Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dreamforce in SF Attracts 135,000 Registrants - Power of Cloud

Salesforce.com's annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco has attracted over 135,000 registrants (online and in-person), making it the largest cloud and software industry event so far.  This compares to about 90,000 registrants last year. The event has about 350 partner companies exhibiting at the expo, as well as 1,200 sessions.

In his keynote address, Marc Benioff, Salesforce's Chairman and CEO, said his company is building the Internet of Customers by leveraging the changing workflows enabled by cloud applications. Salesforce recently achieved its first $1 billion sales quarter (up 36% YoY) and its ecosystem of partners and market share in cloud services continue to grow.

The company is introducing its new Salesforce1 Customer Platform for connecting apps, mobile devices and customer data.  The release includes new APIs and mobile tools to make it easier for companies to build sales and customer-support applications.


FCC Considers Mandatory PSTN Sunset in 2018

The FCC will consider an order at its January meeting addressing the IP Transition along with the recommendation to sunset the public switched telephone network in 2018.

In a statement, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said he welcomes the decision but that adequate testing and preparation must be conducted in advance. Geographic all-IP trials should be conducted so that carriers will be able to  transition from TDM to IP in a discrete set of wire centers.


Ericsson Confirms Key Contracts for China Mobile's TD-LTE Rollout

China Mobile has selected Ericsson to deploy LTE TDD in 15 provinces in China, covering 63 percent of China's population. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Specifically, Ericsson will deploy radio access networks based on its multi-standard RBS 6000. For the core network - which will be used for China Mobile's nationwide mobile network covering 2G, 3G and 4G - Ericsson has been selected to upgrade its installed base, equal to a market share of 40 percent in User Data Management (HLR/HSS). In addition, Ericsson has been awarded 20 percent market share in Evolved Packet Core. This makes Ericsson China Mobile's main supplier in Core.  Ericsson will also provide network design and optimization services.

Jan Signell, Head of Ericsson Region North East Asia says: "We are pleased that our LTE TDD technology and services leadership are recognized by China Mobile. Our leading LTE TDD networks will bring unparalleled network performance to users and create new opportunities for innovations with connected devices and applications. We have been a trusted partner to China Mobile since its introduction of 2G and are committed to supporting the world's largest LTE deployment."

Ericsson noted that this deal is aligned with the 11 percent market share in radio access networks awarded earlier in the China Mobile central purchasing process in September. The deployment has begun.


Intel Tunes its Xeon Phi for Programming Simplicity and Performance

Intel confirmed that its next generation Xeon Phi devices (codenamed "Knights Landing"), available as a host processor, will fit into standard rack architectures and run applications entirely natively instead of requiring data to be offloaded to the coprocessor.

Intel said this approach will significantly reduce programming complexity and eliminate “offloading” of the data, thus improving performance and decreasing latencies caused by memory, PCIe and networking. Knights Landing will also offer developers three memory options to optimize performance.

In addition, Intel and Fujitsu recently announced an initiative that could potentially replace a computer’s electrical wiring with fiber optic links to carry Ethernet or PCI Express traffic over an Intel Silicon Photonics link. This enables Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors to be installed in an expansion box, separated from host Intel Xeon processors, but function as if they were still located on the motherboard. This allows for much higher density of installed coprocessors and scaling the computer capacity without affecting host server operations.


  • In June, Intel announced five new Xeon Phi coprocessors:  the Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor 7100 family is designed and optimized to provide the best performance and offer the highest level of features, including 61 cores clocked at 1.23GHz, 16 GB of memory capacity support (double the amount previously available in accelerators or coprocessors) and over 1.2 TFlops of double precision performance. The Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor 3100 family is designed for high performance per dollar value. The family features 57 cores clocked at 1.1 GHz and 1TFlops of double precision performance. The Intel Xeon Phi coprocessor 5100 family is optimized for high-density environments with the ability to allow sockets to attach directly to a mini-board for use in blade form factors.
    Looking further ahead, the second generation Intel Xeon Phi coprocessors, codenamed "Knights Landing," will be manufactured using Intel's 14nm process technology featuring second generation 3-D tri-gate transistors.  It will be available either on a PCIe card or a host processor (CPU). As a PCIe card-based coprocessor, "Knights Landing" will handle offload workloads from the system's Intel Xeon processors and provide an upgrade path for users of current generation of coprocessors.  As a host processor directly installed in the motherboard socket, it will function as a CPU and enable the next leap in compute density and performance per watt, handling all the duties of the primary processor and the specialized coprocessor at the same time.

Verizon Launches Managed Certificates for Internet of Things

Verizon Enterprise Solutions has launched Managed Certificate Services, a next-generation, cloud-based platform designed to authenticate objects and machines -- verifying object and machine “identities” -- and securing data transmitted between these connections.

Verizon said its new class of cloud-based certificates provides strong security while eliminating the need for expensive hardware and complex implementations that were once the hallmark of public key infrastructure (PKI)-based solutions. Verizon MCS offers a fully managed environment that allows clients to remain focused on their core business without the complexity and cost of managing and monitoring their certificate infrastructure.

“With the continued explosion of the Internet of Things and the expansion of connected objects and machines, businesses require a simple, scalable and effective way to manage identity and data integrity,” said Eddie Schwartz, vice president of global security solutions for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. “Verizon’s Managed Certificate Services build upon our solid digital certificate technology and managed security services expertise with a cloud-based platform to deliver an ideal offering for the age of connected solutions.”

Verizon Managed Certificate Service is available immediately in the U.S. and Europe, with a December rollout planned for the Asia-Pacific region.


CenturyLink acquires Tier 3 for Cloud Services

CenturyLink has acquired Tier 3, a provider of public cloud services based in the Seattle area, for an undisclosed sum. Tier 3's cloud platform, which is immediately available as "CenturyLink Cloud," targets complex enterprise workloads.  It offers a self-service interface and Web APIs.

CenturyLink said the acquisition builds on its earlier AppFog acquisition.

"Our mission is to provide world-class managed services to global businesses on virtual, dedicated and colocation infrastructures. Tier 3's innovative automation and self-service platform are game-changing for our global enterprise clients," said Jeff Von Deylen, president of CenturyLink's Savvis organization. "From greenfield development to mission-critical apps, businesses have a trusted technology partner to seize new market opportunities. This acquisition underscores our continued commitment to delivering the most complete portfolio of cloud services."

Jared Wray, the founder and chief technology officer for Tier 3, will now serve as chief technology officer for the CenturyLink Cloud organization and lead the CenturyLink Cloud Development Center.


Poland's Netia Tests Coriant's 400G Optical Transport

Netia, Poland's largest alternative provider of fixed-line telecommunications, has tested a 400G DWDM solution from Coriant.

The trials, based on Coriant's industry-leading hiT 7300 DWDM technology, included:

  • Flexigrid ROADMs - to support flexible channel spacing, specifically across 400G in 150GHz superchannels

  • A Flexigrid 400G superchannel signal based on 4 subcarriers
  • The purpose of the trial was long haul transmission of a 400G signal adjacent to 10G (NRZ) signals with several filter widths, namely:
  • Use of standard width filters (ITU -T grid): 100GHz and 50GHz.
  • Use of a superchannel with a channel width of 150GHz. A 400G channel was placed directly between the four 10G channels with 50GHz spacing
  • The trial system consisted of two Flexigrid ROADM nodes (without dispersion compensators) connected in a point-to-point architecture. Each node had a standard amplifier (outgoing signals) and preamplifier (for incoming signals).
Coriant said the test results presented no significant differences in optical performance when varying superchannel width from 400GHz to 150GHz. At the same time the tests revealed that the adjacent 10G (NRZ) channels and Flexigrid 400G superchannel configuration worked properly without any interference with each other.


Huawei Brings its High Performance Compute Platform to U.S. Market

Huawei announced the US launch of its Tecal E9000 blade server featuring integrated compute, storage, networking and system management.  The blade server is optimized for private and hybrid cloud infrastructure, mission-critical enterprise IT applications, in-memory computing, real-time big data analytics and HPC Cluster applications.

Huawei E9000 x86 server platform boasts 15.6 Tbps mid-plane bandwidth, the highest blade server chassis bandwidth in the industry. This

Huawei also announced the availability in the US of its OceanStor 18500 and OceanStor 18800 series of enterprise storage systems, featuring up to 16 controllers, 3TB of cache, 192 network ports, 3,216 HDDs or SSDs, and 65,536 LUNs.


Aviat Introduces Adaptive Intelligent Repeater for Low Latency Microwave

Aviat Networks introduced its Eclipse Adaptive Intelligent Repeater (AIR) for low latency microwave networks. The product provides adaptive repeater and regenerator functions with error-free Space Diversity path protection.

Aviat said a key advantage of its Eclipse AIR is that ability to connect more direct routes — such as those over water — reducing end-to-end circuit miles and, therefore, latency.

McKay Brothers, which specializes in private carrier services for latency sensitive applications, is the first carrier to deploy Eclipse AIR.  The platform is now in service between Chicago and northern New Jersey.


ONF's Plugfest Tests OpenFlow v1.3 and OF-Config v1.1.1

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) conducted its fourth, semi-annual PlugFest earlier this month at the Spirent Proof of Concept (SPOC) Lab in Sunnyvale, California. The event focused on the testing of OpenFlow v1.3 and the OpenFlow Management and Configuration Protocol (OF-Config) v1.1.1 through a “speed dating” format.

Participating companies’ switches, controllers, and applications were paired together through one-on-one testing and small topologies, generating hundreds of testing permutations and completing several months worth of work during one week-long event.

This PlugFest event was the first time OF-Config v1.1.1 – an open standard developed by the ONF Configuration and Management Working Group – was tested. OF-Config allows the ecosystem to recognize the capabilities and preferences of controllers and switches within an OpenFlow-based SDN network.

“We are always impressed by the innovations of our member companies, and ONF PlugFests are the perfect opportunities to experience those efforts first-hand,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “The atmosphere of this event was very collegial, attendees were passionate about the work taking place, and the event was ultimately very well-received. We’re so thankful to Spirent for their hard work and diligence in planning this ONF PlugFest – they were an exceptional host.”


Infonetics: Optical Infrastructure Spending Slows

Globally, the optical network hardware market (WDM and SONET/SDH) is down 7% sequentially in 3Q13, and down 1% from the year-ago quarter, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

“In the third quarter of 2013, sales of WDM optical equipment are up 4% from a year ago and remain at the elevated levels reached earlier in the year, but overall optical spending is down on a quarter-over-quarter and year-over-over basis,” says Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research. “Looking ahead, we expect tier 1 carriers to dial back spending. Capex was so strong in the first and second quarters of 2013, it’s unreasonable to anticipate a big flush in the fourth quarter, especially in North America. There’s a general weakness in the market, even from carriers that didn’t aggressively ramp spending earlier this year.”

Some highlights of the report:

  • Total optical spending is flat on a rolling 4-quarter basis, with WDM growth accelerating and notching a 5th consecutive quarter of growth in 3Q13
  • North America optical spending jumped 13.4% year-over-year in 3Q13 following an 11.1% YoY increase the previous quarter, driven by aggressive 100G rollouts by tier 1 operators
  • In 3Q13, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) WDM spending declined on a year-over-year and sequential basis, nearing the record low set in 1Q13
  • Japan dragged down the Asia Pacific optical market in 3Q13, a result of spending retracing huge gains in 2012
  • Huawei, Ciena, and Alcatel-Lucent are the WDM market share leaders in 3Q13.


Sprint Expands Connected Vehicle Services

Sprint announced an expansion of its Velocity business unit, which delivers telematic services for automotive manufacturers, to cover more vehicle models.

Sprint Velocity Connect is an expanded capability that supports additional hardware on the Sprint Velocity platform, including TCUs (Telematics Control Units), OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostic) devices and embedded in-dash head units.

“With more than 14 million vehicles sold in the United States yearly, auto manufacturers are in a constant race to bring the newest, most versatile and technology-packed products to market,” said Ben Vos, vice president and general manager, Sprint Emerging Solutions. “Sprint Velocity makes it easier for automakers to win that race by offering the most advanced connected services available today, supported by unsurpassed telematics integration and consumer-focused resources that can translate into increased revenues and stronger customer loyalty.”

Sprint Velocity Connect applications for automotive manufacturers could include:

  • Fleet Management: Vehicle manufacturers could help fleet operators easily adopt value-added services provided by the manufacturer at any time after the vehicles are purchased. This includes applications that track and monitor vehicle locations, improve dispatch and routing, evaluate driving behaviors, and more efficiently manage vehicle maintenance.
  • Rental Car Features: Automakers might offer rental car companies the opportunity to learn more about the status of their cars, such as distance traveled and vehicle maintenance needs.
  • Dealership Sales: Auto manufacturers could consider using Sprint Velocity Connect to add services for its dealership network, including new ways to differentiate previously owned vehicles with connected services.