Thursday, November 13, 2014

News Roundup from AWS re:Invent

Amazon Web Services remains on a fast growth track and now has over one million active customers. Traffic, as measured in petabytes, on the Amazon S3 cloud storage service is up 137% over last year. The number of "instance hours" on the Amazon EC2 cloud compute service is likewise up 99% y/y.

Here's a roundup of cloud news from this week's AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.

New Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS) -- makes its possible to run any number of Docker containers across a managed cluster of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances using APIs and other tools. Amazon eliminates the need to install cluster management software, purchase and maintain the cluster hardware, or match hardware inventory to software needs. ECS sets up and manages clusters made up of Docker containers. It launches and terminates the containers and maintains complete information about the state of your cluster. Amazon said ECS can scale to clusters that encompass tens of thousands of containers across multiple Availability Zones.

New Amazon Aurora - a MySQL-compatible database engine. Aurora is a fully-managed, MySQL-compatible, relational database engine that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases. Storage is automatically replicated across three AWS Availability Zones (AZs) for durability and high availability, with two copies of the data in each Availability Zone.

Bigger Amazon Elastic Block Store volumes - General Purpose (SSD) can now be scaled up to 16 TB and provide up to 10,000 baseline IOPS (up from 1 TB and 3,000 baseline IOPS). Provisioned IOPS (SSD) can now store up to 16 TB and provide up to 20,000 Provisioned IOPS (up from 1 TB and 4,000 Provisioned IOPS).

New compute-optimized Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances based on the Intel Xeon E5-2666 v3 (code name Haswell) processor, which was custom designed specifically for EC2. It runs at a base speed of 2.9 GHz, and can achieve clock speeds as high as 3.5 GHz with Turbo boost.

New event notifications for Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) --  brings a new level of programmability to cloud storage. Notifications can be issued to Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) or Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS) when a new object is added to the bucket or an existing object is overwritten.

New AWS Lambda -- a new way to build and run applications in the cloud that lets you take advantage of your existing programming skills and your knowledge of AWS. Lambda is a zero-administration compute platform. You don't have to configure, launch, or monitor EC2 instances. You don't have to install any operating systems or language environments. Lambda is currently in preview status.

New AWS Service Catalog -- a tool that will allow any IT department to deliver AWS-powered services to internal users while maintaining consistency and control. This could help large IT shops reduce support costs and encourage organizations to realize the benefits of cloud computing.

New AWS Config -- a new service that captures the initial state of a client's AWS resources (EC2 instances and related items to start, with others planned) and the relationships between them, and then tracks creations, deletions, and property changes for analysis, visualization, and archiving.

New AWS Key Management Service (KMS) -- provides the client with centralized control over encryption keys. It makes it easier to implement encryption key management at enterprise scale.

New AWS Tools for Code Management and Deployment -- these are designed to help individual developers, teams of developers, and system administrators store, integrate, and deploy their code on the cloud. For instance, one tool efficiently deploys newly released code to a "fleet" of EC2 instances while taking care to leave as much of the fleet online as possible. It can accommodate fleets that range in size from one instance all the way up to tens of thousands of instances.

Netflix has 10+ PB on AWS S3, with 1.2 PB of reads daily and 100 TB written daily.

Nokia Demos Small Cell LTE-A Carrier Aggregation of over 200 Mbps

Nokia Networks demonstrated LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) carrier aggregation in small cells delivering a peak data rate of more than 200 Mbps.

The demo, which was conducted at a Nokia lab in Arlington Heights, Illinois, showed small cell LTE-A intra-site carrier aggregation.  The test aggregated 2 x 20 MHz of TD-LTE using a TD-LTE capable Category 6 device resulting in a throughput approaching 220 Mbps.

Nokia said this testing demonstrated that the performance of its Flexi Zone small cells can be doubled using a single micro or pico base station.

Nokia Flexi Zone small cells support up to 600 active users or devices to enable operators to meet future growth in demand. Commercial Flexi Zone small cell deployments are already supporting heavy traffic loads of more than 150 active users per cell – a figure exceeding typical specifications for other small cell products on the market. The installations have also achieved 100% availability, even under high traffic load, while offloading 80% of traffic from the operator’s macro network.

“The market success reflects the ongoing development of our Flexi Zone small cells solution. When we first announced Flexi Zone micro and pico base stations, we did what many pundits thought was impossible by packing a macro sector’s worth of capacity into the industry’s smallest outdoor small cell and bringing full macro software parity,” said Marc Rouanne, executive vice president, mobile broadband, Nokia Networks. “We also promised to show that it would be possible to software upgrade a small cell to LTE-A. Now we’ve done that too.”

Equinix Partners with Datapipe on Hybrid IT for AWS

Equinix announced a partnership with Datapipe to provide managed Hybrid IT Solutions for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The solution leverages Equinix’s global footprint of more than 100 International Business Exchange (IBX®) data centers and combines Equinix’s Cloud Exchange™ interconnection solution with Datapipe’s managed services and the AWS platform.

The companies said their joint solution provides improved security and performance, better control, and higher throughput versus connecting to AWS via the public Internet. It provides direct bandwidth for access to AWS services and the seamless integration with dedicated IT environments, such as complex databases, to support highly available, data-intensive applications. The result is improved user Quality of Experience (QoE) and more effective migration to and adoption of the AWS cloud.

Where are SDN and NFV today? @Pica8 Responds

What's been missing in the equation so far have been customers willing to move beyond the study phase, says Steve Garrison, VP of Marketing at Pica8. The focus at Pica8 is how to integrate SDN into an existing Layer 2 Switching / Layer 3 Routing environment.

See 90 second video:

SK Telecom Carries 2G/3G over LTE

SK Telecom has developed and commercialized "2G/3G over LTE" technology -- a world first.

"2G/3G over LTE" enhances the stability of 2G/3G mobile networks by utilizing LTE network as backhaul instead of fixed-line 2G/3G infrastructure. SK Telecom said the wireless backhaul network could prove to be more resilient than fixed-line 2G/3G infrastructure in the event of man-made or natural disasters.  In Korea, mobile networks typically have structural redundancy.  The LTE network can replace one of the two fiber-optic transmission networks in the redundancy network structure, thus enhancing the operator’s network building and operating efficiency.

SK Telecom plans to apply the technology to 600 base stations by 2016.

Choi Seung-won, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Engineering Office said, “With 2G/3G over LTE, SK Telecom’s 2G and 3G customers will be able to experience a more stable and seamless service. Our efforts will continue to keep improving customer satisfaction through new and innovative technologies that enhance the quality of service for all our customers.”

SK Telecom demonstrated live LTE-Advanced Tri-Band Carrier aggregation in its commercial network, achieving downlink speeds of up to 300 Mbps. The demonstration, which was conducted in partnership with Ericsson, combined three separate bands of 10 MHz, 10 MHz and 20 MHz bandwidth.  SK Telecom believes the demonstration will serve as yet another opportunity for the company to solidify its position as a leader in LTE-Advanced.

ZTE's Optical Transmission Record: 16 Tbps over 3,500km

ZTE announced an optical transport milestone:  24-hour, error-free transmission at 16 Tbps over 3,500 km.

The test used ZTE's WDM/OTN platforms with anced Nyquist WDM spectral compression optical modulation and optical impairments mitigation coherent reception techniques in the C band.  Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFA)  were deployed with 100 km span separations. The test achieved a spectral efficiency of 4bit/Hz/s.

"The successful test will enable ZTE to help operators increase network capacity several times over longer distances,” said Chen Yufei, Vice General Manager of Bearer Network Products at ZTE. “The strength of ZTE’s T-bit transmission technology helps our customers achieve sustainable growth in network bandwidth and reduce total cost of ownership.”

  • In September 2013, ZTE became the first equipment manufacturer to implement single-channel directly-detected 50Gb/s optical 64QAM-OFDM signal transmission and receiving and realize realtime fiber transmission of the signal, breaking the world record of single-channel transmission rate of 10Gb/s optical OFDM signal.
  • In October 2013, ZTE worked with Beijing Institute, China Telecom to complete 1T ultra long-distance optical transmission realtime system experiment and make the world record of realtime transmission over 3200km. In March 2014, ZTE became the first in the world to implement realtime transmission of dual carrier 100Gb/s directly detecting 16QAM-OFDM signal.

Nokia Networks and HP Advance their NFV Partnership

Nokia Networks and HP are moving ahead with their partnership to offer a telco cloud solution compliant with ETSI NFV principles and designed to provide operators with an open source-based cloud.

The companies said they will provide telco operators with an integrated solution enabling Nokia Networks virtualized network functions (VNFs) to run on a cloud infrastructure layer that integrates HP data center hardware, hypervisor and virtual infrastructure manager, based on HP Helion OpenStack technology.

Telco cloud virtualized network function management will be performed by Nokia’s Cloud Application Manager.  The cooperation extends beyond hardware and software to encompass the technical, services and commercial capabilities needed to deliver, maintain and operate a telco cloud.

Nokia Networks is already delivering the first commercial NFV solution which brings cloud technology to life with services such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE). It expects its virtualized network functions and cloud management solutions based on HP Helion OpenStack with carrier grade technologies to be available by mid-2015.

“Services are fundamental to enable the transformation that the cloud promises to operators for telco and IT applications. Working together, Nokia Networks and HP can deliver the expertise and technological leadership that mobile operators need to gain the full benefits of a complete telco and IT cloud solution – and all under one contract for simplicity,” said Igor Leprince, executive vice president Global Services, Nokia Networks.

“Operators want the same advantages enterprises have experienced with open source-based cloud solutions. HP Helion OpenStack with carrier grade technologies provides them with a clear path to get there,” said Saar Gillai, senior vice president/COO, HP Cloud and general manager, NFV, HP. “Together, Nokia Networks and HP plan to deliver a pre-integrated solution leveraging our cloud platform and their VNFs to provide customers with a simplified and faster means to deploy NFV services.”
  • In February 2014, Nokia and HP first announced a Telco Cloud partnership.

  • Why OPNFV? Prodip Sen, CTO for Network Functions Virtualization at HP and Reino Tammela, Head of Nokia's Technology Center in Espoo, discuss the reasons for a new industry initiative outside of ETSI's ISG for NFV.  The new project aims to accelerate deployments. The jump-start does not aim to replace on-going standards development but to take a pragmatic approach to market demands.

At the end of September, The Linux Foundation launched the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV) with the goal of accelerating the commercial introduction of NFV products and services.

OPNFV will establish a carrier-grade, integrated, open source reference platform that industry peers will build together to advance the evolution of NFV and ensure consistency, performance and interoperability among multiple open source components. Because multiple open source NFV building blocks already exist, OPNFV will work with upstream projects to coordinate continuous integration and testing while filling development gaps.

Microsoft Acquires Aorato for Enterprise Cloud Security

Microsoft has acquired Aorato, a developer of enterprise security solutions.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Aorato, which is based in Israel, uses machine learning to detect suspicious activity on a company’s network. Key to Aorato’s approach is the Organizational Security Graph, a living, continuously-updated view of all of the people and machines accessing an organization’s Windows Server Active Directory (AD).

Microsoft said the acquisition will give customers a new level of protection against threats through better visibility into their identity infrastructure.

Mavenir Acquires Stoke for LTE Security Gateways

Mavenir Systems agreed to acquire Stoke, a developer of mobile gateways, for $2.9 million in cash plus the assumption of approximately $1.9 million of indebtedness..

Stoke, which is based in Santa Clara, California, supplies LTE Security Gateways. Its customers include NTT Docomo and Softbank. Stoke also has relationships with integrators including Net One Systems and Macnica Networks in Japan and Samsung in South Korea.

Mavenir said the acquisition will help expand its global reach, especially in Japan and South Korea.  The LTE Security Gateway adds to its product portfolio.

"The transition to all-IP requires robust, high-performance security solutions at the access and interconnect points to 4G LTE networks. Combined with our Session Border Controller (SBC) and evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG), Stoke's LTE Security Gateway (SEG) enables Mavenir to deliver a complete, secure, end to end solution to our customers globally," stated Pardeep Kohli, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mavenir Systems.

  • In 2010, Stoke announced that DOCOMO was deploying its SSX-3000 gateway to aggregate LTE eNodeB radio transmission base stations.  Functional verification of the Stoke SSX-3000 as well as its proposal and sale to DOCOMO was handled by Net One Systems, Stoke's distributor in Japan. 
  • In January 2011, Stoke raised $17 million in Series E funding for its mobile broadband gateways. This funding round was led by new investor Focus Ventures, participation from existing investors included DAG Ventures, Integral Capital Partners, Pilot House Ventures, Net One Systems Co., DoCoMo Capital Ltd, Mobile Internet Capital, Inc, Sequoia Capital, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. This brought Stoke's total funding to approximately $92 million. 

Nokia Networks Confirms 3G Contract with Bharti Airtel

Bharti Airtel has awarded a 3G contract to Nokia Networks to upgrade its 3G network in the Mumbai, West Bengal and Bihar telecom circles.

The upgrade, which will use Nokia’s latest Single RAN Advanced platform, will be an India-first dual band, dual carrier 3G network implementation of refarmed 900 MHz spectrum paired with Mumbai’s existing 3G network on 2100 MHz. This will enable higher throughput and thus improved 3G services for Bharti Airtel’s customers.

Under the contract, Nokia Networks will supply its Single RAN Advanced platform, based on its energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station**. This multi-standard radio platform is optimal because it will also support Bharti Airtel in its TD-LTE rollout and pave the way to FDD-LTE in the near future. In addition, Nokia Networks will deploy its Flexi Lite Base Station, a small all-in-one base station optimized for indoor and outdoor micro-cell deployments to provide the best coverage in densely crowded areas. Nokia will also supply its extremely compact, highly scalable and flexible multi-technology, all-IP multicontroller RNC (mcRNC).

“This deal bolsters our long-term partnership with Bharti Airtel, and we are committed to helping the operator provide further improved mobile broadband experience for its customers,” said Sandeep Girotra, Vice President and Head of India region, Nokia Networks. “While Nokia’s Single RAN Advanced platform will ensure a reliable 3G mobile broadband connectivity, our comprehensive services will ensure smooth deployment.”