Thursday, June 5, 2014

Telefónica's Alcalá Data Center Achieves TIER IV Gold

Telefónica's state-of-the-art Alcalá Data Center located outside of Madrid has been named Europe's largest data center and the third largest in the world.  The facility has achieved TIER IV Gold certification from the Uptime Institute, which certifies the center's operational sustainability and attests to its high level of infrastructure availability.

The Alcalá Data Center, which recently completed its first year anniversary of launching commercial services, is the cornerstone of Telefónica's Data Center consolidation strategy, as well as one of the company's four new generation strategic data centers globally, which will act as hubs for a small number of satellite data centers that will support local services. All of Telefónica's data centers will be inter-connected via a corporate global network, all supervised and operated under one roof. This will allow Telefónica to optimize infrastructure use, enhance virtualization levels, phase out obsolete equipment and standardize the infrastructure's operating model in step with the company's global objectives.

UK, Spanish and German services are being established at the Alcalá Data Center in addition to global processes, thereby making inroads into improving the levels of quality, simplification and standardisation, which are key to Grupo Telefónica's transformation.

Telefónica has also established a new Innovation Center demonstration area at the Alcalá facility to showcase cloud services.  The company is developing Hybrid Cloud and Corporate Cloud concepts that could be enabled in a Virtual Data Center 2.0 service.

  • In April 2013, Telefónica inaugurated the first phase of its massive Alcalá Data Centre project outside of Madrid, which aims to be one of the largest Tier IV data centers in Europe and the world. The first phase, which became operational in April 2013, is a new building measuring 24,700 m2, with seven IT rooms covering an area of 682 m2 each. The complete project, which will progress gradually, will cover a total area of 65,700 m2 (over 700,000 square feet) and include a further 16 IT rooms, on a 78,400 m2 plot of land (the size of 8 football pitches). The Alcalá Data Centre uses a modular architecture with redundant energy supplies and communications for each hall. Telefónica expects an annual reliability of 99.995%.   Each module will be independent, allowing new rooms to be activated without affecting the operation of the rest. Similarly, the 1,200 kW of IT power for each room can be multiplied up to fourfold without impacting the housed systems.  A redundant fiber optic ring connects to the company's Julián Camarillo Data Centre (Madrid), providing mutual back-up in case of faults. The facility was built by Ferrovial and Master Ingeniería, with technological advice provided by Digital Realty.

Microsoft Turns on Azure in Southern Brazil

Microsoft's Azure cloud service is now generally available in its Brazil South region, located in the state of Sao Paulo.

Early customers at the new data center include Brazil-based credit rating company Boa Vista Servicos, business management software provider Totvs, computing systems provider SiplanControl-M and e-commerce website platform Shop Delivery.

Microsoft noted ongoing demand for its global enterprise public cloud offering:  globally, more than 1,000 new customers join Azure every day, and revenue grew more than 150 percent in the last quarter. With Microsoft's recent general availability announcements in China and Japan, Azure compute capacity is doubling every six months.

Taiwan's FarEasTone Launches LTE on APT700 Band with Ericsson

Taiwan's FarEasTone Telecommunications (FET) is the first mobile operator to launch a commercial LTE service on the APT700 band.  Ericsson was the key supplier for the deployment.

APT700 band is a globally standardized band for LTE which is gaining momentum across Asia and Latin America and has the potential to serve over 2.1 billion people.

Yvonne Li, President of FarEasTone, says: "We are proud to roll out the first commercial LTE network in the world on the APT700 band. Through our long and successful relationship with Ericsson, we achieved another significant advancement in the telecom industry."

Jan Signell, Head of Ericsson Region North East Asia, says: "This is a ground-breaking step both for Ericsson and for FarEasTone in Taiwan, and by deploying the APT700 LTE network, FarEasTone's
subscribers can benefit from a fast, enhanced service."

  • In October 2013 the Taiwanese government completed its LTE spectrum auction and six licenses were awarded on three frequencies: APT700, 900, and 1800 MHz. FET was awarded licenses on the APT700 and 1800 MHz frequencies.

Zain Tests NSN's Liquid Applications on Live Network

Zain KSA has successfully demonstrated Nokia's Liquid Applications running on its live network in Saudi Arabia. The demonstration was the first of its kind in the Middle East and Africa, and was carried out in Zain’s live network, powered by Nokia’s radio and core network elements.

Nokia said Liquid Applications solution brings applications, services and content into the base station to allow local storage, along with access to real-time radio and network information. This turns base stations into hubs for local service creation and delivery.

For this demo, in the radio access, Nokia used its Radio Applications Cloud Server and award-winning Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station. In addition, the company’s consolidated OSS (operations support system) based on its NetAct network management system was used for the management of Liquid Applications and the services in use.

“We are committed to introducing new services to thrill our customers by exploring and adopting the latest technologies available on the market,” said Sultan AlDeghaither, Senior Director of Network Engineering, Zain KSA. “In response to our customers’ demand for the best mobile broadband experience, we never stop optimizing our network, and we believe Nokia’s Liquid Applications is one of the unique solutions that can offer entirely new service experiences. The demonstration in our live network proves that the solution has the capability to take the experience of mobile broadband services to completely new levels.”

Nokia Acquires Masaplexx for RF Filter Technology

Nokia has acquired Mesaplexx Pty Ltd, a privately-held company that develops compact, high performance radio frequency (RF) filter technology for the mobile industry.  Financial terms were not disclosed. Mesaplexx has offices in the UK and Australia.

Nokia said the Mesaplexx technology can enhance its Flexi family of radio access base stations and potentially reducing small cells form factors by 30% or more.

“Those familiar with radio technologies know that while there has been a lot of progress in recent years, filters are one area where new innovations can still yield significant improvements in performance,” said Marc Rouanne, executive vice president, Mobile Broadband at Nokia. “This company’s stand-out expertise has the potential to achieve that.”

Infonetics: A Carrier Survey on Packet-Optical, MPLS, and Control Plane Strategies

A survey of Global service providers published by Infonetics Research has found that SDN vendor strategies currently are not critical factors in purchasing optical transport equipment for the majority of operators.

“No topic has generated more discussion in the past 12 months than software-defined networking (SDN), though most carriers have been publicly silent on their plans for SDN in the transport network. Our latest packet-optical study found that over three-quarters of service providers surveyed plan to deploy transport SDN, but only a third say vendors’ SDN strategies play a critical role in their equipment and vendor decisions today,” reports Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research.

Some highlights of the Packet-Optical Survey:

  • Opinions on exactly what constitutes a packet-optical transport system (P-OTS) vary widely in the industry; however, 86% of carriers surveyed say Infonetics’ definition of P-OTS is a good characterization
  • 84% of respondents have deployed or will deploy P-OTS by the end of 2015
  • The top reasons cited for deploying P-OTS are reducing complexity in the network and supporting services such as private line Ethernet and broadband aggregation
  • Slightly more than half of respondents will use alien wavelengths to provide spectrum leasing and dark fiber services, not IP over DWDM (IPoDWDM)
  • When asked to estimate the percentage of traffic transiting their network that is packet switched by conventional routers vs. packet-optical systems, respondents indicate that optical equipment will play a much larger role in packet switching and aggregation by 2016, but it will still be secondary to the role routers play.

Cloudera Acquires Gazzang for Hadoop Encryption

Cloudera, which specializes in enterprise analytic data management powered by Apache Hadoop, has acquired Gazzang, a start-up working on big data security.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cloudera said the addition enables it to deliver enterprise-grade data encryption and key management for securing and processing sensitive and legally protected data within the Hadoop ecosystem, thus fulfilling a requirement in myriad compliance regulations like HIPAA-HITECH, PCI-DSS, FERPA and the EU Data Protection Directive.

Cloudera now offers encryption for all data-at-rest stored inside the Hadoop cluster - using an approach that is transparent to applications using the data, thereby minimizing the costs associated with enabling encryption.  The Gazzang team will now become the basis of a new Cloudera Center for Security Excellence whose focus includes:

  • Data and cluster security technologies - including "follow the data" authorization and encryption policies riding on Cloudera’s data lineage tracking capabilities.
  • Security testing and certification - including continuous vulnerability assessment, performance optimization, and developing regulatory compliance playbooks.
  • Security ecosystem partner enablement - developing security integration APIs and certifying partner products.

"Data security is no longer a checkbox for IT organizations or operations departments, it has become a top business priority," said Tom Reilly, chief executive officer, Cloudera. "At the same time compliance requirements for protecting data continue to expand in scope where data access comes under scrutiny. We’re entering a whole new era with the rise of the Industrial Internet and the Internet of Things where there is vastly more data being streamed from billions of devices. Centralizing and accessing that net-new data to unlock its value is therefore a challenge when you consider the security requirements. That’s what we’re solving now."

  • Gazzang was headquartered in Austin, Texas and backed by Austin Ventures and Silver Creek Ventures.

  • In March 2014, Cloudera confirmed that its latest funding round, which included a strategic investment from Intel, amounted to $900 million.  This financing round includes the previously-announced $160 million of funding from T. Rowe Price and three other top-tier public market investors, Google Ventures, and an affiliate of MSD Capital, L.P., the private investment arm of Michael Dell and his family, and a significant equity investment by Intel that gives them an 18% share of Cloudera.
    Cloudera offers enterprise analytic data management software powered by Apache Hadoop, which is the underlying technology behind a growing number of Big Data projects.

OpenDaylight Project Adds Three Members

The OpenDaylight Project,  which  is dedicated to promoting an open, common platform for SDN and NFV, announced three new members: Extreme Networks, Flextronics and Oracle.

Since launching 13 months ago, the OpenDaylight community has grown to 195 developers working collaboratively to create an open source platform that can be used within any SDN and NFV architecture. OpenDaylight’s next software release, Helium, is scheduled to be made available this fall.

“With the advent of convergence, SDN and cloud, we see rapid shifts in the end-markets of our OEM customers. By leveraging open source platforms such as OpenDaylight, our OEM customers are able to get ahead of these shifts in the IT space,” said Dharmesh Jani, VP, Cloud Strategy, Flextronics.
company is focused on eliminating complexity and simplifying IT to enable over 400,000 customers in over 145 countries to accelerate innovation and create added value for their customers.

“For SDN to go mainstream the industry needs an open and common platform,” said Markus Flierl, vice president, Oracle Solaris. “Oracle Solaris 11.2 is engineered for cloud and incorporates an enterprise-class OS, efficient network virtualization, application-driven software-defined networking technology and a full OpenStack distribution to provide comprehensive cloud platform capabilities. Tapping into OpenDaylight will enable us to extend the application-driven SDN capabilities in Oracle Solaris and allow customers to take advantage of a broad ecosystem of OpenDaylight-compatible networking devices and SDN applications. The momentum around the OpenDaylight Project is a strong indicator that the industry wants to go in this direction and we think it will create significant benefits for customers in the long-term.”

Dell'Oro: Wireless Packet Core Market Grew 26% YoY in 1Q2014

The overall Wireless Packet Core market grew 26% during the first quarter of 2014 versus the year-ago period, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.  The higher growth portion of the market that is used to manage LTE wireless networks, called Evolved Packet Core (EPC), experienced significantly higher growth than the total market.

Some highlights:

  • North American session growth jumped to over 250% of 4Q13 levels.  This follows a slowdown in the third and fourth quarters of 2013.
  • In the first quarter, nearly half of Service Provider bid responses required technical specifications for upcoming availability of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) capabilities from packet core vendors.
  • Nokia took significant revenue share in the overall market, and is now ranked #3 on a trailing four quarter revenue basis.

"As the service providers deploying LTE expand beyond the early movers in the US, Japan and Korea, we are seeing a shift in vendor shares towards those with exposure to other regions," explained Chris DePuy, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group with responsibility for Wireless Packet Core coverage.  "This has recently benefited Nokia in particular."

Orange Business Builds Global WAN for Switzerland's Oetiker Group

The Oetiker Group, a worldwide supplier of clamps, rings and quick connectors based in Switzerland, has selected Orange Business Services to provide a global wide area network and embedded security services.   The Orange network will connect 1,200 Oetiker employees in 21 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Orange Business Services is providing a Web protection suite with malware scanning and Zscaler, a Web filtering bundle, as part of the solution.

The global WAN will support Oetiker's new centralized SAP ERP and CRM system.