Monday, September 8, 2014

802.11ac Drives Industry Refresh Cycle

802.11ac pushes Wi-Fi into the gigabit domain. We are now seeing .11ac shipping as standard on smartphones, tablets, laptops and wide range of consumer and business access points.

Bringing gigabit power to the last link means that its time to upgrade other segments of the network and the numbers are now showing faster uptake than in previous upgrade cycles.

This video, sponsored by Vitesse Semiconductor, brings together thought leaders from across the ecosystem to discuss why 802.11ac is important and how it is driving an industry upgrade cycle, including:

  • Edgar Figueroa, President of the Wi-Fi Alliance
  • Matthew Gast, Director of Advanced Technology, Aerohive Networks
  • Chris DePuy, Vice President, Dell'Oro Group
  • Martin Nuss, Chief Technology Officer, Vitesse Semiconductor
  • Ben Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer, Aruba Networks
  • Chris Spain, Vice President, Cisco
  • Pravin Bhagwat, Co-Founder and CTO, Airtight Networks
  • Larry O'Connell, Product Marketing Director, Vitesse Semiconductor

Intels Aims Xeon E5-2600/1600 v3 at Software-defined Data Centers

Intel unveiled its latest generation Xeon processor E5-2600/1600 v3 product families for software-defined data center loads, including in servers, workstations, storage and networking infrastructure. The big improvements over the previous generation include 3X performance gain, better energy efficiency and enhanced security. The devices use Intel's 22nm, 3-D Tri-Gate technology.

Some highlights of the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 product family:

  • A new cache monitoring feature provides data to enable orchestration tools to intelligently place and rebalance workloads resulting in faster completion times. This also provides the ability to conduct analysis of performance anomalies due to competition for cache in a multitenant cloud environment where there is little visibility into what workloads consumers are running.
  • New platform telemetry sensors and metrics for CPU, memory and I/O utilization. With the addition of thermal sensors for airflow and outlet temperature, the visibility and control has increased significantly from the prior generation. The processors offer a holistic set of sensors and telemetry for any SDI orchestration solution to more closely monitor, manage and control system utilization to help maximize data center efficiency for a lower total cost of ownership.
  • Up to 18 cores per socket and 45MB of last-level cache.  This represents up to 50 percent more cores and cache compared to the previous generation processors.
  • An extension to Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (Intel AVX2)4 doubles the width of vector integer instructions to 256 bits per clock cycle for integer sensitive workloads and delivers up to 1.9x higher performance gains.
  • Increased virtualization density, allowing support for up to 70 percent more VMs per server compared to the previous generation processors.
  • Memory bandwidth constrained workloads will gain up to 1.4x higher performance compared to the previous generation with the support of next-generation DDR4 memory.
  • Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel AES-NI) have also been enhanced to accelerate data encryption and decryption by up to 2x without sacrificing application response times.
  • New "per-core" power states dynamically regulate and adjust power in each processor core for more power-efficient workload processing. 

Intel also noted that the Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors can be paired with the Intel Communications Chipset 89xx series featuring Intel Quick Assist Technology to enable faster encryption and compression performance to improve security in a wide range of workloads.

In addition, the new Intel Ethernet Controller XL710 family helps address the increasing demands on networks with capabilities to enable better performance for virtualized servers and networks. The flexible 10/40 gigabit Ethernet controller provides twice the bandwidth while consuming half the power compared with the previous generation.

"The digital services economy imposes new requirements on the data center, requirements for automated, dynamic and scalable service delivery," said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel. "Our new Intel processors deliver unmatched performance, energy efficiency and security, as well as provide visibility into the hardware resources required to enable software defined infrastructure. By enabling the re-architecture of the data center, Intel is helping companies fully exploit the benefits of cloud-based services."

Radisys Adds Support Intel Xeon E5 2600 v3 Series Processor

Radisys announced support for the new Intel Xeon E5 2600 v3 series processors with performance upgrades across its broad x86 product portfolio.  A new, standards-based ATCA-4700 blade for the Radisys T-Series Ultra and Pro and the latest Radisys T-Series Compact Rackmount Server are based on the new Intel Xeon E5 2600 v3 series processor.

Radisys said the performance boost makes these solutions well suited for SDN and NFV applications. Carrier-scale deployment of SDN and NFV will require platforms that can process hundreds of millions of data plane flows simultaneously, across thousands of Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs).

Radisys also noted Intel Data Plane Developer Kit (Intel DPDK) optimizations and support across its x86 product line to ensure customers get the best performance possible.  In addition, Radisys brings solutions and expertise in LTE, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and security to its broad range of applications. The combination of telecom-grade performance and a broad product portfolio optimized with Intel DPDK allows TEMs to focus resources on rapid innovation in the virtualized application arena.

“At Radisys, we’re focused on enabling the industry and our customers with leading COTS technology to maintain their market leadership,” said Keate Despain, vice president of business development, Radisys. “As we upgrade our T-Series portfolio and roll out new products with the latest Intel processor and virtualization capabilities, Radisys, with its broad and deep expertise across Telecom platforms, software and solutions, is very well positioned to help its customers successfully transition to the next-generation of Intel technologies.”

“The continued momentum towards adopting server, cloud and virtualization technologies in telecommunications networks will bring many benefits including lower operating costs and faster deployment of new services,” said Rose Schooler, Vice President and General Manager, Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group, Intel. “Radisys’ rapid adoption of telecom-grade products based on Intel’s newest E5-2658 v3 series processors, all optimized to operate with the latest DPDK technology, will help meet the needs of demanding data plane applications in today’s NFV and SDN deployments.”

Global Capacity to Acquire MegaPath’s National Aggregation Network

Global Capacity agreed to acquire the Network Services Business of MegaPath. The deal covers Megapath's wholesale business and national colocation aggregation network. Financial terms were not disclosed. Pivotal Group, a private equity group, will provide financing.

MegaPath's aggregation network delivers DSL, T1, Bonded T1, high-speed Ethernet, and cable via 4,200 Central Offices (COs) and an extended reach of an additional 25,000 COs across 235 metro markets in the U.S.

Global Capacity has focused on its One Marketplace, which helps businesses buy connectivity by combining interconnected, aggregated network with a Cloud application that automates the procurement of network services. Customers get a single interface through which to design, price and fulfill multi-network, multi-geography requirements, as well as a single SLA, contract and point of contact, and full network visibility and management.

MegaPath is maintaining its Voice network, MPLS network and security network.  It will focus on services.

“Today’s deal creates a more focused MegaPath, with increased access to capital to fund our strategic, high-growth, value-added services,” said D. Craig Young, Executive Chairman of MegaPath. “MegaPath now has a greater capability to invest in a product growth strategy to meet the needs of our customers and partners.”

After the deal closes, MegaPath will be the largest Global Capacity customer.

  • MegaPath was formed through the 2010 merger of Speakeasy, Covad Communications and the original MegaPath.

Vitesse and RubyTech Show 2.5G Managed Ethernet Switch Design for 802.11ac

Vitesse Semiconductor and RubyTech unveiled the industry’s first 2.5G managed switch reference design for 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi applications.

The design is ideal for Wave 2 802.11ac deployments, which can support access point uplink speeds up to 1.3G into the Enterprise LAN.  It is based on Vitesse’s recently introduced SparX-IVTM Ethernet switch family (VSC7442, VSC7444 and VSC7448) and software SDK.

Vitesse said 2.5G is the optimal choice for upgrading 802.11ac access aggregation links because it delivers up to 50% lower power and cost versus 10G.

“2.5G is really about giving Enterprises flexibility and finding the easiest and most cost-effective way to connect the new .11ac access points within current infrastructures using Cat5 cable,” said Larry O’Connell, product marketing director for Vitesse. “Access equipment with 10G uplinks is a clear cost and power overkill. Vitesse and RubyTech’s joint 2.5G reference design provides Enterprises a painless migration path to fully benefit from .11ac’s Gigabit speeds, while avoiding a complete network upgrade.”

Taiwan-based RubyTech specializes in design and manufacturing of networking products.

Crehan Research: Low-Priced Switches Drive Data Center Ethernet Growth

After a particularly weak first quarter, steep price declines helped propel the Ethernet data center switch market to new shipment highs in the second quarter of 2014, according to the most recent data center Ethernet switch report from Crehan Research Inc..

As shown in the accompanying figure, the growth was particularly pronounced in the high-speed Ethernet segment, which includes 10, 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet data center switches. In that segment, data center switch port shipments increased by one million ports during the single quarter alone. Cisco, which holds a strong leadership position in high-speed Ethernet, was responsible for much of the market growth, gaining share with its Nexus portfolio of data center switches.

“Besides typical seasonality, there were a number of factors that constrained the data center Ethernet switch market in 1Q14," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. "These included pockets of supply constraints, and possibly some customer buying pause while recently-introduced 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet data center switches and line cards with much lower prices were evaluated. As these factors eased and we moved into the seasonally stronger second quarter, the data center Ethernet switch market rebounded strongly," he explained.

In its previous long-range forecast report, Crehan Research forecast a stronger migration to higher Ethernet speeds as a result of the arrival of significantly lower-priced data center switches. The firm further expects that this migration will also be aided by the arrival of Intel’s Grantley-based server platforms, where it expects 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapters to be a much more popular server networking.

Nokia Launches Double Capacity LTE/Wi-Fi Picocell

Nokia Networks introduced a double-capacity small cell base station called the Flexi Zone G2 Pico that features a 4-pipe radio and twice the processing capability of its earlier Flexi Zone Micro/Pico base station.

The first Flexi Zone G2 Pico base station to be available will be a 3.5 GHz TD-LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation Pico with 4x4 MIMO for advanced LTE markets. The unit also integrates Wi-Fi 802.11ac for additional capacity in a compact 8 liter, 8 kg unit for easy siting and installation. It offers full software and feature parity of Nokia Networks macro base stations and packs the same Smart Scheduler and HetNet interference management features. The Flexi Zone G2 Pico BTS can also be used as a stand alone unit or paired with Nokia’s Flexi Zone Controller to create large small cell clusters that act as one eNodeB.

Nokia is also adding an indoor planning service enhanced by 3-D geolocation to pinpoint precise locations in high-rise buildings.

“Nokia Networks has demonstrated its commitment to small cell development by being the first supplier with macro parity small cells, and we’re now the first to introduce small cells with LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation capabilties,” said Randy Cox, head of Small Cell Product Management at Nokia Networks. “Operators have an ever-increasing need to provide users with the best mobile broadband experience in key indoor locations. The addition of unique 3-D geolocation technology ensures the best planning and optimization techniques for outstanding performance throughout these buildings - from the top floor boardroom to the ground floor cafeteria.”

Vitesse Adds MPLS-TP to Carrier Ethernet Software Suite

Vitesse Semiconductor announced availability of an MPLS-TP protocol software module for its CEServices software, which is complete turnkey solution for Carrier Ethernet access network equipment.

Vitesse’s offering includes advanced Operations and Maintenance (OAM) supporting service provider end-to-end provisioning, monitoring and managing of their Ethernet Virtual Circuits (EVCs).  Vitesse Serval-2, LynX-2 and Jaguar-2 Carrier Ethernet switch engines are the only merchant silicon solutions available today which can support both ITU (Y.1731) and IETF standards (BFD) for MPLS-TP OAM in hardware, enabling line rate performance.

Access equipment based on MPLS-TP can deliver capabilities such as enhanced protection and connection-oriented packet switching, ideal for the ongoing transition from TDM to packet-based

“We see MPLS-TP as a growing market requirement over the next few years – according to our global service provider research, over half of operators have deployed or plan to deploy MPLS-TP in the next two years,” stated Michael Howard, principal analyst for carrier networks and co-founder of Infonetics Research. “MPLS-TP is emerging as a must-have technology for service providers deploying an Ethernet Virtual Circuit-like architecture end-to-end over their network. Vitesse’s ViSAA technology building blocks can enable MEF CE 2.0 feature-full service delivery over Ethernet and MPLS-TP networks.”

“The potential capex and opex advantages of using an EVC-like architecture end-to-end over carrier networks are largely untapped today,” said Craig Pasek, software product marketing manager at Vitesse. “MPLS-TP gives Ethernet service delivery robustness, greater scale, stronger layering and protection. Turnkey solutions like Vitesse’s that readily enable MEF CE 2.0, feature-rich service delivery over Ethernet and MPLS-TP networks will be essential for carriers to fully leverage those capex/opex."

In January, Vitesse Semiconductor introduced its CEServices software suite for easier provisioning and management of Carrier Ethernet business services.

CEServices software works in tandem with Vitesse's ViSAA-enabled Carrier Ethernet switch engines -- Jaguar, LynX, Caracal, and Serval -- to simplify Ethernet business service provisioning and monitoring at greater scale and wire-speed performance with various standards-based capabilities including:
  • Service classification and MEF compliant policing to meet advanced Service Level Agreements (SLAs);
  • Performance Monitoring and Service Activation Measurements - RFC2544, Y.1731 and Y.1564;
  • Multi-operator OAM - Up and Down MEPs;
  • Extensive suite of Carrier Ethernet and MPLS/MPLS-TP networking protocols; and
  • SyncE and IEEE 1588v2 PTP protocol support with Vitesse's VeriTime, the industry's de facto highest accuracy IEEE 1588v2 synchronization technology.

For service subscriber Edge applications, such as SLAs, ViSAA Service Edge Software control functionality enables per EVC, policers, shapers, queues, tagging and marking, statistics and extensive OAM to ensure traffic flow compliance.

For network applications, CEServices software enables ViSAA networking functionality for provider bridge (Q-Q) tunneling. Traffic protection enables scalability, while ensuring reliability. CEServices also enables end point and immediate point access to MEF CE 2.0 capabilities and functions.