Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Google Compute Engine Enters G.A. Status with 99.95% Uptime SLA

Google announced general availability status for cloud computing services running on its data center infrastructure.

Google Compute Engine offers virtual machines with 24/7 support, 99.95% monthly SLA, and pricing/performance/scalability that the company says beats its cloud competitors.

Google Compute Engine supports any out-of-the-box Linux distribution (including Debian, Centos, SELinux, CoreOS, SUSE, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ) as well as any kernel or software, such as Docker, FOG, xfs and aufs. The service offers a number of memory and CPU configurations with up to 16 cores and 104 GB of RAM.

Google is also lowering the pricing of its  Persistent Disk service by 60% per Gigabyte and dropping I/O charges.


Microsoft Expands its Dublin Data Center Complex

Microsoft announced plans to invest €170 million to expand its data center campus near Dublin, Ireland.  The expansion will add 15,700 square meters (169,000 square feet) of floor space, bringing the facility to approximately 54,000 square meters (581,000 square feet).

Microsoft's Dublin data center serves the entire Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, delivering cloud services such as Office 365, Bing, Skype, Xbox Live and Windows Azure.

Microsoft claims a 1.25 power usage effectiveness (PUE), thanks to the cool climate.  It also uses 99% less water for cooling purposes than conventional architecture.

The Dublin data center has been operational since July 2009.


  • In March 2011, Microsoft opened the €5.3 million European Cloud & Interoperability Center (CIC) in Brussels – designed to drive innovation and economic growth across Europe through business use of cloud computing.

Bell Labs Forecasts 560% Growth in Metro Traffic by 2017

Data traffic on metro access and aggregation networks is set to increase by 560 percent by 2017, according to a new study by Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs.  The researchers predict that by 2017 more than 75 percent of that traffic will stay in metro networks, as compared to 57 percent today.

Some highlight of the "Metro Network Traffic Growth: An Architecture Impact Study”:

  • Traffic from video services will skyrocket by as much as 720 percent by 2017.
  • Cloud and data center traffic - consumer connections to data centers and interconnection between data centers - will increase more than 440 percent by 2017.
  • Combined, video and data center traffic are the key drivers to the overall forecast increase of 560 percent traffic growth in the metro.
  • Total Metro traffic will grow approximately two times faster than traffic going into the backbone network by 2017.
  • By 2017, 75 percent of total traffic will terminate within the metro network and 25 percent of traffic will traverse the backbone network as video, data and web content is increasingly sourced from within metro networks.

The 12-page paper is online.


Crehan: Modular Ethernet Switches Propel Data Center Growth

Strong shipment and revenue growth in the modular or chassis-based segment propelled the data center Ethernet switch market to new highs in 3Q13, according to a report from Crehan Research. The report shows that after some past underperformance compared to other major data center Ethernet switch segments, modular data center switches posted a second consecutive quarter of robust growth. According to the report, Cisco continues to hold a strong market share leadership position in this segment on the strength of its current flagship modular data center Ethernet switch, the Nexus 7000.

"A strong upgrade cycle in server access Ethernet switches has driven demand for modular Ethernet switches in data-center network aggregation and core deployments,” said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “Furthermore, a recent flurry of exciting new product introductions with attractive throughput, pricing and port densities in conjunction with software-defined feature sets has reinvigorated interest in this segment," he said. "These modular data center product introductions include Arista’s 7300X and 7500E, Cisco’s Nexus 7700 and 9500, HP’s FlexFabric 11900 and 12900 and Juniper’s EX9200 core switch."

With its mid-year long-range data center switch forecast, Crehan predicted that these types of next-gen product introductions would start to drive data center networking beyond the current 10 gigabit era.


Congressmen Call for Updates to Communications Act

It's time to examine and update the Communications Act of 1996, said U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) in a Google Hangout.

"Today we are launching a multi-year effort to examine our nation’s communications laws and update them for the Internet era,” explained Upton. “The United States has been the global leader in innovation and growth of the Internet, but unfortunately, our communications laws have failed to keep pace. Throughout the recent economic downturn and recovery, the communications and technology sectors have remained stalwarts of our national economy - providing services that consumers demand while investing, innovating, and producing the high-quality jobs that all Americans strive for. We must ensure that our laws make sense for today but are also ready for the innovations of tomorrow.”

“When the Communications Act was updated almost 18 years ago, no one could have dreamed of the many innovations and advancements that make the Internet what it is today. Written during the Great Depression and last updated when 56 kilobits per second via dial-up modem was state of the art, the Communications Act is now painfully out of date,” said Walden. “We plan to look at the Communications Act and all of the changes that have been made piecemeal over the last 89 years and ask the simple question: ‘Is this working for today’s communications marketplace?’ Our goal is to make sure this critical sector of our economy thrives because of the laws around it, not in spite of them.”



Australia's Nexgen Tests Alcatel-Lucent's 400G Transmission

Australian network services provider Nextgen tested Alcatel-Lucent's 400 Gbps data transmission over an existing optical link carrying live network traffic. The trial was conducted over a 350 kilometer route between Sydney and Canberra using Nextgen’s newly commissioned high-capacity 100G transport network delivering services up to 100 Gbps. The trial was Alcatel-Lucent’s first 400G DWDM demonstration in the Asia-Pacific region.

The trial used Alcatel-Lucent’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch PSS with the 400G Photonic Service Engine (PSE).  Alcatel-Lucent said its optical solution trial demonstrated Agile Optical Networking with adaptive 100G/200G/400G transmission on a live network.  The live optical channel successfully adapting to different speeds, distances and spectrum.

Sean O’Halloran, Alcatel-Lucent Australia President and Managing Director, said:  “Alcatel-Lucent’s success with Nextgen is the latest in a series of successful 400G trials conducted this year in Europe and North America.  It was our first 400G DWDM demo in the Asia-Pacific region and, unlike those of our competitors, it was carried out over a live network. We’re very proud of our role keeping Nextgen and its customers at the forefront of the network technology developments that will support new service innovation and demand growth.”


DE-CIX Leases NYC Fiber from OCG for Distributed Internet Exchange

Optical Communications Group (OCG) will provide a dark fiber backbone for DE-CIX New York, which is building a distributed Internet Exchange consisting of five Points of Presence (PoPs) across the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area.

The agreement includes a service location at 325 Hudson, the carrier-neutral core interconnection facility strategically located on New York City's fiber-dense crossroads of Hudson Street and the Holland Tunnel.

"OCG has provided us with a dark fiber ring that covers all key facilities for DE-CIX New York," explains Nipper. "Using the same robust setup we have used in Frankfurt for years, our initial backbone design will provide up to 320 Gbps of capacity that can be upgraded to support numerous terabits per second as demand dictates," stated DE-CIX CTO Arnold Nipper.


ASSIA Prevails in Patent Case Versus BT

The High Court of Justice in London ruled that two patents on DSL management technologies held by ASSIA are valid and that British Telecom infringes one of the patents. The court determined that BT uses ASSIA’s patented DSL management technology in BT’s Next Generation Access (“NGA”) network.

The two patents in the case, EP (UK) 1,869,790 and EP (UK) 2,259,495, describe inventions fundamental to dynamic monitoring and automatic optimization of DSL networks.

"As a software developer, ASSIA’s principal business is to deliver our award-winning products and services to customers,” ASSIA CTO Marc Goldburg said.   “We attempted for years to work with BT in this spirit.    When it became clear that BT was using ASSIA’s technology without a license and was not willing to license ASSIA’s technology or products, it became necessary to bring this patent infringement claim.”


Broadcom Intros Residential Gateway with Small Cell Functionality

Broadcom announced an integrated gateway platform for small cell deployment in emerging markets.

The new platform combines Broadcom's BCM61630 single-chip solution with Alcatel-Lucent's widely-deployed small cells software for Ultra-Broadband Access.  It includes digital baseband processor and RF transceiver, enabling small cells to be built straight into DSL, cable or fiber-fed home gateways.

Key features include:

  • Highly integrated CMOS device
  • Second generation in Broadcom's line of WCDMA femtocell access point SoCs
  • High HSPA data rates with maximum throughput at up to 21.6 Mbps
  • Advanced SON and sniffing capabilities without addition of external components
  • Highly integrated multiband RF and soft GPS receiver enable ultra-low power and lowest cost bill of materials.

"Our integrated gateway platform combines the best of both worlds. By bringing together our hardware and wireless connectivity expertise with Alcatel-Lucent's leadership in small cells, operators now have the option to deliver advanced connectivity to customers in emerging markets," said Greg Fischer, Broadcom Vice President and General Manager, Broadband Carrier Access. "Together, we are driving the next generation of converged, flexible and smarter networks."


Open Networking Foundation Cites Strong SDN Interest in Asia-Pac

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has added seven member companies from Asia-Pacific since July, bringing its membership from the region to 26 companies.

“ONF has welcomed more than 120 member companies worldwide, and we have been excited to see increased participation in from the APAC region in particular this year,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “We’ve embraced companies from a variety of user segments including cloud computing, e-commerce, and telecommunications as well as vendors. Growth in the region follows our recent announcement of the Beijing Internet Institute (BII) as the first international certified conformance testing lab in Asia, and we expect to see a continued increase in APAC involvement as we build out our capabilities.”

In addition, the ONF announced:

  • Alibaba Group, Fiberhome Technologies, Tata Communications, EstiNet, MediaTek and Taiwan's III as new members
  • the appointment of Daisuke Saso as the director of ONF in Japan
  • a strategic collaboration with the China SDN Commission
  • participation in several industry events this month in Beijing, Singapore, Taipei, Seoul, and Okinawa


Swiss Research Net Picks ECI for MultiLayer Transport

SWITCH, the non-profit organization providing backbone services to Swiss universities’ networks, has selected ECI to deploy a next-generation optical network based on its Apollo family of Optimized Multi-Layer Transport (OMLT) platforms.  The network will offer both 10G and 100G connectivity to universities and educational institutes in the country.

ECI will deploy a multi-degree colorless and directionless ROADM WDM network, with 88 channels supporting 10G/100G customized services.

"With the new ECI Apollo transport system running on a substantially extended core backbone, SWITCHlan will be in a comfortable position to quickly provide Terabits of capacity between its backbone nodes all over the country. The Apollo system’s inherent optical switching capability allows to easily reroute our traffic streams in case of damage to a backbone fiber. We are particularly pleased to see how well the new system is able to coexist with local links sharing the fibers – using an unusual but simple setup of versatile, passive optics along the existing backbone fiber routes," stated Felix Kugler, Network engineer, SWITCH.


SkyCross 5GHz Antennas Optimized for 802.11ac Hit 750 Mbps

SkyCross introduced a new line of wireless networking device antennas operating at the 5GHz frequency and designed to optimally support the 802.11ac WiFi specification.

The 802.11ac specification provides multi-station WLAN throughput of at least 1 Gbps and a single link throughput of at least 500 Mbos.

SkyCross its antenna has achieved 750 Mbps as the highest recorded data rate compared with 500-600 Mbps achieved by competing antennas using the same chipset.Furthermore, SkyCross said its solution outperformed at range as well.

“While testing next generation 802.11ac gateways that leverage SkyCross’ 5GHz antennas, Allion USA observed throughput speeds of ~750 Mbps. SkyCross’ antennas easily outperform currently available, off the shelf, 802.11ac solutions such as those incorporated into the NETGEAR R6300,” said Chad Meyer, vice president of Engineering at Allion Labs.


Polycom Appoints New CEO

Polycom appointed Peter A. Leav as its new as President and CEO, replacing interim CEO Kevin Parker, who will continue serving as Chairman of the Board of Polycom.

Leav previously served as Executive Vice President and President of Industry and Field Operations for NCR, where he was responsible for leading a team of approximately 8,000 employees across 120 countries and for delivering annual revenue of more than $5.7 billion in 2012.


Huawei to Invest £10 Million in UK University Research

Huawei announced plans to invest £10 million by 2017 to support technology research programmes in British universities. The research will focus on advanced multimedia, IT and optical technology, green radio, 5G technologies, optical technology, wireless communications and product engineering.

The funding is part of Huawei's previously announced US$2 billion investment commitment to the UK.