Friday, December 4, 2015

Facebook Engineering: Building a Live Video Broadcast Capability

The Facebook Engineering team is building the ability for people to share live video on Facebook, potentially to very large numbers of viewers.

In this blog post, engineers described "the thundering herd" problem - public figures with millions of followers on Facebook may suddenly start a live broadcast. Facebook needs to be able to handle the potential of more than a million people watching the broadcast at the same time, as happened recently with a live stream from Vin Diesel.

Facebook's approach is to deploy a network of edge caches around the globe. A live video is split into three-second HLS segments, which are sequentially requested by the video player displaying the broadcast. The segment request is handled by one of the HTTP proxies in an edge data center, which then checks with an edge cache and the origin cache. Facebook is aiming to take the latency "down to a few seconds."

A trial of these capabilities is starting with a small percentage of people in the U.S. on iPhones.

Zayo Launches VMware Hybrid Cloud Service

Zayo launched its VMware Hybrid Cloud service, which provides customers with a dedicated hosting environment. The service is built with and operated using VMware vSphere 6 and VMware vCloud Director.

Zayo said its differentiated hybrid cloud solution enables customers to utilize the same VMware infrastructure off-premises as they are running on-premises. Customers can manage and move on-premises, VMware-based workloads to Zayo’s private or multi-tenant cloud infrastructure seamlessly, from a single management console.

“The industry needs IaaS solutions delivered on a highly flexible, workload-by-workload basis with the mobility optimized in hybrid cloud solutions,” said Greg Friedman, executive vice president, Colocation and Cloud Infrastructure at Zayo. “The enhancements we have made to our platform, combined with the investments in security and advanced monitoring, are enabling us to deliver on these new enterprise requirements.”

IHS: LTE Infrastructure Market Up 9% YoY

The worldwide mobile infrastructure market totaled $11.3 billion in the third quarter of 2015 (3Q15), up 1 percent from a year ago, driven by 3G W-CDMA capacity projects in EMEA and the end of LTE rollouts in China, according to a new report from IHS.

Some highlights:

  • Global LTE revenue is up 9 percent year-over-year, totaling $6.1 billion.
  • On a quarter-over-quarter basis, the overall mobile infrastructure market is down 1 percent, mainly dragged by Brazil, China, Japan, the Middle East and Russia, while LTE revenue was flat from the previous quarter.
  • Of the BRIC nations, India is the bright spot in the mobile infrastructure space, up every quarter since the beginning of 2015
  • North America is stable quarter-over-quarter, China is reaching the end of its massive LTE rollouts, LTE rollouts in Western and Central Europe are close to completion, and in the Middle East 3G upgrades are completed
  • IHS projects the global 2G/3G/4G mobile infrastructure market to slowly decline to $28.5 billion by 2019, a 5-year (2014–2019) CAGR of -9.5 percent
  • 5G will kick off the next mobile infrastructure investment cycle, which is expected to start in 2018

IHS: Network Security Space Remains Hot

According to a new report from IHS, the global network security market, including appliances and software, continued its strong performance in the third quarter of 2015 (3Q15), growing 7 percent year-over-year, to $2 billion.

Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks continue to post strong year-over-year growth, and Check Point, Cisco, Fortinet, Intel Security, Juniper and Palo Alto all posted sequential growth in 3Q15.

Some highlights:

  • A sell-off of some major product portfolios is underway in the network security space:
  • Trend Micro and HP announced in October 2015 that Trend is buying HP’s TippingPoint business
  • In November 2015, Intel Security announced the sale of several lines of business, including their firewall and next-generation firewall (NGFW) business, to Raytheon|Websense
  • Coming off its largest quarter ever in 2Q15, market leader Cisco saw a significant shift in revenue to intrusion prevention systems (IPS) during Q3
  • The emergence of SDN and NFV as dominant networking trends is forcing enterprises and service providers to look at future solutions that work in these environments, including virtual appliances and other software solutions.

After 3 1/2 Years, LightSquared's Case Takes a Step Forward

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved LightSquared’s Change of Control application, paving the path toward emergence from Chapter 11 as well as the installation of new leadership committed to collaborating with industry and government to spur economic growth by bringing the company’s mid-band spectrum to market.

The company described the FCC grant as a significant milestone.  LightSquared originally filed for bankruptcy protection in May 2012, and its reorganization plan was confirmed by Judge Shelley C. Chapman on March 26, 2015.

“We are very appreciative for today’s FCC action which will allow LightSquared to begin anew and recommit to work with all stakeholders to resolve important technical matters, identify necessary solutions, and remove regulatory uncertainty that the company has faced over the past three and-a-half years,” said Doug Smith, LightSquared chief executive officer. “We will emerge from restructuring with new owners representing some of the world’s top investors, and they have committed significant new capital to give the company the runway it needs to grow and operate the business. The new Board of Directors will be a group of highly-skilled and deeply experienced individuals, and I am excited to work alongside each of them to reach consensus and enable use of this mid-band spectrum.”

  • LightSquared acquired a block of spectrum (1525-1559 MHz) in the L-Band and sought to build a nationwide 4G-LTE network integrated with satellite coverage but ran into objections of potential interference, financial and legal difficulties. 

AT&T Confirms Contract Ratification by Southeast Employee

AT&T announced that employees represented by the Communications Workers of America have voted to ratify a four-year contract with AT&T Southeast wireline operations. Employees also voted to ratify tentative agreements on two southeast regional contracts covering AT&T Billing Southeast and Southeast Utility Operations.

The contracts cover about 24,000 employees in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. They replace contracts that expired on Aug. 8, 2015, and will run through Aug. 3, 2019.

Pica8 Appoints Dan Tuchler as VP of Product Mgt

Pica8 appointed Dan Tuchler as vice president of product management. Previously, Tuchler was a product management executive at many successful startups, including Alteon Websystems, Blade Network Technologies, Force10 Networks, Mellanox Technologies, and Vyatta, and he consulted with Cavium/Xpliant on go-to-market strategies for the company’s switching ASIC.