Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Intel's Highland Forest Revs Up Performance for SDN & NFV

Intel unveiled its third generation “Highland Forest” communications platform aimed at data center, cloud and telco networks.  The new solution combines Intel's latest Xeon E5 processors and a new “Coleto Creek” chipset to perform a variety of traffic workloads, including application, control plane, packet and some signal processing workloads.  The target is to power the next generation of open, standards-based, compute systems for software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV).

In a webcast , Rose Schooler, GM and VP of Intel's Data Center Group, valued the overall opportunity at $16 billion, noting that Intel currently holds under 5% market share of this data networking market but has been making steady progress since introducing its first generation "Crystal Forest" communications platform in early 2012.  The new Highland Forest solution promises a 2X-6X performance gain over Crystal Forest, thanks to the continuous progress of Moore's Law and the implementation of several acceleration
techniques.

Some performance highlight of Highland Forest include:

  • Up to 255 million packets/sec with Intel Data Plane Development Kit
  • Up to 140 Gbps Deep Packet Inspections with Hyperscan
  • Up to 100 Gbps IPsec
  • Up to 200 Gbps SSL.

Innovations in the Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 chips include up to 20-cores and faster memories, built-in security features and improved virtualization.  These are implemented in 22nm.  The Coleto Creek chipset brings accelerators for RSA decryption, IPsec and SSL crypto, Kasumi/Snow3G wireless crypto, 24 Gbps compression and additional virtual function capabilities.  Coleto Creek is implemented in 32nm.  The Highland Forest solution will be implemented in telco-grade blades and servers from the likes of Dell, Emerson, Advantech and Radisys. Intel will offer QuickAssist Server Accelerator Cards, as will Silicom.

The Deep Packet Inspection with Hyperscan runs purely in software (no hardware accelerators) using a unique pattern matching technology developed by Australian-based Sensory Networks.  Intel acquired Sensory Networks in September.

Some notes from the presentation:

  • There are four network functions that have already been virtualized on the Intel architecture:  VMs used to deliver gateway, firewall, VPN and load balancer capabilities.
  • The key components in Intel's networking strategy include the Xeon CPUs, the Coleto Creek chipset accelerators, its NIC silicon, its Ethernet switching silicon, a data plane development kit, and Open Networking Software.  For its own testing, Intel uses software from its Windriver division.  It also supports software from 6wind and tieto.
  • While Highland Forest targets the high-end processing workloads, Intel said it is equally committed to low and mid-range packet processing.  At the low-end are dual-core Atom 2000 series processors with extremely low energy usage and capable of handling 30 million packets/sec.
  • NSN is using the Intel Architecture for its Liquid Core virtualization.
  • SK Telecom has verified the feasibility of telco cloud technology.
  • Intel currently has over 15 SDN/NFV qualification trials underway with carriers in all major regions.  Schooler emphasized that Intel has no intention to sell directly to service providers and is fully committed to launching an Intel Network Builders Ecosystem of industry players supporting the Intel Architecture.

http://www.networkbuilders.intel.com


China Issues TD-LTE Operating Licenses to 3 Carriers

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology officially granted 4G TD-LTE operating licenses to the China Mobile Communications Corporation, China Telecom and China United Network Communications Group Company (China Unicom).

China Mobile was also granted permission to operate a fixed-line telecommunications business.

http://www.miit.gov.cn/

Marlin Equity Expands its Packet/Optical Portfolio with Acquisition of Tellabs

Marlin Equity Partners, a Los Angeles California-based private investment firm with over US$2.6 billion of capital under management, completed its previously announced acquisition of all of the outstanding shares of Tellabs in a deal valued at $891 million ($2.45 per share in cash, representing a 4.3% premium over the closing price on October 18th).

Tellabs continues operations as a supplier of packet-optical, mobile backhaul and Optical LAN networking solutions. The company serves telecom service providers, independent operating companies, MSO/cable companies, enterprises and government agencies with networks in more than 90 countries around the world.

Marlin said the addition of Tellabs builds on its track record of acquisitions in the telecom sector, which includes Coriant (formerly the Optical Networks business of Nokia Siemens Networks), Coriant America, Inc. (formerly Sycamore Networks Solutions Inc.), Openwave Mobility and Openwave Messaging.

“The ever-increasing demand for data is driving fundamental network transformation and impacting multiple segments and applications, including mobile backhaul, metro/regional optical transport and enterprise LANs,” said Pat DiPietro, an operating partner at Marlin. “Tellabs has successfully demonstrated technology innovation and market leadership in each of these areas, as well as in emerging technologies such as Software Defined Networking. The proven experience and expertise of the Tellabs team, combined with Marlin’s commitment to the market opportunity and a growing portfolio of complementary solutions, will offer Tellabs’ service provider, enterprise and government customers an enhanced value proposition today and into the future as their networks and services evolve.”

Dan Kelly, Tellabs president and CEO, added, “With Marlin as our strategic investor, we have gained a partner who not only shares our vision for advancing smart networks, but also one with deep domain experience and the financial resources to help us bring new innovations to market and expand the service and support capabilities for our long-standing customers.”

Credit Suisse and Evercore acted as financial advisors, and Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP acted as legal counsel to Marlin. Goldman, Sachs & Co. acted as financial advisor, and Sidley Austin LLP acted as legal counsel to Tellabs.

http://www.marlinequity.com
http://www.tellabs.com


  • Earlier this year, Marlin acquired the Optical Networks business unit of Nokia Siemens Networks as well as Sycamore Networks.  The companies were combined into Coriant, a new optical transport company headquartered in Munich, Germany.
  • FCC Approves Verizon-Vodafone Transfer Of Control

    The FCC approved the transfer of control to Verizon Communications Inc. of Vodafone Group PLC’s
    stake in Verizon Wireless.

    Verizon said the $130 billion deal is now expected to close in Q1 2014.

    Randal Milch, executive vice president – public policy and general counsel of Verizon, said: “We thank the FCC for its quick action in approving our transaction with Vodafone, which will provide Verizon with 100 percent ownership of Verizon Wireless and a boost to one of the most important sectors of the U.S. economy. This application approval also marks the first use of the streamlined foreign-ownership review procedures that the FCC adopted earlier this year, and we are grateful to the commission for its commitment to process reforms that benefit wireless carriers and the customers we serve.”

    http://www.verizon.com
    http://www.fcc.gov

    Washington Post: NSA Tracking Cell Phone Locations

    The Washington Post reported that the NSA is collecting nearly 5 billion records a day worldwide related to mobile phone location.  Citing documents revealed by Edward Snowden, the Washington Post says that data on hundreds of millions of devices is being collected from mobile networks globally.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-tracking-cellphone-locations-worldwide-snowden-documents-show/2013/12/04/5492873a-5cf2-11e3-bc56-c6ca94801fac_story.html

    inexio Deploys ADVA 100G Metro in Germany and Luxembourg

    inexio, which operates over 5,000 km of fiber routes in Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Luxembourg, Lorraine and Belgium, has deployed the ADVA 100G Metro solution for regional connectivity in Germany and Luxembourg. The network serves both enterprise and residential customers. A long-standing customer of ADVA Optical Networking and Axians, inexio has benefited from the native scalability of the ADVA FSP 3000, gradually expanding its network infrastructure with customer demand.

    “We're a company that believes in technology, that believes in trust, that believes in providing customers with the best experience possible,” said David Zimmer, managing director, inexio. “That's why we've developed such a long-term relationship with the team at ADVA Optical Networking and their partner Axians. They share our focus, our passion. Together we've built an incredibly responsive network, one that continues to meet the expectations of all our customers, whether they're enterprises seeking robust business continuity solutions or residents seeking the latest high-bandwidth connections - we provide everything they need. The ADVA 100G Metro is key to this and ensures that we have access to all the bandwidth we could want.”

    http://www.advaoptical.com
    http://www.inexio.net/

    Singapore's StarHub Tests VoLTE with NSN

    Singapore's StarHub completed the first Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call based on IR.92 in a live network in Southeast Asia. The tests uses Nokia Solutions and Networks’ end-to-end approach for providing voice call services over LTE.

    Specifically, StarHub deployed NSN’s Open TAS (Telecommunications Application Server) for voice, Home Subscriber Server (HSS) and IP Multi Media Subsystem (IMS). VoLTE services are part of an existing LTE agreement that was signed between NSN and StarHub in 2012. NSN had supplied its Single RAN (Single Radio Access Network) platform based on its compact and energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations to enable StarHub to run GSM and LTE concurrently on the 1800 MHz band.

    “Together with our key technology partner NSN, we are committed to continually enabling innovative future-ready technologies and services to benefit StarHub’s customers,” said Chan Kin Hung, head of personal solutions at StarHub. “StarHub’s landmark VoLTE achievement today reaffirms our commitment towards delivering an unparalleled user experience to our subscribers, who will soon enjoy crystal clear voice calls in HD over StarHub’s 4G and 3G network anytime, anywhere.”

    http://www.nsn.com

    Dell'Oro: Service Provider Core Router Market Rebounds

    After almost two years of year-over-year declines, the Service Provider Core Router market grew by seven percent in the third quarter of 2013 versus the year-ago period, according to a new report by Dell'Oro Group.

    “All major core routing vendors have recently introduced, or will soon introduce new core routing platforms with significantly increased capacity,” said Alam Tamboli, Business Analyst at Dell’Oro Group.  “We expect the confluence of these new products to drive the core router market to double-digit growth for the full-year 2014 as service providers qualify these new products for their networks,” added Tamboli.

    The top four core routing vendors:

    • #1 Cisco -- remained the number-one ranked vendor and has introduced two new core routing platforms during the past six months.
    • #2 Juniper --  new product offerings gave the company a more complete core router product portfolio and spurred year-over-year growth in the third quarter.
    • #3 Huawei -- contract wins to provide its new higher capacity router to both domestic Chinese and international service providers drove year-over-year growth.
    • #4 Alcatel-Lucent -- held fourth place with sales of its first core routing product.

    http://www.delloro.com/news/service-provider-core-router-market-rebounds-according-to-delloro-group#sthash.8dmcUAZi.dpuf

    Mavenir Posts 52% YoY Jump in Revenue - First Report Since IPO

    Mavenir Systems reported Q3 revenue of $26.0 million, an increase of 52% year-over-year. GAAP net loss for the third quarter of 2013 was $(4.5) million, compared with $(3.4) million in the third quarter of 2012. GAAP gross profit margin of 47.9% in the quarter was at the high end of the expected range provided in the prospectus for the company's recent initial public offering. Non-GAAP gross profit margin was 49.0%.

    "Mavenir delivered another solid quarter, reporting revenue at the high end of our expectations. Our business momentum continued to strengthen with record quarterly revenue and an expanded customer base, both of which are a direct result of our highly differentiated technology," said Pardeep Kohli, president and chief executive officer, Mavenir Systems. "Migration to 4G LTE is accelerating, increasing the demand for our Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Rich Communication Services (RCS) products and we see a substantial market opportunity ahead of us."

    http://investor.mavenir.com


    • Mavenir completed its IPO on November 7 as is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “MVNR”.

    Harris Broadcast to Acquire Imagine Communications for Virtualized

    Harris Broadcast agreed to acquire Imagine Communications, a supplier of digital video solutions for content providers and system operators, for an undisclosed sum.

    Imagine Communications supplies TV Everywhere transcoding that utilizes software running in a virtualized blade server environment.  The solution combines video processing, Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) transcoding and statistical multiplexing technology tp provide the bandwidth efficiency and density needed to meet the demand for TV Everywhere services.

    Harris Broadcast said this is consistent with its long-term vision for product development focused on software and commercial-off-the-shelf hardware. Imagine solutions serve digital broadcast markets as well as emerging applications such as TV Everywhere, Network DVR (nDVR), Internet/Mobile Video and IPTV.

    “Many of our content originator customers have been adding services for OTT and TV Everywhere, but have had to do so with bifurcated systems for linear and non-linear services,” said Charlie Vogt, Harris Broadcast CEO. “This acquisition enables Harris Broadcast to take a leadership position in the OTT and TV Everywhere market, while laying the foundation for the first true software defined integration of sales, scheduling, automation, playout and delivery across both linear and non-linear content distribution networks. Additionally, through this acquisition, we will expand our R&D and innovation initiatives, strengthen our encoding, transcoding and ABR market position, and increase our total global addressable market.”

    http://www.harrisbroadcast.com
    http://www.imaginecommunications.com

    Imagine Communications was founded in 2005 and is based in San Diego.

    Vello Systems Adds to its Management Team

    Vello Systems announced two key hires:  Alan McKee, VP – Engineering and Jeff Paine, VP – Marketing.

    Before joining Vello, McKee was Vice President of Engineering at Intelliden, where he led the product engineering efforts for Intelliden’s award winning R-Series software suite. McKee helped guide Intelliden’s successful acquisition by IBM Tivoli in 2010, where he stayed on to lead the network configuration products for the organization.

    Jeff Paine, Vice President of Marketing, has more than 20 years of experience as a high-tech marketing and business development executive. His previous assignments include pre-IPO Cisco Systems, New Zealand-based Endace (recently acquired by Emulex), Vividas and UTStarcom.

    http://www.vellosystems.com/


    • Last month, Vello Systems confirmed that Pacnet is building a pan-Asia Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform using Vello’s Connectivity Exchange software and OpenStack from Mirantis.  Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN) will provide carriers and large enterprises with the ability to provision network bandwidth on-demand across the Pacnet undersea cable system.  VellOS Connectivity Exchange also provides Pacnet with "intelligent overprovisioning."  Vello said this ensures that expensive WAN links between countries and data centers are always fully utilized and monetized via software control of data flows associated with tiered SLAs.

    See also