Thursday, May 4, 2017

AT&T to Move its Databases and App Workloads to the Oracle Cloud

AT&T will move thousands of its large scale internal databases to Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Under the agreement, AT&T will migrate thousands of existing Oracle databases containing petabytes of data plus their associated applications workloads to Oracle Cloud. AT&T will have global access to Oracle’s cloud portfolio offerings both in the public cloud and on AT&T’s Integrated Cloud. This includes Oracle’s IaaS, PaaS, Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

“This is an historic agreement,” said Mark Hurd, CEO, Oracle. “The Oracle Cloud will enable AT&T to use Oracle technology more efficiently across every layer of the technology stack. This includes AT&T’s massive redeployment of Oracle Databases, which will be provisioned entirely from the Oracle Cloud Platform including our highly cost effective Exadata as a Service.”

The companies noted that AT&T has led the industry when it comes to virtualizing and software-controlling the wide area network. The company’s goal is to virtualize 75% of its core network functions by 2020, hitting 55% by the end of 2017.

“We believe that the future of the network is to be data-powered, to be software-centric, and to be fast and responsive,” said John Donovan, chief strategy officer and group president of AT&T Technology and Operations. “We call this three-pronged approach AT&T Network 3.0 Indigo, and it’s all about enabling a seamless and intuitive network experience for our customers. This collaboration with Oracle accelerates our network transformation and migration to the cloud to expand efficiency, performance, and reduce cost while improving overall customer service.”

Thailand’s AIS expands roll-out of Metaswitch Perimeta for VoLTE

Cloud native communications software company Metaswitch announced that AIS, Thailand’s largest mobile carrier, has extended its deployment of Metaswitch Perimeta session border controllers from its 3G to its 4G network to enable the delivery of voice over LTE (VoLTE) services and to support VoLTE peering between AIS and other network operators.

Serving over 40 million subscribers and with a network covering around 98% of the country, AIS and its subsidiaries operate a high-speed mobile network and offer a range of voice and data services. In addition to the Perimeta SBC, as part of the latest upgrade AIS has deployed the Metaview Service Assurance Server (SAS), designed to facilitate troubleshooting and problem resolution and help ensure SLAs are met, including in a virtualised environment.

Previously, in early 2016 Metaswitch announced that mobile carrier AIS of Thailand has selected its Perimeta SBC to form the basis for a system-wide service modernisation. The project was intended to enable AIS to securely and reliably connect to other operators in Thailand using IP interconnect, as well as allow the adoption of network functions virtualisation (NFV) in the future.

Metaswitch noted that as part of a project designed to cost-effectively address increasing demand for services, AIS had deployed both its Perimeta vSBC and MetaView SAS solutions.

Metaswitch's Perimeta solution supports functions including security, traffic management, protocol interworking and SIP header manipulation, and is designed to scale without affecting network performance or resiliency.

Gamma selects Infinera XTM Series for UK dark fibre aggregation

Infinera announced that Gamma, a provider of communication services to the UK business market, has deployed the Infinera XTM Series platform for its UK dark fibre aggregation network.

The project marks the completion in London of the first phase of Gamma's national network roll-out. Deployment of the Infinera XTM Series and EMXP packet-optical transport switch is designed to enable Gamma to integrate Layer 1 transport and Layer 2 metro Ethernet functionality and enhance control and scalability of its network leveraging a single platform.

Gamma provides voice, data and mobile products and services to small, medium and large business customers, the public sector and not-for-profit organisations in the UK. The service provider's new aggregation network is based on dark fibre from a third party company and replaces previously rented access connections, also extending its network into metro networks across the UK. Based in Newbury, Berkshire, Gamma has six main locations with offices in London, Manchester, Glasgow, Portsmouth, as well as Budapest in Hungary.

The initial phase of Gamma's London metro network, which was implemented in partnership with Xantaro, expands its number of access locations 10-fold and is designed to enable greater control of the growth, management and economics of its infrastructure in key locations.

Infinera's XTM Series platform provides Gamma with 1, 10 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet service capabilities in its metro core networks. The modular and scalable system features pluggable optics offering low power and high density performance for the efficient delivery of Ethernet services.

Using the XTM Series, Gamma is able to interconnect aggregation points closer to end customers, with the platform serving as an access onramp for IP/Ethernet-based services such as Layer 2 and 3 VPNs, VoIP and direct Internet access. The network architecture also supports packet-optical capabilities such as Ethernet Ring Protection version 2 (ERPv2) with multiple classes of service for enhanced resiliency and service differentiation.

Zain Saudi Arabia deploys Nokia MEC in Mecca

Nokia announced that Zain Saudi Arabia has deployed its multi-access edge computing (MEC) platform to support the delivery of smart applications to subscribers around Mecca and help provide improved mobile experience during the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimage.

Nokia stated that following a successful trial during the last Hajj, Nokia and Zain have deployed the Nokia MEC platform, combined with Edge Video Orchestration capability, in the network using both macro and small cell base stations with the aim of enhancing services for Zain's subscribers.

The Nokia MEC solution is designed to improve mobile applications by enabling them to be hosted closer to the edge of the network, and therefore nearer to subscribers. This allows more efficient use of the network resources, as well as enabling the delivery of tailored services in high-traffic locations and conditions.

In addition, by combining MEC with Edge Video Orchestration video feeds can be more efficiently broadcast to multiple subscriber devices simultaneously with millisecond latency. As part of this solution, the Nokia AirFrame data centre technology performs the high levels of data processing that is required. Nokia also provided network implementation, system integration and network planning and optimisation services for the deployment.

Nokia noted that during the Umrah and Hajj, subscribers have access to two site-specific applications over the MEC-enabled network, specifically the Zain People Finder, which provides crowd navigation to help people meet up, and the Live Hajj application, which allows viewing of video streams from the Al Rahmah Mountain in Arafat and the Jamarat area.

  • Previously, in 2016 Zain Saudi Arabia and Nokia announced they had entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering collaboration on a major smart city initiative, designed to transform Jeddah, one of Saudi Arabia's largest cities, into a model smart city by 2018.
  • Under the agreement, Nokia and Zain are implementing advanced networking technologies in the areas of IoT and the cloud with the objective of enabling connectivity and management for an array of devices, vehicles, homes and applications. The initiative is intended to improve municipal services and the business environment in Jeddah, as well as improve the quality of life for its residents. The two-year project also covered the upgrade of Zain's mobile broadband network in Jeddah in preparation for 5G.

Champion ONE launches SDN/NFV-enabled Ethernet Switches

Champion ONE, a supplier of open networking and optical network solutions, has announced a new line of open network Ethernet switches that offer support for software defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV) functionality.

Champion ONE's new line of Ethernet switches is designed to deliver the benefits of and is based on the principles of an open architecture, eliminating vendor lock-in with proprietary hardware and feature set and offering a solution with fully disaggregated switch hardware and software. The solution allows customers to select from a menu of software options and switch hardware suitable for specific applications.

As part of the switch offering, designed for service provider and data centre markets, Champion ONE has partnered with software vendors including IP Infusion, Pica8 and Cumulus Networks to provide customers with a range of operating systems suitable for their individual requirements. The switches are based on open standards to enable interoperability with legacy equipment and integration with existing infrastructure.

The new Champion ONE switches, available in copper and optical versions, are high-density solutions providing support for up to 54 ports and Layer 2/3 line-rate switching at data rates of 1, 10 and 40 Gbit/s (with 100 Gbit/s solutions planned for mid-2017). In addition, the switches integrate Broadcom chipsets, enabling support for large routing tables, fast forwarding rates, and high switching capacity.

Big Switch BCF certified for Red Hat OpenShift containers

Big Switch Networks, a provider of next generation data centre networking solutions, announced it has received Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform Prime designation, and at the Red Hat Summit demonstrated support for solutions including Red Hat OpenStack Platform, Ceph, Enterprise Linux, Ansible by Red Hat and OpenShift Container Platform.

Specifically, the Big Switch Big Cloud Fabric (BCF) has achieved prime designation for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, with the integration designed to simplify container networking by enabling unified physical and virtual networking. As a result, BCF can be used to deploy container-based applications without the need to implement detailed networking configurations.

The new capability allows uniform networking across applications running on VMs, containers and bare-metal servers within the same Big Cloud Fabric environment, and is designed to provide benefits including:

1. Fabric automation for containers via auto host detection and LAG/MLAG formation, auto network creation (for vSwitch, leaf and spine) and IPAM and automated container network configuration.

2. Container networking visibility, including for container-name, vSwitch and vNIC, container-to container fabric trace and fabric analytics.

3. Simplified operations via a unified view of physical and virtual switches and streamlined container integration deployment workflows.

Big Switch noted that leveraging the collaboration a major Tier-1 carrier has deployed the BCF and Red Hat OpenStack Platform to create a large-scale network functions virtualisation (NFV) OpenStack cloud.

Red Hat recently released Ansible 2.3, the latest version of the agentless open source IT automation framework that is designed to provide enhanced performance, flexibility and networking capabilities. Big Switch noted that it is a contributor to Ansible to help customers achieve system-wide network automation across SDN fabrics, BCF and Big Monitoring Fabric, plus security using the BigSecure architecture.

Calix introduces AXOS RPm module enabling Layer 3 routing

Calix announced the introduction of AXOS RPm (Routing Protocol Module), a software module that brings Layer 3 intelligence and routing capabilities to the access network that connects subscribers to the content and applications in the data centre and cloud.

Enabled by the Calix AXOS Software Defined Access (SDA) architecture, the new module is designed to enable telcos to transform the physical Layer 2 access network into an always-on, Layer 3-ready network with the ability to efficiently support monitoring, accounting and policy services close to the subscriber.

Calix noted that as the number of subscriber devices connected to the network increases, having visibility into how subscribers are using the network is a key capability for service providers. The new AXOS RPm delivers visibility via Layer 3 routing, including static routing and protocols such as OSPF/IS-IS and BGP, thereby enabling enhanced visibility and control of the access network, from the core to the endpoint.

Additionally, AXOS RPm can be deployed deep in the access network within Calix products including the AXOS E9-2 Intelligent Edge systems, E7-2 Modular Access systems and E3-2 Intelligent PON nodes. Placing intelligence closer to the subscriber is designed to offer service providers greater flexibly in managing and delivering subscriber services.

Enabling the access network with Layer 3 routing capability is designed to allow service providers to simplify their operations by removing the need for the Layer 2 access network between the Layer 3 subscriber network and Layer 3 edge network. Leveraging a single network model from the core to premises, service providers are able to simplify routers deployed in the edge network and eliminate Layer 2 to Layer 3 conversions.

Calix offers a range of AXOS solutions that support anyPHY and anySDN designed to fit into service providers' existing operational models. In addition, the flexible AXOS systems allow service providers to retain a Layer 2 network model until ready to transition to a Layer 3-enabled intelligent network.

Commenting on the new solution, Shane Eleniak, Calix VP of systems products, said, "AXOS RPm and the Layer 3 model provide new levels of intelligence in the access network… Calix customers will… (gain) greater visibility into subscriber behaviours, resulting in significantly more informed and proactive network management capabilities as well as heightened control of the subscriber experience".

MRV expands OptiDriver portfolio with compact OD-4-DCI transport platform

MRV Communications has introduced the OD-4-DCI, its new optical transport platform designed for the data centre interconnect (DCI) market, expanding its OptiDriver family of WDM metro transport solutions.

MRV's new OD-4-DCI solution is designed to enable modular, ultra-high density DCI via a compact 1 RU platform with stackable management functionality providing high bandwidth point-to-point connections between data centres.

The OptiDriver line cards supported in the OD-4-DCI chassis exclusively utilise pluggable optics, designed to enable cost-effective, pay-as-you-grow bandwidth capacity expansion. The use of pluggable optics also means that data centre operators can invest to meet their requirements and upgrade with the latest optical technology. The OD-4-DCI modular design offers flexibility and supports the same optical line cards as other OptiDriver chassis products from the OD-6 to the OD-48 models.

MRV noted that traditionally, data centre operators had the option of either a smaller chassis with fixed optical ports or a large, modular chassis with pluggable optical modules. The OptiDriver portfolio removes this restriction for data centre operators and service providers and allows the use of the same pluggable modules across the OptiDriver range.

In addition, all OptiDriver components can be managed utilising MRV's Pro-Vision life cycle service orchestration (LSO) service management and orchestration software platform.

Regarding the new solution, Adam Scheer, COO at MRV, commented, "By designing the OD-4 DCI as an open and flexible system that can leverage widely available and competitively priced pluggable optics… (it) offers a cost effective and scalable approach… compared with other systems based on a closed or fixed design".

Arista Posts Q Revenue of $335.5 million, up 38.5% YoY

Arista Networks reported Q1 2017 revenue of $335.5 million, an increase of 2.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2016, and an increase of 38.5% from the first quarter of 2016. GAAP gross margin was 63.9%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 64.1% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 64.0% in the first quarter of 2016. GAAP net income was $83.0 million, or $1.07 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $35.2 million, or $0.48 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2016.

“As we kick off 2017, I am pleased with our performance this quarter,” stated Jayshree Ullal, Arista President and CEO. “We continue to experience meaningful relevance as customers shift to cloud networking.”

Commenting on the company's financial results, Ita Brennan, Arista’s CFO, said, “We are pleased with our consistent execution in the first quarter and with our outlook for Q2, reflecting continued strong customer demand for our products.”

Infinera Posts Q1 Revenue of $175.5 Million

Infinera reported Q1 2017 GAAP revenue of $175.5 million compared to $181.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $244.8 million in the first quarter of 2016. GAAP gross margin for the quarter was 36.5% compared to 38.1% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 47.5% in the first quarter of 2016. GAAP operating margin for the quarter was (21.6)% compared to (25.3)% in the fourth quarter of 2016 and 6.1% in the first quarter of 2016.

“We started the year with a solid first quarter, exceeding our financial guidance and moving closer to bringing our new Infinite Capacity Engine products to market,” said Tom Fallon, Infinera’s Chief Executive Officer. “With network architectures and customer requirements evolving rapidly, we are seeing increasing opportunities to deliver scalable network solutions that enable our customers’ go-to-market strategies. As we deliver new products in upcoming quarters and new optical engines every few years, I believe we are well positioned to extend our technology differentiation and return to delivering strong financial results.”