Tuesday, May 2, 2017

M-CORD Innovations: Transforming Central Offices for 5G

M-CORD takes the best ideas from the pivotal Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) and adapts them for next generation mobile networks. CORD combines NFV, SDN, and the elasticity of commodity clouds and M-CORD adds the latest innovations in mobility, including for the radio access network (RAN), core, and services.

This video, hosted by Joseph Sulistyo, Senior Director of Open Networking Solutions at Radisys, provides a broad overview of M-CORD and current state-of-the-art demos. It features commentary from Guru Parulkar, Executive Director of ON.Lab; Aseem Parikh, VP, Solutions and Partnerships at ON.Lab; Bryan Sadowski, VP, FlowEngine & DCEngine at Radisys; and Hans Kramer, VP Global Services & Support at Radisys.

See video: https://youtu.be/sxoLxGByZ74

Four M-CORD Demo Videos

Demo 1 - Optimized Core for IoT

Mobile CORD (M-CORD) offers the potential to serve as the optimized core for IoT applications. Rishi Maulick, Architect for Radisys, walks us through a demo. Key capabilities shown include MME disaggregation, Connectionless GW, and Core Slicing.

See video: https://youtu.be/plAzYnlxRrU

Demo 2 - SDN-based Scalable Core

Mobile network operators must design their next gen infrastructure to handle huge volumes of IoT traffic. M-CORD can help handle excessive signal overhead by providing network slicing and flow classification at the RAN. Here is an overview of an M-CORD demo, presented by Aseem Parikh, VP, Solutions and Partnerships at ON.Lab and sponsored by Radisys.

See video: https://youtu.be/WGKMQcVVGdU

Demo 3 - End-to-end Slicing

5G will do much more than just enabling higher speeds. It will bring innovative services with different quality of services. M-CORD enables end-to-end network slicing at both the core and RAN. This video features a demonstration. Presented by Aseem Parikh, VP, Solutions and Partnerships at ON.Lab and sponsored by Radisys.

See video: https://youtu.be/9zLdOZWM7kY

Demo 4 - Public Safety

M-CORD can enable the network to deliver a better experience for specific applications. This demo shows how an emergence response application on a mobile handset can enable better video delivery to a public safety operator when network slicing is enabled. Our demo simulates a parking lot accident where a bicyclist is struck down by a car. The demo features the Xpose Emergency Broadcast System and application.

See video: https://youtu.be/Y_cFSqXyg_0

Equinix Takes on Board 29 Verizon Data Centers

Equinix completed its previously-announced acquisition of 29 data centers and their operations from Verizon Communications. The deal was first announced in December 2016.

The transaction, which was valued at $3.6 billion in cash, includes over 1,000 customers, of which over 600 are net new, and approximately three million gross square feet of data center space. The 29 data centers are located across 15 cities in North and Latin America, three markets of which are new to Equinix (Bogota, Culpepper and Houston), bringing Equinix's total global footprint to over 175 International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers across 44 markets and approximately 17 million gross square feet.

Among the newly acquired properties is the NAP of the Americas in Miami, Florida. a key interconnection point, hub and gateway for Latin America. The NAP of the Americas is the fourth largest Internet exchange point in the U.S. It hosts the termination points of 15 subsea cable systems and more than 120 global networks interconnecting to approximately 150 countries.

Equinix also noted that the data center in Culpepper, Virginia  (CU1, CU2, CU3 and CU4) represents one of the most secure and technologically sophisticated data center campuses in the eastern U.S. The Culpepper data center is designed to meet the highest government standards.

"The 29 new data centers greatly expand our ability to enable global interconnection within our robust ecosystems, as the economies of North, Central and South America continue to thrive.  I am especially thrilled to welcome over 250 new employees and the hundreds of new customers to the Equinix family," stated Karl Strohmeyer, President, Americas, Equinix.


Epsilon Expands its Cloud Link eXchange with Netrality

Epsilon, a privately-owned global communications service provider, is deploying its Cloud Link eXchange Platform (CloudLX) within Netrality Properties' 210 N Tucker meet me room (MMR) with direct connection to 900 Walnut’s MMR in St. Louis.

Customers of Netrality Properties will now be able to connect via a single physical connection to CloudLX and access leading cloud service providers and Internet exchanges, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.

“We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Epsilon, specifically in our St. Louis core interconnection locations. Epsilon’s CloudLX will create a unique value for our customers and provide a simple platform for connecting and growing their cloud-based services,” says Clarissa Joyce, Director of Business Development in St. Louis.  “We are offering customers new options for cloud enablement and providing a dynamic environment for leveraging the cloud in their operations.”


LightCounting reports record optical networking market in '16

Market research firm LightCounting finds in its latest Optical Communications Market Forecast report that while demand for optical networking equipment, modules and components attained record levels in 2016, the market was weak in the first quarter of 2017.

LightCounting reports that Huawei led the market in terms of growth in 2016, but significantly reduced purchases of optics in the first quarter of 2017 and forecasts that this weakness is likely to continue in the current quarter. However, the research firm believes that this a temporary slowdown in the optical market.

Looking at data for overall capex of the Top 15 service providers globally, LightCounting notes a sharp decline in Asia in 2016 due to lower spending by the big three Chinese operators, while spending in the U.S. and Europe remained stable versus 2015. Even so, 2016 was a record year for optical communications equipment revenue, which typically accounts for around 10% of service provider capex.


China Mobile was the largest consumer of optics in 2016 and added 30 million FTTH subscribers and deployed more than 50,000 ports of 100 Gbit/s DWDM optics into its core network. In addition, upgrades of China Mobile's metro and metro access networks drove demand for 10 Gbit/s optical components and modules. LightCounting notes that while some upgrade projects were completed in 2016, many are ongoing.

The research firm also cites a presentation by China Mobile at OFC 2017, in which the operator said that traffic growth rates in its network rose from 46% in 2013-14 to 88% in 2015-16, compared with a growth global rate of around 30%. Therefore, China Mobile, along with China Telecom and China Unicom, are expected to continue their high levels of spending to address above average traffic growth. LightCounting states that the capex-to-revenue ratio for Chinese service providers is around 25%, compared to 15% for all other operators.

LightCounting estimates that deployments of 100 Gbit/s DWDM ports in China in 2016 translate to a 70% increase in network bandwidth, and predicts that Chinese service providers will increase bandwidth in DWDM networks by a further 40% in 2017. However, it believes that deployments will increase in 2018 to keep pace with traffic growth.

Cloud DCI

Regarding DWDM deployments in the cloud/data centre interconnect (DCI) and enterprise segments, LightCounting observes that while this is a relatively small market in terms of total bandwidth, it is growing much faster that the service provider segment. As a result, bandwidth demand from cloud companies connecting data centres is expected to be very high in 2017.

LightCounting notes that Amazon and Facebook report that traffic inside their data centres is increasing by 100% annually. While growth in traffic between data centres is expected to be slower, based on the rate of construction of new data centres the research firm predicts 100% bandwidth growth for DCI traffic 2017. This increase in DWDM bandwidth demand for cloud DCI is expected to compensate for lower demand in China.

Iliad's Online launches cloud service based on Cavium ThunderX

Web hosting provider Online, a wholly-owned subsidiary of French telecom company Iliad Group, announced the commercial deployment of server platforms based on Cavium's ThunderX workload-optimised processors as part of its Scaleway cloud service offering.

Online offers a range of services to Internet customers worldwide including domain names, web hosting, dedicated servers and hosting in its data centre, and with several hundred thousand servers deployed is one of the largest web hosting providers in Europe.

For the deployment, Online is using dual socket, 96 core ThunderX based platforms as part of the Scaleway IaaS cloud offering. The Scaleway cloud platform is supported by Ubuntu 16.04 OS, including LAMP stack, Docker, Puppet, Juju, Hadoop and MAAS, and also provides support for standard features of the Scaleway cloud including flexible IPs, native IPv6, Snapshots and images.

Cavium's ThunderX products offer a 64-bit ARMv8-A based server processor designed for data centre and cloud applications. The devices feature custom cores, single and dual socket configurations, and high memory bandwidth and memory capacity. The products also include hardware accelerators, integrated high bandwidth network and storage IO, virtualised core and IO functionality and a scalable high bandwidth, low latency Ethernet fabric.

ThunderX products are compliant with ARMv8-A architecture specifications, as well as with ARM's SBSA and SBBR standards, and supported by major OS, hypervisor and software tool and application vendors.

Earlier in the year, Cavium announced it was collaborating with Microsoft to evaluate and enable a range of cloud workloads running on its flagship ThunderX2 ARMv8-A data centre processor for the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

As part of the partnership, the companies demonstrated web services on a version of Windows Server developed for Microsoft's internal use running cloud services workloads on ThunderX2. The server platform was based on Microsoft Project Olympus open source, hyper-scale cloud hardware design.

CenturyLink appoints leadership team, effective on closing Level 3 acquisition

CenturyLink, which announced in October 2016 an agreement to acquire Level 3 Communications for approximately $34 billion, has announced the senior leadership team that will report to CEO and president Glen F. Post III, effective as of the closing of its pending acquisition of Level 3 Communications.

The senior leadership team following the acquisition of Level 3 will include:

1.         Clay Bailey, SVP, transformation, who will lead the integration of CenturyLink and Level 3, and be responsible for automation and simplification in the combined company.

2.         Aamir Hussain, EVP, CTO and network operations, with responsibility for product development, platforms and infrastructure and information technology.

3.         Sunit Patel, Level 3 EVP and CFO, will as previously announced serve as EVP, CFO, responsible for domestic and international finance and accounting functions.

4.         Dean Douglas, EVP, North America enterprise, who will be responsible for sales, revenue generation and enterprise service delivery in North American markets, as well as the company's national/business technicians.

5.         Maxine Moreau, EVP, consumer, who will be responsible for sales, marketing and service delivery for local market consumer operations in 37 states, including field technicians.

6.         Girish Varma, EVP, IT and managed services, with responsibility for technology/strategic consulting, big data, managed security services and managed hosting.

7.         Laurinda Pang, EVP, global accounts management and international, with responsibility for sales, revenue generation and enterprise service delivery for major global accounts and for the APAC, EMEA and LATAM markets.

8.         Gary Gauba, SVP, chief relationship officer, with responsibility for building relationships with the C-suite executives of the company's top customers and continuing to lead the advanced solutions group.

CenturyLink announced in late October 2016 an agreement to acquire Level 3 for approximately $34 billion in cash and stock, and has subsequently announced that shareholders of both companies, as well as several states, have approved or cleared the transaction. The transaction is currently expected to close by the end of the third quarter 2017.

Under terms of the agreement, Level 3 shareholders are to receive $26.50 per share in cash and a fixed exchange ratio of 1.4286 shares of CenturyLink stock for each Level 3 share held, equating to a price of $66.50 per Level 3 share. On closing, CenturyLink shareholders will own approximately 51% and Level 3 shareholders approximately 49% of the combined company. The combined company will be based in Monroe, Louisiana and maintain a significant presence in Colorado and Denver.

The deal will combine CenturyLink's enterprise customer base with Level 3's global network footprint, and is intended to result in further investment in the reach and speeds of broadband infrastructure for both small businesses and consumers. Specifically, the combination will extend CenturyLink's network by around 200,000 route miles of fibre, including 64,000 route miles in 350 metro areas and 33,000 subsea route miles.

Telco Systems + Silver Peak launch vCPE for SD-WAN

Telco Systems, a BATM Advanced Communications company and provider of CE 2.0, MPLS, IP, SDN/NFV solutions, and Silver Peak, a global supplier of broadband and hybrid WAN solutions, have announced a new open vCPE solution for managed SD-WAN services.

The joint vCPE SD-WAN solution from Telco Systems and Silver Peak is designed to enable service providers to quickly launch new tiered, virtualised services. The open solution also allows telcos and managed service providers to leverage the potential of NFV to create an agile, open and flexible service delivery platform that can support VNF services in parallel to or as part of a service chain with SD-WAN services.

The joint solution integrates the Silver Peak Unity EdgeConnectSP virtual SD-WAN solution with Telco Systems' Verge platform. The Verge solution, part of its new NFVTime suite, offers an open, service-ready, plug-and-play vCPE based on standard x86 hardware platforms.

The Silver Peak EdgeConnectSP virtual SD-WAN solution is a scalable, multi-tenant SD-WAN solution designed to provide secure and reliable virtual overlays for connecting users to applications with the flexibility to utilise any combination of MPLS, broadband and LTE transport services without affecting network or application performance.

Centrally managed with Silver Peak's Unity OrchestratorSP, enterprises are able to configure application-driven security policies that enable direct granular Internet breakout for trusted SaaS and web applications from branch locations. The joint solution also enables zero touch provisioning and deployment, orchestration and portal integration.

The combined solution is also extensible to incorporate third party functions, such as virtual firewalls and virtual SLA probes from both companies VNF partner ecosystem.


  • In 2016, Telco Systems announced the release of CloudMetro 10, a 1 Gigabit Ethernet virtualisation platform designed to provide carrier-grade performance utilising advanced acceleration technology, and noted the solution had completed commercial trials with Tier 1 service providers. The CloudMetro 10 platform is part of Telco Systems' Open Metro Edge (OME) portfolio of metro edge solutions, designed to help telcos and service providers transition their networks to support SDN and NFV.

nbn demonstrates 1.1 Gbit/s data rate in fixed wireless trials

Australia's nbn announced that it has achieved gigabit transmission speeds during a fixed wireless technology demonstration conducted in Ballarat, Victoria.

For the trial, nbn used 2.3 and 3.4 GHz spectrum as part of its ongoing effort to employ the appropriate advanced technology to meet both current and future bandwidth demands within its multi-technology mix (MTM) strategy. The latest demonstration achieved 1.1 Gbit/s downstream and 165 Mbit/s upstream speeds utilising carrier aggregation technology to combine seven carriers in the 3.4 GHz band and four carriers in the 2.3 GHz band.

As part of the demonstration nbn also delivered trial peak downstream/upstream speeds of 400/55 Mbit/s, 250/50 Mbit/s and 100/40 Mbit/s using a range of carriers in the 2.3 and 3.4GHz spectrum bands.

nbn noted that the 1.1 Gbit/s transmission speed was achieved by bonding together three next generation wireless network termination devices (WNTDs) - the antennae located on the roof of a nearby school - while the lower speeds were enabled via a single WNTD. The trial involved the use of a spare operating sector on an established nbn fixed wireless tower and the installation of additional radio equipment.

The trial was conducted with nbn's fixed wireless technology partner Ericsson, NetComm Wireless and Qualcomm, with the speed tests carried out utilising technology from Mill Software.

nbn has previously committed to launching a new wholesale nbn100 fixed wireless product targeting the regional business segment in 2018, and the latest high speed fixed wireless technology demonstration was designed to illustrate its ability to launch faster services over the nbn fixed wireless network. nbn anticipates that around 600,000 premises in regional Australia will be served by the fixed wireless network.

Earlier in April, nbn announced it had partnered with Nokia to trial NG-PON2 technology that could potentially enable symmetrical speeds of up to 10 Gbit/s for FTTP services. nbn noted that NG-PON2 could also enhance services for FTTB and fibre-to-the-kerb networks combined with technology such as G.fast and XG.FAST, as well as providing extra capacity over fibre supporting its HFC and fixed wireless networks.

During trials in Melbourne, NG-PON2 delivered bandwidth of up to 102 Gbit/s in the lab, based on 40 Gbit/s symmetrical speed using TWDM-PON technology, 10 Gbit/s symmetrical on XGS-PON and a further 2.5 Gbit/s with current GPON technology.

Discovery partners with Equinix

Equinix announced a collaboration with Discovery Communications, a content provider serving around 3 billion viewers in 220 countries, for the implementation of an Interconnection Oriented Architecture (IOA) designed to enable Discovery to transform its digital business operations to a fully cloud-based, distributed model.

Under the agreement, by colocating its IT infrastructure in Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres in Ashburn, London, UK and Paris, France, Discovery is aiming to consolidate 80% of its IT infrastructure, optimise the delivery of content worldwide, and accelerate real-time delivery via low-latency connectivity.

The deployment encompasses the consolidation of approximately 80% of Discovery's back-office support systems, applications and network connectivity, and also provides access to Equinix Media Cloud Ecosystem for Entertainment (EMCEE) solution, which provides a gateway to media services in the public cloud.

With IOA on Platform Equinix, Discovery is able to leverage localised delivery of cloud-supported services with secure, direct connections to help improve efficiency and reduce costs. Equinix's IOA offers a proven and repeatable engagement model designed to transform the IT delivery architecture from a siloed, centralised model to an interconnected and distributed model.

Equinix noted that its global interconnection platform provides media and entertainment companies with solutions including Equinix Cloud Exchange, which provides direct access to cloud service providers including AWS, Google Cloud Platform, IBM Softlayer and Microsoft Azure and Office 365.

Equinix EMCEE is designed to optimise content creation, global distribution and services for media and entertainment companies. EMCEE enables efficient workflows for content creation, as well as providing reliable distribution to end users worldwide. The solution incorporates the company's Performance Hub and Data Hub solutions.

EMCEE offers access to over 1,400 networks, carriers, mobile providers and ISPs and peering with content delivery networks (CDNs), multiple system operators (MSOs) and social media platforms, as well as direct access major cloud service providers via Equinix Cloud Exchange.

Supermicro Drives introduces 100/25 Gbit/s networking solutions for data centres

Super Micro Computer, a global supplier of compute, storage and networking technologies, announced general availability of 100 and 25 Gbit/s standard networking cards and onboard SIOM solutions, 25 Gbit/s MicroLP networking cards and onboard riser cards designed for the Ultra SuperServer based on chipsets from Mellanox, Broadcom and Intel.

Supermicro's networking modules are designed to deliver high bandwidth connectivity for advanced server and storage applications in demanding data centre, HPC, cloud, Web2.0, machine learning and big data environments, and target applications such as clustered databases, web infrastructure and high frequency trading.

Supermicro's new 25/100 Gbit/s networking solutions enable network fabrics for a range of application-optimised products. The AOC-S Standard LP series cards are designed for any Supermicro server with a PCI-e x8 (for 25 Gbit/s) or PCI-e x16 (100 Gbit/s) expansion slot, while the AOC-C MicroLP add-on card is optimised for its high-density FatTwin and MicroCloud SuperServers.

The Supermicro AOC-M flexible 25/100 Gbpit/s onboard SIOM series cards offer support for the Supermicro TwinPro, BigTwin, Simply Double and 45/60/90-bay top-load SuperStorage and 7U 8-way SuperServer platforms. In addition, the Supermicro Ultra series utilises the AOC-U onboard riser cards, 25/100 Gbit/s modules compatible with Supermicro and comparable third party switch products.

Supermicro's new modules supporting 100 Gbit/s include the AOC-SHFI-i1C omni-path standard card for HPC, AOC-MHFI-i1C/M onboard omni-path SIOM card for HPC based on Intel's OP HFI ASIC, the AOC-S100G-m2C standard card with dual-port QSFP+ connectivity and based on Mellanox ConnectX-4 EN chipset.

The company also introduced quad-, dual- and single-port 25 Gbit/s modules including the AOC-S25G-b2S standard card based on the Broadcom BCM57414 chipset, the AOC-S25G-m2S standard card, dual-port 25 Gigabit Ethernet controller using the Mellanox ConnectX-4 Lx EN chipset, the AOC-S25G-i2S standard card implemented with the Intel XXV710 for data centres.

Further 25 Gbit/s products include the AOC-C25G-m1S MicroLP card, AOC-MH25G-m2S2T/M onboard SIOM card, AOC-M25G-m4S/M onboard SIOM card and AOC-URN4-m2TS onboard 1U ultra riser card, all based on Mellanox's ConnectX-4 Lx EN device.