Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cisco Scales its UCS Strategy for the Cloud and IoT

Cisco announced a number of additions and enhancements to its Unified Computing System (UCS) portfolio including new modular solutions for the largest cloud-scale applications, as well as a mini server aimed branch offices.

Under the banner "Powering Applications at Every Scale", Cisco said the mission of its fourth generation Unified Computing System is to deliver Fast IT that helps customers power applications of all sizes and add intelligence at the edge, at the core, and at the scale of cloud.

New Cisco UCS M-Series Modular Servers leverage Cisco System Link Technology for a disaggregated server architecture suited for cloud-scale deployments, where one application runs across multiple servers. Cisco said its optimized approach can eliminate up to 95% of the system components duplicated in a traditional server design, which combined with the simplicity of UCS Management, can deliver up to 36% combined TCO savings. The design features shared power and cooling at the chassis level, shared network I/O, shared storage, stateless management, and no duplication of subsystems at server level.

In addition, the new Cisco UCS C3160 Rack Server, featuring high-capacity local disk storage, is designed for distributed data analytics and object stores, unstructured data repositories, and media streaming and transcoding.

The new Cisco UCS Mini is an all-in-one solution that delivers servers, storage and networking in a compact form factor.  Cisco is aiming for a new segment of customers operating large numbers of remote sites or branch offices.

In a launch event in New York City, Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior described the new UCS platform as the industry's most efficient design for integrated compute/storage/networking at cloud scale.

  • Cisco first introduced its UCS line in 2009.
  • As of the end of FY14, Cisco UCS hadover 36,500 customers, and was on a 30% year-over-year growth path.

Nokia Ships Commercial NFV, Debuts Cloud Network Director

Nokia Networks announced commercial shipment of its Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) for a telco cloud based on the ETSI NFV architecture. The first network implementation is scheduled to go live with a major operator by the end of 2014.

Nokia said the solution will be used for end-to-end VoLTE services.

The company is also debuting Cloud Network Director, an orchestration tool that will automatically deploy, configure, optimize and repair a set of virtualized network functions to simplify the deployment of services like VoLTE.

Nokia said its Cloud Network Director will meet the needs of the recently published ETSI NFV Management and Orchestration specification and is the key component of fully automated network lifecycle management.  It will comply with the ETSI NFV Orchestrator and have open interfaces for integration with Virtualized Network Function (VNF) managers from Nokia (called Cloud Application Manager) and other vendors. It will also be integrated with existing operations and business support systems. This multi-vendor capability ensures telco clouds can be implemented flexibly to match mobile broadband operators’ needs and integrate with existing systems.

“The prime motivations for operators to move to the telco cloud are business agility and network flexibility. We are making 2014 the year in which these benefits become reality for operators,” said Michael Clever, senior vice president of Core at Nokia Networks.

Nokia Networks is also announcing a telco cloud partner certification program to strengthen its wide-ranging telco cloud partner ecosystem. The program enables third-party software to be certified with Nokia Networks’ telco cloud solutions to deliver extra value by working with the company’s virtual network functions. This approach ensures operators get comprehensive solutions, in line with ETSI NFV, to meet the highest quality and security standards.

XO Communications Ties Into the Equinix Cloud Exchange

XO Communications will begin providing enterprises with high-speed, dedicated connectivity to multiple cloud service providers through the Equinix Cloud Exchange. The XO connectivity will extend to five Equinix IBX data centers across the United States including Washington, D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.

“As businesses of all sizes migrate more services and applications to the cloud, XO is taking a leadership role in enabling dedicated network access to a wide range of public cloud resources through both direct connections and cloud exchanges. As such, XO is very pleased to be one of the first network service providers to access the new Equinix Cloud Exchange. For enterprises, the evolving hybrid cloud architecture demands the security, visibility, high speed and flexible connectivity that XO will deliver via the Equinix Cloud Exchange,” stated Nicola Jackson, vice president, product and marketing, XO Communications.

Cisco and Red Hat Collaborate on Openstack Cloud

Cisco and Red Hat expanding their collaboration to target three new areas: OpenStack, Application Centric Infrastructure and Intercloud. The goal is to deliver a set of Intercloud-ready solutions designed to bring OpenStack to enterprise and service provider customers. Some highlights:

  • OpenStack: Cisco and Red Hat are working together to provide fully supported, certified platforms that deliver open source innovation and optimized functionality. The companies intend to collaborate to deliver validated architectures, a growing third-party ISV and IHV ecosystem, governance across clouds, and advanced services for lifecycle management of cloud solutions.
  • Application Centric Infrastructure: Cisco and Red Hat are extending the Cisco ACI policy framework to OpenStack environments, enabling customers to leverage greater policy-based automation in their cloud environments.
  • Intercloud: Red Hat is an integral component of Cisco's Intercloud ecosystem. In addition to developing an integrated infrastructure solution for enterprise and mid-market customers, Cisco and Red Hat intend to develop carrier-grade, service provider solutions for the Cisco Evolved Services Platform—Cisco’s software and virtualization platform for hybrid cloud deployments. Red Hat and Cisco also collaborate around OpenShift, Red Hat’s Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, and storage technologies, including Ceph.

“Cisco is working with its partners to build the Intercloud—an interconnected, global, ‘cloud of clouds’ connecting private, public, and hybrid clouds,” said Padmasree Warrior, chief technology & strategy officer at Cisco. “As the cloud industry pivots towards open source technology, Cisco and Red Hat are expanding our relationship and accelerating collaboration around OpenStack, Application Centric Infrastructure and Intercloud.”

“Open source technology has emerged as the catalyst for cloud innovation,” said Paul Cormier, president, Products and Technologies at Red Hat. “Cisco is a market leader in cloud infrastructure and integrated infrastructure, while Red Hat brings market leadership and deep domain expertise of open source and OpenStack. By combining our complementary strengths, Cisco and Red Hat have a unique opportunity to capitalize on this market disruption.”

AT&T NetBond to MPLS VPNs to Box Cloud

Box announced an alliance with AT&T under which AT&T business customers will be able to use the AT&T NetBond service as a highly secure on ramp to the Box cloud.

AT&T NetBond uses the carrier's MPLS-based VPN service instead of the public Internet. AT&T NetBond uses patented technology and dynamically scales networking resources as a company’s cloud needs change.  The new Box – AT&T NetBond solution is expected to be available in the first half of 2015.

“Box and AT&T are a powerful combination that provides companies with transformative solutions to mobilize their business while giving them streamlined access to the content they need for greater and enriched collaboration,” said Abhi Ingle, SVP Advanced Solutions, AT&T Business Solutions.

The companies are also working to integrate Box into AT&T Toggle, AT&T’s bring-your-own-device solution.

  • Earlier this week, Box unveiled several important enhancements to its cloud service, including Box Notes; introduced Box Workflow, a new product that reimagines business processes in the cloud; and Box for Industries, a new initiative to deliver end to end solutions tailored to specific industries, such as Retail, Healthcare and Media & Entertainment. In addition, the company also announced the availability of Box Retention Management and new metadata capabilities.

New Redfish Spec Targets Data Center and Systems Mgt

Dell, Emerson Network Power, HP and Intel are joining forces to write a new specification for data center and systems management that delivers comprehensive functionality, scalability and security.

The forthcoming Redfish spec uses a modern network interface style, allowing access to data using even simple, script-based programming methods. This solution will be designed to improve scalability and expand data access and analysis, help lower costs, and further enable feature-rich remote management while ensuring a secure solution that protects investment.

More information about Redfish will be available at next week's Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in San Francisco.

NVIDIA Sues Samsung and Qualcomm over GPUs

NVIDIA filed complaints against Samsung and Qualcomm at the International Trade Commission and in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, alleging that the companies are both infringing NVIDIA GPU patents covering technology including programmable shading, unified shaders and multithreaded parallel processing.

NVIDIA claims several Samsung products are in violation, including the Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 mobile phones; and the Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab 2 computer tablets. Most of these devices incorporate Qualcomm mobile processors -- including the Snapdragon S4, 400, 600, 800, 801 and 805. Others are powered by Samsung Exynos mobile chips, which incorporate ARM's Mali and Imagination Technologies' PowerVR GPU cores.

PMC Licenses HP Smart Array Intellectual Property

PMC-Sierra agreed to license HP's Smart Array software, firmware and management technology in order to provide more system value to new and existing server storage and data center customers. The license covers Smart Array technology and associated patents, including software and firmware IP related to RAID, HBA, switch, drivers and management tools. The deal also positions PMC as the supplier of key storage solution components across HP ProLiant Gen9 and beyond.

“I am pleased that HP and PMC will continue to partner to deliver industry-leading storage solutions and that PMC will be the supplier for this technology in HP ProLiant products,” said Greg Lang, president and chief executive officer of PMC. “This collaboration reflects the strong relationship we have enjoyed over several generations of products and paves the way for future generations of Smart Array solutions.”

Interxion Plans 4th Data Center in Stockholm

Interxion announced plans for its fourth data center in Stockholm, Sweden.

The new STO4 facility is expected to provide approximately 1,100 square meters of equipped space with approximately 1.5MW of customer power. The data center is being constructed on Interxion’s Stockholm campus at Kista, where nearly 50 carriers and ISPs are currently co-located.  The campus also has direct access to the Netnod Internet Exchange. It is scheduled to be operational in the second quarter of 2015.

Interxion also announced plans to expand its VIE2 data center in Vienna, Austria by an additional two phases, adding 1,600 square meters of equipped space and more than 3MW of customer power.