Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Open Disaggregated Transport Network project gets underway

A new, operator-led Open Disaggregated Transport Network (ODTN) project is underway at the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

The goal of ODTN is to build optical transport networks using disaggregated optical equipment, open and common standards, and open source software.

The project will deliver an open source platform for running multi-vendor optical transport networks. It will leverage the ONF’s ONOS SDN Controller, automatically and transparently discovers the disaggregated components and will control the entire transport network as a unified whole, thus enabling multi-vendor choice.

The organizers of the project say that just as the SDN movement has disaggregated the data center and operator edge networks, ODTN will bring similar benefits to the optical transport network including best-of-breed choice, elimination of vendor lock-in, cost containment and accelerated innovation.

Backers of the project include China Unicom, Comcast, NTT Communications, Telefonica and TIM.

Each of the five founding operators has committed to performing lab integration and evaluation of the platform for future transport applications. Additional support is coming from leading vendors in the optical equipment space, with NEC, NOKIA, Oplink, ZTE contributing to the software platform and building full solutions, CTTC contributing from academia, and ADVA, Ciena, Coriant, CoAdna, Infinera and Lumentum participating in lab and field trials.

Relationship to Other Projects

ODTN is the only open source solution in the optical transport space, but is leveraging other ongoing work which has focused on standardizing various interfaces and components.

ODTN will leverage and expose TAPI as its northbound interface, leveraging the work coming out of the ONF’s Open Transport Configuration and Control (OTCC) project. Likewise, OpenConfig is the base southbound model and API for communicating to optical equipment.

The OpenROADM MSA defines interoperability specifications and data models for optical devices, networks and services.  ODTN benefits from this effort and, over time, it helps the industry achieve transponder compatibility.  This will eliminate the need to deploy transponders in matched pairs, further disaggregating the solution and enabling even greater deployment flexibility.

TIP’s Open Optical & Packet Transport project is producing open DWDM architectures, models and APIs, covering transponders, open line systems, and routers. In time, the ODTN project hopes to benefit from the availability of open optical hardware coming from the TIP work.  And visa versa, the TIP project can leverage the open source work coming out of ODTN on TIP white box hardware building blocks (such as Voyager).

“It is one of the most innovative technical challenges to deploy open SDN / Disaggregation technologies into transport networks. We expect that it will dramatically shorten the service development term and reduce costs,” said Dai Kashiwa, Director of NTT Communications and an ONF board member representative of the NTT Group. “The reference design and implementation for ODTN will accelerate this challenge, and provide common usefulness among many service providers. So, we are so excited that many service providers and vendors have aligned with the ODTN concept, and started collaboration on specifying common requirements and test/deployment plans. We aim to build and nurture an ecosystem that allows us to deploy and operate ODTN-based production networks.”

Coriant announces CEO change

Coriant named Pat DiPietro as its new Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately, replacing CEO and Chairman Shaygan Kheradpir, who has stepped down from his role to pursue other opportunities.

DiPietro will continue to serve as Vice Chairman of the Board, a role he has held since the founding of Coriant in 2013. DiPietro previously held senior leadership roles at Nortel and Bell Northern Research. He also previously served as Managing Partner at Canada’s VG Partners, overseeing the company’s Technology Fund. As a venture capitalist, he managed large portfolios and teams and sat on numerous Boards, including Sandvine, SiGe, Continuous Computing, BTI Systems and BelAir Networks.

Coriant also announced that Reza Ghaffari has been promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer (COO), a new position within Coriant. Ghaffari will continue to lead Coriant’s global service and support organization, while assuming responsibility for the company’s global IT, human resources, and facilities functions. Between 2000 and 2005, Ghaffari also worked at Verizon where he was responsible for innovation, product development, and strategic partnership programs. Dur

“On behalf of the Board and the management team, we wish to thank Shaygan for his commitment and many contributions to Coriant over the past three years,” said DiPietro. “I’m thrilled to take the helm of Coriant as it transforms to drive new value for its global customers with cost-disruptive innovations in open, software-driven, and revenue-enhancing products and technologies.”

CyrusOne hits year-over-year revenue growth of 32%

CyrusOne, a data center REIT, posted Q1 2018 revenue of $196.6 million, up 32% over the same period last year. The increase in revenue was driven primarily by a 29% increase in occupied CSF, lease termination fees totaling $5.0 million, and additional interconnection services.

The company said it leased approximately 29 MW of power and 226,000 CSF in the first quarter, representing $3.4 million in monthly recurring rent, inclusive of the monthly impact of installation charges, or approximately $40.4 million in annualized GAAP revenue5, excluding estimates for pass-through power.

In the Northern Virginia data center market, CyrusOne is leasing space as fast as it can add it.


Lumentum posts revenue of $298.8 million

Lumentum reported net revenue for the fiscal third quarter of 2018 of $298.8 million, with GAAP net income of $2.7 million, or $0.04 per diluted share.

Non-GAAP net income for the fiscal third quarter of 2018 was $50.6 million, or $0.78 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income for fiscal second quarter of 2018 was $107.8 million, or $1.67 per diluted share. Non-GAAP net income for the fiscal third quarter of 2017 was $30.8 million, or $0.49 per diluted share.


"Our strategy of investing in differentiated products and technologies, focusing on close relationships with market leading customers, and leveraging our technologies across multiple growing end markets, is working.  Driven by strong customer demand and execution on capacity expansion, in the third quarter we achieved new record Lasers revenues, which increased 18% sequentially, and grew Telecom revenues by more than 11% sequentially, with notable strength in ROADMs, which were up 27% sequentially," said Alan Lowe, President and CEO. "Though seasonally down, we made good progress on new 3D sensing customer programs and are well positioned for new customer product introductions during FY19. During the third quarter, we announced reaching an agreement to acquire Oclaro and we continue to work with Oclaro on this pending transaction."


Lumentum to acquire Oclaro for $1.8 billion

Lumentum agreed to acquire Oclaro for approximately $1.8 billion in cash and stock.

Under the deal, Oclaro stockholders will be entitled to receive $5.60 in cash and 0.0636 of a share of Lumentum common stock for each share of Oclaro stock, representing a premium of 27% to Oclaro's closing price on March 9, 2018 and a premium of 40% to Oclaro's 30 day average closing price.  Oclaro stockholders are expected to own approximately 16% of the combined company at closing.

The combined company is expected to have annual revenue of $1.733 billion and an operating margin of 19%, prior to synergies from the combination.

Lumentum, which is based in Milpitas, California, supplies a range of optical components and subsystems for telecom, enterprise, and data center networking equipment. The company was created in 2015 as a split off from JDSU.

Oclaro supplies optical components and modules for the long-haul, metro and data center markets. The company is based in San Jose, California.

Equinix revenues up 28% yoy

Equinix's quarterly revenues increased 28% year-over-year to $1.216 billion; a 10% year-over-year increase on a normalized and constant currency basis.

Peter Van Camp, Executive Chairman and Interim CEO and President, Equinix, stated: "As Equinix approaches its 20th anniversary, we are excited to post our 61st quarter of consecutive revenue growth, which is reflective of the critical role we serve in helping businesses interconnect their IT infrastructure to succeed in the digital economy. Equinix currently serves nearly half of the Fortune 500 and our recent acquisitions, combined with our currently announced organic expansions, have positioned Equinix to capture an even greater share of the market opportunity."

Orange Business Services names CEO

Orange Business Services named Dr. Helmut Reisinger as its new chief executive officer, replacing Thierry Bonhomme, who becomes special advisor to the Chairman and CEO of Orange before retirement later this year. Helmut will report to Stéphane Richard, Chairman and CEO of Orange, and will be a member of the Group’s Executive Committee.

Most recently Helmut was executive vice president, International at Orange Business Services, in charge of all international enterprise business activities, excluding France. Before joining Orange Business Services in 2007, Helmut held management positions across Europe at Avaya Inc, NextiraOne Germany and Alcatel Austria.

"I am honored and excited to lead Orange Business Services on its ambition to be at the forefront of the data-driven economy. I believe our global talent, expertise and assets position us to deliver an unmatched experience for our enterprise customers worldwide. With a relentless customer focus  – combined with people empowerment and commitment to innovation – I am confident that we will achieve continued success and growth for both our customers and Orange,” said Dr. Helmut Reisinger, chief executive officer, Orange Business Services.




Start-up profile: TidalScale, building an inverse hypervisor for scale-up servers

TidalScale, a start-up based in Campbell, California, is on a mission to build the world's largest virtual servers based on Intel x86 commodity hardware.

The company's "inverse" hypervisor combines multiple physical servers (including their associated CPUs, memory storage and network) into one or more large software-defined virtual servers. This is the inverse equivalent of VMware because a rack of physical servers are virtualized as though it were one. The concept is to scale-up a virtual server instance to handle Big Data workloads without making changes to applications or operating systems.

Why use another hypervisor to create a bigger server? Doesn’t Moore’s Law already deliver more powerful processors over time? And why not just provision a large number of individual servers from a Cloud IaaS vendor? The answers here would be (1) very large in-memory datasets (2) Moore’s law is not keeping pace with rising workloads demands (3) too costly and too limiting, especially since public cloud operators tend to limit the memory size of bare metal servers to 2TB and because in load balancing a workload there is a tendency to provision to more resources than necessary.

The TidalScale story

TidalScale was founded in 2012 by Dr. Ike Nassi, an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz, who has been involved in many tech developments including as Chief Scientist at SAP when the category of in-memory databases was established. He also was involved in 3 previous start-ups: Encore Computer, a pioneer in symmetric multiprocessors; InfoGear Technology, which developed Internet appliances and services; and Firetide, a wireless mesh networking company.

The technical team also includes Dr. David Reed as Chief Scientist, who holds many patents along with four degrees from MIT in EE and CS including his PhD. Reed's contributions to the networking field include work on the original Internet protocol design team. His architectural contributions included the UDP protocol design, the “slash” in TCP/IP, and formulation of the End-to-End Argument as its primary protocol design principle. Later, he went on to become  Chief Scientist at Lotus Development Corporation, an HO Fellow, and an SVP at SAO Reseach.

On the management side, TidalScale is headed by Gary Smerdon, who previously was the EVP & Chief Strategy Officer of Fusion-io, the devel.oper of flash-based PCIe hardware and software solutions that was ultimately acquired by SanDisk in 2014 for $1.3 billion. Before that, Smerdon was SVP and GM of the Accelerated Solutions Division at LSI, an internal startup that he founded. Smerdon also held executive positions at Greenfield Networks (acquired by Cisco), Tarari (acquired by LSI), Marvell, and AMD.

TidalScale, which first began shipping in 2016, aggregates all the resources (memory, cores, storage and bandwidth) of low-cost, high-performance, 2-socket Intel x86 servers into one or more Software Defined Servers. This accomplished by running a TidalScale HyperKernel on the physical server and a "WaveRunner" control plane and management console to orchestrate the spinning up or spinning down of virtualized servers. The HyperKernal instance on each physical server communicates with other HyperKernal over the Ethernet network, which essentially functions as a combined memory and I/O bus. Thus memory performance will be determined by the latency and throughput of the Ethernet connection. Still, for applications such as very large in-memory databases, a TidalScale software-defined server consisting of five physical nodes each with 128GB of DRAM, will be better than a single server with 128GB of DRAM if the memory required exceeds 128GB and a secondary SSD must also be employed. This is because DRAM performance is roughly 1000X that of flash memory.

Software-Defined Servers can be configured with dozens or even hundreds of processor cores, tens of terabytes of memory, and as much storage and networking I/O as needed. The configuration of servers can be automatically right-sized to the workload. TidalScale allows Docker containers and container management platforms (Kubernetes) to run on top. For instance, TidalScale could be used to deploy a single Linux instance with 15TB of DRAM and up to 400 cores by leveraging dozens of servers in a cloud data centre.

As mentioned above, TidalScale's paradigm scale-up paradigm on commodity servers should be especially relevant to in-memory databases, such as SAP HANA. The company says it can configure up to 64TB of in-memory performance on 2-socket Intel x86 servers. Currently, cloud customers can TidalScale to on standard servers available on IBM BlueMix, OrionVM’s Wholesale Cloud Platform, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, with virtual systems ranging from dozens to hundreds of cores and featuring up to 30TB or more of memory. Natural allies then would include any company in that database ecosystem. Because TidalScale was exhibiting at the Open Compute Project Summit, it reasonable to assume that it sees the hyperscale cloud companies also as potential customers.

TidalScale has received a number of awards, including being named a Gartner Cool Vendor, an IDC Innovator for 2017, a Red Herring Top 100 North America recipient for 2017. Another milestone occured in November 2016 when Infosys made an equity investment in TidalScale. Financial terms were not disclosed. Crunchbase says TidalScale has gone through several rounds of venture funding, raising at least $11.8 million, probably more.

In the broader context of software-defined data centres, the need for scale-up servers will certainly be just as important as scale-up storage. Many start-ups have pursued the JBOF (just a bunch of flash) storage array opportunity, and some of these companies were acquired at nice premiums and other completed IPOs. The software-defined server space likely won't have as many start-up entrants, giving this company a better chance at driving its inverse hypervisor paradigm forward.

Nokia sells Digital Health business

Nokia will sell its Digital Health business to Éric Carreel, co-founder and former chairman of Withings. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Digital Health's business portfolio includes consumer and enterprise products, and it manufactures and sells an ecosystem of hybrid smart watches, scales and digital health devices to consumers and enterprise partners.

See also