Sunday, April 10, 2016

OpenStack Mitaka Focuses on Scalability

The OpenStack community released the 13th version of its open source software for building clouds, with a focus on manageability, scalability and end-user experience. OpenStack is an integration engine that can manage bare metal, virtual machines, and container orchestration frameworks with a single set of APIs.

OpenStack is approaching its sixth anniversary.

Here are some highlight's of the OpenStack Mitaka release:

  • Simplified Manageability - includes numerous advancements that focus on improving day-to-day ease of use for cloud deployers and administrators. One highlight is a simplified configuration for the Nova compute service that introduces additional standard defaults and reduces the number of options that must be manually selected. The Keystone identity service, too, has been greatly simplified, with multi-step processes for setting up the identity management features of a cloud network—installing, running, authenticating, distributing tokens, etc.—streamlined into a one-step process. Another example of the enhanced manageability available in Mitaka is found in Neutron, which now features improved Layer 3 networking and Distributed Virtual Router (DVR) support.
  • Greater Scalability - Heat’s convergence engine, which first appeared in the Liberty release, can now handle larger loads and more complex actions for horizontal scaling, while delivering better performance for stateless operations. Similarly, in Keystone, fernet tokens increase the number of API operations the identity service can support. Developers also made significant progress on Cells v2, another feature introduced in Liberty that aids in horizontally scaling out OpenStack compute clouds.
  • Improved User Experience -  a unified OpenStack Client provides a consistent set of calls for creating resources so end users don’t have to learn the intricacies of each service API. Mitaka also delivers improved support for software development kits (SDKs) across a number of different languages. Another improvement that simplifies that experience for application developers is the ongoing work to add the “get me a network” function in Neutron. This feature will remove all the steps necessary to create a network, attach a server to it, assign an IP to that server, and make the network accessible, and consolidates these steps into a single action. Elements of this functionality are introduced in Mitaka.


The next OpenStack Summit will be held in Austin on April 25-29.

http://www.openstack.org

Sprint to Sell and Lease-back of Certain Network Assets

Sprint announced an arrangement to sell and lease back certain existing network assets, thereby raising $2.2 billion for addressing upcoming debt maturities.

Under the deal, several bankruptcy remote entities (collectively “Network LeaseCo”) will acquire certain existing network assets and then lease them back to Sprint. The assets acquired by Network LeaseCo will be used as collateral to raise approximately $2.2 billion in borrowings from external investors, including SoftBank. The $2.2 billion of cash proceeds Sprint expects to receive from the transaction is scheduled to be repaid in staggered, unequal payments through January 2018.

“Sprint and SoftBank have worked together again to create a unique structure that provides Sprint with an attractive source of capital,” said Sprint CFO Tarek Robbiati. “This transaction is an important first step in addressing upcoming debt maturities and allows us to stay focused on our corporate transformation, which involves growing topline revenues and aggressively taking costs out of the business to improve operating cash flows.”

http://www.sprint.com

KT Tests 5G Backhaul in E-Band with NEC

KT completed a 5G wireless backhaul proof of concept (PoC) in conjunction with NEC.

The test, which was conducted at Phoenix Park Ski World in PyeongChang, South Korea, used KT's commercial mobile network infrastructure. NEC supplied its ultra-compact, iPASOLINK EX microwave communications system operating in E-Band spectrum (70-80GHz).  The microwave radios were used to interconnect KT's LTE base stations.

NEC's iPASOLINK EX supports ultra-multilevel modulation (256QAM) technology for high capacity transmission of up to 3.2Gbps. It also supports narrow band transmission (channel width of 250MHz and 500MHz).

KT aims to launch 5G trial services in 2018. This PoC is based on a collaboration agreement in the field of 5G networks signed between KT and NEC in August 2015. The carrier is considering microwave backhaul using E-Band spectrum for 5G services in mountainous areas, where it is difficult to lay optical fibers.

“We are honored to have contributed to KT's 5G-related trial," said Hideyuki Muto, Deputy General Manager, Mobile Wireless Solution Division, NEC Corporation. “NEC's iPASOLINK EX can operate in harsh environments, and is easy to install at various outdoor locations without large scale installation works because it is compact and light weight. This joint PoC took advantage of these features in order to implement a high-capacity mobile backhaul network in snowy, mountainous areas very quickly. Going forward, NEC will strengthen its partnership with KT to contribute to the launch of their 5G trial services in 2018."

http://www.nec.com

Corning to Acquire AFOP for Passive Optical Components

Corning agreed to acquire Alliance Fiber Optic Products (AFOP) for $18.50 per share in cash, representing a transaction value of approximately $305 million.

AFOP, which is based in Sunnyvale, California designs and manufactures high-performance passive optical components that are used by cloud data-center operators and leading datacom and telecom OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). Corning uses AFOP products in a number of its existing connectivity solutions. AFOP was founded in 1995 and has manufacturing and product development capabilities in the U.S., Taiwan and China.

Upon closing of the acquisition, Corning will integrate AFOP into its Optical Communications business segment. Corning expects the acquisition to expand its market access to cloud data-center operators and OEMs, broaden its presence in Asia, and provide product and cost synergies. Corning expects the acquisition to be accretive to its earnings per share during the first year.

“Combining AFOP’s components expertise with Corning’s broad portfolio of connectivity solutions further strengthens our position in the high-growth, cloud data-center market segment,” said Clark S. Kinlin, executive vice president, Corning Optical Communications. “And, it adds additional products that Corning can offer our broad customer base while providing an opportunity for manufacturing synergies.”

Peter C. Chang, AFOP founder and CEO, commented, “We are excited to join forces with Corning. We believe Corning’s scale provides an excellent platform for our products to access a broader customer base and drive a higher level of growth than we would be able to achieve as a standalone company. Our board believes that this transaction is in the best interests of our stockholders and provides our stockholders with substantial cash value for their investment. In addition, we believe becoming part of a larger company with Corning’s strong track record benefits both our employees and customers.”

http://www.corning.com

SAP's Cloud Revenue Rises 33% in Q1

SAP reported strong growth for its cloud services in Q1.  Cloud subscriptions & support revenue, along with software support revenue, reached 69% share of total revenue for the quarter.

First quarter non-IFRS cloud subscriptions and support revenue grew 33% year-over-year (33% at constant currencies) to €0.68 billion. New cloud bookings grew a solid 22% (25% at constant currencies) in the first quarter and reached €0.14 billion.

Another highlight: SAP added more than 500 S/4HANA customers in the quarter, of which approximately 30% are net new SAP customers.

"SAP's fundamental growth drivers are rock solid – from our best-in-class S/4HANA applications to our completeness of vision in the cloud," said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP. "We expect increasing momentum as the year progresses, fully consistent with our guidance for the full year. SAP continues to be a highly profitable growth company."

http://www.sap.com

Alibaba Joins OpenDaylight

The Alibaba Group has joined The OpenDaylight Project at the Silver level.

Alibaba's SDN-enabled infrastructure supported its record-breaking 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, which was the largest one-day online sales event in 2015. On 11.11, Alibaba attracted over 115 million buyers to its marketplaces and enabled RMB91.2 billion (US$14 billion) in GMV settled through Alipay on Alibaba’s platforms. Alibaba’s network infrastructure supported 467 million delivery orders during a 24-hour period and enabled about 140,000 peak transactions processed per second. To support all these, Alibaba’s network had to handle a surge of more than ten times the normal daily volume.

“Open Standards and Open Source are complementary and both important to the Internet industry. Nowadays, standardization helps improve interoperation, reduce costs and can increase the products’ scalability, etc. Open source is an effective way in accelerating the application of standards,” said Judy Zhu, Standardization director, Alibaba Group.

http://www.opendaylight.org

See also