Thursday, September 18, 2014

Infinera Debuts its Cloud Xpress for the Metro Cloud

Infinera is expanding its reach from the long-haul, optical transport core to the metro and cloud data center interconnect space with the introduction of its Cloud Xpress family of metro optical platforms.

The Cloud Xpress is a compact, high-density, optical system optimized for the transport network that interconnects multiple data centers within a metro area. It leverages existing Infinera technologies, including its Photonic Integrated Circuit (PICs) and super-channel aggregation, to provide massive bandwidth in a form factor that data center operators can rack-n-stack and easily integrate into their operations.

In a press event in Santa Clara, California, Infinera predicted that hyper-scale cloud operators now building data centers packed with hundreds of thousands of servers, will soon need vast numbers of 100G connections between their metro data centers.  The Cloud Xpress aims to provide point-to-point hyper-scale bandwidth over distances of up to 200km without amplification.  On the client side, it supports 10GbE, 40GbE, 100GbE interfaces and on the line side its offers 500 Gbps WDM super-channels. It can be managed with a wide range of tools: CLI, the Infinera Network Management System—DNA as well as an API-driven SDN control.  The Cloud Xpress is currently in customer trials and commercial release is expected in December 2014.

Infinera said the key benefits of its Cloud Xpress for the metro cloud include:
  • Hyper-scale Density – The Cloud Xpress delivers one terabit per second (Tb/s) of input and output capacity in just two rack units (RU).  This means a single 42 RU rack can support an industry leading 21 Tbps of input and output capacity.
  • Simplified Operations – The Cloud Xpress is designed with a rack-and-stack form factor and a new software approach that will enable it to plug into existing cloud provisioning systems using open SDN APIs. By offering an experience similar to the server and storage infrastructure currently deployed in the cloud, the Cloud Xpress enables smooth integration into existing operational processes enabling cloud providers to scale quickly, reduce human errors and lower operational costs.
  • Lowest Power – The Cloud Xpress consumes half as much power as the current leader of the market for comparably-sized metro cloud solutions.

“The introduction of the Cloud Xpress for the metro cloud shows that Infinera is again bringing the right 100 Gb/s solution to market at the right time, marking our initial entry into the rapidly growing metro transport market with a unique solution for cloud data center interconnection,” said Tom Fallon, chief executive officer at Infinera. “At the same time, the introduction of the Infinera PXM underscores our continued investment in the long-haul market and our core business of building Intelligent Transport Networks for service providers around the world.”

Infinera also announced upgrades to the Infinera DTN-X packet optical network transport platform with the Packet Switching Module (PXM) for Carrier Ethernet and MPLS.  The PXM enables service providers to reduce the number of expensive router ports required to offer a portfolio of services based on Carrier Ethernet and MPLS.  The Infinera PXM solution is planned for general availability in the first quarter of 2015.

http://www.infinera.com








Blueprint: Carriers Set Their Sights on 1Gbps Rollouts with G.fast

By Kourosh Amiri, VP Marketing, Ikanos, Inc.

Demand for high-speed broadband access by consumers has never been more intense than it is today.  Rapidly increasing numbers of connected devices inside the home and the adoption of higher-resolution (4K and 8K) television are just the tip of the iceberg.  Home automation, remote patient monitoring, and multi-player gaming – among countless other applications – are contributing to an Internet of Things phenomenon that promises to drive bandwidth demands through the roof.

And carriers and ISPs are lining up to get a share of the prize, wondering how their current broadband technologies can evolve to meet the increasing demand.  In the case of telcos, for example, even with the potential of vectored VDSL2 to deliver aggregate bandwidths of up to 300 Mbps to consumers, competitive pressure continues to mount to deliver quantum increases in bandwidth.  To that end, G.fast, with its promise of up to 1Gbps service to each household, could roll out in initial trials in as little as 12-18 months.  

G.fast, a concept proposed in 2012 and achieving consent by the ITU-T standard body in December 2013, represents the next performance node in the evolution of xDSL. G.fast is defined to support up to 1Gbps over short (i.e., less than 100 meter) copper loops, and is designed to address gigabit broadband connectivity on hybrid fiber-copper carrier networks.  Service deployments are targeted from fiber-fed equipment located at a distribution point, such as a telephone pole, a pedestal, or inside an MDU (Multi-Dwelling Unit), serving customers on drop wires that span a distance of up to 100 meters.

G.fast – in the same way as existing ADSL and VDSL – takes advantage of fiber already deployed to cabinets or other nodes.  The proliferation of G.fast will come as service providers push fiber closer to homes, where a single distribution point will serve, typically, from 8 to 16 homes.

Why the interest in G.fast?  Even with vectored VDSL2’s ability to deliver hundreds of Mbps for Fiber to the Node (FTTN) applications (150Mbps aggregate performance on a 500-meter loop length demonstrated in many carrier lab  trials worldwide by Ikanos, and 300Mbps for shorter loops), the explosion in the number of devices per home and new services and applications is expected to drive strong interest in accelerating FTTdp with G.fast to market.  And, for carriers, the need to spur adoption of G.fast by their subscribers will play a lead role, keeping them in lockstep with competing services over cable and FTTH in the race to 1Gbps residential broadband connectivity.
Fortunately, much of the work in preparing the G.fast standard has already been completed, and chip suppliers have the consent of the ITU-T to start the development of G.fast chips, with some already making public announcements about their upcoming products.  (For example, Ikanos in October 2013 announced an architecture and development platform for G.fast.)

The infrastructure for G.fast is a variant of the infrastructure for VDSL2.  The primary difference is in the length of the copper pair that enters the residence.  G.fast will require shorter copper loops than those used with VDSL2 in order to accommodate the desired gigabit performance.  That, in turn, means that service providers must drive fiber closer to homes. In addition, carriers will need to ensure that the fiber-to-G.fast media converters at each distribution point will be backward-compatible with VDSL2.  Why?  To enable customers not yet subscribing to G.fast service (when it becomes available) to continue to receive VDSL2 service through G.fast transceivers in the network. This is a critical requirement for carriers looking to offer new services to their existing subscriber base.  And it is a practical consideration, as not all subscribers will choose to upgrade to these new services at the same time.  Without this VDSL2 backward-compatibility feature (also known as VDSL2 fallback), this transition to new services may end up creating many problems for carriers, including additional CAPEX and service disruptions.

As the adoption of G.fast nears, customer pre-qualification and self-installation are needed to ensure a smooth, cost-effective migration to G.fast.  Existing customers may be able to leverage new ADSL2 or VDSL2 CPE (or a software upgrade to their existing CPE) with advanced diagnostics to pre-qualify the line for G.fast service. Those diagnostics would be used to qualify the copper pair, check for RF noise, and advise whether any line conditioning actions would be required when installing the G.fast DPU.  What’s more, carriers expect that G.fast deployments will take place with virtually “no touch” installation and provisioning, setting the stage for more rapid adoption of the technology.

With the G.fast standard expected to be fully ratified later this year, and while deployment costs are still a matter of conjecture, and will potentially vary by geography, carrier, and specific network topologies, expectations are that they will undercut the costs of FTTH significantly.  And, with the current uncertainties in service providers’ plans and timing for broad rollouts of FTTH, the future for G.fast looks bright.

About the Author
Kourosh Amiri has more than 20 years of experience in the semiconductor industry. He has been responsible for the successful introduction of products targeting a range of applications in the networking, communications, and consumer segments. He joined Ikanos on February 2013 to lead the company’s global marketing and product strategy.Amiri was previously with Cavium, where he led marketing and business development for its emerging media processor group, and drove the strategy for turning Cavium into a leading supplier of wireless display media processors in multiple market segments, including smartphones and PC accessories. Prior to joining Cavium, Amiri held senior marketing and business development roles at Freescale and several venture-backed semiconductor start-ups, addressing a wide range of networking and media processing applications. Amiri has an MSEE from Stanford University and a BSEE from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

About Ikanos

Ikanos Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:IKAN) is a leading provider of advanced broadband semiconductor and software products for the digital home. The company’s broadband DSL, communications processors and other offerings power access infrastructure and customer premises equipment for many of the world’s leading network equipment manufacturers and telecommunications service providers. For more information, visit www.ikanos.com
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Telefónica Tests Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network

Cisco and Telefónica announced a collaboration focused on converged IP and optical networks. Specifically, Telefónica will be testing the Cisco Open Network Architecture, comprised of the Evolved Services Platform (ESP) and Evolved Programmable Network (EPN), which combine both hardware and software.  These capabilities include virtual network functions, software-defined networking (SDN) and advanced orchestration.

Some key points of the agreement:

  • Over the next two years, Cisco and Telefónica will be jointly using the Cisco WAN Automation Engine software, which automates and optimizes the engineering of the WAN network, provisioning flexible SLAs (Service Level Agreements) and ultimately, creating a better user experience.  
  • Telefónica and Cisco will collaborate on different use cases extracted from the Telefónica network topology, including multilayer restoration, the creation of a multidomain route and a multilevel by-pass, all of this with a multi-vendor approach in order to guarantee compatibility between products from different manufacturers.
     
  • The tests will be based on various hardware solutions from Cisco and other vendors that are widely used in the market. Cisco gears included such as Cisco CRS Series routers and transport platform Cisco Network Convergence System 2000.
     
  • The testing platform with also be using Cisco nLight, which is multilayer control technology (GMPLS, Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching) facilitating the exchange of information between the IP and optical layers to optimize operations and maximize the benefits of a convergent transport network.
     
  • Telefónica will be validating models which help minimize investment cost (by means of redundant and underutilized resources) and to achieve a unified network architecture that is more efficient, less complex and easier to upscale, downscale and operate, enabling it to obtain significant savings in operating and capital costs.

 "Architectural approaches based on network layers that are constructed and run independently generate inefficiencies of scale, provision and operation that must be resolved as soon as possible. What we need is an innovative focus capable of creating an optimally convergent transport infrastructure, and that's what we, along with Telefónica, are trying to provide leveraging SDN technology benefits,” stated Bill Gartner, Vice President of Optical Networking Group at Cisco.

http://pressoffice.telefonica.com/
http://www.cisco.com


In February 2014, Cisco introduced an Evolved Services Platform (ESP) for Service Providers that leverages its software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualization (NFV) offerings.

The Cisco ESP is a unified virtualization and orchestration software platform that creates, automates and provisions services in real time, across compute, storage and network functions, to deliver desired business outcomes for applications running across multiple domains.

Cisco said the primary characteristics of this virtualization and orchestration software platform are:

  • Open: Cisco ESP is multi-vendor and based on open standards and incorporating Openstack and Open Daylight (SDN) protocol suite, it is fully compliant with ETSI NFV MANO, 3GPP and more. With interoperation of third-party software, Cisco ESP works with Cisco’s virtual functions and with other vendors’ functions and applications such as Metaswitch Networks and Openwave Mobility.
  • Extensible: Cisco ESP offers the most comprehensive broad set of capabilities with more on the way and spanning across the entire service provider architecture – cloud, video, mobile and fixed – to provide service providers greater means to optimize their networks or create, automate the creation of new services as the business needs dictate.
  • Elastic: Cisco ESP allows service providers to seamlessly and dynamically scale their existing services while also dramatically accelerating deployment of new services and network functions. Resources are harnessed in an automated way when and where they are needed to enable providers deliver “On Demand” offerings at web speed.

Ericsson Exits LTE Modem Business

Ericsson announced its decision to discontinue further development of LTE modems and shift these resources to radio network R&D, including small cells.  Since taking over the modem business of the discontinued ST-Ericsson venture last year, Ericsson said market dynamics have shifted and price erosion has occurred. As a result, it no longer makes sense to continue in this space.

Ericsson's modem business has 1,582 employees distributed across the following main sites: Sweden (689), India (235), Germany (216), China (206), Finland (122).

Hans Vestberg, President and CEO of Ericsson said: "We have concluded the first phase of the modems strategy by successfully delivering the Ericsson M7450 modem. However, given the modem market dynamics and the development in small cells and indoor coverage markets, we believe resource re-allocation is more beneficial for the Ericsson Group and our customers overall."

However, the company will deliver commercially available Ericsson M7450 modem as planned.

http://www.ericsson.com/news/1856711


In August 2013, Ericsson and STMicroelectronics completed the previously announced break-up of their joint venture, ST-Ericsson.

Effective August 2, 2013 Ericsson took over the design, development and sales of the LTE multimode thin modem solutions, including 2G, 3G and 4G interoperability. In total, approximately 1,800 employees and contractors joined Ericsson at the time.

ST has taken on the existing ST-Ericsson products, other than LTE multimode thin modems, and the GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) connectivity solution sold to a third party, and related business as well as certain assembly and test facilities. In total, approximately 1,000 employees have joined STMicroelectronics.

Cisco to Acquire Memoir Systems for ASIC Design Expertise

Cisco agreed to acquire Memoir Systems, a start-up developing semiconductor memory intellectual property (IP) and tools that enable ASIC vendors to build programmable network switches with increasing speeds.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Memoir Systems, which is based in Santa Clara, California with offices in Armenia and India, pioneered a new approach to develop new memories for switching ASICs.  The company claims its Algorithmic Memory innovations can increase the performance of existing memory macros by up to 10X more Memory Operations Per Second (MOPS). Its Renaissance family of products provides drop-in replacements for existing embedded memories.

http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-announces-intent-to-acquire-memoirsystems/
http://www.memoir-systems.com/

  • Memoir Systems was founded in 2009 by Sundar Iyer and Da Chuang. Iyer co-founded Nemo Systems, where he was the CTO and Principal Architect. Nemo (acquired by Cisco Systems in '05), also specialized in memory algorithms. Chuang was a founding member of Abrizio Systems (a terabit switch fabric company acquired by PMC-Sierra in Aug ’99), and has past experience at both Nvidia and Adaptec. Prior to founding Memoir Systems, Chuang co-led the network memory group at Cisco Systems, where he helped architect and build multiple generations of high performance memory sub-systems for Cisco's Enterprise and Data Center Ethernet products.


Qualcomm Releases LTE Broadcast SDK

Qualcomm Technologies releases an LTE Broadcast Software Development Kit (SDK) to help software developers create applications that harness the unique benefits of LTE Broadcast connectivity and content delivery on LTE Broadcast capable devices featuring Qualcomm Snapdragon processors.

Qualcomm  is providing a common application protocol interface (API) that can be used in all regions around the world that are trialing, testing or deploying LTE Broadcast.  The LTE Broadcast SDK is the first development tool for LTE Broadcast in the mobile industry published for general availability and has been tested with multiple operators, OEMs, and application developers worldwide.

“LTE Broadcast will fundamentally transform the way we experience and interact with live content,” said Raj Talluri, senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The availability of our LTE Broadcast SDK will provide developers with the tools to innovate and create applications and services that will enable LTE Broadcast technology to reach its full potential. With a common API, the expansion of LTE Broadcast-

The LTE Broadcast SDK is available now through the Qualcomm Developer Network.

https://developer.qualcomm.com/

See also