Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Open Compute Project Gains Momentum

The fifth Open Compute Project Summit got underway in San Jose, California with keynote presentations from Facebook,  Microsoft, AMD, Intel and others.

The Open Compute Project (OCP), which was launched by Facebook in April 2011, now has more than 150 member companies helping to pursue its mission of developing "the most efficient server, storage and data center hardware designs for scalable computing."

Some top-level highlights:

AMD -- showcased a development platform for its first 64-bit ARM-based server CPU.  AMD has also contributed a new microserver design to OCP that is compatible with the common-slot architecture specification dubbed "Group Hug."

Facebook -- Facebook has contributed its new "Honey Badger" microserver adapter to OCP.  Facebook also showcased their new rapid deployment data center concepts and their new optical storage prototype. Facebook estimates that the OCP initiative has saved the company more than $1.2 billion in infrastructure costs over the last three years.  Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook has always been a systems company at heart since it has always worked hard at pursuing the most efficient hardware platforms.

Fidelity + Hyve -- Fidelity has contributed the designs for its "Open Bridge Rack," which enables the deployment of OCP storage and server designs in legacy 19" racks. Similarly, Hyve has contributed the designs for its 1500 Series server designs, which are also designed to fit into legacy 19" racks.

IO -- announced a new containerized data center solution that employs OpenStack and Open Compute Project hardware. IO already has several customers for this new service, including Merck.

Microsoft --  has joined the Open Compute Project and is contributing designs for the servers that power global cloud services like Windows Azure, Office 365, and Bing.   Bill Laing, Microsoft's CVP for Windows Server and System Center Group, said his company now operates a global infrastructure with huge data centers with over 1 million servers currently in operation. Microsoft will contribute its design for a cloud server specification for its most advanced servers with its hardest workloads. Key design criteria include modularity, simplicity, efficiency and operational agility.

LSI -- has joined the Open Compute Project and contributed two designs: a 12G SAS expander upgrade to the Open Vault storage system and a flash storage card that provides low-latency flash storage to server-based applications.    

Seagate -- has contributed its Kinetic open storage platform, which is designed to prevent scale bottlenecks in storage.

Quanta -- has contributed the entire line of Open Rack-compatible products they co-developed with Rackspace.

OCP Solution Provider ecosystem -- there are now seven official OCP Solution Providers: AMAX, Avnet, CTC, Hyve, Penguin Computing, Quanta, and Racklive.

New certification process -- there are now two levels of certification: "OCP Ready" and "OCP Certified." These certifications will provide consumers with assurance that the products with these labels have been thoroughly tested and meet the standards set by the OCP community. Two new labs have been established -- USTA and ITRI -- to manage the certification process. Wiwynn was the first company to successfully achieve OCP certification for one of their products, Quanta quickly followed.

New OCP hardware license -- currently operates under a relatively "permissive" license (modeled on Apache) to govern contributions. OCP will roll out a second, more "prescriptive" license (modeled on GPL) that will require anyone who modifies an original design and then sells that design to contribute the modified version back to the foundation.

Some other new members -- Panasonic, Cumulus Networks, io, IBM, box and Bloomberg

The keynote videos are posted online.

http://www.opencompute.org/blog/ocp-summit-v-keynote-videos/


In May 2013, The Open Compute Project announced plans to develop an open, OS-agnostic top-of-rack switch.  The effort will be led by Najam Ahmad, who runs the network engineering team at Facebook. Companies that are supporting the effort include Big Switch Networks, Broadcom, Cumulus Networks, Facebook, Intel, Netronome, OpenDaylight, the Open Networking Foundation, and VMware.

In November 2013,  OCP said that it had received more than 30 potential contributions, covering most of the network hardware stack and even some of the network software stack.  In a blog posting, the Open Compute Project highlights four contributions in particular, all of them currently being considered by the OCP Incubation Committee and likely to be accepted soon.   These included  Broadcom's full specification for and implementation of an open switch;  Cumulus Networks' Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) software;  Intel's specification for an open switch; and Mellanox's open switch.

Dell Opens Data Center Switching for Cumulus Linux OS

Dell will begin offering a choice of third-party operating systems for its networking systems, ushering in a new vision for data center networking based on an open ecosystem of  in which customers can choose among various industry-standard networking gear, network applications and network operating systems to meet their business needs.

In this effort, Dell announced a re-seller agreement with Cumulus Networks - maker of the first Linux operating system for bare-metal networking devices - to support a new disaggregated networking model for its fixed-configuration switches. The first move is to begin offering the Cumulus Linux network OS as an option for its Dell Networking S6000 and S4810 top-of-rack switches.

Dell said its decision to pursue the open model was driven by new dynamics brought on by software-defined networking, virtual machine mobility, shifting networking patterns from North-South to East-West, cloud computing, resource pooling and the need for server-like automation led Dell to help pioneer an Ethernet fabric model using fixed-form factor switches.

“This is a great example of innovation coming from the new Dell. Networking is an industry crying out for disruption. We’ve done this before with PCs and servers, putting us in the best position to offer a choice of network operating systems,” said Tom Burns, vice president and general manager, Dell Networking. “Networks are like human minds - they work better when open.”

“Dell is fundamentally changing the nature of the networking business, and this partnership with Cumulus Networks represents a definitive step towards disaggregating hardware and software,” said JR Rivers, co-founder and CEO of Cumulus Networks. “In this new open, multi-vendor ecosystem that’s becoming all the more prevalent, the customer finally gets to choose exactly the components they need to build the software-defined datacenter of the future without having to worry about vendor lock-in.”

http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/uscorp1/secure/2014-01-28-dell-open-networking-cumulus
http://cumulusnetworks.com/

PMC Supports Open Compute Project with High Density Storage

PMC announced high-density storage connectivity support for the Open Compute Project (OCP).

The reference architecture is based on the OCP’s Open Rack form factor that re-engineers the conventional data center rack for maximum power efficiency, serviceability and investment protection.

PMC's solution uses its Adaptec 78165 24-port RAID adapter enables the densest Open Rack storage capacity, connecting more Open Vault JBOD storage arrays per Winterfell server head node. A common scale-out configuration can now support connectivity for 360 drives per rack, a 33 percent increase in capacity, with fewer Winterfell servers.

"PMC’s high-density storage technology provides the connectivity to enable the Open Compute ecosystem, and it fits perfectly with the OCP’s mission for scalable, efficient and cost-effective storage," said Jared Peters, vice president of Server Storage Solutions at PMC. "We’re committed to contributing to OCP work group specifications and other projects across the industry to enhance current and future data center solutions."

http://www.pmcs.com


Seagate Unveils Kinetic Platform Tools for Open Compute Project

Seagate Technology introduced two development tools related to its Kinetic Open Storage platform and designed for the Open Compute Project.

The Seagate Kinetic Ethernet Drive interface and the Seagate Kinetic T-Card development adapter have been accepted by the Open Compute Foundation as important open standards available to Open Compute Project (OCP) solution providers and system builders.

The Seagate Kinetic Ethernet Drive interface enables solution providers to transition existing SAS or SATA based chassis designs to systems by replacing conventional HDD SATA or SAS backplanes with Ethernet backplanes.

The Seagate Kinetic T-Card development adapter enables software developers to write and pre-test applications by communicating over the connectors to Kinetic Open Storage hard drives. Both specifications are designed to conform to the dimensions, specifications, power signal assignments, and physical placement of industry standard SAS drives.

“Seagate is committed to driving open source innovation and empowering an active ecosystem of system builders and software developers with the tools they need to deploy cutting-edge storage solutions and drive this truly revolutionary platform,” said Mark Re, Seagate’s chief technology officer. “A true game changer, the Kinetic Open Storage platform will provide this community with the ability to deliver innovative, first-of-their-kind, scale-out storage architectures at the industry’s lowest total cost of ownership.”

Announced in 2013, the Seagate Kinetic Open Storage platform is a device-based open source platform that leverages a traditional hard disk drive assembly, the key/value API, and Ethernet connectivity to enable greater performance, scale, simplicity and a lower TCO for scale-out storage architectures.

http://developers.seagate.com
http://seagate.com/www/kinetic

GENBAND Delivers WebRTC Unified Communications with Generation Enterprise

GENBAND introduced a unified communications suite (voice, HD video, collaboration) that leverages enterprise cloud technologies to deliver secure connections across multiple devices (tablets, smartphones, desk phones, PCs) and networks (wired and wireless, private and public, TDM and IP).

The GENBAND Generation Enterprise leverages the company's WebRTC-enabled UC platform, SMART OFFICE 2.0, and offers software-based deployment options for enterprises, governments and universities, whether on premise, in the cloud, or as a hybrid or hosted solution. The result is a premium, WebRTC-enabled UC client that lets business users communicate via their preferred device.

The end-to-end solution is powered by GENBAND’s carrier-class EXPERiUS Application Server platform; the QUANTiX portfolio, which offers advanced security, session management and policy control technologies and includes the industry’s most scalable session border controller; the high-density CONTiNUUM gateway family; and NUViA cloud solutions.

“We designed Generation Enterprise to meet the productivity, ease-of-use and collaboration requirements in an increasingly mobile-driven communications economy,” said David Walsh, CEO of GENBAND. “Generation Enterprise addresses communications challenges facing many of the world’s largest and most vital organizations by enabling cost-effective, non-disruptive migration of legacy enterprise voice systems to IP. For our channel and service provider partners, Generation Enterprise enables a rapid go-to-market approach for breakthrough standards like WebRTC with value-added, over-the-Internet applications that are ideal for today’s highly mobile workforce.”

Generation Enterprise also offers a rich set of APIs for vertical market customization. GENBAND’s SPiDR WebRTC Gateway provides an intelligent bridge between traditional VoIP networks and the open ecosystem of the Internet, leveraging real-time embedded communications.

GENBAND, which owns Nortel's PBX enterprise intellectual property, noted that many companies around the globe need to transition from legacy voice system to modern UC systems without totally replacing the existing infrastructure or giving up PSTN-like service, quality and reliability.

http://www.genband.com

Range Networks Appoints Ed Kozel as CEO -- Open Source Mobile

Range Networks, a start-up developing open source cellular systems, appointed Edward Kozel as its new CEO.

Kozel spent 12 years at Cisco Systems, where he served as chief technology officer, senior vice president of business development and as a board member. Most recently Kozel was chief technology and innovation officer with Deutsche Telekom in Germany.

Range Networks, which was founded by the creators of OpenBTS, uses open source software to present ordinary cellular handsets as SIP endpoints in a VoIP system. All are designed to work as a single-site network or as part of a multi-site network.  The company already has a number or deployments around the world  – including Indonesia, Zambia and Antarctica.

Range Networks also noted that it raised $10 million in funding last year and doubled its employee headcount.  The company is based in San Francisco.

"We believe that in the not-too-distant future mobile networks will look entirely different than they do today. Software-defined mobile infrastructure providing end-to-end IP transport, combined with the power of the open source model, will transform the industry. We look forward to continuing to support these initiatives and demonstrating the strength of open source systems throughout 2014 and beyond," stated Edward Kozel, CEO of Range Networks.

http://www.rangenetworks.com

AT&T: Smartphone Penetration at 77% of Postpaid Base

AT&T reported Q4 2013 consolidated revenues of $33.2 billion, up 1.8 percent versus the year-earlier period.  Q4 net income totaled $6.9 billion, or $1.31 per diluted share, compared to $(3.9) billion, or $(0.68) per diluted share, in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusting special items, earnings per share was $0.53 compared to an adjusted $0.44 in the year-ago quarter, an increase of 20.5 percent.

AT&T said it is on track to deliver the financial targets laid out with Project VIP. It expects consolidated revenue growth in the 2 to 3 percent range for 2014, including strength in wireless service and wireline consumer revenues. The company also expects stable consolidated margins with continued improvement in wireless margins helping offset Project VIP pressure in wireline. Adjusted earnings per share growth is expected to be in the mid-single digit range excluding any impact from future share buybacks.

AT&T expects capital expenditures in the $21 billion range. Free cash flow is expected to be in the $11 billion range.

Some Wireless Operational Highlights

Wireless Service Revenues -- total wireless revenues, which include equipment sales, were up 4.5 percent year over year to $18.4 billion. Wireless service revenues increased 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter to $15.7 billion. Wireless data revenues increased 16.8 percent from the year-earlier quarter to $5.7 billion. Fourth-quarter wireless operating expenses totaled $14.5 billion, down 3.9 percent versus the year-earlier quarter, and wireless operating income was $3.9 billion, up 53.8 percent year over year.

Phone-Only Postpaid ARPU -- Postpaid phone-only ARPU increased 3.9 percent versus the year-earlier quarter. Total postpaid subscriber ARPU, which includes high-margin but lower-ARPU tablets, increased 2.1 percent versus the year-earlier quarter. This marked the 20th consecutive quarter AT&T has posted a year-over-year increase in postpaid ARPU. Postpaid data ARPU increased 15.4 percent versus the year-earlier quarter.

Smartphones and Tablets -- AT&T posted a net increase in total wireless subscribers of 809,000 in the fourth quarter. Subscriber additions for the quarter included postpaid net adds of 566,000. Postpaid net adds include 299,000 smartphones. Total branded smartphone net adds (both postpaid and prepaid) were 529,000. Total branded tablet net adds were 440,000.

Connected device net adds were 398,000 -- Prepaid had a net loss of 32,000 subscribers primarily due to declines in session-based tablets; however, prepaid revenues increased both year over year and sequentially. Reseller had a net loss of 123,000 subscribers primarily due to losses in low-revenue 2G subscriber accounts.

Q4 Postpaid Churn -- The company had its lowest-ever fourth-quarter postpaid churn of 1.11 percent compared to 1.19 percent in the year-ago quarter. Total churn was stable at 1.43 percent versus 1.42 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Smartphones Reach Record 93 Percent of Phone Sales -- AT&T added 1.2 million postpaid smartphones in the fourth quarter. At the end of the quarter, 77 percent, or 51.9 million, of AT&T's postpaid phone subscribers had smartphones, up from 70 percent, or 47.1 million, a year earlier. The company sold 7.9 million smartphones in the quarter. More than 1 million of those smartphone sales were on the new AT&T Next program. Smartphones accounted for a record 93 percent of postpaid phone sales in the quarter. AT&T's ARPU for smartphones is twice that of non-smartphone subscribers. More than half of AT&T's postpaid smartphone customers now use an LTE device, and 77 percent use a 4G-capable device (LTE/HSPA+).

Some Wireline Operational Highlights

Wireline Revenues -- Total Q4 wireline revenues were $14.7 billion, down 1.4 percent versus the year-earlier quarter and up 0.3 percent sequentially. Wireline service revenues were down 0.7 percent year over year. Total U-verse revenues grew 27.9 percent year over year and were up 7.0 percent versus the third quarter of 2013. Fourth-quarter wireline operating expenses were $13.3 billion, up 1.0 percent versus the fourth quarter of 2012. AT&T's wireline operating income totaled $1.5 billion, down 18.8 percent versus the fourth quarter of 2012. Fourth-quarter wireline operating income margin was 9.9 percent, down versus 12.0 percent in the year-earlier quarter, primarily due to declines in voice revenues, success-based growth, U-verse content costs and costs incurred as part of Project VIP.

Consumer Revenues Increase 2.9 Percent -- Revenues from residential customers totaled $5.6 billion, an increase of 2.9 percent versus the fourth quarter a year ago and up 1.3 percent sequentially. Continued strong growth in consumer IP data services in the fourth quarter more than offset lower revenues from voice and legacy products. U-verse, which includes TV, high speed Internet and voice over IP, now represents 57 percent of wireline consumer revenues, up from 46 percent in the year-earlier quarter. Consumer U-verse revenues grew 26.8 percent year over year and were up 6.8 percent versus the third quarter of 2013.

U-verse TV Churn -- Total U-verse subscribers (TV and high speed Internet) reached 10.7 million in the fourth quarter. U-verse TV had the lowest-ever churn in its history. U-verse TV added 194,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter with an increase of 924,000 for the full year to reach 5.5 million in service. AT&T has more pay TV subscribers than any other telecommunications company. U-verse high speed Internet had a record fourth-quarter net gain of 630,000 subscribers, to reach a total of 10.4 million, and a record annual increase of 2.7 million, or 34 percent. Overall, total wireline broadband subscribers were essentially flat in the quarter but grew year over year. Total wireline broadband ARPU was up more than 7 percent year over year. Total U-verse high speed Internet subscribers now represent 63 percent of all wireline broadband subscribers compared with 47 percent in the year-earlier quarter.

About 59 percent of U-verse broadband subscribers have a plan delivering speeds up to 12 Mbps or higher.

Some Business Services Operational Highlights

Total revenues from business customers were $8.8 billion, down 3.4 percent versus the year-earlier quarter, and were essentially flat from the third quarter.

Revenues for next-generation business solutions — including VPN, Ethernet, cloud, hosting and other advanced IP services — grew 17.4 percent versus the year-earlier quarter. These services represent a $9 billion annualized revenue stream and are more than a quarter of business wireline revenues. During the fourth quarter, the company also added 78,000 business U-verse high speed broadband subscribers.

http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=25228&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=37405

DragonWave Harmony Trunk C Hybrid Microwave radio

DragonWave introduced a Harmony Trunk C hybrid trunking microwave radio as part of its existing high capacity Harmony Trunk microwave product portfolio.

The small form factor of the Harmony Trunk C is available for either all-outdoor or all-indoor network requirements supporting up to 4 RF carriers in a single outdoor cabinet or indoor shelf.

DragonWave said its new Harmony Trunk C provides greater trunking options for mobile operators, military, and broadcast applications worldwide. It is available in STM-1, hybrid or full IP configurations.

http://www.dragonwaveinc.com

ONF Adds Start-ups to Membership Roster

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has added a number of start-ups to its membership ranks, including Criterion Networks, Corsa Technology, GuardiCore, Konodrac, Tallac Networks, and Xinguard Inc. Additional startups are currently in the membership application phase and will become ONF members in the coming months.

The ONF has introduced a new, low-cost category of membership specifically for SDN startup organizations, helping them to become more actively involved in building the SDN ecosystem.

“ONF’s dedication to the promotion and adoption of SDN through open architecture and standards development is one of the many reasons that ONF is embracing startups,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. ““We want to make participation in ONF activities possible for the full range of organizations. Encouraging the innovation that startups bring to the space will further propel the advancement of open SDN and adoption of the OpenFlow™ standard.”

https://www.opennetworking.org


TE Connectivity Enhances its FlexWave Prism Distributed Antenna System

TE Connectivity is expanding its FlexWave Prism distributed antenna system (DAS) with new high-density modules capable of supporting up to 75 MHz per band, with two frequency bands per module. The new modules enable a 2-bay FlexWave Prism remote unit to support up to four frequency bands, 40 watts, or up to 300 MHz of spectrum.

TE is positioning its new module for delivering 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, or 2600 MHz MIMO and 800 MHz digital dividend services in the EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions of the world.

“The FlexWave Prism DAS supports multi-operator, multi-protocol services in a compact, cost-effective, and power-efficient manner,” said Peter Wraight, vice president, TE Wireless. “It is ideal for mobile operators who want to deploy DAS with multiple frequencies and high power levels without the complexity of multiple DAS equipment overlays.”


The new FlexWave Prism modules support migration from 3G to 4G services as well as multi-operator applications where two or more mobile operators share a power amplifier. Moreover, by using digital simulcast to deliver services between the DAS head end and remote units, the FlexWave Prism module enables operators to easily shift capacity from one area to another as subscriber needs dictate. The digital DAS reaches up to 20 kilometers to serve urban and suburban areas as well as stadiums, office parks, and other facilities.

http://www.TE.com

See also