Tuesday, June 4, 2013

IBM to Acquire SoftLayer for Cloud Services

IBM agreed to acquire SoftLayer Technologies, which operates 13 data centers in the United States, Asia and Europe.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bloomberg valued the deal at about $2 billion.

SoftLayer allows clients to buy enterprise-class cloud services on dedicated or shared servers, offering clients a choice of where to deploy their applications. The company is based in Dallas, Texas, and serves approximately 21,000 customers. SoftLayer's majority shareholder is GI Partners of Menlo Park, California.

IBM said the acquisition will strengthen its position in cloud computing and will help speed business adoption of public and private cloud solutions. Already one of the world’s leading cloud providers, IBM expects to reach $7 billion annually in cloud revenue by the end of 2015.

IBM also announced the formation of a new Cloud Services division. The new division will provide a broad range of choices to both IBM and SoftLayer clients, ISVs, channel partners and technology partners. SoftLayer’s services will complement the existing portfolio with its focus, simplicity and speed. The division will report to Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services. IBM plans to expand SoftLayer cloud offerings to include OpenStack capabilities.

“As businesses add public cloud capabilities to their on-premise IT systems, they need enterprise-grade reliability, security and management. To address this opportunity, IBM has built a portfolio of high-value private, public and hybrid cloud offerings, as well as software-as-a-service business solutions,” said Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services. “With SoftLayer, IBM will accelerate the build-out of our public cloud infrastructure to give clients the broadest choice of cloud offerings to drive business innovation.”


Verizon to Deploy Bloom Energy's Fuel Cells

Verizon will to install Bloom Energy fuel cell systems at three of its California-based locations: two call-switching centers in Los Angeles and San Francisco and a data center in San Jose.  The solid oxide fuel cells are expected to generate more than 16 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity for Verizon in California each year.

In April, Verizon announced plans to spend $100 million in a solar and fuel-cell energy projects to help power 19 of its facilities in seven states across the country. Together with this new project, Verizon will be on track to generate more than 90 million kilowatt hours of its own green energy annually.  The project will also eliminate more than 15,000 metric tons of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from more than 1.6 million gallons of gasoline consumed.

“The ability to power our facilities and operations with our own on-site alternative energy sources helps Verizon meet our long-term sustainability goals, while also enhancing the resiliency of our networks and reliability of our services,” said James Gowen, Verizon’s chief sustainability officer. “This is more than the right thing to do for the environment; it is also the right thing to do for our customers and our business.”


Bloom Energy has previously announced data center deployments by AT&T and NTT America.

Google Commits to Wind Power for Finnish Data Center

Google has committed to purchase the entire output power of a new wind farm in northern Sweden for the next decade to power its data center in Finland.

Specifically, O2, the wind farm developer, will build a new 72MW wind farm at Maevaara, in Övertorneå and Pajala municipality in northern Sweden. Allianz will provide 100% of the financing for the project. The wind farm is expected to be come online in 2015.


Dell Converges Branch Office Compute/Storage/Network, Alliance with Oracle

Dell introduced its PowerEdge VRTX combining virtualized server compute/storage/networking in a single box design that does not need data center cooling.  The high-density box promises up to 86 percent fewer cables and can save customers time, compared to installing individual task-specific systems. In addition it can eliminate the complexity, cost and sprawl of disparate external devices and multiple management tools.

For enterprise data centers, Dell also introduced a set of pre-configured "Active Infrastructure" racks for specilized applications, including virtual desktop (VDI) and high-performance clusters for life science environments.

Dell is also announcing Active System Manager 7.1, the management layer for Active System that integrates IP from recently acquired Gale Technologies to automate workload and infrastructure deployment through a single console.

In addition, at Dell Enterprise Forum underway this week in San Jose, Dell announced a strategic alliance with Oracle.  Specifically, Dell will offer optimized x86 infrastructure solutions that integrates Oracle' software.  Oracle has named Dell a preferred x86 partner, and Dell has named Oracle a preferred enterprise infrastructure partner, including Oracle Linux.

“Dell is growing fast in the datacenter and gaining market share across the world in our three core businesses. In part, this success is due to the fact we are focused on building and optimizing Dell infrastructure to help customers run their core mission-critical workloads,” said Marius Haas, president of enterprise solutions for Dell.


Caviums Debuts OCTEON III MIPS64 Multicore Processors

Cavium introduced two new families of 28nm dual and quad core OCTEON III MIPS64 multicore processors designed for a broad range of applications, including Wired and Wireless Gateways, 802.11ac access points, Switches, Routers, UTM/Security Appliances, Network Attached Storage, etc.

The new processors include up to 4 MIPS64 cores with full hardware virtualization, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), Packet processing, Security and QOS capabilities in a highly integrated System on a Chip.

Cavium’s new OCTEON III single, dual and quad-core SoCs are available in a small foot print plastic LBGA package and are targeted for low power and low cost applications. The new designs support full hardware virtualization that allows applications to be 'firewalled' from each other, legacy and newer operating systems to run concurrently and also enables live in-service upgrades. The broad range of connectivity options includes GbE, 10GbE XAUI, SATA 3.0, USB 3.0 and PCIe controllers.

Cavium has also included sophisticated power management techniques including "Power Optimizer" to reduce active power and support for Hibernate, Standby and Idle modes of operations that help slash overall power consumption.

Commercial availability is expected in Q3.


Cavium Shows Dual RAT Octeon Small Cell Design

Cavium unveiled an OCTEON Fusion based reference design for enterprise and service provider small cells that provide simultaneous LTE and WCDMA operations.

Cavium's  Dual-RAT solution extends the capabilities of its widely deployed enterprise-class LTE small cell SoC.  A production-ready reference design is available to further assist Cavium’s customers to quickly bring commercial small cell devices to market. This reference design includes manufacturing files as well as LTE and WCDMA L1 – L3 software stacks, application layer APIs and a software development kit.

“Our 4G LTE solution is already in volume deployment today. We are pleased to add this new dual-RAT reference design that supports both WCDMA and LTE”, said Raj Singh, General Manager of Cavium’s Wireless Broadband Group. “This reference design will expand the addressable markets for our small cell solutions.”


tw telecom Earns Carrier Ethernet 2.0 Certification

tw telecom has gained Carrier Ethernet 2.0 certification from the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) for four of its Ethernet-based products and services.

tw telecom becomes the first U.S. service provider with national E-Access EPL and EVPL CE 2.0 certification. E-Access EPL and EVPL deliver wholesale Ethernet access to an external network-to-network interface (ENNI) with a single point of access, scalable to 10 Gig, on tw telecom's national fiber footprint.

"CE 2.0 certification is very important in the industry and tells business customers that the products and services we offer deliver world-class connectivity, anytime, anywhere," said Harold Teets, tw telecom's Sr. Vice President – Network Engineering and Technologies.  "Our vast national Business Ethernet infrastructure delivers secure, scalable and predictable network connections to thousands of locations and customers."


Broadcom Combines DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem, VoIP and UltraHD STB

Broadcom introduced a hybrid cable gateway set-top box solution combining DOCSIS 3.0 and Gigabit wireless gateway functionality with HEVC video decoders and a quad video transcoder onto a single piece of silicon. Broadcom integrates the functionality previously required by five different devices.

The new device features a dual-core CPU that supports multiple applications running simultaneously in secure memory containers for better security.  It also integrates a quad transcoder to enable "TV everywhere" video services on four wireless mobile devices simultaneously, including smartphones and tablets.  In addition, by integrating H.265/HEVC video decoder technology, Broadcom's new cable hybrid gateway device transmits high quality video at one-fourth the bandwidth required by MPEG-2 HD, enabling the delivery of UltraHD content using similar bandwidth as today's MPEG-2 1080p HD.  It also integrates Full Band Capture tuner, which enables the 32 demodulators to be used for DVB-C/QAM and DOCSIS simultaneously, with complete channel flexibility up to 1GHz.

"Broadcom's new BCM7145 is a giant step forward in set-top box gateway chip design and is a key enabler for an all-IP cable platform," said John Gleiter, Broadcom Vice President of Set-top Box Marketing, Broadband Communications Group. "We have engineered a new solution that builds on Broadcom's unmatched, broad-ranged expertise in set-top box devices and our breadth of broadband, MoCA 2.0, Gigabit routing and leading 5G 802.11ac wireless technologies. As a result, the BCM7145 is a breakthrough that delivers what operators want to compete in their markets."


Compass-EOS Names Manouch Khezri as GM North America

Compass-EOS, which is developing a silicon-to-photonics router, appointed Manouch Khezri as its General Manager North America.

Prior to joining Compass-EOS, Mr. Khezri headed Huawei Technologies Company’s North American MSO business development. He has more than 20 years of experience in direct sales management, sales operations, channel sales, and business development. Prior to Huawei, Mr. Khezri served as a partner of the Jazuc group and Vice President at Adva Optical Networking. He’s also served as Vice President of Global Sales at Movaz Networks, a leading supplier of DWDM transport and switching equipment, where he was responsible for sales growth from $0 to more than $100 million per year. Previous to  Movaz, Mr. Khezri  was Vice President, Sales and Business Development, for Sedona Networks and held sales roles at Premisys Communications and Nortel.

Earlier this year, Compass-EOS unveiled its radical silicon-to-photonics router that essentially leverages an on-chip optical mesh and electronics to route high-densities of 100GbE and 10GbE.

The company's silicon-to-photonics implementation, which it calls icPhotonics, simplifies router design by bringing the entire backplane on-chip, thereby enabling petabit-class scalability, significantly smaller footprint and power consumption, and easier implementation of software-defined networking capabilities.  The on–chip optical integration ensures QoS routing at high utilization rates and congestion-free multicast packet handling. Compass-EOS said it is also able to ensure maximum router protection from DDoS attacks at maximum capacity.

The company's first product, r10004, is a carrier-grade, modular platform offering 800 Gbps Capacity in a 6U enclosure.  It offers 2 x 100G ports or 20 x 10G ports with full Layer 3 routing functionality for core, peering or aggregation deployments.


Overture Secures $10 Million Venture Loan

Overture announced a $10 million venture loan facility with Horizon Technology Finance Corporation. 

The new facility follows a recently announced $8 million equity investment that includes an opportunity to secure up to $11.7 million.  

The company said this new facility will accelerate the company’s introduction of its Ensemble Open Service Architecture and continue the expansion of its Carrier Ethernet product portfolio.  

“Obtaining financial backing from Horizon lends credence to the strength of our business model that is built on optimizing service creation, activation and assurance for our customers,” said Mike Aquino, president and CEO,Overture. “These new funds could bring the total to more than $20 million in new operating capital. This will allow us to advance software-defined and virtualized network services and continue to lead the market with the best and most innovative Carrier Ethernet solutions for service providers and operators around the world.”


Monday, June 3, 2013

Ericsson: Mobile Traffic Doubled from Q1 2012 to Q1 2013

Overall data traffic doubled between Q1 2012 and Q1 2013 and is now expected to grow 12-fold by the end of 2018 as the global smartphone subscriber base rises from 1.2 billion in 2013 to 4.5 billion in 2018, according to the newly released Ericsson Mobility Report.  By 2018, Ericsson estimates that 60 percent of the world's population will be covered by LTE.

"We expect LTE subscriptions to exceed 1 billion in 2017, driven by more capable devices and demand for data-intensive services such as video. Owing to the build out of WCDMA/HSPA, network speeds have improved, and so has the user experience," stated Douglas Gilstrap, Senior Vice President and Head of Strategy at Ericsson.

Some highlights:

  • Mobility growth is exceeding expectations and Ericsson is increasing its forecast for LTE adoption.
  • GSM is expected to start declining in 2013/2014.
  • Global mobile penetration was at 90% in Q1 2013 and mobile subscriptions now total around 6.4 billion. The actual number of subscribers is around 4.5 billion when accounting for people who have multiple subscriptions. There are projected to be over 9 billion mobile subscriptions by the end of 2018.
  • Global mobile broadband subscriptions have grown by around 45% year-on-year and have reached around 1.7 billion.
  • For Q1 2013, LTE added about 20 million new subscriptions, GSM/EDGE-only subscriptions added ~30 million, and WCDMA/HSPA ~60 million.
  • Total smartphone subscriptions reached 1.2 billion at the end of 2012 and are expected to grow to 4.5 billion in 2018.
  • LTE reached 100 million subscriptions in the beginning of June 2013.
  • Ericsson predicts LTE will reach 2 billion subscriptions by 2018. In its last forecast in November 2012, Ericsson had predicted 1.7 billion by 2018.
  • Mobile subscriptions will grow at a 6% CAGR from 2012-2018.
  • 50% of phones sold during Q1 2013 were smartphones.
  • By 2018, the average smartphone subscription will used 2 GB of data per month.
  • From the end of 2011 to the end of 2012, the LTE footprint coverage doubled from 5% to 10%.
  • Addressing network performance has the largest impact on customer loyalty -- four times as effective as introducing loyalty rewards.
  • In certain networks, users spend up to 85 minutes per day with social media. This is becoming a leading use for mobile data.

DANTE Provisions 2 Tbps in Minutes on key GEANT Route Using Infinera

DANTE, the organization that manages the GÉANT pan-European research and education network, announced a milestone in the rapid provisioning of bandwidth capacity on a live network.

Infinera and DANTE were able to install and activate 2 Terabits per second (Tbps) of long haul super-channel optical capacity and provision a 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) service over the GÉANT production network all in less than 12 minutes from plugging in the first line card.

Infinera reports that the demonstration was carried out using production DTN-X platforms and deployed on the GÉANT backbone.  The demonstration used a long distance link from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, a distance of 671km, including 10 fiber spans. First the 2 Tbps of line side capacity was activated and then the 100 GbE service was deployed as part of the test to show that the capacity was immediately available for service. We believe that rapid delivery of capacity and service is a key advantage of Infinera solutions and allows carriers to respond to customers’ rapidly changing demands.

The trial involved lighting up four 500Gb/s super-channels, and then provisioning a 100GbE service across the link.

"When Infinera was involved in the procurement process for the GÉANT backbone they made a number of claims about their ability to turn up long haul capacity very rapidly, and we decided to put those claims to the test,” said Michael Enrico, CTO of DANTE. “The fact is that critical science experiments across Europe are generating immense quantities of data that are often difficult to fit into a forecasting process, so this ability to turn up, or redirect long haul capacity in a matter of minutes will help us transform the service we offer to our National Research and Education Network partners."


Qualcomm Debuts Quad-core Snapdragon for High Volume LTE Smartphones

Qualcomm introduced a new version of its Snapdragon 400 processor featuring a quad-core CPU with integrated multimode 3G/4G LTE. This makes the Snapdragon 400 tier the first to offer multimode 3G/4G LTE on processors with both dual- and quad-core CPUs for high-volume smartphones.

The new Snapdragon processor integrates key modem features that are important to China and other emerging regions, including TD-SCDMA, HSPA+ (up to 42Mbps), and multi-SIM capabilities. The new Snapdragon 400 processor (8926), along with its Qualcomm Reference Design counterpart, will be available in late 2013 and will deliver the optimal balance of multimedia features, modem technologies and performance to high-volume smartphones.

In addition, the newest Snapdragon 400 processor will continue to support multi-SIM capabilities of Dual SIM, Dual Standby and Dual SIM, Dual Active and is optimized to deliver a smooth, graphics-rich gaming experience and provides Miracast support for wireless streaming of multimedia content. The platform also supports a rich set of wireless connectivity functionality including integrated Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM and NFC.

"By offering a multimode 3G/4G LTE variant to Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 tier of processors with quad-core CPUs, we are ensuring that emerging regions are equipped and prepared for the imminent transition to multimode 3G/4G LTE, in addition to being equipped for every major 2G and 3G technology," said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president and co-president of mobile and computing products, Qualcomm Technologies. "Snapdragon 400 processors provide customers with a wide range of innovative smartphones for both the high-volume and mid-tier segments."


Digicel Bids for License in Myanmar, Plans US$9 Billion Investment

The Digicel consortium will bid for a nationwide mobile phone licence in Myanmar.

The consortium, which is backed by Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd with the involvement of George Soros, has committed to reaching 96 per cent population coverage by the end of 2015.

"This is truly an historic day for Digicel. With FMI/Yoma and Quantum Strategic Partners, our consortium brings unrivalled expertise, local experience and resources to deliver a world-class telecommunications service to Myanmar," said Mr. Denis O'Brien - Chairman and Founder of Digicel Group Limited, in Nay Pyi Taw today. Our promise is 'Myanmar's Bigger, Better Network' and the Digicel Consortium will do this by delivering the best network, best service, best value and best innovation to the people of Myanmar," Mr. O'Brien added.

Some key points of the Digicel bid:

  • Digicel will invest almost US$9 billion in a world-class mobile phone network. Of this US$6.6 billion will be directly invested in Myanmar
  • Employ over 7,000 people by the end the first year
  • Digicel's investment in Myanmar will lead to the creation of 124,000 indirect jobs
  • Digicel will launch its 4G mobile network and achieve 52 per cent population cover by the end of this year and rising to 96 per cent by 2016
  • The roll out will involve 7,000 kilometres of fibre optic cable and provision of 23,000 wi-fi hotspots
  • Digicel will undertake the world's largest single mobile deployment of solar power - with 7,277 solar sites
  • Another major initiative will be the provision of free connectivity to 879 hospitals, 3,900 secondary schools, 180 universities and 4,600 libraries.


IBM and AT&T Offer Enterprise App Testing

IBM and AT&T are collaborating to help enterprises to develop more network-efficient mobile apps.

The integration of AT&T's Application Resource Optimizer (ARO) with IBM's software development solution for Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) will help determine how enterprise mobile apps are performing on any wireless network.

"ARO tackles a fundamental coding challenge developers face today – finding and fixing performance and power bottlenecks that detract from a great user experience," said Carlton Hill, vice president –Developer Services, AT&T. "ARO can help developers create apps that conserve battery life, load pages faster and consume network resources in a smarter way, all of which improve the customer experience."

AT&T's ARO is a free, carrier-agnostic, open source diagnostic tool that enables developers to analyze the performance of their apps, whether they be business or consumer apps. Launched in January 2012, ARO is now used by more than 1,500 developers, and users are seeing better results across the board, from a 35 percent reduction in excess data usage to apps that run up to 60 percent faster. 

Tabula Releases 100GE Packet Parser

Tabula, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, announced the availability of the latest addition to its suite of high-performance packet processing solutions: the 100G Ethernet Packet Parser Reference Design Kit. This latest kit is based on its new ABAX2P1 3PLD and supported by its Stylus revision 2.6.2 compiler.

The 100 GbE packet parser includes the following features:
  • 149M packets/sec at the minimum packet size of 64 bytes
  • 100 GbE stream support at 100% efficiency
  • Deterministic latency of 17 ns
  • Guaranteed bandwidth of 122 Gbps
  • Less than 1.5 Watts per 100 GbE stream

Earlier this year, Tabula unveiled  its suite of high-performance packet processing solutions aimed at 100G applications.

The technology focuses on routing of high-performance buses, on-chip RAM throughput, and timing closure for the ultra-high-performance functions required by 100G systems. Tabula will also leverage Intel's 22nm Tri-Gate technology.

The packet processing solutions, combined with Tabula’s new ABAX2P1 3PLD, deliver processing of four 100G streams on a single chip, a search engine capable of supporting 100G packet traffic, and a 12x10G-to-100G bridge.

The company said its solution leverages innovations four key areas: Programmable 3D architecture, RTL compiler, leading-edge process technology using Intel's 22nm Tri-Gate technology, and 3PLD devices.

In 2011, Tabula announced $108 million in Series D funding for its 3PLD ABAX programmable logic products.

VeEX to Acquire Sunrise Telecom for Test Gear

VeEX, a supplier of telecom and CATV test solutions, agreed to acquire Sunrise Telecom , a supplier of test, monitoring and workflow management solutions for cable, telecom, wireless operators, and equipment manufacturers.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

VeEX said the deal will accelerate its growth and strengthen its presence in the CATV and telecom markets. VeEX is located in Fremont, California.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

NTT Opens Massive Data Center in Hong Kong Amidst Strong Demand

NTT Communications opened phase one of a new Hong Kong Financial Data Centre (FDC™).  The company said over 80% of phase one capacity in the new data centre was reserved prior to launch.

The Tier IV ready facility boasts a100% uptime service level, unrivalled security, connection to NTT's ultra-low latency networks and close proximity to the data centre operations of regional exchanges.

FDC also features a continuous cooling system, continuous rating generators and compartmentalized infrastructure design. Once complete, the facility will offer over 70,000 m2 of gross floor area and over 6,000 racks in total.

The FDC houses the landing station of the new Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) which connects key financial hubs in Asia with the shortest possible route that boasts industry leading network latency of less than 43 milliseconds from Hong Kong to Tokyo and less than 64 milliseconds from Singapore to Tokyo. Furthermore, the FDC is collocated with NTT Communications’ global network node that connects to Europe and North America.

The Hong Kong Government is committed to promoting the development of high-tier data centres. Today the Tseung Kwan O Industrial Estate houses a cluster of 12 high-tier data centres, occupying a total of 20 hectares of land and the Hong Kong Financial Data Centre of NTT is the latest addition to this impressive data centre family. These centres with stringent performance requirements provide valuable support to the business operations and growth of both our local and international enterprises," stated Ms. Susie Ho Shuk-yee, JP, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Hong Kong.


NextiraOne Picks Equinix UK for Cloud Infrastructure

NextiraOne, a European multinational company based in Paris that designs, installs, maintains and supports business communications services for over 60,000 private and public sector organizations, selected Equinix’s LD5 International Business Exchange(IBX) as the primary data center to support the roll-out of its new modular private cloud infrastructure portfolio.

The new Equinix LD5 facility is located on same campus in Slough, England, as its LD4 data center.  The Equinix campus is linked by more than 1,000 diverse dark fiber links into Central London with global access to more than 900 network providers.  The location (just outside of London) provides access to transatlantic cables for low-latency connections to New York.

“The past twelve months have seen a significant increase in the number of businesses consolidating IT legacy systems, which have proven costly to update and slowed commercial growth. By locating in Equinix, we will not only be able to deliver our services to customers but also have direct access to a prospective client base of cloud driven customers and partners through Equinix Marketplace portal," stated Geraint Davies, head of business development, Data Centers, NextiraOne.

Separately, Equinix received an award from the European Commission Joint Research Center that oversees the EU Code of Conduct (CoC) on Data Center Energy Efficiency for the company's new International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Amsterdam (AM3). The new AM3 facility is build to LEED Gold standards.


Okinawa Open Laboratory Targets SDN

A new Okinawa Open Laboratory has been established by NTT Communications, NEC and IIGA Co. with a mission to develop software-defined networking (SDN) and cloud computing technologies.

The laboratory, which is located in Okinawa IT Shinryo Park in Okinawa Prefecture, will invite engineers from private companies and academic organizations in Japan and other countries to work at the facility on the development of SDN and cloud-computing technologies and verification for commercial use. 

The three companies set up the Okinawa Open Laboratory in cooperation with Okinawa Prefecture, which aims to become a leading ICT base in Asia. Yukio Ito, Senior Vice President and concurrently Director of Service Infrastructure at NTT Com, has been named Director of the new facility.