Friday, August 30, 2019

SD-WAN + Intelligent Underlay Connectivity + LSO Orchestration = New Revenue




MEF Annual Meeting – July/August 2019, Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF, shares a summary of the MEF 3.0 strategy to combine standardized SD-WAN services with high speed, intelligent underlay connectivity services to deliver a better customer experience and create new revenue opportunities for service providers. SD-WAN + intelligent underlay connectivity fabric + LSO APIs for service automation = new revenue-generating hybrid networking solutions.

 “We believe the industry is ready now for a very high speed underlay fabric that’s highly orchestrated among all the network providers. This is really what we’ve been doing with all our work on our  LSO APIs like Sonata – to orchestrate all these various providers so that they connect their underlays at very high speeds.”

“Additionally...we now have the first official industry SW-WAN standard for the overlays. So that’s going to be orchestrated underlays at high speeds with a very agile overlay using SD-WAN.”

Going further, the goal is to add in virtualized functions like security and WAN optimization, and then have all of the services and virtualized functions highly orchestrated using our MEF LSO APIs.

Download the SD-WAN Standard

MEF’s SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services (MEF 70) standard describes requirements for an application-aware, over-the-top WAN connectivity service that uses policies to determine how application flows are directed over multiple underlay networks irrespective of the underlay technologies or service providers who deliver them. Download here: https://www.mef.net/resources/technic...

To explore the latest on SD-WAN and LSO API innovations and engage with industry-leading service and technology experts such as Pascal Menezes, attend MEF19 (http://www.MEF19.com), held 18-22 November 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

MEF LSO APIs critical to enabling on-demand services across providers



MEF Annual Meeting – July/August 2019, Daniele Mancuso, EVP, ICT Engineering, Sparkle, shares his perspective on how the global communications service provider is leveraging MEF LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) to accelerate go-to-market plans for digital services. He spotlights the importance of LSO APIs not only for service automation within a service provider network, but also for orchestration of dynamic services across an ecosystem of interconnected, automated networks envisioned in the MEF 3.0 global services framework.

“Sparkle has been pioneering in that field by implementing one of the early solutions for LSO - specifically for service orchestration - by tackling a specific use case of bandwidth on demand. Today, we are already at the second wave of the implementation. We are redesigning everything from scratch and taking advantage of the very recent release of our new BSS platform that allows us to unify completely the CRM, the catalog of services and products of the company all over our subsidiaries around the world.”

“The LSO concept will allow us to be faster in realizing and putting on the market new digital services, not just pure connectivity services, but something that will use connectivity as a commodity – so everything on-demand, everything as a service, everything in an ecosystem of partners. Because, today we need to think of about our network not taking into account the physical boundaries of the Sparkle network, but considering an interconnection of multiple clouds where any partner taking part in the ecosystem can request an order of a connectivity service or whatever other service that can be realized through the Sparkle network, whether the destination point is residing within our boundaries or we also need to ask for the support of another service provider. In this scenario, LSO – together with the east-west API interconnection points – is a critical element because it’s basically the key and the core of the creation of this ecosystem of interconnected partners.”

To learn more about MEF LSO Sonata APIs for inter-provider service automation, download this FAQ document:  https://www.mef.net/images/LSO-Sonata-FAQ-August-2019.pdf

To explore the latest on LSO innovations and engage with industry-leading service and technology experts such as Daniele Mancuso, attend MEF19 (http://www.MEF19.com), held 18-22 November 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Progress Update: MEF LSO Sonata APIs for Inter-Provider Service Automation



MEF Annual Meeting – July/August 2019, David Ball, Principal Engineer, Cisco and LSO Committee Co-Chair, MEF, shares a progress update on the standardization of LSO Sonata APIs used for inter-provider service automation.

“LSO is going to be the biggest thing that helps transform the industry over the next few years. It’s really exciting to be part of this thing that’s so needed to help service providers integrate with each other and speed up the way that they can deliver services to their end users. LSO Sonata is the API that is key to that.”

LSO Sonata APIs relate to the interface reference point within MEF’s LSO Reference Architecture (MEF 55) that supports business-to-business interactions between service providers.  The full suite of planned LSO Sonata APIs deals with serviceability (address validation, site queries, product offering qualification), product inventory, quoting, ordering, trouble ticketing, contracts, and billing.

In June 2019, MEF introduced LSO Sonata SDK (Software Development Kit) Release 3, which includes a set of deliverables that enable market adoption of LSO Sonata APIs for serviceability (address validation, site queries, and product offering qualification), product inventory, quoting, and ordering. The SDK includes published and draft standards listed below covering business requirements, use cases, and attributes that serve as the basis for the associated APIs and data models. Available on the MEF public GitHub (https://github.com/MEF-GIT/MEF-LSO-Sonata-SDK), the SDK also includes Swagger data models, product payload specifications composed of MEF 3.0 services, and other artifacts that enable a developer to rapidly build out these Sonata LSO APIs within their business systems.
  • Ethernet Ordering Technical Standard: Business Requirements and Use Cases (MEF 57.1)
  • Address, Service Site, and Product Offering Qualification Management: Requirements and Use Cases (MEF 79 Draft Standard)
  • Quote Management: Requirements and Use Cases (MEF 80 Draft Standard)
  • Product Inventory Management: Requirements and Use Cases (MEF 81 Draft Standard) 

 To learn more about MEF LSO Sonata APIs for inter-provider service automation, download this FAQ document:  https://www.mef.net/images/LSO-Sonata-FAQ-August-2019.pdf

To explore the latest on LSO innovations and engage with industry-leading service and technology experts, attend MEF19 (http://www.MEF19.com), held 18-22 November 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Verizon Australia to provide business services via NBN Co.

Verizon Australia will provide NBN Co. sourced business connectivity services to Australian enterprise and government customers.

Verizon has provided managed network and security services to enterprise and government customers in Australia for over 20 years including 75-plus Commonwealth and State Government agencies in Australia.

Verizon said its enterprise customers will continue to be able to take advantage of the company’s entire suite of Managed Network Services - including Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Virtual Network Service (VNS) bundles - with Enterprise Ethernet connectivity directly sourced from NBN Co.’s enterprise-grade infrastructure.

Robert Le Busque, regional managing director of Verizon in Australia, New Zealand and India said, “A robust network is the backbone of any business, and particularly today, where digital business is the norm, and organisations are increasingly looking for scalable, flexible network capacity to support global growth. Verizon is pleased to be able to present a compelling alternative to Australian enterprises and government businesses.”

Verizon manages 500,000+ network, hosting, and security devices and 5,000+ networks in 150+ countries with a global IP network spanning over 1.3 million network route kilometers.

Dell'Oro: Worldwide VoLTE revenues up 16% in 2Q 2019

The worldwide Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) infrastructure market appears the tipping point of preparing 5G networks for voice with VoLTE is upon us as indicated by the growth rate we saw in 2Q 2019,” said Dave Bolan, senior analyst at Dell’Oro Group.

“Licenses shipped to service providers in China and India accounted for most of the 62 percent growth in the Asia Pacific region. With 5G services expected to launch in October 2019, Chinese service providers are aggressively trying to migrate their 1.2 B LTE subscribers to VoLTE. Currently only about half are using VoLTE,” continued Bolan.

“In addition, the market in India is seeing a rapid shift to VoLTE services. For example, service provider Reliance Jio, had over 331 M VoLTE subscribers with a 54 percent Y/Y growth rate,” Bolan added.

Additional highlights from the 2Q 2019 Carrier IP Telephony report include:

  • The top three ranking VoLTE vendors were Huawei, Nokia, and Ericsson
  • Circuit-switched core market revenues were down 21 percent Y/Y
  • The IMS Core market revenues were up 13 percent Y/Y
  • The Carrier IP Telephony market was up 5 percent Y/Y


Regional utility deploys ADTRAN Total Access 5000 in Smart Grid

A leading regional utility provider in the U.S. has deployed ADTRAN's Total Access 5000 (TA 5000) platform to improve the reliability and resiliency of its high-density Smart Grid power grid distribution network.

The deployment, which is an industry first, leverages the TA 5000 fiber access platform in targeted service areas as the enhanced communications system to its automated switching devices. The ADTRAN network that has been deployed is a secure, high-speed, low-latency communication system that operates between power line reclosers without having to take the traffic through any equipment upstream of the OLT. It allows all automated line switching devices to employ ultra-fast and effective peer-to-peer coordination between other switching devices via GOOSE messaging utilizing the 61850 communication protocol, as well as enhanced high-speed wired SCADA communications. This allows for a larger and more complex centralized self-healing network.

“The opportunities delivered by the Gigabit Society in terms of how business processes can become more efficient and reliable are unmatched and we’re excited to be a part of this groundbreaking application,” ADTRAN VP of American Sales & Head of Global Business Development Craig Stein said. “The PON network fits the power distribution network like a glove, eliminating the need for heavy use of homerun fiber and affording the use of more reliable passive equipment in the network.”

https://www.adtran.com/index.php/adtran-powers-innovative-utility-application

Nutanix revenue dips to $299.9M, subscriptions now at 71% of sales

Nutanix reported revenue of $299.9 million for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended July 31, 2019, down from $303.7 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, reflecting the reduction of pass-thru hardware from $35.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 to $13.0 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, and the revenue compression from the company’s ongoing transition to subscription. Billings amounted to $371.7 million, down from $395.1 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.

GAAP net loss was $194.3 million, compared to a GAAP net loss of $87.4 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018. Non-GAAP net loss was $105.8 million, compared to a non-GAAP net loss of $19.0 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018.


Software and support revenue amounted to $286.9 million, up 7% year-over-year from $267.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, reflecting the revenue compression from the company’s ongoing transition to subscription.

“We delivered a solid fourth quarter and believe our performance reflects our execution improvements and the meaningful progress we have made transitioning our business to a subscription model,” said Dheeraj Pandey, Chairman, Founder and CEO of Nutanix. “We are encouraged by our record gross margins, strengthening pipeline, progress in sales hiring, and recent large customer wins. We have a strong set of tenured sales leaders in place and continue to lead the industry as an innovator with technology at the forefront of hybrid cloud transformation.”

“We are pleased by our Q4 results, and that the actions we have taken to strengthen lead generation and enhance sales execution are generating positive results. Our subscription transition continues to be ahead of schedule with subscriptions growing from 52% of total billings in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018 to 71% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019,” said Duston Williams, CFO of Nutanix. “In addition, 26%1 of our deals included a product outside our core offering, as new and existing customers increasingly look to Nutanix to guide them on their journey to hybrid cloud.”

Comcast's Robert Victor joins MEF's Board

Robert Victor, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Comcast, has joined the MEF Board of Directors.

“As a leading voice in SDN-enabled Ethernet solutions and services, Comcast Business is deeply committed to working with the MEF to enable next-generation network services that help businesses and their customers succeed as they progress along their digital transformation journeys,” said Victor. “Comcast Business is looking forward to working with the Board to advance the MEF 3.0 framework.”

The new Board of Directors will continue efforts to grow and diversify MEF’s community of service providers, technology vendors, and other companies that are committed to building a worldwide ecosystem of automated networks that power MEF 3.0 services. Together with the broader MEF community, the Board is advancing a rigorous roadmap that will enable services that provide an on-demand, cloud-centric experience with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.

“Having such a diverse, innovative board, so deeply experienced with our industry and committed to our mission, brings incredible value to the MEF community as we strive to deliver solutions optimized for digital transformation,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “Our mission to deliver a practical framework and roadmap for service providers and their vendors to drive innovation in our industry will be advanced all the more quickly with the support of such a powerful group representing the industry’s more influential business, technology, and thought leaders.”

Box posts revenue of $173m, up 16% yoy

Box reported revenue for its second quarter of fiscal year 2020 of $172.5 million, an increase of 16% from the second quarter of fiscal year 2019.

Billings for the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 were $172.9 million, an increase of 6% from the second quarter of fiscal year 2019.

GAAP net loss per share, basic and diluted, in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 was $0.25 on 147.0 million weighted average shares outstanding. This compares to a GAAP net loss per share of $0.27 in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019 on 140.7 million weighted average shares outstanding. Non-GAAP net income per share, diluted, in the second quarter of fiscal year 2020 was $0.00 on 153.2 million weighted average diluted shares outstanding. This compares to a non-GAAP net loss per share of $0.05 in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019.

“We made significant progress on our key objectives in Q2, as we continued to deliver more products to our customers that enable higher value use cases, while executing on the most compelling product roadmap in our history,” said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box. “We drove strong add-on product attach rates of more than 80% across our six-figure deals in Q2. Customers are increasingly adopting Box’s comprehensive Cloud Content Management solutions to protect their most important information with frictionless security and compliance, streamline internal and external collaboration and workflows, and enable a more productive workplace by leveraging a best-of-breed IT stack.”

Lumentum appoints Penny Herscher as Board Chair

Lumentum appointed Penny Herscher as chair of its board of directors.

Herscher was one of the founding board members of Lumentum as it spun out of JDSU in 2015.She currently also serves on the boards of Faurecia SA, Verint, and PROS Holdings, Inc. Ms. Herscher previously served as CEO of FirstRain, a privately held company in the unstructured data analytics space, as CEO of Simplex Solutions, a publicly traded electronic design automation company and in C-level and senior executive positions for Cadence Design Systems, Inc. and Synopsys, Inc.

"Penny has been an invaluable resource and trusted advisor on Lumentum's board since our inception when we spun off from JDSU," said Alan Lowe, President and CEO. "I look forward to working with Penny even more closely in her new role as board chair to deliver increasing value for our stakeholders."

"I am honored to have been appointed the chair of Lumentum's board of directors," said Ms. Herscher. "I am more optimistic than ever about Lumentum's opportunities—the world is increasingly reliant on Lumentum's leadership in photonic solutions across multiple, high-growth industries. I look forward to working with Alan and the board to continue to serve our customers and return value to our stockholders and employees."

Keysight joins 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation

Keysight Technologies has joined the 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G-ACIA) to help establish a framework for test and verification that will accelerate deployment of new industrial 5G use cases.

Keysight said its expertise and portfolio of network infrastructure, device and application test solutions will support 5G-ACIA, a unique alliance in the informational and communications technology (ICT) industry, to accelerate the development of interworking technologies, which is a key component in enabling industrial IoT (IIoT) using 5G.

With more than 50 members, 5G-ACIA works towards establishing a new ICT and operational technology (OT) ecosystem, and coordinates 3GPP standardization activities relevant to automation industries and manufacturing requirements. Its members represent leading mobile operators, network equipment manufacturers, chip and device manufacturers, industrial automation solution providers, car vendors, research institutes among other prominent companies with operations around the world. Keysight has joined 5G-ACIA to continue supporting the development of 5G industry verticals, following contributions made in other key alliances such as the 5G Automotive Association (5G-AA).

“We are pleased to join 5G-ACIA, an alliance focused on ensuring that 5G technologies meet and address industrial use cases and requirements across automation, engineering and process industries,” said Giampaolo Tardioli, vice president of Keysight’s Network Access group. “Keysight’s leadership position in 5G as well as our expertise in engaging with standards bodies like 3GPP and CTIA will support 5G-ACIA in its efforts to create effective test standards and assure the certification of related components.”

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

VMware builds its Telco and Edge Cloud portfolio

VMware, which already has a deep presence with communications service providers and enterprise customers, is expanding its automation and security capabilities for telco, Edge and IoT applications.

With its recent acquisition of Uhana, VMware will deliver a real-time deep learning engine to optimize the quality of telco network experience. Uhana provides a predictive artificial intelligence engine that optimizes the mobile network subscriber experience. Uhana intelligent analytics will complement and enhance the service assurance capabilities from VMware Smart Assurance, as well as other network data collection products.

VMware also announced that its VeloCloud SD-WAN solution is now used by over 100 CSPs globally and is installed at over 150,000 customer sites.

VMware is continuing to invest in OpenStack-managed virtualized telco clouds with a focus on making them operationally deployable, container capable and multi-cloud ready. Specifically, VMware’s VIO 6.0 will provide communication service providers with a common platform that has consistent policies in a multi-cloud environment. The latest release of VMware Smart Assurance with VMware Integrated OpenStack provides assurance capabilities that will deliver service impact and root-cause analysis with visibility across physical and virtual OpenStack networks, as well as multi-cloud networks. With VMware Smart Assurance and VIO 6.0, communication service providers will gain an automated approach to operational intelligence to reduce service impact and operational expenses.



VMware has also introduced a new Telco Edge Reference Architecture that provides design principles for developing and deploying an Edge-based cloud network based on VMware vCloud NFV infrastructure and VMware Integrated OpenStack. Leveraging VMware Integrated OpenStack, communication service providers can manage multiple Edge sites from a single centralized data center, thereby reducing overall footprint at the Edge while optimizing network performance.

“5G networks will deliver unprecedented levels of speed and ultra-low latency, resulting in new use cases for Telco and Edge Clouds limited only by imagination. CSPs and enterprises will benefit from the multi-cloud interoperability, uniformity in architecture and consistency in policies across private, public, telco and Edge clouds provided by VMware,” said Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president and general manager, Telco and Edge Cloud, VMware. “Furthermore, with the addition of AI-based learning capabilities from our Uhana acquisition, telco and Edge clouds will become significantly smarter in their capability to provide better service and remediate and correct faults quicker.”

VMware to acquire UHANA for telco AI

VMware agreed to acquire Uhana, a start-up focused on deep learning and real-time AI in carrier networks and applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

VMware said it intends to add Uhana’s technology to its own Telco Cloud and Edge Cloud portfolio.

Uhana, which is based in Palo Alto, California, is developing a highly-scalable, low-latency, real-time stream processing and AI platform, deployable in the operator’s private cloud or public cloud infrastructure. It includes a high-performance stream processing engine that ingests subscriber-level network telemetry from a variety of data sources: the radio access network, the core network and optionally even the over-the-top (OTT) application directly, and processes the telemetry to provide real-time, per-subscriber visibility. It also includes an AI engine that discovers and predicts anomalies in the network and/or application, prioritizes them by their estimated impact, infers their likely root causes and automatically recommends optimization strategies for the best subscriber experience.

In a blog posting, Uhana co-founder Sachin Katti writes: "After the deal closes, with the addition of Uhana’s technology to VMware’s Telco and Edge Cloud portfolio, Uhana will further support VMware’s ability to serve the telecom industry and deepen intelligence in the journey to 5G. Uhana’s technology will empower intelligence and analytics for the VMware Smart Assurance and VMware Smart Experience products."

http://www.uhana.io/about
https://blogs.vmware.com/telco/vmware-to-add-uhana-to-telecommunications-portfolio-harnessing-the-power-of-ai-for-mobile-networks/

Qualcomm envisions a future of 5G + Wi-Fi 6

Qualcomm outlined its end-to-end vision and differentiated technology approach to expand the global impact of Wi-Fi 6, and help usher in an era of connectivity innovation where Wi-Fi 6 and 5G work together.

“Qualcomm Technologies has been at the leading edge of wireless innovation for decades, by virtue of our focused investment in research and development across various industries,” said Rahul Patel, senior vice president and general manager, connectivity, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Today’s event and announcements represent a critical milestone in unlocking the massive potential of Wi-Fi 6 across every product segment we touch, and blazes a path toward the fullest implementation of Wi-Fi 6 technology.”

Qualcomm noted strong Wi-Fi 6 momentum across its flagship Snapdragon 855 and 855+ Mobile Platform designs. Nearly all 5G design wins include the Qualcomm FastConnect 6200 Subsystem, which offers critical Wi-Fi 6 features. FastConnect is the name of Qualcomm's connectivity subsystem spanning Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other non-cellular connectivity technologies within the Snapdragon Mobile and Compute Platforms.

Qualcomm also announced support for Uplink MU-MIMO (Multi-User Multi-In Multi-Out), a significant innovation in the Wi-Fi 6 standard, for its upcoming next-generation Wi-Fi 6 Qualcomm FastConnect 6800 Subsystem.

In addition, Qualcomm introduced its second-generation Wi-Fi 6 networking chips:

Qualcomm Networking Pro 1200 Platform (supports up to 12 spatial streams of Wi-Fi 6 connectivity with up to 2.2GHz Quad-core A53 processor)
Qualcomm Networking Pro 800 Platform (supports up to 8 spatial streams of Wi-Fi 6 connectivity with up to 1.4GHz Quad-core A53 processor)
Qualcomm Networking Pro 600 Platform (supports up to 6 spatial streams of Wi-Fi 6 connectivity with up to 1.0GHz Quad-core A53 processor)
Qualcomm Networking Pro 400 Platform (supports up to 4 spatial streams of Wi-Fi 6 connectivity with up to 1.0GHz Quad-core A53 processor)

Dell'Oro: Evolved Packet Core sales up 13% yoy

Evolved Packet Core (EPC) revenues were up 13 percent year-over-year (Y/Y) in 2Q 2019, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.  5G Core deployments are expected in 2020.

“EPC revenues grew for a fourth consecutive quarter at double-digit percentages, growing 13 percent Y/Y in 2Q 2019,” said Dave Bolan, Senior Analyst at Dell’Oro Group. “You can hardly go a day now without a 5G launch being announced somewhere in the world. That means all of those service providers had to upgrade their EPC to carry 5G traffic,” continued Bolan.

“As we move into 2020, service providers will start to expand their 5G coverage by adding 5G standalone base stations that will require the 5G Core.  We expect to see some 5G Core revenues as early as the first quarter. But the revenues will be small and not significant as service providers build out small markets to learn how to use the 5G Core before rolling out nationwide,” added Bolan.

Additional highlights from the 2Q 2019 Wireless Packet Core quarterly report include:

  • The top three EPC vendor rankings for the quarter were Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia.
  • The Asia Pacific region had the highest EPC Y/Y revenue growth rate for the quarter accounting for over 40 percent of the revenue.
  • The trend towards more network function virtualization (NFV) continued accounting for 39 percent of the EPC revenue in the quarter.

McAfee: Ransomware attacks on the rise

There has been a significant resurgence in ransomware attacks, according to McAfee Labs Threats Report: August 2019, which tracks cybercriminal activity and the evolution of cyber threats in Q1 2019.

While spearphishing remained popular, ransomware attacks increasingly targeted exposed remote access points, such as Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP); these credentials can be cracked through a brute-force attack or bought on the cybercriminal underground. RDP credentials can be used to gain admin privileges, granting full rights to distribute and execute malware on corporate networks.

McAfee researchers also observed actors behind ransomware attacks using anonymous email services to manage their campaigns versus the traditional approach of setting up command-and-control (C2) servers. Authorities and private partners often hunt for C2 servers to obtain decryption keys and create evasion tools. Thus, the use of email services is perceived by threat actors to be a more anonymous method of conducting criminal business.

The most active ransomware families of the quarter appeared to be Dharma (also known as Crysis), GandCrab and Ryuk. Other notable ransomware families of the quarter include Anatova, which was exposed by McAfee Advanced Threat Research before it had the opportunity to spread broadly, and Scarab, a persistent and prevalent ransomware family with regularly discovered new variants. Overall, new ransomware samples increased 118%.

Some highlights:

  • New ransomware grows 118%; cybercriminals adopt new tactics and code innovations
  • More than 2 billion stolen account credentials available on the cybercriminal underground
  • Targeted attacks utilize spearphishing for initial access, user interaction for attack execution
  • New coin mining malware increases 29%; CookieMiner malware targets Apple users
  • New PowerShell malware increases 460%; developers experiment with new techniques
  • Disclosed incidents targeting the Asia-Pacific region increase 126%

https://www.mcafee.com/enterprise/en-us/assets/reports/rp-quarterly-threats-aug-2019.pdf

Vantage Data Centers raises $692M for North American expansion

Vantage Data Centers raised $548 million in new securitized notes, inclusive of expanded Variable Funding Note undrawn capacity, as well as $144 million in project-based construction debt financing from a consortium of banks.

The company plans to used the funds to refinance existing floating rate credit facilities, significantly reducing interest expense, and to fuel the development of data centers across North America.

“Vantage continues to pioneer not only best-in-class data center infrastructure but also industry-leading capital formation and deployment strategies that together enable the company to meet the demands of our hyperscale customers,” said Sharif Metwalli, Vantage’s CFO.

http://www.vantage-dc.com

SK Telecom demos mmWave 5G inside race car

SK Telecom held a demonstration of 5G technology at the ‘Korea International Circuit’ racetrack using Samsung Networks’ end-to-end 5G mmWave solutions, including 5G New Radio (NR) base stations. The same equipment has been in commercial operation in the United States since the first half of this year.

While the racing car moved at approximately 130 miles per hour (210Km/hour) on the track, the trial verified the stable performance of live downloads, uploads and handovers between 5G cell sites on the racetrack. Download speeds reached up to 1Gbps on a 5G device inside a racing car, using 200MHz bandwidth of 28GHz spectrum.

Samsung said the test showed that the mmWave technology can unlock the full potential of 5G, for delivering innovative uses cases and business models, such as new entertainment experiences in motor sport events. For example, cameras built into the cars’ cockpits will be able to stream real-time video data from each car over 5G wireless links, allowing viewers to enjoy vivid scenes of the race from the driver’s point of view. Through VR, AR and 360 degree video streams, racing fans will be able to enjoy the immersive experience of feeling as if they are inside an actual moving car.

“5G already opened up a new horizon when the first commercial service started in the first half of 2019 across Korea and the U.S.,” said Jaeho Jeon, Executive Vice President and Head of R&D, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung is at the forefront with global operators in bringing 5G benefits to consumers, industries and societies by helping them deliver 5G commercial networks. This trial is a great example of taking a user experience and the racing industry to new heights.”



TPx picks ADVA's Ensemble software for uCPE

TPx, which provides unified communications, managed IT, network security and network connectivity to over 53,000 customer locations across the U.S., has selected ADVA's Ensemble software as the basis of a new universal customer premises (uCPE) platform.

ADVA's virtualization suite will be used to power TPx's ReadyEdge uCPE offering, enabling it to quickly and easily roll out and manage multiple dynamic virtual network functions (VNFs) for its enterprise customers. Services such as managed SD-WAN and firewall products will be deployed on a single dedicated hardware device at customer sites.

“With this solution, TPx will consolidate a number of appliances into a single service platform based on an open white box uCPE architecture that is reliable, scalable and proven in the field. We’ll be able to support today’s services such as SD-WAN and firewalls at more flexible cost points than we can with dedicated appliances,” said Jared Martin, VP, MSx managed services, TPx. “Leveraging the ADVA Ensemble suite also enables us to offer our customers new services delivered dynamically and on demand, without having to change the hardware. That gives them the agility and responsiveness they need.”

ZTE reports 1H19 revenues of US$6.23B, up 13% yoy

ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB 44.61 billion for the first half of 2019, representing an increase of 13.1% compared with the same period last year. Net profit amounted to RMB1.47 billion, representing an increase of 118.8%, compared with the same period last year. Basic earnings per share was RMB 0.35.

Some highlights:

  • Production has begun on ZTE's 5G wireless system chipsets and transport switching network. 
  • The company has completed the design and mass production of the 7nm chipsets, and embarked on the R&D of the 5nm chipsets.
  • ZTE’s financial-class distributed database GoldenDB has more than 100 patent applications. It is the only product that passed the certification of the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, with all the 50 tests earning full score.
  • ZTE has been collaborating with universities across China to recruit over 5000 5G innovative staff members, further enhancing the company's innovative capability. 
  • As of June 30, 2019, ZTE had applied more than 74,000 patents with over 36,000 global patents granted and over 3,700 5G patents. 
  • Three cybersecurity laboratories have been set up in Nanjing, Rome and Brussels to provide customers and regulators with transparent security verification.
  • In the first half of the year, the company has signed 25 5G commercial contracts worldwide, covering China, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and other major 5G markets. 
  • ZTE’s 5G end-to-end commercial products and solutions as well as the full series of NR products have achieved all-band, all-scenario coverage. 
  • In the Wireline Networks, ZTE’s 5G transport end-to-end products have completed more than 30 commercial trials and existing network tests. ZTE’s three-in-one chipset has achieved the lowest latency in the industry. 
  • Moreover, ZTE’s beyond 100G OTN takes the lead in terms of network performance while its 200G OTN has been commercialized on a large scale, and its single-carrier 400G OTN has set a new record of the furthest transmission distance. 
  • ZTE has been in cooperation with more than 20 operators worldwide 5G terminals.
  • In the first half of 2019, ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G was launched in various countries.

Monday, August 26, 2019

VMware Tanzu portfolio targets Kubernetes

VMware unveiled a portfolio of products and services for building, running and managing software on Kubernetes.

VMware Tanzu includes a technology preview of Project Pacific, which is focused on transforming VMware vSphere into a Kubernetes native platform—unlocking its potential for the hundreds of thousands of vSphere customers. This includes:
  • vSphere with Native Kubernetes - embedding Kubernetes into the control plane of vSphere will transform the platform—enabling it to converge containers and VMs onto a single platform. Project Pacific will also add a container runtime into the hypervisor. New ESXi native pods will combine the best properties of Kubernetes pods and VMs to help deliver a more secure and high-performance runtime for mission-critical workloads.
  • App-focused Management - Project Pacific will enable app-level control for applying policies, quota and role-based access to developers. With Project Pacific, IT will have unified visibility into VMware vCenter Server for Kubernetes clusters, containers and existing VMs, as well as apply enterprise-grade capabilities such as High Availability (HA), Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS), and vMotion at the app level.
  • Dev and IT Ops Collaboration - IT operators will use vSphere tools to deliver Kubernetes clusters to developers, who can then use Kubernetes APIs to access SDDC infrastructure. With Project Pacific, both developers and IT operators will gain a consistent view via Kubernetes constructs in vSphere.
  • Enterprises that want to start down the path of Kubernetes on vSphere today can adopt VMware PKS now. VMware PKS is the company’s flagship Kubernetes offering, used by many of the largest and most complex enterprises worldwide, helping them to deploy, run and manage Kubernetes for production across multiple clouds.
VMware Tanzu will offer a "Mission Control" single point of control to manage all their conformant Kubernetes clusters regardless of where they are running—vSphere, public clouds, managed services, packaged distributions and do-it-yourself (DIY) Kubernetes. The new service will offer broad capabilities powered by VMware’s extended product portfolio.  VMware Tanzu Mission Control will make it simple for operators to apply policies for access, quotas, back-up, security and more to individual clusters or to groups of clusters that span environments.

VMware Tanzu products and services also include :

  • Pivotal – VMware recently announced a definitive agreement to acquire Pivotal. Pivotal offers a comprehensive platform and deep connection to the developer community. Every month, Spring Initializr is used by developers to start 1.5 million new projects, and Spring Boot is downloaded more than 75 million times. Pivotal Application Service (PAS) has more than 750,000 enterprise production instances running globally, and Pivotal has announced that PAS and its components, such as the Pivotal Build Service and Pivotal Function Service, are being developed to run on Kubernetes.
  • Bitnami – Bitnami provides the largest catalog of pre-built, scanned, tested, and continuously maintained application content for Kubernetes clusters to an audience of 2.5 million developers. VMware today introduced Project Galleon—a beta offering that will enable enterprise IT to deliver customized, up-to-date application stacks and formats to their end developers, that are multi-cloud ready.
  • ISV Ecosystem – VMware continues to expand its broad ISV ecosystem to offer value-add services through Kubernetes and build applications on Kubernetes that can be made available via the Bitnami Community Catalog. VMware has also significantly grown the number of partners that have completed the VMware PKS Solution Competency.

“Organizations are seeking a partner to meet them where they are today and guide them as they move to modern applications,” said Raghu Raghuram, chief operating officer, Products and Cloud Services, VMware. “We’re positioned to help customers succeed along each step of their journey—building their applications with the addition of Pivotal’s developer platform, tools and services; running their applications with the groundbreaking Project Pacific which will transform vSphere into a Kubernetes native platform; and managing their growing Kubernetes footprint across environments from a single control point with VMware Tanzu Mission Control.”



Mellanox's latest SmartNICs deliver 200G I/O and Security

Mellanox introduced its latest generation ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 Secure Cloud SmartNICs for data center servers and storage systems.

The ConnectX-6 Dx SmartNICs provide up to two ports of 25, 50 or 100Gbps, or a single port of 200Gbps, Ethernet connectivity powered by 50Gbps PAM4 SerDes technology and PCIe 4.0 host connectivity.

Significantly, the new SmartNICs' hardware offload engines include IPsec and inline TLS data-in-motion cryptography, advanced network virtualization, RDMA over Converged Ethernet (RoCE), and NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF) storage accelerations. ConnectX-6 Dx provides IPsec, TLS, and AES-XTS built-in cryptographic acceleration, and Hardware Root of Trust. In addition to the above capabilities, BlueField-2 adds accelerated key management, integrated Regular Expression (RegEx) pattern detection, secure hash computation, etc.

Mellanox said its BlueField-2 IPU integrates all the advanced capabilities of ConnectX-6 Dx with an array of powerful Arm processor cores, high performance memory interfaces, and flexible processing capabilities in a single System-on-Chip (SoC), supporting both Ethernet and InfiniBand connectivity up to 200Gbps. ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 also offer built-in SR-IOV, Open vSwitch (OVS), and VirtIO hardware accelerators. Mellanox is also introducing additional network virtualization offloads, enhanced programmability and extreme scale capabilities.

“We are excited to introduce the ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 architectures, providing groundbreaking acceleration engines for next-generation cloud data centers,” said Yael Shenhav, vice president, Ethernet NIC and SoC at Mellanox. “Built on the success of our award-winning ConnectX and BlueField product families, ConnectX-6 Dx and BlueField-2 set new records in high-performance networking, allowing our customers and partners to build highly secure and efficient compute and storage infrastructures to increase productivity and reduce total cost of ownership.”

“Baidu is an AI cloud giant tasked with delivering results at the speed of thought,” said Liu Ning, director of system department, Baidu. “Therefore, we have partnered with Mellanox, the leader in high-performance networking, whose high-speed connectivity solutions today supports Baidu’s machine learning platforms. We look forward to this new release of Mellanox’s programmable cloud SmartNICs and IPUs to deliver best-in-class network performance for accelerating scalable AI-driven applications.”

“IBM’s enterprise server solutions are designed to deliver the best performance for the most demanding workloads, while providing cutting-edge security and reliability,” said Monica Aggarwal, vice president of Cognitive Systems Development. “We look forward to integrating the new Mellanox SmartNIC family into our product portfolio for building highly efficient secured cloud data centers.”

https://www.mellanox.com/products/bluefield2-overview/

Video - Mellanox's Michael Kagan on SmartNICs



Michael Kagan, CTO and co-founder of Mellanox Technologies, talks about the next step for SmartNICs and the company's newly released ConnectX-6 Dx product driven by its own silicon.

Apstra builds automation between physical network and SDN overlays

The latest release (3.1) of the Apstra Operating System (AOS) is introducing tighter design, build, and operational interoperability between the underlying physical network and software-defined overlay networks, including VMware NSX network virtualization.

Specifically, AOS 3.1 enables customers to confirm that any underlay network they design, deploy and operate meets several criteria to reliably support NSX including VLAN configurations, MTU settings, and LAG configurations. These validations occur both during the initial setup of the network along with continuous validation during ongoing operations.



Apstra said its operating system bridges the gap with the underlay and increases the simplicity of deploying network infrastructure with NSX. Key benefits include:


  • Enterprises can bridge the network and security policy gaps between the physical underlay and virtual overlay to accelerate the delivery of business services.
  • Enterprises can automate a consistent network and security policies across any vendor, any workload and any cloud.
  • Enterprises can quickly troubleshoot and remediate problems.
  • Multidomain Unified Group-Based Policy Enhancements -  This provides flexibility in policy enforcement and increases application availability. Full visualization of rules provides an enhanced view of the entire security posture.

“Customers that want to accelerate digital transformation require a software-defined network that spans all infrastructure and ties all these pieces together with one-click deployment,” said Nikhil Kelshikar, vice president of product management, networking and security at VMware. “Network virtualization offers the only practical way to provide this automated experience. NSX with Apstra AOS enables customers to treat the network infrastructure as code. This helps to accelerate deployments by bridging the gap with the physical underlay, reducing operational costs and simplifying troubleshooting.”

https://www.apstra.com/press/apstra-delivers-advanced-interoperability-with-vmware-nsx/



Video - SD-WAN Security: 3 Things Customers Look For - Fortinet



MEF Annual Meeting – July/August 2019, Joan Ross, Field CISO, Fortinet, highlights 3 key things customers are looking for with SD-WAN security and shares her view on the importance of MEF standardization work on the subject.

“MEF’s work is so important right now to SD-WAN and specifically to SD-WAN security….We look at the customers who are using SD-WAN….and how MEF can help drive standards so that across SD-WAN solutions – whether at the customer level or the service provider level – the integration is seamless and security means the same thing across, end to end."

MEF’s Application Security for SD-WAN project – jointly led by Fortinet – is focused on defining policy criteria and actions to protect applications (application flows) over an SD-WAN service. Work includes defining threats, security functions, and security policy terminology and attributes, and then describing what actions a security policy should take in response to certain threats.

Download the SD-WAN Standard
In July 2019, MEF published the industry’s first global standard defining an SD-WAN service and its service attributes to help accelerate SD-WAN market growth and facilitate creation of powerful new hybrid networking solutions that are optimized for digital transformation. MEF’s SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services (MEF 70) standard describes requirements for an application-aware, over-the-top WAN connectivity service that uses policies to determine how application flows are directed over multiple underlay networks irrespective of the underlay technologies or service providers who deliver them. Download here: https://www.mef.net/resources/technic...

To explore the latest on industry innovations and engage with industry-leading service and technology experts, attend MEF19 (http://www.MEF19.com), held 18-22 November 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Video: SD-WAN, Intelligent Underlay Networks & the Edge - Dan Pitt, MEF



MEF Annual Meeting – July/August 2019, Dan Pitt, SVP, MEF, outlines MEF’s strategy for SD-WAN and how it relates to MEF's work on intelligent underlay connectivity services, LSO APIs for service automation, and the intelligent edge.

“This is the year of SD-WAN, and MEF is making a big play in SD-WAN."

All the things that MEF does are coming together with SD-WAN.  MEF has a series of intelligent underlays – Carrier Ethernet, Layer 1 Optical, and IP – that are now feeding lucrative overlay, upper layer services like SD-WAN. At the same time, MEF is working on intent-based networking that will translate SD-WAN performance and security objectives into granular technical policies at the network level. In addition, MEF work in progress on LSO APIs will enable service providers to orchestrate SD-WAN services over various technologies and equipment from different SD-WAN vendors.

“And here’s what’s really interesting – SD-WAN is going to be the catalyst for the most exciting thing to hit networking in a long time. And that is the edge. The edge is where the money is to be made. It is going to be where AI and ML are effected. And it’s going to be a huge opportunity for the enterprises, the carriers, and the cloud providers. We are putting into place all of the artifacts that make it possible for those to interact, develop new business, and take advantage of new technologies all at once. So, it’s really all coming together around SD-WAN. And MEF has all of the pieces to make a really meaningful approach.”

Download the SD-WAN Standard
MEF’s SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services (MEF 70) standard describes requirements for an application-aware, over-the-top WAN connectivity service that uses policies to determine how application flows are directed over multiple underlay networks irrespective of the underlay technologies or service providers who deliver them. Download here: https://www.mef.net/resources/technic...

To explore the latest on SD-WAN innovation and to engage with industry-leading service and technology experts such as Dan Pitt, attend MEF19 (http://www.MEF19.com), held 18-22 November 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

AT&T’s John Donovan steps down

John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications, will retire effective October 1. Donovan joined AT&T in 2008 as Chief Technology Officer, overseeing the company’s global technology direction and innovation road map. He was then promoted to AT&T’s Chief Strategy Officer and Group President—AT&T Technology and Operations, before being named CEO of AT&T Communications in July 2017.


“It’s been my honor to lead AT&T Communications during a period of unprecedented innovation and investment in new technology that is revolutionizing how people connect with their worlds,” said John Donovan. “All that we’ve accomplished is a credit to the talented women and men of AT&T, and their passion for serving our customers. I’m looking forward to the future – spending more time with my family and watching with pride as the AT&T team continues to set the pace for the industry.”

Equinix and VMware expand partnership

Equinix and VMware, which have been working together since 2013 to enable hybrid cloud infrastructures, announced an expanded partnership wherein VMware will support Equinix as a global colocation provider for VMware Cloud on Dell EMC. The aim is to help customers simplify complex hybrid multicloud deployments, and accelerate their digital transformation in public cloud and edge deployments.

In August 2018, Equinix teamed with VMware to offer private connectivity to VMware Cloud on AWS via AWS Direct Connect at Equinix IBX data centers globally. ECX Fabric is an on-demand, SDN-enabled interconnection service enabling any business to connect between its own distributed infrastructure and any other company's distributed infrastructure, including the world's largest cloud providers, on Platform Equinix.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Blueprint: Kubernetes is the End Game for NFVI

by Martin Taylor, Chief Technical Officer, Metaswitch

In October 2012, when a group of 13 network operators launched their white paper describing Network Functions Virtualization, the world of cloud computing technology looked very different than it does today.  As cloud computing has evolved, and as telcos have developed a deeper understanding of it, so the vision for NFV has evolved and changed out of all recognition.
The early vision of NFV focused on moving away from proprietary hardware to software running on commercial off-the-shelf servers.  This was described in terms of “software appliances”.  And in describing the compute environment in which those software appliances would run, the NFV pioneers took their inspiration from enterprise IT practices of that era, which focused on consolidating servers with the aid of hypervisors that essentially virtualized the physical host environment.

Meanwhile, hyperscale Web players such as Netflix and Facebook were developing cloud-based system architectures that support massive scalability with a high degree of resilience, which can be evolved very rapidly through incremental software enhancements, and which can be operated very cost-effectively with the aid of a high degree of operations automation.  The set of practices developed by these players has come to be known as “cloud-native”, which can be summarized as dynamically orchestratable micro-services architectures, often based on stateless processing elements working with separate state storage micro-services, all deployed in Linux containers.

It’s been clear to most network operators for at least a couple of years that cloud-native is the right way to do NFV, for the following reasons:

  • Microservices-based architectures promote rapid evolution of software capabilities to enable enhancement of services and operations, unlike legacy monolithic software architectures with their 9-18 month upgrade cycles and their costly and complicated roll-out procedures.
  • Microservices-based architectures enable independent and dynamic scaling of different functional elements of the system with active-active N+k redundancy, which minimizes the hardware resources required to deliver any given service.
  • Software packaged in containers is inherently more portable than VMs and does much to eliminate the problem of complex dependencies between VMs and the underlying infrastructure which has been a major issue for NFV deployments to date.
  • The cloud-native ecosystem includes some outstandingly useful open source projects, foremost among which is Kubernetes – of which more later.  Other key open source projects in the cloud-native ecosystem include Helm, a Kubernetes application deployment manager, service meshes such as Istio and Linkerd, and telemetry/logging solutions including Prometheus, Fluentd and Grafana.  All of these combine to simplify, accelerate and lower the cost of developing, deploying and operating cloud-native network functions.

5G is the first new generation of mobile technology since the advent of the NFV era, and as such it represents a great opportunity to do NFV right – that is, the cloud-native way.  The 3GPP standards for 5G are designed to promote a cloud-native approach to the 5G core – but they don’t actually guarantee that 5G core products will be recognisably cloud-native.  It’s perfectly possible to build a standards-compliant 5G core that is resolutely legacy in its software architecture, and we believe that some vendors will go down that path.  But some, at least, are stepping up to the plate and building genuinely cloud native solutions for the 5G core.

Cloud-native today is almost synonymous with containers orchestrated by Kubernetes.  It wasn’t always thus: when we started developing our cloud-native IMS solution in 2012, these technologies were not around.  It’s perfectly possible to build something that is cloud-native in all respects other than running in containers – i.e. dynamically orchestratable stateless microservices running in VMs – and production deployments of our cloud native IMS have demonstrated many of the benefits that cloud-native brings, particularly with regard to simple, rapid scaling of the system and the automation of lifecycle management operations such as software upgrade.  But there’s no question that building cloud-native systems with containers is far better, not least because you can then take advantage of Kubernetes, and the rich orchestration and management ecosystem around it.

The rise to prominence of Kubernetes is almost unprecedented among open source projects.  Originally released by Google as recently as July 2015, Kubernetes became the seed project of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), and rapidly eclipsed all the other container orchestration solutions that were out there at the time.  It is now available in multiple mature distros including Red Hat OpenShift and Pivotal Container Services, and is also offered as a service by all the major public cloud operators.  It’s the only game in town when it comes to deploying and managing cloud native applications.  And, for the first time, we have a genuinely common platform for running cloud applications across both private and public clouds.  This is hugely helpful to telcos who are starting to explore the possibility of hybrid clouds for NFV.

So what exactly is Kubernetes?  It’s a container orchestration system for automating application deployment, scaling and management.   For those who are familiar with the ETSI NFV architecture, it essentially covers the Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM) and VNF Manager (VNFM) roles.

In its VIM role, Kubernetes schedules container-based workloads and manages their network connectivity.  In OpenStack terms, those are covered by Nova and Neutron respectively.  Kubernetes includes a kind of Load Balancer as a Service, making it easy to deploy scale-out microservices.

In its VNFM role, Kubernetes can monitor the health of each container instance and restart any failed instance.  It can also monitor the relative load on a set of container instances that are providing some specific micro-service and can scale out (or scale in) by spinning up new containers or spinning down existing ones.  In this sense, Kubernetes acts as a Generic VNFM.  For some types of workloads, especially stateful ones such as databases or state stores, Kubernetes native functionality for lifecycle management is not sufficient.  For those cases, Kubernetes has an extension called the Operator Framework which provides a means to encapsulate any application-specific lifecycle management logic.  In NFV terms, a standardized way of building Specific VNFMs.

But Kubernetes goes way beyond the simple application lifecycle management envisaged by the ETSI NFV effort.  Kubernetes itself, together with a growing ecosystem of open source projects that surround it, is at the heart of a movement towards a declarative, version-controlled approach to defining both software infrastructure and applications.  The vision here is for all aspects of a complex cloud native system, including cluster infrastructure and application configuration, to be described in a set of documents that are under version control, typically in a Git repository, which maintains a complete history of every change.  These documents describe the desired state of the system, and a set of software agents act so as to ensure that the actual state of the system is automatically aligned with the desired state.  With the aid of a service mesh such as Istio, changes to system configuration or software version can be automatically “canary” tested on a small proportion of traffic prior to be rolled out fully across the deployment.  If any issues are detected, the change can simply be rolled back.  The high degree of automation and control offered by this kind of approach has enabled Web-scale companies such as Netflix to reduce software release cycles from months to minutes.

Many of the network operators we talk to have a pretty good understanding of the benefits of cloud native NFV, and the technicalities of containers and Kubernetes.  But we’ve also detected a substantial level of concern about how we get there from here.  “Here” means today’s NFV infrastructure built on a hypervisor-based virtualization environment supporting VNFs deployed as virtual machines, where the VIM is either OpenStack or VMware.  The conventional wisdom seems to be that you run Kubernetes on top of your existing VIM.  And this is certainly possible: you just provision a number of VMs and treat these as hosts for the purposes of installing a Kubernetes cluster.  But then you end up with a two-tier environment in which you have to deploy and orchestrate services across some mix of cloud native network functions in containers and VM-based VNFs, where orchestration is driving some mix of Kubernetes, OpenStack or VMware APIs and where Kubernetes needs to coexist with proprietary VNFMs for life-cycle management.  It doesn’t sound very pretty, and indeed it isn’t.

In our work with cloud-native VNFs, containers and Kubernetes, we’ve seen just how much easier it is to deploy and manage large scale applications using this approach compared with traditional hypervisor-based approaches.  The difference is huge.  We firmly believe that adopting this approach is the key to unlocking the massive potential of NFV to simplify operations and accelerate the pace of innovation in services.  But at the same time, we understand why some network operators would baulk at introducing further complexity into what is already a very complex NFV infrastructure.
That’s why we think the right approach is to level everything up to Kubernetes.  And there’s an emerging open source project that makes that possible: KubeVirt.

KubeVirt provides a way to take an existing Virtual Machine and run it inside a container.  From the point of view of the VM, it thinks it’s running on a hypervisor.  From the point of view of Kubernetes, it sees just another container workload.  So with KubeVirt, you can deploy and manage applications that comprise any arbitrary mix of native container workloads and VM workloads using Kubernetes.

In our view, KubeVirt could open the way to adopting Kubernetes as “level playing field” and de facto standard environment across all types of cloud infrastructure, supporting highly automated deployment and management of true cloud native VNFs and legacy VM-based VNFs alike.  The underlying infrastructure can be OpenStack, VMware, bare metal – or any of the main public clouds including Azure, AWS or Google.  This grand unified vision of NFV seems to us be truly compelling.  We think network operators should ratchet up the pressure on their vendors to deliver genuinely cloud native, container-based VNFs, and get serious about Kubernetes as an integral part of their NFV infrastructure.  Without any question, that is where the future lies.

VMware: 10 million VMs run on VMware Cloud Provider clouds

At the opening of its annual VMworld 2019 event n San Francisco, VMware is announcing enhancements to its VMware Cloud Provider Platform. The company counts more than 4,300 VMware Cloud Providers in more than 120 countries operating out of more than 10,000 data centers, including AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and IBM Cloud along with strategic regional providers with specific geographic, vertical industry, or service expertise.

“VMware’s Cloud Provider strategy is to empower our partners with the flexibility to deliver the industrialized hybrid cloud, built on a VMware software-defined data center, from whatever location the customer chooses,” said Rajeev Bhardwaj, vice president of products, Cloud Provider Software Business Unit, VMware. “Today, more than 10 million VMs run on VMware Cloud Provider clouds. Through our SDDC everywhere cloud provider strategy, VMware and its Cloud Provider Partners help organizations operate more efficiently and create more value,  by enabling  meaningful savings in costs and time spent on day-to-day technology operations.”

At the heart of the VMware Cloud Provider Platform is VMware vCloud Director, an open and extensible cloud service-delivery platform. The latest release, vCloud Director 10, will include the following innovations:

  • Unified View of Hosted Private and Multi-Tenant Clouds: Cloud providers will be able to expand their cloud offerings to include both multi-tenant and private cloud with the natively integrated Centralized Point of Management (CPOM) capability in vCloud Director. The new capability will reduce  provider challenges and costs associated with building custom tooling to manage multiple types of cloud endpoints. Cloud providers benefit from a unified view of datacenter health and status of VMs across a global cloud estate of all cloud endpoints.
  • Intelligent Workload Placement for Greater Efficiency: Intelligent workload placement, which is powered by new vCloud Director compute profiles, will enable cloud providers to drive higher efficiency from their cloud infrastructure. Cloud Providers will be able to offer self-service consumption of tiered compute, enforcement of host-based licensing restrictions, and simplified selling based on workload sizes.
  • Advanced Automation: This release of vCloud Director will feature all-round improvements in automation capabilities, including an enhanced Terraform Provider that supports complete compute and network definition as code. VMware Cloud Providers will be able to target developers who want to use open source tooling in their cloud automation.
  • Multi-Cloud Networking: Extensive networking updates for VMware NSX-T are built into this release to prepare for greater support of multi-clouds and container environments, delivered through vCloud Director’s self-service consumption.



Splunk to acquire SignalFx for cloud monitoring

Splunk agreed to acquire SignalFx, a provider of SaaS real-time monitoring and metrics for cloud infrastructure, microservices and applications. The purchase price is approximately $1.05 billion, to be paid approximately 60% in cash and 40% in Splunk common stock.

SignalFX's analytics is built on a a massively scalable streaming architecture. The company is based in San Mateo, California is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, General Catalyst, and Tiger Global Management.

Splunk said the acquisition strengthens its position as a leader in observability and APM for organizations at every stage of their cloud journey, from cloud-native apps to homegrown on-premises applications. 

“Data fuels the modern business, and the acquisition of SignalFx squarely puts Splunk in position as a leader in monitoring and observability at massive scale,” said Doug Merritt, President and CEO, Splunk. “SignalFx will support our continued commitment to giving customers one platform that can monitor the entire enterprise application lifecycle. We are also incredibly impressed by the SignalFx team and leadership, whose expertise and professionalism are a strong addition to the Splunk family.”

“By joining Splunk, we will create a powerful monitoring platform - one ready to support CIOs whether they have fully embraced cloud or have existing applications in the data center,” said Karthik Rau, Founder and CEO, SignalFx. “As the world continues to move towards complex, cloud-first architectures, Splunk and SignalFx is the new approach needed to monitor and observe cloud-native infrastructure and applications in real time, whether via logs, metrics or tracing. The SignalFx team is thrilled to join Splunk to help CIOs capitalize upon the modern application portfolio.”

https://www.splunk.com/en_us/newsroom/press-releases/2019/splunk-to-acquire-cloud-monitoring-leader-signalfx.html

Huawei advances its AI with Ascend 910 processor and MindSpore

Huawei officially launched its Ascend 910 AI processor as well as its "MindSpore" AI framework.

The Ascend 910, which is designed for AI model training, delivers 256 TeraFLOPS for half-precision floating point (FP16), and 512 TeraOPS for integer precision calculations (INT8). Its max power consumption is only 310W.  All of these are new industry benchmarks, according to the company.

Huawei claims its MindSpore AI framework is adaptable to all devices, edge, and cloud environments. It helps ensure user privacy because it only deals with gradient and model information that has already been processed. It doesn't process the data itself, so private user data can be effectively protected even in cross-scenario environments.

"We have been making steady progress since we announced our AI strategy in October last year," said Eric Xu, Huawei's Rotating Chairman. "Everything is moving forward according to plan, from R&D to product launch. We promised a full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio. And today we delivered, with the release of Ascend 910 and MindSpore. This also marks a new stage in Huawei's AI strategy."

Xu also outlined ten areas where Huawei wants to drive change for AI:

  1. Provide stronger computing power to increase the speed of complex model training from days and months to minutes – even seconds.
  2. Provide more affordable and abundant computing power. Right now, computing power is both costly and scarce, which limits AI development.
  3. Offer an all-scenario AI portfolio, meeting the different needs of businesses while ensuring that user privacy is well protected. This portfolio will allow AI to be deployed in any scenario, not just public cloud.
  4. Invest in basic AI algorithms. Algorithms of the future should be data-efficient, meaning they can deliver the same results with less data. They should also be energy-efficient, producing the same results with less computing power and less energy.
  5. Use MindSpore and ModelArts to help automate AI development, reducing reliance on human effort.
  6. Continue to improve model algorithms to produce industrial-grade AI that performs well in the real world, not just in tests.
  7. Develop a real-time, closed-loop system for model updates, making sure that enterprise AI applications continue to operate in their most optimal state.
  8. Maximize the value of AI by driving synergy with other technologies like cloud, IoT, edge computing, blockchain, big data, and databases.
  9. With a one-stop development platform of the full-stack AI portfolio, help AI become a basic skill for all application developers and ICT workers. Today only highly-skilled experts can work with AI.
  10. Invest more in an open AI ecosystem and build the next generation of AI talent to meet the growing demand for people with AI capabilities.
At a press event in Shenzhen, Xu also told reporters that the company is working to replace design tools from Cadence and Synopsys, and that being placed on the U.S. entity list will not impact Huawei's AI ambitions.

MEF 3.0: An Ambitious Step for the Communications Industry



MEF Annual Meeting – July 2019, Michael Strople, President, Allstream and Chairman, MEF, shares his thoughts on the value of MEF 3.0 -- the transformational global services framework for defining, delivering, and certifying assured services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of automated networks.

“I’m really excited about where we’ve come with MEF 3.0. Carrier Ethernet 2.0 was a very important achievement, and it launched an US$80 billion industry – the gold standard for networking. MEF 3.0 is an ambitious step beyond that. With MEF 3.0, we build on top of the work in Carrier Ethernet, but we’ve added IP and Optical Transport, and most importantly – over the course of this last year – we’ve defined the first standard for SD-WAN and the software artifacts that go with that (LSO APIs).”

“MEF 3.0 includes certification, specification, the software that goes with it, and it also includes the notion of community – where we don’t have to reinvent what already exists but we’ve taken what exists in the network industry and put it all together.”

To learn more about MEF 3.0, visit: http://www.mef.net/mef30/overview


Download the industry's first SD-WAN standard here: https://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay....

To explore the latest on MEF 3.0 innovations and engage with industry-leading service and technology experts such as Michael Strople, attend MEF19 (http://www.MEF19.com), held 18-22 November 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata Certification for Inter-Provider Service Automation



MEF Annual Meeting – July/Aug 2019, Bob Mandeville, President & Founder, Iometrix, provides an overview of the new MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata certification program for inter-provider service automation.

MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata certification enables buyers and sellers of wholesale MEF 3.0 services to validate that the full suite of their APIs used for inter-provider business transactions comply with MEF standards. The certification program will help companies develop, test, and certify all LSO Sonata APIs as they are released.


In June 2019, MEF launched the pilot MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata certification program with an initial focus on automating ordering of MEF 3.0 Carrier Ethernet Access E-Line services. Simultaneously, MEF introduced LSO Sonata SDK (Software Development Kit) Release 3 with APIs for inter-provider serviceability, product inventory, quoting, and ordering. Together, these important steps will accelerate implementation of standardized LSO Sonata APIs worldwide, driving frictionless inter-provider business processes and faster service delivery across the service provider community.

To learn more about LSO Sonata APIs and the certification program, download this FAQ document from MEF.net. (https://www.mef.net/images/LSO-Sonata-FAQ-August-2019.pdf)

Explore MEF 3.0 inter-provider LSO Sonata API innovations and engage with industry-leading service and technology experts, attend MEF19 (http://www.MEF19.com), held 18-22 November 2019 in Los Angeles, California.


Thursday, August 22, 2019

SK Telecom tops 1 million 5G subscribers just 4 months after launch

On August 21, SK Telecom became the first mobile operator in the world to exceed the 1 million 5G subscriber mark. The company's 5G subscribers now represent more than 3.5 percent of its total subscriber base of 28 million.

The 1 million subscriber milestone was achieved 140 days after launching the world’s first 5G smartphone on April 3, which is twice faster than its LTE uptake rate. After commercializing the LTE service in July 2011, the company hit the 1 million LTE subscriber mark in eight months.

The 5G service is also driving up customers' data usage. According to SK Telecom’s analysis on 5G subscribers, the average monthly data usage of customers who switched devices from LTE to 5G has increased about 65 percent from 20.4GB (LTE) to 33.7GB (5G).

The recent launch of Galaxy Note 10 5G is expected to further drive the increase of 5G subscribers. SK Telecom has launched three 5G smartphones – Galaxy S10 5G, V50 ThinQ 5G, Galaxy Note 10 5G – so far and plans to strengthen its 5G device line-up.

Ryu Young-sang, Vice President and Head of MNO Business of SK Telecom, said, "SK Telecom will continuously develop innovative contents and services specially designed and optimized for 5G network to provide differentiated experiences to our 5G subscribers."

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