Sunday, August 26, 2018

Google's Super PON could be a game changer

Google is working on a "Super PON" architecture that could improve the economics of fiber-to-the-home deployments, said Claudio DeSanti, Architect at Google Fiber, speaking last week at ADTRAN's Broadband Business Solutions event in Huntsville, Alabama.

Google's foray into last mile fiber access networks dates back to 2010 when it announced plans to challenge the incumbent telcos and MSOs in the U.S. with a Google-branded and delivered gigabit broadband and TV service. Google Access picked Kansas City for its first deployment and opened a public comment process to identify future rollout locations. Nearly 1,100 communities across the country expressed interest in participating in the Google project and nearly 200,000 individuals submitted comments.

DeSanti presented the timeline that eventually took Google Access to 11 cities

Then, in October 2016, the Google Fiber project officially hit the pause button. Craig Barratt, who was CEO of Access, stepped down. The said it would continue rolling out in the cities in it was already present, but that is was pausing operations and laying off workers in many cities where it had once anticipated deploying an FTTH network. Google said its effort had spurred AT&T and others to get serious about FTTH, while holding out the possibility of reentering the market if and when new technology options became available.


De Santi said the major lessons learned from this undertaking were that building infrastructure is complex, especially the lengthy permitting process that varies from city to city, and that last mile construction and outside plant costs represent the bulk of spending, mostly because of labor. Google found aerial FTTH to be prohibitively expensive due to policy restrictions of pole sharing with utility companies.

Regarding future rollouts, DeSanti said Google is now taking a more practical perspective on running the business for profit and sustainability.

In February 2018, Dinesh (Dinni) Jain ws been appointed CEO of Access, the new name for the Google Fiber and Webpass business. Jain most recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Time Warner Cable.

DeSanti said the Super-PON architecture that his team is developing could be a game changer for several reasons. First, it targets a 50 km reach from the Central Office to the subscriber, rather than the 20km target of the current technology. The longer reach is achieved with amplification. This means a larger serving area per CO, and few COs needed to cover a whole city. For a mid-sized U.S. metropolitan area, the current PON architecture requires Google to operate 16 COs. The Super PON might need as few as 3 COs to do the same job. These CO could also be CDN distribution points. No active equipment is deployed outside the CO. It operates over a passive ODN.

Second, the Super PON targets up to 1,024 subscribers, up significantly from the maximum 64-subscriber split available on its current technology. With Super PON, DWDM is used to multiplex multiple channels over a single feeder fiber. DeSanti said few fibers would be needed to support the same number of customers, enabling the deployment of small cables (12-48 fiber cables versus 432-fiber cables). The advantage of smaller cables is that micro-trenching techniques can be used, cutting the time and cost of deployment. Repairs to a fiber cut could also be handled much faster for a 24-fiber cable (under 2 hours) versus 8-hours to repair a 432-fiber cable.

DeSanti noted that Super PON standardization began in January 2018 with a presentation at the New Ethernet Applications group of IEEE 802.3. Last month, IEEE 802.3 approved the formation of a Super PON Study Group. In parallel, Super PON has also been presented to both ITU-T and FSAN, possibly as an NG-PON2 extension. Google has a pre-standard implementation deployed in the field.

An open question is whether Super PON economics leads Google to unpause its Access ambitions.

Crehan: Adoption of High-Speed Ethernet server networking is accelerating

Deployments of high-speed Ethernet adapter and controller shipments are significantly increasing and posted almost 50 percent year-over-year growth for the second quarter in a row, according to the most recent Server-Class Adapter & LAN-on-Motherboard
(LOM) Report from Crehan Research Inc.

The Crehan report finds that every high-speed Ethernet technology – 10GbE, 25GbE, 40GbE, 50GbE and 100GbE – individually posted year-over-year year growth in excess of 30 percent for the second calendar quarter of 2018, and all speeds except 50GbE posted record quarterly shipments.

“In addition to the resurgence of server shipment growth, as well as more networking per server, the network adapter and controller market is in the midst of numerous concurrent upgrades,” said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “For example, the hyper-scale cloud segment was a major driver of the 2Q18 exponential growth in 25GbE adapters, while the enterprise segment was a major driver of the continued strong growth in 10GbE. Meanwhile, the telco segment was a strong contributor to the quarter’s strength in both 40GbE and 100GbE.”

Other noteworthy results from Crehan’s Server-Class Adapter & LAN-on-Motherboard (LOM) report
include:

  • Vendor-built 25GbE shipments almost tripled in 2Q18, approaching a three-million port annualized run-rate.
  • 40GbE continued to show surprisingly strong growth despite the recent arrival, and now material volumes, of 25GbE, 50GbE and 100GbE.
  • 10GbE remains the largest high-speed Ethernet growth contributor in absolute volume, comprising over half of all the 2Q18 shipment increase. Within 10GbE, 10GBASE-T saw the strongest growth rate, with an almost 80% year-over-year increase in shipments.
  • Intel remained the market share leader for 10GbE as well as for total high-speed Ethernet adapter and controller shipments, accounting for over 60% of total 2Q18 volumes. 
  • In network adapter and controller speeds above 10GbE, Mellanox accounted for more than 70% of ports shipped. This combined segment of 25GbE, 40GbE, 50GbE and 100GbE saw shipments more than double year-over-year in 2Q18.
“The strong increase in customer deployments of high-speed Ethernet adapters is putting enormous pressure on the switches connecting servers to the data center network, which is driving a need for higher capacity switches," Crehan said. "We expect to see strong adoption of higher capacity data center Ethernet switches to meet this swell of demand.”

www.crehanresearch.com

VMware Cloud on AWS expands its geographic reach

VMware Cloud on AWS is now available in Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Asia-Pacific (Sydney) region.

VMware Cloud on AWS is an on-demand service that reduces the cost and effort associated with migrating applications to the cloud by delivering infrastructure and operations that are consistent with those deployed within customer data centers.

“VMware Cloud on AWS is now available across multiple regions globally including the U.S., Europe, and now Asia-Pacific, and we’ve increased the rate at which we deliver innovative capabilities and powerful solutions for our customers,” said Mark Lohmeyer, senior vice president and general manager, Cloud Platform Business Unit, VMware. “VMware Cloud on AWS provides a fast and cost-effective way to migrate mission-critical applications, or even entire data centers, to the cloud. And once in the cloud, we provide the industry-leading Software-Defined Data Center capabilities of VMware, coupled with the elasticity, breadth, and depth of AWS infrastructure and services, making it the ideal platform for modern applications.”

“Customers have been asking us to bring VMware Cloud on AWS to Asia Pacific, and we are pleased to be doing that today,” said Sandy Carter, vice president, EC2 Windows Enterprise Workloads, Amazon Web Services.

The latest VMware Cloud on AWS updates include:

  • 50 percent lower entry-level price and new minimum configuration: VMware will reduce the entry price for VMware Cloud on AWS by 50 percent and offer a smaller 3-host minimum SDDC configuration as a starting point for production workloads. For a limited time, VMware will offer the 3-Host SDDC environment for the cost of a 2-Host configuration.
  • License optimization for enterprise applications (Oracle/Microsoft): With new custom CPU core count capabilities, customers will be able to specify just the number of CPU cores they need, reducing the cost of running mission-critical applications that are licensed per CPU core. With VM-Host Affinity customers will be able to pin workloads to a specific host group to support licensing requirements.
  • Instant Data Center evacuation with live migration of 1000’s of VMs: Customers will be able to live migrate thousands of VMs with zero downtime and schedule exactly when to cut over to the new cloud environment with VMware NSX Hybrid Connect (previously known as VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension) powered by vMotion and vSphere Replication. VMware is offering a free migration cost assessment with VMware Cost Insight as part of the core service to assist with cloud migration planning.
  • New high-capacity storage option, backed by Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS): Customers will be able to independently scale compute and storage resource requirements and reduce costs for storage-capacity demanding workloads with new clusters for storage-dense environments. These clusters deliver scalable storage capabilities with VMware vSAN utilizing Amazon Elastic Block Storage and run on new Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) R5.metal instances. Amazon EC2 R5.metal instances are based on 2.5 GHz Intel Platinum 8000 series (Skylake-SP) processors. Each host has two sockets, 48 cores, 96 hyper-threads, 768 GB RAM, and 25 Gbps network bandwidth.
  • Application-centric security with VMware NSX: Customers will gain granular control over east-west traffic between workloads running in VMware Cloud on AWS through micro-segmentation provided by NSX. Security policies can be defined based on workload attributes (e.g., VM names, OS versions) and user-defined tags, are dynamically enforced at the VM-level, and follow workloads wherever they are moved.
  • NSX/AWS Direct Connect integration for simplified, high-performance connectivity: This new integration will make it easier for customers to connect across hybrid cloud environments and improve network performance. Integration between NSX and AWS Direct Connect will enable private and consistent connectivity between VMware workloads running on VMware Cloud on AWS and those running on-premises. This integration will also accelerate migration to cloud and enable multi-tier hybrid applications.
  • Optimized cost/performance with autoscaling: Elastic DRS allows users to automate VMware Cloud on AWS cluster scaling. Elastic DRS enables automated scaling up or scaling down of hosts and rebalancing of clusters, based on the needs of the applications and the policies the customer defines.
  • Real-Time log management included at no additional cost: VMware has added VMware Log Intelligence to the core VMware Cloud on AWS service, providing customers with access to VMware Cloud on AWS audit logs for increased security and compliance at no additional cost.

“VMware Cloud on AWS” Brings New Private/Public Model

Amazon Web Services and VMware announced a strategic alliance to drive hybrid cloud services for enterprise customers.

Under the alliance, "VMware Cloud on AWS" will be the primary public cloud solution delivered, sold, and supported by VMware; AWS will be VMware’s primary public cloud infrastructure partner; and VMware will be AWS’s primary private cloud partner in new strategic alliance. The service, which will be sold by VMware beginning in mid-2017, will run on next-generation, elastic, bare metal AWS infrastructure.

The companies said their jointly engineered "VMware Cloud on AWS" solution will enable customers to run applications across VMware vSphere-based private, public, and hybrid cloud environments. This will allow  VMware customers to use their existing VMware software and tools to leverage AWS’s global footprint and breadth of services, including storage, databases, analytics, etc.

Times of India: Mobile networks recover quickly from Kerala flood

Service has been restored to almost all telecom tower following the worst flooding in the Indian state of Kerala in nearly a century.

According to the Times of India, the calamity disrupted service at 22,217 base stations out of a total 85,900 base stations in the state. A full 98% have now been restored, although 400 remain on diesel backup power. The article also notes that 190 optical fiber cables were damaged in the flood, and 168 of these have been restored.

Kerala received heavy monsoon rains this year. On August 8th, with dams filled to capacity, a further 310 mm (12 in) of rainfall. As a result, 35 of the state's 42 dams were opened or overflowed, resulting in widespread flooding.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thiruvananthapuram/connectivity-restored-in-98-telecom-towers/articleshow/65554659.cms

Comcast's Internet Essentials reaches 6 million low-income households

Over the past year, Comcast connected more than two million people to its Internet Essentials program, which provides broadband access for low-income families.  The program now serves more than six million low-income Americans, making it the largest such program in the country.

Comcast also announced it will significantly expand eligibility – for the eleventh time in seven years – to low-income veterans, nearly one million of whom live within the Comcast footprint.

According to the United States Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, about a third of low-income veterans do not have Internet service at home, and only about 60 percent own a computer.

“This program has had an enormous impact on millions of families and children who now have high-speed Internet at home, many for the first time in their lives,” said David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer. “We’re excited to extend that same opportunity to more than one million, low-income veterans. Veterans have stood up for our country; now it’s time for us to stand up for them by providing access to life-changing digital tools and resources.”

http://www.internetessentials.com

See also