Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Juniper Pursues Hardware/Software Disaggregation

Juniper Networks is advancing its commitment to open networking through disaggregation of Junos software.  This will enable deployment of third-party network services or applications directly on Juniper hardware platforms as well as have the option to program directly to Juniper systems using the supported Open Compute Project (OCP) defined software model.

At its inaugural NXTWORK 2015 Summit in Santa Clara, California, the company is also unveiling its QFX5200 series of access switches.  These will be the first platform to run the disaggregated Junos as well as the emerging 25 and 50 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) standard. The switches are based on Broadcom's Tomahawk silicon.

Juniper said the significance of the announcement is that customers gain flexibility in purchasing hardware separately from software with a pay-for-what-you-need software-licensing model.

“Our customers are consistently challenged to accelerate the pace of network infrastructure deployments to match the speed of business requirements. As a result, the purpose of the network has fundamentally changed; it’s all about choice to enable people to connect with speed, agility and reliability. Our new software infrastructure for Junos and the QFX5200 series, along with our technology integration in leading converged stacks, illustrate how Juniper’s data center solutions deliver the automation, programmability and openness required to solve our customers’ most pressing network challenges and eradicate lock-in,” stated Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager, Juniper Development and Innovation, Juniper Networks.

Some highlights:

Disaggregated Junos Software 

  • Develop and install third-party applications directly on supported Juniper switching systems with the disaggregated Junos software as well as run the disaggregated Junos software on Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) compliant third-party switches.
  • Using an open platform approach, Juniper provides open access to Linux so customers can freely orchestrate third-party applications using Openstack, Apache, Netconf or other tools. This new level of network services modularity enables easy integration with customer applications, SDN controllers and orchestration tools.
  • Support for MPLS, BGP, EVPN-VXLAN and a robust L2/L3 feature set.
  • A new pricing model for the QFX5200 will allow customers to purchase Junos and the QFX5200 hardware platform together or separately.

QFX5200 Switches 

  • Next-generation QFX5200 access switches with multi-speed capability from 10G to 100GbE enable customers to migrate to higher port speeds and support 25G/50GbE without costly upgrades. With 25GbE, customers get 2.5 times the performance over existing cabling infrastructure.
  • QFX5200 switches support the disaggregated version of Junos, combining high-performance switching with the flexibility, power and functionality of a quad-core server CPU.
  • Managed through Junos Space Network Director, customers can control the entire enterprise network through a single pane of glass. Additionally, with support of VMware vRealize 


Juniper Expands its NFV Toolkit with Cloud CPE

Juniper Networks announced an expansion of its Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) portfolio with the launch of Cloud CPE, a fully automated, end-to-end network functions virtualization solution.

The solution builds on Juniper's Contrail Networking to scale across all models – whether on-premises or in the cloud.  Juniper said its goal is to make service delivery from an end user’s perspective as easy as downloading a new app from iTunes.

Juniper's Cloud CPE uses the Contrail Service Orchestration platform to deliver and manage virtualized network services, such as virtual security. Contrail is designed to operate in multi-vendor network environments and can orchestrate the entire service lifecycle – from service design to activation – to radically improve the user experience and enable new service revenue.

Juniper's NFX250 is the first in a series of network services platforms that can operate as secure, on-premises devices running multiple virtual network functions, from Juniper and third-parties, simultaneously. The NFX250, is capable of running myriad virtual functions on a single software-driven device, thereby significantly reducing cost. The 1RU NFX250 unit, which will be available during the first half of 2016, runs both Juniper and third-party virtual network functions.

“As more and more of our service provider customers look to realize real business value from SDN and NFV, the need to have flexible solutions that effectively scale is critical. With the innovations we’re announcing today, service providers will be able to harness the power of scale-out services to improve their service delivery economics. For us at Juniper, it’s all about infusing automation into our customers’ networks to reduce time to market and speed time to revenue,” stated Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager, Juniper Development and Innovation.


Telefonica Picks Gigamon for Network Visibility

Telefonica Argentina has selected Gigamon’s visibility solutions to help optimize its subscriber service offerings. The solution is being used to gain insight into the way subscribers consume content, enabling Telefonica to adjust service offerings accordingly.

Specifically, Telefonica Argentina is utilizing a number of Gigamon solutions and technologies including several GigaSMART applications for traffic intelligence: Adaptive Packet Filtering, Application Session Filtering and Header Stripping as well as Gigamon’s patented Flow Mapping.

Gigamon said that by combining its Aggregation Solution, GigaVUE-TA1, and the GigaVUE-HD8 Fabric Node with the GigaSMART applications implemented as part of a Visibility Fabric architecture, Telefonica Argentina gained visibility into more than 32 x 10Gbps IP/MPLS links. The GigaSMART feature set significantly reduced the traffic that needed to be processed by the tools, resulting in a 10:1 cost savings ratio for Telefonica. With Gigamon’s solution in place, Telefonica Argentina can streamline the introduction of new technologies such as VoLTE, IMS and CDN to its network and reduce operational and performance impact.

Telefonica Argentina is also working with Gigamon to increase its network performance and optimization capabilities.

“Gigamon’s solutions are well suited for our customer experience management needs. Gigamon has also helped us gain greater visibility across our entire network and identify and address issues as soon as they arise. In fact, during the deployment process, Gigamon helped us to troubleshoot a DNS Cache Server Farm performance issue, resolve it remotely avoiding a possible service outage. It really helped us to streamline the performance of the DNS system,” said Alberto Bernal, Telecom Network Planning Engineer, Telefonica Argentina.


Quantenna Enables 10G Wave 3 Wi-Fi Access Points

Quantenna Communications announced the availability of the first 10G Wave 3 Wi-Fi product family for home wireless access points and residential gateways with unprecedented Wi-Fi performance, reliability and capacity for high-density environments.

Quantenna’s True 8x8 QSR10G Wi-Fi platform with multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) technology is the first to implement 10G Wave 3 to support speeds up to 10Gbps. This milestone speed benchmark for Wi-Fi is attained by combining the industry’s first True 8x8 MIMO configuration for 5GHz networks with a 4x4 MIMO configuration on 2.4GHz networks for a combined 12-stream configuration.

“In Wi-Fi access points more antennas are always better, but 10G Wave 3 is not just about 8x8 MU-MIMO and faster speeds. It’s about making better use of network and airtime efficiency to support the growing number of connected devices, services and applications,” said Dr. Sam Heidari, Quantenna CEO. “After pioneering the Wi-Fi industry with 4x4 MIMO, we’ve gained a deep understanding of real-world channel behavior in crowded environments. These insights have led to the creation of 10G Wave 3 and the world’s first 8x8 MIMO, which are poised to revolutionize the Wi-Fi experience.”

Key Wave 3 Features and Benefits

  • Integrated AP chipset for dual-band (5GHz and 2.4GHz), dual concurrent operation and management
  • 160MHz channel support for 5GHz networks. When combined with 8x8 MIMO configuration, this offers 4x the capacity of 80MHz 4x4 MIMO networks
  • Unique adaptive MIMO configuration
  • Up to 1024 QAM modulation for 2.4GHz and 5GHz transmissions
  • Supports rich set of interfaces to external hosts such as PCIe Gen3/Gen2, RXAUI, RGMII, and others


Sckipio Lands Intel Investment for G.fast Silicon

Sckipio Technologies, a pioneering developer of G.fast modem technology, announced an equity investment from Intel Capital.  The investment adds to Sckipio’s third round of funding. Previously, Sckipio raised $27 million from venture capital firms Amiti Ventures, Aviv Ventures, Genesis Partners, Gemini Israel Ventures and Pitango Venture Capital.

Sckipio noted a number of achievements over the past year, including the first 16-port Distribution Point Unit, the first to run UHDTV content across G.fast, the first to demonstrate SDN running over G.fast (in partnership with AT&T), and the first to deliver over 1Gbps at 300 meters.

“Sckipio and Intel have been working closely together since the beginning of the G.fast market and jointly announced the first G.fast residential gateway reference design in the fall of 2014,” noted Dan Artusi, Intel vice president and general manager of its Connected Home Division. “This strategic investment is another milestone for the Intel Connected Home Division and Sckipio to deliver fiber-like speeds to the people on existing copper infrastructure.”

“Sckipio continued to deliver many industry firsts,” said David Baum, co-founder and CEO of Sckipio Technologies. “With the investment from Intel Capital, Sckipio will increase technology investments to accelerate our innovations in the broadband access market.“

A Major Update is Released for Open Source Wireshark Packet Analyzer

Riverbed Technology announced a major release of Wireshark, a free and open-source packet analyzer used for network troubleshooting, analysis, software and communications protocol development. Riverbed is the primary sponsor of Wireshark, which is free and distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.

Wireshark 2.0 offers an updated UI and now uses a new application framework to deliver a significantly better user experience on all platforms, particularly Apple Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows. The new release offers many new features, including configurable conversation types, VoIP player improvements, a new wireless toolbar, SSL dissector improvements, more languages, etc.


IEEE Approves 802.22b-2015 Wireless Broadband - "Wi-FAR"

IEEE announced the approval of 802.22b-2015, a new standard designed to support point-to-multipoint wireless broadband operation in the VHF and UHF TV bands in the frequency range between 54 MHz and 862 MHz.

802.22b point-to-multipoint wireless broadband, which is sometimes referred to as "Wi-FAR", is targeted at traditionally underserved rural areas, where most empty TV channels can be found and where Internet access services are often scarce. It takes advantage of favorable propagation characteristics in the VHF and low UHF TV bands, to provide broadband wireless access under both line-of-sight (LoS) and non-line-of-sight (NLoS) conditions over large areas (10 to 30 kilometers). This occurs while operating on a strict non-interference basis in "TV white space" (TVWS)—spectrum that is assigned to, but unused by, incumbent licensed services.

“IEEE 802.22b-2015 is designed to double the throughput of devices based on the original IEEE 802.22 standard. The new amendment is intended also to serve more users per base station and enable relay capability for machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases,” said Chang-woo Pyo, chair of the task force that created IEEE 802.22b.


East Japan Railway Deploys SDN with NEC

East Japan Railway Company (JR East) has deployed a "Common Station Network" based on SDN across all 36 of its stations in the Yamanote Line area.  The software-defined network makes it possible to carry out integrated network management across all stations, enabling JR East to establish and provide new services easier.

NEC installed the SDN-based Common Station Network in March 2014.  The project included:
  • Installation of NEC UNIVERGE PF Series switches, which are among the first such products in the world to be compatible with OpenFlow.
  • Across all stations, including Tokyo Station, a total of 20 SDN controllers and 174 SDN switches have been installed.
  • NEC has created a large-scale, high-capacity network with a high degree of availability by connecting all stations on the Yamanote Line and stations in the same area on the Chuo Line in a ring configuration, using an IP network consisting of fiber optic cables.

In addition to enabling visualization and integrated management of the entire network, the Common Station Network uses software to enable JR East to configure networks or make multiple changes to settings centrally, rather than doing so every time a new service is launched or station improvement works are carried out, as previously.


IBM Acquires Gravitant to Hybrid Cloud Brokerage Tool

IBM has acquired Gravitant, a privately held company that develops cloud-based software to enable organizations to easily plan, buy and manage, or “broker,” software and computing services from multiple suppliers across hybrid clouds. Financial terms were not disclosed.

IBM said the Gravitant software will help customers to purchase compute and software services from different suppliers.

"The reality of enterprise IT is that it is many clouds with many characteristics, whether they be economic, capacity or security,” said Martin Jetter, Senior Vice President, Global Technology Services, IBM. “Gravitant provides an innovative approach to add choice and simplicity to how enterprises can now manage their environments. It will be a key component as we broaden our hybrid cloud services."
IBM plans to integrate the Gravitant capabilities into the IBM Global Technology Services unit. In addition, IBM Cloud plans to integrate the capabilities into Software-as-a-Service offerings, extending the company’s growing hybrid cloud solutions and capabilities.

Gravitant is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and has development operations in Pune and Bangalore, India. The company was founded in 2004.


Ixia Posts Revenue of $126 Million, Strong U.S. Sales

Ixia reported Q3 revenue of $125.9 million, compared with $114.0 million reported for the 2014 third quarter and $131.6 million reported for the 2015 second quarter. Net income (GAAP) was $4.0 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $7.3 million, or $0.09 per diluted share, for the 2014 third quarter.

“We delivered another solid quarter of year-over-year revenue and earnings growth. Our revenue growth was driven by strong market momentum across our product portfolio, particularly in the U.S. where revenue grew 25% year-over-year to reach a new record. In addition to growing our year-over-year bottom line results, we generated approximately $22 million in cash from operations as we continue to strive for operational excellence and financial discipline,” said Bethany Mayer, Ixia's president and chief executive officer.


Affirmed Networks Intros Virtualized Wi-Fi Gateway

Affirmed Networks introduced an Evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG) and Trusted Wi-Fi Access Gateway (TWAG) solution that enables fixed and mobile operators to offer virtualized Wi-Fi access.

The carrier-grade virtualized Wi-Fi solution delivers the scalability and encryption required to increase the number of IPSEC-encrypted sessions on demand without the need of specialized encryption hardware. The company said it is able to achieve this by leveraging its expertise in virtualizing network elements with a solution on the IPSEC encryption front. Its virtualized Wi-Fi gateway takes advantages of hardware and software advances from Intel, including Intel AES New Instructions (Intel AES-NI) and Intel Multi-Buffer Crypto for IPsec Library.  These advances enable the delivery of a high-performance, fully-virtualized IPsec-enabled ePDG on standard high-volume servers.  In particular, new capabilities associated with the performance gains provide accelerated data encryption and greater levels of security.

"Network security is a critical issue for service providers," said Renu Navale, director, Intel Network Builders. "Robust and scalable encryption capabilities in Intel platforms will help accelerate the development of high-performance virtualized security appliances. Our work with Affirmed Networks is an excellent example of how we collaborate with Intel Network Builders members to deliver optimized solutions for comms networks."  

"Our work with Intel Technologies allows us to ensure that our technical innovation remains at the 'world-class' level that our customers deserve," said Angela Whiteford, Affirmed Networks' Vice President of Marketing and Product Management.  "Mobile operators are investing heavily to gain new customers and to remain profitable and must keep churn to a minimum.  By providing operators with virtualized Wi-Fi capabilities, not only can they begin to offer revenue-driving services, they also significantly improve network coverage, and the overall customer experience as a result.  Wi-Fi also provides a valuable 'offload' option that operators are utilizing to improve overall network utilization."