Wednesday, December 19, 2018

2019 Network Predictions

by Angelique Medina, senior product market manager, ThousandEyes

2018 has seen the acceleration of modern infrastructure from public cloud, SaaS, hybrid and SD-WAN. 2019 will see enterprises feeling the impact of this dramatic shift more than ever.

Internet unpredictability impacts become more visible as SD-WAN projects spread and mature

SD-WAN adoption is on the rise, and with it, the enterprise’s growing dependence on the Internet. Before moving to SD-WAN, most enterprises only had to worry about Internet performance from its data centers to key services. With SD-WAN, they’re increasingly leveraging DIA and broadband connectivity and grappling with hundreds or thousands of sites, each of which will have distinct Internet paths to many different cloud-based services. Shifting from a carrier managed service to the Internet, means that there’s an exponential rise in the number of service providers that can potentially impact performance for branch office users. As a large number of enterprises move from deployment into their operations stage in 2019, the impact of Internet unpredictability will become more evident. As a result, more enterprise IT teams will start to develop operational capabilities to deal with Internet-centric issues.

Digital experience will confront the weight of backend multiplicity

Enterprises and SaaS providers are increasingly leveraging third-party APIs and cloud-services as part of their web and application architectures. This distributed, microservices approach to building applications not only provides best-of-breed functions, it enables companies to quickly consume and deliver new services. Applications today might leverage dozens of APIs to handle services such as messaging and voice, maps, and payments, while also connecting to cloud-based services such as CRM, ERP and analytics. Websites are also getting weighed down by the addition of many externally hosted applications. Even a seemingly simple “Buy Now” function on an ecommerce site will invoke many external services, including payment gateways, CRM, analytics, inventory, fulfillment, and potentially many others.

The weight of all of these external dependencies means that websites are going to continue to get slower, while at the same time their risk surface increases. Since these services are not internally operated, isolating the source of a problem when something goes wrong can be challenging, particularly since these services are connected to over the Internet. The question of whether the application or the network is at fault will become “Which application?” and “Which network?”.

Understanding the tradeoff of function over user experience and knowing how every third-party web or app component impacts performance will get even more critical to enterprises and SaaS providers in 2019.

Fragmentation, not bifurcation of the Internet

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, famously predicted that the Internet would bifurcate into a US-led Internet and a Chinese-led Internet by 2028. While we still have plenty of time to see how this prediction plays out, in the near term, the Internet is shifting towards fragmentation. Multiple nation states, including Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, have joined China in creating a walled-off Internet, using a variety of technical, social, and political techniques. As more countries pursue nationalist agendas and choose to opt out of regional or global alignments, we will see increasing Internet fragmentation. This will initially take the form of politically-motivated censorship, but will expand to include the broader curation of connectivity based on politically-prescribed social and cultural norms.

Hybrid starts tilting to the cloud

While the data center will continue to lose ground in favor of cloud, enterprises still early in their cloud journey or who have special security or regulatory constraints will keep hybrid cloud alive. To extend their reach into the enterprise data center, public cloud providers have begun offering on-premises solutions, featuring greater agility, favorable economics, and a single pane of glass for management. While still in its early days, Azure Stack has already announced that it has deployed customers, while newly announced AWS Outpost (scheduled to release in the second half of 2019) has the potential to be highly disruptive to the data center landscape.

2019 will see an increased tilting of hybrid towards public cloud providers, though a lack of maturity may cause an initial freezing of of the hybrid market, particularly for AWS customers, who will want to consider an AWS offering over existing network providers once commercially available.

The Edge gets less “edgy”

Early edge architectures, where the data of billions of IoT devices is notionally processed at central points by infrastructure in public cloud or private data centers, presented challenges, ranging from security to physics (increased latency) and cost (bandwidth). The introduction of intermediary nodes into edge architectures will address the latency and security concerns of a strictly core/edge architecture, moving edge deployments in 2019 from largely theoretical to realizable.

Intermediary nodes are designed to perform some of the processing functions of the cloud closer to the edge, which will help ensure better performance and scale for users and devices and help drive IoT and edge deployments. These nodes are already available from a variety of vendors, including public cloud providers, such as Microsoft. Microsoft has previously stated that they want their Azure cloud data centers be 50ms from everywhere. These new intermediary nodes will help extend the reach of cloud-centric infrastructure to the range of single digit milliseconds and make IoT and edge computing aspirations a reality.

Cyber attacks focus on foundational Internet systems for maximum effect

The pervasive risk associated with offering a digital service has forced most large enterprises and digital businesses to employ sophisticated systems of defense. These systems are designed to handle increasingly large-scale attacks, such as the one launched against GitHub earlier this year. That attack was the largest ever recorded and although it was disruptive, it was successfully mitigated through a highly elastic cloud-based DDoS protector called Prolexic. This and other tools make launching an impactful attack against a high-value target more challenging to pull off, which may be one reason why the number of DDoS attacks is trending downward, particularly in North America and Europe. This doesn’t mean that cyber attacks are going away. Cyber attacks will continue to make headlines in 2019, but they will largely take an indirect approach, exploiting relational weaknesses in foundational Internet systems, such as DNS and BGP routing.

Two incidents this year, one malicious, the other unintentional, underscored the vulnerability of even the most sophistical digital businesses to service disruption. In the case of the malicious incident, Amazon’s DNS service, Route 53, was hijacked, which enabled a cryptocurrency theft and led to many customer sites, including Instagram and CNN, becoming partially unreachable. The attackers who pulled off this digital hijacking and robbery made no attempt to penetrate Amazon’s infrastructure. Instead, they compromised a small Internet Service Provider in Columbus, Ohio, using them to propagate false routes to Amazon’s DNS service. The implicit trust built into Internet routing allowed this attack to take place. The fact that the hijacked service (translating URLs into Internet addresses) is a critical dependency meant that the impact was massive and went far beyond the intended target.

Indirect attacks, taking advantage of critical dependencies outside of the control of the intended target, will continue to grow in 2019, netting more high-profile victims while maximizing the scope of collateral damage.

The operational impact of cloud adoption pushes enterprises to reexamine their management stack mix

Now that SaaS has mainstreamed, with most enterprises shifting their application consumption model from internal to the cloud, we can expect to see a follow-on shift in IT operations stacks in the coming year, as more enterprises begin to realize that the existing toolset is not oriented to address externally-hosted applications.

The traditional IT operations stack is rich with tools, but as the usage of SaaS applications and cloud-based services has increased, the domain of many of these tools is narrowing, exposing gaps in visibility for SaaS applications and their delivery over the Internet. Network tools that collect data from on-premises will see a reduction in usage and budget allocation, making room for cloud-specific tools and technologies designed to provide visibility into networks and services that enterprises rely on (such as ISPs and SaaS apps) but that they do not own or control. This new operations stack will continue to feature traditional toolsets, but its proportional emphasis will favor cloud-focused technologies.

Ovum: 1.3 billion connections by the end of 2023

Global mobile connections will total ten billion by 2023 according to forecasts provided by Ovum and published by 5G Americas. Also, by the end of 2023, global 5G connections are expected to reach 1.3 billion, an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers.

“Growth of LTE is unabated, as LTE added 239 million connections worldwide in the third quarter of 2018,” stated Kristin Paulin, Senior Analyst, Ovum. “Ovum forecasts that LTE will continue to grow well into 2022 and we will see a decline in subscriptions beginning around 2023 due to 5G growth. Regardless, GSM, HSPA and LTE will still be deployed worldwide in 2023.”



Some highlights from Ovum and 5G Americas:

North America

  • North America’s strong leadership in LTE will be replaced with early 5G connections building in 2019 and is forecast to reach 186 million 5G connections by 2023 for a 32 percent share of market.
  • Ovum forecasts 336 thousand 5G connections in North America by the end of 2019 representing 47 percent of total global 5G connections.
  • LTE achieved a penetration rate of 107 percent with 390 million LTE connections as of third quarter 2018, compared to the population of 365 million in North America. This penetration rate compares to the next two highest regions, Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia at 87 percent and Western Europe at 71 percent.
  • 390 million LTE connections for net gain of 51 million new LTE customers year-over-year  
  • LTE is forecast to peak at about 473 million connections at the end of 2020 (including M2M)
  • 32 million 5G connections forecast in 2021 – 6 percent of all North American connections -- growing to 186 million 5G connections in 2023 and 32 percent of all North America connections

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Latin America and the Caribbean continues steady growth of LTE connections and is forecast to reach more than half a billion LTE subscriptions by 2022.  
  • LTE continued its healthy growth with market share increasing from 26 percent to 37 percent year-over-year at the end of September 2018. 
  • 698 million total mobile wireless subscriptions including 257 million LTE connections; 78 million new LTE connections added year-over-year from 3Q 2017 and 17.5 million new LTE connections in 3Q alone
  • By the end of 2022, LTE is forecast to reach 510 million connections (forecast includes M2M) and a 67 percent share of market with total number of connections reaching 767 million


Global

  • Forecasts for LTE continue to show very positive growth with milestones of nearly 4 billion at end of 2018; more than 5 billion by 2020; and about 6 billion in 2022 at which time LTE growth will decline due to the mass market growth of 5G.  In 2023, LTE connections will decline to 5.7 billion when nearly 1 billion GSM connections and 2 billion HSPA connections will remain.
  • 5G will trend upwards beginning in 2019 with less than 1 million global connections; by 2020, this will grow to 37 million and then more than quadruple to 156 million in 2021; by 2022, 5G connections will exceed 500 million and the 2023 forecast puts 5G global connections at 1.3 billion.
  • 972 million new LTE subscriptions year-over-year from 3Q 2017; 35 percent growth
  • 3.7 billion LTE connections out of a total 8.45 billion cellular connections worldwide; worldwide market share for LTE is 44 percent   
  • LTE connections forecast to reach 6 billion by year-end 2022 (forecast includes M2M)
  • LTE global market share forecast to reach 61percent by year end 2022
  • 5G is forecast to reach 1.3 billion connections by the end of 2023


http://www.5gamericas.org/en/

Digital Realty earns ENERGY STAR Certifications for its 24 data centers

Digital Realty earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification for superior energy performance in 24 data centers in 2018.  The certifications indicate Digital Realty data centers rank in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency. 

Digital Realty said its ENERGY STAR-certified data centers are now saving a total of 720,000 megawatt hours relative to industry-average data centers, enough to power 80,000 average U.S. homes for a year and eliminating 535,000 metric tons of C02 emissions. The 24 facilities certified in 2018 total 385,000 kilowatts of data center capacity, representing more than one-third of Digital Realty’s U.S. data center portfolio.

Separately, Digital Realty also announced it has enrolled in a new sustainable energy offering from Salt River Project under which Digital Realty will source a portion of the energy consumed by its Arizona data center portfolio from a new 100-megawatt solar plant to be built in Coolidge, AZ.

Digital Realty Senior Director of Sustainability Aaron Binkley concluded, “Receiving ENERGY STAR certification for a significant portion of our data center portfolio speaks to the expertise of our data center design and operations teams and their sustained focus on achieving high levels of energy performance for our customers.  These certifications are another element of our commitment to deliver to our clients best-in-class global data center solutions that minimize environmental impacts."

Vanu offers Global Wireless Connectivity Maps

Vanu, which supplies access equipment for mobile network operators, announced VanuMaps, a mapping resource capable of detailing where connectivity is lacking and can be provided profitably throughout Africa, select countries in Asia and the rest of the world.

The new mapping tool will enable Vanu’s mobile network operator customers to quickly and accurately identify communities in need and the most effective strategies to address their connectivity challenges. The coverage estimates included in the maps are an aggregation based on tower and terrain data and are not specific to a particular mobile network operator, nor is it known which mobile network operators operate from the towers used to predict coverage on the map.

“Among the larger challenges of supplying mobile coverage to regions where it is currently unavailable is that there has not necessarily been a sufficiently accurate answer to the question: ‘where are the people who lack coverage located?’ That information is critical for us and our mobile network operator customers to identify sites efficiently and to invest with confidence, knowing that a reasonable return is available,” said Andrew Beard, CEO of Vanu, Inc.

“To accurately capture this data, our team developed a series of proprietary software algorithms that are able to produce maps incorporating coverage, population, terrain, propagation and other factors with a level of precision not previously available for these markets. This is essential when implementing a small-cell network architecture. With these maps as a path forward, we will now be able to identify the communities with the most immediate connectivity needs and continue to work with our partners to deploy affordable, power-efficient and reliable mobile networks to those areas.”

 http://www.vanu.com

LightOn raises EUR 2.9 million for optics-based data processing for AI

LightOn, a start-up based in Paris, announced EUR 2.9 million (US$3.3 million) in seed funding for its work in developing optics-based data processing technology for AI.

LightOn is building Optical Processing Units (OPUs) for sensing. The core technology, licensed by PSL Research University, was originally developed at several of Paris’ leading research institutions.

The company said it is already working with OVH, Europe’s leading cloud provider.

The seed funding was provided by several deep technology-focused venture funds, including Quantonationand Anorak.

http://www.lighton.io

CityFibre secures £1.12 billion loan for its full fibre rollout across UK

CityFibre has arranged for debt package of £1.12 billion from seven major financial institutions including ABN AMRO, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Bank plc, Natixis, NatWest, Santander and Société Générale.

CityFibre notes that this is the largest debt financing package dedicated to full fibre rollouts in the UK’s history and represents an important milestone in CityFibre’s plan to improve the country’s digital future.

The debt package will be used to fund the deployment of the first two million homes of CityFibre’s five million homes target and will expand CityFibre’s existing full fibre networks in 37 previously announced towns and cities nationwide. As well as connecting homes, CityFibre’s full fibre network is designed to serve all businesses and public sector sites, provide a superior backbone for mobile operators’ existing locations, enable the rollout of 5G and Internet-of-Things technology and offer transformative, future-proofed connectivity to those joining the Gigabit City Club.

Terry Hart, CityFibre’s Chief Finance Officer, said: “The appetite from these institutions to support our financing is further evidence that CityFibre’s strategy is the right one for the UK. As our networks are rolled out, this will benefit everyone, driving innovation and increasing fibre penetration across the UK, providing the future-proof digital connectivity the UK needs."

CityFibre plans £2.5 billion full fibre network in UK

CityFibre announced a new £2.5 billion full fibre investment plan to extend its network in 37 towns and cities across the UK. The plan is underpinned by significant existing network assets and operations in these municipalities.

CityFibre was acquired in June 2018 by Antin Infrastructure Partners and West Street Infrastructure Partners, a fund managed by Goldman Sachs.

CityFibre said its expanded rollout plan will deliver fibre connectivity to five million homes and corresponds to one third of the Government’s 2025 target of 15 million homes.

Vodafone was named as the first consumer ISP customer for the new network.

CityFibre’s fibre-to-the-home builds are currently underway in Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Aberdeen, with construction due to start in Edinburgh, Stirling, Coventry and Huddersfield before the end of this year and Cambridge, Leeds and Southend-on-Sea shortly afterwards.

UK's Gigaclear picks Ciena for 100G transport network

Gigaclear Network selected Ciena for a 100G transport network across multiple countryside locations in the UK.

The network leverages Ciena’s 6500 Packet Optical platform powered by WaveLogic coherent optics. It also uses Ciena’s  Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller software, which will automate network and service management and provide real-time visibility into network operations. 

With this new network upgrade, rural regions in the UK including Devon, Somerset, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire will benefit from greater access to high-speed service with rapid backhaul connections from London to Bristol and Northants.

"The proliferation of fiber communities and the need for more backhaul capacity as a result of increased data demands requires Gigaclear to have an adaptive network that lays the foundation for future growth. With an optical network powered by WaveLogic and Blue Planet MCP, Gigaclear will have a programmable infrastructure to intelligently manage its bandwidth, drive innovation and expand services outside of the London metropolitan area," stated Jamie Jefferies, Vice President and General Manager, EMEA, Ciena.

MACOM intros Ultra Low Phase Noise Amplifier

MACOM introduced a new portfolio of wideband, ultra low phase noise amplifiers. The first device in the series (MAAL-011151) is suited for use as a low phase noise amplifier stage for signal generation applications spanning a host of system designs targeting test and measurement (T&M), EW, ECM, and radar.

MACOM said phase noise is a critical specification in defining the frequency stability of a signal source, with significant implications for receiver sensitivity performance. Its new MAAL-011151 minimizes phase noise contribution in providing LO signal gain, enhancing spectral integrity for T&M and communications systems, target acquisition for radar, and aerospace and defense (A&D) applications.

“With the introduction of MACOM’s new MAAL-011151 ultra low phase noise amplifiers, we’re investing in a growing portfolio of signal generation components that encompasses high-performance comb generators, mixers, and more,” said Graham Board, Senior Director of Product Marketing, MACOM. “As we expand this portfolio to include additional discrete amplifiers covering additional frequencies, and integrated low phase noise LO modules, system designers will benefit from seamless device compatibility and exceptional performance across the signal chain, with decades of MACOM application expertise to help them achieve their aggressive design goals.”

https://www.macom.com/products/product-detail/MAAL-011151

Keysight, Qualcomm test 5G NR Standalone Data Transfer

Keysight Technologies and Qualcomm have demonstrated a 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standalone (SA) mode IP data transfer.

The testing, which used Keysight’s 5G network emulation solutions and a mobile smartphone form-factor test device consisting of a 5G modem and antenna modules from Qualcomm, was achieved using a network configuration that combines the latest 3GPP Release 15.3.0 5G NR technologies.

The companies described the achievement an important milestone that enables mobile operators to deploy 5G NR SA mode, which does not rely on an anchor in the LTE network, to deliver enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) services required by many 5G use cases.

“We are delighted that Keysight’s expertise and innovations in 5G solutions are helping us in the next major milestone of achieving IP data transfer in standalone mode,” says Jon Detra, vice president, engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “With 5G commercialization starting in the first half of 2019, Qualcomm Technologies joining forces with Keysight, helps enable the entire mobile ecosystem to make 5G a commercial reality.”

See also