Monday, October 21, 2019

Ericsson adds AI functionality to radio access networks

Ericsson announced new AI for radio access networks covering two main applications: advanced traffic management, which secures optimal distribution of traffic; and evolved carrier optimization, which enables uplink improvements and predictive carrier aggregation. The new software will become available worldwide from November this year.

The new AI capabilities for advanced traffic management can provide extended 5G coverage, and more intelligence for the dynamic distribution of users across frequencies, improving user experience.

The new AI capabilities for evolved carrier optimizations enable traffic-aware carrier aggregation, which can offer an instant speed boost in the uplink and the downlink simultaneously for smartphone users.

Ericsson clains 5G coverage can be boosted by up to 25 percent using AI capabilities compared with default settings. It will also enable four times more uplink capacity on LTE networks for a more seamless upload of data, through traffic-aware carrier aggregation, boosting connectivity for a broad ecosystem of advanced smartphones.

Ulf Rydin, Head of Product Area 4G RAN, Ericsson, says: “Ericsson has developed advanced AI capabilities so service providers can improve network performance continuously and deliver a superior user experience. The new AI capabilities can be enabled with a remote software update. Any current installed RAN Compute base will benefit from the enhancements without the need for any site visits or additional new equipment.”

NVIDIA unveils EGX Edge Supercomputing platform

NVIDIA introduced a high-performance, cloud-native edge platform.

The NVIDIA EGX Edge Supercomputing Platform combines NVIDIA CUDA-X software with NVIDIA-certified GPU servers and devices.

The EGX platform features software to support a wide range of applications, including NVIDIA Metropolis, which can be used to build smart cities and intelligent video analytics applications, as well as the just-announced NVIDIA Aerial software, which allows telcos to build completely virtualized 5G radio access networks that are highly programmable, scalable and energy efficient.

Early ecosystem partners include Microsoft, Ericsson and Red Hat. The EGX software stack architecture is supported by leading hybrid-cloud partners Canonical, Cisco, Nutanix, Red Hat and VMware.

Early adopters include Walmart, BMW, Procter & Gamble, Samsung Electronics and NTT East, as well as the cities of San Francisco and Las Vegas.

“We’ve entered a new era, where billions of always-on IoT sensors will be connected by 5G and processed by AI,” said Jensen Huang, NVIDIA founder and CEO, at a keynote at the start of MWC Los Angeles. “Its foundation requires a new class of highly secure, networked computers operated with ease from far away.

“At Walmart, we’re using AI to define the future of retail and re-think how technology can further enhance how we operate our stores,” said Mike Hanrahan, CEO of Walmart Intelligent Retail Lab. “With NVIDIA’s EGX edge computing platform, Walmart’s Intelligent Retail Lab is able to bring real-time AI compute to our store, automate processes and free up our associates to create a better and more convenient shopping experience for our customers.”

World Wide Technology partners with MobiledgeX

World Wide Technology (WWT) and Deutsche Telekom-founded MobiledgeX, a leading mobile edge computing (MEC) platform provider, today announced a partnership to accelerate the commercialization of scalable MEC deployments.

The companies said their partnership will make it easier for service providers to quickly create new 5G revenue streams by delivering industry vertical applications to their customers via their MEC platform. The blueprints for these integrated solutions will be validated in WWT’s state-of-the-art Advanced Technology Center (ATC), a unique multi-vendor testing and validation environment, and take advantage of WWT’s deep integration and deployment expertise through its global integration centers.

Specifically, MobiledgeX will provide their cloud-native MEC platform as a service (PaaS) software, which determines where customers need edge services and securely delivers them on-demand. WWT, MobiledgeX’s sole distributor, will deliver the fully integrated MEC infrastructure, on which MobiledgeX’s software will run and the validated CPE and in-network system resources required by enterprise customers to consume MEC services. Both the MEC infrastructure and CPE will be available from WWT’s three global integration centers in St. Louis, Amsterdam, and Singapore.

In collaboration with Dell EMC and VMware, MobiledgeX and WWT have released their first MEC infrastructure blueprint available at www.wwt.com. This blueprint includes Dell 14G servers with Cascade Lake 2 processors and Optane persistent memory and VMware Integrated Openstack. Additional blueprints will be available as they’re validated in the ATC.

“Service providers across the globe are under intense pressure to deploy 5G infrastructure while ensuring they can monetize their 5G investment,” said Joe Wojtal, WWT CTO for Global Service Providers. “WWT’s partnership with MobiledgeX will allow service providers to commercialize scalable MEC deployments via validated blueprints available from WWT’s global integration centers.”

“Innovation is vital for service providers to play a key role in the 5G economy, especially as they’re under pressure to move quickly while limiting costs,” said Jason Hoffman, CEO of MobiledgeX. “5G deployments require scale and low latency to provide cost savings and fast speeds, and MEC serves as a key piece in delivering that. WWT’s ATC and global integration centers help bring it all to life.”

Deutsche Telekom deploys MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud

MobiledgeX, the edge computing company founded by Deutsche Telekom AG, unveiled its architecture for connecting mobile users to application cloud containers created by aggregating existing operator network resources.

Deutsche Telekom is now using the MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud R1.0 to power the first world's first public mobile edge network deployment and is already supporting the prototyping of developer use cases such as live trials around Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), and Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM).

The solution MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud R1.0 leverages application cloud containers created by aggregating existing operator network resources. At runtime, MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud R1.0 spins up the containers on-demand in edge cloud locations (also known as “cloudlets”) that optimally fulfill the needs of the desired application and user quality of experience.

Key features of MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud R1.0:

  • Device and platform-independent SDKs for Android and IOS devices in Java, C++, C# or REST that support edge node discovery, built-in identity and verified location services, with the ability to connect automatically to the nearest edge location. MobiledgeX will release these SDKs as open source to speed development times and flexibility.
  • A Distributed Matching Engine (DME) that is natively borne and integrated into Telekom Deutschland’s mobile network in Germany. The DME allows developers to ensure the identity and location of application users while guaranteeing their privacy as this data remains within the boundaries of the mobile service provider and is not disclosed to MobiledgeX.
  • A fully multi-tenant control plane that supports zero-touch provisioning of edge cloud resources via a Cloudlet Resource Manager. This architecture is massively scalable based on the number of distributed edge cloud locations and enables the operator to bring any combination of compute, storage and network resource pools to add to capacity independently of a preferred Virtualization Infrastructure Management (VIM) layer. For example, while Deutsche Telekom edge cloud resource pools are virtualized using OpenStack, MobiledgeX Edge-Cloud R1.0 equally supports other industry- standard VIMs such as VMware or native Kubernetes.
  • A global edge cloud SAAS portal that allows operators to visualize application delivery performance and developers to deploy their application containers.



MobiledgeX 

NVIDIA brings GPU power to Ericsson's virtualized 5G RAN

Ericsson and NVIDIA are collaborating on technologies for virtualized 5G radio access networks (RAN).

The companies said their ultimate goal is to commercialize virtualized RAN technologies to deliver radio networks with flexibility and shorter time to market for new services, such as augmented reality, virtual reality and gaming.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson, says: “As a technology leader, we embrace openness and new platforms where we can continue to innovate and push boundaries to provide our customers with the best possible solutions. With NVIDIA we will jointly look at bringing alternatives to market for virtualizing the complete radio access network.”

Jensen Huang, founder and chief executive officer of NVIDIA, says: “5G is set to turbocharge the intelligent edge revolution. Fusing 5G, supercomputing, and AI has enabled us to create a revolutionary communications platform supporting, someday, trillions of always-on, AI-enabled smart devices. Combining our world-leading capabilities, NVIDIA and Ericsson are helping to invent this exciting future.”

ModelOp targets AI-based model operations in large enterprises

ModelOp, formerly Open Data Group (ODG), has relaunched with a focus on AI-based model operations in large enterprises. The idea is to integrate data science and machine learning with enterprise applications that use the models’ predictions to automate and improve decisions like credit scoring, fraud detection, bond trading, customer retention, manufacturing operations, supply chain optimization, ecommerce sales, ad conversions, etc.

The company was founded 2016 by Pete Foley and Stu Bailey, who previously worked together at Infoblox, where they pioneered a new category of IT infrastructure, leading to a successful IPO in 2011 and an acquisition of the company by Vista Equity for $1.6B in 2016.  Prior to co-founding Infoblox, Bailey as the technical lead at the National Center for Data Mining, worked closely with the pioneers of data science. Foley previously served as CEO at Port Authority (acquired by Websense) and Ring Cube (acquired by Citrix), and as chairman of Graphite Systems (acquired by EMC).

The company describes DS/ML models as a new kind of software because they are probabilistic and must be “trained” using large quantities of data.  Over time, DS/ML models decay, producing degraded results unless they’re re-trained or re-written. The practice of Model Operations must address the release, activation, monitoring, performance tracking, management, reuse, maintenance and governance of the AI and ML models. 

“We got ahead of the market when we started this venture, convinced that the unique characteristics of data science and machine learning (DS/ML) models would require new organizational and technical approaches in order to realize their value, especially within large enterprises” said Pete Foley, CEO of ModelOp.  Foley continued, “Our expanding customer base, and the level of activity we are seeing in the industry overall strongly validates our vision and makes us extremely excited for this next phase of growth.”  ModelOp’s customers include five of the top 10 largest financial institutions, as well as Fortune 500 manufacturers, insurers, and credit bureaus.

ModelOp has offices in Chicago, IL and San Jose, CA.

Riverbed revamps SD-WAN

Riverbed has revamped its SD-WAN portfolio with the release of SteelConnect EX, an enterprise-class and carrier-grade WAN Edge Infrastructure solution with best-of-breed SD-WAN, integrated application acceleration and advanced network security services.

Riverbed said its unique combination of SD-WAN and advanced network security with application acceleration will enable large organizations to confidently deploy and operate SD-WAN at high scale (5,000 sites) within the world’s most complex and secure networks. Product solutions include:

  • SteelConnect EX SD-WAN enables enterprises to cost-effectively expand WAN capacity, accelerate the roll-out of new sites and applications and streamline operations for hybrid and Internet-based WAN topologies.
  • SteelConnect EX App Acceleration provides industry-leading application acceleration and optimization capabilities to boost app performance and end-user experience by up to 33x or more for on-premises, cloud and SaaS-based applications. SteelConnect EX interoperates directly with SteelHead physical and virtual appliances today. And with the availability of SteelConnect EX, Riverbed also announces plans to further integrate Riverbed's industry-leading application acceleration and optimization capabilities into the SteelConnect EX platform in Q1 2020 for a converged SD-WAN Edge solution.
  • SteelConnect EX Security enables fully integrated and layered security services to deepen and simplify branch security. Provides a broad set of security functions, including Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW), Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Antivirus (AV), and Intrusion Detection and Protection Services (IDS/IPS).

“Riverbed now offers the most complete and powerful digital networking solution in the market to help organizations achieve higher levels of agility, efficiency, innovation and growth. Riverbed’s new SteelConnect EX encompasses the scalability, performance, and security to meet the needs of the most complex networks,” said Dante Malagrino, Chief Development Officer at Riverbed. “With a proven track record of WAN expertise, world-class support and professional services, Riverbed sets the new standard for digital networking to propel and accelerate digital transformation with confidence.”

Riverbed to resell Versa Networks' SD-WAN

Riverbed signed a global original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement with Versa Networks that brings together Riverbed’s global support and services with Versa Networks' enterprise-class secure SD-WAN technology.

Riverbed said it will now offer an expanded portfolio of SD-WAN solutions alongside Riverbed SteelConnect, which will now include a new enterprise offering leveraging Versa Network’s Secure Cloud IP software platform. Since the initial 2016 launch of Riverbed’s SD-WAN solution SteelConnect, Riverbed has grown its SD-WAN customer base to 1,000+ organizations.

“The agreement with Versa Networks allows Riverbed to provide our customers with a broader set of choices and address the modern networking needs of organizations of all types and sizes – large, medium and small, cloud-first, hybrid and traditional – across the globe,” said Paul Mountford, CEO at Riverbed. “Versa’s enterprise-class technology complements Riverbed’s leading SD-WAN, application acceleration and digital experience management solutions nicely, and will be backed by Riverbed’s leading support and professional services that customers rely on. This expanded portfolio allows Riverbed to more fully go after our large enterprise installed base, which includes the vast majority of the Fortune 2000, and will empower our customers to choose the right SD-WAN solution to help them transform their networks, gain agility and remain competitive in their respective industries.”

“Versa is teaming up with Riverbed to leverage the organization’s global reach into large enterprise, industry-leading support and services, and expertise and leadership in digital performance, which will drive greater opportunities for Versa and a strong offering for enterprise customers,” said  Kelly Ahuja, CEO at Versa Networks.

Next Gen SD-WAN: Automation and Programmability



In enterprises today, too many tasks are manual, but as the network evolves from site-to-site to a user-to-app model this will change,  says Kelly Ahuja, CEO of Versa Networks.

A key to this is network telemetry from wherever the user is located. This data will open new possibilities for (1) security/compliance and (2) automation/programmability.

Kelly Ahuja, CEO of Versa Networks, discusses market momentum with SD-Branch services. Versa recently surpassed 1,000 enterprise customers and 200,000 software licenses.

https://nginfrastructure.com/sd-wan

Corning and Intel develop 5G In-Building Networks

Corning and Intel agreed to collaborate on 5G in-building networks. The work combines Corning’s 5G network solutions powered by Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel FlexRAN Reference Software Architecture.

“5G will enable dramatic advances in the way people work and companies create value,” said Michelle Engarto, vice president, Wireless Product Line Management, Corning Optical Communications. “Capturing the benefits will require flexible and scalable infrastructure that can evolve and adapt as fast as software-based applications.  Fiber offers effectively unlimited bandwidth and is protocol agnostic. Virtualization converts a traditional hardware challenge into a software-based solution. By combining fiber and virtualization, Corning and Intel will demonstrate the ultimate in flexibility and scalability for in-building 5G infrastructure.”

“Our collaboration with Corning will help ensure the 5G revolution does not stop at the building door,” said Cristina Rodriguez, vice president and general manager of Wireless Access Networks Division, Data Center Group at Intel.

“This Intel-based foundation for next-generation virtualized radio access networks (vRAN) will enable customers to reap the full benefits of 5G based platforms for ultra-reliable low latency, enhanced mobile bandwidth, and massive machine-to-machine communication both inside and outside their buildings,” she said.

The new enterprise platform will be commercially available in 2020.

https://www.corning.com/worldwide/en/products/communication-networks/applications/wireless-networks.html

See also