Thursday, November 21, 2013

IBM Tests SDN-based Disaster Prevention Intervention App

IBM is working with Marist College on a rapid re-provisioning application for cloud computing that could move resources to a safe location in the event of a pending natural disaster.  The effort comes in response to last year's Hurricane Sandy, in which many data center operators were warned of the impending weather disaster, but were unable to re-provision applications and storage to a safe location at short notice.

The cloud computing disaster prevention invention that IBM and Marist are currently testing could slash re-provisioning time from days to minutes -- avoiding costly network disruptions and outages. Marist’s SDN Innovation Lab is testing an SDN solution from IBM that enables data center operators to more efficiently control data flows within physical and virtual networks.
IBM said this cloud-based solution could significantly reduce or eliminate the loss of services and data in a major weather event or other crisis that threatens voice and data network resources. It is now being demonstrated to clients and is expected to be commercially available in 2014.

"A year ago, Sandy left millions of individuals and businesses in the Northeast without electronic communications for days, weeks and even months -- in some cases, data centers were literally under water," said IBM Distinguished Engineer Casimer DeCusatis. "With our invention, a data center operator could quickly and simply move data and applications to another data center outside the danger zone in minutes -- from a remote location using a tablet or smartphone."

"Our SDN Innovation Lab provides a cloud networking test bed for early SDN adopters, including IBM clients, and also offers an opportunity to evaluate new technologies across our entire infrastructure here at Marist College," said Robert Cannistra, senior professional lecturer for computer science and information technology at Marist. "We gain practical experience with the latest technology that we can apply to our own operations and curricula, and our students gain valuable knowledge they can apply to their future careers."

Other IBM cloud inventions and projects being tested at the SDN Innovation Lab include:

  • The recently announced "noisy neighbor' invention (U.S. Patent #8,352,953) for dynamically managing network bandwidth for systems running within a cloud that experience dramatic or unexpected peaks and valleys in demand for services.
  • A patent-pending IBM invention that creates a "heat map" of network activity within a cloud to automatically predict and prevent congestion before it occurs. This invention is included in IBM Flex System servers and System Networking offerings.
  • A prototype streaming video invention that monitors server CPU and memory function to dynamically shift the video stream from one virtual machine to another within a cloud while it's running, to ensure picture quality and continuous transmission.
  • An open-source SDN controller that will allow developers to build redundancy, high availability and automation into cloud networks. The controller is based on IBM's DOVE technology, which is being donated to the Linux Foundation's OpenDaylight Project.
  • Additional research partners in the Marist SDN Innovation Lab include Columbia University, City University of New York, the State University of New York 

Optical Internetworking Forum Continues 100G and 400G Work

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) launched three new projects following its Q4 Technical meeting last month in Hong Kong:

400G Framework Document  - the Physical and Link Layer (PLL) and Carrier Working Groups joined forces to begin developing a 400G Framework Document that will analyze and discuss trade-offs between high-order modulation formats, high data rates per channel and a number of subcarriers.  The effort is expected to lead to the definition of application scenarios and limits for 400G operation. The framework document will also consider single optical carrier vs. multi-carrier solutions for long haul and metro applications.

Integrated Polarization Multiplexed Quadrature Modulated Transmitters for Metro Applications -- targeting 100G coherent optical modulator modules for metro applications. This new project will incorporate the use of new and advanced modulator technologies which will enable smaller and more cost-effective components needed for these metro applications.

Multi-Link Gearbox (MLG) 3.0 - an effort to define a protocol to support in-band and remote Monitoring & Control and define IEEE 802.3bj RS-FEC compatibility.  In some applications the transport of 10GBASE-R signals over Nx20G links requires definition, including 2X20G and 1X40G links. The MLG 3.0 Project will define in-band coding that preserves 10GBASE-R physical lane-to-lane ordering and in-lane bit ordering to support synchronous and asynchronous 10G lanes.

The OIF also announced the election of its new leadership.  Newly elected to the board of directors is Dave Brown of Alcatel-Lucent, who will serve a one-year term as vice president of marketing. Re-elected to the OIF board of directors are the following: Steve Joiner of Finisar, who will serve a two-year term; John McDonough of NEC America, who will serve a one-year term, was appointed vice president; and Vishnu Shukla of Verizon, who will serve a two-year term, was appointed president.

Newly elected OIF officers and committee chairs, each serving a one-year term, include: Nathan Tracy of TE Connectivity as Technical Committee chair; Jonathan Sadler of Tellabs as Technical Committee vice chair, Brian Holden of Kandou as Market Awareness & Education Committee co-chair, PLL; Lyndon Ong of Ciena as Market Awareness & Education Committee co-chair, Networking.

“Recently, several approaches to achieving 400G data transmission have been proposed with reported transmit fiber distances from short haul to long haul applications,” said Nathan Tracy, TE Connectivity and the OIF’s Technical Committee chair.  “To develop this white paper, the OIF intends to bring the industry together to discuss the options and where the gaps exist for initial 400G long haul implementations.”

Internap's AgileCLOUD to Offer Native OpenStack API

Internap Network Services announced the beta availability of the next generation of its public cloud.

Internap's AgileCLOUD will fully expose both virtualized and bare-metal compute instances over a native OpenStack API. The company said this will allow customers to easily provision and manage thousands of virtual or bare-metal cloud AgileSERVER instances – to best fit their application and use case requirements – across Internap’s global cloud footprint, which includes locations in New York, Dallas, Silicon Valley, Amsterdam and Singapore.

“AgileCLOUD is now 100% OpenStack ‘under the hood,’ which provides an open, interoperable framework that helps us deliver a dramatically more scalable platform,” said Raj Dutt, senior vice president of technology at Internap. “Not only can we offer our customers all the benefits of the OpenStack platform, but we’ve implemented existing features that our hybridized customers find valuable – such as bare-metal cloud instances, static IP addresses, Layer 2 VLANs and compatibility with our existing hosting API (hAPI).”

Other key features include:

  • Flexible configuration options and hybridization – Bare-metal cloud AgileSERVERs will function as just another instance flavor, providing customers with a seamless choice on a per-application or per-instance basis. AgileCLOUD continues to support Layer 2 VLANs for hybridization across customers’ colocation and managed hosting services with Internap, all of which can be managed through a “single-pane-of-glass” customer portal and API.
  • High-performance storage – AgileCLOUD provides 100% SSD for both local (ephemeral) and networked (persistent) block storage.
  • Improved interoperability and no vendor lock-in – native OpenStack API and third-party OpenStack ecosystem for both virtualized and bare-metal cloud instances, including the ability to more easily hybridize between on-premise and third-party OpenStack clouds.

China Mobile Selects HP for Wireless City Search

China Mobile has selected HP Autonomy's Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) to power the search capability of its strategic Wireless City platform, which allows users to access information on thousands of public services directly from their mobile phones.

HP IDOL uses advanced pattern-matching technology to understand key concepts in all forms of information, including free text, video, audio, image, social media and the web. Unlike traditional, keyword-dependent systems, HP IDOL retrieves all relevant information that is conceptually related to a query, going beyond search to help users discover information they may not know to look for.

“Much of the success of Wireless City depends on the users’ ability to quickly find information and harness the full potential of the platform,” said Cao Yang, project manager, Wireless City, China Mobile. “HP Autonomy stood out by having a great support infrastructure. We believe that the unique conceptual search capabilities of HP IDOL can help us deliver an unmatched experience and a highly valuable service to our customers.”

Infonetics: Banner Year for VoIP and IMS

Bucking the typically soft 3rd quarter, the global service provider VoIP and IMS equipment market totaled $974 million in 3Q13, up 4% sequentially, and up 52% from the year-ago quarter, according to a new report from Infonetics.

“2013 is turning into a banner year for the IMS equipment market due largely to mobile operators in the U.S., Japan, and South Korea purchasing gear for voice over LTE (VoLTE). While many of these networks won’t go live until next year, operators are purchasing and deploying enough capacity to make sure they don’t fall short upon launch,” notes Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics Research.

Some additional highlights:

  • Legacy equipment—gateways and softswitches—showed resiliency rather than being a drag on results
  • Owing to LTE-related activity, North America enjoyed the strongest year-over-year growth of any region in 3Q13, despite being down on a quarter-over-quarter basis
  • The Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) continues to benefit from the overall expansion of fixed-line VoIP services, notching a 20% sequential increase in revenue in 3Q13
  • Strong performances in Asia Pacific, CALA, and EMEA helped Huawei maintain its leadership in the global service provider VoIP and IMS market
  • In the 3rd quarter, NEC, Ericsson, Mavenir, Genband, and Metaswitch all posted double-digit revenue growth.

Cable Wi-Fi Now Provides Access Nearly 200,000 WiFi Hotspots across U.S.

Cox Communications is now providing its customers with access to nearly 200,00 Wi-Fi hotspots across the U.S. in the Cable WiFi network.

With the latest integration with Time Warner Cable's hotspots, Cox customers now can access free Wi-Fi in additional cities including Los Angeles, New York City, Austin, Charlotte and Kansas City.

"Cox continues to extend our customers access to WiFi hotspots across the country delivering information and entertainment anytime, anywhere," said Len Barlik, executive vice president and chief product officer. "Not only are we providing our customers access to nearly 200,000 WiFi hotspots throughout the country, we are also making it convenient and simple for customers to locate and logon to these hotspots."

Aruba Posts Quarterly Revenue of $161M, up 11% YoY

Aruba Networks reported record quarterly revenue of $160.9 million, up 11 percent from the $144.5 million reported in Q1’13. G

AAP net loss for Q1’14 was $7.8 million, a loss of $0.07 per share, compared with GAAP net loss of $0.8 million, or a loss of $0.01 per share, in Q1’13.

“In the first quarter, we surpassed our revenue expectations and executed well on our initiatives to grow our sales and channel engine,” said Dominic Orr, Aruba’s president and chief executive officer. “The early strong performance of our 802.11ac solutions validate our technology leadership position in the industry. Additionally, we expanded our addressable market with the launch of our Aruba Central cloud-based management service, bringing Aruba’s enterprise-class performance, manageability and reliability to the cloud. Our competitive position continues to grow as IT teams recognize that upgrading their wired closet will not solve their most pressing needs brought about by an increasingly wireless world and the proliferation of devices needing access to their networks."

Splunk Sees 51% YoY Sales Growth for Analytics

Splunk posted quarterly revenue of $78.6 million, up 51% year-over-year, for its software platform for real-time operational intelligence.

“We are pleased to welcome a record number of new customers to Splunk this quarter,” said Godfrey Sullivan, Chairman and CEO, Splunk. “There is tremendous value to be found in machine data. As a result, more customers are adopting Splunk software as their enterprise standard. We expanded our product portfolio this quarter with the release of Splunk Enterprise 6, Splunk Cloud and Hunk: Splunk Analytics for Hadoop, providing more power, functionality and flexibility for our customers.”