Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Google Advances its Cloud Platform

Google rolled out new features and significantly lower and simpler pricing for its Cloud Platform.

At at developer event in San Francisco, Urs Hölzle, Senior VP at Google, said the company is completely committed to making available the same infrastructure it uses for its own services at the price curves of Moore's Law. Google Cloud Platform should be "a clear path make developers incredibly more productive" by supporting multiple OSes, offering toolsets, and delivering Google scalability and predictability.

Some highlights of the event:

  • Compute Engine pricing was reduced by 32% across all sizes, regions, and classes.
  • App Engine pricing was simplified, with significant reductions in database operations and front-end compute instances.
  • Cloud Storage is now priced at a consistent 2.6 cents per GB -- a 68% price cut for most customers.
  • Google BigQuery on-demand prices were reduced by 85%.
  • Google demoed live VM migration of a 1080p video stream from one server to another
  • Google now support Windows Server 2008 R2 on Compute Engine in limited preview and Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server are now available to everyone.
  • Google is now offering real time analysis of Big Data Streams with the ability to ingest 100K rows/second.  The company demoed a smart grid analysis where huge streams of data from electricity meters across Seattle are processed in real time.
  • Introduced Google Cloud DNS - a high-performance DNS with simple API and integrated in Google console
  • Google is now offering Managed Virtual Machines -- allows developers to ""break glass"" in App Engine and add a managed VM to your application. You get the flexibility of raw VMs with the auto-management capabilities of App Engine. It's one small part of our efforts to build the world's best public cloud.
  • We process 6.3 trillion Cloud Datastore operations every month. That's 30 operations per person per day for every single person on earth.
  • Google Cloud Platform supports 4.75 million active applications.
  • It's now just 2.6 cents per GB to store your data on Cloud Storage. DRA storage is just 2 cents per GB.

https://cloud.google.com/

Cisco Expands Nexus Data Center Switching Line

Cisco expanded its Nexus 9000 data center switching line with the introduction of two new models: the Nexus 9504 and Nexus 9516.  The new switches leverage the centralized policy-driven automation of the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) and application profiles to help organizations build highly secure cloud networks and hybrid clouds.

  • The Nexus 9516 boasts up to 576 wire-speed 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports and 60 Tbps throughput, making it the industry's highest density wire rate switch, according to Cisco. 

  • The Nexus 9504 provides a cost effective option to solve migration from core-aggregation-access to spine leaf architectures. With the Nexus 9504 partners now have new engagement options for customers seeking lower density aggregation and access designs.


Cisco also announced an addition to the Nexus 3000 family: the new Nexus 3164Q switch designed for massively scalable data centers (MSDC) and big data.

  • The Nexus 3164Q supports a range of automation tools for Cloud providers including Linux Container support, XML, JSON, Puppet/Chef, Python, and OpenStack. It delivers flexible connectivity for either 40 Gigabit or 10 Gigabits ports (up to 256 10Gigabit ports) in a 2 RU and a rich NX-OS feature set. 

"Through automation and programmability embedded within our NX-OS platforms, training, support, and certifications, we are empowering over two million networking engineers and thousands of channel partners worldwide to enable our enterprise, commercial, service provider and cloud customers to expand their skill sets while embracing on-premise private and hybrid cloud models with ACI in the data center and across the Access and WAN," said Soni Jiandani, SVP, Cisco.

Cisco noted that its Nexus 3000 switches are being used by eight of the 10 leading cloud providers' networks for the majority of their footprint.

du, a leading integrated telecommunications service provider in the United Arab Emirates and the fastest growing operator in the Middle East, is consolidating several data facilities into two next generation data centers designed to host new cloud services.

http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1372860

In January 2014, as part of its recently launched Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) initiative, Cisco introduced an Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) Enterprise Module for extending
high-performing applications from the data center to wide-area networks (WAN) and local access networks (LAN). The goal is to provide enterprises with complete visibility into their networks, automating network and policy configuration while managing applications across the WAN and access networks.


The foundation for ACI is an Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), enhanced versions of the NX-OS data center switching operating system, and a new line of Nexus 9000 data center switches based on technology from Insieme Networks, the Cisco spin-in start-up that is being acquired and re-integrated into the company.

The Cisco APIC is a centralized clustered controller that is responsible for tasks ranging from fabric activation, maintenance of switch firmware, network policy configuration and instantiation. Cisco APIC is
completely removed from the data path.

The Cisco APIC serves as the single point of automation and fabric element management in
both physical and virtual environments.

The Cisco APIC Enterprise Module is constructed of three elements: a consolidated network information database, policy infrastructure and automation.

To address security concerns, Cisco APIC automates network-wide rapid threat detection and mitigation by integrating and automating Cisco Sourcefire  security solutions.  For compliance management across branches and headquarters, Cisco APIC also provides network-wide Quality of Service (QoS), and accelerates Intelligent WAN (IWAN) deployments. It can also be used with third-party solutions to provide an end-to-end WAN orchestration and management.

Cisco said its APIC frees up time for IT that would otherwise be spent configuring networking equipment and updating policy changes device by device. It automates many IT functions enabling configuration and policy changes to be pushed out to the individual components of the network instead of requiring IT to update each one manually. It also enables policies to automatically adapt to network changes which would be very difficult to set otherwise.

Cisco APIC supports both new and existing network infrastructures via a selection of network Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), including OpenFlow, Cisco onePK and Command Line Interface (CLI). The Cisco APIC Enterprise Module also supports both new SDN-ready devices as well as older Cisco network equipment, enabling the same IT automation as with Cisco ACI for a large existing installed base that eliminates the need to rip and replace existing networking equipment to take advantage of this new functionality. 

The Cisco APIC Enterprise Module leverages the Glue Networks' "Gluware Intelligent Orchestration Engine" 

Dell Debuts Ethernet Fabric Switch and Active Fabric Controller

Dell made two significant networking announcements:  the introduction of a new, high-density Ethernet fabric switch for scale-out data centers; and the launch of an Active Fabric Controller for zero-touch provisioning and orchestration of virtualized networking functions and services.

  • The new Dell Networking Z9500 Fabric Switch, which is designed for 10/40 GbE aggregation in large data centers, is the highest-density fixed-form factor data center switch with a full suite of L2/L3 routing and switching protocols. It delivers up to three times the density per RU and throughput of more than 10 Tbps with one half the latency compared to Dell’s previous generation switches.  The 3RU core switch can scale up to 132 40GbE ports and up to 528 10GbE ports.  It offers "pay-as-you-go" licensing for 36, 84, or 132 port SKUs.  Dell said the new switch consumes approximately half the power per port of the Cisco Nexus 6004.
  • The new Dell Active Fabric Controller is a purpose-built SDN platform targeted for enterprise OpenStack deployments and as an optional component of Dell OpenStack-Powered cloud solutions.  It works with OpenStack applications to deliver workload and policy awareness. The Active Fabric Controller allows for insertion of service appliances including firewall, load balancing and wide area network optimization.  It delivers customized policy, enabling on-demand customized virtual fabrics that adapts whenever workloads are started, stopped or modified, enhancing the security, performance and efficiency for each application.  Dell said its Active Fabric Controller serves a fundamental building block on both enterprise control software as well as a key element of accelerating NFV deployments with its integration into OpenStack.

“Dell is committed to changing the game in networking. As a follow on to our recent Open Networking announcement, I’m excited about demonstrating more innovation in bringing new and open solutions to our customers regardless of size,” said Tom Burns, vice president and general manager, Dell Networking. “We’re extending our leadership in SDN, NFV, and advanced new architectures that maximize customer choice and provide superior economics to the way networking has always been done.”

http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/uscorp1/secure/2014-03-25-dell-data-center-networking-fabric-controller

  • In February 2013, Dell advanced its strategy for cloud data centers with the introduction of a top-of-rack switch with 40G fabric uplinks and Fibre Channel over Ethernet , high performance 10/40G blade switching products, and the commercial release of OpenFlow software-defined networking in the Force10 operating system.
    Dell said these additions underline its commitment to software-defined infrastructure. The company is pursuing a "complete and unbiased approach to SDN" by embracing legacy networking environments, greenfield controller-based deployments as well as hypervisor-oriented architectures.


  • OpenStack Networking (Neutron) to enable Software-Defined Networking and Networking-as-a-Service between interface devices such as virtual network interface cards, and
  • OpenStack Telemetry (Ceilometer) to provide OpenStack resource instrumentation, which can help support service monitoring and customer billing systems.

Embrane Raises $14 Million for Application-Centric Network Services

Embrane, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, raised $14 million in Series-C funding for its application-centric network services.

The funding round was led by Cisco and included new Embrane investor Presidio Ventures, and participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Also today, Embrane announced it will deliver life cycle management for third-party network services, including the Cisco Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance (ASAv) and Sourcefire virtual appliances.

“As one of the first companies to create a software-defined networking (SDN) solution that adds agility to the network and network services, we are ready to take the next step to accelerate our growth,” said Dante Malagrinò, co-founder and CEO of Embrane. “This new financing along with the addition of Cisco as an investor and strategic partner is a significant step in the evolution of Embrane.”

http://www.embrane.com

CenturyLink Expands its Data Center Footprint

Citing rising demand for secure cloud, colocation and managed services,CenturyLink opened three new data centers in North America and announced plans to expand data centers in eight markets during 2014.

The new builds and expansions will offer more than 180,000 square feet of additional space to CenturyLink's global presence:

  • Phoenix (new data center sites, in partnership with IO, opened in January 2014)
  • Weehawken, N.J. (expansion completed in March 2014)
  • Minneapolis (new data center site opening in May 2014)
  • Sterling, Va. (expansion completing in May 2014)
  • Irvine, Calif. (expansion completing in June 2014)
  • Toronto (new data center site opening in Q3 2014)
  • Reading, England (expansion completing in Q3 2014)
  • Chicago (expansion completing in Q3 2014)


These expansions will bring more than 20 megawatts of additional power to CenturyLink's total data center footprint, enabling businesses like the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) to add points of presence in locations most strategic for their operations.

"CenturyLink is committed to investing in world-class infrastructure to meet growing demand for access to comprehensive and secure technology solutions that power business transformation," said Jeff Von Deylen, president, CenturyLink Technology Solutions. "By adding capacity in these key locations, we position ourselves firmly for delivering the advanced network, hosting and IT services that organizations depend on to compete in the global economy."

http://www.centurylink.com/technology

In January, Savvis adopted the CenturyLink Technology Solutions brand. CenturyLink acquired Savvis in 2011.

Cisco Marks 5-Year Anniversary for UCS

Cisco marked the 5-year anniversary of its entry into the server market.  Since launching its Unified Computing System in March 2009, morre than 30,000 customers have implemented the servers.  According to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, Q4 2013, February 2014, Revenue Share:  Cisco is ranked second worldwide in x86 blade server revenue market share, with 32 percent share in the US and a top five ranking among server vendors overall. Over 80 percent of all Cisco's UCS sales come through its 3,850 channel partners.

"Innovation and partnerships are the engines of growth for our data center business," said Ken Trombetta, VP, Worldwide Channels at Cisco.  "Our channel partners immediately embraced UCS, and today nearly 4,000 partners worldwide sell UCS. We will continue to win with our partners in the data center by delivering innovation through a highly secure and application centric infrastructure."

http://newsroom.cisco.com/

Dell Acquires StatSoft for Data Mining

Dell has acquired StatSoft, a provider of advanced analytics solutions that deliver a wide range of data mining, predictive analytics and data visualization capabilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.

StatSoft, which is based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, delivers advanced analytics tools that help organizations forecast future trends to identify new customers and sales opportunities, forecast industry shifts, explore “what-if” scenarios, and reduce the occurrence of fraud and other business risks. StatSoft’s software can be deployed on premises, in the cloud, or as software-as-a-service.

http://www.dell.com
https://www.statsoft.com/

See also