Thursday, May 23, 2013

CloudEthernet Forum Gets Underway

A new CloudEthernet Forum has been established to address the specific issues of scaling and applying suitable Ethernet services to meet the stringent demands of delivering cloud services.

The CloudEthernet Forum aims to provide a framework for industry stakeholders to collectively develop solutions that address technical challenges such as VLAN scaling, layer 2 performance and resilience across very large domains and consolidating storage network technologies onto Ethernet. The goal is to enable cloud service providers, carriers and enterprises to quickly and simply build and manage very large amounts of computing and storage capacity to meet the rapidly changing localized performance, scalability and regulatory requirements of cloud services.

The founding members of the CloudEthernet Forum include: Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Equinix, HP, Juniper Networks, PCCW Global, Spirent Communications, Tata Communications and Verizon. The CloudEthernet Forum is an MEF organization but will operate independently. New members such as systems integrators, NEMs and service providers, including leading cloud providers, are encouraged to join.

"Four years ago we migrated our Ethernet services over SDH to native Ethernet over PBB and it is proving highly popular with our datacenter customers. They love Ethernet’s simplicity and scalability and want more. However, as datacenter networks become larger and more sophisticated, they are coming up against challenges, and the CloudEthernet Forum is committed to resolving those issues," stated James Walker, president of the CloudEthernet Forum and vice president of Managed Network Services, Tata Communications

"Establishment of the CloudEthernet Forum is a reflection of Ethernet's critical position in the future of the communications industry," says Ihab Tarazi, chairman of the board of the MEF and vice president of product technology at Verizon. "Ethernet is ideal for delivering dynamic high speed bandwidth for public and private clouds with reliability, scalability and high performance."

The CloudEthernet Forum is an independent MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) organization. For more information, please visit

Internet2 Establishes Direct Peering to Windows Azure

Internet2 has established a direct peering relationship with two Microsoft cloud services:  Windows Azure and Microsoft Office 365 Education. These services will enable unmetered access to both the high-performance computing and the communications infrastructure to aid collaboration.

The move to privately peer the Microsoft data centers to the Internet2 Network eliminates the need to traverse these very large data sets over the public Internet.

“Microsoft and Internet2 have agreed to establish direct peering to leverage the nation’s fastest research and education network in bringing the power and diversity of Microsoft cloud services to the entire education and research community,” said Shelton Waggener, senior vice president, Internet2.

“Big Data researchers need the power of a service like Windows Azure. With Internet2, they will be able to transfer very large data sets to and from Windows Azure across Internet2’s 100 Gigabit per second network,” said Kelli Trosvig, vice president for UW Information Technology and chief information officer, University of Washington. “This same high-performance will also be available for applications such as Office 365 Education.”

Ethernet's 40th Anniversary: From ALOHA to Ethernety

May 22nd marked the 40th anniversary of the day Bob Metcalf sketched out the basic concept of Ethernet.

The anniversary was marked in commemorative event at the Computer History Museum presented by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), parc and NetEvents.

 In this video from NetEvents, Bob Metcalfe, UT Austin Professor of Innovation and Ethernet co-creator, sets the scene with reflections on how CSMA emerged from Hawaii, the early choices and challenges, and some ongoing implications of Metcalfe’s Law.


BT Tests 800G Super-Channel with Ciena

BT conducted a series of trials of 100, 200, and 400G, as well as an "800G super-channel," using equipment from Ciena.

The trials, which occurred in March 2013, ran over a 410 km network link between BT’s Adastral Park Research and Development Centre in Ipswich and the iconic BT Tower in Central London. The link used high Polarization Mode Dispersion (PMD) fibre, which was unsuitable for traditional 10G operation but supported the higher rates due to Ciena's WaveLogic 3 transceivers, 6500 Packet-Optical and 4200 Advanced Services platforms.

BT said that for one trial, 400G of traffic was carried and monitored over the network using 16QAM modulation, and operated flawlessly alongside adjacent 40G and 100G QPSK-based wavelengths, reinforcing the smooth migration path offered by Ciena’s coherent technology.

"BT has always been a pioneer in the field of networking, and we can trace our roots back to the very first national telecommunications undertaking in the world – The Electric Telegraph Company. Since then, and with the recent explosion in global connectivity, we have constantly looked for new ways to future proof our infrastructure and provide more bandwidth for the next generation of applications and services. These trials prove that we’re heading in the right direction, and we’re very proud of our role in this latest milestone in the history of communications,” stated Neil J. McRae, chief network architect at BT.

FCC Announces $300 Million in Connect America Second Round Funding

The FCC will allocate $300 million in a second round of Connect America Phase I incremental funding to further leverage private investment in rural America and accelerate the availability of broadband to consumers who lack access.  The funding is available to price cap 
carriers who will have an opportunity to deploy into newly eligible areas.

The FCC also adopted a process to challenge the eligibility of particular census blocks, establish two different per-location support amounts based on the existing level of Internet access ($550 for homes with low-speed Internet access and $775, as in the first round, for homes with only dial-up access), and make certain other rule changes to encourage participation and ensure accountability and oversight.

National Photonics Initiative Seeks to Boost U.S. Competitiveness

A new National Photonics Initiative (NPI) has been established with a mission to advance areas of photonics critical to maintaining US competitiveness and national security.

Backers of the NPI include the American Physical Society (APS), IEEE Photonics Society, Laser Institute of America (LIA), the Optical Society (OSA) and SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

Specifically, the NPI was established to raise awareness about photonics and the impact of photonics on our everyday lives; increase collaboration and coordination among US industry, government and academia to advance photonics-driven fields; and drive US funding and investment in areas of photonics critical to maintaining US competitiveness and national security.

The first accomplishment of the NPI is a whitepaper with to guide government funding and private investment in five key photonics-driven fields: advanced manufacturing, communications and information technology, defense and national security, health andmedicine and energy. The group sees opportunities in 3-D printing, more efficient solar power, improved nuclear threat identification, more accurate cancer detection and the growth of Internet speeds and capacity.

"The EU, Germany, Korea, Taiwan and China all recognize the importance of photonics, and have taken action,” said SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs. “The Department of Defense, for example, has long supported photonics, and we have seen the advantage provided to our troops. But now more photonics research is needed to maintain our national security in the face of growing non-traditional threats. The time is now for the US to make the right investments in the crucial capabilities of the future."

"Our objective is to direct funding intelligently to research, implementation, education and training, with the ultimate goal of restoring US competitiveness, thereby improving our security, our economy and our quality of life," said LIA Executive Director Peter Baker.

Mavenir Announces IMS Unified Access Gateway (UAG)

Mavenir introduced a Unified Access Gateway (UAG) for converged core network services across Circuit Switch (CS) and IP Multimedia System (IMS) networks.

The UAG is a standard IMS Session Border Controller (SBC) that supports the latest 3GPP features needed to introduce new services such as RCS/RCS-e and VoLTE services, including SR-VCC. It employs IMS Centralized Services (ICS), which connects legacy CS GSM/UMTS access networks directly to the IMS core network.  Additionally, it is a WebRTC Gateway that supports network services, web APIs and media mixing needed to extend IMS-based services to the web. Finally, it is also an ICS GW that supports the network services and service interworking functions needed to support GSM/UMTS devices from IMS.

Mavenir said its UAG will enable mobile operators to simplify and consolidate their networks, and enables them to increase investments in the IP based networks, reduce investments in legacy 2G/3G core networks while serving their 2G/3G subscribers.

“Mavenir’s vision is that IMS will become the mobile operators’ single, consolidated core network providing communication and mobility services across all access domains,” said Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO, Mavenir Systems. “Our Unified Access Gateway provides a solution for mobile operators who are challenged with the cost of maintaining parallel core networks while subscribers migrate to 4G LTE.”

Verizon Wireless Adds Samsung Galaxy S4

Verizon Wireless announced availability of the Samsung Galaxy S4.  

Pricing is set at $199 with a new two-year contract activation.  Key features include LTE connectivity, 13–megapixel camera, 5–inch full HD display, built–in infrared sensor, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, etc.

Separately, Samsung confirmed that the Galaxy has reached 10 million units shipped in its first month of availability.

Key specs on the Samsung Galaxy S4 include:

  • 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi
  • 1.9 GHz Quad-Core Processor / 1.6 GHz Octa-Core Processor, depending on market
  • Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • 13 megapixel rear camera
  • 2.5G (GSM/ GPRS/ EDGE): 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • 3G (HSPA+ 42Mbps): 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
  • 4G (LTE Cat 3 100/50Mbps): up to 6 different band sets, depending on market
  • Codec: MPEG4, H.264, H.263, DivX, DivX3.11, VC-1, VP8, WMV7/8, Sorenson Spark, HEVC
  • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (HT80)
  • NFC,  Bluetooth® 4.0 (LE)
  • IR LED (Remote Control), MHL 2.0
  • 2,600 mAh battery.

Argentina's ARSAT Upgrades to 100G with Alcatel-Lucent

ARSAT, a state-owned telecommunications operator in Argentina, will upgrade its network to 100G using Alcatel-Lucent’s Agile Optical Networking technology.

The first routes to be upgraded are Buenos Aires to Mendoza, and Río Gallegos to Ushuaia in the south, crossing the Magellan Strait.

Under the US$7.3 million contract, Alcatel-Lucent will supply 40G and 100G DWDM technology on its 1830 Photonic Service Switch (1830 PSS) platform as well as the 1350 Optical Management System.  Alcatel-Lucent will also provide its leading project management services as well as training and technical assistance for five years.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

NSN Boosts Liquid Radio WCDMA Software

Nokia Siemens Networks announced several enhancements for its Liquid Radio WCDMA Software Suite to help mobile broadband manage the smartphone boom and substantially reduce the network signaling overload.

Fast Dormancy Profiling  -- a new Nokia Siemens Networks technology that identifies the legacy smartphones connecting to the network and eliminates the unnecessary signaling they often create. This application significantly reduces the air interface load on the Radio Network Controller (RNC).

Fast Cell PCH Switching --  also a Nokia Siemens Networks technology, the network learns how specific smartphones are using the network services and shortcuts the signaling process for rapid call set-up, faster response from mobile broadband services and reduced signaling.

High Speed Cell FACH  -- enables networks to support more smartphones and provide faster services for subscribers using lower data volumes. It also significantly decreases signaling load between the RNC, base station and smartphone.

“When people use smartphones, they stay connected to mobile broadband networks for longer periods of time and use a wider variety of services,” said Thorsten Robrecht, VP portfolio management at Nokia Siemens Networks. “As data traffic grows, there is a huge rise in signaling between smartphones and core networks to keep services active. Coping with this signaling is critical to maintain network services and deliver an outstanding smartphone experience for mobile broadband customers.

Vitesse Integrates MACSec into GE & 10GE PHYs for End-End Layer 2 Encryption

Vitesse Semiconductor introduced the first PHY transceivers to integrate MACSec technology for end-to-end, Layer 2 network security.

The new Vitesse SynchroPHY Gigabit Ethernet (GE) and 10GE devices enable network-wide Layer 2 MACsec encryption and preserve nanosecond-level IEEE 1588v2 accuracy.

Vitesse said this new paradigm of establishing Layer 2 encryption end-to-end, rather than link-by-link as is now the case, will prove to be especially useful for cloud services, mobile backhaul and other high-value communications. Until now, MACsec PHYs have traditionally been limited to link-based box-to-box applications primarily within cloud service data centers

Key elements of the Vitesse solution include:

VeriTime: the industry’s highest accuracy IEEE 1588v2 Precision Time Protocol

Intellisec: the industry’s first PHY technology to enable IEEE 802.1AE MACsec encryption.  Intellisec offers 256-bit encryption support, versus the 128-bit encryption typically today.

 “Vitesse’s approach enables a paradigm shift in mobile, cloud, and other critical infrastructure networks,” said Richard Interrante, product marketing director at Vitesse. “VeriTime delivers the industry’s de facto highest accuracy IEEE 1588v2 network timing and now we’ve again moved beyond our competitors with this latest generation incorporating Intellisec. Delivering low latency security while preserving network synchronization simply isn’t possible with traditional link-based MACsec technology. Vitesse is first to do this, making network-wide Layer 2 security a realistic and affordable option for carriers and other cloud providers.”

Sampling is underway.

  • GE PHYs with copper and fiber media support 
  • 10GE PHYs
    -  VSC8582-10: 2-port SGMII/QSGMII GE PHY
    -  VSC8584-10: 4-port SGMII/QSGMII GE PHY
    -  VSC8490-10: 2-port WAN/LAN/Backplane RXAUI/XAUI to SFP+/KR 10GE PHY
    -  VSC8491-10: 1-port WAN/LAN/Backplane RXAUI/XAUI to SFP+/KR 10GE PHY 


In this video, Vitesse Semiconductor's Martin Nuss discuses Intellisec, a new technology that leverages MACsec protocol to extend security end-to-end.

Citrix Debuts XenMobile Enterprise Mobile Device and App Management

Citrix introduced XenMobile Enterprise, an integrated solution combining mobile device, app and data management, a unified corporate app store, mobile productivity apps and “one-touch” live support.

XenMobile Enterprise includes MDM tools for configuring, securing and provisionig mobile devices in an enterprise. Citrix is also including email, calendaring and web browsing, as well as secure document sharing, syncing and editing. It also integrates ShareFile, which allows users to view, edit and share data within a secure container on their mobile device. In addition, there is one-click access in the smartphone client, to the Citrix GoToAssist Service Desk and Remote Support, which  helps IT teams support corporate users.

Citrix also announced a mobile app market built for XenMobile.  Initially. Citrix will have over 80 apps from leading mobile app vendors. 

XenMobile Enterprise will be available in June 2013. 

Infonetics: Optical WDM Market Continues Recovery

The overall optical network hardware market worldwide, including SONET/SDH and WDM equipment, totaled $2.6 billion in 1Q13, according to a new report from Infonetics.

Some highlights:

  • North America was the only region to post growth in overall optical hardware revenue on a quarterly basis in 1Q13, up 7.5% from 4Q12
  • Topping the optical market share leaderboard in 1Q13 are, in alphabetical order, Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Fujitsu, Huawei and ZTE
  • Ciena is now a larger supplier of WDM gear than Alcatel-Lucent and is 2nd only to Huawei
  • Cyan, now publicly traded, grew revenue 86% year-over-year (and is now tracked in Infonetics’ Optical Network Hardware report)
  • Nokia-Siemens completed its divestiture of its optical division, now called Coriant (also tracked in Infonetics’ optical report)

“The 4-quarter rolling average for global optical WDM equipment revenue notched a third consecutive quarter of growth in 1Q13, and we believe the market will continue trending in a positive direction this year.   On a year-over-year basis (1Q12 vs. 1Q13), total optical spending is down 5%, but this is only a result of massive cuts in legacy (SONET/SDH) spending over the past 12 months (down 30%). The WDM segment is up 10% year-over year, a welcome sign that spending in this more relevant segment is returning to long-term trend levels. I won’t call it a recovery until WDM revenue is up by double-digit percents for several quarters on a year-over-year basis, but 2013 is looking good, especially in North America and China, where 100G rollouts are picking up speed,"  stated Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research.

Juniper Introduces Big Data Analytics for SPs Based on Guavus

Juniper Networks introduced its Junos Network Analytics suite, a set of big data analytics and network intelligence tools developed with Guavus, a start-up specializing in big data analytics solutions.

The goal is to deliver valuable insights from IP and MPLS network traffic patterns to better understand network behavior in order to optimize routing network assets, increase revenue opportunities and attract and retain customers.  The solution extracts network flow data and routing tables from Juniper Networks routing platforms or other third-party vendor routing platforms.

The Junos Network Analytics suite includes the following:

  • BizReflex: A network analytics engine and dashboard that extracts and analyzes information from edge and core routers to allow operators to segment enterprise customers according to their respective value and price services accordingly, improving margins and customer retention. It also allows service providers to identify high-value prospects and acquire new customers more efficiently. These valuable insights can increase revenue opportunities and enhance service differentiation.
  • NetReflex: Provides network architects and operations personnel with detailed traffic trends and analysis for IP and MPLS networks. This solution gives operators more insight than previously possible into traffic patterns on the network, allowing network service providers to reduce costs with informed decision capabilities and improve the efficiency of their network.

 Junos Network Analytics SKUs are available now and subscription-based pricing will be on Juniper's price list in June 2013.
  • In January 2013, Guavus, a start-up based in San Mateo, California with R&D in India, closed a $30 million round of new funding to support its big data analytics solutions.

    Guavus specializes in big data analytics solutions for tier-1 communications service providers.  It offers a suite of decisioning applications that have pre-built intelligence for faster time to insights across network, device, content and subscriber analytics.  The company said its solutions have allowed carriers to both realize cost savings by optimizing network capacity and increase revenues by delivering a better consumer experience.

    Guavus claims two of the top three mobile operators and backbone carriers in the United States utilize Guavus Big Data analytics solutions.

    The funding round was led by Investor Growth Capital (IGC) with participation from QuestMark Partners and previous investors Artiman Ventures, Sofinnova Ventures and Intel Capital.

Overtures Raises $8 Million for its Carrier Etherent

Overture announced an initial equity investment of $8 million, with an opportunity to raise up to $11.7 million, to support new software, hardware and service development initiatives.

Overture said the new funds will accelerate the introduction of the company’s Ensemble Open Service Architecture (OSA) software and services as well as ongoing innovation of its Carrier Ethernet product portfolio. The company's customers include five of the top seven Carrier Ethernet service providers worldwide and eight of the ten USA-based Carrier Ethernet service providers deploy Overture products.

In addition, Overture has opened two new development centers: Westford, Massachusetts and Bangalore, India.

“Our industry is changing rapidly around advancements in software-defined and virtualized network services, initiatives that will enable us to advance Overture’s market leadership position in Carrier Ethernet. We are committed to providing our customers a competitive edge through the optimization of their service creation, activation and assurance,” said Mike Aquino, president and CEO, Overture. “We are encouraged by the endorsement of industry analysts and customers around our direction. We are further energized by the investor commitment this funding represents. It will allow us to drive innovation to help service providers deliver a winning customer experience to their end users.”

Cloudscaling Raises $10 Million - Juniper and Seagate Invest

Cloudscaling, a start-up based in San Francisco, raised $10 million in Series B funding for its OpenStack-powered cloud infrastructure system.

The new funding round included Trinity Ventures and two new investors, Juniper Networks, through its Junos® Innovation Fund, and Seagate. The new round raised $10 million.

In April, Cloudscaling announced Open Cloud System 2.5 and signaled the first step of its partnership with Juniper through the integration of Juniper’s virtual network control (VNC) technology, JunosV Contrail, into Open Cloud System (OCS).

OCS is a turnkey, OpenStack-powered cloud infrastructure system for enterprises, SaaS providers and cloud service providers. Cloudscaling and Juniper plan to continue delivering innovative, joint networking solutions that are open and standards-based to support elastic cloud services and a new generation of enterprise workloads.

Cloudscaling also joined the Seagate Cloud Builder Alliance Partner program in April. As part of the program, Cloudscaling and Seagate are focused on the development of optimized storage solutions for OpenStack-powered cloud infrastructure.

Since Q1 of this year, Cloudscaling has secured key customer wins with LivingSocial, EVault, Ubisoft and DataFort, launched a channel partner program and announced support for OpenStack Grizzly in the third generation of OCS technology, Open Cloud System 2.5.

Dell'Oro: Optical Packet Up 23% in Q1

The total optical packet equipment market grew 23 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of the year reaching $1.1 billion, according to a newly published report by Dell'Oro Group.

"The optical transport market is aggressively moving towards packet optimized transport systems," said Jimmy Yu, Vice President of Optical Transport research at Dell'Oro Group.  "This move towards optical packet systems has helped a number of equipment manufacturers increase revenues even as the total optical market contracted during the past year.  The two lead equipment manufacturers in this product segment for the trailing four quarter period were Ciena and Huawei, each garnering about 22% of the market revenue," added Mr. Yu.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

CTIA: CAPEX Hits All Time High for U.S. Operators

U.S. mobile operators invested $30 billion in their networks in 2012, representing an all time high in capital expenditure spending for one year.  This is part of a "virtuous cycle" that is boosting the networking industry and the American economy, said Steve Largent, President of CTIA, speaking at the opening of CTIA 2013 in Las Vegas.

The CAPEX spending by U.S. operators accounted for 25% of all wireless network CAPEX worldwide.  It also represented an investment of $94 for each mobile subscriber in the U.S., compared to a global average of $16 per subscribers by other mobile operators worldwide.

Largent said the virtuous circle has enabled the U.S. to leap ahead in mobile technologies.  The biggest LTE networks are now in the U.S.  The mobile platforms developed in the U.S. are second to none.  And the ecosystem of app developers is stronger in the U.S. than anywhere else.

Largent also spoke of the urgency to make additional spectrum available in the U.S. market.  He expects that it the ambitious target of adding 500 MHz of spectrum for commercial is realized by 2020, it could increase the nation's GDP by $800 billion.

Finally, Largent previewed the much larger "SuperShow" that CTIA is planning in partnership with IFA for September 2014.

CTIA: Verizon Wireless Confirms Small Cell Rollout for 2H 2013 with Ericsson

Verizon Wireless will begin rollout of small cells in its LTE network in the second half of 2013.  The small cells will be installed strategically to add capacity to high traffic areas and extend coverage to hard-to-reach locations and indoor sites.

Ericsson will be providing its micro RRUS (Remote Radio Unit) small cells for Verizon's 4G LTE network. The micro RRUS works with any baseband unit part of the RBS 6000 product line. The introduction of Ericsson's micro RRUS is an industry first deployment.

Ericsson also confirmed that it will also provide its micro RBS 6501 (Radio Base Station) for the Verizon network beginning later this year.  Another industry first, the Ericsson micro RBS 6501 is a multi-standard base station supporting 3GPP 37.104 and provides local-area and medium-range coverage in a heterogeneous network environment. The micro RBS delivers high-capacity coverage in a small form factor.

"Small cells will play a role in the Verizon Wireless strategy to add capacity in high-traffic locations and provide the best customer experience possible on the nation's largest 4G LTE network," said Mike Haberman, Verizon Wireless Vice President-Network Support.

Verizon Wireless also announced LTE activation in 6 new markets, bring the total number of market with LTE coverage to 497.  The carrier said its LTE footprint now covers 95% of its 3G network.

CTIA: Nokia Siemens Networks Enables Cellular / Wi-Fi Traffic Steering

Nokia Siemens Networks is introducing traffic steering capabilities for its Smart Wi-Fi solution .

The new capabilities give operators real-time information about their own or partnered Wi-Fi access points. Operators can then enhance customer experience with dynamic traffic steering between cellular and Wi-Fi networks based on real-time network load. The traffic steering capabilities can be complemented with sophisticated ANDSF* rules based on user profile, timing, location and application usage ensuring that mobile operators have necessary tools to start enhancing their networks with Wi-Fi traffic steering today.

“Offloading traffic to Wi-Fi is only the first step to help mobile operators handle traffic congestion. With the new traffic steering capabilities, we go beyond offloading to steer traffic flexibly onto the most appropriate radio network, according to the operator’s strategy and actual network conditions,” said Randy Cox, head of small cells product management at Nokia Siemens Networks. “By using Wi-Fi networks in indoor locations, operators can deliver superior customer experience and cost effectively boost network performance for the subscriber by up to seven-fold.”

The company is also launching a new 3G Femtocell Access Point for seamless connectivity in residential areas. The new FAPr-hsp 5120 Femtocell Access Point (FAP) helps improve indoor 3G mobile broadband coverage (HSPA+) for residential users.