Monday, November 9, 2015

Cisco + Ericsson Partnership Covers Architecture, Sales, Services

Ericsson and Cisco announced a broad strategic partnership focused on Service Providers, enterprise networking and the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.

The companies see an incremental revenue opportunity of $1 billion or more expected for each company by calendar year 2018. For its part, Ericsson said the extended addressable market is primarily in professional services, software and resell of Cisco products. Ericsson also expects the partnership to generate full-year effect from synergies, primarily in expenses of SEK 1 billion in 2018.

The alliance will include commitments to network transformation through reference architectures and joint development, systems-based management and control, a broad reseller agreement, and collaboration in key emerging market segments. The parties have also agreed to discuss FRAND policies and enter a licensing agreement for their respective patent portfolios.  Together, Ericsson and Cisco hold over 56,000 patents and invest $11 billion annually in R&D. The companies will begin working on a joint initiative focused on SDN/NFV and network management and control.

Hans Vestberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ericsson, stated "I am excited to work with Cisco on continuing to shape the Networked Society. Foremost, we share the same vision of the network's strategic role at the center of every company's and every industry's digital transformation. Initially the partnership will focus on service providers, then on opportunities for the enterprise segment and accelerating the scale and adoption of IoT services across industries. For Ericsson, this partnership also fortifies the IP strategy we have developed over the past several years, and it is a key move forward in our own transformation."

Chuck Robbins, Chief Executive Officer, Cisco said today's announcement "brings together two visionary industry leaders, with complementary cultures and track records of innovation. We have worked with Ericsson during the last year on developing a strategy for future industry leadership, and can start executing together today. Our partnership will drive growth for both companies, unique value for our customers, and incredible innovation for the industry."

Intel Expands Xeon Processor D-1500 Line for SDN/NFV

Intel announced an expansion of its Xeon processor D-1500 product family for extending intelligence from the network core to the edge for improved performance and lower latency.

The rollout includes eight new processors offering high-performance, low-power and twice the maximum memory of previous generations in an integrated system-on-chip.  The designs are aimed at various networking, cloud storage, enterprise storage and IoT applications that operate in dense, rugged environments. Intel said it now has more than 50 networking, cloud storage, enterprise storage and IoT system designs using the Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family in development.

Intel also introduced a new Ethernet Multi-host Controller FM10000 family that offer with advanced switch resources for use in high-performance communications network applications and dense server platforms.  The chips support up to 200 Gbps of high-bandwidth multi-host connectivity and multiple 100 Gigabit Ethernet ports. A new Intel Ethernet Controller X550 family is a low-power, cost-effective 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity solution for data center servers and network appliances.

The company also noted that its Intel Network Builders program has grown to more than 180 companies. In August, Intel introduced the Intel Network Builders Fast Track to increase the pace of innovation in the networking ecosystem by optimizing hardware and software solutions, supporting technology integration within the ecosystem and driving interoperable solutions.

In a webcast, Sandra Rivera, vice president, Data Center Group and general manager, Network Platforms Group, Intel, hosted a discussion with execs from Verizon and Cisco focused on the opportunities in IoT and mobile computing. Intel is working closely with industry leaders to accelerate the move toward more flexible and responsive networks today and to lay the foundation for future 5G networks.

"Networks are facing extraordinary demands as more devices become connected and new digital services are offered," said Rivera. "Building intelligence throughout the communications infrastructure and using a standards-based approach offers service providers the foundation to build agile, cloud-ready networks that allow them to expand their services capabilities."

Advantech Extends Ultra High-End Network Appliance Range for 100GbE

Advantech is expanding its family of next-generation, ultra-high end network appliances with a new model for network Service Providers.

The Advantech FWA-6522R achieves mid-range cost efficiencies suitable for stateless load-balancing of thousands of rules/flows compared to the high-range FWA-6522C capable of handling millions of flows using more sophisticated stateless and state aware load balancing technology. It uses the new Intel Ethernet Multi-host Controller FM10000 to add an extra layer of intelligence in front of four Intel Xeon processors in order to optimize packet delivery from high-speed 10/40/100 GbE ports.

The Intel FM10000 switches traffic from the high-speed network ports over 8-lane PCIe gen3 interfaces providing up to 50 Gbps of data bandwidth to each processor. Using advanced hash-based algorithms, the FM10000 ensures an even distribution of loads across the FWA-6522R processing resources. This enables the offload of compute intensive workloads required by network functions such as intrusion detection systems, firewalls, or virtual switching and accelerates overall packet delivery. For data center bridging (DCB) applications, the FM1000 not only distributes flows across the sockets and cores within the FWA-6522R, but can also efficiently spread incoming high bandwidth flows across Intel Xeon processor resources in downstream server clusters in compliance with new DCB standards such as PFC, ETS and DCBX.

The FWA-6522R makes use of the Ethernet switching capability, frame processing pipeline and TCAM support in the Intel Ethernet Multi-host Controller FM10000 to provide advanced features for network appliance and NFV applications. It provides high-bandwidth low-latency connectivity between the CPUs and the network, and offloads Open vSwitch functions into hardware, to help improve system performance and reduce system cost by freeing up CPU cores.

The FWA-6522R preserves the benefits that come from a FlowNIC model and the ability to develop applications using a single x86 software tool chain. This significantly reduces development and support expenses by maintaining compatibility with industry standard software frameworks such as Linux, Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK), OpenFlow and Open vSwitch.

To meet the needs of complex applications the FWA-6522R also maintains the same compute capacity as the high-range FWA-6522C powered by four high performance Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-4600 v3 CPUs for faster application response and support for memory densities up to 1TB of RAM.

The platform provides up to 400Gbps of flexible network I/O through four hot-pluggable PHY Mezzanine Modules with various network interface choices up to 100GbE and optional advanced LAN bypass. Its unique system design improves PCIe connectivity and thermal performance in a compact 2U rackmount footprint. Carrier-grade IPMI and BIOS features include hardware-redundant BIOS and fail safe HPM.1 firmware updates of all components for advanced reliability.

"With the introduction of low-latency 100GbE traffic handling on our flagship FWA-6522C we brought a new breed of platform to the industry capable of handling data plane intensive applications for over 100 million flows in just a small 2U footprint. That was quite an engineering achievement," said Peter Marek, Senior Director, x86 Solutions, Advantech Networks and Communications Group. "Today we're introducing a new member to the ultra-high-end network appliance family that will further democratize FlowNIC technology and offer an economical mid-range solution for customers using the latest compute technology and full Ethernet switching capability from Intel."

Advantech Debuts Platforms with Intel Xeon Processor D-1500s

Advantech unveiled a series of platforms based on the new Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family and scaling from Advanced Mezzanine Cards (AMC) and Versatile Server Modules (VSM) to Carrier Grade servers and Network Security appliances, all the way to high density, highly available blade server platforms for NFV and Edge Computing. Use

The Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family offers a range of cores for performance scalability, 128MB of memory and dual Intel Ethernet 10GbE ports, and enables services to be delivered with high reliability, availability, and serviceability.

Versatile Server Module - the MIC-8304 VSM is the first member of a family of Server-on-a-Module platforms. VSMs allow for simplified integration of the latest, high performance Intel processors into equipment such as small cells, base stations, carrier Ethernet and demarcation boxes to add service capabilities. By running the same VNFs that run in the core network, VSM is a key element of what Advantech terms as NFV elasticity. The tailored, rich feature set also makes VSMs an ideal choice for control plane applications in telecom as well as enterprise networking. Advantech has demonstrated the use of the VSM in a wide range of equipment such as a cloud control node inside its new Packetarium™ XLc system, as a server node inside an SDN-enabled Top-of-Rack Switch and adapted for use by Equipment Providers to add service capabilities based on NFV technologies to existing legacy platforms amongst others.

1U mid-range network appliance - the FWA-3260 brings robust performance into a cost and feature optimized 1U platform for network security and other enterprise networking applications. With the scalability of the new Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family it also enables cost efficient solutions in new applications such as software defined WAN (SD-WAN) and virtualized Enterprise CPE (vE-CPE). A vCPE variant of the appliance is under preparation as a vCPE demonstrator platform with pre-integrated Intel® Open Network Platform (Intel ONP) Server-compliant NFV middleware and 3rd party VNFs from select members of the Intel Network Builders ecosystem.

1U Carrier Grade Server - the CGS-3010 based on the Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family offers a single processor option for customers looking for the best price/performance ratio with balanced compute and I/O expandability. The server has been designed to support two full-height, full-length PCIe cards at high TDP fitting applications that need both server-class performance and a sophisticated PCIe subsystem.

Packetarium XLc PAC-6009 Carrier Grade Blade Server and NFVI - accommodates the maximum density of compute available in a 400mm deep 6U carrier-grade chassis. It is a highly scalable platform for deploying Intel Atom processor, Intel Xeon E5 processor and Intel Xeon Processor D-1500-based blades designed for the most demanding NFV workloads. For media processing and content handling needs, it offers a flexible infrastructure for the addition of video acceleration hardware providing unprecedented video encoding capabilities. The system's 400W per RU power footprint enables deployment in industry standard 19" racks. The PAC-6009 chassis incorporates a highly versatile and modular design with 9 front slots to host 9 single or dual node Intel Xeon processor-based blades. Generic compute blades run application workloads (VNFs) while dedicated cloud control nodes provide orchestration and virtual infrastructure management functions. Cloud storage nodes for content caching and nodes optimized for media and image processing are in preparation. Built-in high availability features and the high compute density achievable at rack-level make the PAC-6009 a perfect fit for scale-out data plane workloads as well as mission critical control plane gear.

Intel Xeon Processor D-1500-based compute blades are available for the Packetarium XLc in single or dual node SKUs. The MIC-8304C node blade is based on a single 8- or 16-core Intel Xeon Processor D-1500 with additional on-board SSD storage while the MIC-8303C is a dual node blade equipped with two 8- or 16-core Intel Xeon Processor D-1500 series CPUs. The MIC-8304C and MIC-8303C extend the range of available blades and complement the MIC-8302C node blade based on a single Intel Xeon Processor E5-2600 v3 with up to 14 cores.

Processor AMC - the MIC-5604C is designed to upgrade legacy equipment to the Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family, enabling higher performance compute and LAN speeds. Processor AMC's are broadly used as control plane and service processors in ATCA switches and many bespoke network equipment designs.

"The Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family enables robust levels of performance and integration for enterprise, data center and telecom networking equipment alike," said Peter Marek, senior director x86 solutions, Advantech Networks & Communications Group. "The processors offer a foundation for platforms that can be used in various deployment scenarios and that scale from access, edge to core, from small to corporate offices and data centers. Our full range of products announced today will not only bring significant CAPEX and OPEX savings to equipment providers and carriers, but will allow them to capitalize on innovative technologies using an NFVI-on-a-module approach, using stand-alone appliances and servers for legacy and virtualized premise equipment, and leverage carrier-grade blade servers optimized for best-in-class compute density at rack level. With support for Intel QuickAssist technology across the product range, even greater efficiencies can be achieved for use cases requiring support for security protocols like IPsec or support for compression/decompression."

Broadcom's BroadView Software Delivers Switching Telemetry

Broadcom released a software suite for monitoring the performance of switches based in its StrataXGS Trident and Tomahawk silicon.

The new Broadcom BroadView software delivers detailed network analytics directly from the switching silicon, enabling operators to optimize network performance across diverse hardware platforms and network operating systems. Broadcom said its new software tool offers a common way for network telemetry to collected from multivendor switches in data centers. The idea is to offer a platform-agnostic application programming interface (API) and leverage open-source reference controller implementations to give operators deeper visibility into their cloud networks while protecting their investment in existing applications.

Broadcom is working with multiple equipment vendors and third-party analytic tool providers. It is also working with developers on SDN controllers and orchestrations platforms such as OpenStack. Supporters so far include Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Big Switch, China Mobile, Cumulus Networks, HP Networking, InMon, Juniper Networks, Midokura, Pica8, PLUMgrid, Pluribus, Xena Networks and others.

"The rapid innovations in software-defined networking (SDN) instrumentation call for a standardized interface to the switches that comprise the network," said Nick Kucharewski, Broadcom Vice President, Network Switch Marketing. "With an open standard API supported on the most pervasive switch silicon portfolio, Broadcom has established a platform that will enable an open ecosystem of network visibility applications running on a wide range of network equipment."

Some highlights

  • Leverages unique silicon instrumentation capabilities supported by Trident2 and Tomahawk silicon families
  • Threshold based monitoring, buffer statistics tracking and triggers for proactive monitoring and scalability
  • Advanced packet tracing tools to improve visibility into traffic flows
  • Trouble shooting tools to facilitate easier mapping of overlay flows with underlay links
  • Aggregation group resolution to ensure optimal utilization of group members and avoid hash polarization
  • Aggregated and abstracted counters as needed by the application
  • Open source modular agent with easier customization for adoption in various products and platforms

Broadcom's BroadView Instrumentation Software Suite is available on Broadcom GitHub.

Fujitsu Extends FLASHWAVE 9500 with High-Density 100G Capabilities

Fujitsu announced high-density, 100G units for its FLASHWAVE 9500 platform and new demarcation and aggregator units for its FLASHWAVE CDS. These new units can be combined with FLASHWAVE 9500 OTN switching, if desired, to provide a comprehensive solution that will make it more simple and efficient to deploy 100G services throughout customer networks.

The new slim 100G muxponder and transponder units for FLASHWAVE 9500 establish an industry-best 7.2 Tbps density for a standard rack. With reduced size, lower power consumption and higher performance, the new units support an all-coherent network architecture and are backward compatible with existing 100G units. Enhanced 100G service delivery and assurance are enabled by combining the next-generation CDC-F ROADM capabilities of the FLASHWAVE 9500 with the automated network management of an SDN controller.

The FLASHWAVE CDS will introduce 40G/100G OTN demarcation and OTU4 aggregator units that extend 100G capacity to the network edge. The demarcation unit increases network capacity to 100G, providing fiber relief and a direct 100G OTU4 connection to the FLASHWAVE 9500 ROADM. The aggregator unit easily upgrades existing equipment to 100G and provides OTN ring protection. An optional self-healing configuration for high-reliability applications also is available. Compared to MSA transponders, both 100G pluggable units deliver flexibility with reach plus substantial cost advantages and power savings.

Another platform, optimized for customer premise demarcation, is a compact version of the existing 2RU FLASHWAVE CDS. The new 1RU, AC-powered shelf houses a single interface card and supports all FLASHWAVE CDS OTN units.

Fujitsu also announced that the next release of its VIRTUORA software platform will enable superior programmability of the network via its SDN controller. Dynamic service activation and restoration is available for both WDM and OTN technologies on the FLASHWAVE 9500 and CDS platforms. This SDN application is driven by a powerful path computation engine that enables service providers to provision and restore services on demand. The creation of a fully programmable network at the OTN layer will enable large operational savings, the elimination of manual operations and faster time to market and revenue.

“For the last year, we’ve been talking about our next-generation ROADM capability, and it really comes to fruition with this upgrade to the FLASHWAVE 9500,” said Steve Pelosi, head of the optical business unit at Fujitsu Network Communications. “Combined with our new high-density 100G units and programmatic control of OTN and optical services, we can provide our customers with a simple, scalable, open solution.”

Blue Coat to Acquire Elastica for $280M - Cloud Security

Blue Coat Systems agreed to acquire Elastica, a start-up offering a cloud security system, for $280 million.

Elastica, which is based in San Jose, California (Santana Row), develops a security platform that provides visibility, control and data-level security across cloud, on premise and hybrid cloud environments. Elastica’s CloudSOC provides unique capabilities such as threat scoring powered by machine learning, user and end-point behavior modeling, natural language-based cloud DLP, and analysis with remediation in a cloud application SOC.  It further provides complete risk analysis and policy management for sanctioned cloud and “shadow IT” applications to ensure safe cloud usage. Elastica delivers these capabilities via its CASB gateway and API controls for cloud application security management and enforcement.

Blue Coat said that combining its on- and off-premise threat defense and cloud data protection with Elastica’s Cloud Access Security and Analytics, it can provide a comprehensive solution as users embrace the cloud.

“This acquisition gives Blue Coat customers access to Elastica’s CloudSOC, which brings an unprecedented level of elegance and innovation to something that is rapidly becoming a complex challenge for organizations to solve. As we evaluated many CASB players, it was clear that Elastica’s technologies represent the future of the CASB space,” said Greg Clark, Blue Coat CEO. “Segmented CASB players have survived through their dependency upon existing on-premise infrastructure. As the industry’s leading web security platform, it is natural for Blue Coat to be the first to deliver an extended spectrum of CASB capabilities while also delivering them with our cloud protection solutions.”

“Given the rapid acceleration of cloud adoption, our holistic data science-powered approach to cloud access security will enhance Blue Coat’s globally deployed security platform, empowering its customers to confidently and securely take advantage of the speed and agility that cloud applications offer,” said Rehan Jalil, CEO and founder of Elastica. “We are thrilled to join forces to broaden the reach of the Elastica CloudSOC platform through Blue Coat’s customers. Blue Coat’s commitment to enabling cloud applications and services aligns with our mission of providing visibility and protection of critical data stored in those applications. Together we are delivering the industry’s strongest set of enterprise cloud security capabilities.”

Pica8 to Support Cavium’s XPliant Switching Silicon

Pica8’s OpenFlow-based PicOS network operating system (NOS) will support Cavium’s new XPliant switch chip.

Cavium’s programmable XPliant switching silicon, which is expected to enter commercial release in Q1 2016, is designed for providing full programmability of SDN environments.

The companies said the Cavium XPliant switch, combined with Pica8's OpenFlow-based PicOS, will give network operators greater granular control to program their infrastructure.

“ASICs are the anchor of an SDN solution stack, and having choice in the market is key. Just as there is an ecosystem forming for SDN applications, controllers and network operating systems, we see having ASIC choice being a key enabler for customers to have the ability to tune the network for their environment,” said James Liao, president and CEO of Pica8. “Pica8 is proud to have been selected as the first NOS on the revolutionary XPliant switches.”

“The XPliant switches deliver the flexibility and throughput required by next generation networks,” said Eric Hayes, VP/GM of the Switch Platform Group at Cavium. “By partnering with Pica8, we can allow our customers to realize the full potential of the XPliant switch and build truly customized SDN implementations.”

Cavium Shows New Xpliant Silicon Driving SDN-enable Ethernet Switches

Cavium is demonstrating OpenFlow and OpenFlow-Hybrid Ethernet switches based on its new XPliant silicon.

Cavium's XPliant Ethernet switches deliver full line rate support in OpenFlow through XPliant's SDK APIs and integration of Open vSwitch (OVS) at an aggregate switching capacity of 3.2 terabits per second.

"Historically, large scale data center customers were only interested in the speeds and feeds of networking silicon. Now customers are looking for standards based vendor interoperable features that enable them to effectively control their networks, scale and grow over time," said Eric Hayes, VP/GM, Switch Platform Group at Cavium. "The XPA architecture is the ideal solution available today with all of these capabilities simultaneously in a cost effective manner."

Cavium noted its XPliant packet architecture XPA Software APIs expose the OVS control abstractions, enabling users to benefit from OVS rich management and networking features, such as L2 pipeline (VLANs, LAGs, FDB, STP etc.), bonding modes (LACP), and advanced tunneling protocols (Geneve, VxLAN, NVGRE) as well as future yet-to-be-defined standards. Now, through XPA Software and APIs, these open and industry proven features can be seamlessly invoked representing a truly hybrid switch optimized for virtualized environments, in a single hardware.

Sysdig Debuts Monitoring Solution for Kubernetes

Sysdig, a start-up offering container-native visibility, announced support for Kubernetes, which is the open source container orchestration tool originally created by Google. The company said its Sysdig Cloud is first and only monitoring solution to offer complete visibility into Kubernetes environments. Open source system exploration tool, sysdig, has also added native support for Kubernetes, further building on its Docker troubleshooting capabilities.

Kubernetes is rapidly becoming the most popular framework on which to deploy microservice-oriented applications in Docker containers. The idea is to simplify the deployment of Docker and clusters of microservices at scale. Kubernetes, like many orchestration tools, deploys applications by distributing interconnected Docker containers across a cluster of shared physical resources.

Sysdig Cloud’s container-native monitoring for Kubernetes includes key features such as:

  • Container-native monitoring with ContainerVision: Sysdig’s ContainerVision offers deep, application-level visibility into Kubernetes and Docker containers, while respecting the independence and isolation of each container.
  • Kubernetes metadata integration: Kubernetes translates microservices into “pods”, “services”, “replication controllers”, and “namespaces”. Sysdig Cloud now understands the full context of your Kubernetes system, and offers alerts and dashboards that correlate this metadata directly with all your system, network, application, and infrastructure data.
  • Zero configuration deployment: Just drop the Sysdig Cloud container into your Kubernetes environment. ContainerVision automatically detects every application running in every other container in your infrastructure and starts streaming back a stunning level a detail in real time. 

The first Kubecon conference is being held this week in San Francisco.

Fujitsu and VMware Expand Global Collaboration in the Cloud

Fujitsu Limited and VMware announced new areas of collaboration to empower customers with flexible and secure cloud technologies. Fujitsu is already a member of the VMware vCloud Air Network and companies have been partners since 2006.

Specifically, the companies have agreed to establish project teams to conduct marketing and sales support activities for the global expansion of FUJITSU Cloud Service K5, a core component of FUJITSU Digital Business Platform MetaArc, based on Fujitsu's most advanced technologies, and FUJITSU Managed Infrastructure Service Virtual Desktop Service V-DaaS, based on VMware Horizon. Both companies plan to collaborate to expand V-DaaS globally, starting in the ASEAN region.

In addition, both companies plan to work together to expand the PaaS capabilities of K5 by leveraging VMware vSphere Integrated Containers to ease the development and distribution of cloud-native applications, and to enable enterprises to flexibly adjust their applications in response to additions and revisions to business processes.