Thursday, June 19, 2014

Facebook Unveils "Wedge" Top-of-Rack Programmable Switch

Facebook introduced a new top-of-rack network switch, code-named “Wedge,” and a new Linux-based operating system for that switch, code-named “FBOSS.”  Both products are part of Facebook's efforts to "disaggregate" the network from traditional product categories so as to create more flexible, more scalable and more efficient data centers. 

The Wedge switch features a modular design that brings capabilities of a micro-server using a range of processors, including Intel, AMD and ARM.  On the software side, the "FBOSS" uses the same libraries that Facebook currently uses to manage its server fleet.  This will let Facebook program the switch with the same abstraction layer used for other software services.

In an engineering blog posting, Facebook describes its capabilities as a hybrid of distributed and centralized  control models.

Facebook is currently testing Wedge and FBOSS and plans to contribute key elements to the Open Compute Project (OCP).

https://code.facebook.com/posts/681382905244727/introducing-wedge-and-fboss-the-next-steps-toward-a-disaggregated-network/

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.

T-Mobile US Expands VoLTE and Wideband LTE Rollouts

T-Mobile has expanded its deployment of 15+15MHz Wideband LTE to 16 total markets and VoLTE to 15 total markets reaching over 100 million people.  The carrier's overall LTE footprint will exceed 230 million pops by the end this month.

Wideband LTE enables peak network download speeds up to nearly 150 Mbps.

T-Mobile was the first major provider to launch VoLTE. It now supports VoLTE on four devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S 5. In addition to expanding the number of markets served by VoLTE, the company is nearly doubling the amount of data dedicated to voice calls for highest fidelity HD Voice and faster call setup times. For HD Voice, T-Mobile US uses a 23.85 Kbps voice codec rate.  In addition, the company confirmed that it now expects to have VoLTE nationwide by the end of the year.

“The old telecoms designed their networks for a time when your phone’s only app was a phone call—and they haven’t shaken that dial-tone mind-set,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. “Our 4G LTE network was built in the last year and a half, so naturally we built it differently.  We built it for the way people use smartphones and tablets today, and we built it with a mobile Internet architecture, so we could roll out new technologies faster.”

http://newsroom.t-mobile.com/issues-insights-blog/the-un-carrier-network-designed-data-strong.htm

T-Mobile Offers Week-long Test Drive with iPhone 5s

T-Mobile US will begin offering a free, no-obligation "Test Drive" whereby consumers can receive an iPhone 5s and unlimited nationwide service for seven days. When the week-long test drive is over, they simply drop the phone off at any T-Mobile retail store.

“The way this industry forces Americans to buy wireless is completely, utterly broken.  I’m here to tell you there’s a better way,” declared John Legere, T-Mobile CEO and President. “While the carriers ask you to buy blind, the Un-carrier gives you transparency.  Our network kicks ass, and now people can experience for themselves what a data-strong network can do with T-Mobile Test Drive.”

http://explore.t-mobile.com/test-drive-free-trial

Wind River Launches Titanium Ecosystem for NFV

Wind River launched its Titanium Cloud ecosystem for service providers and telecom equipment manufacturers (TEMs) deploying infrastructure based on network functions virtualization (NFV).

Initial members include Brocade, GENBAND, Metaswitch Networks, Nakina Systems, and Overture.

Wind River said its ecosystem program helps ensure interoperability of solutions based in  its Carrier Grade Communications Server, which is an integrated portfolio of software elements that enables NFV infrastructure to achieve the carrier grade reliability required for telecom networks. The company said its Carrier Grade Communications Server enables service providers to maintain six-nines reliability as they transition to virtualized infrastructure, allowing them to meet “always on” expectations.

“Realizing a successful NFV infrastructure requires collaboration across a broad ecosystem, ensuring the availability of end-to-end solutions that integrate seamlessly to deliver virtualized services at the necessary levels of carrier grade performance and reliability,” said Mike Langlois, general manager of the communications business for Wind River. “Carrier Grade Communications Server delivers a critical element of this infrastructure. Our Titanium Cloud ecosystem program provides a framework for Wind River to work with industry leaders like Brocade, GENBAND, Metaswitch, Nakina, and Overture to deliver standard product solutions that help service providers achieve their critical business imperatives, such as reducing operating costs while accelerating the introduction of new, high-value services.”

http://www.windriver.com

GigOptix to Acquire Tahoe RF Semiconductor

GigOptix agreed to acquire all of the assets of Tahoe RF Semiconductor in an all-cash deal. Financial terms were not disclosed. All of Tahoe RF’s team of engineers will become employees of GigOptix.

Tahoe RF Semiconductor developed RF/analog RFICs, IPs, and fully integrated systems and subsystems on a chip. It has an extensive IP library, including radio frequency front-ends, low-power transmitters, direct conversion receivers, low noise amplifiers, and fractional-N frequency synthesizers, as well as automatic gain control and RF receiver patents.

"I am happy about the acquisition of Tahoe RF which brings to GigOptix a solid team of very experienced RF engineers and a rich portfolio of proven silicon IP into our RF and Wireless product line,” said Dr. Avi Katz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GigOptix, Inc. "The acquisition of Tahoe RF is one more step in our continuous quest to strengthen our industry leading RF engineering team, and enable GigOptix to address increasing aggregate data bandwidth demand through our optimized Monolithic Microwave IC (MMIC) products targeted at point-to-point wireless backhaul applications. The acquisition also puts us in an excellent position to expand into adjacent RF and wireless market opportunities, including consumer and high volume enterprise applications, such GPS devices.”

E-Band radios shipments by GigOptix are expected to grow to 6,000 per month with total shipments in 2014 in excess of 50,000 radios, driven by the deployment of LTE cellular infrastructure in support of the ever growing demand for mobile data for smartphones. The deployment of small cells, addressed by V-Band devices, 60GHz band, is expected to be one order of magnitude greater than regular cells in urban areas and the demand for V-band radios is expected to accelerate in the next two years with volumes at much higher than E-Band.

http://www.gigoptix.com/
http://www.tahoerf.com/

NIMBOXX Introduces Software Defined Data Center Box

NIMBOXX, a start-up based in Austin, Texas, unveiled its ‘atomic unit’ for the software-defined data center -- an all-in-one appliance that converges servers, storage, networking and security.

NIMBOXX features mesh-based scale out, dynamic storage orchestration, self-balancing workload heuristics, and a shared-nothing management model. It also provides dynamic adaptation to cache and storage changes based on multi-dimensional workload analyses. Deployments can start with a single node and scale to hundreds. NIMBOXX uses its own Mesh Operating System (MeshOS) on bare metal and offers a RESTful API for integration with third-party applications. The company claims 180,000 IOPS generated from a 1U system with factory settings

NIMBOX also announced $12 million in Series A funding from SMC Holdings, a Hong Kong-based institutional investor.

http://www.nimboxx.com

Puppet Labs Raises $40 Million for Automation Software

Puppet Labs announced $40 million in new funding from existing investors Cisco, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Triangle Peak Partners, True Ventures and VMware.


Puppet Labs, which develops IT automation software, said it now has over 18,000 enterprises using its software to accelerate operations. The software can automate repetitive tasks, deploy applications across multiple machines, proactively manage infrastructure where on-premise or in the cloud.

Puppet Labs is based in Portland, Oregon, and has about 300 employees. The company will use the new funding to expand internationally.

Puppet's has now raised a total of $86 million since June 2009.

“Puppet Labs is growing fast for a reason: IT automation is critical for any company that uses software to compete,” said Luke Kanies, founder and CEO of Puppet Labs. “Today, we help more than 18,000 organizations automate IT, both on premise and in the cloud. But we're just getting started. This funding round enables us to further our leadership position by entering new markets and helping our customers deliver great software faster than ever.”

http://puppetlabs.com

Infonetics: A Shift in Data Center Security Investments

Virtual security appliances will capture a growing share of investments in data center security, according to new report from Infonetics Research.

“Historically, data centers have been protected by big-iron security solutions and complex webs of security appliances and load-balancing infrastructure,” says Jeff Wilson, principal analyst for security at Infonetics Research. “But as more providers virtualize their data centers and roll out SDNs and NFV, we anticipate a fairly significant revenue transition from hardware appliances to virtual appliances and purpose-built security solutions that interface directly with hypervisors, with SDN controllers via APIs, or orchestration platforms.”

Some highlights of the report:

  • The ported virtual security appliances segment of the data center security market grew 10% in 2013 over 2012, to $437 million
  • Meanwhile, sales of purpose-built virtual security appliances totaled $150 million in 2013, up 44% from the prior year
  • Cisco, Juniper, and Fortinet are the top 3 revenue share leaders in the data center security appliance market
  • Massive interest in SDN- and NFV-compatible security solutions is expected to drive consolidation among established security players, virtualization platform vendors, and specialist vendors
  • Infonetics is projecting a cumulative $1.35 billion will be spent on purpose-built virtual security appliances from 2014 to 2018.


http://www.infonetics.com

See also