Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Intel and Lightbits Labs targets NVMe over Fabrics TCP

 Intel announced a partnership with Lightbits Labs focused on disaggregated storage solutions. The partnership includes technical co-engineering, go-to-market collaboration and an Intel Capital investment in Lightbits Labs. 

Lightbits, which is based in Israel, delivers high-performance shared storage across servers while providing high availability and read-and-write management designed to maximize the value of flash-based storage. 

Lightbits Labs has demonstrated LightOS NVMe over Fabrics TCP (NVMe-oF/TCP) storage with remote direct memory access-class performance when accelerated with the Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapter with ADQ technology. (Credit: Lightbits Labs)




Lightbits Labs will enhance its composable disaggregated software-defined storage solution, LightOS, for Intel technologies, creating an optimized software and hardware solution. The system will utilize Intel Optane persistent memory and Intel® 3D NAND SSDs based on Intel® QLC Technology, Intel Xeon Scalable processors with unique built-in artificial intelligence (AI) acceleration capabilities and Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapters with Application Device Queues (ADQ) technology. Intel’s leadership FPGAs for next-generation performance, flexibility and programmability will complement the solution.

In addition to the technical collaboration between the two companies, Lightbits and Intel are collaborating to provide complete solutions to customers and develop the ecosystem to drive broad adoption of these innovations. 

As a first example of the potential performance benefit this collaboration offers, Lightbits Labs demonstrated LightOS NVMe over Fabrics TCP (NVMe-oF/TCP) storage with remote direct memory access (RDMA)-class performance when accelerated with the Intel Ethernet 800 Series Network Adapter with ADQ technology. ADQ enables NVMe-oF/TCP to achieve distributed storage performance in the same range as RDMA-based protocols, while NVMe-oF/TCP enables broad adoption because of its ease of deployment and scalability.

VMware's Project Monterey for SmartNICs - Pensando's perspective

Pensando Systems is working with VMware on Project Monterey to integrate the next generation of SmartNIC technology into fully virtualized enterprise networks.

The project aims to rearchitect VMware Cloud Foundation to enable disaggregation of the server including extending support for bare metal servers, thereby allowing physical resources to be dynamically accessed by applications based on policy or via software API.

In this video, Silvano Gai of Pensando Systems talks about Project Monterey and the benefits for customers, including performance, scale, and features such as firewalling, micro-segmentation, encryption, telemetry, etc.

https://youtu.be/74BBdbAI9tI



Next-Gen Infrastructure Acceleration

The need for infrastructure acceleration has never been so acute. Advances in silicon are making possible highly programmable and very efficient network flow path engines for true data-centric computing.

Our Next-Gen Infrastructure Acceleration series collects and curates thought leadership videos from top players in this space, including Digital Realy, Evoque Data Center Solutions, NVIDIA (Mellanox), Fungible, Vapor IO and others.

We also present our 2020 Next-Gen Infrastructure Acceleration Report, which discusses infrastructure acceleration technologies adopted by CSPs and explores the products available from leading vendors. The report is available as a free download upon registration.


https://nextgeninfra.io/infrastructure-acceleration/


Pensado emerges from stealth, led by "MPLS" team from Cisco

Pensando Systems, a start-up based in San Jose, California, emerged from stealth to unveil its first product -- a software-defined edge services platform that was developed in collaboration with the world’s largest cloud, enterprise, storage, and telecommunications companies. Pensando ("thinking" in Spanish) is led by Cisco’s legendary “MPLS” team — Mario Mazzola, Prem Jain, Luca Cafiero, Soni Jiandani and Randy Pond. Hewlett Packard Enterprise...


Telecom Infra Project forms Solution Groups

The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) has formed a new "Solution Groups" that aim codify open, disaggregated, interoperable network elements, including TIP-incubated technology across all network layers, into a broad range of end-to-end solutions for specific deployment cases.


By introducing these new Project Groups and expanding their scope from individual network point solutions to end-to-end network solutions, the TIP community is incorporating additional value layers to its project lifecycle:

  • Open, interoperable, disaggregated network components: In some Project Groups, TIP members develop individual network elements responding to specific technical requirements. The main outputs of this are validated products and suppliers.
  • Open, interoperable, disaggregated network layers: Other TIP Project Groups also work to build end-to-end configurations for a single network layer (e.g. the RAN, or the Wi-Fi access network). These will typically be based on validated individual network elements. In this case the process will include integration and interoperability testing of the different elements, and the main outputs will be a set of validated end-to-end configurations, along with guidelines for their deployment and operation.
  • Open, interoperable, disaggregated network end-to-end solutions: Finally, through the Solution Groups, we will be able to deliver end-to-end solutions for the whole network. In this case, the process will include the integration and interoperability testing of different elements across different network layers, and also the exploration of potential business models for commercialization of these solutions. As such, the outputs will include a set of validated end-to-end network solutions and guidelines for their deployment and operation, complemented with business model insights and recommendations, including Systems Integrators for go-to-market.

David Hutton, Chief Engineer of TIP, said: “With our newly formed Solution Groups, TIP will incorporate additional components to its value proposition, including the validation of interoperability between different network elements, across the whole network, and insights and recommendations about the business model needed for commercialization of those solutions. This approach leverages all the work that TIP has been doing in building and validating open, disaggregated and interoperable network elements, which will now be integrated into end-to-end solutions addressing specific commercial needs.”

https://telecominfraproject.com/tip-launches-solution-groups-to-define-and-validate-end-to-end-open-network-solutions/

FCC seeks to facilitate 5G in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band

 The FCC is seeking to make 100 megahertz of mid-band spectrum in the 3.45-3.55 GHz band available for 5G deployment across the contiguous United States.  

The FCC adopted new rules for, and proposed additional changes to, the broader 3.3-3.55 GHz band. Specifically, the adopted rules remove the secondary, non-federal allocations from the 3.3-3.55 GHz band.  The Report and Order relocates non-federal radiolocation licensees to the 2.9-3.0 GHz band, allowing them to continue operating there on a secondary basis to federal operations.  It also allows amateur licensees to individually determine appropriate alternative spectrum from existing available spectrum allocations.

The FCC is also proposing to allocate the 3.45-3.55 GHz spectrum band for flexible-use service.  It seeks comment on an appropriate regime to coordinate non-federal and federal use and proposes a band plan, as well as technical, licensing, and competitive bidding rules for the band.  Lastly, it seeks comment on details regarding the processes for relocating non-federal radiolocation operators to the 2.9-3.0 GHz band and sunsetting amateur use in the 3.3-3.5 GHz band.


U.S. to open 3.45-3.55 GHz mid-band spectrum for 5G

The Trump administration announced that 100 megahertz of contiguous, coast-to-coast mid-band spectrum will be made available for commercial 5G deployment.

The action, which will be taken by the FCC in collaboration with the Department of Defense, targets the 3.45-3.55 GHz band.

“I commend the President and Department of Defense for today’s announcement that the 3.45-3.55 GHz band will be made available for commercial 5G deployment.  This is a key milestone in securing United States leadership in 5G.  I also would like to thank FCC staff for their work to help create a framework that will promote 5G service in this important band.  Together with the spectrum being made available for 5G in the C-band as well as the 3.5 GHz band, we are now on track to have a 530-megahertz swath of mid-band spectrum available for 5G from 3.45 to 3.98 GHz.  The FCC looks forward to moving quickly to adopt service rules for the 3.45 GHz b 

FCC adopts new rules for 4940-4990 MHz band

 The FCC adopted rules permitting expanded use of 50 megahertz of mid-band spectrum in the 4.9 GHz (4940-4990 MHz) band that is currently underused.  

Under the new rules, states are allowed to lease this spectrum to third parties to boost wireless broadband, improve critical infrastructure monitoring, and facilitate public safety use cases.  This will allow individual states to use the spectrum to best meet their unique needs.  

In the 18 years since the FCC designated the 4.9 GHz band for public safety use, only about 3.5% of all potential licensees have taken advantage of this spectrum opportunity, and this spectrum remains largely unused outside major metropolitan areas.  

http://www.fcc.gov

DOCOMO, Fujitsu and NEC demo multivendor 5G carrier aggregation

NTT DOCOMO, Fujitsu, and NEC achieved carrier aggregation using the 3.7GHz and 4.5GHz frequency bands in a 5G multi-vendor radio access network (RAN). In addition to this dual connectivity achieved by bundling LTE bands, downlink speeds of 4.2 Gbps will be achievable.

DOCOMO already provides commercial 5G services in Japan through a multi-vendor RAN that connects baseband units and remote radio units manufactured by Fujitsu and NEC based on O-RAN's open fronthaul specifications. The same system configuration was used to achieve this 5G carrier aggregation.

Naoki Tani, Senior Vice President at DOCOMO, said: "The deployment of O-RAN-compliant products will enable DOCOMO to flexibly build networks and provide 5G services that meet customer needs. Carrier aggregation furthering 5G high-speed data communication in a multi- vendor RAN developed jointly with Fujitsu and NEC is an important achievement. DOCOMO will continue to work with industry partners to promote open RAN and 5G services."

Shingo Mizuno, EVP and Vice Head of System Platform Business at Fujitsu, commented: "We are delighted to have succeeded in achieving carrier aggregation for 5G high-speed data communication in an environment featuring interconnection of multi-vendor equipment compliant with O-RAN specifications. This key milestone in the evolution of O-RAN will contribute greatly to the delivery of convenient 5G services and RAN openness, which Fujitsu is actively supporting with the aim of enhancing 5G services."

Atsuo Kawamura, Executive Vice President at NEC and President of the company's Network Services Business Unit, said: "The success of carrier aggregation in the 5G bands is a critical step in the ongoing enhancement of 5G network performance. I am very pleased that in collaboration with DOCOMO and Fujitsu we have now achieved high- performance O-RAN multi-vendor connectivity. This will lay the foundation for more open 5G services and business."

DOCOMO commits to multivendor O-RAN for 4G/5G

NTT DOCOMO has commenced deployment of a 4G/5G multivendor radio access network conforming to O-RAN specifications.

Working in collaboration with Fujitsu, NEC, and Nokia, DOCOMO has demonstrated multi-vendor interoperability across a variety of 4G and 5G base station equipment compatible with O-RAN. The O-RAN standards include fronthaul specifications and X2 profile specifications.



O-RAN fronthaul specifications are used to establish the connections between centralized units hosting baseband processing and remote units hosting radio processing in 5G remote-installed base stations. O-RAN fronthaul interface specifications provide a foundation for interoperability between centralized units and remote units of 5G remote-installed base stations manufactured by diverse partners.

The O-RAN X2 profile specifications provide a foundation for interoperability between 4G base stations and 5G base stations manufactured by diverse partners in 5G non-standalone (5G NSA) networks by taking 3GPP X2 interface specifications and specifying detailed standards for their usage. 5G NSA networks connect devices using both 4G and 5G technologies.

DOCOMO believes this represents the world's first realization of this level of multi-vendor interoperability in 4G and 5G base station equipment conforming to O-RAN specifications. The ability to deploy and interconnect base station equipment from different vendors will make it possible to select the equipment most suitable for deployment in any given environment, such as base stations offering broad coverage in rural areas or small base stations that can be deployed in urban areas where space is limited.

DOCOMO will deploy the equipment in the pre-commercial 5G service it plans to launch on September 20, 2019 in Japan.
https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/info/media_center/pr/2019/0918_00.html

Fujitsu delivers 5G base station products to NTT DOCOMO

Fujitsu Limited has begun delivery of 5G base station products, comprising of Central Unit (CU, 1) and Radio Unit (RU, 2), to NTT DOCOMO for its commercial 5G network.

The 5G CU products that Fujitsu has started delivering realize the 5G system through a proprietary software design from the company using software-defined radio technology, which can implement different wireless technologies on the same hardware.

The 5G RU products have built-in antennas (which had conventionally been installed externally) equipped with beam forming, enabling efficient network deployments. These RU products have a lineup consisting of 3 types of equipment that support 5G frequencies (the 3.7 GHz band, the 4.5 GHz band, and the 28 GHz band). he products are compliant with the O-RAN fronthaul interface specifications. Using this open interface, Fujitsu's products can connect to various vendors CU/RU products. The products also support 3GPP's (Release 15) specifications.

Fujitsu said it has been working with NTT DOCOMO to develop a CU and RUs that comply with the O-RAN fronthaul interface specifications

Japan's Rakuten Mobile launches 5G service

Rakuten Mobile officially launched its commercial 5G service in Japan and announced a “Rakuten UN-LIMIT V” service plan which offers customers access to 5G services for 2,980 yen monthly. Existing subscribers of the Rakuten UN-LIMIT 2.0 service plan will be able to use 5G services for no additional cost, in 5G service areas with a 5G-compatible device.

Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, Inc., and Representative Director, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten Mobile, Inc. commented, “Less than six months since full-scale commercial launch of the world's first fully virtualized mobile network, today Rakuten Mobile takes another step forward to transform the mobile industry: We're offering customers 4G and 5G combined in one simple plan – Rakuten UN-LIMIT V – at the same low price as 4G.

Rakuten Mobile built an end-to-end fully virtualized cloud-native mobile network and launched full-scale commercial carrier services on the network in April 2020. In its 5G network, excluding the core network, all 5G network functions, such as the virtualized OpenRAN, cloud and OSS, are run on the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP), a telco platform that is based on containers for more flexible and stable development. Rakuten Mobile’s telecommunications platform utilizes equipment and software from trusted partners. Rakuten Mobile’s network offers Non-Stand Alone (NSA) 5G service from September 30, 2020. Stand Alone (SA) 5G service is planned for launch in the second quarter of 2021. 

The company says its innovative network architecture allows for substantial reductions in capital investment and operating costs. 

Overview of the service plan

  • Plan name: Rakuten UN-LIMIT V
  • Monthly fee: 2,980 yen
  • Service area: Parts of Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Hokkaido, Osaka and Hyogo (as of September 30, 2020) 
  • 5G transmission speed - As of September 30, 2020: Maximum download speed: Approx. 870Mbps / Maximum upload speed: Approx. 110Mbps
  • As of November 2020 (planned): Maximum download speed: Approx. 2.8Gbps / Maximum upload speed: Approx. 275Mbps


Orange Polska selects ADTRAN’s Gfast fiber extension solutions

 Orange Polska, Poland’s leading operator with 28% market share and over 13.7 million active customers, has selected ADTRAN’s 2nd Generation Gfast fiber extension solutions to further accelerate its delivery of high-quality, high-capacity broadband services to more homes and businesses.

“Orange Polska's ambition is to reach several thousand additional customers per year with faster broadband services, which we believe will improve their quality of life and allow more people to benefit from the Gigabit Society,” said Michal Wal, Director, Fixed Access Networks at Orange Polska. “ADTRAN was able to deliver the right solution, at scale, that will enable us to best serve our customers and achieve our network service goals today and into the future.”


“ADTRAN is committed to helping operators, like Orange Polska, build their best networks and extend the range and reach of high-capacity broadband services to any customer,” said Dr. Werner Heinrich, Head of Solutions Management at ADTRAN. “We offer the industry’s widest range of FTTH and fiber extension solutions, have the deepest access domain experience and a demonstrated commitment to delivering the open, scalable, standards-based solutions the industry needs to keep everyone connected.

AWS launches Timestream, a serverless time series database for IoT

 Amazon Web Services announced the general availability of Amazon Timestream, a new time series database for IoT and operational applications that can scale to process trillions of time series events per day up to 1,000 times faster than relational databases.  

Amazon Timestream saves customers effort and expense by keeping recent data in-memory and moving historical data to a cost-optimized storage tier based upon user-defined policies, while its query processing gives customers the ability to access and combine recent and historical data transparently across tiers with a single query, without needing to specify explicitly in the query whether the data resides in the in-memory or cost-optimized tier. 

“What we hear from customers is that they have a lot of insightful data buried in their industrial equipment, website clickstream logs, data center infrastructure, and many other places, but managing time series data at scale is too complex, expensive, and slow,” said Shawn Bice, VP, Databases, AWS. “Solving this problem required us to build something entirely new. Amazon Timestream provides a serverless database service that is purpose-built to manage the scale and complexity of time series data in the cloud, so customers can store more data more easily and cost effectively, giving them the ability to derive additional insights and drive better business decisions from their IoT and operational monitoring applications.”

Amazon Timestream is available today in US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and EU (Ireland), with availability in additional regions in the coming months.

https://aws.amazon.com/timestream

DC BLOX completes metro fiber network in Huntsville

 DC BLOX, a Tier III multi-tenant data center operator, completed contruction of a new metro fiber network in Huntsville, Alabama.

This network, achieved in partnership with Huntsville Utilities, leverages their extensive dark fiber infrastructure to provide connectivity to a vast majority of local organizations. The network is now available and ready for service. 

“Huntsville Utilities constructed a robust fiber-optic network to move our community forward,” said Wes Kelley, President and CEO of Huntsville Utilities. “It not only serves existing utility and municipal needs; it is a catalyst for innovative partners like DC BLOX, who provide cutting-edge solutions for Huntsville’s job creators. We are excited to watch as our infrastructure is paired with great services that make our community stronger.”

Elisa Finland picks Nokia for 5G

 Finnish mobile operator Elisa as the nationwide supplier of 5G RAN. 

Nokia will provide its AirScale 5G RAN portfolio. The deal continues Nokia’s long-standing partnership with Elisa into the 5G era and will focus on Elisa’s efforts to digitize Finland and make it a leading global 5G market. Deployment is expected to begin immediately.

To support digitalization in Finland, Nokia will supply its flexible AirScale 5G Radio Access portfolio for enhanced mobile connectivity, as well as additional use cases such as Massive IoT and Ultra-Reliable Low Latency services (URLLC). This strengthens the partnership Nokia and Elisa have in other areas such as Core and IP Networks, as well as in Telco Cloud and IT domain.

The project will also focus on mobile network technology migration so that new radios will serve both 5G and 4G subscribers across the country. Elisa plans to decommission its 3G network by 2023 to support its move to 5G services.]

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

DataBank to acquire Zayo's zColo data centers

DataBank agreed to acquire Zayo Group's zColo business, including 44 data centers across 23 markets in the U.S. and Europe. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal will make DataBank one of the largest privately-held data center operators in the U.S. and a leading provider of edge colocation and connectivity solutions to hyperscale, technology, and content customers across the U.S. Zayo Group will become a significant customer and continue to be an anchor tenant within the zColo facilities. Following completion of the deal, DataBank's assets will include:

  • 64 data centers in 29 markets (up from 20 data centers and 9 markets)
  • Over 3,000 customers including many Fortune 100 and leading cloud and content providers
  • Pro forma annual revenue of over $450M
  • 1.1M raised square feet of data center space
  • 141 MW of installed UPS capacity
  • Over 30,000 network cross connects
  • 18 major network interconnection points
  • 12 cloud nodes

DataBank said the acquisition also significantly accelerates its edge and hybrid cloud strategies. The expanded data center footprint provides DataBank’s customers with new geographic options for colocating their mission-critical content, data, and workloads closer to end-user populations in key markets like Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Miami, Boston, and New York City. With double the number of private cloud nodes and public-cloud on-ramps, DataBank customers will have more flexibility to design hybrid IT solutions that adapt as their infrastructure needs evolve.





“Simply put, this highly complementary acquisition will allow us to serve customers better. The strategic rationale is fully aligned with our core ‘Data Center Evolved’ strategy built around providing customers broad geographic reach as they move their content and applications closer to the edge,” said Raul K. Martynek, CEO of DataBank. “We look forward to integrating zColo into our portfolio while elevating our existing level of service to meet the increasingly diverse workloads of our enterprise customers.”


“This agreement allows both parties to focus on their core strengths,” said Dan Caruso, Zayo Group’s CEO. “We’ll continue building the most fiber-rich digital infrastructure in the world while DataBank focuses on hosting the innovations and digital workloads that our fiber and network infrastructure were designed to fuel.”


The transaction is being funded by an investor group led by Colony Capital (NYSE: CLNY), DataBank’s controlling shareholder, which includes Nuveen Real Estate and others. In addition to leading a consortium of world-class institutional investors to support the acquisition, Colony Capital is investing $145 million from its balance sheet to maintain its 20% stake in DataBank. Debt financing associated with the transaction has been underwritten by TD Securities, Truist Securities and Société Générale, acting as Joint Lead Arrangers and Joint Bookrunners for the new Credit Facility.

Telstra launches 400G service based on Ciena

 Telstra has launched commercial wavelength services based on 400G technology from Ciena. For the deployment, Ericsson delivered Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai and WaveLogic 5 Extreme solutions along with associated local professional services for optical transmission. The higher bandwidth services can now quickly be delivered with a single card, offering on-demand capacity, from 100G up to 400G. 

In a trial, Telstra also achieved 700G per wavelength transmission between Melbourne and Sydney – a distance of greater than 1,000km.

“Telstra’s network is geared for 5G, cloud computing, and applications like edge-computing, and this is a significant and fundamental upgrade to the hidden infrastructure that powers our business across Australia.  By upgrading our optical transmission networks with 400G technology, Telstra will be able to cater for capacity demands of up to 400% of what was previously achievable. The upgrade enables us to rapidly deliver services to customers at scale without fibre builds, decreasing the time to market from weeks, to days” Chris Meissner, Transport, IP Core & Edge Engineering Telstra Executive, said.

“This optical transmission upgrade is an important step in increasing capacity requirements to meet unprecedented capacity demands.  This critical infrastructure capability forms the foundation of Telstra’s current and future network requirements and ensures Telstra can achieve transmission cost efficiencies and scale to meet the traffic demands that come with media rich and next generation services including 5G and edge compute services. This latest industry milestone will ensure that Australia remains at the cutting-edge of telecommunications technology,” Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand said.

IDC: Infrastructure spending on public and private cloud increased 34.4% in Q2

Vendor revenue for infrastructure products (server, enterprise storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud environments, including public and private cloud, increased 34.4% year over year in the second quarter of 2020 (2Q20), according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker. Investments in traditional, non-cloud, IT infrastructure declined 8.7% year over year in 2Q20.

Some observations from IDC:

  • Rapid shifts in business, educational, and societal activities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic had a direct effect on IT infrastructure spending.
  • These include massive shifts to online tools in all aspects of human life, including collaboration, virtual business events, entertainment, shopping, telemedicine, and education. 
  • Spending on public cloud IT infrastructure increased 47.8% year over year in 2Q20, reaching $14.1 billion and exceeding the level of spend on non-cloud IT infrastructure for the first time. Spending on private cloud infrastructure increased 7% year over year in 2Q20 to $5 billion with on-premises private clouds accounting for 64.1% of this amount.
  • IDC believes the hardware infrastructure market has reached the tipping point and cloud environments will continue to account for an increasingly higher share of overall spending. 
  • While IDC increased its forecast for both cloud and non-cloud IT spending for the full year 2020, investments in cloud IT infrastructure are still expected to exceed spending on non-cloud infrastructure, 54.8% to 45.2%. 
  • Most of the increase in spending will be driven by public cloud IT infrastructure, which is expected to slow in 2H20 but increase by 16% year over year to $52.4 billion for the full year. Spending on private cloud infrastructure will also experience softness in the second half of the year and will reach $21.5 billion for the full year, an increase of just 0.3% year over year.
  • Within cloud deployment environments in 2020, compute platforms will remain the largest segment (50.9%) of spending at $37.7 billion while storage platforms will be the fastest-growing segment with spending increasing 21.2% to $27.8 billion, and the Ethernet switch segment will grow 3.9% year over year to $8.5 billion.
  • Spending on cloud IT infrastructure increased across all regions in 2Q20 with the two largest regions, China and the U.S., delivering the highest annual growth rates at 60.5% and 36.9% respectively. 
  • In all regions except Central & Eastern Europe and the Middle East & Africa, growth in public cloud infrastructure exceeded growth in private cloud IT.
  • At the vendor level, the results were mixed. Inspur more than doubled its revenue from sales to cloud environments, climbing into a tie* for the second position in the vendor rankings while the group of original design manufacturers (ODM Direct) grew 63.6% year over year. Lenovo's revenue exceeded $1 billion, growing at 49.3% year over year.


VMware and NVIDIA partnership spans enterprise and data center solutions

VMware and NVIDIA entered into a broad partnership to deliver both an end-to-end enterprise platform for AI and a new architecture for data center, cloud and edge that uses NVIDIA DPUs (data processing units) to support existing and next-generation applications.

Highlights:

  • AI software available on the NVIDIA NGCTM hub will be integrated into VMware vSphere, VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Tanzu. This will help accelerate AI adoption, enabling enterprises to extend existing infrastructure for AI, manage all applications with a single set of operations, and deploy AI-ready infrastructure where the data resides, across the data center, cloud and edge.
  • the companies will partner to deliver an architecture for the hybrid cloud based on SmartNIC technology, including NVIDIA’s programmable NVIDIA BlueField-2. The combination of VMware Cloud Foundation and NVIDIA BlueField-2 will offer next-generation infrastructure that is purpose-built for the demands of AI, machine learning, high-throughput and data-centric apps. It will also deliver expanded application acceleration beyond AI to all enterprise workloads and provide an extra layer of security through a new architecture that offloads critical data center services from the CPU to SmartNICs and programmable DPUs.

“We are partnering with NVIDIA to bring AI to every enterprise; a true democratization of one of the most powerful technologies,” said Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware. “We’re also collaborating to define a new architecture for the hybrid cloud—one purpose built to support the needs and demands of the next generation of applications. Together, we’re positioned to help every enterprise accelerate their use of breakthrough applications to drive their business.”

“AI and machine learning have quickly expanded from research labs to data centers in companies across virtually every industry and geography,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “NVIDIA and VMware will help customers transform every enterprise data center into an accelerated AI supercomputer. NVIDIA DPUs will give companies the ability to build secure, programmable, software-defined data centers that can accelerate all enterprise applications at exceptional value.”


Innovative Ways to Accelerate Public and Private Cloud Infrastructure

Customers deploying cloud infrastructure run into performance issues in four key areas: virtualization, SDN, storage, and security. In this video, Ash Bhalgat, Senior Director of Cloud & Telco Market Development at NVIDIA’s Networking Business Unit, explains how to achieve maximum cloud infrastructure efficiency without sacrificing performance by using NVIDIA’s Mellanox Networking products and open-source software tools.

https://youtu.be/bUf0QFJglWU




BT picks Nokia as key 5G RAN supplier

BT awarded a major contract to Nokia it making its largest 5G supplier.

As part of the deal, Nokia will provide equipment and services at BT radio sites across the UK. Nokia will supply its AirScale Single RAN (S-RAN) portfolio for both indoor and outdoor coverage, including 5G RAN, AirScale base stations and Nokia AirScale radio access products.

BT’s Nokia-powered network, which currently includes Greater London, the Midlands and rural locations, will be extended to also cover multiple other towns and cities across the United Kingdom. 

BT will also utilize Nokia Software’s ng-SDM and NetAct network management platform, supporting the network evolution to 5G. These build upon the existing network architecture and provide an immediate cornerstone and single platform for new 5G-based services. Nokia will also provide its state-of-the-art Cell Site Gateway product providing key backhaul connectivity. 

Nokia will also provide digital design and deployment for a faster time to market as well as optimization and technical support services.

Philip Jansen, CEO, BT Group said: “Digital connectivity is critical to the UK’s economic future, creating jobs and underpinning sustainable growth. That’s why BT is making game-changing investments in full fibre and 5G. In a fast-moving and competitive market, it’s critical we make the right technology choices. With this next stage of our successful relationship with Nokia we will continue to lead the rollout of fixed and mobile networks to deliver stand-out experiences for customers.”

Nokia to supply fiber solutions to Openreach

Nokia will supply its fiber solutions to Openreach to help meet its target of bringing ultra-fast and reliable broadband access to 20 million homes across the UK by the mid-to-late 2020s. Nokia will provide GPON and XGS-PON technologies to expand Openreach’s fiber-rich network to reach 4.5 million premises by the end of March 2021. The solution, which includes the 7360 ISAM FX, Nokia 7362 ISAM DF and Nokia ISAM ONTs, is capable of delivering up...



BT confirms Ericsson for 5G core

BT signed a deal to deploy Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core (Evolved Packet Core and 5G Core), a fully container-based, cloud native Mobile Packet Core for 4G, 5G Non-standalone and 5G Standalone services as a single fully integrated core. The solution, delivered on BT’s Network Cloud, will form a key component in BT’s move to a single converged IP network. It will incorporate network orchestration and automation, including continuous delivery and integration...


Lumen links with VMware

Lumen Technologies (formerly CenturyLink) and VMware announced an alliance covering edge compute, networking, and security. As part of the collaboration:

  • Lumen will deliver edge services using integrated VMware technologies. 
  • Lumen will integrate VMware SD-WAN, VMware Workspace ONE and VMware Carbon Black to deliver a “Work from Anywhere” solution on their global edge infrastructure to create thin-branch solutions for businesses of all sizes across a variety of industries.
  • Lumen will also be able to develop edge computing services for enterprises to develop new digital services using VMware Tanzu so applications can run consistently from the data center to the cloud to the edge, leveraging the Lumen network. The reach of Lumen’s distributed edge computing sites will also improve application performance with quicker access to multi-cloud environments.

“The combined capabilities of Lumen and VMware will empower organizations to take on the next phase of digital business,” said Rajiv Ramaswami, chief operating officer, products and cloud services, VMware. “We are helping customers take advantage of holistic solutions that support the people, processes, apps, and data that power business.”

NETGEAR combines multigigabit cable modem with mesh WiFi 6

 NETGEAR introduced its Orbi WiFi 6 Tri-band Mesh System with DOCSIS 3.1 built-in cable modem.

The 8 stream WiFi 6 mesh system includes a dedicated quad stream 5Ghz backhaul channel for connectivity between the router and satellite which reduces congestion while allowing all devices on the network to run faster.

“Since 2016, NETGEAR has led the mesh category with the performance of our Orbi Tri-band Mesh WiFi Systems. Now, with the combination of the leading DOCSIS 3.1 modem technology and advanced WiFi 6 mesh, cable subscribers are being introduced to a new world of broadband access with the fastest internet speeds,” said David Henry, senior vice president of Connected Home Products for NETGEAR. 

MSRP is $599.99 USD. The stand-alone Orbi Mesh Cable Modem Router can also be purchased separately to add to an existing Orbi Mesh WiFi 6 System for an MSRP of $449.99 USD. 


Monday, September 28, 2020

Microsoft launches Azure for Operators

 Microsoft launched an initiative called "Azure for Operators" that will provide core infrastructure to network operators.

The strategy aims to harness the power of the intelligent edge, connected by high-bandwidth fiber or 5G, to create new opportunities and better efficiencies for communication service providers.

Microsoft Azure for Operators is built on the company's recent acquisitio of Affirmed Networks and Metaswitch, as well as on its development of Azure Edge Zones, which are local extensions of Azure, deployed with carriers or as private infrastructure.

Jason Zander, Executive Vice President, Microsoft Azure, states "By harnessing the power of Microsoft Azure, on their edge, or in the cloud, operators can transition to a more flexible and scalable model, drive down infrastructure cost, use AI and machine learning (ML) to automate operations and create service differentiation. Furthermore, a hybrid and hyper-scale infrastructure will provide operators with the agility they need to rapidly innovate and experiment with new 5G services on a programmable network."

In a blog posting, Zander acknowledges that operators will want to have the control and visibility necessary to manage their unique industry requirements. Microsoft's network already connects with operators at more than 170 points of presence and over 20,000 peering connections around the globe.

Azure for Operators partners include Accenture, Asco’s, AT&T, Etisalat, HPE, Intel, Mavenir, RedHat, Samsung, Tech Mahindra, Telstra, Tillman Digital Cities, Verizon and VMWare, in addition to Microsoft’s own Affirmed and Metaswitch.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/microsoft-partners-with-the-telecommunications-industry-to-roll-out-5g-and-more/

Microsoft to acquire Metaswitch, extending its reach into telco cloud

Microsoft agreed to acquire Metaswitch Networks, a long-time leader in providing high-performance software to the communications industry. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Metaswitch has been a pioneer in cloud-native solutions for telecom operators. Its range of solutions include:

  • VoIP softswitches and gateways
  • VoLTE/VoWiFi
  • Voice and VoLTE interconnect
  • IMS core deployments
  • Session Border Control
  • Robocall blocking
  • Converged voice and data messaging
  • Group Communications and Collaboration
  • Cloud contact centers
Metaswitch (formerly Data Connection Ltd) was founded in 1981 and is based in London. The company is privately held.

Microsoft to acquire Affirmed Networks for telco cloud vEPC

Microsoft agreed to acquire Affirmed Networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Affirmed Networks, which is based in Acton, Massachusetts, supplies virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) solutions for mobile operators. 

Affirmed’s virtualized evolved packet solution capabilities include CUPS, 5G NSA, network slicing, integrated virtual probe, virtualized DPI, GiLAN, analytics and security services, virtualized Wi-Fi, and service automation platform. The company claims 76 deployments, including announced projects with AT&T, Etisalat, and Vodafone.


Microsoft Azure Edge Zones previews with carriers

Microsoft has begun previewing Azure Edge Zones, which are 5G customer scenarios that can leverage its cloud capabilities.

Microsoft said Azure Edge Zones and Azure Private Edge Zones will enable:

  • Development of distributed applications across cloud, on-premises, and edge using the same Azure Portal, APIs, development, and security tools.
  • Local data processing for latency critical industrial IoT and media services workloads.
  • Acceleration of IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), and real-time analytics by optimizing, building, and innovating for robotics, automation, and mixed reality.
  • New frontiers for developers working with high-density graphics and real-time operations in industries such as gaming.
  • An evolving platform built with customers, carriers, and industry partners to allow seamless integration and operation of a wide selection of Virtual Network Functions, including 5G software and SD-WAN and firewalls from technology partners such as Affirmed, Mavenir, Nuage Networks from Nokia, Metaswitch, Palo Alto Networks, and VeloCloud By VMware.
Microsoft, which has already announced an Azure Edge Zone partnership with AT&T, is now expanding the program to the following carriers: Etisalat, NTT Communications, Proximus, Rogers, SK Telecom, Telefonica, Telstra, SK Telecom, and Vodafone Business.

By connecting Azure services directly to 5G networks inside the carrier's data centers, applications will benefit from significantly reduced latency,




AT&T deploys open disaggregated core router

AT&T has deployed its open disaggregated core routing platform on its 400G transport network. The router leverages technology from Broadcom, DriveNets, and UfiSpace. 

The white box hardware, which was designed and manufactured by UfiSpace, is based on Broadcom’s Jericho2 switching silicon and Distributed, Dis-aggregated Chassis (DDC) design. It consists of three components: a 40x100G line card system, 10x400G line card system, and a 48x400G fabric system. These building blocks can be deployed in various configurations to build routers with capacity anywhere between 4 Tbps to 192 Tbps.

DriveNets Network Cloud solution and its  Network Operating System (NOS) software provides the management and control of the white box hardware. This enables MPLS transport across AT&T's global, multi-service core backbone. The software then connects into AT&T’s centralized SDN controller that optimizes the routing of traffic across the core.

AT&T notes that the deployment of this dis-aggregated core routing platform is coupled with the deployment of the company’s next gen long haul 400G optical transport platform.

“I’m proud to announce today that we have now deployed a next gen IP/MPLS core routing platform into our production network based on the open hardware designs we submitted to OCP last fall,” said Andre Fuetsch, AT&T’s CTO of Network Services, in his keynote speech at the Open Networking and Edge Summit (ONES). “We chose DriveNets, a disruptive supplier, to provide the Network Operating System (NOS) software for this core use case.”

“We are thrilled about this opportunity to work with AT&T on the development of their next gen, software-based core network,” said Ido Susan, CEO of DriveNets. “AT&T has a rigorous certification process that challenged my engineers to their limits, and we are delighted to take the project to the next level with deployment into the production network.”

AT&T contributes Distributed Disaggregated Chassis white box to OCP

AT&T has contributed its specifications for a Distributed Disaggregated Chassis (DDC) white box architecture to the Open Compute Project (OCP). The contributed design aims to define a standard set of configurable building blocks to construct service provider-class routers, ranging from single line card systems, a.k.a. “pizza boxes,” to large, disaggregated chassis clusters.  AT&T said it plans to apply the design to the provider edge (PE) and core routers that comprise its global IP Common Backbone (CBB).

“The release of our DDC specifications to the OCP takes our white box strategy to the next level,” said Chris Rice, SVP of Network Infrastructure and Cloud at AT&T. “We’re entering an era where 100G simply can’t handle all of the new demands on our network. Designing a class of routers that can operate at 400G is critical to supporting the massive bandwidth demands that will come with 5G and fiber-based broadband services. We’re confident these specifications will set an industry standard for DDC white box architecture that other service providers will adopt and embrace.”

AT&T’s DDC white box design, which is based on Broadcom’s Jericho2 chipset, calls for three key building blocks:

  • A line card system that supports 40 x 100G client ports, plus 13 400G fabric-facing ports.
  • A line card system that support 10 x 400G client ports, plus 13 400G fabric-facing ports.
  • A fabric system that supports 48 x 400G ports. A smaller, 24 x 400G fabric systems is also included.

AT&T points out that the line cards and fabric cards are implemented as stand-alone white boxes, each with their own power supplies, fans and controllers, and the backplane connectivity is replaced with external cabling. This approach enables massive horizontal scale-out as the system capacity is no longer limited by the physical dimensions of the chassis or the electrical conductance of the backplane. Cooling is significantly simplified as the components can be physically distributed if required. The strict manufacturing tolerances needed to build the modular chassis and the possibility of bent pins on the backplane are completely avoided.

Four typical DDC configurations include:

  • A single line card system that supports 4 terabytes per second (Tbps) of capacity.
  • A small cluster that consists of 1 plus 1 (added reliability) fabric systems and up to 4 line card systems. This configuration would support 16 Tbps of capacity.
  • A medium cluster that consists of 7 fabric systems and up to 24 line card systems. This configuration supports 96 Tbps of capacity.
  • A large cluster that consists of 13 fabric systems and up to 48 line card systems. This configuration supports 192 Tbps of capacity.
  • The links between the line card systems and the fabric systems operate at 400G and use a cell-based protocol that distributes packets across many links. The design inherently supports redundancy in the event fabric links fail.

DriveNet scales its disaggregated router to 400G

DriveNets, a start-up based in Israel, announced 400G-port routing support to its Network Cloud software-based disaggregated router.

The company says its Network Cloud is the only router on the market designed to scale 100/400G ports up to performance of 768 Tbps. Inspired by the hyperscalers, Network Cloud runs the routing data plane on cost-efficient white-boxes and the control plane on standard servers, disconnecting network cost from capacity growth.


DriveNets’ latest routing software release supports a packet-forwarding white-box based on Broadcom’s Jericho2 chipset which has high-speed, high-density port interfaces of 100G and 400G.

The platform is now being tested and certified by a tier-1 Telco customer.

DriveNets was founded in 2015 by Ido Susan and Hillel Kobrinsky. Susan previously co-founded Intucell, which was acquired by Cisco for $475 million. Kobrinsky founded the web conferencing specialist, Interwise, which was acquired by AT&T for $121 million.

In February, the company emerged from stealth with $110 Million in Series A funding.