Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cisco Introduces Virtualized and Programmable Elastic Access Portlio

Cisco introduced a new Elastic Access" portfolio of software and hardware products designed to bring virtualization, programmability, economical scale and architectural convergence in the access segment of the network.

The new products, which are key elements of Cisco's recently introduced Evolved Programmable Network (EPN), leverage software-defined networking (SDN) to deliver new levels of service agility, including "bandwidth on the fly" and Cisco ESP orchestration.

Cisco said its goal is to extend autonomic access operations and management, along with zero-touch nV provisioning, to the furthest end points. Additionally, highly secure auto discovery, auto-configuration, uninterrupted management and configuration repair of network elements is enabled. Automatic provisioning and management for "bandwidth-on-the-fly" extensibility from the core to the most remote access point and back is possible. As a result of Cisco Elastic Access solutions working in conjunction with the Cisco ESP, orchestration, automation and simplification are extended to the last mile, creating the opportunity to reduce provisioning steps by up to 56 percent.

The new Cisco Elastic Access portfolio includes:

Cisco ME 4600 Series Multiservice Optical Access Platform: scales aggregation services and enables operators to offer both end-user and wholesale services using Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology.

Cisco ASR 902 and ASR 920: these are converged time-division multiplexing (TDM) and Ethernet aggregation platforms that offer reduced footprint, cost, and feature compatibility with the ASR 903.  They support autonomic networking for IP devices and complement the ASR 901 cell site router.

Cisco ME 1200 Ethernet Access Device: a fully featured service delivery demarcation device is ready for Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) 2.0 services for today's mobile and cloud applications.
Virtualized Elastic Access management

Virtualized management-based controllers on the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) allow cloud-based management to scale to thousands of access devices.

"With this announcement, Cisco is leading the way to deliver the benefits of virtualization, management and software-defined networking-based advances to the last mile," said Liz Centoni, Cisco vice president and general manager of the service provider access group. "These new Cisco Elastic Access products demonstrate our commitment to delivering the most comprehensive and programmatic approach to software-defined networking and network function virtualization in the telecommunications and networking industries. With our elastic core, edge and access products, the Cisco Evolved Programmable Network is the most programmable, end-to-end solution on the market."

  • Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) is the foundation of its Open Network Environment (ONE) architecture. The EPN is the infrastructure layer consisting of physical and virtual devices working together to form an end-to-end unified fabric for a programmable network. The EPN is designed to converge edge, core, and data center functions using Cisco's portfolio of technologies. 

Nokia: Three Metrics of Disruptive Innovation

by David Letterman, Nokia

‘Disruptive innovation’ has been a favorite discussion topic for years. I am sure every industry, every company and every innovation team, has had rounds and rounds of discussion about what disruptive innovation means for them.

Rather than attempting another end all, be all definition for innovation, let’s focus on the passion it evokes and the permissions it enables. Disruptive innovation, as an internal charter, allows expansion beyond previous boundaries; it gives permission to go after new markets, new customers and new business models.  If left unencumbered, it can guide the company to proactively find and validate big problems for which external partners, new products and new markets can be created.  Disruptive innovation can be a source of otherwise unattainable revenue growth and market share.

Innovation is about converting ideas into something of value, making something better AND hopefully something that our customers are willing to pay for. For the purpose of putting the framework into two buckets, let’s distinguish between incremental and disruptive innovation.

Most innovation in established companies is developed by corporate innovation engines, whose job is to continually improve their products and services.  This continuous innovation delivers incremental advances in technology, process and business model.  Specialized R&D teams can add value to these innovation engines by solving problems differently or having a specific charter to go after larger levels of improvement.  Although the risks are higher, breakthrough innovation occurs when these teams achieve significantly better functionality or cost savings.  This combination of corporate and specialized incremental innovation is absolutely necessary for companies to keep up with or get ahead of the competition – and which most successful companies are very good at.

Disruptive innovation, on the other hand, is much more difficult for the corporate machinery. Here, new product categories are created, new markets are addressed and new value chains are established.

There is no known baseline to refer to.

Disruption implies that someone is losing – being disrupted. So clearly you won’t find a product roadmap for it in the company catalog. And it’s not even necessarily solving the problems of the current customer base. This is an area where, with the right passion, permissions and charter, a specialized innovation team can take a lead role and create significant growth for the company.

Here is my take on three characteristics of teams chartered to do disruptive innovation -

  • A strong outside-in perspective is crucial, for not only identifying the problem and validating the opportunity, but also for finding and creating a solution, and perhaps even taking it to market. Collaboration is everything when it comes to disruption.
  • Risk quotient - Arguably, all innovation contains some element of risk.  But, in this case of proactively seeking disruption, we must allow for an even higher degree of risk. For most innovation teams, ‘Fail fast’, ‘Fail often’ and ‘Fail safe’ are the mantras.  But in case of disruptive innovation when we are seeking new markets, perhaps based on new technologies, our probability for success is untested. And to the incumbents, this new  solution is unacceptable, often something they have never considered or simply cannot deliver.  If you are solving a really important problem it justifies embracing the risk, revalidating the opportunity and digging deeper to create a solution.  Redefine risk in the context of meaningful disruption – ‘Fail proud’ and keep on solving.  Remember SpaceX?
  • How disruptive is disruptive - For a new entrant to eventually become disruptive it needs to be significantly better in functionality, performance and efficiency - or much cheaper - than the alternatives.  Although the benefits may initially only be noticed by early adopters, for the solution to disrupt a category it must be made available to, and eventually accepted by, the masses.

A simple example that addresses these three characteristics – is how the Personal Navigation Device market was disrupted by the smartphone.

In the early and mid 2000s, Garmin and TomTom had a lock on the personal navigation market. When Nokia and the other phone manufacturers began delivering GPS via phones, they were coming to the market via a totally new channel, embedding the functionality in a device that the consumer would carry with them at all times.

The incumbents may have acted unfazed.  But in reality, they couldn’t respond to the threat.  The functionality may have been inferior to what they were selling but the cost was perceived as free.  It was totally unacceptable and the business model was “uncopiable.” What started as a feature in just select high-end phones would soon be adopted as a standard functionality in every smartphone, and expected by end users by default. In just two years, there were five times as many people carrying GPS enabled phones in their pockets as there were PNDs being sold.

Silicon Valley Open Innovation Challenge

There are many other characteristics you might consider to be the most important measurements for disruptive innovation.  For me, these three are as good as any.  It comes down to the simple questions of “Why does it matter?”  “What problem does this empower us to solve that was otherwise unmet?” and “How can we provide significantly positive impact for the company and for the people to whom the innovation will serve?”

Nokia’s Technology Exploration and Disruption (TED) team is chartered to look at exactly these questions. In its search for the next disruption, it has launched the – Silicon Valley Open Innovation Challenge.

This competition is an open call to Silicon Valley innovators to collaboratively discover and solve big problems with us, and to do so in ways that are significantly better, faster or cheaper than we could have done alone. We see Telco Cloud and colossal data analytics as the two major transformational areas for the wireless industry, opening up possibilities for disruption – and those are the focus themes for the Open Innovation Challenge. We’re willing to take the risk because we know the rewards of innovation are worth it.

Click here to submit your ideas and be part of something truly disruptive. Apply now!
Last date is 19th May 2014.

David Letterman works in the Networks business of Nokia within its Innovation Center in the heart of Silicon Valley. Looking after Ecosystem Development Strategy for the Technology Exploration and Disruption global team, David is exploring how to create exponential value by pushing the boundaries of internal innovation. An important initiative is Nokia’s Silicon Valley Open Innovation Challenge, calling on the concentrated problem-solving intellect of the Valley, to solve two of the biggest transformations for Telco: Colossal data analytics and Telco Cloud. Prior to his current position, David worked for a top tier Product Design and Innovation Consultancy, and held various business development and marketing management roles during a previous 10-year tenure with Nokia.

Nokia invests in technologies important in a world where billions of devices are connected. We are focused on three businesses: network infrastructure software, hardware and services, which we offer through Networks; location intelligence, which we provide through HERE; and advanced technology development and licensing, which we pursue through Technologies. Each of these businesses is a leader in its respective field. Through Networks, Nokia is the world’s specialist in mobile broadband. From the first ever call on GSM, to the first call on LTE, we operate at the forefront of each generation of mobile technology. Our global experts invent the new capabilities our customers need in their networks. We provide the world’s most efficient mobile networks, the intelligence to maximize the value of those networks, and the services to make it all work seamlessly.

HP's Helion Portfolio Pulls Together OpenStack Cloud Resources

HP introduced its "Helion" portfolio that brings together all of its resources in hardware, software, and services for private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions. The architectural vision for Helion is premised on OpenStack. HP also announced plans to invest more than $1 billion to support and deliver new open source cloud products and platforms in the new Helion portfolio in the years ahead.

“Customer challenges today extend beyond cloud. They include how to manage, control and scale applications in a hybrid environment that spans multiple technology approaches,” said Martin Fink, executive vice president and chief technology officer, HP. “HP Helion provides the solutions and expertise customers need to select the right deployment model for their needs and obtain the greatest return for their investment.”

As part of Helion, HP is introducing several new cloud products and services, including:

  • HP Helion OpenStack Community edition — a commercial product line of OpenStack that is delivered, tested and supported by HP. Available today, the community edition is a free version ideal for proofs of concept, pilots and basic production workloads. An enhanced commercial edition that addresses the needs of global enterprises and service providers will be released in the coming months.
  • HP Helion Development Platform — a Platform as a Service (PaaS) based on Cloud Foundry, offering IT departments and developers an open platform to build, deploy and manage applications quickly and easily. HP plans to release a preview version later this year.
  • HP’s OpenStack Technology Indemnification Program — protects qualified customers using HP Helion OpenStack code from third-party patent, copyright and trade-secret infringement claims directed to OpenStack code alone or in combination with Linux code.

  • HP Helion OpenStack Professional Services — a new practice made up of HP’s experienced team of consultants, engineers and cloud technologists to assist customers with cloud planning, implementation and operational needs.
HP Helion OpenStack–based cloud services will be made available globally via HP’s partner network of more than 110 service providers worldwide and in HP data centers.

HP noted that it currently operates more than 80 data centers in 27 countries. HP plans to provide OpenStack-based public cloud services in 20 data centers worldwide over the next 18 months.

NTT DOCOMO to Conduct 5G Experimental Trials

NTT DOCOMO announced plans to conduct experimental trials of emerging 5G technologies with leading vendors, including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Fujitsu, NEC, Nokia and Samsung.

The research program will look at the potential of 5G mobile technologies to exploit frequency bands above 6GHz and realize very high system capacity per unit area, and new radio technologies to support diverse types of applications including machine-to-machine (M2M) services. DOCOMO also expects to collaborate with other companies in its effort to test a wide range of 5G mobile technologies.

DOCOMO is looking for 5G systems to be ready for commercial deployment in 2020. The new system is expected to enable ultra-high-speed data transmissions at more than 10 Gbps.

"5G studies are starting to gain real momentum as we point toward 2020," said Seizo Onoe, Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer at DOCOMO. "I am delighted that we will collaborate on 5G experimental trials with multiple global vendors from this early stage."
DOCOMO will begin indoor trials at the DOCOMO R&D Center in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture this year, to be followed by outdoor field trials planned for next year. Key findings and achievements will be shared with research institutes and at international conferences to contribute to 5G standardization, which is expected to start from 2016. Key findings also will be utilized for research aimed at incubating future advanced technologies."

AWS Adds CloudFront CDN to Free Usage Tier

Amazon Web Services added its CloudFront content delivery network to its list of AWS Free Usage Tier benefits.

AWS Free Usage Tier is the company's introductory program for customers to launch new applications, test existing applications in the Cloud, or simply gain hands-on experience with AWS.

The free tier for Amazon CloudFront includes up to 50 GB data transfer and 2,000,000 requests per month aggregated across all AWS edge locations.

BT Passes Two Thirds of UK Premises with Fibre Broadband

BT's open fibre network now passes more than 19 million homes and businesses, represting about two thirds of UK premises.

BT originally said it would cover 19m premises with fibre by the end of 2015. It passed that total in March this year, around 21 months earlier than planned, with the vast majority of that footprint being enabled by BT under its commercial plan. The remainder has been enabled in partnership with the public sector.

BT noted that its fibre rollout has been among the fastest in the world. The UK now has the widest fibre availability of the EU 'big 5' countries as well as the highest take up of the technology and the most competitive marketplace.  UK fibre availability currently stands at 73 per cent of premises when all networks are taken into account. This widespread availability compares with just 20-25 per cent for France.

Gavin Patterson, Chief Executive, BT Group said: “Fibre broadband is the future and BT has invested billions of pounds to ensure as many people as possible can benefit. The early achievement of this milestone marks the culmination of several years of hard work by our engineers and planners. They have pulled out all the stops to bring fibre to a vast expanse of the country over a very short period and I would like to thank them for their efforts and commitment.

“Great progress has been made but we aren't stopping here. We need to ensure as many people as possible have access to fibre and that is why our engineering teams are working hard to extend the digital superhighway into rural areas.

"The UK broadband market is intensely competitive and consumers are enjoying fantastic value for money. Broadband speeds have increased dramatically over the last decade whereas prices have tumbled. Customers are the winners."

CyrusOne Expands Data Center in Phoenix

CyrusOne is breaking ground on a second data center at its Phoenix Campus in Chandler, Arizona. The new building will have 60,000 square feet of white floor space at full build, with up to 12 megawatts of power to serve customers in the Western region of the United States. The expansion adds to the more than 77,500 square feet of space already commissioned.

Taiwan's Accton Tech Joins Open Compute Project

Taiwan-based Accton Technology has joined the Open Compute Project and announced its plans to open source a design for a 10GbE top-of-rack switch and adapter to allow standard 19” rack switches to function in an Open Rack.

Accton said its Edge-Core AS5712-54X Top-of-Rack Switch will offer forty-eight 10GbE SFP+ and six 40GbE QSFP ports in a 1U form factor. The switch is based on Broadcom’s StrataXGS Trident II Ethernet Switch silicon, and has a CPU daughter module with an Intel Atom C2538 processor.  The adapter is a mechanical sled that enables any standard 19” rack-mountable 1U network switch to slide into an Open Rack, with a means to secure the adapter to the Open Rack and provide cabling to the 12VDC bus bar.  Accton plans to contribute complete design files for the hardware, including schematics, Gerber files, and mechanical design when the designs are accepted by OCP.