Monday, July 24, 2017

UK alternate operator Call Flow selects ADTRAN XGS-PON solution for FTTH service

ADTRAN announced that Call Flow, an alternate network provider serving the south of England, has selected its XGS-PON solution for what is believed to be the UK's first symmetric multi-Gigabit FTTH services.

ADTRAN noted that broadband operator Call Flow is already offering fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC)-based services providing up to 100 Mbit/s bandwidth across southern England and has now selected its next generation 10 Gbit/s-capable FTTH solution to scale its services.

The new network architecture, which is compatible with Call Flow's existing FTTH network, is designed to deliver significantly higher symmetric multi-gigabit access performance to help the service provider differentiate its offering as it targets strategic expansion over the next 5–10 years.

By supporting 10 Gbit/s symmetric fixed wavelength PON over new and existing fibre infrastructures, XGS-PON is designed to enable a balance between performance and cost, thereby allowing Call Flow to address both residential and business subscribers simultaneously over a single, common optical distribution network.

ADTRAN believes that XGS-PON can double the effective life span of operators' optical distribution networks, helping to protect their network investments while providing the capacity to support new services. ADTRAN stated that was a pioneer in delivering 10 Gbit/s PON solutions, including contributing key technology that led to the introduction of XGS-PON as an ITU standard.

Call Flow is an alternate operator that has built superfast/ultrafast networks across Kent, East Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire in southern England. Call Flow is a major user of BT Openreach's ducts and poles (PIA/DPA) and sub-loop unbundling (SLU/FTTC) assets.

Corning acquires SpiderCloud, supplier of in-building wireless

Corning announced that it has acquired SpiderCloud Wireless based in Milpitas, California, a supplier of in-building wireless solutions, on undisclosed terms.

SpiderCloud is a developer of scalable small-cell network platforms designed to deliver enhanced coverage and capacity for the delivery of wireless services inside buildings. Small cells are deployed by mobile operators and enterprises to improve network efficiency and end-user services.

Corning stated that the acquisition of SpiderCloud's advanced solutions and established position as a provider to key wireless customers is expected to create new market access opportunities. As a part of Corning, SpiderCloud will become part of the Optical Communications segment and align with its target of increasing annual sales from $3 billion in 2016 to $5 billion by 2020.

Regarding the acquisition, Clark S. Kinlin, EVP, Corning Optical Communications, said, "Wireless connectivity has become more a necessity than an amenity, and mobile operators and enterprise customers are seeking cost-effective solutions to enhance service for users inside buildings… with the acquisition of SpiderCloud Wireless, the combined product solutions will help drive optical convergence and enable fibre-deep architectures within the enterprise LAN".

  • SpiderCloud recently announced commercial availability of its Frequency Agile small cell, the SCRN-220, for its enterprise RAN (E-RAN) platform. The new SCRN-220 is an enterprise-grade LTE small cell that can be software configured for the major U.S. bands, including 2 (1900), 25 (1900), 4 (1700), 66 (2100), 12 (700) and 13 (700), with channel widths of 5, 10, 15 and 20 MHz.

  • The SCRN-220 is based on SpiderCloud's E-RAN architecture that includes a Services Node controlling up to 100 self-organising LTE small cells, capable of delivering coverage and capacity in indoor locations as large as 1.5 million sq feet. The product can support up to 64 active LTE users and offers 150 Mbit/s peak downlink rate.

  • SpiderCloud also recently expanded its E-RAN system with support for LTE-U, leveraging the Qualcomm FSM small cell platform and the SpiderCloud scalable small cell systems. It noted that the new system was one of the first enterprise scale small cell system to receive FCC authorisation to deliver LTE-U capacity in unlicensed spectrum, and also supported software upgrade to LTE-LAA.

  • In June, Corning Optical Communications launched a multiuse platform combining multi-fibre and single-fibre connection points and targeting carriers, operators and municipalities wishing to deploy fibre-deep access networks. Capable of supporting a mix of network architectures on the same fibre backbone, the multiuse platform is designed to enable LTE connectivity and future 5G networks.

AT&T expands gigabit Internet service to Tulsa

AT&T announced the launch of 1 Gbit/s broadband service over its all fibre network powered by AT&T Fiber to customers in parts of the Tulsa area, including in parts of Tulsa, Jenks, Owasso and surrounding communities in Oklahoma.

The Tulsa area is one of 55 metro markets across the U.S. where AT&T now offers ultra-fast, fibre-based Internet service as the company progresses towards its target of reaching at least 75 metros with its fastest Internet service.

With the latest launch by AT&T Fiber the operator offers a 1 Gbit/s connection on its 100% fibre network to more than 5.5 million locations across 55 metro areas. AT&T plans to increase this to at least 12.5 million locations by mid-2019.

AT&T's Internet 1000 broadband offering is its highest speed Internet service that is enabled by the company's all-fibre network. The service is available priced at $70 per month for customers that bundle it with another AT&T service on a single bill, or for $80 per month as a standalone service for a period of 12 months.

* Previously, in late June AT&T announced it was offering its fibre-based 1 Gbit/s connection service to customer locations in parts of the Monterey-Salinas area, including in parts of Santa Cruz and surrounding communities in California. AT&T noted that it planned to expand availability to parts of Capitola and Salinas.

* In April, AT&T announced that as part of its program to deploy fibre across its service area in 21 states it planned to extend its fibre network to parts of eight new metro areas, as follows: Dayton (Ohio); Macon (Georgia); Madison (Wisconsin); Monterey-Salinas (California); Savannah (Georgia); South Bend (Indiana); Springfield (Missouri); and western Michigan.

* At the same time, AT&T announced the launch of fibre-based service with up to 1 Gbit/s bandwidth in the East Bay area of California, including in parts of the cities of Fremont, Newark, Oakland and the surrounding areas, with plans to offer fibre-based Internet access in parts of Hayward, San Leandro and Union City, California shortly.

Veracity delivers SDN-based secure net for U.S. DOE

Veracity Industrial Networks of Aliso Viejo, California, a developer of Industrial SDN-based technology for operational networks, announced the completion of the first phase of delivery to the U.S. Department of Energy for its Chess Master project, designed to ensure ICS network cybersecurity.

Veracity noted that that, recently a piece of malware known as Industroyer or Crash Override, designed to disrupt physical systems, was discovered and was used on an electric transmission station north of the city of Kiev, Ukraine, blacking out part of the city. Veracity is working with the DOE to help safeguard U.S. systems against such attacks.

The Chess Master project was established to research, develop, test and commercialise a security validation and policy enforcement application that connects into a flow controller for centralised management of field networks. For the project, Veracity is working with partners Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Ameren and Sempra Energy to enable these capabilities in industrial networks.

The company noted that Chess Master was preceded by Watchdog, a project that focused on using industrial SDN networks for cybersecurity.

* Veracity announced in February that it had been selected by the DOE for the Chess Master project. It stated that the project was tasked with delivering a security state policy enforcer application to run on the northbound interface of a flow controller, a DIN rail mount SDN Ethernet switch, an industrial control system extension to the open source SDN specification using OpenFlow, and the ability to encrypt/decrypt packets on a per-flow basis and automate key management functions.

* Veracity recently announced the appointment of a number of executives to support growth leveraging its Industrial SDN technology. The appointments included: Blue Lang, formerly chief architect and engineering leader for the SDN enterprise controller at Cisco, as senior product manager; Tom VanNorman as lead systems engineer; Eric Davidson as director of engineering; and Jay Williams as EVP of revenue generation;

* In 2016, Microsemi announced a collaboration with Veracity Security Intelligence, developing an enterprise-class security platform for operational technology (OT) networks, to develop secure networking solutions for industrial Ethernet deployments. Under the agreement, Microsemi also invested in Veracity as part of an early-stage funding transaction.

Dell'Oro Forecasts 400 Gbit/s switch market

In the latest Ethernet Switch - Data Center 5-year Forecast Report from Dell’Oro Group, the research firm forecasts that the market for 400 Gbit/s switches will ramp strongly starting in 2019, while from 2020, 25 and 100 Gbit/s will account for more than half of the data centre switch port shipments.

Dell'Oro reports that the second half of 2016 saw the beginning of a major speed upgrade cycle in the data centre based on 25 Gigabit Ethernet SerDes technology, with shipments of 25 and 100 Gbit/s reaching hundreds of thousands of ports per quarter despite supply constraints on 100 Gigabit Ethernet optical transceivers. Adoption of 25/100 Gbit/s is predicted to accelerate in 2017 and to comprise over half of data centre switching ports within only 4 years of initial shipments.
Dell'Oro notes that the rapid growth will be driven by a low price premium over preceding 10 and 40 Gbit/s port speeds as well as switch vendors consolidating their products to provide fewer speed options.

In its separate Ethernet Switch - Layer 2+3 5-year Forecast Report, Dell'Oro forecasts that the overall Ethernet switch market will grow to exceed $28 billion in 2021, driven by factors including speed upgrades, software-defined networking and subscription-based models.

Dell'Oro expects that the Ethernet switch market will remain robust over the next 5 years, with revenue and shipment growth driven primarily by the data centre segment, while the campus switching market is forecast to continue to be soft due partly to cannibalisation from WLAN.

Nutanix takes a pass at the public cloud, expanding its market potential

Nutanix, the Silicon Valley-based networking startup famous for its Hyperconverged, enterprise cloud platforms, has just entered into a strategic partnership with the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Nutanix has grown rapidly from its founding in 2009 to expected FY 2017 revenues of over $540 million by offering a single OS for integrating compute, storage and network stacks for scale-out applications. The Nutanix solution makes it easy for enterprises to quickly rollout the server/storage/networking needed for a private cloud. The new GCP alliance marks a broadening of the company's focus to include hybrid cloud.

Hybrid cloud and multi-cloud are buzz words being used by analysts, vendors, service providers and journalists alike. Everyone seems to be aboard even if it raises security concerns about network perimeters. Gary Gauba, chief enterprise relationship officer and president, advanced solutions group, CenturyLink's IT and Managed Services business unit, has commented, 'I see the next decade as the ‘decade of coexistence’ where there will be a shift of enterprise workloads spread across both traditional environments and public/private multi-clouds'.

In practical terms, Nutanix will now support a single control plane for managing applications between GCP and Nutanix cloud environments. Nutanix says that traditional and cloud-native applications can be provisioned into GCP or Nutanix cloud environments with a single click, and migrated between the two cloud environments seamlessly. Nutanix customers will also be able to natively extend their data centre environments into GCP, enabling 'lift-and-shift' operations between private and public clouds. For example, enterprises could leverage a Xi Cloud services disaster recovery running in GCP, and then run BigQuery analytics against the full application data set without expensive, repetitive data migration operations. The Nutanix hybrid cloud vision will also bring support for Kubernetes for container-based deployments.

In addition, Google and Nutanix have agreed to collaborate on Internet of Things (IoT) use-cases. The idea is to position Nutanix as an 'intelligent edge' for GCP-based IoT applications running Google's TensorFlow silicon for edge processing, while training machine learning models and running analytics on the processed metadata in GCP. The companies showed a prototype at the Nutanix NEXT conference held this week in Washington DC.

Nutanix hybrid cloud could be extended to Azure or AWS

Nutanix said its broadened strategy could also enable its Enterprise Cloud Software to be run throughout multi-cloud deployments, including on-premises with platforms from IBM, Dell EMC, Lenovo, Cisco and HPE in the cloud via AWS, Google Cloud Platform and Azure, or natively with Nutanix Xi Cloud Services.

The Nutanix enterprise cloud platform is being augmented with something called Nutanix Calm, which abstracts application environments from the underlying infrastructure and recommends the right cloud for the right workload. The idea is to provide a marketplace of application deployment blueprints and corresponding cloud services.

The company is also introducing Nutanix Xi Cloud Services, which will let customers provision and consume Nutanix infrastructure on demand. Nutanix said this can be set-up within minutes, and that it is working with strategic cloud providers internationally (names not disclosed). The service would need to meet the data provenance requirements of various countries and could be especially useful as a disaster recovery option for Nutanix on-premises customers.

Signs of progress at Nutanix

For its most recently completed third quarter of fiscal 2017, ended April 30, Nutanix reported total revenue of $191.8 million, up 67% year-over-year, with billings amounting to $234.1 million, growing 47% year on year. This puts Nutanix on an annual run rate that will soon reach the $1 billion mark. For Q3, Nutanix posted a GAAP net loss of $112.0 million, compared to a net loss of $46.8 million in Q3 fiscal 2016. This amounted to a GAAP net loss per share of 78c, compared to a net loss per share of 39c in Q3 fiscal 2016. It had $350.3 million of cash and cash equivalents on hand.

Nutanix ended the third quarter of fiscal 2017 with 6,172 end-customers, adding approximately 790 new end-customers during the quarter. Third quarter customer wins included Caterpillar, KYOCERA Communication Systems, MobileIron, SAIC Volkswagen, Société Générale and Sprint. In addition, Nutanix states it has penetrated 521 of the Global 2000 enterprises, has 269 customers with lifetime bookings of $1-3 million, 38% of bookings come from international customers and 71% of revenues come from repeat customers, and gross margin of 58.4%. Nutanix calculates that it has $463 million in deferred revenue potential.

Currently, Nutanix has about 2,672 employees, up from 1,798 a year ago, with around 810 in R&D.

New partnerships with IBM, HPE and Cisco widens reach on x86 servers

Nutanix has had an OEM relationship with Dell since 2014, and this week, Nutanix and Dell EMC confirmed an expansion of their collaboration. In 2015, Nutanix formed an OEM partnership with Lenovo. In May 2017, Nutanix and IBM announced a multi-year initiative to combine Nutanix's Enterprise Cloud Platform software with IBM Power Systems as a turnkey hyper-converged solution for critical workloads in large enterprises. The partnership aims to deliver a full-stack combination with built-in AHV virtualisation that is targeted at cognitive workloads, including big data, machine learning and AI. The promise is a public cloud-like experience for customers of IBM Power-based systems.

Also in May 2017, Nutanix announced that its Enterprise Cloud Platform software will be available as a term-based license on Hewlett Packard Enterprises (HPE) ProLiant rack mount servers and Cisco UCS B-series blade servers, adding to previously announced support for the Cisco UCS C-series platform.

With these deals, the Nutanix stack is now available directly from the company on an x86 appliance, or on platforms from four of the leading server vendors, which collectively account for over 50% of the x86 server business. And with the new Google Cloud Platform (GCP) partnership and the launch of its own cloud services, Nutanix now has a very broad avenue to market.

Cable ONE Business Looks to Mississippi

Phoenix-based Cable ONE Business announced that it has identified Mississippi as a leading contender for the next launch of its 'Piranha Fiber - Ferociously Fast Internet' service, which offers up to 2 Gbit/s symmetrical Internet speed.

Cable ONE noted that Piranha Fiber is currently available in select markets including Fargo, North Dakota and Norfolk, Nebraska. The company stated that over the past 5 years it has invested around $75 million in its Mississippi network.

The company's Internet service is delivered over a PON infrastructure that combines key elements of coax and fibre networks. Benefits of the design include service delivered over a reliable fibre-based architecture and shared bandwidth, which allows Cable ONE Business to both extend infrastructure costs over a wider customer base and offer service at a cost that is more affordable for small businesses.

The operator offers a range of Piranha Fiber Internet plans, beginning with 50 Mbit/s bandwidth and scaling up to 2 Gbit/s.

Cable ONE has recently announced the introduction of its Elite Business Internet service offering up to 500 Mbit/s download and 50 Mbit/s upload speeds in a number of markets in Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Idaho and Arizona.

* Earlier this year, the company announced the launch of a low-bandwidth Ethernet service, EZ Ethernet, for SMBs served by its coax network. EZ Ethernet offers symmetrical bandwidth options of 3, 5 and 10 Mbit/s.

* Cable ONE Business, a division of Cable ONE, the seventh-largest cable company in the U.S., provides telecommunications solutions to local businesses in 21 states. It claims to serve 800,000 residential and commercial customers in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, South Dakota, and Washington. The company focuses on serving businesses in non-metropolitan markets.