Monday, June 2, 2014

Cavium Debuts Project Thunder ARM Processors with up 48 Cores

Cavium introduced its line of "Project Thunder" 64-bit processors for next gen data centers, cloud and NFV applications.

The new processors will pack up to 80 custom ARMv8 cores along with configurable/virtualized network and storage I/O options, and a set of configurable HW accelerators for different applications.

Cavium will be offering four versions depending on the type of hardware accelerators on-board"  Compute ThunderX_CP, Networking ThunderX_NT, Storage ThunderX_ST and Security ThunderX_SC.  Sampling is expected in Q4 2014.

The new ARM-based devices will be implemented in 28nm technology.  Global Foundry is the fab.  Performance/Watt will be one of the key metrics that the ARM-devices will bring to the table. The company has commercially supported Linux OS partnerships lined-up with Canonical and MontaVista.  Cavium has also joined the Open Compute Foundation and said its ThunderX processors are well-suited for this architecture.

In the networking space, the ThunderX_NT processor is aimed at high-performance data plane applications, including NFV implementations, media servers and embedded applications. The devices will offer 10/40/100G I/O and full virtualization support.

Cavium said it is also continuing to advance its existing line of MIPS64 multicore processors, which also scale up to 48 cores and are implemented in 28nm silicon, although these are aimed at different Service Provider applications.

ALU Adds 19 companies to its CloudBand Ecosystem Program

Alcatel-Lucent cited progress in its efforts to accelerate the industry adoption of NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) by adding 19 companies to its CloudBand Ecosystem Program – the first open community of platform and virtual application vendors and service providers who are developing NFV.

The CloudBand Ecosystem Program, which was created last year to help foster NFV innovation, has added the following companies:  6WIND, Cellwize, ConteXtream, EXFO, Fusion-io, IPgallery, JDSUJDSU, Netrounds, Peer App, Procera, PT Inovação e Sistema/PT Innovation and Systems, Qosmos, RADCOM, Red Hat, Saisei Networks, Sonusnet, Tieto, vArmour, and VMware. The CloudBand Ecosystem now includes 36 technology providers and operators who have come together to develop new and innovative use cases and customer trials.

Dor Skuler, Vice-President and General Manager of Alcatel-Lucent’s CloudBand business said: “NFV requires an open multi-vendor approach, as well as a high degree of collaboration and exchange between all contributors in the value chain. The CloudBand Ecosystem Program provides this workspace and leverages the open CloudBand NFV Platform to support a strong community of inclusion that is quickly advancing and innovating NFV solutions that are compatible for the telecommunications industry.’’

ONF's Fifth PlugFest Tests OpenFlow v1.3

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) completed its fifth semi-annual PlugFest last month at two of ONF’s global testing facilities: the Beijing Internet Institute (BII) in Beijing, China and the Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE) at Indiana University.  This was the first time on ONF PlugFest occurred outside the U.S. and the first time it was staged simultaneously in multiple locations.

The event provided participating companies the opportunity to test for interoperability and enhance implementations of OpenFlow v1.3 in commercial and test controllers and switches. OpenFlow v1.3 includes capabilities that are finely tuned for commercial and enterprise networks, such as quality-of-service, Q-in-Q VLAN tunneling, group tables, active-standby controller, and IPv6.

“This PlugFest marked an important milestone for OpenFlow v1.3, as it was the third time this version had been tested which featured more maturity and advanced features  on products from multiple vendors,” said Michael Haugh, product marketing director at Ixia and chair of the Open Networking Foundation Testing and Interoperability Working Group. “The ability to test products on OpenFlow v1.3 provides the framework for carrier-grade SDN and promotes the growth and adoption we continue to see in the OpenFlow protocol.”  

“PlugFests provide a great opportunity for ONF to drive interoperability, deployment, and commercialization of OpenFlow-based SDN,” said Rick Bauer, technical program manager of the Open Networking Foundation. “With this being our first global PlugFest, the wide spectrum of participating member companies was a testament to SDN’s growing international footprint.”

Attendees of the PlugFest included approximately 50 representatives from 18 participating ONF member companies, including Brocade, Centec Networks, Digital China Networks, Ltd., Freescale, GreeNet, H3C, HP, IBM, Infoblox, Ixia (Net Optics), Luxoft, NEC, Netronome, NoviFlow, Pica8, Spirent, xNet, and ZTE.

NANOG 61 Tests 100G Provisioning with NTT Com, Cisco and Cyan

NTT Communications, Cisco and Cyan are collaborating and partnering with others to provide 100G IP connectivity to NANOG 61, an event taking place this week near Seattle and organized by the North American Network Operators Group (NANOG).

The 100G network connects the NANOG 61 venue (the Hyatt Regency Bellevue) to NTT Com’s Point of Presence (PoP) at the Westin Building in Seattle, the region’s largest data center and network interconnection hub. The 100G connection is enabled by Cisco ASR 9900 and 9904 routers and powered by Cisco’s IOS XR Network Operating System, as well as Cyan’s Z-Series packet-optical hardware in combination with Cyan’s Blue Planet platform. Cyan’s hardware and software solution and Cisco routers seamlessly integrate with NTT Com’s backbone and automated provisioning of 10G and 100G connections on NTT Com’s Software-defined Networking (SDN) platform.

“NTT Com is proud to be the connectivity provider of NANOG 61 and bring 100G IP connectivity to all NANOG 61 attendees,” says Michael Wheeler, Executive Vice President of NTT Communications’ Global IP Network at NTT America. “With fiber directly connected to our Seattle PoP, this ultra-high speed network is a milestone in NANOG’s 20-year history and will ensure that all attendees benefit from a fast, high-quality network experience.”

Cyan said the 100G deployment for NANOG represents yet another step in a multi-year collaboration with NTT Com focused on software-based network services automation, including the development of an open Application Programming Interface (API) designed to drive the rapid provisioning of Optical Wave Services (OWS). This joint development allows NTT Com’s existing Operations Support Systems (OSS) provisioning tools to interact with Cyan’s Blue Planet, ensuring the rapid and automated provisioning of 10 Gbps wavelengths across NTT Com’s Global IP Network.

“Cyan is happy to collaborate with other leading technology companies and provide NANOG attendees with best-in-class network connectivity,” says Michael Hatfield, President, Cyan. “This 100G demonstration and joint development with NTT Com highlights how Cyan’s technology can deliver unparalleled performance, scale and flexibility to customers seeking to transform and simplify their networks.”

Broadcom Looks to Exit Baseband Business

Broadcom is exploring strategic alternatives for its cellular baseband business, including a potential sale or wind-down. The company confirmed that it has engaged JP Morgan to consider its options.

Broadcom said a successful sale or wind-down of the cellular baseband business could result in a roughly $700 million reduction in annualized GAAP research and development and selling, general and administrative expenses, of which approximately $100 million relates to estimated reductions in stock-based compensation.

Broadcom also updated its business outlook for the three months ending June 30, 2014, saying it continues to expect revenue between $2.0 billion and $2.1 billion, with both GAAP and non-GAAP product gross margin to be at or above the high end of the previously-guided range.

ALU Demos LTE Priority/Pre-emption for First Responders

Alcatel-Lucent announced a demonstration of standards-based priority and pre-emption technology for the application of 4G LTE for emergency services in the United States.

Working in conjunction with the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program, a joint effort of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), Alcatel-Lucent demonstrated prioritization and pre-emption on a complete end-to-end Public Safety LTE solution. The solution included elements from Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE Radio Access Network, its Subscriber Data Manager and the IP Mobile Core.  Prioritization and pre-emption prioritizes users’ traffic to assure higher priority users can send or receive content with the required bandwidth they need.

Alcatel-Lucent said its technology enables public safety authorities to prioritize access and bandwidth usage based on the role of a first responder as more first responders arrive at the scene. For example, in a fire requiring a response from multiple crews, the incident commander could be assigned a higher priority to ensure unbroken real-time video delivery as more first responders arrive at the scene.  If required, sessions of lower priority users can be pre-empted to assure higher priority users can send or receive the information they need.

T-Mobile US selects Ericsson for OSS/BSS Managed Service

T-Mobile has awarded a contract to Ericsson to improve business and IT billing processes for all branded T-Mobile and MetroPCS customers.  The long-term contract will leverage Ericsson's pre-integrated OSS/BSS software suite.  Ericsson's Service Agility solution includes charging, billing, order management, product catalog and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Ericsson will integrate and manage operations of the solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson said T-Mobile customers will gain real-time billing visibility and full control over account service changes. This will result in a streamlined customer experience as well as reduced overall operational costs for T-Mobile.

"Ericsson and T-Mobile have a long-standing relationship and this expansion gives us the agility we need to continue growing our valued customer base," said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. "The work now underway with Ericsson will enhance our infrastructure and deliver an even better experience to our customers."

IBM Brings SAP HANA to SoftLayer Cloud

IBM is bringing the SAP HANA platform, the SAP HANA ONE service and other SAP applications on the cloud platform from SoftLayer, an IBM Company.

The SoftLayer platform has been verified by SAP to run SAP applications, including SAP Business Suite software and SAP BusinessObjects™ solutions. The deal extends the existing capabilities provided by IBM to run SAP solutions on IBM Cloud Managed Services. With Cloud Managed Services and the SoftLayer platform, customers will have access to 40 data centers across five continents to run SAP applications for their enterprises. SoftLayer and IBM provide an expansive set of cloud capabilities for SAP solutions to address development testing, production and SAP HANA-based workloads.

"Businesses today are looking for ways to lower the cost of deployment and greater efficiency in addressing new market opportunity," said IBM General Manager of Cloud Services James Comfort. "By delivering SAP applications via IBM cloud technologies, companies will have consistent access to a global infrastructure that will assist them in tackling business needs with the speed and efficiency needed in today's business climate."

Compass Datacenters Completes $100 Million Round of Funding

Compass Datacenters announced the completion of an additional $100 million in funding, including  $35 million in additional equity commitments and $65 million in additional capacity under Compass’ now $110 million revolving credit facility, to support its expansion into additional geographic markets.

“This funding provides Compass with the resources to bring our proven model to more customers and more geographic regions, which will drive the next stage of Compass’ growth,” said Chris Crosby, CEO of Compass Datacenters. “Our successful projects in markets such as North Carolina, Tennessee, Minnesota and Massachusetts have demonstrated the value proposition of our unique solution for customers, and those projects have also affirmed the quality of our facility design, the effectiveness of our construction methodology, and our ability to deliver on our six month construction timeline. We have proven our vision with multiple customers, and this new funding allows us to focus on implementing our growth plan. We are excited to add new partners Regions Bank and Raymond James to the Compass team.”