Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2014 Top Blueprint articles on Network Architecture

Converge! Network Digest publishes articles from across the industry in our ongoing Blueprint Network Architecture series.  These articles provide insights on how new infrastructure is being deployed, how new technologies are changing the network, and how the big traffic trends are transforming the market.

We are pleased to announce the following Top Blueprint articles for 2014, based on overall impact to network architecture and interest from our readers.

Blueprint: Distributed and Virtualized Data Center Architecture

by Vinay Rathore, Sr. Director Solutions Marketing, Infinera 
While there has been a strong trend toward creating bigger and more powerful centralized data centers to meet end user needs, there has been another less notable trend toward pushing the data center closer to the end users for the same reasons.  Large data centers create efficiency through a centralized location that accommodates equipment that shares centralized resources (UPS, generators,...

Blueprint: The Rise of the Virtualized Network

By Sanjeev Mervana, Sr Director, Service Provider business, Cisco

As consumer’s bandwidth demands and quality experience expectations are increasing, service providers’ operational expenditures (OpEx) also are growing at an average rate of 11 percent each year. To address the needs of end-users and provide new, more lucrative services, operators are increasingly looking at adopting several new technology innovations  to reduce their OpEx and improve their bottom line – virtualizing many of their network functions is one of such innovation.     READ MORE

Blueprint: The Ethernet of Things

By Nicholas Ilyadis
VP & CTO, Infrastructure & Networking Group,  Broadcom Corporation

It’s hard to avoid the buzz these days about the Internet of Things (IoT), the next evolution of computing where the connections are made, not just between PCs and servers or across mobile devices but to billions of devices across the Internet.   But all those devices – and more – generate and consume data that has to go somewhere. The networking industry is responding to this coming data deluge with innovations that are intended to move data quickly, efficiently and reliably.  READ MORE

For 2015, we will be expanding our Blueprint series with more columns on more topics including 5G, Open Compute, OpenDayLight, OpenStack, IoT, VoLTE and software-defined everything.

If you have an idea for a Blueprint article, please see our editorial guidelines. 

Microsoft Activates Azure Government Cloud

Microsoft announced general availability of its Azure Government cloud service.

Key attributes include:

  • Isolation – All aspects of Microsoft Azure Government’s hyperscale infrastructure, including the data center, hardware, network and software, are isolated to meet the unique compliance standards of the U.S. public sector. This isolation covers all physical, logical and network components of the service.
  • Community – Azure Government is restricted to only a targeted set of government agencies and their solution providers, including federal, state, local, tribal and the Department of Defense.
  • Security – Data centers are secured using physical, logical and procedural controls. Important controls include secured access control to the data center, second person screened escorts, aisle cameras, and secured cabling. All security controls are audited and logged.
  • Screened personnel – Operations and support are performed by personnel who are United States persons, who have been background screened. These personnel are based in redundant Service Operating Centers (SOCs), which are greater than 500 miles apart.
  • Continental United States – All customer data, content, and organizational data (both at rest and in transit); all hardware, networking and other physical infrastructure; and all personnel reside in the Continental United States (CONUS).
  • Business continuity - Data centers are physically isolated from other cloud services and geographically distributed more than 500 miles apart. This enables geo-replication and integrity between locations that supports business continuity and disaster recovery.
  • East Coast region – Azure Government has an East Coast region in order to be in close proximity to customers and to, provide efficient high speed connections to Washington D.C. and surrounding areas.

Microsoft first announced its Azure Government cloud in March 2014 and since then over one hundred government customers and solution providers have been testing it.


ADVA Adds Fiber Access Link Monitoring

ADVA Optical Networking introduced its new FSP 3000 Access Link Monitoring (ALM) solution for providing greater insights into carrier fiber access networks.

The ADVA FSP 3000 ALM, which is currently in trials with several major operators, is a small, non-intrusive device that operates independently of data networking equipment and regardless of the bitrate and protocol the overlaying service is using. It provides visibility into the health of fiber links by analyzing reflections of a non-intrusive test signal in continuous real-time. It can simultaneously monitor up to 16 fiber access tails and supports distances of 30km.

ADVA said its solution is able to provide operators with up-to-the-second knowledge of their fiber plant and an understanding of where and what action may need to be taken to ensure continued service availability.

“Access networks are undergoing a radical transformation. Fiber is moving closer and closer to the end user,” said Christoph Glingener, CTO, ADVA Optical Networking. “But with this transformation comes the need for insight, for intelligence combined with cost-efficiency. As operators rapidly build their fiber access networks, they need to ensure they’re able to fully leverage their potential. Until now, applications that did not allow for active demarcation devices defaulted back to un-lit service models. Our ADVA FSP 3000 ALM solution with Optojack™ technology changes everything. This deceptively simple concept will forever change how operators sell their access applications. For the first time, they will be able to precisely monitor every aspect of their un-lit fiber access networks. For the first time, they will be able to offer strict SLAs. We’re talking about a new class of service offerings, a new source of revenue opportunity.”

Commercial availability is expected in early 2015.


IBM Gains Low-cost Cloud Routing Patent

IBM was awarded U.S. Patent #8,676,981 B2 "Routing Service Requests Based on Lowest Actual Cost within a Federated Virtual Service Cloud."  The company said the technique described by this patent uses analytics to increase cloud computing performance and reduce costs by dynamically moving workloads -- between or within cloud centers -- based on an automatic analysis that determines the most efficient and effective use of available resources.

IBM's patented invention automatically pools cloud computing resources from disparate cloud centers, enabling clients to improve performance and save money by reducing the amount of manual intervention needed to allocate hardware, software and services. The automated technique enables users have more control over where and how their cloud workloads are run and facilitates optimal use of a cloud infrastructure.

"Cloud delivery models are evolving and maturing and are creating new possibilities for end-users and third-party service providers to lower costs for IT deployments as they enter new markets and create new solutions," said Leonard Hand, IBM Master Inventor and lead inventor on the patent. "Our patented invention will give users more control over their cloud deployments so that they can extract the most value from their IT resources at the most optimal cost."


GlobeNet Deploys Infinera on US Terrestrial Network

GlobeNet, a wholesale provider of Latin and North America data network services, has deployed Infinera's DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform across its North America routes in the Northeast and South Florida.

GlobeNet's submarine cable network spans 23,500 km system and offers the lowest latency available between the Americas. The network links cable landing stations in Tuckerton, NJ and Boca Raton, FL, USA, with cable landing stations in Fortaleza (CE) and Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Brazil, St. David’s, Bermuda, Barranquilla, Colombia as well as Maiquetía, Venezuela.

GlobeNet has deployed an Infinera Intelligent Transport Network across its entire U.S. terrestrial backhaul network. The Infinera DTN-X offers GlobeNet the capacity to deliver 100 Gbps coherent transmission today via 500 Gbps super-channels, with a forward-scale design to support terabit super-channels in the future.

Infinera said this upgrade provides GlobeNet a network that can deliver over eight terabits per second (Tbps) of transmission capacity on a single fiber.

"GlobeNet's selection of an Infinera Intelligent Transport Network for its North America backbone underscores the value of our solutions to wholesale carriers operating mission critical networks," said Scott Chandler, Infinera vice president, North America sales. “The Infinera Intelligent Transport Network enables GlobeNet to automate, converge and simplify its optical transport network to reliably deliver advanced services to its customers.”


Nutanix Adds Data-at-Rest Encryption

Nutanix, which offers a converged appliance that combines compute/storage/networking for scale-out applications, announced a number of new security capabilities for its Virtual Computing Platform, including data-at-rest encryption.

The new security capabilities are available with Nutanix Operating System (NOS) 4.1 software, and help IT security teams meet stringent standards like HIPAA, PCI DSS and SOX. Nutanix hardware platforms now meet a number of certification standards including FIPS 140-2, NSA Suite B support (to Top Secret), Common Criteria EAL2+, NIST-SP800-131A and others.

Security features available in this release include:

  • Self-encrypting drives to secure data at rest, compliant with FIPS 140-2 Level 2 standards
  • Strong two-factor authentication, including the use of client certificates, to prevent unauthorized administrator log-ins
  • Nutanix Cluster Shield to limit administrator access in security-conscious environments by restricting shell logins.

“Security is required across the entire data center architecture, including server and storage systems. Unfortunately, legacy infrastructure components often lack the necessary controls and fail to meet common certification requirements,” said Simon Mijolovic, Senior Security Solutions Architect at Nutanix.


  • In August, Nutanix, a start-up based in San Jose, California, announced a $140 million Series E funding round at over a $2 billion valuation.

China Unicom Deploys Coriant hiT 7300 DWDM

China Unicom, a leading fixed and mobile service provider in China, has selected Coriant's hiT 7300 Multi-Haul Transport Platform to expand its 100G backbone network.  The deployment will link the cities of Wuhan, Hefei and Nanjing.

"We're constantly working to accelerate the expansion of our mobile communications network across China, while providing our customers with high-quality broadband communications and information services," said Mr. Guangquan Wang, Director of Network Technology, Network Technology Research Institute, China Unicom. "For this network expansion, we chose the Coriant hiT 7300 solution because it enables us to support an upgrade without interrupting existing traffic. It also provides us with the flexibility to add capacity as network demands increase."

"Our team has been working with China Unicom since 2006 and we're excited to enhance this network with a solution that enables virtually unlimited capacity growth and seamless scalability," said Pat DiPietro, Chief Executive Officer, Coriant. "Our Coriant hiT 7300 solution allows China Unicom to expand to 100G channels over existing 40G links without service disruptions."


Broadcom Raises Q4 Guidance, Announces Stock Buyback

Broadcom raised its financial guidance for the fourth quarter of 2014, increased its dividend and announced a stock buyback plan for 2015.

The company now expects its Q4 2014 revenue to approximately $2.075 — $2.150 billion, which is in the upper half of its previously guided range. Broadcom's quarterly dividend will increase by $0.02 per share, to $0.14 per share or $0.56 on an annual basis, a 17% year-over-year increase, beginning with the dividend that will be declared in the first quarter of 2015. In addition, the company announced a $1 billion share buyback authorization in 2015.


3M and Orange Bring Cloud and 3D Printing to Dental Care

3M is launching a 3D digital scanner service for the dental market using Orange Business Services' secure cloud platform in Europe.

3M and Orange Business Services designed an advanced solution that uses an intra-oral digital camera to capture highly accurate digital scans.  The data is securely transmitted to production centers where prosthetic and orthodontic works or moldings are produced via 3D printers. The service enables better patient care, saves time and maximizes the comfort offered to dentists, orthodontists, dental technicians and patients.

This platform also requires the storage and sharing of patient data. With the Orange Flexible Computing Healthcare solution, 3M implemented a solution complying with the legal requirements of the French Ministry of Health. The French legislation, one of the most stringent in Europe, requires that the data be hosted by an organization approved by the Ministry of Health.