Sunday, August 5, 2012

Demystifying SDN for Carrier Ethernet Networks

by Sandy Orlando,  
     
8/6/2012

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is the hottest new technology in networking. Google is running its backbone network traffic on an SDN network built using OpenFlow. Nicira was acquired by VMware for $1.26 billion to accelerate the adoption of network virtualization in the data center. Yet with all the buzz about SDN, it is not clear how it will be deployed in service provider networks and what it means to the expansion of Carrier Ethernet. 



Tsunami of data driving change


SDN and Carrier Ethernet are not mutually exclusive technologies. What’s more, both technologies help address the growing tsunami of data driven by the growth in mobile phones and tablets, the emergence of BIG DATA, and the rise in machine-to-machine communications.
Not only is the amount of data exploding, but the characteristics of that traffic are changing with over 70 percent of network traffic on mobile networks streaming media. As service providers roll-out new network services, they struggle with how to keep pace with growing consumer and business demand and how to grow their Average Revenue per User (ARPU) faster than costs. The growing appetite for new services as well as the pace of rolling out new services every three to six months is straining service provider networks.

In comes Carrier Ethernet and SDN

There is no secret why Carrier Ethernet is a $25 billion dollar business, expected to grow to over $47 billion by 2015. Carrier Ethernet offers significant cost advantages for service providers providing WAN transport for a wide-range of services, including mobile backhaul. With Carrier Ethernet, service providers can provide high-value-per-bit at a lower-cost-per-bit while maintaining the reliability and predictable performance required by even the most latency-sensitive applications.

The next stage of Carrier Ethernet growth will come from cloud services and Carrier Ethernet interconnects, combined with virtualized network services. The cost advantages of Ethernet alone cannot keep pace with the uncontrollable demand for bandwidth combined with the emergence of on-demand network services. The next generation of Carrier Ethernet solutions will need a new approach to network equipment design and architecture provided by SDN.

SDN fundamentals

Software Defined Networking is a new approach to architecting networking equipment that fundamentally changes the way we design and build networks in a data center and over a wide-area network (WAN). SDN moves from the monolithic network equipment design based on custom silicon, a custom control plane, and tightly integrated network applications (services) to a modular, programmable, and distributed design (figure 1).


Figure 1: Network architecture transformation.
 
The key to SDN is the decoupling of network control from traffic forwarding. This migration to a separate software-based controller offers a number of key advantages:
  • Programmability
  • Network application (service) abstraction
  • Global network view
Whether these controllers are based on the emerging OpenFlow standard or a hybrid of legacy switching/routing alongside OpenFlow, the network intelligence is centralized and appears to applications and policy engines as a single logical switch, which simplifies network design and operations.

Distributed traffic forwarders can be added as demand dictates, reducing costly oversubscription of network bandwidth. Moreover, the separation of the network services enables service providers to more quickly add new services without having to forklift networking devices.

The role of OpenFlow

OpenFlow is a communications interface between the control and forwarding layers in an SDN architecture. It allows direct access to and manipulation of the forwarding plane of physical and virtual network devices. The OpenFlow standard is developed by the Open Networking Foundation which was launched in 2011 by Duetsche Telecom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo.

The current version of OpenFlow (version 1.3) provides an instruction set for networks analogous to the x86 instruction set for PCs. The Open Flow (figure 2) protocol includes flow tables (generic primitives) that sit on top of (virtual) switch Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM) and can perform the following actions:
  • Switching and routing
  • Firewalling
  • Switching non-OpenFlow logic locally
  • Sending to controller for processing


Figure 2: OpenFlow, courtesy of Open Networking Foundation, 2012

Other SDN standards and research

In addition to OpenFlow, there are several other standards and research activities for SDN, including:
  • Open Networking Foundation: Hybrid programmable forwarding planes
  • ITEF:
    • MPLS-TP Pseudowire configuration using OpenFlow 1.3 (draft-medved-pwe3-of-config-00)
    • SDNi: A Message Exchange Protocol for Software Defined Networks (SDNS) across Multiple Domains (draft-yin-sdn-sdni-00.txt)
    • Use Cases for ALTO with Software Defined Networks (draft-xie-alto-sdn-use-cases-01.txt)
  • MEF: is working on cloud-computing and SDN standards
See the ONF and IETF websites for full list of SDN standards.

SDN is important for the future of Carrier Ethernet

Software Defined Networking is important for the evolution of Carrier Ethernet. It provides a new mechanism for architecting networking equipment and network designs. Moreover, implementing SDN does not necessarily require a rip and replace strategy. Service providers and network equipment vendors can begin identifying the high-value use cases to take advantage of the flexibility and programmability of SDN. These can include:

  • Dynamically partitioning access points and cell radios on demand based on a number of different parameters, including carrier, usage, identity, device type at the mobile edge, enabling optimal use of spectrum, Wi-Fi, and Carrier Ethernet mobile backhaul links.
  • Pooled compute and storage across geographically distributed data centers, connected with Carrier Ethernet transport using SDN, which will carve out bandwidth and allocate optimal use of bandwidth.
  • Traffic steering for content management and distribution, providing granular routing of traffic based on a wide-range of parameters such as subscriber policy, application type, and cache asset.

Waves of adoption

SDN is in its infancy and we have seen the first waves of adoption washing over the data center. For service providers and Carrier Ethernet equipment manufacturers, now is the time to begin researching SDN and identifying use cases that will drive future business.

While the ITEF and the MEF are beginning to explore SDN, the best place to learn about the technology is the Open Networking Foundation: https://www.opennetworking.org/. The ONF is the standards body for SDN and OpenFlow, and has tutorials and the OpenFlow specifications. In addition, the proceedings from the Open Networking Summit from April 2012 are online at http://opennetsummit.org/. There are a number sessions from service providers and vendors on SDN for carrier networks.

As the tsunami of data grows, the emergence of SDN in carrier networks is inevitable. Only a fundamental change in how we architect networks can prepare us for the dynamic growth in communications in the coming decades. Carrier Ethernet will continue to grow. As network equipment providers adopt SDN architectures, service providers will see more opportunities to accelerate new and profitable network services.

About the Author

Sandy Orlando is a high-tech marketing executive with extensive experience in developing winning business strategies for networking and virtualization companies. She transformed the marketing strategy for IP Infusion, moving it from a point protocol provider to the leader in SDN embedded networking platforms. She has written about trends in carrier and enterprise networking and has spoken at data center and Ethernet conferences regarding the network transition to SDN.


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Dell'Oro: Wireless LAN Market to Expand by Over 50 Percent in 2016

Overall Wireless LAN market revenues are forecast to reach almost $10 billion in 2016, an increase of 54% over 2011 revenues, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. 

The report details why the Enterprise segment will nearly double over 2011 levels (rising to $5 billion in revenues in 2016), while the SOHO segment will rise more slowly to $4.6 billion. Also included in the report are estimates on total SP WiFi units and revenue forecasts.

"With the 802.11ac upgrade cycle now underway, we are more confident in our projections. In addition, we are raising our forecast for service provider use of WiFi based on very strong growth trends now underway," said Chris DePuy, Analyst of Wireless LAN research at Dell'Oro Group. "We expect that by early next year, the availability of five gigahertz radio smartphones will stimulate a new phase in demand for both 802.11ac and SP WiFi," added DePuy. 
http://www.DellOro.com 06-Aug-12





Friday, August 3, 2012

Samsung and Anritsu Demo LTE Broadcast Services (eMBMS)

Samsung Electronics demonstrated clear reception capabilities of LTE Broadcast services using evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) technology. 

 Samsung used Anritsu's Rapid Test Designer (RTD) and MD8430A to simulate the LTE network environment. The Samsung engineers were able to create the eMBMS demonstration using RTD's graphical script design to drive the execution of the test simulation on an Anritsu MD8430A LTE signaling tester.

eMBMS technology allows the LTE network infrastructure to be used for the delivery of broadcast services, such as TV.

"Anritsu is delighted that Samsung, the world's largest cell phone maker, has selected the technology-leading capabilities of the RTD and MD8430A to verify the implementation of eMBMS capability in its devices," stated Kenji Tanaka, Executive Vice President at Anritsu. "Samsung's demonstration shows how Anritsu's RTD helps LTE device makers prove their leading-edge technology in an intensely competitive market where reducing the product launch cycle time is critical to success."

"We have used Anritsu test equipment from the very beginning of our LTE development programs," said Inyup Kang, Executive Vice President at Samsung Electronics. "Anritsu's RTD and MD8430A have made a significant contribution to our leading position in the LTE device market." 
http://www.samsung.com http:www.anritsu.com 03-Aug-12

U.S. Opposes Changes to International Telecommunications Regulations


The U.S. State Department has submitted its first group of proposals to the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), which will be held at the end of this year in Dubai.

 WCIT intends to review and potentially revise the treaty-level International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), which govern the flow of traffic between nations and which have not been amended since 1988.

The U.S. proposals include:
  • Minimal changes to the preamble of the ITRs;
  • Alignment of the definitions in the ITRs with those in the ITU Constitution and Convention, including no change to the definitions of telecommunications and international telecommunications service;
  • Maintaining the voluntary nature of compliance with ITU-T Recommendations;
  • Continuing to apply the ITRs only to recognized operating agencies or RoAs; i.e., the ITRs’ scope should not be expanded to address other operating agencies that are not involved in the provision of authorized or licensed international telecommunications services to the public; and
  • Revisions of Article 6 to affirm the role played by market competition and commercially negotiated agreements for exchanging international telecommunication traffic.
The U.S. WCIT Head of Delegation, Ambassador Terry Kramer, stated: “The ITRs have served well as a foundation for growth in the international market,” Ambassador Kramer said. “We want to preserve the flexibility contained in the current ITRs, which has helped create the conditions for rapid evolution of telecommunications technologies and markets around the world... We will not support any effort to broaden the scope of the ITRs to facilitate any censorship of content or blocking the free flow of information and ideas. The United States also believes that the existing multi-stakeholder institutions, incorporating industry and civil society, have functioned effectively and will continue to ensure the health and growth of the Internet and all of its benefits.” 
http://www.state.gov/

documents/organization/196244.
pdf 03-Aug-12


Intelsat 20 Successfully Launched

 Intelsat 20 satellite was successfully launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana.

 Built by Space Systems/Loral, Intelsat 20 will provide C-band and Ku-band for DTH television, cellular backhaul and VSAT services. The Intelsat 20 video neighborhood provides premium programming that is carried by the top Indian cable MSOs and DTH operators, reaching more than an estimated 90 million Pay-TV subscribers across India. Intelsat 20 also hosts the largest DTH platform in Africa.

Intelsat 20 will replace Intelsat 7 and Intelsat 10 at 68.5° East, and is expected to have a service life of more than 18 years. 
http://www.intelsat.com 




CC to Update Cable TV Technical Rules

The FCC is proposing to modernize and reform its cable television technical rules, many of which extend back to the analog era. The FCC said its goal is to permit the industry to utilize their existing spectrum more efficiently, while also ensuring good quality signals for digital cable customers . The proposed revision will streamline compliance for operators of digital cable systems and update cable signal leakage rules. http://www.fcc.gov 

FCC Adopts Wireless Backhaul Rules

The FCC formally adopted new rules governing use of microwave frequencies for wireless backhaul. The action is aimed at speeding the rollout of 4G networks.

Specifically, the new rules permit fixed microwave operators to use smaller antennas in certain microwave bands, which can result in significant cost savings to operators. The Rural Microwave Flexibility Policy adopted today will provide increased opportunities for broadband deployment in rural areas, increasing coverage and reducing cost.

The FCC also updated existing microwave efficiency standards to reflect modern digital technologies. 
http://www.fcc.gov 03-Aug-12






Huawei Develops LTE-Advanced Multi-Stream Aggregation for Cell Edge

Huawei has contributed a new LTE-Advanced Multi-Stream Aggregation (MSA) technology to the 3GPP LTE-Advanced standards to boost data rates at a cell's edge. The technology coordinates macro cells to improve user data rates at the cell's edge and also between heterogeneous networking scenarios to improve peak rates and simplify mobile management to ensure a consistent user experience.

Huawei said its MSA technology reduces the number of handovers, lowering device power transmission and increasing device standby time. The company calculates that the technology will improve system performance at the cell's edge by almost 30%. The multi-stream aggregation is especially suitable for macro-micro HetNets. In hotspot area, macro cells provide basic LTE coverage while the micro cells provides capacity enhancement. The use of MSA technology allows users to receive controlled signaling from macro cells and services from best quality HetNet cell. Users at any location within the network can then enjoy fast and stable data services with ultra broadband, zero waiting and ubiquitous connectivity. MSA technology brings users high speeds and high quality as well as a simple service experience.

Huawei noted that it has contributed 293 core standards to the 3GPP LTE/LTE-Advanced standardization process. 
http://www.huawei.com 




Huawei Tests LTE Circuit Switched Fallback with Qualcomm Snapdragon

Huawei and Qualcomm have completed an LTE FDD flash CSFB (Circuit Switched Fallback) voice call to UMTS using R9 protocol and Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon S4 processor, the MSM8960, during a series of optimization tests.

The companies reported that the tests, based on the flash CSFB voice solution for the R9 protocol, resulted in lower call setup latency than that of the R8 protocol, and very close to that of a native UMTS voice call. During the CSFB testing, which also included LTE TDD calls, good call setup times were seen for both UMTS and GSM.

The joint CSFB testing was part of an ongoing cooperation between Huawei and Qualcomm on interoperability testing and optimization involving GSM/UMTS/LTE TDD/FDD technologies.

Huawei noted that its LTE CSFB solution has been commercially deployed in the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Europe and other regions, allowing users to enjoy fast LTE data services and improved voice services. 
http://www.huawei.com 02-Aug-12




Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rackspace Delivers Cloud Servers powered by OpenStack

Rackspace announced the availability of Cloud Databases and Cloud Servers powered by OpenStack. Customers can now select from private, public or hybrid offerings and have the flexibility to deploy their solutions in a Rackspace data center or another data center of their choice.

The company said this marks the first time any company has deployed a large-scale open source public cloud powered by OpenStack.

Rackspace’s open cloud portfolio includes not only Cloud Servers and Databases, but also Cloud Files object storage with a content delivery network, Cloud Sites platform as a service for .NET and PHP, load balancers, and monitoring.

“Rackspace is disrupting the current model of how IT is consumed,” said Lanham Napier, CEO of Rackspace. “We have delivered on our promise to implement OpenStack in our cloud offerings, and to free customers from the vendor lock-in that they face at other major cloud providers. We’re delivering open, high-performance, scalable and easy-to-use cloud solutions, while empowering customers to choose features, services, prices and locations based on the needs of their business. At the heart of Rackspace is Fanatical Support, which means we put our customers’ needs and wants first. Today, we are extending this approach by giving the market an open alternative, enabling them to choose how and where they use the cloud.” 
http://www.rackspace.com 01-Aug-12











NEC Enhances its ProgrammableFlow SDN Solution

NEC is enhancing its ProgrammableFlow software defined networking product family with new capabilities to automate the provisioning of high performance network services. The announcement includes the release of the UNIVERGE PF Series ProgrammableFlow Controller 3.0, an OpenFlow controller supporting end-to-end QoS and network management capabilities.

 ProgrammableFlow 3.0 expands the scalability of the ProgrammableFlow physical and virtual network fabric. Specifically, the number of switches that can be controlled is greatly expanded and operators can build networks with more than 4,096 virtual LAN (VLAN) ID configurations.

In addition, NEC said its new UNIVERGE PF Series offers integrated API capabilities, enabling third party applications, such as network management or orchestration systems to directly interact with the network through a well-defined functional approach. Third party systems can make on-demand calls to the API to create, edit, and delete virtual networks, as well as to add and remove policies.

"These enhancements to NEC's UNIVERGE PF Series meet the growing need for virtual networks using OpenFlow technologies in support of cloud data centers and business networks," said Hiroyuki Watanabe, General Manager, Global Solutions, NEC. "Additionally, they satisfy the demand for lower installation and operational costs while providing greater security and higher quality." 
http://www.nec.co.jp 01-Aug-12









Amazon Web Services Offers Provisioned IOPS at 500 Mbps to 1 Gbps

Amazon Web Services introduced new features for customers looking to run high performance databases in the cloud.

The company is now offering EBS Provisioned IOPS and EBS-Optimized instances for Amazon EC2. Provisioned IOPS are a new EBS volume type designed to deliver predictable, high performance for I/O intensive workloads, such as database applications, that rely on consistent and fast response times.

AWS said customers can attach multiple volumes to an Amazon EC2 instance and stripe across them to deliver thousands of IOPS to their application. EBS-Optimized instances deliver dedicated throughput between Amazon EC2 and Amazon EBS, with options between 500 Mbps and 1,000 Mbps. 
http://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/ 01-Aug-12





AT&T to Acquire NextWave Wireless for its Spectrum

AT&T has agreed to acquire NextWave Wireless, which holds licenses in the Wireless Communication Services (WCS) and Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) bands, for approximately $25 million plus the assumption of about $600 million in debt.

According to its 2011 annual report, Nextwave Wireless' total domestic spectrum holdings covers approximately 218.6 million total POPs, with 104.8 million POPs covered by 20 MHz or more of spectrum, and an additional 94.9 million POPs covered by at least 10 MHz of spectrum. In addition, a number of markets, including much of the New York City metropolitan region, are covered by 30 MHz or more of spectrum. Its domestic spectrum resides in the 2.3 GHz Wireless Communication Services (WCS), 2.5 GHz Broadband Radio Service (BRS)/Educational Broadband Service (EBS), and 1.7/2.1 GHz Advanced Wireless Service (AWS). Its international spectrum includes 2.3 GHz licenses in Canada with 15 million POPs covered by 30 MHz of spectrum.

In terms of spectral size, NextWave's AWS spectrum is divided into six spectrum blocks, A through F. There are three 10 MHz blocks, each consisting of paired 5 MHz channels, and three 20 MHz blocks, each consisting of paired 10 MHz channels. Nextwave hold both 20 MHz and 10 MHz licenses.

WCS spectrum was first auctioned in 1997, but has not been utilized for mobile Internet usage due to technical rules designed to avoid possible interference to satellite radio users in adjacent spectrum bands.

In June, AT&T and Sirius XM filed a joint proposal with the FCC that would protect the adjacent satellite radio spectrum from interference and enable WCS spectrum — for the first time — to be used for mobile Internet service. This proposed solution on WCS spectrum, which is still under review by the FCC, effectively creates much-needed new spectrum capacity. 
http://www.att.com http://www.nextwave.com 02-Aug-12
  • The old NextWave Wireless was formed in 1996 as a wholly owned operating subsidiary of NextWave Telecom Inc., which sought to develop a nationwide CDMA-based PCS network. In 1998, NTI and its subsidiaries, including Old NextWave Wireless, filed for Chapter 11, and the case took seven years to resolve. Substantially all of the assets related to the PCS build-out, except PCS licenses, were abandoned when NTI was sold to finance the plan of reorganization of the NextWave Telecom group.

BT Deploys 500,000 Wi-Fi Hotspots for London 2012

BT has deployed 500,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the capital for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The latest Wi-Fi hotspots are along 44km (27 miles) of the River Thames. BT Wi-Fi is also currently live on the Olympic Park.

Hotspots sites also include high street brands, hotel chains, thousands of independent businesses and homes, plus outdoor hotspots across Westminster and Waltham Forest.

BT now has over 4 million Wi-Fi hotspots in the UK and Ireland, plus an extra 2 million international hotspots through BT’s partner Fon. 
http://www.btwifi.com 02-Aug-12



ADTRAN Adds Four-Degree ROADM

ADTRAN introduced a new four-degree, scalable, compact Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (mini-ROADM) system-on-a-blade enables greater flexibility for service providers to respond to shifts in traffic and capacity demands in their residential, business, wholesale and mobile backhaul networks. ADTRAN's Optical Networking Edge (ONE) blade solution integrates into its flagship Total Access 5000/5006 platform.

ADTRAN said the flexibility of the four-degree, gridless mini-ROADM design reduces complexity in the network compared to alternative ROADM architectures that typically require a multi-blade implementation and a separate service delivery platform. The mini-ROADM design also simplifies agile optical network deployments by uniquely integrating into a single card the typical distributed and over-sized ROADM sub-elements, such as the amplifiers required to adjust for optical losses. These new features allow service providers to rapidly respond to customer requirements in dynamic markets like residential broadband, carrier Ethernet and 4G backhaul.

In addition, ADTRAN has doubled the transmission capacity of its ONE portfolio for up to 88 wavelengths of 10 Gbps. Future upgrade to 100Gbps networking and services will also be supported.

"ADTRAN has been working closely with customers to deliver a solution that allows them to merge multi-service access, aggregation and packet optical transport for increased network flexibility and scalability,” said Mano Nachum, packet optical networking product line manager, ADTRAN’s Carrier Networks Division. "The new ONE capabilities allow service providers to take full advantage of the benefits of agile photonics in response to the ever growing traffic and capacity demands on their metro, middle-mile and access edge networks." 
http://www.adtran.com 01-Aug-12







Cisco Appoints Marc Benioff and Kristina Johnson To Board


Cisco announced the appointment of Marc Benioff, co-founder and CEO of salesforce.com, and Dr. Kristina M. Johnson, CEO of Enduring Hydro, LLC and former Under Secretary of Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, to its board of directors.

With the appointment of Benioff and Johnson, Cisco's board now consists of 14 members, including Carol A. Bartz, former CEO, Yahoo! Inc.; M. Michele Burns, former chairman and CEO, Mercer LLC; Michael D. Capellas, former CEO, VCE Company, LLC; Larry R. Carter, former SVP, Office of the Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems, Inc.; John T. Chambers, chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems, Inc.; Brian L. Halla, former chairman and CEO, National Semiconductor Corporation; John L. Hennessy, Ph.D., president, Stanford University; Richard M. Kovacevich, retired chairman and CEO, Wells Fargo & Company; Roderick C. McGeary, chairman, Tegile Systems, Inc.; Arun Sarin, KBE, senior advisor, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and former CEO of Vodafone Group Plc; Steven M. West, founder and partner, Emerging Company Partners LLC; and Jerry Yang, co-founder and former chief Yahoo!, Yahoo! Inc.
http://www.cisco.com
02-Aug-12

FCC Sees Savings from Reforms to Lifeline Program

Reforms to the Lifeline program, which were implemented in January of this year, have yielded $43 million in savings so far and are on track to save at least $200 million by the end of the year, according to a progress report issued by the FCC.

The Lifeline program provides financial assistance to low-income Americans to get phone service. Reform implemented in January help to cut duplicative subscriptions, and required better proof of eligibility. 
http://www.fcc.gov 01-Aug-12

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cavium's OCTEON Sees Small Cell LTE Traction in Korea

Cavium announced that its OCTEON Fusion base-station-on-a-chip solution will be powering the 4G/LTE small cell deployment for SK Telecom, the largest mobile service provider in Korea.

Cavium also confirmed that KT has the OCTEON Fusion platform for the first stage of commercial deployment of LTE small cells.

The OCTEON Fusion processors combine OCTEON's L2-L7 multi-core technology, along with purpose-built, highly programmable L1 baseband DSP cores and extensive 3G/4G hardware accelerators, and front end (DFE) functionality in a single chip. These components are connected through a high performance interconnect to enable low-latency data processing between protocol layers. The OCTEON Fusion family consists of two software compatible product lines: CNF71XX and CNF72XX, which enable small cell base stations supporting from 32 to 300+ users on both LTE and 3G platforms. The Fusion platform is also designed to support a range of wireless and wired backhaul technologies including Wireless LAN, Microwave, Gigabit Ethernet and Fiber. The OCTEON Fusion CNF71XX, Fusion Stack™ and SDK have been sampling since April 2012. 
http://www.cavium.com 01-Aug-12



See also