Tuesday, April 16, 2013

NoviFlow's New OpenFlow 1.3 Switch Achieves 200 Gbps

NoviFlow launched its NoviSwitch 1124 and 1248 switches featuring support for OpenFlow 1.3 and capable of achieving speeds of up to 200 Gbps. The move positions the company as an early leader in Software-Defined Networking (SDN), the network optimization technology that brings the benefits of network virtualization and programmability to large data centers, network operators, cloud and financial service providers.

"The OpenFlow protocol has proven itself in real-world SDN deployments by leading companies, such as Google and Facebook. Now we’re giving OpenFlow 1.3 a high-performance boost,” said Dominique Jodoin, president and chief executive officer of NoviFlow.

The NoviSwitch product line is built on the NP-4 network processor platform from EZchip.  Key features of the NoviSwitch 1124 and 1248 include:

• A high-performance system that features the NoviWare® 200 switching software, including support and implementation of OpenFlow 1.3 required features:
• IPv6 support
• Extensible match support
• Extensible 'set field' packet rewriting support
• Extensible context expression in ‘packet-in’
• Provider Backbone Bridging tagging
• Full support of the OpenFlow 1.1 specification

NoviFlow has offices in Sunnyvale, Montreal, and Seattle.


Monday, April 15, 2013

An Update from the Open Networking Foundation

Click here to view video:  http://youtu.be/uO9zYdNFGXE

In this interview, Dan Pitt, Executive Director of the Open Networking Foundation, provides a progress report, including:

1:00 - Technical Objectives for ONF in the coming year
2:33 - Adapting OpenFlow for OA&M
3:07 - A new working group for Optical Transport
3:41 - Addressing OpenFlow security
4:10 - Commercial deployments
5:22 - Strengthening the hardware supply chain
6:18 - The ONF Research Associates program
7:18 - Defining a Framework for Services
7:59 - ETSI's Network Functions Virtualization Effort
8:38 - Working with the Open Daylight Project

Rackspace Plans Largest OpenStack-based Public Cloud

Rackspace announced plans to build and run a linked global cloud network for large service providers.

The Rackspace public cloud aims to be the largest OpenStack-based public cloud in the world.  It will served as a networked cloud of clouds through which service providers are linked together.

Rackspace's model will be to recruit service providers who build and operate physical data centers. The Rackspace public cloud will be deployed in these facilities and Rackspace will manage it remotely.

Rackspace said this extension of its public cloud portfolio will give both service providers and their customers access to a network of interconnected global data centers – customers will be able to run their workloads in any data center that is part of the network, while maintaining their business relationship with the local provider of their choice.

The move is also seen as giving a big boost to OpenStack.


Dish Bids $25.5 Billion for Sprint, Countering Softbank's Offer

DISH Network announced a $25.5 billion offer to acquire Sprint Nextel -- a deal they say is a superior value to Sprint shareholders, including greater ownership in a combined company that is better positioned for the future with more spectrum, products, subscribers, financial scale and new opportunities.

The DISH offer consists of $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in stock. Sprint shareholders would receive $7.00 per share, based upon DISH’s closing price on Friday, April 12, 2013. This consists of $4.76 per share in cash and 0.05953 DISH shares per Sprint share. The cash portion of DISH’s proposal represents an 18% premium over the $4.03 per share implied by the SoftBank proposal, and the equity portion represents approximately 32% ownership in the combined DISH/Sprint versus SoftBank’s proposal of a 30% interest in Sprint alone. Together this represents a 13% premium to the value of the existing SoftBank proposal.

DISH currently has about 14 million satellite TV subscribers.

“The DISH proposal clearly presents Sprint shareholders with a superior alternative to the pending SoftBank proposal,” said Charlie Ergen, Chairman of DISH Network. “Sprint shareholders will benefit from a higher price with more cash while also creating the opportunity to participate more meaningfully in a combined DISH/Sprint with a significantly-enhanced strategic position and substantial synergies that are not attainable through the pending SoftBank proposal.”

"A transformative DISH/Sprint merger will create the only company that can offer customers a convenient, fully-integrated, nationwide bundle of in- and out-of-home video, broadband and voice services. Additionally, the combined national footprints and scale will allow DISH/Sprint to bring improved broadband services to millions of homes with inferior or no access to competitive broadband services. This unique, combined company will have a leadership position in video, data and voice and the necessary broadband spectrum to provide customers with rich content everywhere, all the time,” added Ergen.

In a conference call with investors, DISH said a merger with Sprint presents a unique opportunity to build a highly efficient, multimode network for video delivery.  This would use satellites and 700 MHz terrestrial for broadcast to homes and mobile users, combined with LTE for unicast traffic.

DISH also cited significant CAPEX/OPEX synergies in merging operations, estimated at $37 billion over several years.
DISH said it anticipates that Sprint's pending transaction with Clearwire would be completed, although that is not a condition of its offer.


In December 2012, Sprint agreed to pay  $2.97 per share for remaining shares of Clearwire that it does not already own.  The deal, has been accepted by Clearwire's Board of Directors, equates to a total payment of $2.2 billion for the outstanding 50% equity stake, and results in a total Clearwire enterprise value of approximately $10 billion, including net debt and spectrum lease obligations of $5.5 billion.

 Sprint said its Network Vision architecture will be able to take full advantage of Clearwire’s complementary 2.5 GHz spectrum assets, while achieving operational efficiencies and improved service for customers as the spectrum and network is migrated to LTE standards.

Clearwire holds the largest spectrum portfolio in the U.S. but in upper bands.  Its spectrum is an average 163 MHz in the top 100  U.S. markets.

In October 2012,  SoftBank announced plans to invest $20.1 billion to acquire a 70% in Sprint.  The deal consists of $12.1 billion to be distributed to Sprint stockholders and $8.0 billion of new capital to strengthen Sprint’s balance sheet.  The investment aims to accelerate Sprint's next generation network and its competitive position as the No. 3 U.S. mobile operator.  For Softbank, this represents a major leap beyond its home market of Japan, where it is the No. 3 mobile operator and No. 2 wireline broadband provider. 

Dell Delivers SDN-Enabled Fabric Solutions

Dell Networking introduced a new Active Fabric for SDN, new Active Fabric Manager software and a new S5000 modular LAN/SAN switching platform.

Dell Active Fabric is a flat, fast, any-to-any multipath network architecture.  The new management component uses design wizards to help users set-up and manage non-blocking, high-performance Active Fabrics for handling predominantly east-west, traffic-intensive workloads in virtualized data centers and private clouds.

Dell said its Active Fabric flattens the traditional data center network architecture using high-density and low-latency, fixed-form factor 10/40GbE switches that can be deployed quickly and easily while reaching to hyperscale proportions.

Key features of Dell Active Fabric include:

  • Supports NVOs using the leading hypervisors from Microsoft, VMware and OpenStack.
  • Supports Open Flow-based controllers from leading vendors including Big Switch Networks.
  • Supports legacy programmatic interfaces including Telnet/CLI, TCL, REST, SNMP, Perl and Python scripting
  • Purpose-built for virtualized, converged, and SDN environments
  • High-performance 10GbE & 40GbE L2/L3 multipath fabrics
  • LAN/SAN convergence using Data Center Bridging (iSCSI, Fibre Channel (FC) and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)
  • OpenFlow support
  • Standard northbound and southbound interfaces

Dell said SDN offers a logical extension to the enhanced network flexibility its Active Fabric solutions provides. The company also said that it is "one of the only vendors to offer a complete and unbiased approach to SDN encompassing networking virtualization overlays (NVO), OpenFlow and legacy interface capabilities."

The new Dell Networking S5000 is a 1U 10/40GbE top-of-rack LAN/SAN switch equipped with native FC and FCoE capabilities. It is powered by merchant silicon and features Dell's feature-rich operating system and Open Automation framework for integrated automation, scripting and programmable management. The S5000 accommodates four modules allowing customers to populate a single module and add as necessary instead of buying all four modules at once. The S5000 has a maximum of 64 x 10GbE ports, or 48 x Ethernet/FC ports with 16 x 10GbE ports. SAN support includes iSCSI, RoCE, NAS, FCoE and FC fabric services, all on the same platform.

"We’re challenging conventional wisdom with new products and solutions designed to accelerate our customers’ migration to virtualized and cloud data center environments.” said Tom Burns, vice president and general manager, Dell Networking. “We’re excited about these new offerings and their ability to simplify operations, boost performance and improve economics."


Netronome and Metaswitch Develop SDN OpenFlow Gateways

Netronome and Metaswitch disclosed the details of a unique architecture for OpenFlow gateways based on Netronome network flow processing technology and Metaswitch’s SDN-enabled control plane software.

The companies are hosting a demonstration at this week's Open Networking Summit (ONS) in Santa Clara, California, showing OpenFlow for controling network gateways between an MPLS backbone network and two IP networks. Each gateway uses Netronome’s NFP silicon and flexible and scalable SDN OpenFlow forwarding architecture, controlled by Metaswitch's SDN control plane for MPLS-signaled networks.

“We are excited about the partnership with Netronome and opportunity to bring this carrier SDN solution to the Open Networking Summit,” said Andy Randall, senior vice president of networking technologies at Metaswitch Networks. “The NFP provides us with the programmable dataplane that unlocks many differentiating features of our control plane software, which is at the heart of devices deployed in every major global carrier network. Together, we are at the forefront of commercializing OpenFlow-based SDN solutions and look forward to building networks with our complementary technologies.”

Netronome’s NFP‐6xxx, which is powered by 96 packet processing cores and 120 multi‐threaded flow processing cores operating at up to 1.2 GHz, delivers 200 Gbps of packet processing with deep packet inspection, network and security processing, and I/O virtualization for millions of simultaneous flows. The NFP‐6xxx is the industry’s only processor specifically designed for tight coupling with x86 processors.


Genachowski to become Senior Fellow at Aspen Institute

Julius Genachowski has accepted a senior fellowship at the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program upon his resignation from the FCC in the coming weeks.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C. The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program addresses the societal impact of communications and information technologies, and provides a multi-disciplinary venue for considered judgment on communications policy issues.

"I'm enthusiastic about helping the Aspen Institute advance its important mission," said Genachowski.  "The Internet and mobile are having a transformative impact on our economy and society. The Institute has an unparalleled ability to convene business, government, and non-profit leaders to address the effect of digital technologies on many of the world's most vexing problems, and I'm looking forward to being involved in that effort."


Genachowski is the 5th consecutive FCC chair to accept this fellowship after ending the chairmanship, including Kevin Martin, Michael Powell and Reed Hundt .

In 2010, Blair Levin, Executive Director of the Omnibus Broadband Initiative at the Federal Communications Commission, accepted a Communications and Society Fellowship at the Aspen Institute after leaving the FCC.

AppliedMicro Sells TPACK Subsidiary to Altera

Altera agreed to acquire AppliedMicro's TPACK A/S aubsidiary for an undisclosed sum.  TPACK, which is based in Copenhagen Denmark, develops FPGA-based OTN (optical transport network) products targeting packet and optical networking equipment suppliers. AppliedMicro will retain license rights to TPACK technology following the divestiture.

Altera and AppliedMicro will also undertake joint development and marketing of optimized solutions for data centers. The strategic cooperation initiative will enable the two companies to combine advanced Altera FPGAs with silicon solutions from AppliedMicro, including the company's full line of connectivity and ARM 64-bit X-Gene Server on a Chip products.

"This agreement underscores our continued focus on enabling integrated, purpose-built solutions for our data center OTN customers," said George Jones, vice president, co-GM, Connectivity Products of AppliedMicro. "Combining Altera's advanced FPGA technology with our X-Gene Server on a Chip, Gearbox, PQX and QPSK products will provide our customers with highly optimized, cost-effective designs for next-generation data center infrastructure."


Cyan Appoints CMO

Cyan named Joe Cumello as its chief marketing officer (CMO) to oversee all aspects of the company’s global marketing efforts.

Cumello was most recently vice president of marketing at Sidera Networks, a major provider of fiber-­‐based communications services to large enterprises, data centers, and carriers.

Prior to Sidera, Cumello was vice president of marketing at SafeNet, a global provider of data protection solutions, and a senior director of global marketing at Ciena.


Pluribus Collaborates with Red Hat on OpenStack-Based Network Virtualization

Pluribus Networks, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, is working with Red Hat to build orchestration and management capabilities in its Pluribus Netvisor Fabric-based network infrastructure using Red Hat OpenStack software.

The Pluribus Networks network hypervisor provides network service-level abstractions for large-scale, multi-tenancy by using distributed Fabric intelligence. This offloads the orchestration platform from managing individual L2-L3 Ethernet switches and L4-L7 network services, resulting in simplified operations of datacenters with up to 16 million tenants.

Red Hat OpenStack is a cloud management platform comprised of all the core OpenStack services.

"The networking layer is an integral component to any cloud deployment and our collaboration with Pluribus Networks and the OpenStack Quantum API highlights our joint commitment to an open standards-based approach," said Radhesh Balakrishnan, General Manager, Virtualization at Red Hat. "We expect our targeted validation and certification activities with Pluribus Networks and its OpenStack Quantum API to result in integrated solutions that deliver compelling business value to customers."

"Cloud computing is driving the convergence of server, storage, and network," said Sunay Tripathi, Co-Founder and CTO at Pluribus Networks. "Pluribus believes that the network Fabric should be as programmable and open as a Server while offering the performance and visibility required to operate and troubleshoot at scale. The expertise of Red Hat in developing thriving communities and delivering enterprise-class products based on open-source technology will help accelerate our ability to deliver software-defined networking software and infrastructure for cloud data centers. We are looking forward to integrated solutions testing and deployments with our joint customers."


NETGEAR Expects Q1 Revenue of $290-295 Million

NETGEAR expects its Q1 revenue to be in the range of $290 million to $295 million, which is an update to the previously estimated range, of $290 million to $305 million provided on February 12, 2013. GAAP operating margin for the first quarter to be in the range of 7.5% to 8%, and GAAP earnings per diluted share are expected to be between $0.35 and $0.39.

"During the first quarter, we experienced difficulty in the transitioning of our ReadyNAS line, which caused shipments to be lower than demand from our channel partners.  We are planning for a full recovery of supply for the second quarter onwards.  Lower than planned shipments of the new ReadyNAS resulted in an unfavorable mix of products shipped, which negatively impacted our gross margins," commented Patrick Lo, Chairman and CEO of NETGEAR.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Open Networking Summit Sells Out Again

To view video click here:  http://youtu.be/Adf_nqvCjhQ

Network Functions Virtualization Group Gets Underway

A newly formed Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) ISG under ETSI will hold its second meeting on April 22-23 at Huawei's facility in Santa Clara, California.

The NFV initiative came about when leading network operators began to discuss a common approach for adapting SDN and open innovation principles in their networks.  The initiative now has representation from at least 13 leading operators: AT&T, BT, CenturyLink, China Mobile, Colt, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, NTT, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telstra, and Verizon.

A joint white paper on Network Functions Virtualization was published in Oct. 2012 (see link below).

Subsequently, the ETSI Board approved creation of the NFV ISG  in November 2012.

Network Functions Virtualization aims to implement key network capabilities in software running on standard  servers and employing cloud virtualization techniques.  The early design goals, as outlined at the last OFC/NFOEC by Christos Kolias, Sr, Research Scientist, Orange Silicon Valley, call for multi-versioning and multi-tenancy of network functions, which would allow use of a single physical platform for different applications, users and tenants.  NFV would also enable new ways to implement resilience, service assurance, test and diagnostics and security surveillance.

NFV benefits to service providers could include reduced equipment costs through equipment consolidation on high volume, industry-standard servers, greater scalability, software-oriented innovation, and time-to-market.

NFV and SDN are seen as largely complementary, but not necessarily dependent on each other.


Italy's WIND Picks Huawei for LTE Upgade

Italy's WIND plans to invest about EUR 1 billion over the next five years to upgrade its network to LTE.  The carrier has selected Huawei as is lead supplier for the project.  Sirti SpA is named as a local technology partner.

Huawei described the contract as among its biggest projects in Europe to date.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Super Computing's XSEDE Connects to Internet2's 100GbE Backbone

XSEDE, which is a National Science Foundation-supported project that brings together 17 supercomputers, visualization and data analysis engines, and data storage resources, has migrated and upgraded its network backbone infrastructure to the Internet2 Network.

This enables XSEDE to use Internet2’s new 100 GbE optical network, platform, services and technologies.

Internet2 and the XSEDEnet networking group will work together to configure a private network between the XSEDE service provider sites across the shared backbone. A majority of sites will connect to the nearest Internet2 Advanced Layer 2 Service node at 10G and share bandwidth across a 100G backbone with other participants. Initially, Indiana University and Purdue University will have 100G connections.

"This is an extremely important milestone that advances the strategic alignment between the high performance computing and Internet2 communities," said Indiana University President Michael A. McRobbie. "Having the massive computational capabilities of XSEDE coupled directly to the most advanced network capabilities with the broadest reach among the U.S. and global research communities is of critical importance to the success of XSEDE."


IBM to Invest $1 Billion in Flash

IBM announced plans to invest $1 billion in research and development of new Flash solutions for servers, storage systems and middleware.  Plans include opening a number of Centers of Competency around the globe to demonstrate to clients the projected performance gains that can be achieved with IBM Flash solutions.  The company said flash technology is proving to be transformative in addressing Big Data.

IBM also announced the availability of the IBM FlashSystem line of all-Flash storage appliances, which are based on technology acquired from Texas Memory Systems. The company said its FlashSystem 820 system, which is the size of a pizza box, is 20 times faster than spinning hard drives, and can store up to 24 terabytes of data.


IX Reach Opens in Telecity's Docklands Data Center

IX Reach, which operates an MPLS network reaching over 75 data centers in 30 major cities across Europe and North America, has opend its Global Carrier Centre in TelecityGroup’s Harbour Exchange (HEX) facility in the heart of the London Docklands.

Telecity's Docklands facility boasts over 150 global and local carriers, making it one of the most carrier dense colocation facilities in London.

Tenants of the Global Carrier Centre will have low-latency Metro access to over 20 London data centres, as well as IX Reach’s full range of products and services including: national and international Point-to-Point and Multipoint connectivity and access to major European and US Internet Exchanges, such as: AMS-IX, DE-CIX, Equinix, LINX and Netnod.

“London colocation has enjoyed a history of being a popular service of ours,” Stephen Wilcox, founder and Director of IX Reach commented. “With London being one of the main European economic and networking hubs, quality colocation is always in demand and that’s why we’re so pleased to have a considerable amount of new space in this high-spec Docklands data centre.”


MetroPCS Deploys IPv6 with Cisco

MetroPCS Communications, the fifth-largest facilities-based wireless service provider in the U.S., is rolling out Cisco®Carrier-Grade IPv6 (CGv6) solution.

MetroPCS is also using Cisco to perform critical system integration by leading the design, testing and production enablement of IPv6 in a multivendor mobile Internet network. The installation includes the Cisco ASR 5000 Series, Cisco Carrier Routing System, Cisco ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Service Routers in the core and IP aggregation, and the Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Switches. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"IPv6 is a foundational element for 3G and 4G and next-generation mobile Internet networking. The actions we are taking, thanks in part to Cisco, position MetroPCS to support increased service, application and end-user demands. We share a common vision with Cisco when it comes to delivering high-quality, advanced mobile Internet services," stated Ed Chao, senior vice president of corporate engineering and network operations, MetroPCS.


Cisco and Microsoft Partner on Data Center Solutions

Cisco and Microsoft are collaborating on data center solutions that combine Microsoft's Cloud OS with the Cisco Unified Data Center architecture.

The Cisco Unified Data Center technology and Microsoft Fast Track 3.0 architecture aim to reduce the complexity of management. Specifically, data center mangers are able to virtualize certain aspects of their data center networks by using the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series switch and Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V Extensible Switch and System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1.  User are able to provision, configure, orchestrate and monitor physical and virtual infrastructures and Windows Server and application software.

The companies said they intend to roll out targeted channel initiatives in select countries to enable alignment in selling Microsoft Fast Track 3.0 architecture solutions.


Telecom New Zealand Expects LTE Launch in October

Telecom New Zealand announced plans to launch its first LTE service in in Auckland by October. The carrier said it intends to extend 4G LTE coverage to Wellington and Christchurch by Christmas, and expects to have 4G LTE live on close to half of its nationwide Smartphone Network during 2014.

Telecom also announced today that it has selected Huawei to build its network of 4G-capable mobile sites – known as the eUTRAN, Cisco to provide the Enhanced Packet Core (EPC), and Ericsson to build the new HSS (Home Subscriber Service) and the replacement HLR (Home Location Register).

"Huawei’s selection was based on two main factors. The first is that they have extensive experience, having built 73 LTE networks in 42 countries. The second is that they are truly pushing the boundaries of LTE technology.  Over the past 3 months we have been trialling Huawei’s 4G LTE technology in Auckland and Rotorua. Our testing has encompassed some very exciting new developments like ‘carrier aggregation’. Carrier aggregation allows us to use two different spectrums simultaneously, and in our trials it produced maximum peak speeds of up to 250 Mbps," stated Telecom's Chief Technology Officer, David Havercroft.