Tuesday, May 1, 2018

OPNFV's Fraser platform release brings cloud-native capabilities

The OPNFV Project announced its sixth OPNFV platform release: OPNFV Fraser, advancing the state of NFV around cloud native applications and new upstream project integration while continuing end user support as they deploy and test virtualized networks.

OPNFV provides the platform and tooling required by developers to validate, integrate, onboard, and test NFVI, VIM, VNFs, and network services.

Key updates in OPNFV Fraser include:

  • Advancing the support for cloud-native NFV. Fraser expanded cloud native NFV capabilities in nine different projects, more than doubled the number of supported Kubernetes-based scenarios, deployed two containerized VNFs, and integrated additional cloud native technologies from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) relating to service mesh (Istio/Envoy), logging (fluentd), tracing (opentracing with Jaeger), monitoring (Prometheus), and package management (gRPC). These updates move the cloud native capabilities from basic container orchestration to include operational needs for cloud native applications. Additionally, the FastDataStacks project takes advantage of FD.io work to incorporate the VPP dataplane into Kubernetes networking capabilities to enable cloud native network-centric services.
  • More mature testing. OPNFV continues to focus on the real-world deployment needs of service providers by expanding test case coverage and scope. Testing projects in Fraser see a robust increase in test cases. Functest, the OPNFV functional testing project, now permits use of its framework with other open source projects such as ONAP. This avoids duplication, reduces VM size, and accelerates the creation of additional test cases. Functest also added test cases to cover Kubernetes and Clover and made it easier and faster to run functional tests. Also in support of real-world needs, performance test projects extended the Day 0 performance testing to long-running performance testing as Day N operational issues become more real for service providers.
  • Continuous Integration (CI) updates enable increased community hardware utilization, which in turns speeds up the testing process. Fraser includes the latest versions of upstream projects and advanced dynamic CI with the introduction of metadata descriptor specifications for Scenarios, PODs, and installers that will make hardware allocation for scenarios dynamic and automated. The XCI cross-community project made additional cloud-native strides by initiating CI/CD integration work with the CNCF Cloud CI project.
  • New carrier-grade features are added, specifically in the areas of monitoring, service assurance, networking, and dataplane acceleration. Specific new features include:
  • The Doctor project, in conjunction with OpenStack, whose collaboration was instrumental in achieving this milestone, introduced an infrastructure maintenance use case for zero VNF downtime. Similarly, Barometer continued to expand the monitored items list and plugin support. The Calipso project added support for Kubernetes and physical/physical-virtual switch connections across heterogeneous environments.
  • The SFC, SDNVPN, FastDataStack, and Parser projects added new features around networking and dataplane acceleration.
  • The IPv6 project now supports clustering, simplifying network configuration, and is exploring IPv6 container networking.


“Since inception, OPNFV has been the place for industry collaboration with upstream communities, which has grown even more with the Fraser release,” said Heather Kirksey, VP, Community and Ecosystem Development, The Linux Foundation. “With more mature cloud native integration and expanded testing and collaboration, OPNFV delivers the tools needed for end users to validate and test new network services.”

Cisco divests its Service Provider Video Software business

Cisco agreed to sell its Service Provider Video Software Solutions (SPVSS) business to a company backed by the Permira Funds. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Permira Funds will create a new, rebranded company focused on developing and delivering video solutions for the Pay-TV industry. The new company's portfolio includes Cisco's Infinite Video Platform, cloud digital video recording, video processing, video security, video middleware, and services groups. Dr. Abe Peled, former Chairman and CEO of NDS and adviser to the Permira Funds, will serve as Chairman of the new company.

Cisco will retain the video and media technology related to its core business in networking, multi-cloud, security, data, and collaboration.

"This is a unique opportunity to lead and shape the video industry during its transition with the flexibility as a private company," said Dr. Peled. "The new company will have the scale, technology innovation, and world-class team to deliver outstanding go-to-market execution, customer engagement, and new end-user experiences.  Cisco has built a profitable business in the video space with innovations to capitalize on IP distribution and cloud-based services. These combined assets provide a significant new opportunity for the new company."

Cisco's 'Videoscape Unity' TV Platform -- Streaming Under the Cloud

Cisco introduced its "Videoscape Unity" TV Platform featuring a multiscreen cloud digital video recorder (DVR), which enables consumers to restart shows, catch up on past programs, and play back DVR-captured content from anywhere, on any screen.

Videoscape Unity, which is designed for service providers and media companies, is an open software platform that was created by combining the assets of NDS (which Cisco acquired last year ) with its own Videoscape portfolio.  The new platform comprises a set of cloud, network and client based components, connected by open interfaces.  Some pre-integrated components include:
  • Multiscreen Cloud DVR: Offers cloud-driven video recording with capture and storage in the cloud instead of the end device. Consumers can restart shows, catch up on past programs, and play back DVR-captured content from anywhere, on any screen.
  • Video Everywhere: Broadens the TV Everywhere proposition with unified search, discovery, and viewing functions to allow consumers to watch premium live and on-demand content on any (service provider managed or unmanaged) connected device regardless of location.
  • Connected Video to Any Device in the Home: Cisco's Connected Video Gateway serves as a single entertainment hub, with back-end management of IP and QAM video, for distributing video content and metadata to any IP-connected device in the home, while providing a unified user experience. 
  • IP Video over Cable: Gives consumers expanded choice of content and IP video services, with faster delivery of on-demand and interactive offerings, across a wider range of service provider managed devices - with the flexibility to add unmanaged devices.

Cisco said a key advantage of Videoscape Unity is that the cloud can now be used "to power personalized video services and enable multiple screens to be synchronized to create a single unified experience for the subscriber, so things look and feel the same no matter what device they use."

Significantly, Cisco is offering Videoscape "as a service," allowing operators to have Cisco build, monitor, operate and even host their video infrastructures.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns1043/networking_solutions_market_segment_solution.html


  • In March 2012, Cisco agreed to acquire NDS Group in a deal valued at approximately $5 billion. NDS, which was owned by News Corp.(49%) and Permira private equity (51%), developed video software and content security for media companies, cable & satellite TV operators and IPTV service providers. Key products included its MediaHighway Set-top Box middleware software, its "XTV" Digital Video Recorder software, its "Snowflake" electronic program guide (EPG), and its "VideoGuard CA" and "VideoGuard Connect" digital rights management system.  NDS customers include some of the largest cable, satellite and broadband pay-TV operators, including Astro, Bharti, BSkyB, Canal Plus, China Central Television ("CCTV"), Cox, DIRECTV, Kabel Deutschland, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, TataSky, UPC and Vodafone. The company notes that a significant portion of its business is recurring, with long-term contracts, typically with an average duration of approximately five years. NDS, which is based in the U.K., has approximately 5,000 employees with facilities in Israel, France, India and China.

  • In January 2011, Cisco's John Chambers outlined a new "Videoscape" portfolio of five major product families aimed at "transforming the TV experience." From the outset, the goal was to work with Service Providers to allow any device over any network to access any content to which they are entitled. Cisco Videoscape would enable service providers to monetize activities outside their own network or traditional device footprints.  A key facet of Videoscape is about delivering a consistent interface across multiple devices, while providing a universal guide and search capabilities across all content sources. This requires building capabilities into the service provider's video back-office using APIs extending across content management systems and virtualized storage. The capabilities would be social network-aware and open to advertising opportunities.

Cisco to acquire Accompany for $270 million

Cisco, agreed to acquire Accompany, a start-up developing an AI-driven relationship intelligence platform, for $270 million in cash.

Accompany, which is based in Los Altos, California, offers business insights for finding new prospects, navigating the selling process, and strengthening relationships. Accompany Founder and CEO Amy Chang will join Cisco as senior vice president in charge of the Collaboration Technology Group. Chang, who has served as a member of Cisco's Board of Directors since October 2016, has in conjunction with the transaction resigned from the Cisco Board of Directors.

Cisco said the acquisition will enable it to take collaboration to the next level with even more intelligence. Accompany's AI technology and talent will help Cisco accelerate priority areas across its collaboration portfolio, such as providing user and company profile data in Webex meetings. Together, Cisco and Accompany will continue to power the future of work in a smarter way to enhance customer experiences.

"Amy has proven to be an effective and innovative leader through her years as an entrepreneur, an engineer, and CEO, and I couldn't be more pleased to have her and the Accompany team join Cisco," said Chuck Robbins, Cisco chairman and CEO. "Together, we have a tremendous opportunity to further enhance AI and machine learning capabilities in our collaboration portfolio and continue to create amazing collaboration experiences for customers."

"I am thrilled with the opportunity to join Cisco and the industry's leading collaboration team," said Amy Chang, Accompany founder and CEO. "Enterprise applications are rapidly becoming more intelligent and augmented with data and pertinent information in real-time. By combining Accompany's relationship intelligence capability with Cisco's award-winning collaboration product portfolio, customers will be able to more intelligently collaborate with employees, customers and partners."

In addition, Cisco announced that Rowan Trollope, current senior vice president and general manager of the Collaboration Technology Group, is leaving Cisco to become CEO at another company effective May 3.

In December 2016, Accompany raised $20 million in funding in a round led by Ignition Partners and participation from CRV. This brought total funding to $40 million.

Xtera's subsea repeaters enable C+L transmission on Seaborn's ARBR cable

Seaborn Networks will use Xtera’s wideband repeater to enable C+L band capability for its new ARBR cable between São Paulo and Buenos Aires.

The ARBR submarine fibre optic cable system, which is a fully-funded project developed jointly by Seaborn Networks and the Werthein Group. The 2,700 km open system, 4-fibre pair, 48Tbps, direct PoP-to-PoP subsea cable will connect Argentina and Brazil. The ARBR subsea cable system will allow for direct onward connectivity to New York, via the new Seabras-1 system.

Xtera’s wideband repeater is a hybrid Raman / EDFA design and can be configured to provide bandwidth in the C band alone, or across the C+L bands. First deployed in 2015, Xtera’s addition of Raman amplification to standard repeater technology has been used to achieve bandwidths of approximately 70 nm, while also offering very low noise solutions. Xtera said development continues to increase the capacity on a fibre pair to well over 100Tbit/s, further demonstrating that high capacity solutions do not have to mean large and costly fibre count systems.

In comparison, standard subsea repeaters use a single frequency band to carry the traffic. Seaborn said that by putting both the C and L frequency bands into ARBR’s cable on a fiber pair basis, it can pick and choose which fiber pair uses both bands and which use a single band, therefore enabling a choice between the most cost-efficient deployment of a fiber pair (single band) or an ultra-high capacity fiber pair (C+L). Seaborn is therefore able to tailor the subsea solution of each fiber pair to match the needs of different customers. For instance, carriers, ISPs and enterprise customers need affordable bandwidth from Argentina, whereas hyper-scalers need the assurance of ultra-high capacity throughout the life of the cable system.

“We work constantly with our partners and customers in this dynamic Latin American market to develop subsea cable systems that meet their future bandwidth demands,” says Larry Schwartz, Chairman & CEO of Seaborn. “Use of Xtera’s technology on the ARBR system will allow Seaborn to offer the most advanced system under the sea with on-demand capacities of up to 44Tbit/s per fiber pair. Disruptive innovation like this resonates with our content provider customers and positions us to respond to their needs well into the future.”

Xtera in conversation with Verizon - part 1



The evolution of optical transport technology in terrestrial and subsea networks as we approach Shannon's limit is the topic of discussion in this conversation with Glenn Wellbrock, Director, Backbone Network Design, Verizon, Stuart Barnes, Chairman and CSO, Xtera, and Vijay Rudravajjala, VP Engineering, Xtera.


See video:
https://youtu.be/H3zt-Nd-xQ8

Juniper sees better than expected Q1 results despite declining routing and switching sales

Juniper Networks reported net revenues of $1,082.6 million for the first quarter of 2018, a decrease of 11% year-over-year and 13% sequentially. GAAP operating margin was 5.1%, a decrease from 12.8% in the first quarter of 2017, and a decrease from 16.4% in the fourth quarter of 2017. GAAP net income was $34.4 million, a decrease of 68% year-over-year, resulting in diluted net income per share of $0.10. Non-GAAP net income was $99.5 million, a decrease of 44% year-over-year and 50% sequentially, resulting in diluted earnings per share of $0.28.

“We hit the high-end of our guidance during the March quarter due to better than expected results from our cloud vertical and another quarter of growth in our enterprise business," said Rami Rahim, chief executive officer, Juniper Networks. "We are encouraged by the trends we are seeing in several areas of our business and remain confident in our expectation to deliver sequential growth through 2018 and a return to year-over-year growth by the December quarter."

Some highlights from the company's quarterly report:

  • Cloud revenues were up slightly sequentially and ahead of the company's expectations. 
  • The Service Provider vertical was challenged due to the timing of customer deployments, resulting in decreases both year-over-year and sequentially.
  • Enterprise increased 4% year-over-year due to strength from all technologies. 
  • Routing product revenue amounted to $408 million, down 22% year-over-year and down 20% sequentially. 
  • Switching product revenue amounted to $230 million, down 5% year-over-year and down 1% sequentially. 
  • Security product revenue was $73 million, up 11% year-over-year and down 17% sequentially. 
  • Service revenue was $372 million, down 5% year-over-year and down 9% sequentially. 
  • Of the top 10 customers for the quarter, four were Cloud, four were Service Provider, and two were Enterprise. Of these customers, four were located outside of the U.S.
  • Sales in the Americas amounted to $588 million, down 17% year-over-year and down 17% sequentially. 
  • Sales in EMEA amounted to $308 million, up 8% year-over-year and down 5% sequentially. 
  • Sales in APAC amounted to $187 million, down 17% year-over-year and down 11% sequentially

MACOM reports upturn in its most recent fiscal quarter

MACOM reported revenue of $150.4 million for its fiscal second quarter ended March 30, 2018, a decrease of 19.2% compared to $186.1 million in the previous year fiscal second quarter and an increase of 14.9% compared to $130.9 million in the prior fiscal quarter. Gross margin was 43.6%, compared to 37.0% in the previous year fiscal second quarter and 46.6% in the prior fiscal quarter. Net loss from continuing operations was $15.5 million, or $0.50 loss per diluted share, compared to net loss from continuing operations of $134.3 million, or $2.21 loss per diluted share, in the previous year fiscal second quarter and net loss from continuing operations of $17.0 million, or $0.49 loss per diluted share, in the prior fiscal quarter.

“The December quarter marked the bottom of the cycle for MACOM in terms of revenue and demand, as evidenced by our 15% sequential growth. Across our served markets, order intake and customer forecasts returned to more normalized patterns in our fiscal second quarter,” commented John Croteau, President and CEO of MACOM.

“Following last year’s cyclical downturn in China, we believe we are entering the next phase of global infrastructure spending driven by 5G Telecom, continued strong investment by Cloud Service Providers, and now, a surge in defense spending and industrial capital investment. We’ve spent the last couple of years developing a portfolio of disruptive products and technologies to service these targeted areas of secular growth. Major customers have validated our technology and capabilities and are actively sponsoring us as we work to ramp volume.”

American Tower reports robust demand as sales grow 7.8% yoy

American Tower reported revenue of $1.742 billion for Q1 2018, up 7.8% over last year.

“The strong demand we experienced in late 2017 for our telecommunications real estate further accelerated in the U.S. as well as in our Latin America and EMEA regions in the first quarter of 2018. Notably, record levels of new business commencements, along with a robust pipeline of applications for both amendments and new colocations resulted in our increase in expectations for full year U.S. Organic Tenant Billings Growth to approximately 6.5% in 2018," stated Jim Taiclet, American Tower’s Chief Executive Officer.

During Q1, American Tower spent approximately $673 million to acquire nearly 10,600 sites primarily in international markets, including approximately 10,200 sites in India as part of its previously announced transaction with Vodafone India Limited.

Networking notes from Facebook's F8 Developer Summit

Here are some networking notes from Facebook's F8 developer conference this week in San Jose, California:

  • Facebook is fully invested in the Messenger platform.
  • Businesses are using Messenger to handle 8 billion customer messagers per month
  • Messenger is adding real-time translation between major languages
  • Facebook has attracted over 200,000 independent developers for Messenger
  • Facebook is adding Augmented Reality capabilities to Messenger and its bots
  • Over 300,000 bots have been created for Messenger
  • Facebook is also fully committed to WhatsApp, which has 450 million daily users.
  • WhatsApp is the largest implementation of end-to-end encryption
  • WhatsApp handles 65 billion messages per day, and these are not retained by the company.
  • WhatsApp is handling 2 million minutes of voice/Video calling per day
  • Group calling will soon be available on WhatsApp
  • Facebook is adding Augmented Reality features to Instagram.
  • Instagram is adding video chat.
  • Facebook began selling a standalone VR headset for $199.

Materials from the event are posted here: https://www.f8.com/

IDT launches High Baud Rate Linear Driver for 400G/600G

Integrated Device Technology (IDT) introduced its new GX76470 64G linear driver, in die form, for optical integrated modules, for 400G/600G coherent applications.

The driver is designed for OIF defined, highly integrated optical sub-assembly modules such as the HB-CDM (High Bandwidth Coherent Driver Modulator) and IC-TROSA (Integrated Coherent Transmitter-Receiver Optical Sub-Assembly) which enable miniaturization of optical transceiver modules and lowering the component cost for 400G ZR, metro, Data Center Interconnect (DCI) applications.  As such, the optical sub-assemblies are promising to be applicable to all the key small form factors: QSFP-DD, OSFP, CFP4-ACO, and CFP2-DCO.

"IDT's new GX76470 driver is another exciting addition to the expanding portfolio of data center and telecommunication solutions," said Dr. Koichi Murata, marketing director, Telecom, for IDT's Optical Interconnects Division. "Consumer and business demand for new, bandwidth-hungry applications and service like 5G, IoT, Smart City and virtual reality is driving the need for faster, more cost-effective data centers solutions that can be supported by our GX76470 driver and other new devices."

Interxion plans new data centres in AMS and Frankfurt

Interxion announced new data centre builds in Amsterdam (“AMS10”) and Frankfurt (“FRA14”), together with an expansion at the Science Park facility (“AMS9.2”) and the acquisition of land and a building at the Schiphol-Rijk campus in Amsterdam. The company is raising its 2018 annual capital expenditure guidance to €365 million - €390 million to account for the additional spending.
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“Interxion is continuing to see a strong flow of opportunities across markets and customer segments and we are increasing our expansion programme to address this demand,” said David Ruberg, Interxion’s Chief Executive Officer. “Customers are recognising the value of our communities of interest and our trusted provider status for their mission critical applications. We are capturing deals from multiple customer segments, including connectivity, digital media, Cloud platforms and enterprises, and across the size spectrum. Of the announced phases in AMS9.2, AMS10 and FRA14, approximately 25% of the capacity is pre-sold.”

See also