Monday, April 16, 2012

Sunrise Adds IPv6, 10G SONET/SDH, VoIP and Copper Tests

Sunrise Telecom has enhanced its RxT Smart Productivity Test Platform with the addition of testing capabilities for IPv6, 10G SONET/SDH, VoIP, and copper:

IPv6 testing: The addition of IPv6 testing capabilities to the RxT 10GE module enables customers to migrate their networks from IPv4 to IPv6 and perform the same layer 2/3 service activation tests in IPv6-based networks.

PDH/SDH/SONET testing: The new RxT TEN Module combined with the already successful RxT SDH/SONET module allows the RxT platform to offer full PDH/SDH/SONET functionality, up to 10G from DS1/E1 to STM-64/OC-192 in a single platform.

SIP testing: The RxT platform now includes both a SIP phone client and packet capture application which enables basic end-to-end VoIP testing and analysis.

Copper testing: The RxT 2160 TDR/DMM Module for testing basic copper functions. The new module complements the RxT’s existing DSL test modules which already support ADSL2/2+, VDSL2 and SHDSL.bis testing.

SOFTBANK MOBILE Awards LTE Contract to Ericsson

Ericsson announced a contract to build an LTE radio access network for SOFTBANK MOBILE. The deployment will cover Japan's major cities - Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya - which together account for 70 percent of the country's total data and voice traffic. SOFTBANK MOBILE is currently Japan's third-largest mobile operator, with more than 29 million subscribers.

In addition, Ericsson will upgrade SOFTBANK MOBILE's packet core network, including systems integration and deployment of an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) solution, and build a new LTE radio access network using RBS 6000 multi-standard base stations. This will allow SOFTBANK MOBILE users to experience the best possible networks in one of the world's most densely populated areas such as Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya.

Vyatta Debuts Vplane Forwarding Plane Software

Vyatta introduced a highly scalable forwarding plane software solution for next-generation enterprise and cloud network designs.

Vyatta vPlane's fast-path architecture promises far better performance than the company's previous generation software on the same off-the-shelf hardware. Leveraging the new fast-path architecture on an Intel Westmere-class system, Vyatta vPlane is capable of delivering more than 8 million packets per second per core, more than a 10x improvement over Vyatta without vPlane. Additionally, since vPlane scales linearly with the addition of cores, an entire Westmere system can deliver 35 million packets per second in only a single rack-unit of datacenter space.

A key advantage is the physical decoupling of the software forwarding plane from the control plane.

Vyatta said its implementation is able to accommodate new and emerging standards such as OpenFlow.

MegaPath Expands Ethernet Over Copper Footprint Across U.S.

As the result of its latest buildout in central offices across the country, MegaPath, the new local exchange carrier formed through the merger of Speakeasy, Covad Communications and MegaPath, now claims to be the largest provider of on-net Ethernet over Copper (EoC) services in the United States.

MegaPath offers EoC on its network in 19 major markets, including Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Miami and San Francisco, reaching millions of businesses with symmetrical speeds up to 45 Mbps

Tellabs Appoints CFO

Tellabs appointed Andrew Szafran as its new chief financial officer (CFO), replacing Timothy J. Wiggins, who resigned in December to accept the CFO position at DeVry.

Prior to joining Tellabs, Szafran served as senior vice president and CFO at APAC Customer Services, a leading BPO (business process outsourcing) firm, since 2008. Szafran previously served as vice president and CFO for Communications Supply Corp., a distributor of IP infrastructure products and solutions.

Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Network Rollout Continues

This week, the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network is being activated in 27 new markets and expanded in 44 markets. With these activations, Verizon Wireless will have 4G LTE network coverage in 230 markets across the United States. By the end of 2012, the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network will be available in more than 400 markets, and will be available to more than 260 million people in the United States.

"Verizon Wireless 4G LTE is the premier wireless data service in the nation, with more than six times the geographic coverage of our nearest competitor's 4G LTE network and now available to more than two-thirds of the nation's population," said David Small, chief technical officer of Verizon Wireless. "We will continue to introduce new markets and expand covered markets to ensure even more wireless users across the United States can take advantage of the benefits that 4G LTE brings to consumers, small businesses and enterprises."

Verizon Financial Network Cuts Latency for Chicago - NYC

Verizon has implemented a number of network enhancement to cut latency for ultra-fast financial trading along the key Chicago to New York City route. The Verizon Financial Network is now offering speeds as low as 14.5 milliseconds round-trip, one of the fastest speeds in the industry.

The performance gain is achieved in part with Ciena's 6500 Packet-Optical Platform. Verizon's premier service features full network monitoring and management for both latency and availability.

CME Group, the world's leading and most diverse financial derivatives marketplace, will be among the first customers for the Verizon Financial Network Premier Low-Latency Service and will use it in its Aurora, Ill., data and colocation center to enable companies in Chicago and New York to trade on CME Group's platforms and exchange market data in a low-latency environment.

NEC: "SDN is Ready to Go!"

NEC has made an early bet on OpenFlow and software defined networking (SDN), said Kaoru Yano, Chairman of the Board of NEC Corporation, in a keynote address at the Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara, California. The company has been involved in SDN since its early days at Stanford and has played a leading role in many OpenFlow projects in Japan and around the world. This pioneering effort is really an extension of the company's long term research in computers and communications.

Some key points from his presentation:
  • The value proposition of SDN can be summed up as follows: simple, fast, scalable, and open.

  • SDN's key function is to automatically manage network traffic and distribute it as needed.

  • SDN enables network traffic t0 be scaled and managed because network control is separated from network hardware.

  • SDN allows users to upgrade the network independently of the hardware.

  • NEC's OpenFlow formula is: Simplification + Virtualization + Visualization.

  • NEC's unique SDN proposition is a logical abstraction called the Virtual Tenant Network -- this enables the complete separation of the logical plane from the physical plane. Users can design the Layer 2/3 network as they wish and then this design will be automatically mapped to the physical hardware.

  • NEC's ProgrammableFlow enables drag-and-drop configuration of virtual tenants in a data center.

  • NEC currently has 100+ SDN system trials underway.

  • Current SDN applications will include academic networks, data centers, enterprise networks and the backbone infrastructure of telecom carriers.

  • Geneis Hosting Solutions is using SDN to provide flexible global IP address assignment. The deployment has achieved a 60% reduction in global IP address and saved 100 hours per week of service support. The network has achieved 99.999% availability.

  • Nippon Express using NEC's ProgrammableFlow to achieve virtualization flexibility and reduce service delivery time. The deployment reduced tithe rack space required for core switches by 70% and reduced power consumption by 80%.

  • NEC is using Programmable Flow for its own multi-purpose data center. Following last year's earthquake and tsunami, NEC needed to relocate data center facilities to western Japan due to power restrictions. ProgrammableFlow simplified this transfer process.

  • Software-defined networking can provide much smarter congestion control and recovery following a major disaster as experienced last year.

The Open Networking Summit is planning to post a video of their conference following the event.

Google Links Data Centers with Software-defined Networking

WAN economics to date have not made Google happy, said Urs Hoelzle, SVP of Technical Infrastructure and Google Fellow, speaking at the Open Networking Summit 2012 in Santa Clara, California. Ideally, the cost per bit should go down as the network scales, but this is not really true in a really massive backbone like Google's. This scale requires more expensive hardware and manual management of very complex software. The goal should be to manage the WAN as a fabric and not as a collection of individual boxes. Current equipment and protocols do not allow this. Google's ambition is to build a WAN that is higher performance, more fault tolerant and cheaper.

Some notes from his presentation:
  • Google currently operates two WAN backbones. I-Scale is the Internet facing backbone that carries user traffic. It must have bulletproof performance. G-Scale is the internal backbone that carries traffic between Google's data centers worldwide. The G-Scale network has been used to experiment with SDN.

  • Google chose to pursue SDN in order to separate hardware from software. This enables it to choose hardware based on necessary features and to choose software based on protocol requirements.

  • SDN provides logically, centralized network control. The goal is to be more deterministic, more efficient and more fault-tolerant.

  • SDN enables better centralized traffic engineering, such as an ability for the network to converge quickly to target optimum on a link failure.

  • Deterministic behavior should simplify planning vs over provisioning for worst case variability.

  • The SDN controller uses modern server hardware, giving it more flexibility than conventional routers.

  • Switches are virtualized with real OpenFlow and the company can attach real monitoring and alerting servers. Testing is vastly simplified.

  • The move to SDN is really about picking the right tool for the right job.

  • Google's OpenFlow WAN activity really started moving in 2010. Less than two years later, Google is now running the G-Scale network on OpenFlow-controlled switches. 100% of its production data center to data center traffic is now on this new SDN-powered network.

  • Google built their own OpenFlow switch because none were commercially available. The switch was built from merchant silicon. It has scaled to hundred of nonblocking 10GE ports.

  • Google's practice is to simplify every software stack and hardware element as much as possible, removing anything that is not absolutely necessary.

  • Multiple switch chassis are used in each domain.

  • Google is using open source routing stacks for BGP and ISIS.

  • The OpenFlow-controlled switches look like regular routers. BGP/ISIS/OSPF now interfaces with OpenFlow controller to program the switch state.

  • All data center backbone traffic is now carried by the new network. The old network is turned off.

  • Google started rolling out centralized traffic engineering in January.

  • Google is already seeing higher network utilization and gaining the benefit of flexible management of end-to-end paths for maintenance.

  • Over the past six months, the new network has seen a high degree of stability with minimal outages.

  • The new SDN-powered network is meeting the company's SLAs.

  • It is still too early to quantify the economics.

  • A key benefit is the unified view of the network fabric -- higher QoS awareness and predictability.

  • The OpenFlow protocol is really barebones at this point, but it is good enough for real world networks at Google scale.

  • 100% of traffic carried on the new network.
The Open Networking Summit is planning to post a video of their conference following the event.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Open Networking Summit - Video Interview with Dan Pitt

OpenFlow -- or software defined networking -- is clearly one of the industry's hottest trends, as it promises to bring the power of virtualization, the scalability of the cloud and the economics of commodity hardware. This interview with Dan Pitt, Executive Director of the Open Networking Foundation covers:

1:36 -- What is the mission of the ONF?

1:50 -- Is the ONF a standards setting body?

2:27 -- Has interest in SDF come primarily from data center application, telecom networks or both?

2:48 -- What has the ONF accomplished in its first year?

3:28 -- Attendance at the Open Networking is sold out. What makes it so hot?

4:01 -- What new at this latest summit?

4:34 -- Is SDN making the transition to early adopter phase?

5:12 -- What other resources are available?

Level 3 Boosts its CDN Capacity

Level 3 Communications has boosted its globally available CDN capacity to more than 5.6 Tbps (terabits per second) from 2.15 Tbps in late 2010.

In addition to increasing its CDN capacity, Level 3 has expanded its CDN service offering to new markets in Buenos Aires (Argentina); Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Medellin (Colombia); Jeddah (Saudi Arabia); and Montreal and Toronto (Canada). Level 3 is also continuing its work to grow its deployments in Africa, Asia Pacific, Latin America and North America.

"Level 3's growing CDN and network scalability helped us expand our business into new markets, specifically Latin America, the UK and Ireland," said Greg Peters, vice president of Product Development for Netflix. "Level 3's speed, consistency and ability to scale help us deliver a great Netflix experience for our members worldwide."

Level 3 noted that CDN services represented approximately two percent of its Core Network Services (CNS) revenue in 2011. The company expects its CDN platform will continue to represent approximately two percent of CNS revenue in 2012.

Level 3 is also introducing a service that enables companies to see an objective, third-party analysis of their websites’ video streaming performance in real time across all content delivery networks (CDNs). The new service, Client Side Statistics, is fully integrated within Level 3’s MediaPortal, with data analyzed by Conviva – a market leader in video optimization and viewer experience.

ADVA Optical Debuts Syncjack for Mobile Backhaul Networks

ADVA Optical Networking introduced its new Syncjack suite for delivering precise timing synchronization and assurance across mobile backhaul networks.

Syncjack features a rich implementation of SyncE and IEEE 1588v2 functionality guaranteeing highly accurate delivery of timing information across any network. The MEF-certified UNI function of the FSP 150 includes support for a large number of EVCs as and hierarchical QoS management. SLA verification can be performed on a per-service basis to ensure high latency, jitter and packet delivery performance

Ixia Partners with QualiSystems and ONPATH for Lab Automation

Ixia is partnering with QualiSystems and ONPATH Technologies to offer integrated test lab automation, from network test and measurement equipment, lab topology control, lab re-cabling and reconfiguration, to resource tracking, schedule management, and analytic software. The combined solution centralized control of multi-vendor test gear, automation of manual testing, and off-hours testing. Specifically, Ixia’s Test Composer automation software operates with QualiSystems and ONPATH products to provide quick access to a consolidated lab automation environment.

QualiSystems’ TestShell software enables control over Ixia test equipment and other resources in the lab, simplifying reconfiguration of devices as necessary to execute each test. With its embedded integration and control over ONPATH physical layer switches, the combined solution enables extensive, global lab management, topology creation, test bed and device under test (DUT) provisioning, and full-blown test automation. This high level of integration and control with “push button�? ease accelerates productivity and increases overall lab performance.

SOFTBANK MOBILE selects Nokia Siemens Networks

SOFTBANK MOBILE has selected Nokia Siemens Networks to supply, deploy and integrate its 4G, FDD-LTE (Frequency Division Duplex) network across Japan. SOFTBANK MOBILE expects to offer LTE services in autumn 2012. Under a separate contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will also expand SOFTBANK MOBILE’s HSPA+ network to enable new services using the recently allocated 900 MHz frequency band. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia Siemens Networks will supply its Flexi Multiradio Base Station. It will also provide optimized backhaul transport with its FlexiPacket Microwave platform.

Junichi Miyakawa, Executive Vice President, Director and CTO at SOFTBANK MOBILE said, “SOFTBANK MOBILE is witnessing a major upsurge in subscriber numbers with now over 28 million customers. We are committed to providing people with the best mobile internet experience through the launch of 4G, using FDD-LTE, and enhanced, nationwide, HSPA+ network coverage. Nokia Siemens Networks’ mobile broadband technology and services will help us deliver on this commitment. Importantly, Nokia Siemens Networks’ familiarity with our existing network environment offers cost savings as well as enables a faster roll-out of high-quality mobile broadband services."

Hibernia and Colt Announce Strategic Agreement

Hibernia Media, the fiber-based video transport division of Hibernia Atlantic, and has entered a strategic relationship with Colt to connect their European and US broadcast networks globally. Under the agreement, Colt has selected Hibernia Media’s platform to deliver managed broadcast services from its customers in Europe into the US, expanding reach and creating a seamless content-delivery system.

Hibernia Media brings Colt’s European customers over 45,000km of terrestrial and trans-Atlantic fiber connectivity and over 100 POPs in the US and Europe, with another 50+ on-net media customer nodes. Hibernia Media offers a Content Exchange Center (CEC) for native HD content delivery from programmers to cable and consumer satellite distributors.

The service will be available to customers from May 15, 2012.

Rackspace Introduces 'Cloud Powered by OpenStack'

Rackspace introduced its Next Generation Public Cloud powered by OpenStack and featuring Cloud Servers, Cloud Databases, Cloud Block Storage, Cloud Networks, a completely new cloud Control Panel, Cloud Monitoring and support for the OpenStack API.

Rackspace is using OpenStack "Quantum" and Nicira's Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) to automate network services independent of data center network hardware. The design is expected to promote operational simplicity and reduce the costs of managing Rackspace's large-scale, multi-tenant clouds.

OpenStack Quantum allows users to programmatically create and manage logically abstracted network services. Leveraging Quantum's pluggable architecture and extensible API, Nicira has delivered an NVP plug-in which allows OpenStack environments to take full advantage of a Nicira distributed virtualized network infrastructure

Rackspace's new Cloud Servers are provisioned and managed by the new OpenStack API as well as via a control panel. Cloud Databases, powered by OpenStack – gives customers API access to massively scalable, high availability MySQL database that is based on SAN storage for high performance and provides automated management of common database tasks.

"The open era of the cloud is a reality and Rackspace has positioned itself at the forefront of this massive, technological shift," said Lanham Napier, CEO of Rackspace. "We’re drawing a line in the sand against proprietary cloud providers. With this launch, Rackspace is providing an open cloud alternative, backed by Fanatical Support and our core expertise on OpenStack, to deliver a strong product portfolio that will help customers navigate their way through an increasingly complex cloud environment.�?

Nicira noted that it initiated, leads and is the most active participant in the 'Quantum' project. Nicira's Dan Wendlandt is the Project Technical Lead (PTL) for Quantum.

Sprint to Launch Wholesale Cloud Services

Sprint is preparing to launch Wholesale Cloud Services later this year, providing a suite of applications for SMB-focused resellers.

The idea is to package multi-vendor hosted software services with a software delivery platform. The Sprint Wholesale Cloud Services portfolio consists of both Software as a Service (SaaS) and Communications as a Service (CaaS) solutions intended to help SMBs grow their business. SMBs can take advantage of SaaS product offerings to increase efficiency in the areas of business process, archiving, Web commerce and security. Sprint’s CaaS portfolio offers access to many of today’s preferred communications enablement software solutions.

"Sprint Wholesale Cloud Services enable Wholesale partners and their customers to get to market faster by reducing the number of contracts they are required to manage and aggregating all of the software offerings through a single Web interface,�? said Ben Vos, vice president, Wholesale Business Operations - Sprint. “We’ve minimized the initial capital expenditure required to enter the Cloud Services marketplace, allowing our clients to service their SMB customers with top-tier software solutions, without breaking the bank."

NEC's OpenFlow Enables Multitenant Network Virtualization

NEC released its next generation OpenFlow solution, featuring the ability to design, deploy, monitor and manage secure, multitenant networks from a single point of control.

NEC's ProgrammableFlow 2.0 Product Suite builds upon the OpenFlow 1.0 standard to provide more control of network resources, while maintaining interoperability with other OpenFlow compliant equipment. The company said its multitenant network virtualization technology provides the ability to programmatically manage the way traffic flows across the network, optimizing use of existing network resources and the appliances, servers, and storage connecting to the network.

ProgrammableFlow 2.0 Updates Include:

Policy Based Multipath Routing – The physical path traffic takes across the network can be distributed across equal cost links and by path policy. The path policy can be customized dynamically based on traffic type, providing policy based traffic steering.

Point and Click Network Deployment - Virtual networks can be created and deployed from a single user interface. Leveraging NEC’s Virtual Tenant Network (VTN) technology, the Version 2.0 of the ProgrammableFlow Controller interface allows operators to create/delete virtual networks, manage virtual network topology setting, and configuration.

Network Service/Appliance Failover – ProgrammableFlow continuously monitors the status of network services and can automatically redirect traffic to services in the case the primary service is no longer reachable.

Bandwidth Monitor – With the bandwidth monitor function, statistical information can be periodically obtained from OpenFlow switches. The number of bytes received from the physical port of the switches can be collected.

"This release of the ProgrammableFlow 2.0 extends NEC’s lead in software defined networking," said Don Clark, Director of Business Development, IT Platform Technologies, NEC Corporation of America. "Deployed as data center fabric or as a virtualization layer for network services, ProgrammableFlow version 2.0’s automation and ease of use allows customers to quickly deploy and gain the benefits of a software defined network."

Broadcom Adds Energy Efficient 10GBASE-T Transceivers

Broadcom has added two energy efficient Ethernet (EEE) 10GBASE-T physical layer transceivers (PHYs) optimized for top-of-rack switches, 10GbE server adapters and LOMs (LAN on motherboard) in the data center.

The new quad-port BCM84844 and dual-port BCM84846 substantially reduce power consumption at 10GE to less than two watts per port through the use of EEE, and extend the benefits of EEE to include all device speeds including 1GbE. The devices are based on Broadcom's second generation 40 nanometer (nm) technology. Broadcom's AutoGrEEEn technology enables systems with legacy MACs to get the power savings of EEE in periods of reduced link utilization. Both PHYs provide on-chip IEEE802.1ae MACsec link layer security and 1588v2 precision time protocol (PTP), delivering precise and accurate synchronization of nodes in the network.

Broadcom said these new devices maintain pin compatibility to previous Broadcom devices (BCM84834 and BCM84836) and integration with Broadcom's broad portfolio of switch, controller, and adapter solutions. This includes PHY drivers within Broadcom's Software Development Kit (SDK) and common implementations of MACsec and 1588v2 PTP.

Texas Instruments Implements JPEG 2000 HD on Multicore DSP

Texas Instruments is enabling a real-time HD JPEG 2000 codec on a multicore digital signal processor (DSP).

Specifically, four TI TMS320C6678 multicore DSPs with JPEG 2000 codecs are available on Advantech's, new DSPC-8681E half-length PCI express card, enabling it to support 2K/4K resolution video encoding/decoding. Because TI's C6678 DSP is entirely software based, switching codecs and parameters is seamless for developers, unlike on a FPGA.

"TI's new codec implementations on Advantech's PCIe-based video engines offer equipment manufacturers the true flexibility that an all software methodology brings to video processing," said David Lin, director DSP solutions, Advantech. "This allows them to deploy leading edge hardware today with product lifecycles significantly extended by software, resulting in a lower total-cost-of-ownership and future-proofed solutions for their customers."