Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Blueprint: Cloud and Networking Predictions 2016

by Elad Rave, CEO of Teridion

The cloud is no longer a luxury for enterprises, it is a must have. With more complex applications entering the enterprise, like video streaming and larger file sharing, legacy connectivity solutions are no longer capable of handling such large workloads. With this in mind, 2016 will see major shifts in how the cloud is used in the networking space.

1. Hybrid cloud storage and disaster recovery go hand-in-hand 

As data is evolving at unprecedented speeds, so too are the datacenters that need to support the developing data communication space. Hybrid cloud storage has helped alleviate some of the burden of differentiating data communication and storage. As more sensitive data travels even longer distances, the chances of something failing along the way increase. Trying to keep data from falling through the cracks requires a great deal of consideration – whether to turn to an on or off-premise solution, whether to increase bandwidth due to an increasingly mobile workforce, if you should consider different cloud storage options, what should occur if a natural disaster were to occur or theft and much more. In 2016, creating effective disaster recovery strategy will become a top priority for companies, but in order to do this, employees of all levels need to see backup as quick and painless, and not an additional task. The network must be ready, wherever, whenever.

2. Containers go mainstream 

Containers have swept the cloud and application development market by storm in the past year as a way to segment different application operations, streamlining a lot of overhead. Containers are small and agile, which makes them ideal for scaling dynamic applications. However large enterprises have been hesitant to go all in as there have been a lack of expert personnel available, as well as security concerns. In 2016, we will see some of those security concerns alleviated as vendors integrate security into container technology, and with the uptick in popularity, we’ll see more experts in the space who can provide guidance on deployment methods. Companies will have the tools, and vendors will offer the feature sets and security required for increased use of containers in an ever-changing cloud environment.

3. Application developers are not limited by location or legacy architectures 

In 2016, developers will finally be able to create applications and services as they want to instead of around the limitations of bandwidth and speed that the current Internet architecture holds. As these applications become more complex, network providers will be tasked with providing a stable, fast and reliable Internet to keep up, and we'll see the cloud utilized much more for that purpose. Big data analytics, also in the cloud, will be used to help determine optimal paths based on application requirements.

4. Bolstering the network with multiple clouds

As cloud-service-dependent business models continue to gain popularity, over the next year enterprises will begin to deploy networks across different cloud operators, just as they've done with compute, storage and virtualization. The cloud continues to mature, and as the demand for services spanning multiple clouds escalates, so will the solutions that make them easier to manage. With backend intelligence, administrators are able to gather granular performance data, either for compute, storage, networking or cost, that permits the management system to select the appropriate cloud operator based on service needs, as well as implementing true resiliency at the cloud layer.

5. SDN gets a reality check

SDNs will continue to see deployment in hyper-scale datacenters, DevOps and institutions with large networking teams. We see SDN flourishing in environments where there is control over infrastructure, devices entering and leaving and internal bandwidths, for example, an enterprise with a single carrier. But as the network becomes a messier space in the coming year, can an SDN network handle 10x the traffic in a short period of time? Other questions center on if an SDN deployment is really multi-vendor. How well does the SDN deployment align with an enterprise’s public or hybrid cloud strategy, and in many cases could it be made more or less relevant if the enterprise is making the shift? Enterprises need to be looking at the larger “Software-Defined Everything” picture as opposed to only SDN, as more begin to realize that hybrid alternatives aren’t for everyone.

About the Author

Elad Rave, a proven industry veteran and successful serial entrepreneur with extensive experience in the technology sector, is CEO and co-founder of Teridion. Previously, he was the co-founder of several successful start up companies including Oxygen CG, TheServerExpress, Partenos and Elenexos Ltd. He is recognized as an architectural expert and for multiplatform integration design and implementation.

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Ericsson: LTE Can Support Millions of Low-Power IoT Devices per Cell Site

Ericsson introduced the first complete cellular low-power wide-area (LPWA) offering, with backing from AT&T.

Ericsson Networks Software 17A for Massive IoT addresses a comprehensive range of Internet of Things (IoT) applications by supporting millions of IoT device connections per cell site.

Ericsson said its new network software introduces narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) to existing LTE network infrastructure, enabling fast rollout of reliable, secure mobile connectivity with low total cost of ownership. Additionally, the network software introduces power-saving functionality for NB-IoT and LTE-M, allowing for more than 10-year device battery lifetime.

NB-IoT, LTE Machine-type Communication (LTE-M) and the previously launched Extended Coverage GSM (EC-GSM) are complementary and address the diversity of LPWA IoT use case requirements and deployment scenarios while making best use of existing networks.

“A few months ago Ericsson announced innovations to accelerate uptake of the IoT, including our EC-GSM offering; now we are expanding on our promise to remove barriers to the IoT with the industry’s first complete cellular LPWA offering, enabling operators to address the full diversity of IoT use cases across their networks. With support for massive numbers of connections, 2016 will be the year of the IoT,” stated
Arun Bansal, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Radio, Ericsson.

Fujitsu Releases Multi-Layer Virtuora NC 3.0 SDN for Carrier Networks

Fujitsu Network Communications announced the availability of Virtuora NC 3.0, an open-source-based suite of multi-layer, multi-vendor network automation and virtualization products for carrier SDN.

The company said its Virtuora NC 3.0 enables rapid service innovation via an open control environment with distinct separation of the controller, southbound and application layers.

“Service providers need networks that are architected for continuous improvement,” said Igor Bergman, Vice President and head of the Software Business Unit at Fujitsu Network Communications. “Virtuora NC is highly scalable and makes networks programmable, in turn helping providers reduce costs while increasing service velocity.”

Some key points:

  • The interfaces to the controlled network elements make up the ‘southbound’ layer. Those interfaces are abstracted via YANG models and XML, and support TL1, NETCONF, and other management protocols, as well as being architected for multivendor support.
  • Control, management, fulfillment, service assurance functions and northbound interfaces make up the ‘application’ layer of Virtuora NC. In keeping with the modular design of Virtuora, the applications are also self-contained and provide a set of external interfaces to support data collection, analytics, and available inventory.
  • Virtuora NC delivers on the openness of the ODL platform to support seamless integration of multiple layers with multi-vendor devices and third-party application development. All the data stores in the ODL database as well as other services of ODL can be accessed by any application via standardized REST-based APIs and standard data-modeling approaches. As a result, anyone capable of developing an application for ODL can develop and implement applications on Virtuora NC.
  • Virtuora NC supporting applications provide a rich ecosystem that offers multiple choices in service creation and operations efficiency: Dynamic Service Activation and Service Restoration; Path Computation based on routing constraints, such as available bandwidth, network faults, per-link and full path latency, and diversity; and Resource Discovery of all the topology elements, including nodes, links, and equipment.

Fujitsu's Open Source SDN Controller Demos Dynamic, Multilayer Service Activation

Fujitsu Network Communications has successfully demonstrated interoperability between its Open Source SDN Controller and the ONOS controller developed by ON.Lab.

Fujitsu, a founding ONOS partner, developed TL1 southbound interfaces from the ONOS-based SDN controller to the FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet Optical Networking Platform (P-ONP) to provide Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) services: On-demand bandwidth, bandwidth calendaring and multi-layer optimization.

In this video, Anuj Dutia, Head of Market Development at FNC, presents an overview of the Fujitsu Open Source SDN controller, including a demonstration of dynamic service activation across multiple network layers.

See 5 Minute video:

NTT DOCOMO to Deploy ALU's 7950 IP Core/Edge Routers

NTT DOCOMO will deploy Alcatel-Lucent's 7950 Extensible Routing System for supporting its 68 million mobile subscribers in Japan. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent said the deployment of its 7950 XRS core/edge router strengthens a long-standing relationship with NTT DOCOMO, particularly in the supply of IP technology. Alcatel-Lucent previously supplied its 7750 Service Router series and 7450 Ethernet Service Switch for DOCOMO's Border GateWay Router and Radio Access Network Switch projects.

"NTT DOCOMO is a company that is well-known for its emphasis on quality and reliability to offer the most innovative services to customers. As such, we are very pleased to be able to deliver our powerful IP core/edge router to help NTT DOCOMO support the increasing mobile traffic and the introduction of 5G," stated Nicolas Bouverot, President of Alcatel-Lucent Japan.

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 year ending in March 2016. The trials will expand to outdoor settings thereafter. Key findings and achievements will be shared with global research bodies and at international conferences. Through the collaborations, DOCOMO expects to evaluate and verify its proprietary 5G technologies and thereby accelerate 5G standardization.

Since May 2014, DOCOMO has been working with a number of other vendors, including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Huawei, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, Nokia and Samsung.

DOCOMO said it aims to introduce 5G on a commercial basis in 2020. 5G is being developed for ultra-high-speed data transmissions of over 10Gbps and 1,000 times the capacity of LTE, which will help address the proliferation of connected items in the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), as well as to support the increasingly diverse range of mobile services.

"Global expectations for 5G are growing as we approach the start of the standardization phase," said Seizo Onoe, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at DOCOMO. "We are delighted to form these new collaborations on 5G experimental trials for wider technical areas to establish the 5G ecosystem with additional world-leading global vendors to promote R&D targeted at 5G deployment in 2020."

EMC Consolidates VCE as its Converged Platforms Division

EMC announced the appointment of Chad Sakac as President of VCE.  He will report to David Goulden, CEO, EMC Information Infrastructure.

Sakac, a veteran EMC leader, has been a leading advocate for converged platforms and solutions in the market. He succeeds Praveen Akkiraju who, since taking over VCE in 2012, has played a critical role in growing VCE into a business that exits FY15 on an even higher run rate than the $2 billion+ we previously disclosed. Akkiraju will continue to work for David Goulden in an advisory role.

VCE, which became an EMC business in December 2014, will now become the EMC Converged Platforms Division. As part of this new model, VCE is poised to fully leverage EMC in helping customers implement their IT transformation plans. Tighter alignment within EMC will further simplify technology options and deployment, and provide an even richer customer experience at enterprise scale to drive business competitiveness. With a broad portfolio of converged and hyper-converged offerings, EMC customers can confidently simplify operations and shift resources to increase focus on innovation and business agility.

Qualcomm Intros Wi-Fi SON Capability

Qualcomm Atheros is introducing the first Wi-Fi SON capabilities for networking products that power smart gateways, wireless routers, range extenders and access points in conjunction with several OEMs, including Airtight, Asus, D-Link, Linksys and TP-Link.

Qualcomm Wi-Fi SON is aimed at simplifying Wi-Fi networking in the home and office while optimizing end-to-end performance and offering the best user experience. Key features include:

  • Self-configuring that enables plug-and-play deployment
  • Self-managing that offers autonomous performance optimization
  • Self-healing actively detects and resolves connectivity bottlenecks
  • Self-defending that secures the network from unauthorized access
  • Qualcomm Wi-Fi SON is currently available for product integration, allowing OEMs to differentiate their services and further show industry leadership.

“Qualcomm Atheros is at the forefront of bringing innovations that offer seamless connectivity to users,” said Gopi Sirineni, senior director of product management, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc. “Qualcomm Wi-Fi SON is one such initiative, which provides a comprehensive set of solutions to simplify the deployment of Wi-Fi networks in homes and offices, while also providing the best performance and experience to users.”

Ericsson and AT&T Provide Water Monitoring

Ericsson is working with AT&T to develop a monitoring solution for the municipal water utility in Atlanta.

The trials will enable the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, an organization dedicated to protecting water in the Chattahoochee River Basin, to remotely monitor the quality of the city’s water at key watershed locations. The connected water field trials will utilize a design prototype based on the winning idea from a recent Ericsson-sponsored Technology for Good innovation challenge with university students.

AT&T will provide all wireless connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Apple's App Store Racks Up Big Numbers

Apple posted record numbers for its App Store over the Holidays:

  • In the two weeks ending January 3, customers spent over $1.1 billion on apps and in-app purchase.
  • January 1, 2016 marked the biggest day in App Store history with customers spending over $144 million, topping the previous record set a week earlier on Christmas Day.
  • Worldwide, the App Store has brought in nearly $40 billion for developers since 2008, with over one-third generated in the last year alone.
  • Apple claims that it is responsible for creating and supporting 1.9 million jobs in the U.S. alone. The company has previously reported that the iOS app economy has created 1.2 million jobs in Europe and 1.4 million jobs in China.