Wednesday, November 28, 2018

AWS re:Invent: Highlights from Day 3

In perhaps its most significant announcement at this week's re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, Amazon Web Services unveiled plans to offer pre-configured compute & storage hardware racks for deployment in customers' private data centers. The hardware will be fully managed by AWS, allowng customers to run compute and storage on-premises, while seamlessly connecting to the rest of AWS’s broad array of services in the cloud.  The service is currently in private preview and AWS expects it will be widely available in the second half of 2019.


AWS Outposts come in two variants; first, an extension of the fast-growing VMware Cloud on AWS service that runs on AWS Outposts; second, AWS Outposts that allow customers to run compute and storage on-premises using the same native AWS APIs used in the AWS cloud.

VMware Cloud on AWS Outposts, delivers the entire VMware Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) - compute, storage, and networking infrastructure - to run on-premises and managed as a Service from the same console as VMware Cloud on AWS, using AWS Outposts and enables customers to take advantage of the ease of management and integration with AWS services.

The AWS native variant of AWS Outposts is aimed at customers who prefer the same exact APIs and control plane they’re used to running in AWS’s cloud, but on-premises. This variant allows customers to run other software with native AWS Outposts, starting with a new integrated offering from VMware called VMware Cloud Foundation for EC2, which will feature VMware technologies and services that work across VMware and Amazon EC2 environments, like NSX (to help bridge AWS Outposts to local data center networks), VMware AppDefense (to protect known good applications), and VMware vRealize Automation (for workload provisioning).

“Customers are telling us that they don’t want a hybrid experience that attempts to recreate a stunted version of a cloud on-premises, because it’s perpetually out of sync with the cloud version and requires a lot of heavy lifting, managing custom hardware, different control planes, different tooling, and manual software updates. There just isn’t a lot of value in that type of on-premises offering and that’s why these solutions aren’t getting much traction,” said Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS. “So we started with what our customers were asking for and worked backwards. They told us they want an extension of their AWS or VMware Cloud on AWS environment on-premises, using the same hardware we’re using, the same interfaces, the same APIs, the same instant access to the latest AWS capabilities the minute they become available, and they don’t want to manage hardware or software. So, we tried to reimagine what customers really wanted when running in hybrid mode, and developed AWS Outposts.”

“VMware Cloud on AWS broke the barriers between the data center and the cloud by combining the best of the private cloud and public cloud in the AWS cloud,” said Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware. “Today we expand our strategic collaboration with AWS to provide our mutual enterprise customers with more choice and options as they extend their hybrid cloud environments to drive agility, simplicity, security, and full infrastructure interoperability.

Other highlights from Day 3:

  • AWS announced 13 new machine learning capabilities and services, across all layers in the machine learning stack.
  • 85% of TensorFlow workloads are already on AWS
  • AWS has significatly improved the way in which TensorFlow distributes training tasks across GPUs, enabling close to linear scalability when training multiple types of neural networks (90 percent efficiency across 256 GPUs, compared to the prior norm of 65 percent). U
  • AWS announced its own high performance machine learning inference chip called AWS Inferentia. It was developed by the Annapurna team. The new inference processor provides hundreds of teraflops per chip and thousands of teraflops per Amazon EC2 instance for multiple frameworks (including TensorFlow, Apache MXNet, and PyTorch), and multiple data types (including INT-8 and mixed precision FP-16 and bfloat16)
  • Hundreds of companies are standardizing their machine learning workloads on AWS SageMaker. Customers include Adobe, BMW, Cathay Pacific, Dow Jones, Expedia, Formula 1, GE Healthcare, HERE, Intuit, Johnson & Johnson, Kia Motors, Lionbridge, Major League Baseball, NASA JPL, Politico.eu, Ryanair, Shell, Tinder, United Nations, Vonage, the World Bank, and Zillow.  

  • Amazon SageMaker Neo (generally available now) is new deep learning model compiler that supports hardware platforms from NVIDIA, Intel, Xilinx, Cadence, and Arm, and popular frameworks such as TensorFlow, Apache MXNet, and PyTorch. AWS will also make Neo available as an open source project.
  • Introduced an AWS Marketplace for machine learning -- 3rd party algorithms and tools that plug into SageMaker
  • The Amazon Aurora database is the fastest growing service in the history of AWS and now tens of thousands of customers
  • AWS announced two new purpose-built database services, Amazon Timestream, a fast, scalable, and fully managed time series database for IoT and operational applications and, Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), a highly scalable, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable ledger.
  • A new AWS Control Tower gives customers an automated “landing zone” for setting up their multi-account environment and continuously govern their AWS workloads with rules for security, operations, and compliance. 
  • A new AWS Security Hub wil provides centralized management for security and compliance. It will be open for 3rd party add-ons.
  • A new AWS Lake Formation service will make it easier to set up a secure data lake
  • New Amazon S3 Intelligent-Tiering optimizes storage costs by automatically selecting the most cost-effective storage tier based on usage patterns.
  • Amazon S3 Glacier Deep Archive is a new storage class priced at just $0.00099 per GB-month (less than one-tenth of one cent, or $1 per TB-month)
  • Guardian Life Insurance has gone all-in with public cloud and closed its last data center. Guardian named AWS as its preferred cloud provider.
  • Open Bank, a subsidiary of Santander Group with 1.3 million customers in Spain, has gone all-in on AWS.



Australia's NBN Co deploys ADTRAN's in-ground G.fast DPUs

Australia's NBN Co will deploy ADTRAN's 2nd generation G.fast Distribution Point Units (DPUs) in the next phase of the country’s national broadband access network.

ADTRAN confirmed that it has shipped hundreds of thousands of the most advanced generation of G.fast ports for this project. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The first G.fast DPUs are being installed in the Sydney suburb of Rockdale, where the newest phase of the wholesale nbn is being built out by 2020. This is the first network in the world to deliver high speeds of broadband via in-ground G.fast DPUs, according to NBN Chief Network Engineering Officer Peter Ryan.

“ADTRAN is a valued strategic partner for nbn and has played a key role helping nbn meet our deployment goals to evolve our network,” Ryan said. “I am very pleased that we are taking this next step together on our journey of delivering cutting-edge technology to Australians with our first deployment of ADTRAN G.fast technology onto the nbn FTTC network. Having this technology in the ground today gives us additional flexibility to meet end-user demand as it evolves.”

“NBN is setting a global standard for advanced Gigabit Society infrastructure by designing and implementing a nationwide broadband network using multiple next-generation technologies, including G.fast, to scale to gigabit service rates and beyond,” ADTRAN EMEA/APAC Chief Technology Officer Ronan Kelly said. “ADTRAN is proud to be a partner in this exciting project, which has shown how the nbn – in eight short years – has already contributed significantly to the economy and social wellbeing of millions of Australians.”

ADTRAN notes that it was among the first to deliver G.fast solutions that conform with Amendment 3 of the ITU-T G.fast standard, which doubles the usable spectrum from 106 MHz to 212 MHz and reduces the power consumption to enable convenient and cost effective reverse power feeding. With Amendment 3, G.fast is now capable of providing an aggregated bandwidth of 2 Gbps, delivering fibre-like speeds for applications which require leveraging the existing phone or cable television wiring infrastructure. The increased capacity also helps operators with additional deployment flexibility, as for the first time G.fast-based services can be delivered to locations where these need to coexist with existing VDSL2 services while still maintaining the ability to deliver symmetric Gigabit speeds.

http://www.adtran.com

ADTRAN delivers 2nd gen Gfast capable of 2 Gbps

ADTRAN launched its 2nd generation Gfast products allowing for the transparent extension of FTTH service capabilities.

The company is the first to deliver Gfast solutions that conform with Amendment 3 of the ITU-T G.fast standard, which doubles the usable spectrum from previously 106 Mhz to 212 MHz. With Amendment 3, Gfast is now capable of providing an aggregated bandwidth of 2 Gbps, delivering fiber-like speeds for Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs) and other applications which require leveraging the existing phone or cable television wiring infrastructure.

ADTRAN said the increased capacity also helps operators with additional deployment flexibility, as for the first time Gfast-based services can be delivered to locations where these need to coexist with existing VDSL2 services while still maintaining the ability to deliver symmetric Gigabit speeds. The company has Gfast deployments underway with Tier 1 carrier networks in Asia, Australia, North America and Europe.

“Second generation Gfast solutions can allow operators, municipalities and regulatory agencies another delivery path to meeting the goal of delivering Gigabit speeds to consumers,” IHS Markit Principal Analyst, Service Provider Technology, John Kendall said. “The current Gfast market is set for strong growth as leading service providers are ramping deployments as a natural extension of their fiber investment strategies and Gigabit service rollout plans.”

“In today’s global economy, having access to Gigabit services has become playing stakes for any carrier that wants to compete for residential services,” ADTRAN Director of Portfolio Management, Broadband Solutions, Werner Heinrich said. “By delivering the industry’s most complete SD-Access solution set, including fully Gigabit-capable Gfast solutions, ADTRAN is providing our customers with the opportunity to expand the reach of their fiber broadband services and open the way into the Gigabit Society for many more of their subscribers.”

https://www.adtran.com/index.php/adtran-delivers-first-2nd-gen-gfast-solutions-as-worldwide-deployments-ramp





Infinera boosts open line system (OLS) capabilities

Infinera introduced significant enhancements to the open line system (OLS) capabilities of the Infinera Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform, which enables network operators to configure optical transport functionality in a performance- and cost-optimized way within an ultra-dense one rack unit (1RU) platform.

Open line systems, like the Groove G30, disaggregate wavelength-division multiplexing transport into best-in-class functional blocks with open application programming interfaces and end-to-end software-defined network management and control.

Infinera announced the following key features and benefits of the Groove G30 OLS enhancements:

  • Optical protection switching (OPSM): New compact pluggable comprising a single optical protection switch that provides a cost-effective option for protecting against interface and amplifier failures and fiber cuts
  • Colorless, flexible grid add/drop (CAD8/8E): New compact 8-channel pluggable, service-expandable to 16 channels, that provides colorless, flexible grid add/drop to enable the deployment of high baud rate of 64 quadrature amplitude modulation (64QAM) without the need for more expensive reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) architectures
  • Optical time-domain reflectometer (OTDR): New compact pluggable that supports both in-service and out-of-service OTDR on up to four fibers with distances of up to 100 kilometers, enabling fiber cuts to be quickly located
  • In-line amplifier (ILA): Leveraging the existing range of pluggable erbium-doped fiber amplifiers, the Groove G30 OLS can now be deployed as a compact in-line amplifier, providing a cost-effective solution for interconnecting data centers over longer distances comprised of multiple fiber spans
  • Optical power monitoring (OCM): New compact pluggable providing per-channel power monitoring on four ports (i.e. two degrees in two directions) that enhances optical layer monitoring, fast fault detection and isolation and proactive troubleshooting
  • 64-port 75 gigahertz (GHz) mux/demux (OMD64): New capabilities that leverage 75 GHz grid filters to support high-baud-rate wavelengths up to 64QAM 600 gigabits per second, with up to 64 wavelengths per filter enabling scalability to 38.4 terabits per second per fiber pair

“The expanded capabilities of the Groove G30 reinforce our commitment to this industry-leading platform and demonstrate the benefits customers realize with open optical transport,” said Julia Larikova, Principal Product Manager for Optical Layer at Infinera. “As end-user applications continue to drive demand for infrastructure capacity, our open line solutions provide an optimal means to scale efficiently while reducing costs.”

https://www.infinera.com/infinera-expands-open-optical-networking-capabilities/

Cignal AI: Optical hardware sales surging in Asia

Optical hardware sales throughout Asia surged in 3Q18, fueled by double digit increases in China and Japan, and a turnaround in India, according to the third quarter 2018 (3Q18) Optical Hardware Report from research firm Cignal AI, which is raising its market estimates for Asia.

CignalAI said sales in North America continued to decline for the eighth consecutive quarter, as weakness in the traditional operator market was not offset by strong sales to cloud and color operators.

“China bounced back more quickly than expected following the ZTE shutdown, and outside vendors Nokia and Ciena saw a triple-digit increase in Japan during the third quarter,” said Scott Wilkinson, lead analyst, Optical Hardware for Cignal AI. “RoAPAC contributed to the success in Asia as well. While we expected a slight slowdown this year there will likely be net increases for the year, driven largely by sales in India.”


Other findings in the 3Q18 Optical Hardware Report;

  • Ciena was the only vendor among the top 5 that grew revenue in North America, thanks to sales to cloud and colo operators.
  • EMEA saw double-digit growth during the quarter, and this momentum is anticipated to continue given traditional fourth-quarter spending increases.
  • An expected turnaround in CALA did not materialize, as spending in the region continued to decline.

https://cignal.ai/

Qualcomm Launches $100M AI Investment Fund

Qualcomm announced a $100 million venture fund focused on AI start-ups

Specifically, the Qualcomm Ventures AI Fund will focus on startups that share the vision of on-device AI becoming more powerful and widespread, with an emphasis on those developing new technology for autonomous cars, robotics and machine learning platforms.

“At Qualcomm, we invent breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes, and communicates,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “For over a decade, Qualcomm has been investing in the future of machine learning. As a pioneer of on-device AI, we strongly believe intelligence is moving from the cloud to the edge. Qualcomm’s AI strategy couples leading 5G connectivity with our R&D, fueling AI to transform industries, business models and experiences.”

As part of the AI Fund, Qualcomm Ventures LLC participated in a Series A funding round for AnyVision, a world-leading face, body, and object recognition startup.


New Zealand blocks Huawei from 5G Infrastructure

The government of New Zealand will block Huawei from participating in 5G infrastructure.

Spark New Zealand disclosed that the Director-General of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) has notified the company of the decision based on national security concerns.

Spark was planning on deploying Huawei equipment in its 5G RAN rollout. Spark said is disappointed by the decision but remains on track to launch 5G services by mid-2020.

https://www.sparknz.co.nz/news/GCSB_declines_Spark_proposal_Huawei/


IEEE releases 802.19.1 spec for Network-Based Coexistence Methods

IEEE published a new 802.19.1 standard that specifies radio technology independent methods for network-based coexistence among dissimilar or independently operated networks. The standard is defined for geolocation-capable devices operating under general authorization such as TV band White Spaces (TVWS), 5 GHz license-exempt bands, and 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service lightly licensed bands.

The standard introduces the following:

  • Methods for leveraging the cognitive radio capabilities of license-exempt devices, including geolocation awareness and information database access;
  • Coexistence discovery and information server for gathering and providing wireless networks coexistence information;
  • Coexistence manager utilizing information from the coexistence discovery and information server, thereby enhancing the coexistence of the wireless networks;
  • Coordination enabler, which communicates with the coexistence manager within the same coexistence system and with the coordination enabler within the other coexistence system; and
  • Common coexistence architecture and protocols, as well as multiple profiles enabling cost-efficient and flexible deployment of the coexistence system in various scenarios.


https://standards.ieee.org/standard/802_19_1-2018.html

EU approves acquisition of Tele2 Netherlands by TMobile NL

The European Commission approved the acquisition of Tele2 Netherlands by T-Mobile Netherlands without any conditions.

The combined company will have pro-forma revenues in excess of EUR 2.0 billion (last twelve month as of Q3/2017) and around 4.3 million mobile postpaid subscribers and expects to generate annual run-rate synergies of around EUR 150 million p.a. within three years from closing.

Upon closing of the transaction, Tele2 will receive a stake of 25 percent in the enlarged company and a cash payment of EUR 190 million. Deutsche Telekom will own 75 percent of the company and a EUR 1.1 billion intercompany loan receivable. The deal is now expected to close in early 2019.

Søren Abildgaard, CEO of T-Mobile NL: "I am very pleased with the decision of the European Commission because it is the best outcome for Dutch consumers and businesses. We are committed to continue to disrupt the Dutch telecom market and this transaction will allow us to step up the challenge for KPN and VodafoneZiggo. Moreover, we can now start to implement the promises we made including an accelerated 5G launch, high speed internet in rural areas as well as contract freedom for new and existing customers with a combined contract of fixed and mobile services.“

Spirent intros WLAN 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) test kit

Spirent Communications introduced an WLAN 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) testing solution.

The Spirent TestCenter WLAN 802.11ax testing solution can be employed for functionality, feature, and performance testing of IEEE 802.11ax Access Points (APs) and end-to-end testing of WLAN ecosystems, including WLAN access controllers and gateways. It emulates a large number of realistic WLAN clients through both the in-chassis 2.5G/5G Ethernet and 802.11ax Wi-Fi test ports to easily achieve multi-Gbps throughput. The solution also provides complete Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) testing coverage through the integration of a radar signal emulation tool, to support both RF cabled conductive testing and Over-The-Air (OTA) testing.

“Users expect Wi-Fi technologies to be ubiquitous. The emergence of these latest enhancements such as Wi-Fi 6 allow network equipment manufacturers, service providers and enterprises to scale up their Wi-Fi access points to carrier-grade and enterprise-grade technology, improving capacity, performance, reliability, and security significantly,” said Spirent’s General Manager of Cloud and IP, Abhitesh Kastuar. “Spirent’s new 802.11ax test solution builds on the market leadership the company established in 802.11ac testing, expanding it to the latest standards in Wi-Fi 6 AP, device, and networking.”

“By leveraging the 802.11ax chipset from Qualcomm Technologies in their test equipment, Spirent empowers the Wi-Fi ecosystem with key testing features to optimize the performance and functionality of their Wi-Fi 6 routers,” said Gopi Sirineni, Vice President, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We are pleased to be working alongside Spirent and WLAN Access Point vendors to encourage the adoption of Wi-Fi 6 technology – delivering significant upgrades to the capacity and efficiency of traditional broadband networks to better meet the demands of modern consumers.”

https://www.spirent.com/Products/WLAN-Test-Solutions

See also