Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Google Advances its Cloud Platform

Google is accelerating its push into enterprise cloud services.

At an event in San Francisco, Google announced important updates to its Cloud Platform. Here are some highlights.

Google Container Engine -- provides the ability to run Docker containers in Google compute clusters, powered by Kubernetes. Docker containers bring workload mobility, making it easier to move applications between development machines, on-premise systems, and the public cloud.

Google Cloud Interconnect via three new connectivity options:

  • Direct Peering - a fast network pipe directly to Google in over 70 points of presence in 33 countries around the world.
  • Carrier Interconnect - connect to Google through 7 new carrier partners including Verizon, Equinix, IX Reach, Level 3, TATA Communications, Telx, and Zayo. 
  • VPN Connectivity - Google is planning to introduce VPN-based connectivity for customers to create a secure line directly to Google over the public Internet.
    (more networking news expected on Wednesday)

Firebase Mobile Solution -- Richer Realtime Queries is generally available. Mobile Developers can now sort and filter their Firebase data by arbitrary fields, making Firebase apps faster and easier to build.   Triggers, which will be available later this year, enables developers to define webhooks that are sent to external APIs when certain conditions are met.

Price reductions -- Network egress (47%), BigQuery storage (23%), Persistent Disk Snapshots (79%), Persistent Disk SSD (48%), and Cloud SQL (25%). These are in addition to the 10% reduction on Google Compute Engine that we announced at the beginning of October and reflect our commitment to make sure you benefit from increased efficiency and falling hardware prices.

Google Cloud Debugger -- making it easier to troubleshoot cloud applications.

Google Compute Engine Autoscaler -- uses the same technology that Google uses to seamlessly handle huge spikes in load and gives developers the ability to dynamically resize a VM fleet in response to utilization and based on a wide array of signals, from QPS of a HTTP Load Balancer, to VM CPU utilization, or custom metrics from the Cloud Monitoring service.

Bitnami announced its Launchpad for Google Cloud Platform -- almost 100 additional apps and development environments.

Fastly announced a collaboration with Google Cloud Platform, that improves content delivery and performance at the edge.


SDN Open Network Operating System Launches from On.Lab

The Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab) launched an open source SDN Open Network Operating System (ONOS) for Service Providers that enables agile service creation and deployment at scale on any hardware, including white boxes.

ONOS, which will be released on December 5th, delivers a highly available, scalable SDN control plane featuring northbound and southbound open APIs and paradigms for a diversity of management, control, and service applications across mission critical networks.

On.Lab said ONOS allows providers to gradually migrate their existing networks to SDN without requiring instant forklift upgrades by supporting a diversity of southbound devices and interfaces in addition to OpenFlow. Initial use cases for ONOS focus on new, innovative services and applications for service provider and WAN networks. These include examples such as: multi-layer optimization and traffic engineering over packet optical core; seamless peering of SDN islands with the Internet; SDN-based WAN control with segment routing; bandwidth calendaring; bandwidth and network provisioning; and a variety of configuration applications.

Another really important ONOS use case is Network Functions as a Service (NFaaS) – this is a scalable, easy to deploy and manage NFV where the smallest unit of provisioning is a “service.” These services can be managed easily, scaled up or down and composed together to create new value-added services. NFaaS truly enables service innovation, network optimization and cost reduction. Examples of NFaaS include caching, deep packet inspection, load balancing and security applications.

Founding members who are funding and contributing to the ONOS initiative include AT&T, NTT Communications, Ciena, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel, NEC; and members who are collaborating and contributing to ONOS include Infoblox, SRI, Internet2, CNIT and Create-Net.

"Software-defined networking can radically reshape the wide area network,” said John Donovan, senior executive vice president, AT&T Technology & Operations. “The introduction of ONOS provides another open source SDN option designed for service provider networks with the potential to deliver the performance, scale, availability and core features that we value.”

“ONOS is built from scratch, from the ground-up, to be highly available, fast and extensible. It can be used to control existing equipment or new white boxes, allowing service providers to gain more control of their networks and reduce costs,” said Nick McKeown, professor of CS and EE at Stanford and faculty director of the Open Network Research Center.

"By now, SDN is deployed in data centers worldwide, based on proprietary software,” said Scott Shenker, professor of CS at UC Berkeley and faculty director of the Open Network Research Center. “The next frontier for SDN is service provider networks, where large network operators need to program their networks to create new, differentiated services. To enable this, we need a highly available, scalable control plane such as ONOS upon which new services can be instantiated and deployed.”

“NTT Communications and ON.Lab are well aligned in our goals for developing SDN for service provider networks,” said Yukio Ito, senior vice president and board member at NTT Communications. “We have been at the forefront of deploying SDN in carrier networks. We recognize the need for an open source network OS that provides carrier grade features to deliver carrier grade services. With ONOS’ northbound abstractions we now have an opportunity to develop control, management, and configuration applications quickly. We are excited to pilot use cases on ONOS in 2015.”


Riverbed Boosts its WAN Optimization for Hybrid Enterprise Clouds

Riverbed rolled out significant enhancements to its flagship products – Riverbed SteelHead 9.0 and Riverbed SteelCentral AppResponse 9.5 – with a focus on visibility, control, and optimization to accelerate performance of on-premises, cloud, and SaaS applications. The company sees enterprises moving rapidly to hybrid cloud architectures, where business traffic flows over both predictable WAN trunks and myriad Internet links between mobile users and their favorite cloud services. The new challenge is not only to handle congestion, but to ensure security, control and visibility of these new "Shadow IT" resources.

“Riverbed is now poised to do for cloud and SaaS applications what we’ve done for more than 1100 applications across the wide area network for the last decade,” said Jerry M. Kennelly, Riverbed Chairman and CEO, speaking at its Riverbed FORCE 2014 conference in San Jose, California.  

Riverbed customers have now deployed over 750,000 SteelHead appliances, giving the company a deeply embedded platform upon which to build further innovations in network management.

To accelerate the transition to global, hybrid enterprise networks, the company is also kicking off a Riverbed-Ready Technology Alliance program with 17 charter program members. Partners can leverage Riverbed open APIs and additional development tools to help with customization, integration, and automation.

Some highlights of the coming enhancements to the Riverbed platforms:

SteelHead 9.0 integrates with SteelCentral AppReponse 9.5 to provide visibility of on-premises, cloud, and SaaS apps.

  • SteelCentral AppResponse 9.5 can measure end-user experience for both SteelHead-optimized and non-optimized enterprise web and SaaS applications for faster, more effective monitoring, and troubleshooting
  • SteelHead 9.0 can group applications according to their type and business priority to automate SLA activation for different types of apps.
  • SteelHead 9.0 brings centralized, application-driven control of hybrid networks with “business intent”-based policies that make it easy to configure and manage path selection, quality of service (QoS), and secure transport.
  • With Path Selection, SteelHead 9.0 intelligently derives all network paths and, based on business needs then prioritizes, secures and delivers business-critical applications over the fastest networks, while less critical applications are sent over the Internet. For example, Microsoft Lync voice traffic can be delivered over MPLS, while Lync video traffic is directed to the Internet.
  • SteelHead 9.0 identifies over 1,100 applications – on-premises, cloud, and SaaS – which can be optimized for maximum productivity. Riverbed is rapidly expanding the number and type of applications that SteelHead recognizes, with a particular focus on SaaS apps.

  • Geo IQ for Microsoft Office 365 – The latest release of SteelHead 9.0 also offers Geo IQ for Microsoft Office 365, which ensures users are always connected to the native mailbox for optimal performance no matter where the Office 365 mailbox or the user is located.


Brocade Expands its Campus Switching Line-up, Adds OpenFlow 1.3

Brocade unveiled a number of new campus network products, including the Brocade ICX 7750-based distributed chassis, the new Brocade ICX 7450 enterprise campus stackable switch, and the availability of OpenFlow 1.3 support for emerging campus SDN applications.

Highlights of the Expanded Brocade Campus Strategy:

Brocade ICX 7750

  • a 1U fixed form factor 10/40 GbE switch with up to 32 40 GbE or 96 10 GbE ports per unit, 
  • Delivers a scale-out architecture enabling up to 12 Brocade ICX 7750 switches to be stacked across the campus in a more flexible topology for network aggregation and core layers
  • Provides consolidated management touch points and support for SDN to automate network configuration tasks

Brocade ICX 7450 Switch

  • Up to 12 switches can be stacked for 160 Gbps of stacking bandwidth, and long-distance stacking using open-standards QSFP+ ports to enable single-point management across the campus
  • Modular design with three expansion slots for a choice of 1, 10, or 40 GbE uplinks
  • Power over HDBaseT (PoH), to power video surveillance and video conferencing equipment, VDI terminals, and HD displays directly from the switch

OpenFlow 1.3 Support for the Brocade ICX Product Family

  • Brocade OpenFlow Hybrid Port Mode supports both OpenFlow forwarding and normal routing traffic forwarding, enabling a seamless transition to real-world SDN deployment
  • OpenFlow is universally supported in Brocade ICX switches whether deployed individually, in mixed stacks, or in distributed stacks for SDN implementation flexibility across wiring closets
  • Campus customers can build a reliable SDN network that has been certified with the OpenDaylight-based Brocade Vyatta Controller and emerging SDN applications

In addition, Brocade and Aruba are working together on open standards-based unified wired and wireless network access. The collaboration is expected to yield new product releases of Brocade Network Advisor 12.3, Aruba Airwave 8.0, and Brocade FastIron 8.0.20 with Aruba ClearPass CoA support.


Wind River Partners on HP Helion OpenStack Solutions for NFV

HP and Wind River have entered into a partnership to develop solutions with HP Helion OpenStack technology to enable carrier grade network functions virtualization (NFV) capabilities.

HP Helion OpenStack solutions with carrier grade capabilities will be available in calendar year 2015.

Key benefits of the HP Helion OpenStack-Wind River integrated solutions will include:

  • Reliability – Carrier grade Linux and kernel-based virtual machine (KVM) hypervisor, advanced self-healing, and high availability add-ons for OpenStack Control Plane to enable service availability levels that carriers and CSPs demand
  • Performance – Carrier grade accelerated vSwitch for high performance networking, advanced NFV workload placement to maximize the number of subscribers supported per server, utilization of system topology to optimize Virtual Network Function (VNF) performance, and an availability and affinity model designed to ensure VNF service availability while providing max performance with the lowest latency
  • Manageability – Scheduling and orchestration of workloads, security features to meet carrier needs, and open, standards based applications programming interfaces (APIs)

“The telecom industry is eager to tap into the vast potential of NFV. By taking advantage of a virtualized or cloud environment, service providers can easily and quickly introduce new high-value services while reducing costs. In every case, maintaining carrier grade reliability is critical,” said Jim Douglas, senior vice president and CMO, Wind River. “By partnering with a leader like HP, we’re enabling a new generation of carrier grade, cloud-enabled NFV deployments for our customers in this changing market.”


Microsoft Partners with Dropbox

Microsoft announced a partnership with Dropbox that will allow Office applications to work better with Dropbox folders.

Over 1.2 billion people use Office. Dropbox has more than 300,000,000 users and has become home to more than 35 billion Office files.

“In our mobile-first and cloud-first world, people need easier ways to create, share and collaborate regardless of their device or platform,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “Together, Microsoft and Dropbox will provide our shared customers with flexible tools that put them at the center for the way they live and work today.”


  • Dropbox is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in Austin, New York, Dublin, and Sydney.  The service is now available in 19 languages.

Stratoscale Raises $32M for Data Center OS

Stratoscale, a start-up based in Herzeliya, Israel, raised $32 million in Series B funding for its distributed data center operating system.

Stratoscale’s rack-scale architecture aims to transform standard x86 servers into a hyper-converged infrastructure for cloud services while supporting both containers and virtualization on the same platform.  Stratoscale’s true “plug and play” architecture supports OpenStack and Docker.

The funding round was led by Intel Capital, with participation by Cisco® Investments and SanDisk, as well as other investors including the original series A investors, Battery Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP).


Nuage Networks Gains Oracle Exastack Ready

Nuage Networks announced that its Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) has achieved Oracle Exadata Ready, Oracle Exalytics Ready, Oracle Database Appliance Ready, Oracle Big Data Appliance Ready, Oracle Linux Ready and Oracle VM Ready statuses through Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN).

Nuage Networks said it is committed to supporting enterprise-grade Oracle environments to accelerate moving enterprises toward cloud architectures that meld application-driven virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN) technology using open technology platforms.

“We’re pleased to work with Oracle and to receive seven new Oracle Exastack Ready statuses to date. The Oracle Exastack program and Oracle PartnerNetwork have helped us to provide customers with the confidence that our Virtualized Services Platform is supported and ready to run with Oracle products and solutions,” said Sunil Khandekar, CEO of Nuage Networks.