Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cisco Brings Hyperscale Cloud Smarts to IOS XR

Cisco is rolling out new capabilities for its IOS XR network operating system that deliver cloud-scale networking for service providers and web companies. The goal is to deliver cloud applications at scale with greater agility, automation and simplicity by enabling traditional and web service providers to converge their data centers and wide area network (WAN) architectures.

Cisco developed the new capabilities with some of the world’s leading web companies (unnamed for competitive reasons) and based on their operational best practices. The rollout includes three additions to the Cisco Network Convergence System (NCS) Series routing portfolio, which
converges IP and optical fabrics.

Cisco IOS XR is currently deployed across over 50,000 live network routers.  The newly announced capabilities include:

  • Software modularity and extensibility
  • Increased service agility with granular software packaging and automated upgrade
  • IT and network automation convergence with third-party application hosting, such as industry standard DevOps tools, Chef or Puppet
  • Open innovation with IOS XR Software Development Kit (SDK) and Cisco DevNet Developer Program
  • Large-scale Automation for Greater Operational Efficiency
  • Predictable network programmability through data-model-driven APIs (YANG/OpenConfig)
  • Extensive flexibility to adapt to customerss’ operational environment (i.e., any data model, any encoding method, and any transport method)
  • Fine-grained visibility and control for simplification and enhanced end-user experiences
  • Actionable and contextual network insight due to data-model-driven access to extensive operational state data (i.e., highly augmented visibility compared to mechanisms such as SNMP)
  • Near real-time network programmability with enhancements to Application Engineered Routing solution – WAN Automation Engine (WAE) support for Telemetry and Segment Routing Traffic Engineering.

Additions to the Cisco NCS portfolio include:

  • Cisco NCS 5000 Series, delivering up to 40-80 10GE ports and 4 100GE ports
  • Cisco NCS 5500 Series, providing up to 288 routed 100GE ports for WAN aggregation
  • Cisco NCS 1000 Series, supporting 100/200/250Gb wavelengths over distances exceeding 3000 km with existing fiber

“Service providers are looking to leverage the operational best practices established in massively scalable computing environments and marry them with their own networking reach to compete and innovate faster,” said Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president of Cisco’s service provider segment.  “With this announcement, Cisco is leading the industry toward cloud-scale networking, converging the data center and WAN and delivering new levels of speed, automation and simplicity. We feel this a real game-changer that will help service providers of all types in their digitization journeys, enabling them to operate their networks in near real-time while dramatically increasing operational efficiency.”


In September 2013, +Cisco unveiled its flagship Network Convergence System (NCS) core routing fabric designed to bring scalability, open programmability, and IP/Optical integration to power the Internet of Everything.

The Cisco NCS family serves as network fabric and orchestration system uniting the Cisco Carrier Routing System (CRS) and Aggregation Services Router (ASR) product lines.  It can be deployed as part of the Cisco ONE Service Provider Architecture, which embraces and extends SDN/NFV. The NCS family leverages several innovations:

Programmable Silicon: The NCS features the recently announced Cisco nPower X1 integrated network processor, which is also used in the CRS-X.  The nPower X1 packs 336 cores and 4 billion transistors on a single chip.  It also features new memory technology , the nPower X1 implementation achieves
unprecedented levels of performance, functionality, programmability and scale for a network processor.

Intelligent Convergence for Optimization and Simplification: The Cisco NCS converges IP and optical networks and is designed to seamlessly integrate with the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) and the Dynamic Fabric Automation capabilities supported by Cisco's data center innovations. This convergence capability enables the NCS to act as a flexible foundational network fabric for an evolved programmable network, able to shift and redirect data center, core, edge and optical resources spontaneously and in real time, allowing service providers to accelerate service velocity while reducing overall complexity and operating costs.

Advanced Virtualization Capabilities: The NCS's element, system and architectural virtualization capabilities converge to enable the system to orchestrate services and resources across disparate physical, virtual and geographical elements as if they are part of a single unified system using Cisco Prime and Cisco Quantum solutions. The system's advanced virtualization features enable service providers to elastically scale up and down both network and compute resources, utilizing scalable multichassis configurations that can be managed as a single entity. If system scale is exceeded in one part of the network, the NCS moves control plane functions onto UCS servers in the data center, creating virtually unlimited control plane scale by capitalizing on the blade servers' processing.

The Cisco NCS family consists of three key components that can be managed as a single integrated system for business agility and simplified operations:

NCS 6000 -- the flagship router boasts the ability to transport up to 5 Tbps per slot and 1.2 Pbps per system.  By using its 100 Gbps,CMOS-based CPAK transceivers Cisco is delivering the first 1 Tbps line card. Each line card runs up to 1 Tbps throughput, using a mix of 10, 40, or 100 Gbps interfaces per card.  Significantly, the NCS 6000 will run virtualized IOS-XR instances while supporting hardware-enabled true zero-packet, zero-topology loss (ZPL/ZTL) In Service Software Upgrade (ISSU).  This will enable lossless software image updates.  Thanks to the CMOS silicon photonics and new network processor, Cisco said the NCS 6000 will achieve the lowest carbon footprint in service provider routing . The NCS 6000 is currently shipping.

NCS 4000 --  bridges the gap between the IP and optical layers with time division multiplexing (TDM), packet switching, and integrated DWDM functionality. It will support 400 Gbps per slot and 6.4 Terabits per system and be available in single, back-to-back, and multi-chassis configurations.  It will offer full optical channel data unit (ODU-0) level switching, with ports supporting SONET/SDH, Ethernet, and channelized OTN Full IP, MPLS, MPLS-Transport Profile (TP), and Carrier Ethernet switching, supporting 10 Gb, 40 Gb, and 100 Gb Ethernet interfaces with the option of OTN encapsulation. The NCS 4000 will be available in the first half of 2014.

NCS 2000 -- a DWDM transport platform that evolves the Cisco ROADM portfolio by introducing 96-channel nLight ROADM technology.  It offers touchless re-configurability through colorless, omni-directional, and contention-less add/drop, networks.  The NCS 2000 introduces hybrid Raman-EDFA amplifiers known as erbium doped Raman amplifiers (EDRA).  The NCS 2000 is currently shipping.

The three platforms are designed to work as a single, integrated system.

"The Cisco NCS was engineered with the programmability, intelligence and scalability to meet the demands of today and tomorrow.  The NCS delivers an evolved programmable network that will enable service providers to generate new revenue streams and business models, while delivering exciting new experiences to their customers," stated Surya Panditi, SVP and GM, Cisco's Service Provider Networking Group.

Cisco named three early adopters for NCS:  BSkyB (Sky), KDDI and Telstra.

Coriant's Pluggables Disaggregate Optical Layer Functions

Coriant unveiled its Pluggable Optical Layer approach to disaggregating key components needed for high-speed metro optical networks.

Coriant's Pluggable Optical Layer disaggregates the full suite of optical layer components into compact pluggables, including amplifiers, variable optical attenuators, power monitoring, combiners, splitters, WSSs, etc. The company said that by providing the ability to mix and match different functional components, the Pluggable Optical Layer enables operators to customize metro optical network deployments (e.g., fixed DWDM, CWDM, and ROADM) without the need to pay for unwanted or unneeded functionality.

Coriant's vision is to enable new functionality by adding or swapping additional components, while preserving investment in those components that do not need to change. The solution is initially supported on the industry-leading Coriant 7100 Packet Optical Transport Platform, which includes the 7100 Pico and 7100 Nano.

“In today’s dynamic and competitive market for metro services, operators do not want to choose between low cost and flexibility when it comes to building or extending metro optical networks,” said Brian Nagle, Director of Product Line Management, Coriant. “By introducing the first fully pluggable optical layer, they do not have to make this choice and can implement a cost-effective solution today that can easily adapt to meet future service requirements.”


Three new IEEE 802.3 study groups

The Ethernet Alliance commended the recent formation of three new IEEE 802.3® study groups:

The IEEE 802.3 25Gb/s Ethernet PMD(s) for Single Mode Fiber Study Group is tasked with exploring the development of new 25Gb/s Ethernet single-mode fiber links, as well as evaluating market requirements supporting longer reach 25Gb/s Ethernet interfaces up to 10 kilometers or more. The group’s work complements the fast-tracked efforts of the IEEE P802.3by 25Gb/s Ethernet Task Force to develop a 25GbE specification.

Focusing on two related areas of study, the IEEE 802.3 50Gb/s Ethernet Over A Single Lane Study Group and IEEE 802.3 Next Generation 100Gb/s and 200Gb/s Ethernet Study Group will jointly investigate the market requirements for 50GbE, 100GbE and 200GbE, which include server-to-switch and switch-to-switch applications. The Study Groups will define objectives for the Ethernet specifications leveraging 50Gb/s signaling technology based on market needs.

“Ethernet is beginning the standardization of a new era of speeds based on 50Gb/s signaling technology. The 50Gb/s lanes will enable 50 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) SFP56 modules, and 200GbE QSFP56 modules and other corresponding technologies as we have shown in the 2015 Ethernet Roadmap,” said Scott Kipp, president, Ethernet Alliance; and principal technologist, Brocade. “The launch of these new study groups will help deliver the next generation of cost-optimized, higher-speed solutions demanded by hyperscale data centers, enterprises, cloud service providers, and more. It’s proof that Ethernet will continue to be optimized for new markets.”


Citrix to Spinoff GoTo Products, Restructure Core Business

Citrix Systems will spinoff its GoTo family of products into a separate public company as part of an organizational restructuring aimed at renewing its focus on core products.

Citrix plans to increase emphasis and resources to core enterprise products for secure and reliable application and data delivery, including XenApp, XenDesktop, XenMobile, ShareFile and NetScaler. The company will end investment in certain other products and programs, in some cases moving technologies into strategic products, in other cases providing an orderly end-of-life to non-core products.

As part of the restructuring, Citrix will eliminate about 1,000 full-time and contract roles, excluding the effect of spinning off the GoTo business.

"We are simplifying our business in all areas - product, marketing, sales, operations and development," said Bob Calderoni, interim CEO and president, and executive chairman. "Focusing on our core strengths and simplifying how we work with customers and partners will help us improve execution, drive higher profit and begin investing for growth in areas in which we provide the greatest customer value."


ALU Joins the ONOS Project

Alcatel-Lucent has joined the ONOS project, the Open source SDN Network Operating System (ONOS) for service providers and mission critical networks and a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project.

ONOS is a carrier-grade SDN network operating system architected to provide high availability, scalability, performance, and rich northbound and southbound abstractions. Alcatel-Lucent will join leading service providers, vendors, collaborators and individual contributors to accelerate SDN/NFV adoption and drive open innovation.

"Open source object models are becoming the new baseline for multi-vendor interoperability. ONOS provides a carrier-centric forum where these models can be defined and implemented at an accelerated pace to stay ahead of the monumental shift towards SDN and virtualization," said Steve Vogelsang, CTO for Alcatel-Lucent's IP Routing and Transport business. "By committing engineering resources and becoming an active participant of ONOS, we will be in a much better position to contribute our carrier SDN knowledge and experience to open source initiatives, and will benefit from collaboration across the broader network vendor and service provider communities."


Radisys, Octasic and Quortus Partner on Multi-Radio Network-in-a-Box

Radisys, along with Octasic and Quortus, announced a Multi-Radio 4G/3G/2G Network-in-a-Box targeted for the military and public safety organizations. The joint solution enables the rapid deployment of an end-to-end LTE network in a compact, ruggedized form factor.  The idea is to enable military and public safety professionals to rapidly deploy a complete portable network anywhere, whether in a UAV, a vehicle or a backpack. The network can support up to 32 active users by leveraging LTE technology.

The Multi-Radio Network-in-a-Box integrates Radisys’ field-hardened CellEngine TOTALeNodeB LTE small cell software and Femtotality 3G small cell software with Octasic’s OCTBTS platforms and Quortus’ ECX Tactical virtualized EPC (Evolved Packet Core) solution.

“As the leaders in small cell software with more than 80 deployments worldwide, we’re skilled at working with any organization that needs reliable, secure and portable communications technology. We’re excited about this new Multi-Radio Network-in-a-Box that encompasses Octasic’s value proposition to deliver base stations that meet the military’s strict size, weight and power requirements and adds Quortus’ virtualized core for a complete end-to-end LTE network solution,” stated Tom McQuade, general manager, CellEngine and Trillium Software, Radisys.

Ericsson to Offer Subscription VOD for SPs

Ericsson is launching an end-to-end subscription video-on-demand content service called NuVu that will be marketed with service providers. AirTel Nigeria will be first to launch NuVu beginning in Q1 2016.

Subscribers will gain access to around 3,000 local and international TV and film titles for a small monthly fee. They will be able to download content directly to their smartphones or tablets at no additional data cost during off-peak network times, and access the content offline for up to 30 days after downloading.

Ericsson said it is working with a number of leading international distributors to acquire TV and film content for the new service.
NuVu is a complete end-to-end technology and content service. The platform, which has been developed by Ericsson and leverages the company's extensive over-the-top capabilities, will be fully integrated into the operator's customer relationship management and payment systems. A core feature of the service is the built-in ability to distribute content to consumers during off-peak periods. This minimizes data costs for both operator and consumer, addressing the cost challenge that has so far been an obstacle for video-on-demand uptake in Africa.


ALU Lands 5-Year Deal with Ooredoo

Ooredoo Group awarded a 5-year frame supply deal to Alcatel-Lucent, extending and reinforcing the existing long-term collaboration between both companies. The agreement covers the technology evolution and latest innovations relating to ultra-broadband IP and transport networks. This contract will extend for five years and will benefit operations across the Ooredoo footprint in Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent will supply state-of-the-art, full packet microwave, high bandwidth optical networking & IP routing platforms which will enhance Ooredoo’s customers’ experience, whether it is for rich communications, watching video entertainment from fixed/mobile devices or accessing cloud-based business applications. Alcatel-Lucent is also providing its professional services expertise including network management services.