Monday, July 28, 2014

The OpenCloud Project Aims for Programatic Interoperability

The OpenCloud Project, which is sponsored by the CloudEthernet Forum, is on-track to launch a test bed later this year for end-to-end interoperability for cloud, datacenter and network services.

Comcast, Verizon and Tata are hosting the first meeting of the OpenCloud Project this week in Silicon Valley. Specifically, the aim of the project is to solve the following problems:

  • Lack of end-to-end SLAs 
  • Provisioning of network services 
  • Policy for compliance, regulation and privacy laws 
  • Single view for managing services 
  • Standardized communication between cloud services

The OpenCloud Project has now put together a reference architecture that will be the basis of its forthcoming testbed.

“Where other standards bodies had the space to shape standards in advance of market penetration, cloud computing is already surging ahead in every direction -- powered by NFV, SDN, virtualization technologies and networking – technologies that are themselves still evolving quickly. Our response is to iteratively develop the Reference Architecture, the Test Bed and the standards simultaneously to keep ahead of business needs. The aim is to evolve a fully interworking cloud environment and the advance best practices to manage OTT and cloud services,” stated James Walker, president of the Cloud Ethernet Forum.

Jeff Schmitz, CEF Chairman, commented, “The OpenCloud Project is now in the design stage. We are putting a range of use cases to the test, starting with remote relocation and multiplication of virtual machines across the cloud.  The published results will reveal what does and does not work and will invite participation in addressing these challenges. Those who commit to the project now will help shape tomorrow and the $200Bn cloud services market.

Members of the Cloud Ethernet Forum include: Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Comcast, Ciena, Cisco, Citrix, CoreSite, Ericsson, Equinix, Juniper, HP, Huawei, Interexion, PCCW Global, Spirent Communications, Tata Communications, Telx, Verizon and others.

AT&T, IBM and ACS Develop Cloud-to-Cloud Interconnect

AT&T Labs, IBM Research and ACS (Telcordia), working under DARPA's CORONET program, have been developing a dynamic, cloud-to-cloud interconnection framework for very high-bandwidth, on-demand services.

In a blog posting, AT&T's Chris Rice writes that AT&T's vision for a User-Defined Network Cloud (UDNC) becomes much more practical when it becomes possible to set-up cloud-to-cloud connections in under a minute. A prototype developed by the researches can enable setup times as short as 40 seconds, compared with the previous setup time of several days.

In October 2012, AT&T and IBM announced a partnership to deliver secure, network-enabled cloud services.

The service combines AT&T virtual private networking and IBM SmartCloud Enterprise+ cloud capabilities using software from AT&T Labs to create a new, fast and highly-secure shared cloud service.  This will enable enterprises to quickly and reliably move data and applications between their own data centers (private clouds) and this new cloud service.  The software from AT&T Labs dynamically allocates networking resources to computing resources, automating functions that are often performed manually. The companies said more than 70 security functions are built-in, ensuring that traffic never leaves the protection of the VPN.

NTT Com Delivers Wholesale IaaS Solution to Philippines’ PLDT

NTT Communications announced a partnership with the Philippines’ largest telecommunication company, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), to provide PLDT’s enterprise customers with NTT Com’s enterprise-grade, infrastructure as a service (IaaS) solution, Enterprise Cloud.

Commercial services are scheduled to begin in or after September.

Enterprise Cloud, which enables enterprises to virtually access their individualized customer portal to configure virtual data centers, is offered via multiple servers in multiple international locations, including Japan, US, UK, Germany, Australia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, totaling nine countries and 11 data center locations.

PLDT will provide globally standardized IaaS services combining Enterprise Cloud and its own network services for Philippine-based enterprises. The enterprises will use these services to develop new solutions for global operations, especially in countries where NTT Com’s cloud is present, and to strengthen business continuity using NTT Com resources outside the Philippines.

“We are very pleased to offer this highly value-added IaaS solution to clients through our new partnership,” said PLDT’s EVP Alberto. “NTT Com provides optimum ICT solutions for multinationals operating out of the Philippines, and for Philippine corporations who choose to go global. With this partnership between NTT Com and PLDT, our clients may now capitalize on PLDT’s local accessibility and interfacing, and also seamless, high-quality cloud services.”

SkyBox Builds LEED Silver Houston Data Center

Skybox Datacenters, a Dallas-based data center developer, has begun construction on an 86,960-square-foot data center in the fast-growing Energy Corridor of Houston, Texas.

The new Skybox Houston One facility initially offers four private 10,000-square-foot data halls and could be expanded to 12 data halls within its 20-acre campus.  The facility is designed to a LEED Silver standard and the FM I-150 roof system with concrete roof deck is designed to resist 190 mph hurricane grade winds.  It boasts 12.5 megawatts of critical load and is powered by a loop-fed, 300-megawatt electric utility substation immediately adjacent to the site.

"Houston has become a very dynamic datacenter market over the past 2-3 years.  A meaningful contributor to the market has been major oil & gas firms and their need for fast, low-latency access to geoseismic data," says Bryan Loewen, global datacenter practice leader at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. "Additionally, we expect the requirements for local datacenter product to only increase as the reliance and dependence on technology increases for all companies in the greater Houston market."

AT&T Confirms All-Fiber GigaPower Rollout for Nashville

AT&T confirmed that it will rollout its all-fiber GigaPower network in the City of Nashville and is also considering five other Tennessee areas – Clarksville, Franklin, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill as candidate municipalities for the service..

The AT&T GigaPower network will provide services offered over an all fiber network featuring symmetrical upload and download broadband speeds up to 1 Gigabit per second, and AT&T's most advanced TV services to consumers and businesses.

Specific locations of availability and pricing for the Nashville market will be announced at a later date.

  • On April 21, 2014, AT&T announced a major initiative to expand its ultra-fast AT&T GigaPower fiber network to up to 100 candidate cities and municipalities across 25 markets nationwide.  

  • As part of its proposed acquisition of DIRECTV, AT&T has also committed to extend the all-fiber AT&T GigaPower network to an additional 2 million customer locations.

VisionChina and Huawei Contemplate Free Wi-Fi for Public Transport

VisionChina Media Inc., a company that currently operates over 100,000 digital display screens in subway stations in 19 Chinese cities, is looking to Huawei and China Unicom to help launch a free Wi-Fi service for the public transport sector.  The idea is to provide free Wi-Fi with advanced video and location-based services in urban buses and trains.  The 3G/4G/LTE network would be used for backhaul.

"We believe the establishment of a national WIFI network across China's mass transportation systems will deliver unique value to urban commuters and national and multinational advertisers alike," said Mr. Limin Li, VisionChina Media's chairman and chief executive officer. "We aim to provide ubiquitous, high quality internet access that will make the daily commute for tens of millions of daily riders more enjoyable, while offering advertisers big data analytics and precision marketing op that will help ensure ads reach their audiences more effectively."

ViaSat Acquires Gray Labs for High-rate Satellite Modem

ViaSat has acquired a high-rate modem product line and custom spacecraft technologies for earth observation from Gray Labs Inc., a private company based in Georgia. Applications include high-speed intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) data communications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ViaSat plans to continue to support Gray Labs products and customers with state-of-the-art design from its Duluth, Georgia campus. The former staff of Gray Labs has relocated to ViaSat facilities, and Dr. Jim Gray, former Gray Labs president, has assumed a senior consulting position at ViaSat where he will help expand the capabilities of satellite-to-earth communications for ISR.

"The output of ISR sensors is growing exponentially, so maximizing satellite data rates is increasingly important," said Kent Leka, VP of Satellite Ground Systems at ViaSat. "The expertise we obtained from Gray Labs in high-rate communications gives us important new ways to deliver a higher level of performance and increased data throughput for commercial and government customers. We're also gaining technical expertise and an entrepreneurial spirit that the Gray Labs team has in common with ViaSat."

Mavenir Posts Q2 Revenue of $33 Million, up 29% YoY

Mavenir Systems reported Q2 revenue of $33.3 million, an increase of 29% year-over-year and 16% quarter-over-quarter. GAAP operating loss for the second quarter of 2014 was $(2.2) million, compared with $(0.9) million in the second quarter of 2013 and $(2.2) million in the first quarter of 2014.

"We achieved a number of financial and business milestones again this quarter. The company delivered a strong quarter with strong financial results, again setting a new quarterly revenue record with Gross Margin above the high end of our guidance range,” said Pardeep Kohli, president and chief executive officer, Mavenir Systems. “Mavenir is seeing momentum in our two major areas of focus that are driving mobile network transformation - the adoption of all-IP technology and the build out of next generation networks using software-based solutions. LTE network transformation has begun in key markets with several VoLTE launches and announcements in the second quarter indicating that 2014 is the year of VoLTE.”

For Q3, Mavenir provided an estimated revenue range from $31.0 million to $33.0 million, reflecting growth of 19% to 27% over the third quarter of 2013.

Telefónica’s Movistar Pay TV Service Launches Cloud DVR with ALU

Telefónica’s Movistar pay TV service in Spain has implemented a network-based DVR service that gives subscribers access to up to 350 hours of personal online recording through their set-top boxes.

The service uses Alcatel-Lucent’s Cloud DVR solution, which also includes a "mosaic" TV feature for major sporting events also allows customers to select between six different streams of the live action.

TE Connectivity Floats $1 Billion in Senior Notes

TE Connectivity Ltd. (NYSE: TEL) ("TE Connectivity") today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Tyco Electronics Group, has priced an offering of:

  • $500 million aggregate principal amount of its floating rate senior notes due 2016;
  • $250 million aggregate principal amount of its 2.350% senior notes due 2019; and
  • $250 million aggregate principal amount of its 3.450% senior notes due 2024.