Friday, March 24, 2017

Nokia delivers 100G Core and Metro for Jio in India

Nokia announced it has provided optical core and metro solution for Reliance Jio Infocomm's (Jio) pan-India 4G LTE network to support traffic growth created by the operator's initiative to deliver broadband connectivity for all of India.

Jio is engaged in rolling out a national mobile broadband network in India and began offering services in September 2016. As part of this deployment, Nokia is providing a 100 Gbit/s transport network that spans 90,000 km designed to enable Jio to offer high-capacity broadband services to underserved regions throughout India, as well as support nationwide long-distance (NLD) service.
Nokia noted that over the past six months, Jio has achieved rapid subscriber growth as part of its plan to transform India into one of the top ten broadband countries globally. With broadband penetration currently at less than 20%, according to ITU data, the majority of the country's population is underserved and as part of its effort to change this Jio is deploying Nokia's transport network to support high bandwidth services such as video streaming, multimedia content distribution and cloud
and business services.

Through the agreement, Nokia is supplying an optical solution designed to provide a scalable, resilient transport network that can meet the connectivity and communication needs for both fixed and wireless users. Jio has deployed the 1830 Photonic Service Switch, including wavelength routing technology and 100 Gbit/s DWDM capabilities, enhanced with GMPLS functionality to enable capacity management and restoration and allow the rapid deployment of new services.

Previously, in late February Jio and Cisco announced a collaboration to expand Jio's multi-terabit capacity, all-IP converged network based on Cisco's Open Network Architecture and cloud-scale networking technologies offering support for IP/MPLS and encompassing data centre, WiFi, security and contact centre solutions. It was noted that as part of its network roll-out Jio had installed over 300,000 km of fibre, and built India's largest cloud data centre.

  • In early March, Ericsson announced that it was providing its OSS fulfilment suite as part of Jio's broadband network deployment.

Metaswitch Offers White Label Cloud Contact Center Solution

Metaswitch announced several enhancements to its Cloud Contact Center (powered by Telax) offering, including white label capabilities that enable service providers to construct custom, trusted brand experiences for their customers.

Metaswitch Cloud Contact Center enables providers to offer the highest voice quality and reliability to its business customers’ help desk, customer service, sales and billing departments. Advanced capabilities include intelligent skill-based routing, multi-channel support and workforce management.

New features include:
  • White-label branding capabilities -- Metaswitch’s provider-focused solution enables service provider branding right out-of-the-box, with no additional fees or special training required.
  • Real-time Business Intelligence – Provides interactive and intuitive visualization of real-time data.
  • Multi-Location Agent – Compiles call statistics on a queue-by-queue basis and across multiple locations. Perfect for the demanding needs of verticals such as retail, healthcare and banking, it also enables central administration of location-specific scheduling, routing, and dashboards.
  • Enhanced UI - User interface enhancements provides clearer visibility into user activity and resource utilization.
“Metaswitch understands the value of the brands that our service provider customers have worked so hard to build, said Chris Carabello, senior director of product marketing for Metaswitch. By providing them with a solution custom-built for service providers with comprehensive brand insertion capabilities, and best-in-class business intelligence, they have greater opportunity to differentiate themselves in the multi-billion dollar cloud contact center market.”

Juniper Shows its Open Cloud Interconnect DCI

Juniper Networks announced the introduction of Open Cloud Interconnect, a data centre interconnect (DCI) solution designed to enable network operators to accelerate cloud service delivery while simplifying network operations.

The Juniper solution integrates new high-capacity coherent optical technology with open, programmable routing, switching, security and virtualisation capabilities to enable customers to optimise multi-layer DCI networks and gain increased network automation, visibility and control.
Juniper noted that with new cloud business models emerging to address demand, network operators face challenges in areas such as scaling network capacity, optimising network resources and simplifying operations. In addition, proprietary, single-layer vendor products can limit an operator's ability to adapt quickly to the needs of cloud-based business.

Juniper's new Open Cloud Interconnect solution is designed to help data centre operators to address these challenges leveraging developments extending from the IP to the photonic layer designed to enable an open, scalable, secure and simpler DCI network.

Designed to align with the its recently-announced Unite Cloud for the Data Center and the Software-Defined Secure Networks (SDSN) platform, Juniper's Open Cloud Interconnect can be adapted to support a range of network architectures, enabling cloud providers, service providers and large enterprises to build, optimise and control DCI networks to meet their individual requirements.
The Open Cloud Interconnect incorporates technologies from Juniper's product portfolio, including MX Series 3D universal edge routers, QFX Series switches and Contrail Networking, which can be used to build custom DCI solutions.

Juniper's Open Cloud Interconnect solution specifically features new coherent DWDM line cards for the QFX10000 and BTI7800 platforms to enable greater capacity and reach. The QFX10000 coherent DWDM line card integrates 1.2 Tbit/s of optical capacity with 6 ports of up to 200 Gbit/s, and enables the delivery of DCI-optimised Ethernet VPN (EVPN), VXLAN and MacSec security with scalable, low-power coherent DWDM.

The solution also features the new UFM6 line card for the BTI 7800 series, offering a muxponder/transponder that combines 10 configurable 10/100 Gigabit Ethernet client ports and 2 coherent DWDM ports of up to 200 Gbit/s. The UFM6 also supports SD-FEC for improved performance over metro, regional and long-haul spans up to 2,000 km and is interoperable with coherent DWDM line cards from Juniper and third-party suppliers.

The solution also offers network visibility and control functionality via open APIs that extend the capabilities of the proNX Service Manager software to allow management of coherent optical interfaces on Juniper MX and PTX Series routers, QFX Series switches and the BTI Series packet optical portfolio. Additionally, multi-layer control is available through Yang-based integration of proNX and Juniper's NorthStar controller.

Juniper's new UFM6 line card and updated proNX service manager software are available immediately; the coherent DWDM line card for the QFX10000 is due to be available in the second quarter of the year.

MACOM unveils 100G CWDM4 transmitter

MACOM) unveiled the production ready MAOP-L284CN, a 100 Gbit/s CWDM4 transmitter L-PIC (lasers integrated with a silicon photonic integrated circuit) and supporting driver and controller IC chipset, and introduced its complete PAM4 technology chipset for 100 Gbit/s applications.

L-PIC solution

MACOM's L-PIC device combines four distributed feedback (DFB) laser diodes utilising its patented Etched Facet Technology (EFT), four 28 Gbit/s Mach-Zehnder optical modulators integrated with CWDM mux, monitor photodiodes and an output coupler for operation over a single standard single mode fibre.

Using MACOM’s patented self-aligning etched facet technology (SAEFTTM) to enable precision attachment of the lasers to the L-PIC, the device allows customers to bypass optimising optical coupling with active alignment and curing by providing an integrated single device designed to reduce manufacturer assembly time and component cost.

The MAOP-L284CN L-PIC transmitter is available as part of a complete chipset platform, including the MAMF-011095 silicon PIC controller and MASC-37053A high-speed, low-power modulator driver. The chipset solution eliminates the need to assemble discrete components and reduces configuration and test costs.

MACOM noted that after the recent acquisition of AppliedMicro and its PAM4 technology, it will extend the L-PIC transmitter platform to support 200 and 400 Gbit/s switch-to-fibre applications.

PAM4 chipset

Supporting 100 Gbit/s data rates over a single wavelength to enable single fibre and four-lane parallel fibre connectivity for 100, 200 and 400 Gigabit Ethernet applications, MACOM's PAM4 chipset features a new TIA, transmit and receive CDR devices and linear electro-absorption modulated laser (EML) driver.

MACOM's new PAM4 chipset for single lambda 100/200/400 Gbit/s includes the following products:

1. MATA-005817 single-channel 53 Gbaud PAM4 linear TIA enabling 100 Gbit/s over a single lambda.
2. MAOM-005311 single-channel 53 Gbaud PAM4, 1.8 Vpp single ended linear driver for single lambda 100 Gbit/s EML transmitters.
3. MATA-03819 four-channel 53 Gbaud PAM4 linear TIA for 200/400 Gbit/s parallel fibre applications with PIN photodetectors.
4. MATA-03919 four-channel 53 Gbaud PAM4 linear TIA for 200/400 Gbit/s multi-wavelength single fibre applications with APD photodetectors.
5. MAOM-005411 four-channel 53 Gbaud PAM4, 1.8 Vpp single ended linear driver for 100 Gbit/s per lambda EML-based parallel/multi-wavelength transmitters.
6. MAOM-38051 four-channel 28 Gbaud PAM4 (56 Gbit/s) transmit CDR with 2.5 V differential pre-driver and adaptive equaliser for EML applications.
7. MAOM-38053 four-channel 28 Gbaud PAM4 (56 Gbit/s) transmit CDR with 2.5 V differential driver and adaptive equaliser for silicon photonics.
8. QMASC-38040 four-channel 28 Gbaud PAM4 (56 Gbit/s) receive analogue CDR with limiting amplifier for applications as a companion to the TIA.

ZTE reports FY'16 revenue of RMB 101.23 bn, up 1.0%

ZTE reported full-year financial results for the period ended December 31, 2016 as follows:
1. Operating revenue of RMB 101.23 billion (approximately $14.70 billion), up 1.0% compared with RMB 100.19 billion in 2015.
2. Gross profit of RMB 29.62 billion, up 1.8% compared with RMB 29.09 billion in 2015.
3. R&D expenditure of RMB 12.76 billion, up 4.6% versus RMB 12.20 billion in 2015.
4. SG&A expenditure of RMB 15.35 billion, up 6.2% compared with RMB 14.45 billion in 2015.
5. Net loss attributable to shareholders of RMB 2.36 billion (approximately $343 million), compared with net profit of RMB 3.21 billion in 2015.
6. Net cash flow from operating activities of RMB 5.26 billion, down 28.9% compared with RMB 7.40 billion in 2015.
7. Cash as of December 31, 2016 of RMB 32.35 billion, compared with RMB 28.02 billion as at December 31, 2015.
Additional results and notes
ZTE noted that the 2016 net loss attributable to holders of ordinary shares of RMB 2.36 billion ($343 million) included a provision of approximately $892 million related to the settlement of its case in the U.S excluding the provision, net profit would have been RMB 3.83 billion (approximately $557 million), up 19.2% versus 2015.
Revenue for the Carrier Networks division increased to RMB 58.9 billion in 2016 versus RMB 57.22 billion in 2015, Consumer Business revenue rose to RMB 33.5 billion from RMB 32.47 billion in 2015, and Government and Corporate Business generated revenue of RMB 8.90 billion, versus RMB 10.50 billion in 2015.
On a geographic basis for 2016, ZTE reported revenue as follows: China - RMB 58.55 billion, versus RMB 53.11 billion in 2015, Asia (excl. China) – RMB 14.56 billion, versus RMB 14.82 billion in the prior year; Africa – RMB 5.75 billion, versus RMB 6.98 billion a year earlier; and Europe, Americas and Oceania – RMB 22.37 billion, versus RMB 25.28 billion in 2015.

Intel Adds Two to its Board of Directors

Intel announced the election of Omar Ishrak and Greg Smith to its board of directors.

Ishrak, 61, is the chairman and chief executive officer of Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology.  Smith, 50, is the chief financial officer and executive vice president of corporate development and strategy at Boeing.

Microsoft's Project Olympus provides an opening for ARM

A key observation from this year's Open Compute Summit is that the hyper-scale cloud vendors are indeed calling the shots in terms of hardware design for their data centres. This extends all the way from the chassis configurations to storage, networking, protocol stacks and now customised silicon.

To recap, Facebook's newly refreshed server line-up now has 7 models, each optimised for different workloads: Type 1 (Web); Type 2 - Flash (database); Type 3 – HDD (database); Type 4 (Hadoop); Type 5 (photos); Type 6 (multi-service); and Type 7 (cold storage). Racks of these servers are populated with a ToR switch followed by sleds with either the compute or storage resources.

In comparison, Microsoft, which was also a keynote presenter at this year's OCP Summit, is taking a slightly different approach with its Project Olympus universal server. Here the idea is also to reduce the cost and complexity of its Azure rollout in hyper-scale date centres around the world, but to do so using a universal server platform design. Project Olympus uses either a 1 RU or 2 RU chassis and various modules for adapting the server for various workloads or electrical inputs. Significantly, it is the first OCP server to support both Intel and ARM-based CPUs. 

Not surprisingly, Intel is looking to continue its role as the mainstay CPU supplier for data centre servers. Project Olympus will use the next generation Intel Xeon processors, code-named Skylake, and with its new FPGA capability in-house, Intel is sure to supply more silicon accelerators for Azure data centres. Jason Waxman, GM of Intel's Data Center Group, showed off a prototype Project Olympus server integrating Arria 10 FPGAs. Meanwhile, in a keynote presentation, Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Leendert van Doorn confirmed that ARM processors are now part of Project Olympus.

Microsoft showed Olympus versions running Windows server on Cavium's ThunderX2 and Qualcomm's 10 nm Centriq 2400, which offers 48 cores. AMD is another CPU partner for Olympus with its ARM-based processor, code-named Naples.  In addition, there are other ARM licensees waiting in the wings with designs aimed at data centres, including MACOM (AppliedMicro's X-Gene 3 processor) and Nephos, a spin-out from MediaTek. For Cavium and Qualcomm, the case for ARM-powered servers comes down to optimised performance for certain workloads, and in OCP Summit presentations, both companies cited web indexing and search as one of the first applications that Microsoft is using to test their processors.

Project Olympus is also putting forward an OCP design aimed at accelerating AI in its next-gen cloud infrastructure. Microsoft, together with NVIDIA and Ingrasys, is proposing a hyper-scale GPU accelerator chassis for AI. The design, code named HGX-1, will package eight of NVIDIA's latest Pascal GPUs connected via NVIDIA’s NVLink technology. The NVLink technology can scale to provide extremely high connectivity between as many as 32 GPUs - conceivably 4 HGX-1 boxes linked as one. A standardised AI chassis would enable Microsoft to rapidly rollout the same technology to all of its Azure data centres worldwide.

In tests published a few months ago, NVIDIA said its earlier DGX-1 server, which uses Pascal-powered Tesla P100 GPUs and an NVLink implementation, were delivering 170x of the performance of standard Xeon E5 CPUs when running Microsoft’s Cognitive Toolkit.

Meanwhile, Intel has introduced the second generation of its Rack Scale Design for OCP. This brings improvements in the management software for integrating OCP systems in a hyper-scale data centre and also adds open APIs to the Snap open source telemetry framework so that other partners can contribute to the management of each rack as an integrated system. This concept of easier data centre management was illustrated in an OCP keynote by Yahoo Japan, which amazingly delivers 62 billion page views per day to its users and remains the most popular website in that nation. The Yahoo Japan presentation focused on an OCP-compliant data centre it operates in the state of Washington, its only overseas data centre. The remote data centre facility is manned by only a skeleton crew that through streamlined OCP designs is able to perform most hardware maintenance tasks, such as replacing a disk drive, memory module or CPU, in less than two minutes.

One further note on Intel’s OCP efforts relates to its 100 Gbit/s CWDM4 silicon photonics modules, which it states are ramping up in shipment volume. These are lower cost 100 Gbit/s optical interfaces that run over up to 2 km for cross data centre connectivity.

On the OCP-compliant storage front not everything is flash, with spinning HDDs still in play. Seagate has recently announced a 12 Tbytes 3.5 HDD engineered to accommodate 550 Tbyte workloads annually. The company claims MTBF (mean time between failure) of 2.5 million hours and the drive is designed to operate 24/7 for five years. These 12 Tbyte enable a single 42 U rack to deploy over 10 Pbytes of storage, quite an amazing density considering how much bandwidth would be required to move this volume of data.

Google did not make a keynote appearance at this year’s OCP Summit, but had its own event underway in nearby San Francisco. The Google Cloud Next event gave the company an even bigger stage to present its vision for cloud services and the infrastructure needed to support it.

IS Kenya selects Telco Systems for Fibre Upgrade

22nd Telco Systems, a BATM Advanced Communications company and provider of SDN and NFV and multi-service Carrier Ethernet 2.0 and MPLS edge solutions, and Internet Solutions Kenya, a pan-African provider of cloud, communication, connectivity and carrier services, announced an agreement for the upgrade of Internet Solutions Kenya's entire fibre infrastructure to 10 Gbit/s.
Internet Solutions Kenya (IS Kenya), a subsidiary of the Dimension Data Group, which is part of NTT Group, provides cloud, communication, connectivity and carrier services to public and private sector organisations in Kenya and across East Africa. The upgraded network is designed to enable the operator to provide enterprise customers in Kenya and across the region with advanced business services.

Under the agreement, Telco Systems will provide IS Kenya with an automated, software-defined network able to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The new network will also be fully orchestrated, enabling faster service provisioning and simplified network deployment and maintenance operations.

Telco Systems is specifically supplying its EdgeGenie Orchestrator service management system, together with the T-Metro 7124, T-Marc 3348 and T-Marc 3308 demarcation devices.
The deployment will additionally provide IS Kenya with full MPLS services capability across the fibre network and to its customers, as well as enabling support for the latest MEF 2.0 standards. The upgrade to 10 Gigabit Ethernet is designed to help IS Kenya improve the quality of its services, deliver more data traffic and meet the increasing bandwidth requirements of its customers.

IS Kenya (formerly AccessKenya Group) was acquired by Dimension Data Group in 2013. The company holds four licenses from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), including DCNO, ISP, PDNO, and Local Loop Operator licenses and has capacity on the Seacom international subsea cable and, in partnership with Tata Communications, a Tier 1 PoP facility, providing diverse worldwide connectivity.

In 2016, Telco Systems announced the deployment if a 10 Gigabit Ethernet Carrier Ethernet network for the Kenya Education Network (KENET), a not-for-profit telecommunications operator in Kenya serving the education sector and research institutions. The new network was based on Telco Systems' T-Metro 8001 10 Gigabit Ethernet service aggregation platforms and T-Marc 3348S 10 Gigabit Ethernet demarcation devices.

Sumitomo Electric showcases QSFP28 100G-ER4

Sumitomo Electric Industries (SEI), a global provider of optical solutions, showcased 100 Gbit/s devices and modules and next-generation 200 and 400 Gbit/s solutions at OFC 2017 in the Los Angeles.

QSFP28 ER4 Lite

SEI's new QSFP28 100G-ER4 Lite transceiver, the SQF1000EL, is designed for mid-reach MSA Ethernet applications, delivering 4 x 25 Gbit/s channels over distances up to 40 km. The company noted that while the IEEE standard specifies a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) prior to the PIN photodetector to enable 40 km reach, the QSFP28 ER4 Lite replaces the SOA and PIN with an avalanche photo diode (APD) and external FEC to reduce the power usage and maintain optical link budget.

400 Gbit/s CFP8

The 400 Gbit/s CFP8 transceiver is compliant with IEEE 802.3bs 400GBASE-LR8/FR8 specifications for links up to 10 km. The SFF4801 series features SEI's electro-absorption modulated lasers (EMLs) and PIN photodiodes and is able to support 12.8 Tbit/s on a switch faceplate and targets metro applications between data centres and clients.
Separately, Sumitomo Electric Industries and MACOM Technology Solutions (MACOM) announced they are showcasing a joint 100 Gbit/s PAM4 single wavelength (lambda) demonstration at OFC.

The joint demonstration features MACOM's 100 Gbit/s, 16 nm FinFET, PAM4 PHY, linear driver and high bandwidth, low noise transimpedance amplifier (TIA), and SEI's high bandwidth EML driving a 53 Gbaud PAM4 modulated signal over single mode fibre.

The companies noted that optical modules integrating these technologies will enable serial 100 and 400 Gbit/s transmission with the lower cost and higher density required for data centre and access networks. Specifically, single wavelength 100 Gbit/s will facilitate the deployment of low cost 100 Gbit/s QSFP28 and 400 Gbit/s QSFP-DD and OSFP modules.

Ixia Demos PAM4-Based 200 Gigabit Ethernet

Ixia conducted a 200 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) live demonstration at OFC 2017. During the demo, Ixia sent and received IEEE 802.3bs compliant, line rate 200 GbE traffic via 50 Gbps, PAM4 electrical lanes over the QSFP56 form factor with passive direct attached copper cable.

Ixia noted that it is the first company to demonstrate line rate 200GbE technology by combining four electrical lanes of 50 Gbps, defined as 200GAUI-4 by IEEE802.3bs, via four-level Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM4).

Lenovo Hires Former Intel CIO to Head its Data Center Infrastucture

Lenovo appointed Kim Stevenson, the former CIO of Intel, as senior vice president and general manager leading its new Data Center Infrastructure (DCI) business segment, where she will oversee the company’s core data center products and solutions portfolio. Most recently, she spent eight years at Intel leading that company’s Client, Internet of Things and System Architecture (CISA) Group and serving as Intel CIO for four years. Before Intel, she spent seven years at the former EDS holding a variety of positions including vice president of its Worldwide Communications, Media and Entertainment (CM&E) Industry Practice.

Lenovo also announced the following appointments:
  • Paul Ju, as vice president and general manager of Hyperscale, Ju joined Lenovo in September 2016 and has deep experience in hyperscale systems and cloud computing through management positions with leading global technology and data center providers.
  • Madhu Matta as vice president and general manager of High-Performance Computing & Artificial Intelligence. Matta joined Lenovo in November 2015 and brings deep experience in advanced computing technologies through executive assignments at leading server and storage companies.
  • Radhika Krishnan as executive director and general manager of Software-Defined Data Center. Krishnan’s unit also includes networking technologies and telco solutions. She joined Lenovo in February 2016 and has a deep background in advanced server, storage, networking and software-defined technologies.

Menara unveils Tunable SFP+ transceiver with OTN framing and FEC

Menara Networks, an IPG Photonics business and vertically integrated supplier of IP/Ethernet DWDM transport solutions, has announced the introduction of what the company claims is the first tunable SFP+ transceiver incorporating integrated OTN framing and forward error correction (FEC) functionality.

A member of Menara's existing Atlas family of 'system-in-module' transceiver products, the new OTN SFP+ transceiver leverages the company's proprietary, high speed mixed signal CMOS RADIA ASIC and is full C-band tunable across the ITU-T 50 GHz grid. The device also supports G.709-compliant OTN framing and G.975-compliant GFEC and EFEC capabilities and is offered in a SFP+ MSA-compliant form factor.

The new tunable OTN SFP+ product is designed to be compatible with all major MPLS routers, Ethernet switches and packet-optical platforms, and can enable up to 3,000 DWDM transmission reach for both 10 Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gbit/s SONET/SDH client signals.

Menara expects to begin sampling the Atlas tunable OTN SFP+ solution in the second quarter of 2017.

Menara Networks also announced sampling of a coherent CFP-DCO transceivers to select customers based on an advanced 16 nm coherent processor. The new CFP-DCO DWDM transceiver is designed to support DWDM coherent transmission for 100 and 200 Gbit/s per wavelength in a CFP MSA form factor and offers functionality including adaptive advanced modulation, DSP for linear and non-linear fibre impairments compensation, G.709-compliant OTN framing and hard and soft decision-based FEC encoding/decoding.

Commenting on the new product, Siraj Nour El Ahmadi, Menara co-founder and president, said, "Customers worldwide have achieved substantial cost savings and time-to-market advantages using Menara's OTN XFP 'system-in-a-module' transceivers to eliminate the need for DWDM transponders in their networks… the new sub-micron CMOS RADIA ASIC and low power designs… bring the same benefits in the smaller SFP+ form factor…".