Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Facebook's Latest Open Compute Project Data Center

Facebook has kicked off construction of its fifth mega data center in Fort Worth, Texas. The new site will join the other major Facebook data centers located in Prineville (Oregon), Forest City (North Carolina), Lulea (Sweden), and Altoona (Iowa).

The new Fort Worth data center will feature the latest Open Compute Project hardware designs — including Yosemite, Wedge, and 6-pack — making it one of the most advanced data centers in the world.

Notably, the data center will powered by 100% renewable energy, thanks a 200 MW contract for new wind energy that Facebook has arranged with Citigroup Energy, Alterra Power Corporation, and Starwood Energy Group.

The new data center will be cooled using outdoor air instead of energy-intensive air conditioners, even during the hot summers in Texas.

Capital investment is projected to exceed $500 million within 5 years, including building construction costs and data center equipment.

https://www.facebook.com/FortWorthDataCenter


In February, Facebook unveiled its "6-Pack" open modular switch platform designed for the flexibility, efficiency, and scale required in its massive data centers. The architecture allows Facebook to build different size switches using common line card and fabric card building blocks.

Last year, Facebook disclosed the specification of its top-of-rack network switch (code-named “Wedge”) and a Linux-based operating system for that switch (code-named “FBOSS”). It then described the modular network architecture it will use for scaling operations. The new 6-pack switch will serve as the core of this fabric.

In an engineering blog posting, Facebook said the 6-pack switch uses Wedge as its basic building block: it is a full mesh non-blocking two-stage switch that includes 12 independent switching elements. Each independent element can switch 1.28Tbps.

Facebook is currently building two configurations: One configuration exposes 16x40GE ports to the front and 640G (16x40GE) to the back, and the other is used for aggregation and exposes all 1.28T to the back. Each element runs its own operating system on the local server and is completely independent, from the switching aspects to the low-level board control and cooling system. Facebook said the advantage of this unique dual backplane design is the ability to modify any part of the system with no system-level impact, software or hardware.

Cisco to Acquire MaintenanceNet for $139 Million

Cisco will pay $139 million in cash and retention incentives to acquire MaintenanceNet, a privately held company providing a cloud-based software platform that uses data analytics and automation to manage and scale attach and renewals of recurring customer contracts.

MaintenanceNet, which is based in Carlsbad, California, operates a ServiceExchange cloud platform that helps manufacturers improve service renewals and identify uncovered product opportunities.  Cisco and MaintenanceNet have worked together since 2009.

MaintenanceNet will be joining Cisco’s Global Customer Success (GCS) organization, a group dedicated to improving customer engagement and delivering a coordinated, end to end experience to our partners and customers. This acquisition is a critical component of our strategy for GCS to simplify and digitize our business processes.

https://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-announces-news?_ga=1.236708033.1329855623.1391130097
http://www.maintenancenet.com/

CableLabs Details New Remote PHY Specs for DOCSIS

CableLabs posted information on several different Distributed CCAP Architectures (including Remote PHY and Remote MAC-PHY).

Last month, CableLabs publicly issued the Remote PHY family of specifications. Theses specifications are also known as MHAv2 as these are an evolution from the original Modular Headend Architecture specifications.

In a blog posting, Karthik Sundaresan, Principal Architect, CableLabs, describes how the Remote PHY technology allows for an integrated CCAP to be separated into two components: the CCAP Core and the Remote PHY Device (RPD) with interfaces between them. One of the common locations for an RPD is the optical node device that is located at the junction of the fiber and coax plants, while the CCAP Core stays at the headend. A CCAP core can control and setup data paths with multiple RPDs situated in multiple fiber nodes.

CableLabs said it will release the set of technical reports and specifications throughout this summer.

http://www.cablelabs.com/cablelabs-new-remote-phy-specifications-expand-docsis-network-deployment-options/

Ooredoo Kuwait Picks VMware vCloud for NFV Platform

Ooredoo Kuwait has deployed both Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and IT applications on a single, unified cloud based on the VMware vCloud for NFV platform.

Specifically, VMware's professional services team partnered with Ooredoo Kuwait and their VNF vendor Huawei to design and deploy the VMware vCloud for NFV platform and virtual network functions into a test environment in less than three months.

VMware said its vCloud for NFV supported the seamless transfer of the virtualized Core IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) from test environment to Ooredoo's production IT environment, and enabled Ooredoo to conduct its first Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) call. The deployment of Ooredoo Kuwait's new Core NFV was fully automated, leveraging VMware vCloud Director and the VMware NSX network virtualization platform. The service is expected to go live in its production service network later this year.

VMware vCloud for NFV is an integrated network functions virtualization platform that combines VMware's production-proven virtualized compute, networking, storage and management solutions, to help ensure ongoing multi-vendor virtualized network function (VNF) support and maximize the cost and agility benefits of a shared network and IT infrastructure in a secured architecture. The Ooredoo platform uses VMware's policy-based resource allocation features to maintain application service level agreement (SLA) enforcement, and software-defined networking capabilities of the VMware NSX network virtualization platform to address NFV network scalability needs, multi-tenancy with microsegmentation, capacity on demand and QoS. VMware NSX is a main pillar in segregating tenants across Ooredoo's single converged private cloud.

"Ooredoo Kuwait's strategy aligns with VMware's One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device™ strategy, and we're delighted to be working with such forward-thinking customers who understand the value of a platform-based deployment strategy for NFV," said David Wright, vice president, Telecommunications and NFV Group, VMware.

http://www.vmware.com/

Virgin America Teams with ViaSat for Ku- and Ka-Band Satellite

Virgin America announced a new technology partnership with ViaSat to bring faster satellite broadband to the airline's 10 new A320 aircraft deliveries, beginning in September of this year.  Virgin America will tap the power and economics of ViaSat-1, the highest capacity Ka-band satellite in the world, offering 140 gigabits-per-second, to deliver the fastest in-flight Wi-Fi service for high-quality video streaming.

The deal will make Virgin America the first commercial airline to offer an in-flight Wi-Fi service that can operate in both Ku- and Ka-band satellite networks on the same aircraft.

Virgin America will begin installation of ViaSat's systems immediately – with the first Ka-band antenna equipped aircraft to take flight in the continental U.S. in September 2015.  Aircraft scheduled for Hawaii flights will be outfitted with ViaSat's hybrid Ku/Ka-band antenna in early 2016.  During the beta period rollout of the ViaSat product, Virgin America will offer free Wi-Fi access on its first ViaSat equipped aircraft.  The airline will introduce pricing for the service in 2016.

"Our competitive advantage is rooted in the unique bandwidth economics of ViaSat-1 and the forthcoming ViaSat-2 satellite networks. We can empower airlines to engage all of their guests in an in-flight, online experience just like they'd get on the ground - including streaming high quality video," said Don Buchman, Vice President and General Manager, Commercial Mobility Business, ViaSat. "Virgin America is a brand that shares our love of innovation and strives to bring the best service possible to the traveler.  By leveraging our technology, Virgin America can maximize passenger engagement and increase customer loyalty."

http//www.virginamerica.com
http//www.viasat.com

Xilinx Collaborates with China Mobile on 5G Fronthaul Interface

Xilinx is working with China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) for the development of the next generation fronthaul interface (NGFI) for 5G. Fronthaul is the link between the baseband and radio units, which are expected to be distributed in 5G architectures.

Specifically, Xilinx is contributing to the NGFI eco-system with a validated NGFI reference design on its Zynq SoC platform. The reference design, which can easily be migrated to other Zynq and Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC devices, will serve as a baseline framework for 4.5G/5G wireless network research.

"It's time to rethink current fronthaul solutions and addressing the major challenges for CRAN deployment is critical," said Dr. Chih-Lin I, chief scientist of China Mobile Research Institute. "New efficient and flexible fronthaul solutions are being worked on for the enablement of large scale CRAN deployment and our work with Xilinx will surely accelerate the delivery of such solutions."

"Current 'hard' mobile networks are plagued with a number of serious challenges including time to market, service innovation, energy efficiency, TCO and interoperability," said Sunil Kar, vice president of wireless communications at Xilinx. "Through our close collaboration with China Mobile Research Institute, we are working to address these challenges and identify the key technologies and components for highly optimized next generation fronthaul interfaces."

http://labs.chinamobile.com/cran/wp-content/uploads/White%20Paper%20of%20Next%20Generation%20Fronthaul%20Interface.PDF
http//www.xilinx.com

Comcast Boosts Residential Speeds

Comcast is increasing the speed of its Blast! tier by almost 50 percent to 150 Mbps (formerly 105 Mbps) and introducing a new Performance Pro speed tier of 75 Mbps, for customers in New England and mid-Atlantic states.

“Today, our customers simultaneously connect to the Internet through multiple smartphones, tablets and laptops, and whether it’s to stream, shop, video chat, upload photos or do homework, we’re committed to ensuring they get the best overall experience with blazing fast speeds and the most Wi-Fi coverage, all delivered over our state-of-the-art network,” said Kevin Casey, President of Comcast Cable’s Northeast Division, which includes 14 states from Maine to Virginia and the District of Columbia.

The new speeds and tiers will be available to most Comcast customers in these regions starting later this month.

http://www.comcast.com

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