Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Open Compute Project Summit Kicks Off in Silicon Valley

The 2017 Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit kicks off on March 8th and is expected to attract 2,000 attendees interested in next-gen data center design.

Keynote speakers include Kushagra Vaid, General Manager, Azure Cloud Hardware Infrastructure, Microsoft; Masaharu Miyamoto, Senior Server Engineer, Yahoo! JAPAN; Jason Waxman, Vice President, Data Center Group (DCG) General Manager, Datacenter Solutions Group (DSG), Intel; and Vijay Rao, Director of Technology Strategy, Facebook.


HPE to Acquire Nimble Storage for $1 Billion

Hewlett Packard Enterprise agreed to acquire Nimble Storage, a supplier of predictive all-flash and hybrid-flash storage solutions, for $12.50 per share in cash, representing a net cash purchase price at closing of $1.0 billion. In addition to the purchase price, HPE will assume or pay out Nimble’s $200 million in unvested equity awards.

Nimble offers midrange flash storage solutions featuring an intelligent, predictive analytics engine that assesses performance issues across the full data path, from apps to the array.  In addition, Nimble has recently introduced multicloud storage services that combine the best of on-premises and public cloud storage capabilities for Hybrid IT deployments.  Nimble, which is based in San Jose, California, was founded in 2007 and has approximately 1,300 employees worldwide. The company delivered revenue of $402 million in its most recent fiscal year, up 25 percent year over year.

HPE said Nimble’s predictive flash offerings are complementary to its own scalable midrange to high-end 3PAR solutions and affordable MSA products.  In addition, HPE plans to incorporate Nimble’s InfoSight Predictive Analytics platform across its storage portfolio, which will enable a stronger, simplified support experience for HPE customers.

“Nimble Storage’s portfolio complements and strengthens our current 3PAR products in the high-growth flash storage market and will help us deliver on our vision of making Hybrid IT simple for our customers,” said Meg Whitman, President and CEO, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “And, this acquisition is exactly aligned with the strategy and capital allocation approach we’ve laid out. We remain focused on high-growth and higher-margin segments of the market.”

“Over 10,000 enterprises are using Nimble Storage because our Predictive Cloud Platform is reliably fast, radically simple, and cloud ready,” said Suresh Vasudevan, CEO at Nimble Storage. “This acquisition validates our technology leadership in flash and in the use of cloud-based predictive analytics.  We’re confident that by combining Nimble Storage’s technology leadership with HPE’s global distribution strength, strong brand, and enterprise relationships, we’re creating expansion opportunities for the combined company.”


NeoPhotonics Develops Micro Modulator for 400~600 Gbps

NeoPhotonics has developed a 64 GBaud, polarization multiplexed, quadrature micro-modulator (Micro-MOD) implemented in a small form factor (3.9x27x13 mm) package.  The unit is co-packaged with a quad-channel, differential 64 GBaud driver with an Indium Phosphide based Mach-Zehnder (MZ) quadrature modulator chip. It has a bandwidth over 40 GHz and exhibits low insertion loss in a small form factor modulator. By integrating the drivers inside the modulator package directly adjacent to the low power InP modulator chip, the total power requirement is 4.5 Watts.  which leverage its small size, high bandwidth and low power dissipation.

The company said its new modulator is designed for applications in pluggable coherent CFP2-ACO and CFP2-DCO modules as well as on transport line cards. The Micro-MOD could be used in 400/600 Gbps coherent transceiver modules and in line card applications. It joins the NeoPhotonics family of 64 GBaud components, including a 64 GBaud Micro-ICR and ultra-narrow linewidth tunable lasers.

"When coupled with our high bandwidth Micro-ICR and ultra-narrow linewidth tunable laser, this new micro-modulator represents a significant step in providing small form factor capability for next gen 400/600 Gbps datacenter interconnect, core metro and long haul networks for carriers worldwide,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “This device is an excellent example of our advanced hybrid photonic integration capabilities as it depends on a close integration of driver and modulator chips made out of different high performance materials to achieve superior performance, low power, high reliability and stability,” continued Mr. Jenks.


ZTE to Plead Guilty and Pay $1.19 Billion to U.S. Government

In the case involving the shipment of U.S.-origin technology to Iran during the period of economic sanctions, ZTE Corporation agreed to enter a guilty plea and to pay a $430,488,798 penalty to the U.S. ZTE simultaneously reached settlement agreements with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In total ZTE has agreed to pay the U.S. Government $892,360,064. The BIS has suspended an additional $300,000,000, which ZTE will pay if it violates its settlement agreement with the BIS.

Attorney General of the United States Jeff Sessions, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord, U.S. Attorney John R. Parker for the Northern District of Texas and FBI Assistant Director Bill Priestap for the Counterintelligence Division made the announcement.

“ZTE engaged in an elaborate scheme to acquire U.S.-origin items, send the items to Iran and mask its involvement in those exports. The plea agreement alleges that the highest levels of management within the company approved the scheme. ZTE then repeatedly lied to and misled federal investigators, its own attorneys and internal investigators. Its actions were egregious and warranted a significant penalty,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary B. McCord.


Cylance Plans AI-powered Antivirus for Consumers

Cylance disclosed plans to launch a consumer version of its AI-powered antivirus which blocks everyday malware along with advanced cyber threats.  The company named security industry veteran Christopher Bray to launch its consumer division. Cylance currently sells its artificial intelligence-based CylancePROTECT product to businesses, universities, and government organizations.  The consumer version is planned for 2018.

“All of us at Cylance are thrilled to bring Christopher on board to architect our consumer strategy,” said Stuart McClure, president and CEO at Cylance. “His direct experience building business relationships and consumer businesses for security software companies will provide a strong foundation and ensure a successful launch.”

Bray began his career in brand management for Procter & Gamble, but quickly moved into sales and marketing management positions for Dell in South Africa. Following that period, Bray held a variety of executive positions during more than a decade spent with McAfee Security, ultimately advancing to become the senior vice president and general manager of consumer PC OEM/ISP/Retail/Mobile. Most recently Bray served as senior vice president of Norton Field Sales and Marketing at Symantec, where he spearheaded Norton’s re-entry into PC OEM and other large, high-volume consumer distribution partnerships, positioning the Norton business for a return to growth.


Juniper Announces a Management Shuffle

Juniper Networks announced the appointment of Kevin Hutchins to the newly created position Senior Vice President of Strategy and Product Line Management. Juniper's engineering organization will now report into chief development officer, Andy Athreya. Both of these positions will report into chief executive officer, Rami Rahim.

Hutchins is a six-year veteran of Juniper and has been responsible for strategy and business development. Athreya has been an engineering leader at Juniper since 2004 and has held various leadership positions within the routing and security products groups.

In addition to these shifts, Jonathan Davidson has resigned from the company. Davidson served as executive vice president and general manager of Juniper Development and Innovation.

"The opportunity we have at Juniper to lead the next wave of innovation and network transformation in our industry is incredible," said Rami Rahim, chief executive officer, Juniper Networks. "To achieve our vision, I am thrilled to have Kevin Hutchins and Andy Athreya to lead and help realize our innovation potential. These changes will allow Juniper Networks to double-down on innovation."


Kingston Ships Next-Generation Data Center PCIe SSD

Kingston Digital announced shipment of its Data Center PCIe 1000 SSD, a Flash-based drive aggregates four 8-channel controllers together to deliver up to 1.25 million IOPS from a single SSD.

The PCIe-based NVMe Gen. 3.0 x8 SSD is targeted toward high-performance data center applications such as database optimization, online transaction processing (OLTP), software defined storage, virtual desktop infrastructure and virtualization.

“We are proud to introduce the next generation of PCIe storage and performance for data centers with our new DCP1000 PCIe NVMe SSD,” said Ariel Perez, SSD business manager, Kingston. “This drive is a game changer among data center technology solutions. DCP1000 SSD enables IT professionals to quickly and economically scale and improve performance without replacing an entire storage system or server infrastructure.”

Some key specs:

High capacity: With up to 3.2TB1, DCP1000 is a high-capacity NVMe solid-state drive.
Power failure protection: DCP1000 offers enterprise-class power failure protection to maximize uptime.
Interface: Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe™) PCle Gen 3.0 x8 Lanes
Capacities1: 800GB, 1.6TB, 3.2TB
Sequential Read/Write2:
800GB: 6,800 / 5,000MB/s
1.6TB: 6,800 / 6,000MB/s
3.2TB: 6,800 / 6,000MB/s

Steady-State Random 4k Read/Write2:
800GB: 900,000 / 145,000 IOPS
1.6TB: 1,100,000 / 200,000 IOPS
3.2TB: 1,000,000 / 180,000 IOPS

Latency: (Typical) Read/Write 100us / 30us3
Endurance: Terabytes Written (Whole Drive)4
800GB: 748TB5
1.6TB: 1500TB5
3.2TB: 2788TB5


UNH-IOL Launches ONIE Logo Certification Program

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) is launching a certified Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) Logo Certification Program.

ONIE enables a white box network switch ecosystem where end users can choose from a variety of network operating systems. By allowing any operating system to be installed and used on any white box switch, it greatly simplifies the installation and use of a networking operating system.

The ONIE Tested Logo confirms conformance to the open source initiative enabling a network switch ecosystem that provides end users a choice of network operating systems.

“As part of the Open Compute Project, ONIE is helping reimagine hardware to make it more efficient, flexible, and scalable. Enabling choice in both hardware and software decisions, it creates a vast ecosystem,” said David Woolf, Senior Engineer, Datacenter Technologies, UNH-IOL. “The UNH-IOL ONIE Tested Logo Program and ONIE Tested Integrators List propel open networking forward by enabling companies to validate their devices through trusted, third-party interoperability testing.”

“ONIE certification offers numerous benefits to end users and hardware vendors. With ONIE certified hardware, end users can procure with confidence, knowing their hardware purchases are ready for mega-scale deployment,” said Curt Brune, Project Lead, ONIE and Principal Engineer, Cumulus Networks. “For hardware vendors, ONIE certification adds an additional level of quality assurance and brand recognition to their hardware offerings.”


Vodafone Egypt Teams with Ericsson to Launch Commercial VNF

Vodafone Egypt, which serves nearly 40 million customers in Egypt, has launched what is believed to be the first commercial virtual network function in the Middle East region.

Ericsson stated that since October 2016, its virtual Serving GPRS Support Node - Mobility Management Entity (SGSN-MME) has been serving and managing commercial mobile broadband traffic on the Vodafone Egypt network. Ericsson's virtual SGSN-MME supports multi-access technologies including GSM, WCDMA and LTE, and interworks with WiFi.

The Ericsson solution is designed to provide feature parity and is agnostic to the underlying cloud system, offering support for both OpenStack and VMware. Based on the Ericsson pooling concept, the Vodafone Egypt network operates using a combination of virtual and native SGSN/MME within the same pool and helps to support efficient capacity expansion via enhanced scalability and capacity, enabling operators to optimise their operations and address growth in mobile broadband traffic.

Recently, Ericsson and Cisco announced they had been selected to transform and virtualise Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)'s networks, including evolving its core network to provide greater flexibility and programmability using network slicing.

In 2016, Ericsson in partnership with Cisco announced they had been chosen by Vodafone Portugal to implement a mobile backhaul evolution project. As part of the project, Ericsson was to deploy and integrate Cisco's Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 9000 product families to upgrade Vodafone Portugal's IP backhaul network.

Regarding the project, Osama Said, Vodafone Egypt Technology Director, commented, "Vodafone Egypt is working with Ericsson to take steps towards network function virtualisation… (which) will enhance the speed and efficiency of services provide to customers… and customer satisfaction".


Northeast region operator FirstLight to acquire FLTG serving New York and Pennsylvania

FirstLight Fiber, a fibre bandwidth infrastructure services provider operating in New York and northern New England, announced its intent to acquire Finger Lakes Technologies Group (FLTG), a subsidiary of Trumansburg Telephone Company (TTC) that provides data, Internet and voice solutions to business customers across New York and Pennsylvania.

The company stated that the acquisition of FLTG is intended to strengthen FirstLight's position as a leading fibre communications provider in the Northeast region. The transaction will combine FLTG's privately owned fibre network, which spans nearly 2,500 route miles in New York state and Pennsylvania, with FirstLight's 9,500-plus route mile fibre network and data, Internet, data centre, cloud and voice services.

Through the transaction, FirstLight will be able to offer increased fibre density in the upstate New York area, and expand its service offering in the northern Pennsylvania region. Headquartered in Victor, FLTG and its parent companies employ 140 people, with offices in Buffalo, Binghamton, Norwich, Phelps, Romulus and Trumansburg.

Based in Albany, New York, FirstLight provides fibre data, Internet, data centre and voice services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast, connecting more than 5,000 locations to services and with a further 20,000 locations serviceable over its fibre network.

FirstLight offers a portfolio of high bandwidth connectivity solutions including Ethernet, wavelength and dark fibre services, as well as data centre, cloud and voice services. Customers includes national cellular providers and wireline carriers, enterprises, the education sector and local and state governments.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017, following the satisfaction of customary regulatory and shareholder approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


  • In January, FirstLight, a company of Oak Hill Capital Partners, completed similar transactions with Oxford Networks and Sovernet Communications. Oak Hill Capital Partners completed its acquisition of Oxford Networks and combined the operations with FirstLight, with Novacap, Bank Street Capital Partners and Riverside Partners continuing as minority investors in the combined company. The Sovernet transaction is expected to close early in 2017 following receipt of customary regulatory approvals.

Huawei Intros 4 Tbit/s Line card for NE9000 Backbone Router enabling 80 Tbit/s Capacity

Huawei has unveiled what it claims is the first 4 Tbit/s router line card that enables high density 100 Gigabit Ethernet interface interconnection and equips its NE9000 backbone router to support a total capacity of up to 80 Tbit/s.

The NE9000 platform comprises part of Huawei's CloudBackbone solution, which is designed to provide higher capacity and improved efficiency for core node and data centre interconnection (DCI) applications in cloud environments.

The new Huawei 4 Tbit/s router line cards utilise the latest Solar5.0 network processing chip design and is claimed to deliver the highest density 100 Gigabit Ethernet interface interconnectivity and to help operators to build flattened backbone networks. In addition, as the NE9000 platform provides support for 400 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, end-to-end 400 Gbit/s links can be implemented with transport devices for a simplified network topology.

The NE9000 router provides capacity of up to 80 Tbit/s, enabling support for up to 2 million concurrent online users streaming 4K video and designed to address current and future network bandwidth requirements. The NE9000 also features energy-saving capabilities, with a single device claimed to consume 0.4 W/Gbit/s.

As a core element of Huawei's CloudBackbone solution, the NE9000 is designed to work with the company's Network Cloud Engine to offer centralised control and allow real-time detection of traffic changes on the network, thereby helping operators to implement flexible adjustment of the network and improve network efficiency.

Additionally, the Huawei NE9000 can be separated into multiple virtual devices to enable unified bearing of multiple services and the use of fewer network nodes. Moreover, service isolation can be provided utilising virtualisation technology for enhanced network security and reliability.


Ericsson and BT Conduct 5G Research

Ericsson, BT and King's College London are collaborating on the development of 5G projects in support of mission-critical services, commercial and consumer markets.

The multi-year collaboration agreement focuses on 5G testing and development.

BT has worked with Ericsson to build a 5G Proof of Concept Center at the BT Labs in Adastral Park, Ipswich. King's College contributes with low-latency use cases and specialized knowledge in communication technologies, robotics and haptic control.

Howard Watson, CEO, BT Technology, Service & Operations, and BT Group CIO, says: "The initial focus of the collaboration is on Proof of Concept solutions and trials of services needing both high availability and low latency - both key features of the forthcoming 5G technology."

In 2016, BT bought EE, the United Kingdom's leading 4G network provider.