Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cisco Boosts its Evolved Programmable Network

Cisco unveiled three enhancements for its Evolved Programmable Network (EPN) framework for service providers:

Cisco Application Engineered Routing - an agile service-creation environment that combines open, standards-based Segment Routing with software-defined-networking (SDN). Cisco said its solution drives new levels of programmability, allowing service providers to reduce operational costs and drive incremental revenue with on-demand latency, bandwidth and availability capabilities.

Cisco IOS XRv 9000 Virtual Router - operates on x86-based hardware for on demand, cost optimized service deployment and complements the existing Cisco Cloud Services Routers (CSR1000v) targeted at the enterprise and managed services markets. The IOS XRv adds to the nearly 50 virtual network functions (VNFs) currently supported by Cisco. Availability expected in Q2.

High-density 100GE line cards for the Cisco ASR 9000 Series - available in both four- and eight-port versions. The new 100GE cards support Cisco silicon photonic CPAK technology and enable each 100GE port to be configured as 100GE, 40GE, or 10x10GE based on customer requirements.


The Cisco Evolved Services Platform (ESP) for Service Providers 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 says  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, etc.

Deutsche Telekom and Huawei Sign IT Partnership Pact

Deutsche Telekom and the Huawei signed a new partnership agreement focused on information technology infrastructure and private cloud solutions. Huawei brings hardware and solution expertise, the Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems, its extensive cloud expertise.

"Deutsche Telekom is reinforcing its vendor-independence and, as of now, also offering IT products from Huawei at the best conditions in terms of price, service and quality," said Eva Wimmers, Senior Vice President of Group Procurement at Deutsche Telekom. "Huawei has convinced us, technologically and commercially. This increases our global competitiveness and makes us particularly strong for small and medium-sized customers."

At a press conference at CeBIT in Hanover, Dr. Ferri Abolhassan, Director of the IT division at T-Systems, described the partnership as a "systematic step on the part of T-Systems to consolidate its technology leadership in all matters cloud in Europe, and to expand globally." T-Systems is the first international partner to work so closely with Huawei on new concepts for IT infrastructure platforms. "We are bringing together strengths from two continents: T-Systems' technology and quality leadership in cloud services, and Huawei's cutting-edge technology and solution expertise," said Abolhassan. "In this way, we are securing for our customers the best balance of price, service and quality for transforming their IT to the cloud."

"We are delighted that we are able to expand our partnership with Deutsche Telekom and its business customers arm T-Systems in such a powerful way. We have been working together for years on network components, which has given us a leading position in Europe and beyond. Now we are also combining our know-how and cutting-edge technology in IT infrastructures and private cloud. This is a milestone in Huawei's success story," said Ryan Ding, Executive Director of the Board, President Products & Solutions.

Apart from the global delivery of hardware and software, the two companies want to start technology projects together and develop solutions for private cloud computing as well as traditional IT infrastructures that are to be transferred to the cloud. The first activities for new cloud services are already underway.

One area of collaboration on display at CeBIT is the mobile data center "Rechenzentrum-to-go" (RZ2Go) - a shipping container will preinstalled servers, storage, networking, cooling and power supply systems.


Deutsche Telekom Expands its Cloud Ecosystem

At this week's CeBIT 2015, Deutsche Telekom' T-Systems integration arm is showcasing its growing cloud ecosystem and M2M initiatives.  Some highlights:

Industry 4.0 - an M2M starter kit that contains everything a machine needs to go online: hardware, SIM card with data rate plan and access to the "Cloud der Dinge" (Cloud of Things) platform, which records and processes device and sensor data. Deutsche Telekom hosts this platform in high-security data centers in Germany.

Telekom and Salesforce - showing a mobile-ready create Customer Experience for Automotive solution that brings together financial, aftermarket and dealer management systems.  It built entirely on the Salesforce Platform.

Telekom and Cisco - T-Systems will operate and market the European part of the Cisco Intercloud as a secure public cloud. The vision is for all Intercloud partners to provide their solutions via the new, hybrid cloud infrastructure to customers around the world. The Cisco infrastructure is currently being installed in the new high-performance data center in Biere near Magdeburg. In addition to infrastructure offers based on the Intercloud, in the future, Deutsche Telekom will also offer software and platform services. The first Software-as-a-Service product, a managed hotspot that enables small and medium-sized enterprises to access the Internet quickly, easily and securely, will be available in the second quarter of 2015.

T-Systems and SAP  - T-Systems is offering SuccessFactors HCM (Human Capital Management), an application for HR management. This solution from the SAP subsidiary also enables processing of particularly sensitive civil servant data. From April 2015, Deutsche Telekom will also increase its own productivity with SuccessFactors HCM: The Group is making use of the highly scalable cloud application for the worldwide recruitment and targeted training of the some 220,000 employees.

BVMW - the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses, is one of SugarCRM and Deutsche Telekom’s first joint customers. BVMW representatives make more than 700,000 contacts each year to represent the interests of the organization’s 270,000 member companies. In the past, individual BVMW offices separately managed member contacts with several different systems. The inability to share and synchronize information across systems was increasingly tedious and time-consuming.

"MagentaEINS Business" - a service package that combines fixed network, mobile communications and cloud applications. Business customers can combine an IP-based Telekom fixed network contract with a current mobile phone contract (basic monthly charge at least EUR 25.17 net) to create their own individual


Altocloud Launches Saas-based Predictive Communications Solution

Altocloud, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, announced the commercial release of its SaaS-based predictive communications platform for customer sales and engagement.

The service combines machine learning with real-time communications to identify optimal online visitors and then deliver tailored chat, voice, video and content so customers get the information and help they need at exactly the right moment.

The company also announced a $2 million funding round led by Delta Partners, Digicel Group and ACT Venture Capital.  This brings Altocloud’s total funding to $3 million.

“There is a better route to digital customer engagement than yesterday's 1-800 numbers, random chat popups and disjointed telephone conversations," noted Altocloud CEO Barry O'Sullivan. "Our platform enhances existing marketing and sales software so that companies doing business online can reach out to prospects at a time when they're most interested, to drive increased sales."


  • AltoCloud is headed by Barry O'Sullivan, who previously led Cisco’s Collaboration and Unified Communications businesses for over 10 years, which he grew from $100m to over $4 billion. Barry also led WebEx, the cloud-based collaborative  meeting and sharing solution, and Cisco’s Telepresence business.

BTI Demos Optical Transport with Converged MPLS Core Routing

BTI System has demonstrated interoperability between its 7800 Intelligent Cloud Connect platform and products from Cisco, ZTE and another leading router vendor in tests completed at the European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC).

BTI said it is the first company to converge MPLS core routing functions with a full-featured optical transport platform and provisioned via Network Configuration Protocol (NETCONF). The BTI 7800 Series NETCONF interface is implemented as a full YANG model, providing native integration with SDN architectures and significantly simplifying the development of complex management applications. In the EANTC NETCONF Provisioning Test, the BTI 7800 was centrally configured using a Cisco Tail-f NETCONF client, providing automated network configuration.


Big Switch and A10 Link SDN Fabric and ADC

Big Switch Networks and A10 Networks are collaborating on application-aware solutions for data centers, enabling the A10 ADC Application Delivery Controllers to be deployed with Big Switch’s Big Cloud Fabric (BCF).

The joint solution leverages Big Switch's SDN-powered Big Cloud Fabric with the A10 Thunder ADC to achieve operational simplicity, resilience, and agility for large-scale applications.

In addition, the A10 Networks Thunder TPS Threat Protection System can be leveraged with Big Tap Monitoring Fabric for efficient and scalable Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack detection across the entire data center.

“We worked closely with A10 to seamlessly integrate with their Thunder Application Delivery Controller and Thunder Threat Protection System,” said Prashant Gandhi, VP Product Management and Strategy at Big Switch.

“The combined solution of the A10 Thunder ADC and Big Switch’s Big Cloud Fabric provides the agility and scalability needed to meet the demanding needs of today’s applications, cost-effectively,” said Paul Nicholson, Director of Product Marketing at A10 Networks. “We’ve optimized the solution to enable quick deployment of new applications and manage existing applications. We are delivering automated and scalable infrastructure, consistent on-demand services in a shared, multi-tenant environment.”


Vonage Acquires Simple Signal, a UCaaS Provider

Vonage agreed to acquire privately-held Simple Signal Inc., a provider of Unified Communications-as-a-Service (UCaaS) and collaboration solutions to small and medium businesses (SMBs), for $25.25 million.

SimpleSignal offers a broad range of voice, video, mobile and app services to address the evolving needs of SMBs, a market Vonage defines as businesses with 1 to 1,000 employees. SimpleSignal uses BroadSoft's BroadWorks platform to provide the VoIP component of its integrated portfolio of unified communications and managed solutions. The company has a strong base of 1,600 customers and additional white label partners.

Vonage said it uses the same BroadSoft-based platform.

"The acquisition of SimpleSignal deepens Vonage's penetration in UCaaS and demonstrates our commitment to execute on our organic and inorganic growth strategy in the sector," said Alan Masarek, Vonage Chief Executive Officer. "SimpleSignal is a natural complement to Vonage's rapidly expanding UCaaS business. It has a proven track record of providing feature-rich solutions required by larger SMBs, strong channel and strategic partnerships, and a common underlying technology platform. This acquisition further positions Vonage as a clear leader in Unified Communications."


Oclaro Delivers Second Gen Tunable SFP+ Module

Building on its history of 10G tunable DWDM products, Oclaro has begun sampling its second-generation tunable SFP+ module.  The new units operate at very high temperatures of up to 85 degrees Celsius with very low power consumption, making them suitable for next generation data center, metro and regional optical networks. It also serves as a building block for emerging new applications such as fiber-to-the-home and 4G/5G LTE wireless fronthaul networks that might require DWDM functionality in the future.

Key features of the tunable SFP+ module include:

  • Operates below 1.5W throughout 0-70 degrees Celsius w/o CDR
  • Supports extended temperature up to 85 degrees Celsius with maximum 1.8W power consumption
  • Supports high Tx power (up to +1.2dBm)
  • Supports SONET/SDH applications with CDR version
  • The broad tunable SFP+ portfolio also includes zero chirp, L-band, and PIN ROSA variants
  • Multi-rate operation: 9.95 Gbit/s to 11.3 Gbit/s
  • Tunable across the full C-band with 96 channels on the ITU-T 50GHz grid


Ericsson Acquires China's Sunrise Technology for IT Services

Ericsson agreed to acquire the telecom business of Sunrise Technology, a provider of IT services in the operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS) domain. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Sunrise Technology, which is headquartered in Guangzhou, integrates complex IT solutions for leading operators in China. Areas of expertise include IT consulting, systems integration for charging and billing systems, customer relationship management and business intelligence/analytics solutions, and application development and maintenance. About 1,00 employees will join Ericsson's Global Services business, which employs 65,000 employees in 180 countries.

Magnus Mandersson, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Unit Global Services at Ericsson, says: "China is the world's biggest mobile market in terms of number of subscriptions, with 1.285 billion. Most of the country's telecom operators are at the beginning of their IT transformation journeys, and will soon replace their legacy IT systems with next-generation solutions that will enable them to launch digital offerings. The acquisition of Sunrise Technology's telecom business will boost our ability to serve mobile operators' IT transformation needs in China, and is aligned with our strategy of becoming a global ICT leader."