Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Verizon Rolls Out Managed Software Defined WAN with Cisco

Verizon is rolling out a new, managed software-defined WAN service using Cisco’s Intelligent WAN (IWAN) technology.  The idea with a software-defined WAN is for enterprises to harnesses the ubiquity of broadband Internet connections with the performance and reliability of a private IP network.

The solution uses software-defined networking technology for intelligent path control over both MPLS and Internet connections depending on application needs and network performance.  It incorporates integrated application optimization for improved and faster application performance.

“With Verizon’s new service, we are taking our IWAN solution to the next level,” said Jeff Reed, vice president of the Cisco Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions Group. “Cisco IWAN’s open architecture enables Verizon to offer a flexible, highly secure and reliable service to its enterprise customers. With IWAN as the foundation and Verizon’s expertise in network management, the solution will enable enterprises to improve the application experience for their employees and customers.”

“Verizon and Cisco have joined forces to enable a whole new generation of networking solutions that help companies operate more efficiently and with greater agility,” said Shawn Hakl, vice president of enterprise networking and innovation, Verizon. “Our focus is to help enterprises improve the performance and security of their networks by using the most effective means of connecting mobile users to cloud applications. More than ever, today’s networks require rigorous oversight and expert management to meet the constant demands of the digital age.”

Verizon and Cisco will both market and sell the managed solution to their respective enterprise customer bases in the U.S. beginning in September. The companies plan to roll out the solution in EMEA by the end of the year. The new solution will be supported by Verizon’s IT consulting group which help enterprises manage their transition to SD-based networking.


Verizon Aims for 5G Field Trials in 2016

Verizon announced plans to begin 5G field trials in 2016. The benefits of 5G are expected to include 50x throughput performance over 4G, latency in the single milliseconds, and the ability to handle exponentially more Internet-connected devices to accommodate the expected explosion of the Internet of Everything.

Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung participated in an inaugural Verizon 5G Technology Forum last month. The carrier is building "5G Sandboxes" at its Innovation Centers in Waltham, Mass. and San Francisco for collaborating with ecosystem partners and developers.

“5G is no longer a dream of the distant future,” said Roger Gurnani, executive vice president and chief information and technology architect for Verizon. “We feel a tremendous sense of urgency to push forward on 5G and mobilize the ecosystem by collaborating with industry leaders and developers to usher in a new generation of innovation.”


Intel Network Builders Fast Track Targets 5G

Intel intends to leverage its unique combination of computing, networking and wireless communications assets "to develop 5G solutions that integrate intelligence across the entire network, end-to-end, from the data center to device and throughout systems in between." Intel has launched a Network Builders Fast Track to guide its efforts with the networking industry in accelerating innovation in the 5G ecosystem. Under the program, Intel is collaborating...

EC Project SESAME Targets 5G with RAN Virtualization + Edge Computing

The European Commission has awarded EUR 8 million grant to a consortium of telecom industry vendors to develop the infrastructure required to support the future 5G network and communication systems. Project SESAME, which is led by Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) and funded under the EC Horizon 2020 programme (H2020), will design and demonstrate virtualised, cloud-enabled, multi-operator, frequency agile, 5G-oriented radio access and...

Ericsson and SK Telecom Collaborate on 5G Network Core Slicing

Ericsson and SK Telecom have signed agreed to collaborate on the development of a 5G core network that deploys network slicing technology.  The idea behind slicing is to use logical instead of physical resources to provide networks on an as-a-service basis. The instantiation of the network slicing will use the Ericsson Virtual Evolved Packet Core solution. The companies are building a test bed using Ericsson’s HDS 8000 Hyperscale Datacenter...

DOCOMO Expands 5G Collaboration Program

NTT DOCOMO is expanding its industry collaboration program for 5G.  The company announced individual collaborations with five additional vendors: Intel, Keysight Technologies, Panasonic Corporation, Qualcomm Technologies, and Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. DOCOMO and its vendor-partners expect to begin technical discussions and various indoor trials at the DOCOMO R&D Center in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture within the current fiscal...

ZTE and KT Collaborate on 5G Research

ZTE has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with KT Corporation on research and commercialization of 5G technology. Specifically, ZTE and KT will launch 5G Test Bed construction in Seoul, and jointly develop, present, and design the future 5G network architecture based on the Test Bed. The partnership between ZTE and KT will help advance 5G standardization and the development of the industry ecosystem globally. The agreement was announced at...

FANTASTIC-5G Targets sub-6 Ghz Air Interface

A group of 16 leading players in the field of telecommunications kicked off the “FANTASTIC-5G Project” (Flexible Air iNTerfAce for Scalable service delivery wiThin wIreless Communication networks of the 5th Generation) with the aim of developing a new air interface below 6 GHz for 5G networks. Specifically, the 2-year FANTASTIC-5G project will develop a new multi-service air interface that is: Highly flexible, to support different types of data...

Ericsson Heads METIS-II 5G Radio Project

Ericsson will serve as coordinator of anew METIS-II EU project to develop the overall 5G radio system design and roadmap recommendation for 5G standardization. The METIS-II project brings together 23 partners from all regions with strong 5G R&D initiatives (China, the EU, Japan, South Korea and the US) and involving most of the major international vendors, major operators, and key researchers. On a strategic level, METIS-II will provide the...

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...

5G Novel Radio Multiservice Adaptive Network Project Gets Underway

to develop a novel, adaptive and future-proof mobile network architecture for the 5G era. As part of the 5GPPP initiative, vendors, operators, IT companies, enterprises and academia in Europe are joining forces to launch the 5G NORMA (5G Novel Radio Multiservice adaptive network Architecture) project. The 5G NORMA project, which is expected to run for 30 months, will propose an end-to-end architecture that takes into consideration both Radio Access...

Interoute to Acquire Easynet for £402 million

Interoute agreed to acquire European managed services provider Easynet for an enterprise value of £402 million.

Interoute said the acquisition will enable enterprise, government and service provider customers of the merged group to access a full suite of the combined companies products and services. In addition to increased products and services, the acquisition will bring an enhanced and expanded set of skills and capability to serve both companies’ existing customers and new prospects across the world. On a pro forma basis, after giving effect to the acquisition, Interoute would have had total revenue of over €700 million in the twelve months ended 30 June 2015.

Gareth Williams, Interoute's CEO commented, "These are exciting times for Interoute and our customers as we create a leading, independent European ICT provider. It's the next step in our acquisition strategy and moves us much closer to our goal of being the provider of choice to Europe’s digital economy."

Mark Thompson, CEO of Easynet, commented, "I believe this acquisition will bring great benefits to both Interoute's and Easynet’s customers. The combined companies can offer broader and deeper connectivity options, as well as an expanded portfolio of products and services, and the acquisition will further expand an already market-leading cloud hosting capability in Europe."


Equinix Bids for Japan's Bit-isle Data Centers

Equinix announced a cash tender offer for all issued and outstanding shares of Tokyo-based Bit-isle Inc. The offer price is JPY 922 per share, in an all cash transaction totaling 33.3 billion Japanese Yen or approximately US$280 million.

Bit-isle operates five data centers in Tokyo and one in Osaka.  These facilities are in close proximity to the existing Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers in Japan creating campuses for customers’ future expansion needs. Bit-isle has a strong Japanese enterprise and system integrator customer base, including some of Japan’s largest businesses.

Equinix said the acquisition of Bit-isle will make it the fourth largest data center operator in Japan. After the completion of TY5 in Q1 2016, Equinix will have 10 IBX data centers in Tokyo and two in Osaka.

The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi has committed to provide a one-year senior bridge term loan facility to fund the acquisition.


Fortinet Outlines Software-Defined Network Security Framework

Fortinet introduced its new Software-Defined Network Security (SDNS) framework for providing advanced threat protection in the modern, agile data center.

Fortinet said its goal is to provide actionable steps in delivering a comprehensive approach to securing the data center, while providing the most extensible platform for infrastructure integration with technology partners including HP, Ixia, PLUMgrid, Pluribus Networks, Extreme Networks and NTT.

Highlights of Fortinet's SDN Security framework:

  • Data Plane - the encapsulation of security engines from fixed hardware boxes into logical instances that can be more scalably distributed and embedded deep into virtualized switching fabric and abstracted network flows.
  • Control Plane - the orchestration and automation of security policy with provisioning of elastic workloads to eliminate security and compliance gaps in highly agile, dynamic environments.
  • Management Plane - a 'single pane-of-glass' for security policy and events across physical and virtual appliances, private and public clouds, and throughout converged infrastructure to ensure a consistent and compliant security posture.

"There is likely no single SDN platform that all enterprise and service provider customers are going to standardize on," said John Maddison, vice president of marketing for Fortinet. "Hence the reason we are developing an eco-system to support different SDN platforms through proprietary and open Application Programming Interfaces (API's). The key is providing scalable security modules that can be called on-demand, at the orchestration level."

Fortinet noted that it is working closely with a large number of partners to tightly integrate security within their key infrastructure platforms. These platforms include SDN controllers, orchestration frameworks, hypervisors, cloud management, security management and analytics. Fortinet is currently working with more than two-dozen technology providers to ensure protection from cyber threats through Fortinet's advanced SDN Security.


Azimuth Intros HetNet Emulation Testing

Azimuth Systems introduced a HetNet-environment emulation capability, called Virtual Network Environment (VNE), for its ACE RNX platform.

The company said its solution unlocks repeatable, scalable HetNet testing by (1) defining interfering cells; (2) creating a HetNet environment that uses those cells; and (3) developing test scenarios specifically for that environment. Early customer trials have shown a significant reduction in the time to recreate field issues using VNE.

“As experts in wireless performance test solutions, we anticipated how the proliferation of HetNet environments would be a disruptive challenge in the industry. HetNet makes most of existing lab-based technology inadequate for testing,” says Peter Paglia, president and CEO of Azimuth Systems. “So, as we led the industry from SISO to MIMO, and from RvR & RvN to field playback, we are leading the industry from link testing to true environment testing. ‘Re-creating the wireless environment’ is something we saw as necessary for realistic lab-based testing. We are pleased that Azimuth Systems is the only test equipment vendor to have the vision to introduce this capability into the industry. We are looking forward to partnering with our customers to tap the power provided by VNE.”

Controlling the ACE RNX and VNE is Azimuth’s Director 3, a powerful and forward-looking test executive known for its advanced automation, cloud-based architecture, and intuitive test creation capabilities. Included within Director 3 is a graphical, easy-to-use interface called Scenario Builder, a first-in-the-industry wizard that helps users easily define complex environments and create numerous test and mobility scenarios. Once an environment is created in Scenario Builder, the software automatically programs the RNX, greatly facilitating and accelerating the testing process.


ONF Releases OpenFlow v1.3 Testing Specification

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) released a new OpenFlow v1.3 testing specification.

The ONF also announced the addition of its seventh authorized testing facility, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) in South Korea. This brings to seven the number of accredited international testing laboratories, including: Beijing Internet Institute (BII) in Beijing; China Telecommunication Technology Labs (CTTL) in Beijing; Criterion Network Labs (CNLabs) in Bangalore; Indiana Center for Network Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE) at Indiana University; Network Benchmarking Lab (NBL) of National Chiao Tung University (NCTU) in Hsinchu, Taiwan; and the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL) at the University of New Hampshire.

“OpenFlow is a component vital to SDN’s acceleration and deployment worldwide and is increasingly being demanded by network operators,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “OpenFlow plays a key role in SDN as an architecture, a model, and an interface. Operators are also demanding interoperability and conformance to the standard, and this specification helps achieve exactly that.”