippines and China.

TM Forum Launches REST-based API Ecosystem

The TM Forum launched an API ecosystem containing a suite of REST-based APIs developed for end-to-end digital services management.

The API Zone, which is part of the TM Forum's Open Digital Program, aims to serve all digital services stakeholders including consumers, developers, providers and operators. TM Forum and its members defined and developed the APIs in a three month cycle using agile development techniques.

The API Zone features four APIs: Catalog Management, Trouble Ticketing, Product Ordering and Simple Management. The purpose of these APIs is to create easy sharing of management information and expose management functions such as submitting orders or creating trouble tickets between partners.

Columbus Networks Upgrades Florida Net to 100G with Coriant

Columbus Networks, which operates the largest subsea multi-ring fiber-optic network connecting the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and the United States in partnership with CWC Wholesale Solutions, has selected Coriant's coherent 100G solution to expand its network. The strategic network upgrade will use Coriant's hiT 7300 intelligent transport platform for multiple 100G optical transmission links in its Florida Transport Network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"We are pleased to be a strategic partner of Columbus Networks to help them advance the capabilities of their DWDM backbone network with best-in-class 100G technology," said Herbert Merz, president and CEO, Coriant. "Our revolutionary vision for software-enabled, end-to-end optical networks, combined with a proven heritage of engineering excellence, places Coriant in a unique position to offer compelling customer solutions that deliver immediate CapEx and OpEx savings while future-proofing networks for long-term growth."

CloudSigma Expands in U.S.

CloudSigma, the Switzerland-based provider of pure-cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Services (IaaS), has expanded its public cloud to a second U.S. location. In addition to its Las Vegas cloud at SwitchNAP, CloudSigma’s public cloud is now also available at Equinix’s DC6 International Business Exchange (IBX) in Washington D.C.

CloudSigma said its dual-site U.S. hosting solution allows customers can now more easily geo-balance workloads across multiple data centers, thereby keeping their data and mission-critical applications accessible in the event of a disaster or a system outage. For instance, customers already housing their data in CloudSigma’s Las Vegas-based cloud can now simply fail over to its East Coast location or vice versa.

Ixia Posts Q3 Sales of $115 Million

Ixia reported Q3 revenue of $115.4 million, compared with $110.6 million reported for the 2012 third quarter. The 2013 third quarter includes $35.2 million in revenue from Anue Systems and BreakingPoint Systems, which were acquired in June and August 2012, respectively.  Net income (GAAP) was $6.0 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, compared with net income of $10.9 million, or $0.14 per diluted share, for the 2012 third quarter.

“We delivered a solid third quarter and saw healthy spending from our enterprise, federal, and service provider customers, while network equipment manufacturers continue to be cautious,” commented Errol Ginsberg, Ixia's chairman and acting chief executive officer. “Anue and BreakingPoint revenue surpassed expectations and grew to $35.2 million, and our revenue from service providers and enterprise customers grew to 53% of our total revenue. We are on track with expanding our go-to-market channels and product portfolio, while at the same time managing our expenses.”

Monday, October 28, 2013

NTT Com Expands Global Cloud Vision with 2 Investments: Virtela and RagingWire

NTT Communications announced two major international investments:  the acquisition of Virtela for US$525 million in cash, and the acquisition of an 80% stake in RagingWire for US$350 million.

Virtela Technology Services (Virtela), which is based in Denver, is a leading global managed and cloud network services provider serving over 500 multinational companies. Virtela integrates 1,000+ local and regional network providers, enabling the customer to build a virtual overlay network from multi-carrier MPLS, Ethernet, DSL, 3G/4G/LTE and other IP links, while benefitting from a single SLA and management portal. Virtela operates global operations and delivery centers in the U.S., India and the Philippines.  It has over 400 employees.

NTT Com said it plans to combine Virtela’s advanced service/operational platforms and expertise with its own global ICT infrastructure and resources.  NTT Com will also upgrade its cloud-based network services with Virtela’s network function virtualization (NFV) technology to virtualize the functions of customers’ network equipment, such as firewalls and WAN accelerators, enabling enterprises to benefit from instant service activation and significant cost reduction.

"Virtela is well known for its strong technology, networking expertise, global reach and highly regarded services," said Akira Arima, CEO of NTT Com. "As we advance our Global Cloud Vision, we expect to continue offering enterprise customers the highest possible value in services ranging from branch office networking to large-scale cloud migration."

"Virtela’s virtualized network services model combined with NTT Com’s brand and strength will create the industry’s most advanced services portfolio that enables enterprises to break free from the constraints of traditional network architectures and services," said Vab Goel, Virtela founder and general partner at Norwest Venture Partners.

Separately, NTT Communications will acquire approximately 80% equity interest in RagingWire Data Centers (RagingWire), a leading provider of data center services in the United States.

RagingWire has 650,000 square feet of data center space at its campuses in Sacramento, California, and Ashburn, Virginia. Both campuses are currently being expanded. In addition, RagingWire has begun construction of a new 150,000 square foot data center in Sacramento and will soon break ground on a 78 acre parcel of land in Ashburn, Virginia with designs to build 1,500,000 square feet of data center space. The company has annual revenues of approximately $85 million (USD), and a compounded annual growth rate of 30%.

NTT Com said the acquisition will more than double its data center space in the U.S.

"We are rapidly expanding our capabilities to provide cloud and telecommunications solutions worldwide and the deal with RagingWire is critical to increasing our overall capacity, providing data center infrastructure management tools which enhance colocation service’s reliability and efficiency. RagingWire leads the data center industry in availability, innovation, and customer experience, and that will enhance our global cloud solutions significantly," said Akira Arima, CEO of NTT Com.

  • In September 2013, RagingWire Data Centers closed on a $230 million credit facility to fund its strategic growth plan and ongoing expansion of its data center campuses in Sacramento, California and Ashburn, Virginia. The funding was led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, co-led by Comerica Bank, and included eight financial institutions in total.  RagingWire noted that its 500,000 square foot data center campus in Sacramento is almost entirely full and plans are underway for an additional facility in the area. In Ashburn, Virginia, the heart of “Data Center Alley,” RagingWire has five data center vaults within a 150,000 square foot facility and plans to build a 1,500,000 square foot campus on 78 acres of land in Ashburn that the company recently acquired.
  • In 2012, RagingWire was awarded two patents for data center power delivery systems and technology. These patented technologies include the 2N+2™ design, which offers double the redundancy of a standard data center design at a lower cost. The unique infrastructure, design and operations of 2N+2 has enabled RagingWire to deliver customer SLAs (service level agreements) for 100% availability without any exclusions for maintenance periods or utility disruptions. NTT Com will now begin introducing these advanced technologies throughout its data centers worldwide.
  • NTT Communications was among the first Service Providers to implement SDN.  The company has a Global Cloud Vision encompassing many of its enterprise services.
  • In June 2012, NTT Communications launched a globally seamless enterprise cloud service using OpenFlow network virtualization technology within and between data centers. The service was launched via NTT Com data centers in Japan and Hong Kong, followed by data centers in the United States (two locations), the United Kingdom and Singapore in December and in Australia, Malaysia and Thailand in March 2013.

  • OpenFlow is being used for inter-data center back-ups between NTT Communications' Global Data Centers. The service allows bandwidth can be boosted on-demand using the OpenFlow controller.

FCC Adopts Technical Specs for FirstNet Wireless Broadband

The FCC adopted technical service rules, including power limits and other technical parameters, to govern the spectrum for First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) nationwide wireless broadband system.

The rules are intended to provide a foundation for FirstNet's operations, help avoid harmful interference to spectrum users in adjacent bands, and expedite the availability of equipment for use on the public safety network, thereby fostering competition and innovation in the marketplace.

The has granted a license to FirstNet for the combined use of two spectrum blocks  -- one block that was previously designated for public safety use (763-768/793-798 MHz) and a second, spectrally adjacent block (758-763/788-793 MHz).

The FCC said this action consolidates the technical requirements governing both spectrum blocks into a uniform set of rules, which will provide vendors with specifications they need to develop equipment for use on this spectrum.

The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology will now begin accepting and processing applications for equipment certification in this band, consistent with the newly consolidated rules.

FCC Supports Lower 700 MHz Band Agreement

The FCC endorsed a voluntary industry agreement that will establish interoperable LTE service in the Lower 700 MHz band and adopted and an Order that modifies the technical rules of the D and E blocks.

The FCC said its new rules remove the likelihood of harm caused by attendant power levels while continuing to allow high-value uses of the D and E blocks.

The order also proposes to modify AT&T's B and C block licenses to incorporate the commitments of AT&T and makes changes in construction requirements and deadlines for various E Block licensees in the Lower 700 MHz band.

The Lower 700 MHz interoperability agreement was brokered by several wireless providers, along with the Competitive Carriers Association.  The FCC expects it will give consumers more choice in using their devices with large and small carriers alike and will promote widespread deployment of mobile broadband services, especially in rural areas.

In September 2013, the FCC and mobile operators announced an agreement that resolves handset interoperability issues in the lower 700 MHz bands.  At the time, the FCC's Acting Chairwoman, Mignon Clyburn issued the following statement:

"After many frustrating years, wireless carriers have finally reached a voluntary industry solution that will resolve the lack of interoperability in the lower 700 MHz band in the most efficient manner. This is a big win for consumers, especially in rural areas, who will see more competition and more choices. Also, by making it easier for small wireless carriers to compete, today's interoperability solution will spur private investment, job creation, and the development of innovative new services and devices.  "That's why for the past few years, I have been consistent in pushing for a final resolution to this issue. Thank you to all the parties - AT&T, The Interoperability Alliance, The Competitive Carriers Association, DISH, and the consumer advocacy groups - who came to the table and worked collaboratively with FCC staff to hammer out a solution that benefits all consumers."

NSN Refines its Multi-stack Approach to Carrier-Grade Clouds

Nokia Solutions and Networks is reinforcing its multi-stack approach to telco cloud to give operators full flexibility in their choice of cloud platforms.  The company confirmed that it is working closely on cloud technology with major operators, leading cloud stack vendors such as VMware, open source cloud platforms  such as OpenStack and the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV) Industry Specification Group (ISG).

NSN cited recent trials and proof of concept projects with Tier 1 operators that demonstrate the reliability of its core virtualization.  The tests also show its capability to adapt cloud IT platforms to meet the demands of telco cloud.

“NSN supports multiple stack solutions such as OpenStack  and VMware,” said Thorsten Robrecht, VP of MBB Portfolio Management at NSN. “As well as enabling operators to increase the flexibility and agility of core network infrastructure, we are committed to creating a telco cloud ecosystem that supports the co-existence of traditional networks and cloud environments and gives operators the option of choosing the most competitive hardware and cloud platform for their specific needs.

“Our recent proof of concept projects demonstrated in practice how we enable telco cloud by running our core network software on top of virtualized network infrastructure. In the process, we are moving from the virtualization of single network elements to full cloud orchestration, including cloud application management.”

NSN has also launched its cloud-ready NetAct 8 , which helps simplify network operations, reduce operational expenses and deliver very high availability. NetAct 8 includes the NSN Cloud Application Manager, which provides off-the-shelf management, orchestration and elasticity for virtual network functions.

China Telecom Carries Terabit Wavelength over 3,200km with ZTE

China Telecom Corporation Ltd. Beijing Research Institute carried a terabit wavelength over a distance of 3,200 kilometers on G.652 optical fiber without Raman amplification that was error-free for 24 hours.  The world record demonstration used ZTE’s ZXONE 8700 WDM platform and advanced Nyquist WDM Terabit PM-QPSK optical modulation and optical coherent detection technologies.  The system leveraged ultra-high-speed signal processing and soft-decision forward error correction algorithms, achieving spectral efficiency of 4bit/Hz/s.

ZTE said this latest demonstration strengthens its global leadership in terabit optical transport systems. In 2012, ZTE and Deutsche Telekom successfully completed 100G/400G/1T long-haul transmission over 2,450 kilometers, setting a record in long-distance multi-rate mixed transmission. ZTE has successfully deployed more than 50 100G trial and commercial networks globally.

ZTE noted that it achieved record revenue in optical network products in the second-quarter of 2013, achieving the industry’s fastest growth rate in the preceding 12-month period, according to data from research company Ovum.

Telstra Tests LTE Broadcast on Live Network

Telstra has completed a test LTE Broadcast session on its commercial LTE network using Ericsson's solution.

During the demonstration, end user devices received different video feeds, including a sports match replay, sporting network news, horse racing coverage and news. Additionally, the devices received a large file using the single LTE Broadcast channel.  The trial devices used Qualcomm Labs' LTE Broadcast SDK and middleware running on Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and integrated modem platforms.

Mike Wright, Telstra Executive Director, Networks said: "The trial is an important step in testing this technology to see how it provides network efficiencies while providing consumers the content they want in a high-quality experience. Our goal is to ensure consumers can get the content they are looking for easily and to explore the wider benefits that might be obtained using broadcasting technology."

Thomas Norén, Vice President and Head of Project Area Radio, Ericsson says: "LTE Broadcast provides the ability to send the same content simultaneously to a very large number of devices in a target area. Mobile operators can use this ability and monetize their media and network assets for new services. Revenue generation and cost-saving opportunities are significant and provide an attractive value proposition for mobile operators."

Telefónica I+D and Oracle Develop Fixed-Mobile Convergence Use Cases

Telefónica I+D, the research and development company of the Telefónica Group, and Oracle have completed a process of definition, developing and testing to allow Oracle’s Tekelec Policy Server (PCRF) to extend mobile policy management to fixed broadband networks. The work paves the way for the use of Policy Server and Oracle’s Tekelec Subscriber Profile Repository (SPR), or subscriber database, in a fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) environment.

The test was developed in Telefónica I+D’s properties, where some business case scenarios were prepared in order to verify the FMC capabilities of the Oracle solution.

Oracle said the work has produced a solution that sets out the key next-generation policy management requirements and handles a more diverse set of subscriber-centric rules.

“Service providers have a tremendous untapped potential to create and offer new innovative broadband data services that both increase revenues and increase customer loyalty,” said Albert Fernandez, Senior Director, Europe Sales, Oracle Communications.

ZTE Picks Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge for TD-LTE Small Cells

ZTE has selected Freescale’s QorIQ Qonverge BSC9132 “base station-on-chip” for TD-LTE femtocell products.  The small cells are to be deployed starting later this year.

“ZTE is playing a pivotal role in the build-out of LTE networks across global 4G markets,” said Zhang Shizhuang, TDD product director for ZTE. “The performance, energy efficiency and scalability of Freescale’s proven QorIQ Qonverge platform allow us to deliver compelling and highly differentiated products designed to establish an early leadership position in LTE solutions.”

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Huawei Demos SDN Virtual Transport Service

Huawei demonstrated a transport SDN prototype capable of delivering Network on Demand (NoD) services.

Huawei's SDN virtual transport service solution is based on its Path Computation Element (PCE) architecture.

The goal of the virtual transport service platform is to provide users with multiple modeled virtual topologies through programmable interfaces to meet on-demand virtual network service (such as NoD service) user requirements in real time.

Huawei said its platform can help carriers deliver customized services and deploy value-added services efficiently and flexibly. An intelligent Transport Path Engine (TPE) algorithm ensures dynamic network resource optimization.

The announcement follows Huawei's demonstration of a transport SDN controller prototype launched last year.

SoftCOM is Huawei's end-to-end ICT network architecture based on concepts such as cloud computing, SDN, NFV, and network openness.

The demonstration occurred at the recent Layer123 conference in Bad Homburg, Germany.  In a keynote address at the conference, Justin Dustzadeh, Huawei's CTO & VP Technology Strategy, said Carrier SDN ultimately will be an end-to-end framework spanning Last Mile, Access, Aggregation, Metro & Core, and Data Center equipment. He presented several SDN use cases, including:

  • SDN-based Mobile Backhaul
  • Virtualized Residential Gateways with virtual set-top boxes
  • Traffic Steering for Gi-LANs
  • Cloud IMS
  • SDN-based Transport Network Virtualization

Huawei is also continuing work on its Protocol-Oblivious Forwarding (POF) technology, which is a software-defined networking (SDN) forwarding implementation.  The goal is to leverage the OpenFlow protocol in a programming model where forwarding devices are no longer limited by pre-defined packet protocols or forwarding rules.  Data plane hardware would not be limited by hard­-wired protocol implementations. POF has been prototyped on Huawei's NE5000E Core Router

ETSI's NFV Group Publishes Update

ETSI's Industry Specification Group for Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV ISG) has published its second white paper highlighting progress to date.

The NFV ISG, which will be meeting this week in California, currently has four working groups: Infrastructure Architecture, Management & Orchestration, Reliability & Availability, and Software Architecture.  Altogether, the NFV ISG has grown to over 150 companies, including 28 Service Providers.

The new whitepaper provides an overview of the following topics:

  • NFV Use Cases document describes initial fields of application.
  • NFV Requirements document describes the high level business and technical requirements for an NFV framework including service models. It is a key reference document for the NFV ISG.
  • NFV Architectural Framework document describes the high-level functional architecture and design philosophy for virtualised network functions and the underlying virtualisation infrastructure. By delineating the different constituents and outlining the reference points between them, it paves the way for fully interoperable multi-party NFV solutions.
  • NFV Terminology document is a common repository for terms used within the NFV ISG documents.
  • NFV Proof of Concept Framework document. The NFV ISG has launched a global call for multi-party NFV Proof of Concepts (PoC) to validate NFV approaches. 

The 16-page whitepaper is available online.

IBM Awarded Patent for Cloud Security Technique

IBM has been awarded U.S. Patent #8,539,597: Securing sensitive data for cloud computing.  The technique enables clients to use cloud-based services without risking the release of sensitive data into cloud environments, alleviating security and privacy concerns due to information disclosure or attribution.

IBM said its invention helps overcome security concerns by redacting, removing or replacing sensitive data from records that are being sent to the cloud for processing. It then restores the sensitive data when the records are returned from the cloud.

"Patents like this help to solve real-world security challenges that are inhibiting cloud computing growth," said Josyula Rao, IBM Director of Security Research. "IBM's investment in research and development is producing innovations that will advance the company's cloud computing and security leadership."

CommScope Completes IPO -- Nets $437 Million for Debt Repayment

CommScope completed its initial public offering of 38,461,537 shares of its common stock at $15.00 per share, raising $577 million.

The shares, which are listed on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "COMM", closed at $14.99 on the first day of trading (Friday, October 25).

The company expects to net approximately $437.3 million after underwriting costs. The company intends to use the net proceeds it receives from the offering, plus cash on hand, to redeem approximately $399 million in aggregate principal amount of its 8.25% Senior Notes due 2019 and to pay related premiums, expenses and accrued interest. J.P. Morgan, Deutsche Bank Securities and BofA Merrill Lynch were lead book-running managers.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Infonetics: Cisco Takes Lead in Femtocells

The global 2G/3G/4G residential and enterprise femtocell equipment market grew 4% sequentially in 1Q13, to $115 million, driven by LTE, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

“Sales of 3G femtocells still dominate the market, despite the focus of vendors on 4G,” notes Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave and carrier WiFi at Infonetics Research. “Residential femtocells still account for the bulk of the market, though from this point forward we will see increasing adoption of femtocells from the enterprise segment, which is a key focus for a growing number of operators.”

Some additional highlights:

  • Integrated femtocells are expected to account for nearly half of all femtocell units shipped in 2017, almost entirely within the residential segment.
  • Infonetics forecasts FDD-LTE femtocells to grow at a 76% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2012 to 2017.
  • Cisco, who recently acquired Ubiquisys, sprang to the top of the femtocell revenue share leaderboard in 2Q13, thanks also to its work with AT&T, who lays claim to the largest scale femtocell deployment in the world.
  • Airvana dropped to the #2 spot overall, but moved into the lead in the 3G femtocell segment.

Australia's NBN Co Set for Strategic Review

Australia's NBN Co named a panel of outside consultants and appointed an executive to help with a Strategic Review of its operations.

A 60-day Strategic Review is being undertaken by NBN Co’s Board and executive management pending the introduction of new Government policy in the wake of the nation's recent elections.

Mr. JB Rousselot has been to the new position of Head of Strategy and Transformation, responsible for activities within the Quality group and also the corporate planning, strategy and decision support functions of the office of the Chief Finance Officer. He will lead the Strategic Review process and then help manage the implementation of recommendations and their incorporation into the company’s 2014-17 Corporate Plan.

NBN Co has retained the following outside consultancies to support the Strategic Review:

  • Deloitte will provide governance and the program management office services to ensure the Strategic Review fits within the parameters and tight deadline for submission set by the Government;
  • KordaMentha will contribute to the analysis of the current NBN operational and financial performance;
  • Boston Consulting Group will participate in the review of the timing, financials and product offers under alternative models of delivering very fast broadband.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Open Server Summit: Open Compute Hardware - Facebook Future Directions

Facebook has been able to quantify energy efficiency gains of 38% for new servers conforming to the specs of The Open Compute Project, said Matt Corddry, Director of Hardware Engineering at Facebook, speaking at the Open Server Summit in Santa Clara, California.  Moreover, the new servers deliver a 24% cost savings compared to generic OEM servers.

The Open Compute Project, which Facebook launched in April 2011, has resulted in vastly simplified Compute Servers, Storage JBODs and an innovative Open Rack System.

But where do we go from here?

Corddry said the long-hanging fruit has now been harvested and we are unlikely to see the double-digit efficiency gains with future design tweaks.

Instead, Corddry said Facebook is now undertaking a fundamental rethinking of its server types.  Currently, the company deploys about six different types of standardized servers depending on which applications it is destined to serve. Every service has changing needs and it is standard practice to re-use equipment as application performance needs change.

Looking ahead, Facebook is investing heavily in flash, although traditional disk is still good for cold storage.  Corddry said one of Facebook's design principles is to keep storage in close physical proximity to the compute resource because their experience has shown that latency variation becomes an issue when these resources are virtualized and moved across data centers.

The Facebook design mantra is now to disaggregate resources but keep them in the same rack.  Keep it rack-local and keep it simple.

To get there, the company is pursuing the concept of standardized "sleds" -- a modular shelf of high-density compute or storage that can be easily plugged into any available space in a rack.

An interesting note is that Facebook typically has 20,000 servers per technician, so it is essential that these sleds can be easily plugged in or slid out for replacement.

As far as the network is concerned, Corddry said 10 GigE server connections are great for now, but looking at the density of flash that can be packed into a 2U sled or the corresponding performance of a 2U high-performance compute sled, it is clear that the connections will need to be faster.

 Corddry said Facebook is quite willing to compromise distance for speed.  Most of the connections will be across of the rack, meaning that 1.5 meter lengths should be fine.  The company has previously discussed a silicon photonics partnership project with Intel.  However, Corddry said Facebook is really agnostic about copper vs. fiber.

The overriding design criteria is that all of the assets that go into the rack must be cheap enough to deploy at Facebook's truly massive scale.