Monday, June 10, 2019

Cisco drives network automation with AI and ML

Cisco announced a range of artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities for improving the management of users, devices and applications across an enterprise network – from campus networks and wide-area networks, to data centers and the IoT edge.

"As the pace of change and diversity of the environment continues to rapidly evolve, Cisco is committed to continually simplifying our solutions," said Scott Harrell, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco's Enterprise Networking Business. "Artificial intelligence and machine learning can enable businesses to efficiently discern which issues to prioritize, becoming more nimble and proactive. This will have a profound effect on network operations and the IT team that run them. At Cisco, we’re future proofing our networks and the workforce through automation and intelligence."

At Cisco Live in San Diego, company executives said Cisco platforms and security systems can already collect context-rich telemetry data sets. The new software capabilities designed to utilize deidentified and aggregated data. This enables:

  • More Visibility -  relevant data from local networks is correlated against the aggregate deidentified data set to create highly individualized network baselines. These baselines constantly learn and adapt as the number of devices, users and applications evolves, and as environments change.
  • Greater Insights - machine learning is used to correlate the immense amount of data coming from the network against the individualized network baselines to uncover the issues that will have the greatest impact on the network. This improves issue relevancy, alerting IT of the issues that matter most. It also discovers trends and patterns, so IT can pre-emptively identify issues before they become a problem. 
  • Guided Actions - machine reasoning algorithms and automated workflowsa perform the logical troubleshooting steps that an engineer would execute to resolve a problem. This helps IT detect issues and vulnerabilities, analyze the root cause and execute corrective actions.

Cisco is introducing new integrations with its multidomain intent-based architecture across campus, branch, WAN, IoT, data center and cloud:

  • Network segmentation: The integration of SD-Access with SD-WAN and Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) makes it easier for IT teams to consistently authorize, onboard and segment users and devices across branch, data center and cloud networks, even when users and applications change. Because of this segmentation, IT is able to safeguard against unauthorized access to sensitive data and critical applications.
  • Application experience: Cisco now automatically conveys application requirements between the data center and the WAN, allowing the network to select the best path and prioritize traffic even if applications move or change. This allows IT teams to dynamically elevate application performance across the enterprise and branch.
  • Pervasive security: As an industry leader in cybersecurity, Cisco is leveraging its security innovations across all domains. By extending the ability to detect threats in encrypted traffic across public clouds, and by protecting the branch and WAN against threats, Cisco is providing the end-to-end security customers need. 

Cisco AI Network Analytics will be a standard part of Cisco DNA Center Assurance and will be available in the next version of Cisco DNA Center, generally available summer of 2019. Cisco AI Network Analytics will be included in the Cisco DNA Advantage licensing tier.

http://www.cisco.com

Intel to acquire Barefoot Networks for programmable switching silicon

Intel agreed to acquire Barefoot Networks, a start-up developing programmable Ethernet switch silicon and software for use in the data center. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Intel said the acquisition will support its focus on end-to-end cloud networking and infrastructure, enabling it to better compete in the Ethernet switching segment.

Barefoot, which is based in San Jose, California, is shipping the second generation of its P4-programmable Tofino Ethernet switch application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) family.

Tofino 2 delivers 12.8 Tbps of packet processing capacity for hyperscale data centers, cloud, enterprise and service provider networks. The device leverages 7nm process technology and is designed for full P4-programmability.

Tofino 2 highlights:

  • World’s first 7nm switch ASIC 
  • Supports up 32x400GE on a single chip.
  • Supports up to 256x10/25/50GE ports on a single chip.
  • Fully P4-programmable, enabling various deployment options, from a standard top-of-rack switch to a service provider router, or even a feature-rich switch appliance. 

  • Support for extra large table sizes for routing, tunnels, and access control lists (ACLs).
  • Support for Barefoot SPRINT- Barefoot's enhanced version of the industry-standard In-band Network Telemetry (INT), providing fine-grained per-packet intelligent real-time visibility of network traffic. 
  • Leverages the growing industry-wide P4 Ecosystem supported by multiple switch and network interface controller (NIC) chips.
  • Modular architecture enabling rapid integration of 112G SerDes and silicon photonics.
Tofino 2 was announced in December 2018. Customers cited in the Barefoot press release include Goldman Sachs, Cisco, Alibaba Infrastructure Services, Tencent, Baidu, JD Cloud, and Ucloud. Barefoot has also announced design wins with Arista, Edgecore and others.

https://www.barefootnetworks.com/
https://newsroom.intel.com/editorials/intel-acquire-barefoot-networks/#gs.i7cnfy

Founded in 2013, Barefoot is backed by investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. The company has raised approximately $155 million in five funding rounds, most recently raising $23 million in November 2016 in a round led by Alibaba and Tencent.


Infinera demos multi-domain service orchestration for 5G

Infinera and SIAE MICROELETTRONICA completed a test of SDN-enabled service orchestration across integrated IP/MPLS transport and microwave/millimeter-wave transport domains.

The proof-of-concept trial, which was conducted in collaboration with a leading Tier 1 mobile operator, showcased the ability of network operators to simplify and automate multi-domain, multi-vendor operations as mobile networks evolve to support new high-capacity, latency-sensitive 5G services.

The trial featured seamless interworking of the SIAE MICROELETTRONICA SM-DC microwave domain controller, Infinera IP domain controller, SIAE MICROELETTRONICA AGS20 Layer3 microwave platform, Infinera Transcend Orchestrator, and Infinera 8600 Smart Router Series IP/MPLS platforms. Leveraging open, standards-based application programming interfaces, the integrated IP/MPLS and microwave transport solution provided a multi-domain, multi-vendor framework for a wide variety of SDN-enabled service creation and traffic management use cases, including:

  • Network and service discovery and visualization, including discovery of inventory of network elements, link topology (Layers 0-3), and network services (Layers 2-3)
  • End-to-end multi-domain service provisioning, including Layer 2 Ethernet pseudowire and Layer 3 IP virtual private networks over microwave links
  • Closed-loop automation and multi-domain optimization, including the automatic shaping of IP layer traffic based on microwave modulation and bandwidth changes
  • In addition to reducing operational expenses via simplified operations and service provisioning, the integrated solution enables network operators to reduce capital expenses by maximizing the utilization of existing infrastructure as end-user capacity demands scale.

“This solution builds upon our widely deployed Tier 1 edge router solutions and provides an easy way to improve operational efficiencies with an evolutionary approach to SDN migration that leverages existing infrastructure,” said Mikko Hannula, Vice President, Engineering and Product Management at Infinera. “Our joint solution with SIAE MICROELETTRONICA brings a new level of dynamic network optimization to multi-domain, multi-layer, and multi-vendor networks while reinforcing the operational benefits of open networking.”

“This implementation demonstrates how network resources can be addressed to set up services in real time across different transport technologies and network areas,” said Paolo Galbiati, Product Line Management Director at SIAE MICROELETTRONICA. “This is proof of how SDN can really serve operators in shaping their networks and fully exploiting network potential.”

Salesforce to acquire Tableau for $15.7 billion

Salesforce agreed to acquire Tableau Software, which offers a big data analytics platform, in an all-stock transaction that represents an enterprise value of $15.7 billion (net of cash), based on the trailing 3-day volume weighted average price of Salesforce's shares as of June 7, 2019.

The transaction is expected to increase Salesforce’s FY20 total revenue by approximately $350 million to $400 million.

"We are bringing together the world’s #1 CRM with the #1 analytics platform. Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers. It’s truly the best of both worlds for our customers--bringing together two critical platforms that every customer needs to understand their world,” said Marc Benioff, Chairman and co-CEO, Salesforce. “I’m thrilled to welcome Adam and his team to Salesforce.”

“Salesforce’s incredible success has always been based on anticipating the needs of our customers and providing them the solutions they need to grow their businesses,” said Keith Block, co-CEO, Salesforce. “Data is the foundation of every digital transformation, and the addition of Tableau will accelerate our ability to deliver customer success by enabling a truly unified and powerful view across all of a customer's data.”

“Joining forces with Salesforce will enhance our ability to help people everywhere see and understand data,” said Adam Selipsky, President and CEO of Tableau. "As part of the world’s #1 CRM company, Tableau’s intuitive and powerful analytics will enable millions more people to discover actionable insights across their entire organizations. I’m delighted that our companies share very similar cultures and a relentless focus on customer success. I look forward to working together in support of our customers and communities."
Combination to Supercharge Digital Transformation

Dell'Oro: Broadband access equipment revenue dipped to $2.9 B in 1Q19

Global revenue for broadband access equipment declined 2 percent Y/Y in 1Q 2019, reaching $2.9 billion, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. Increased shipments of XG-PON1, XGS-PON, NG-PON2 OLT ports, and DOCSIS 3.1, CPE offset CCAP spending declined for the second straight quarter.

Additional highlights from the 1Q 2019 Broadband Access Quarterly Report:

  • Total cable access concentrator revenue decreased 38 percent Y/Y to $275 M, driven by a strong slowdown in CCAP channel purchases in North America and EMEA.
  • Total DSL port shipments decreased 21 percent Y/Y, with ADSL ports down 71 percent and VDSL ports down 20 percent.
  • Total PON OLT port shipments increased 7 percent Y/Y, with XGS-PON ports up 337 percent.
  • Total SOHO WLAN units increased 13 percent Y/Y, driven by the driven by 19% Y/Y growth in broadband CPE with WLAN and 125% Y/Y growth in mesh router units.

“The 10 Gbps FTTH deployments continue to build momentum,” said Jeff Heynen, Research Director, Broadband Access and Home Networking. “The next-gen fiber increases nearly offset the weakness in cable CCAP spending, as cable operators push off new capacity purchases while they determine how to move forward with distributed access architectures,” explained Heynen.

FCC authorizes $166.8 million for rural broadband

The FCC authorized $166.8 million in funding over the next decade to expand broadband to 60,850 unserved rural homes and businesses in 22 states. This represents the second wave of support from last year’s successful Connect America Fund Phase II auction.  Providers will begin receiving funding this month.

In total, the auction last fall allocated $1.488 billion in support to expand broadband to more than 700,000 unserved rural homes and small businesses over the next 10 years.  The FCC authorized the first wave of funding in May, providing $111.6 million in funding over the next decade to expand service to 37,148 unserved homes and businesses in 12 states.

To date, the first two rounds of authorizations are providing $278.4 million over the next decade to expand service to 97,998 new locations.  Over the coming months, the FCC will be authorizing additional funding as it approves the final applications of the winning bidders from the auction.

“I’m pleased to announce that the second round of funding starts now for buildout of high-speed Internet service to 60,850 rural homes and businesses, which will bring them to the right side of the digital divide and give them access to the 21st-century opportunities that broadband offers,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “Providers will be deploying gigabit-speed connections to the majority of locations for which funding is being authorized today, while nearly 8,000 homes and small businesses on Tribal lands will be getting fixed broadband service for the first time.”

The funding applications approved by the Commission today include the following:

  • Central Virginia Services, an electric coop, is receiving $28.6 million to deploy gigabit connections to nearly 11,000 locations in rural Virginia
  • NTUA Wireless is receiving $28.4 million to serve over 7,000 homes and small businesses in Tribal areas of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, while SW DinehNet will serve 869 Tribal locations in New Mexico
  • Co-Mo Comm, an electric coop, is receiving nearly $22 million to deploy gigabit connections to over 8,350 rural locations in Missouri
  • Commnet of Nevada is receiving $23.6 million to provide service to over 12,800 homes and businesses in 11 counties in rural Nevada

A full list of recipients is online.

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-authorizes-1668-million-expand-rural-broadband-22-states

A10 adds support for containers

A10 Networks is adding support for Kubernetes containers to its Thunder Application Delivery Controller (ADC), Carrier-Grade Networking (CGN), and Convergent Firewall (CFW) solutions.

A10 said its highly portable solution is supported on standard Intel x86 servers and can be deployed across the largest cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), as well as private data centers.

"With the new Thunder Containers, we are delivering to the market the highest performance load balancing, firewall and carrier-grade NAT (CGNAT) solutions for a very complex multi-cloud world. We are extending our portfolio across traditional, virtual and microservices form factors, giving customers a unified solution to ensure agile and scalable infrastructures. And seamless integration with A10 Harmony® Controller gives customers visibility and centralized management for consistent operations and security across multi-cloud environments,” said Raj Jalan, CTO of A10 Networks.

Thunder for Containers will be available in Q3, 2019.

https://www.a10networks.com/news/press-releases/a10-networks-extends-cloud-portfolio-with-ultra-high-performance-container-based-solutions/

See also