Friday, March 15, 2019

Microsoft and Facebook collaborate on co-packaged optics

Microsoft and Facebook have established a Co-Packaged Optics (CPO) Collaboration with the goal of encouraging common design elements for bridging optics and ASICs.

The collaboration intends to provide open specifications for design elements, including the electrical signaling interface, optical standard, optical module management interface and reliability requirements. When complete, the open specifications will enable the industry to develop a set of solutions involving switch and ASIC manufacturers, optics suppliers, CMs and others that will create the final package which can then be attached to the switch PCB. The collaboration has targeted the 51T switch generation as the tipping point for industry adoption of co-packaged optics.

"The Co-Packaged Optics Collaboration will provide a customer-driven, system-level view of requirements for co-packaged optics," said Katharine Schmidtke, director, Technology Sourcing, Facebook, responsible for the company's optical technology strategy. "By sharing the specifications, we aim to develop a diverse and innovative supplier ecosystem."

"Providing the industry with a customer-supported set of requirements will create a stable, cooperative environment where suppliers can address one of the optical industry's most important technical challenges," said Jeff Cox, partner director, Network Architecture, Microsoft and executive director of the CPO Collaboration. "As co-founders of the Co-Packaged Optics Collaboration, Microsoft and Facebook invite customers and suppliers to join and collaborate with us."

OCP 2019: Edgecore debuts "Minipack" Switch for 100G and 400G

At OCP Summit 2019, Edgecore Networks introduced an open modular switch for 100G and 400G networking that conforms to the Minipack Fabric Switch design contributed by Facebook to the Open Compute Project (OCP).

Minipack is a disaggregated whitebox system providing a flexible mix of 100GbE and 400GbE ports up to a system capacity of 12.8Tbps.

The Minipack switch can support a mix of 100G and 400G Ethernet interfaces up to a maximum of 128x100G or 32x400G ports. Minipack is based on Broadcom StrataXGS Tomahawk 3 Switch Series silicon capable of line rate 12.8Tbps Layer2 and Layer3 switching.

The Minipack front panel has eight slots for port interface modules (PIM). The first PIM options available for the Edgecore Minipack switch are the PIM-16Q with 16x100G QSFP28 ports, and the PIM-4DD with 4x400G QSFP-DD ports. The Minipack modular switch is a 4U form factor, power optimized for data center deployments, and includes hot-swappable redundant power supplies and fans for high availability.

Edgecore said its Minipack AS8000 Switch enables network operators to select disaggregated NOS and SDN software options from commercial partners and open source communities to address different use cases and operational requirements. Edgecore has ported and validated Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC), the OCP open source software platform, on the Minipack AS8000 Switch as an open source option for high capacity data center fabrics. In addition, Cumulus Networks announced the availability of its Cumulus Linux operating system for the Edgecore Minipack switch.

“Network operators are demanding open network solutions to increase their network capacities with 400G and higher density 100G switches based on open technology. The Edgecore Minipack switch broadens our full set of OCP Accepted open network switches, and enables data center operators to deploy higher capacity fabrics with flexible combinations of 100G and 400G interfaces and pay-as-you-grow expansion,” said George Tchaparian, CEO, Edgecore Networks. “The open and modular design of Minipack will enable Edgecore and partners to address more data center and service provider use cases in the future by developing innovative enhancements such as additional interface modules supporting encryption, multiple 400G port types, coherent optical ports and integrated optics, plus additional Minipack Switch family members utilizing deep-buffer or highly programmable or next-generation switching silicon in the same flexible modular form factor.”

“Facebook designed Minipack as a fabric switch with innovative performance, power optimization and modularity to enable our deployment of the next generation data center fabrics,” said Hans-Juergen Schmidtke, Director of Engineering, Facebook. “We have contributed the Minipack design to OCP in order to stimulate additional design innovation and to facilitate availability of the platform to network operators. We welcome Edgecore’s introduction of Minipack as a commercial whitebox product.”

The Minipack AS8000 Switch with PIM-16Q 100G QSFP28 interface modules will be available from Edgecore resellers and integrators worldwide in Q2. PIM-4DD 400G QSFP-DD interface modules will be available in Q3. SONiC open source software, including platform drivers for the Edgecore Minipack AS8000 Switch, are available from the SONiC GitHub.

OCP 2019: Netronome unveils 50GbE SmartNICs

Netronome unveiled its Agilio CX 50GbE SmartNICs in OCP Mezzanine 2.0 form factor with line-rate advanced cryptography and 2GB onboard DDR memory.

The Agilio CX SmartNIC platform fully and transparently offloads virtual switch, virtual router, eBPF and P4-based datapath processing for networking functions such as overlays, security, load balancing and telemetry, enabling cloud and SDN-enabled compute and storage servers to free up critical server CPU cores for application processing while delivering significantly higher performance.

Netronome said its new SmartNIC reduces tail latency significantly enabling high-performance Web 2.0 applications to be deployed in cost and energy-efficient servers. With advanced Transport Layer Security (TLS/SSL)-based cryptography support at line-rate and up to two million stateful sessions per SmartNIC, web and data storage servers in hyperscale environments can now be secured tighter than ever before, preventing hacking of networks and precious user data.

Deployable in OCP Yosemite servers, the Agilio CX 50GbE SmartNICs implement a standards-based and open advanced buffer management scheme enabled by the unique many-core multithreaded processing memory-based architecture of the Netronome Network Flow Processor (NFP) silicon. This improves application performance and enables hyperscale operators to maintain high levels of service level agreements (SLAs). Dynamic eBPF-based programming and hardware acceleration enables intelligent scaling of networking workloads across multiple host CPU cores, improving server efficiency. The solution also enhances security and data center efficiencies by offloading TLS, a widely deployed protocol used for encryption and authentication of applications that require data to be securely exchanged over a network.

“Securing user data in Web 2.0 applications and preventing malicious attacks such as BGP hijacking as experienced recently in hyperscale operator infrastructures are critical needs that have exacerbated significantly in recent years,” said Sujal Das, chief marketing and strategy officer at Netronome. “Netronome developed the Agilio CX 50GbE SmartNIC solution to address these vital industry requirements by meticulously optimizing the hardware with open source and hyperscale operator applications and infrastructures.”

Agilio CX 50GbE SmartNICs in OCP Mezzanine 2.0 form factor are sampling today and include the generally available NFP-5000 silicon. The production version of the board and software is expected in the second half of this year.

OCP 2019: Ixia and Marvell conduct 12.8Tbps 400GE test

Keysight Technologies announced a joint demonstration of Ixia’s AresOne-400 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) test system and the Marvell Prestera CX 8580 Ethernet switch.

The Marvell Prestera CX 8580 switch, a 12.8Tbps, 256x 50G device, is part of a new family of switches from Marvell that offers workflow visibility and analytics with its Storage Aware Flow Engine (SAFE) technology and a reduction in network layers leveraging its high radix switch core technology known as FASTER.

“We are excited to showcase our newly announced Marvell Prestera CX 8500 family with a powerful RFC compliant 32x400G demonstration. This feature-rich family leverages the testing capability of Ixia’s AresONE test equipment to test the scale, 12.8Tbps, and wide range of packet encapsulations that are supported by the switch pipeline,” said Guy Azrad, vice president of engineering, Networking Business Unit and general manager at Marvell Israel. “This collaboration testifies to both organizations’ ability to support the design, deployment and testing of the next generation, high-speed network infrastructure that will be needed to keep pace with ever-growing data demands.”

“This demonstration highlights the capabilities of the AresONE-400GE test system and the Marvell Prestera CX 8580 switch to support real-world applications in the data center,” said Sunil Kalidindi, vice president of product management at Keysight’s Ixia Solutions Group. “We are proud to showcase the world’s first and only full-box 12.8Tbps 400GE test with Marvell and demonstrate the maturity of our solutions as 400GE rapidly becomes mainstream.”

OCP 2019: Inspur and Intel contribute 4-socket Crane Mountain design

Inspur and Intel will contribute a jointly-developed, cloud-optimized platform code named "Crane Mountain" to the OCP community.

The four-socket platform is a high-density, flexible and powerful 2U server, validated for Intel Xeon (Cascade Lake) processors and optimized with Intel Optane DC persistent memory.

Inspur said its NF8260M5 system is being used by Intel as a lead platform for introducing the “high-density cloud-optimized” four-socket server solution to the cloud service provider (CSP) market.

At OCP Summit 2019, Inspur also showcased three new artificial intelligence (AI) computing solutions, and announced the world’s first NVSwitch-enabled 16-GPU fully connected GPU expansion box, the GX5, which is also part of an advanced new architecture that combines the 16-GPU box with an Inspur 4-socket Olympus server. This solution features 80 CPU cores, making it suitable for deep-learning applications that require maximum throughput across multiple workloads. The Inspur NF8360M5 4-socket Olympus server is going through the OCP Contribution and OCP Accepted recognition process.

Inspur also launched the 8-GPU box ON5388M5 with NVLink 2.0, as a new OCP contribution-in-process for 8-GPU box solutions. The Inspur solution offers two new topologies for different AI applications, such as autonomous driving and voice recognition.




Alan Chang discusses Inspur's contributions to the Open Compute Project, including a High-density Cloud-optimized platform code-named “Crane Mountain”.

This four-socket platform is a high-density, flexible and powerful 2U server, validated for Cascade Lake processors and optimized with Intel Optane DC persistent memory.  It is designed and optimized for cloud Infrastructure-aaS, Function-aaS, and Bare-Metal-aaS solutions.

https://youtu.be/JZj-arumtD0


OCP 2019 video: Introducing Carrier Open Infrastructure



Bob Lamb of CBTS introduces Carrier Open Infrastructure (COI), which is reference architecture based on frameworks from the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), open source hardware from the Open Compute Project (OCP) and Open Source VNFs.

CBTS said its goal is to help carriers leverage open source virtual networking functions (VNFs) and common, off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware to grow revenue as broadband speeds increase and average revenue per-subscriber (ARPU) declines.

The COI architecture leverages the ONF's Central Office Redefined as a data center (CORD) framework for enabling gigabit access over copper, fiber and wireless.


OCP 2019: Toshiba tests NVM Express over Fabrics

At OCP Summit 2019, Toshiba Memory America demonstrated proof-of-concept native Ethernet NVMe-oF (NVM Express over Fabrics) SSDs.

Toshiba Memory also showed its KumoScale software, which is a key NVMe-oF enabler for disaggregated storage cloud deployments. First introduced last year, Toshiba Memory has recently enhanced KumoScale’s capabilities with support for TCP-based networks.

OCP 2019: Wiwynn intros Open19 server based on Project Olympus

At OCP 2019, Wiwynn introduced an Open19 server based on Microsoft’s Project Olympus server specification.

The SV6100G3 is a 1U double wide brick server that complies with the LinkedIn led Open19 Project standard, which defines a cross-industry common form factor applicable to EIA 19” racks. With the Open19 defined brick servers, cages and snap-on cables, operators can blind mate both data and power connections to speed up rack deployment and enhance serviceability.

Based on the open source cloud hardware specification of Microsoft’s Project Olympus, the SV6100G3 features two Intel Xeon Processor Scalable family processors, up to 1.5TB memory and one OCP Mezzanine NIC. The

“Wiwynn has extensive experience in open IT gears design to bring TCO improvement for hyperscale data centers,” said Steven Lu, Vice President of Product Management at Wiwynn. “We are excited to introduce the Open19 based SV6100G3 which assists data center operators of all sizes to benefit from the next generation high-efficiency open standards with lower entry barrier.”

FCC seeks innovation in spectrum above 95 GHz

The FCC adopted new rules allowing for the development of new services in the spectrum above 95 GHz.

Specifically, the FCC is creating a new category of experimental licenses for use of frequencies between 95 GHz and 3 THz. The goal is to give innovators the flexibility to conduct experiments lasting up to 10 years, and to more easily market equipment during the
experimental period.

The item also makes a total of 21.2 gigahertz of spectrum available for use by unlicensed devices. The FCC said it selected bands with propagation characteristics that will permit large numbers of unlicensed devices to use the spectrum, while limiting the potential for
interference to existing governmental and scientific operations in the above-95 GHz bands, such as space research and atmospheric sensing.

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-opens-spectrum-horizons-new-services-technologies

CBRS milestone: Commscope and Google pass test

The Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) has given a passing grade to a Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) system developed by CommScope and Google.

ITS, which is part of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), is the official test lab that has been tasked with confirming the performance of ESCs.

CBRS provides 150 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band in the U.S. CBRS spectrum is managed by Spectrum Access Systems (SASs) but will require an ESC network to detect federal radar operations. The ESC will alert the SASs of federal radar activity, and SASs will then reconfigure nearby CBRS devices to operate without interfering with federal operations.

“Our ESC sensor has passed all required testing for certification - demonstrating that we can detect all current and future radar waveforms and our respective SASs can protect incumbent users,” said Mat Varghese, Senior Product Manager, Wireless Services, Google. “This is an important milestone and we are looking ahead toward commercial operations in CBRS.”


“We are pleased that our ESC sensor, as expected, has passed all testing from the lab and is on track for the next phase,” said Mike Guerin, vice president of Integrated Solutions, CommScope. “We look forward to initial commercial deployment and working with customers and federal agencies to ensure success.”

The joint CommScope/Google ESC network is currently being deployed and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. CommScope and Google will each own and operate independent SAS systems which will provide service using the jointly operated ESC network.

CommScope and Google develop Environmental Sensing for CBRS

CommScope and Google agreed to jointly develop, deploy and operate an Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC) network for the Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) market.

CBRS spectrum is managed by Spectrum Access Systems (SASs), which require an ESC network to sense radar operation. The ESC will alert the SASs of naval radar operations so the connected SAS systems can reconfigure spectrum allocations for nearby CBRS devices to operate without interfering with naval activity.


The companies said they will each provide independent SAS services and jointly operate the ESC network. The ESC network is engineered for high availability with the built-in redundancy and fault detection necessary to provide this key enabling capability. As part of this collaboration, both companies share responsibility for overall network design.

Google has developed the ESC sensor and cloud decision engine and will operate the cloud that communicates with each SAS. CommScope will deploy and manage the operation of the physical network. CommScope and Google are working with the FCC and other governmental agencies to obtain certification of the ESC.

See also