Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Infonetics: Ethernet and IP/MPLS Continue Growth

Ethernet service revenue, including retail and wholesale, increased 13% worldwide in 2012, and is expected to grow to $56 billion by 2017, according to a new report from Infonetics.

Meanwhile, layer 2 and layer 3 IP MPLS VPN service revenue grew 8% in 2012, and is also on a healthy growth trajectory.

With employees increasingly accessing corporate networks from personal devices for both business and personal use for apps like Facebook and private email, organizations are turning to less expensive IP and Ethernet services to cost-effectively deal with surging network traffic,” says Michael Howard, principal analyst for carrier networks and co-founder of Infonetics Research.  "The BYOD trend is adding to the already-pervasive use of networks based on Ethernet and IP/MPLS from the home, office and road, and will help drive a cumulative $374 billion to be spent on Ethernet and IP/MPLS VPN services from 2013 to 2017."

Some other highlights of the report:

  • Mobile backhaul transport’s transition to IP/Ethernet continues: today over 94% of mobile backhaul spending is on IP/Ethernet equipment.
  • The fastest growing Ethernet service revenue opportunities are in the >1G–100G segments.
  • Asia Pacific and Latin America are expected to make up the largest share of IP MPLS VPN services revenue through 2017, due to population and GDP growth, and increasing use of broadband and mobile in South America.


VMTurbo Tunes Resources In Virtual Data Centers and Hybrid Clouds

VMTurbo is rolling out a number of enhancement to its Operations Manager for software-defined control for cloud and virtualized environments.  The Operations Manager 4.0 uses an analytic engine to drive control across the virtualization stack.

Specifically, the newest version of VMTurbo adds modules for storage, converged fabric, and hybrid cloud. This includes:

  • Storage Cluster Support. Operations Manager now discovers storage clusters and limits virtual machine moves accordingly. If a virtual machine uses storage that is within a storage cluster, all moves of that storage will remain within that cluster.
  • High Availability Constraint. Operations Manager recognizes dedicated- and shared-failover HA configurations and won’t recommend a workload move to a host unless another host fails in the HA cluster.
  • Improved Shared User Roles. Operations Manager has improved its support for shared user accounts. Service providers can now masks views and/or metrics within views that are shared with subscribers.
  • Export Dashboards to PDF. Dashboard displays may be exported to PDF files to generate reports based on the data presented in the user interface.
  • Workload Utilization View. Provides an at-a-glance view of the overall health of virtual machines relative to the target utilization, with the ability to view details for smaller scopes of the environment.
  • VMTurbo said a key advantage for its platform is its ability to dynamically allocate resources, such as spinning up new VMs locally or in AWS or Azure, while retaining policy controls for security, regulatory compliance, etc.  Similarly, the VMturbo decision making engine now can intelligently look at the types of storage options are available, traffic loads, redundancy options, etc.

 Operations Manager 4.0 is generally available today and pricing starts at $699 per physical CPU socket.  The add-on Application Extension starts at $199 per CPU socket and the Storage Extension starts at $599 per CPU socket, and are generally available. The Hybrid Cloud Extension is available to current VMTurbo customers in its Early Access program.


Openet and Procera Collaborate on Policy Enforcement for Mobile Operators

Procera Networks and Openet, which specializes in real-time transaction management software and services, introduced an end-to-end turnkey Policy Control and Charging (PCC) solution for mobile operators.

The new Revenue Expres solution combines Intelligent Policy Enforcement and analytics coupled with Policy Management functionality.  It delivers the full PCC components defined by 3GPP standards.  Openet's software performs the Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) and Procera's platform provides the analytics and Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF).

The joint offering includes pre-packaged functionality designed to reduce cost of ownership and address time to market challenges faced mobile operators.  One of several options available, for example, offers a Service Pass for customers who have exhausted their existing data limit, such as 500 MB of extra data usage for a number of days at a small additional fee. In this case, providing subscribers with simple transparent data purchase options that they understand not only reduces customer service calls, and costs, but also encourages them to experiment with data usage, creating new customer segments that often choose to purchase additional data.

"Policy and charging control is essential for operators innovating data pricing and services,” said Openet’s vice president of Marketing, Christopher Hoover. “Procera’s Internet intelligence expertise and shared vision for delivering value to mobile operators makes them an ideal partner with whom to expand our existing suite of Openet Express solutions.”  

"Our policy work with Openet leverages both companies’ industry expertise and makes it possible for mobile operators to quickly meet common business requirements with reduced complexity and ease of operation,” said James Brear, president and CEO of Procera. "We look forward to continuing our relationship with Openet and finding new ways to bring our policy enforcement and analytics technology to all operators."


NTT Shows OpenFlow - MPLS Resource Control

NTT is showcasing its Versatile Openflow vaLidaTor (VOLT) resource control system for software defined networking (SDN) at this week's Interop Tokyo 2013.

NTT said VOLT, which was developed in partnership with Fujitsu, is able to duplicate the entire route information and configuration of OpenFlow.  This can be used to test a new network under the same conditions as the real environment.

The system consists of an MPLS edge router and controller.


NTT Tests 4K H.265/HEVC Streaming over the Internet

NTT West is testing the delivery of 4K TV streams over the Internet. The trial, which is being held with NTT SmartConnect Corp., carriers 4K video (3,840 × 2,160) using H.265/HEVC compression to next generation set-top boxes.  The companies are hosting a demo at this week's Makuhari Messe.


Intel Positions Solid-State Drives for Cloud Data Centers

Intel introduced a new line of solid-state drives (SSDs) for data centers and cloud computing. SSDs offer significant gains for read-intensive applications such as Web hosting, cloud computing and data center virtualization, including faster performance, reduced power consumption, high multicore CPU utilization and better data protection are important requirements.

The Intel SSD DC S3500 Series delivers sequential read speeds of up to 500 MB/s and sequential write speeds of up to 450 MB/s and a tight distribution of input/outputs per second with low maximum latencies. Random read performance can go up to 75,000 input-output operations per second. The new drives leverage 20nm Intel NAND Flash Memory technology with SATA 6 Gb/s interface support. The new SSDs will be offered in capacities ranging from 80 gigabyte (GB) to 800GB and both 2.5 and 1.8 inch form factors.

Intel said the new drives are a replacement for traditional hard disk drives (HDD), allowing data centers to save significant costs by moving toward an all-SSD storage model.

“The Intel SSD DC S3500 Series breaks through barriers – like the need for high throughput/low latency storage with a low total cost of ownership – to deliver the storage solution that meets the needs of the cloud, and its demand for storage, which has exploded in recent years,” said Rob Crooke, Intel corporate vice president and general manager for the Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. “Intel’s data center family of SSDs helps make cloud computing faster and more reliable, enabling more transactions and richer experiences.”

“Intel SSDs have enabled our chip designers to gain up to 27 percent performance throughput in our massive design distributed computing environment,” said Kim Stevenson, chief information officer at Intel. “In fact, we are increasing our deployment of Intel SSDs in our data centers from 10,000 units to 40,000 by the end of this year to enable our global design team to help bring products to market faster.”


CoreSite Hosts XO's New Cloud Compute Service

XO Communications' newly launched cloud service is being hosted from CoreSite's facilities in Northern Virginia and Los Angeles.

XO is deploying at CoreSite's One Wilshire campus in Los Angeles, which provides proximity to over 180 networks and access to a large ecosystem of digital content providers and enterprises. XO Communications will also grow its presence at CoreSite's Reston data center campus, which is strategically located along rich fiber routes and connectivity across Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., providing immediate access to communities of financial service providers, government-related agencies and other enterprises.

"Expanding with CoreSite for our new XO Compute portfolio made perfect sense," said Don MacNeil, CMO, XO Communications. "Not only do its facilities meet our growing requirements and support the needs of our customers, but its East and West Coast data centers will enable us to seamlessly integrate our new cloud offerings with our existing network presence. The expansion gives mid-size and enterprise customers nationwide, especially in financial services, healthcare and business services, easy access to our cloud services with minimal latency and maximum performance."


Sprint's Board Approves Sweetened Deal from Softbank

SoftBank sweetened its offer to acquire Sprint by an additional $4.5 billion, bringing the total cash consideration available to Sprint stockholders to $16.64 billion.

Sprint's Special Committee and Board of Directors unanimously approved the amended merger agreement and have unanimously recommended to stockholders to vote FOR the revised SoftBank transaction.  The company's board also said it has ended discussions with DISH due to a lack of an "actionable offer.  There is now a deadline of June 18, 2013 for DISH to provide its "best and final" offer. Sprint and SoftBank have rescheduled a Special Meeting of Stockholders from June 12, 2013 until June 25, 2013.  

Masayoshi Son, Chairman and CEO of Softbank, stated: "The amended agreement announced today delivers more upfront cash to Sprint stockholders, while still achieving our goal of creating a well-capitalized Sprint that is better positioned to bring meaningful competition to the US market. Our transaction offers significant value for Sprint stockholders and the opportunity to realize that value in just a few weeks, without the risks associated with any other potential transaction.  We look forward to working with the Sprint management team to accelerate the build out of a nationwide LTE network, increase competition in the US market and drive subscriber growth in the years ahead."


Monday, June 10, 2013

Comcast Builds its Wi-Fi Hotspot Network

Comcast activated nearly 3,800 Wi-Fi hotspots in and around Washington, D.C..  Connectivity is available at no additional charge to Comcast's Xfinity Internet residential customers.

Comcast said its Wi-Fi strategy currently includes two approaches: the first is the inclusion of tens of thousands of Xfinity WiFi hotspots in the CableWiFi Alliance, which enables Xfinity Internet customers access to more than 150,000 indoor and outdoor WiFi hotspots in more than a dozen major cities across the country.  Other member of the Cable Wi-Fi Alliance include Bright House Networks, Cox Communications, Cablevision Optimum and Time Warner Cable.

The second is the launch of a new home-based, neighborhood hotspot initiative, a plan to create a network of millions of additional Xfinity WiFi access points for Xfinity Internet customers. Specifically, Comcast will enable an additional “xfinitywifi” signal (or SSID) in customer homes that is completely separate and distinct from the family’s private and secure home Wi-Fi signal. This will enable friends, relatives, visitors and other Xfinity Internet customers to gain Wi-Fi access to the Comcast network.

"Our customers continue to look for ways to communicate and access their entertainment with wireless devices, including the tens of thousands of TV shows and movies available on Xfinity TV platforms," said Alan Clairmont, Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Comcast. "Xfinity WiFi gives our customers free access to thousands of hotspots where they can stay connected and surf online anywhere and at anytime."


tw telecom's Constellation Targets On-demand Data Center Access

tw telecom is previewing its upcoming "Constellation Platform", which promises dedicated Ethernet access to a virtual private cloud. The company said its goal is to enable enterprise customers to "click and connect," building new network service connections on demand to data centers and cloud applications providers across the country.

tw telecom will be partnering with leading data center provider CoreSite to demonstrate a prototype version at the upcoming Cloud Expo 2013 in New York City.   The companies said their demonstration will create a new network connection to extend through the data center and into the database application service provider on-demand, in real time.

"Imagine having a dedicated, secure, predictable and scalable Ethernet network for your enterprise's cloud needs.  Then imagine having that network available at the click of a button, building the service connection in real time, on-demand," said John Blount, Chief Operating Officer, tw telecom.  "No more writing service orders, waiting 45 or 120 days or longer for a dedicated network connection.  Our future Constellation Platformsm will enable enterprise customers to establish new Business Ethernet service connections, with as much bandwidth as they need, to any data center or cloud provider we are connected to, in real time."


XO Launches Three Cloud Services

XO Communications is launching three new cloud services that leverage its Tier III data centers and its nationwide network: XO Enterprise Cloud, XO Cloud Drive, and XO Cloud Vault.

XO Enterprise Cloud -- provides enterprise-grade cloud computing services delivered over a private and secure network environment. Multiple network connectivity options are offered to access the Enterprise Cloud.  The service offers multiple computing resource allocation options, such as Shared, Reserved and Dedicated.  The XO Enterprise Cloud architecture is designed to provide higher levels of performance and isolation for customers with mission-critical and unique security requirements.  XO Enterprise Cloud server and storage infrastructure is built using best-in-class products from HP, VMware, and EMC and offers three tiers of high performance  storage, including Solid State Drives. XO is also using networked Fortinet security appliances.  The XO Enterprise Cloud platform is deployed in Tier III data centers located in Northern Virginia and Southern California with SSAE 16 Type 2 compliance.  The service can support 1 Gbps dedicated bandwidth per virtual machine, as well as scale-up capabilities that can reach 32 vCPUs and 512 GB RAM per server.

XO Cloud Drive -- store, share, synchronize and collaborate on business content and files in the cloud.  The cloud-based platform provides uniform access to files across the following platforms, including iOS, Android, Mobile Web, Windows, Mac and Linux.

XO Cloud Vault -- automates and simplifies backup services for businesses with multiple locations or complex, distributed IT environments. Customers can replicate data from the XO Enterprise Cloud platform as well as from premise-based servers and desktops. An intelligent backup design provides compression, encryption and copy of only those documents, emails and databases that have changed since the most recent backup across the following platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac, Solaris and FreeBSD.

"IT organizations are continually pressured to support an increasing number of mission-critical applications with fewer resources, causing businesses to seek out virtual solutions as a way to effectively and efficiently expand core operations without spending unnecessary capital," said Jake Heinz, vice president of marketing at XO Communications. "In response to this industry need, XO Communications has expanded our services for dedicated cloud resources. This deeper commitment to the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market puts XO Communications in the best position to serve mid- and large-sized businesses for their computing, data and network requirements."


iRobot and Cisco Introduce Video Collaboration and TelePresence Robot

iRobot Corp. and Cisco introduced an enterprise-grade video collaboration robot.

The Ava 500 robot combines iRobot’s autonomous navigation with Cisco’s TelePresence to enable people working off-site to participate in meetings and presentations where movement and location spontaneity are important.

The remote user schedules and controls Ava 500 using an iPad interface, selecting his or her destination by tapping a location on a map or by choosing a room or employee name. An available robot is then activated to “take” the user where they want to go. The user can choose whether to make the trip from the charging station to selected location in either “private” mode—where the screen appears blank—or in “public” mode—where the user’s face is displayed. If public mode is chosen, the user can see and be seen, and even stop to have an ad-hoc hallway conversation with a colleague. When the session is complete, the Ava 500 automatically returns to its charging station.

"iRobot is excited to work with Cisco to bring this next generation of telepresence to businesses worldwide," said Youssef Saleh, vice president and general manager of iRobot’s Remote Presence business unit. "iRobot has been successful in introducing autonomous remote presence platforms to hospitals. Ava 500 will unlock new markets and applications for telepresence in the workplace."

Commercial availability is expected in early calendar year 2014.


Deutsche Telekom Employs Octoshape for Livestream OTT Service

Deutsche Telekom is launching a cloud-based video solution for over-the-top (OTT) content via fixed and mobile broadband networks.

"LiveStream Perform," which is powered by Octoshape, promises broadcast TV reliability delivered through best-effort broadband networks.

Octoshape’s streaming technology employs throughput optimization methods that enable TV-like playback quality.  In addition, the suite of multicast technologies enables scale and efficiency for operators and provides predictable business models for broadcasters.

"I am pleased to team up with such a prominent and highly regarded brand,” said Michael Koehn Milland, CEO of Octoshape. “Combining Deutsche Telekom with the industry leading OTT video distribution technologies of Octoshape simply escalates the disruptive cycle in the market. Together with Deutsche Telekom, we are very proud to usher in a new class of video service that is beyond any video experience available today. Octoshape already powers some of the largest OTT initiatives across many global marquee broadcasters. By partnering with Deutsche Telekom, we are able to extend the reach to an even broader group of companies around the world.”


Ericsson Wins 5-Year Management Contract with Three UK + EE

Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL), the joint venture company owned by Three UK and EE, awarded a 5-year contract to Ericsson to manage operations and maintenance of its radio access network in the UK.

Specifically, Ericsson will provide a fully managed end to end operations service that includes the network operations centre, network performance and optimisation, field support and maintenance, as well as multivendor spare parts management service for its 2G and 3G networks and EE and Three UK deployments of 4G technology.

"Since the formation of MBNL in 2007 we have achieved a great deal by consolidating a complex network infrastructure to deliver the best network at lowest cost. Ericsson will deliver a further enhancement to the service levels we achieve, and drive continuous service improvement and innovation to further extend our lead in positive customer experience," stated Graham Payne, Managing Director, MBNL.

Ericsson noted that has signed more than 300 managed services contracts in more than 100 countries covering over 1 billion subscribers.


Sunday, June 9, 2013

AT&T Launches Smartphone Trade-In Program, BYOD

AT&T announced changes to its mobile device upgrade policies, including a new smartphone trade-in program and BYOD without a contract.

AT&T's new 24-month policy aligns device upgrade eligibility with its standard two-year wireless agreement. Customers get a subsidized device for a new two-year wireless agreement.  After the first six months, customers can qualify for partial discount off the full retail price if they sign a new two-year wireless agreement. After the full 2 year contract, they are eligible for the full discount on a subsidized upgrade.

Under the new trade-in program, AT&T will provide a trade-in of up to $100 for current smartphones (three years or newer and in good working condition) when upgrading to another smartphone.

In addition, AT&T is now supporting "Bring your own device" for compatible GSM-capable phones.  These customers do not need to sign a service contract.



AT&T Sees Stronger Net Adds in Q2

AT&T reported stronger U-verse broadband and TV subscriber growth for Q2 versus the year-earlier quarter.  The company now expects postpaid wireless net adds of approximately 500,000, thanks to several successful promotions in the quarter which are driving strong sales, higher gross adds and smartphone upgrade rates similar to the first quarter.

AT&T now expects second-quarter wireless EBITDA margins to be comparable to the first-quarter.  Additionally, given strong consolidated customer additions and investments in new growth opportunities, consolidated margins are expected to be down year-over-year.  Full-year 2013 guidance remains unchanged from January. The company continues to expect full-year revenue growth exceeding 2 percent.

AT&T also reported a strengthened cash position, with strong free cash flow and an additional $1 billion in cash proceeds from a YP Holdings LLC distribution (~$500 million) where AT&T continues to hold a minority stake, and from the sale of America Movil (AMX) shares (~$550 million). AT&T’s ownership stake in AMX continues to be in the 9 percent range.


India's Reliance Reaches US$2 Billion Network Infrastructure Deal

Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Communications signed a definitive agreement for sharing of RCOM’s nationwide telecom towers infrastructure. The companies valued the agreement at US$2 billion, reflecting savings from shared infrastructure and operating costs over multiple years.

Specifically, Reliance Jio Infocomm will utilize up to 45,000 ground and rooftop based towers across RCOM’s nationwide network for accelerated roll-out of 4G services.

The companies will collaborate on additional towers to be built at new locations to ensure deep penetration and
seamless delivery of next generation services.

This agreement follows the inter-city optic fiber sharing agreement already signed in April 2013 as part of a comprehensive framework of business co-operation between Reliance Jio Infocomm and Reliance Communications.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

SUPERNAP 8 Data Center Set for Las Vegas

Switch, which operates the massive SUPERNAP data center complex in Las Vegas, unveiled plans for its most advanced building yet.

The SUPERNAP 8 data center will be built with two independent, separate and individually rated 200 mph steel roof decks. The two roofs are located nine feet apart and are attached to the concrete and steel shell of the facility and contain zero roof penetrations. The new facility will use the Switch IRON BLACK FOREST temperature control system for heat containment and to mitigate an disaster event impacts.  The building will also feature a patent pending flywheel to support refrigeration and temperature controls during a power outage by delivering uninterruptable high-efficiency data center cooling.

In addition, SUPERNAP 8 will offer the same tri-redundant backup power systems and the enhanced security that Switch uses in its other building.

Switch notes that its Las Vegas location is extremely well connected by national fiber.  It is also located in "the safest desert on the planet, free from natural disasters and disturbances and built on the newest and greenest power grid in the United States."


  • Last Fall, Switch, which operates the massive 407,000 square foot (37,800 m2) SuperNAP data center in Las Vegas, announced record-breaking sales for the month of September. Switch sold 533 cabinets of space and 7.6 MVA of power over a 30-day time period. There were 40 new clients. This will serve to bring the SuperNAP up to 84% occupancy.
    Switch provides colocation, connectivity, and cloud services for national and multi-national companies, government agencies and other organizations.  

    During the last year, Switch said it has delivered 40 MVA to its clients at the Switch SuperNAP-7 facility.

    This facility has 84 MVA of UPS and over 10 million CFM/tons of cooling available to deliver to its clients.

    "No other data center on earth can match it," said Missy Young, EVP of sales. "These numbers should end the debate on what facility is the world's largest modular data center."  
    While SuperNAP-7 nears capacity, Switch said its its eighth facility in Las Vegas will be client-ready in May 2013.

  • Switch recently announced expansion of the Switch SuperNAP Las Vegas Campus to a total data center space of 2.2 million square feet (204,000m2), making it the largest commercially available and independent technology business ecosystem in the world. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

ZTE Completes End-to-End VoTD-LTE Call with China Mobile

ZTE completed an end-to-end voice-over TD-LTE (VoTD-LTE) call in partnership with China Mobile and Marvell Technology Group.

ZTE said the test represents the industry's first end-to-end VoTD-LTE call.  The test was conducted on China Mobile’s network in Guangzhou, using 5-mode, 13-band smartphones powered by Marvell’s chipsets.

At present, there are three main methods to offer voice services to LTE users: CS Fall Back (CSFB), dual standby and VoLTE. The CSFB solution requires operators to hand off voice calls to slower 2G or 3G networks. The dual standby solution requires terminals to support the 2G/3G and 4G services simultaneously, with the 2G/3G network dedicated to provide voice services. VoLTE is an IMS-based voice service, with voice transmitted as IP data, and can be entirely supported by the LTE network, without 2G or 3G networks. Compared with the CSFB and dual standby solutions, the VoLTE solution offers superior voice quality and lower latency, with improved energy consumption for terminals, delivering a better user experience for 4G services.

ZTE said this testing will help accelerate the adoption of voice services on TD-LTE networks, and usher in the TD-LTE full-service era, aligning the TD-LTE industry with the FDD-LTE industry. As the development of mobile devices, TD-LTE wireless networks and IMS platforms become more mature, more VoLTE services will be deployed.


ZTE Carries 400G Wave for 5,000km

ZTE carried a 400 Gbps wavelength over a distance of more than 5,000 km.  The test used a WDM system with 100 Ghz channel spacing. Data was transmitted through 25 ROADM nodes without electrical repeaters.  ZTE used a unique frequency algorithm to overcome signal degradation.

  • In February 2011, ZTE transmitted a single-channel 11.2 Tbps optical signal. It also completed a 641-km transmission at 1 Tbps in standard single-mode fiber.