Thursday, August 15, 2013

Silicon Labs Launches SyncE-Compliant Clock

Silicon Labs introduced a low jitter, low power timing solution for high-speed networking equipment based on the Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) standard.

The new Si5328 precision clock multiplier and jitter attenuator boasts jitter performance as low as 263 femtoseconds RMS and is fully compliant with ITU-T G.8262 SyncE clock requirements including EEC Options 1 and 2. The SyncE clock can generate any output frequency ranging from 8 kHz to 808 MHz and from any input frequency from 8 kHz to 710 MHz. 

“As today’s telecom infrastructure rapidly migrates from legacy standards to SyncE, equipment manufacturers require fully SyncE-compliant timing solutions that not only offer low jitter performance but also reduce design complexity and power consumption,” said Mike Petrowski, vice president and general manager of Silicon Labs’ timing products. “Silicon Labs’ new Si5328 clock multiplier offers the most advanced SyncE timing solution available, giving designers an unparalleled margin in jitter performance, BOM cost, footprint and energy efficiency.”

Verizon Hit by Thieves in Maryland

Verizon has experienced a series of thefts at company garages and central offices in Maryland.

In recent weeks, thieves have stolen approximately $300,000 worth of FiOS-specific installation and testing equipment, tools and copper wire.  The company is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of individuals responsible.

Thieves also stole copper wire in May through early August from Verizon work centers in Bel Air; Brooklyn; Churchville; Edgewood; Fork; Hampstead; Jarrettsville; North East; Owings Mills; Parkton; Randallstown; Sparks; and Taneytown.  In some cases, laptops also were taken.

Maxim Integrated to Acquire Volterra Semiconductor

Maxim Integrated Products agreed to acquire Volterra Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ:VLTR) for $23 per share, which represents a 55% premium to Volterra Semiconductor's closing share price on August 14, 2013. The transaction value is approximately $605 million equity value or $450 million net of Volterra's cash position of approximately $155 million.

Volterra supplies high-current, high-performance, and high-density power management solutions. The company develops highly integrated solutions primarily for the enterprise, cloud computing, communications, and networking markets. Volterra's portfolio of highly integrated products enables better performance, smaller form factors, enhanced scalability, improved system management, and lower total cost of ownership.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cisco Posts Strong Quarter but Trims Forecast on Uneven Global Economics

Cisco reported $12.4 billion, net income (GAAP) basis of $2.3 billion or $0.42 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $2.8 billion or $0.52 per share for its fourth fiscal quarter, ended July 27, 2013.  Q4 revenue was up 6% year-over-year.  

"My confidence in our ability to be the #1 IT Company is increasing. Our fourth quarter was a record on many fronts, with record revenue, and record non-GAAP operating income, non-GAAP net income, and non-GAAP earnings per share. In every case, we exceeded the midpoint of our guidance. We also generated $4 billion in operating cash flow in the quarter, another record," stated Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers.

"Our financial strategy is working as our profits grew faster than revenue for the full fiscal year," stated Frank Calderoni, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "Our fourth quarter also delivered solid financial results as we continued to deliver profitable growth to maximize shareholder value for the long-term."

However, Cisco trimmed its guidance saying the economic recovery was uneven, with some regions, notably Europe, performing worse than others. The company now expects growth of 3-5% for the current quarter, compared with the 6% rate just reported. Cisco said it remains committed to its long-term financial model, including driving profitable revenue growth of 5-7%.

Cisco plans to cut about 4,000 jobs or about 5% of its workforce as a result.

CloudNFV Group Develops Multi-vendor Prototypes

A new, CloudNFV vendor group has been established with the goal of developing a prototype based on the ETSI Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Industry Specifications Group (ISG) work.

CloudNFV, which was set-up by CIMI Corporation President Tom Nolle, has just released a technical framework and public demonstration schedule of an open platform for implementing NFV based on cloud computing and Software Defined Networking (SDN) technologies in a multi-vendor environment.   The objective is to structure software and hardware elements, select practical interfaces and data models, and adapt as needed through the evolution of the ISG NFV specification.

The group is planning a series of webinars beginning in late September and will include live, in-person demonstrations conducted at various industry events through the end of the year.

Founding members include 6WIND, Dell, EnterpriseWeb, Overture and Qosmos.

“We formed CloudNFV in April 2013 with a group of like-minded companies working towards an open, effective, manageable, and extensible means to deploy NFV using proven cloud principles and techniques,” said Tom Nolle, President of CIMI Corp. “Today marks a milestone in this work as we invite others to join us as we work to demonstrate the practical application of well understood cloud technologies to NFV – really taking NFV to the cloud.”

DANTE and Infinera Set Optical Record: 8 Tbs Super-Channel Capacity

Infinera and DANTE (Delivery of Advanced Network Technology to Europe), have set a Guinness World Record for the fastest rate of multi-Terabit optical capacity provisioning across the GÉANT Network.

Infinera and DANTE were able to install and activate eight Terabits per second (Tbps) of long haul super-channel optical capacity. The record was set using an Infinera Intelligent Transport Network, featuring the DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform, deployed on the GÉANT backbone across a long distance link from Vancis Amsterdam, The Netherlands to GlobalConnect Hamburg, Germany.  The DTN-X platform features 500 Gbps super-channel line cards which require only two fiber connectors each. Sixteen such cards and 32 fiber connections were deployed at each end of the link, and once the super-channels were in operation a 100 Gigabit Ethernet service was provisioned over the link. The total time from the insertion of the first super-channel line card to the activation of the 100 GbE service was 19 minutes and 1 second resulting in a provisioning rate of 26.02 Tbps per hour.

Infinera said the record underscores how an Intelligent Transport Network enables service providers to use the rapid provisioning time to increase revenues with reliable, differentiated services while reducing operating costs through scale, multi-layer convergence and automation.

“Working with Infinera to achieve the Guinness World Record for fastest provisioning of long-haul transmission capacity on a live network is consistent with our day-to-day experience operating an Intelligent Transport Network,” said Michael Enrico, CTO of DANTE. “Infinera provides the easy-to-deploy multi-Terabit capacity we need to rapidly scale GÉANT, Europe’s largest research and education network.”

Tele2 and T-Mobile Announce Network Sharing in the Netherlands

Tele2 AB and T-Mobile Netherlands announced a network sharing agreement that provides Tele2 Netherlands with access to T-Mobile’s sites.

The deal gives Tele2 Netherlands access to the majority of antenna sites on rooftops and towers, in addition to its own sites in the Netherlands. Both operators will however roll out and operate their own frequencies and nationwide mobile communication network independently. Both T-Mobile and Tele2 will be installing their own network equipment at each site, but will share the antennas on rooftops or towers and the installment of other non-intelligent hardware.  In addition, Tele2 has extended the MVNO agreement for 2G and 3G with T-Mobile Netherlands for a period of 5 years.

The companies said the agreement ensures lower maintenance costs of the physical mobile network. The extended MVNO agreement ensures continued use of voice and data services for Tele2’s customers. It also serves as a fallback solution after the completion of Tele2’s own 4G network roll-out.

Günther Vogelpoel, CEO Tele2 Netherlands, commented: “This is a milestone in our continued path to challenge the Dutch telecom market. We can now incorporate the access to the T-Mobile sites in the total roll-out planning, which enables Tele2 to efficiently build a nationwide 4G-network.”

Thomas Berlemann, Managing Director T-Mobile Netherlands, commented: “We are very pleased with this renewed partnership. It underlines the continuing trust of Tele2 in our company as a reliable business partner with a future-proof nationwide network. This agreement will free up funding which we are able to reinvest to further differentiate ourselves from competition in customer services.”

Equinix Appoints Chief Operating Officer

Equinix has appointed Charles Meyers, formerly President of the Americas for Equinix, to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer (COO).

The company said the addition of the COO function is part of a reorganization designed to align the company globally to best serve the needs of Equinix customers. The Global Sales, Marketing, Operations and Client Services functions will now report directly to Meyers.

SanDisk Optimized SSD for Data Center Applications

SanDisk introduced enhanced versions of its solid state drive (SSD) line-up for businesses that prioritize fast, consistent access to data, such as search engine and cloud storage providers and streaming media companies.

The SanDisk X210 SSD provides up to 512GB of storage and offers up to 505 MB/sec sequential read and up to 470 MB/sec sequential write speeds.  It features automated power management and is built on SanDisk’s advanced 19 nanometer (nm) manufacturing process technology.

"Since launching SanDisk’s commercial SSD channel earlier this year, we have received a tremendous response from businesses that have seen significant advantages from incorporating SanDisk solid-state technology into their data center and workplace PCs and notebooks," said Tarun Loomba, vice president of Storage Solutions marketing at SanDisk.

Samsung Unveils 960GB SSD for Enterprise Servers

Samsung Electronics introduced its first solid state drive (SSD) based on its 3D V-NAND technology.   The new SSD, which designed for use in enterprise servers and data centers, comes in 960 gigabyte (GB) and 480GB versions.

The 960GB version boasts the highest level of performance, offering more than 20 percent increase in sequential and random write speeds by utilizing 64 dies of MLC 3D V-NAND flash, each offering 128 gigabits (Gb) of storage, with a six-gigabit-per-second SATA interface controller. The new V-NAND SSD also offers 35K program erase cycles and is available in a 2.5 inch form factor. Samsung began producing its new V-NAND SSDs earlier this month.

"By applying our 3D V-NAND – which has overcome the formidable hurdle of scaling beyond the 10-nanometer (nm) class, Samsung is providing its global customers with high density and exceptional reliability, as well as an over 20 percent performance increase and an over 40 percent improvement in power consumption," said E.S. Jung, executive vice president, semiconductor R&D center at Samsung Electronics.

Stream Commissions New Data Center in Houston

Stream Data Centers has opened a newly constructed 74,901-square-foot data center in The Woodlands, a suburb north of Houston. A multinational corporation has leased one of the three available Private Data Center Suites at the property and has outsourced its mission-critical IT infrastructure operations to Stream.

The Stream Private Data Center provides tenants with customizable maintenance and operations programs for their own infrastructure within a dedicated, fully independent Private Data Center Suite. Each PDC Suite has independent power and cooling infrastructure, delivering 1,125 KW of 2N critical load expandable to 2,250 KW across 10,000 square feet of raised floor data center space. The new data center is built with a 2N electrical / N+1 mechanical configuration, delivering dual feed power from separate substations. The carrier-neutral facility has access to eight fiber providers through diverse, private fiber conduits, and offers seven days of onsite fuel storage.

Stream Data Centers also has enterprise quality data center facilities in Dallas, San Antonio, Denver and Minneapolis. Since 1999, Stream has acquired and developed more than 1.3 million square feet of data center space, representing over 120 megawatts of power.

Narus Appoints Sr. VP of Product Management

Narus, a leader in big data analytics for cybersecurity, appointed Mohan Sadashiva as senior vice president of product management. Sadashiva most recently served as vice president and general manager of the cloud services broker business unit at Intel Corporation, through the acquisition of Aepona.
Prior to Intel, Sadashiva was the senior vice president of marketing at Synchronoss, where he managed marketing, business development, products and the patent portfolio. His experience also includes serving as vice president of products at Trimble, where he was responsible for a $100 million on-demand field force solution. Sadashiva has held leadership positions at Openwave Systems, Schlumberger and Nortel.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Oracle Introduces Virtual Compute Appliance

Oracle introduced its Virtual Compute Appliance, an integrated, “wire once” stack for the data center that integrates compute, network, and storage resources in a software-defined fabric.  It is designed for rapid deployment of both infrastructure hardware and application software, and runs runs Linux, Oracle Solaris, or Microsoft Windows.

The Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance can be scaled linearly, one server at a time, from 2 to 25 compute nodes
per rack.  Oracle VM Templates enable application scalability across virtualized resources. Oracle Virtual
Compute Appliance controller orchestration software automatically powers up, installs, and configures the hardware and software environment. The appliance includes Oracle SDN software for virtualizing network resources.

Infiniband: Each Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance hardware configuration contains multiple redundant QDR InfiniBand switches and Oracle Fabric Interconnect systems that serve as gateways to the data
center’s Ethernet network.

x86: Compute nodes comprise Oracle's Sun Server X3-2 systems containing Intel Xeon CPUs, high-speed dual inline memory modules (DIMM) memory, redundant, 40 Gb/sec InfiniBand host channel adapters (HCAs), and redundant disks

Storage: Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance features a fully integrated, enterprisegrade Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance for centrally storing the management environment as well as providing data storage for VMs.

"The Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance is unique in accelerating not only virtual infrastructure deployment, but also in speeding deployment of the complete application stacks through Oracle VM Templates,” said Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president, Linux and Virtualization Engineering, Oracle.

In April 2013, Oracle introduced its Virtual Networking open architecture for simplifying data centers using software-defined networking principles.

With Oracle Virtual Networking, the company is promising "the industry's fastest data center fabric with up to 80 Gbs  bandwidth to the server and support for Oracle's SPARC T5, T4 and M5 servers along with the Oracle Solaris 11 on both SPARC and x86 platforms.

More specifically, Oracle Virtual Networking is a data center fabric for controlling larger server pools with scalable I/O. By using this architecture and its own SPARC T5 systems, Oracle can scale up to 1,000 servers and 128,000 cores of compute performance. The virtualization capabilities provide the ability to run more VMs per server and get predictable performance for applications with granular quality of service controls.

For cloud deployments, Oracle said its solution can create up to 16,000 private Ethernet layer-2 networks inside a single fabric and maintain necessary network security in multi-tenant cloud environment. Additionally, the new release of Oracle Fabric Manager 4.1 unifies management for SPARC and x86 systems deployed with the Oracle Fabric Interconnect.

Products in the Oracle Virtual Networking family include:

  • Oracle Fabric Interconnect  (formerly the Xsigo Fabric Director)-- a switch offering 20 Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable (QSFP) connectors for connection to servers, storage, or Sun Data Center InfiniBand Switch 36 systems.
  • Oracle Fabric Manager
  • Oracle Fabric Monitor
  • Oracle SDN
In July 2012, Oracle acquired Xsigo Systems, a start-up in San Jose, California that developed network virtualization technology.  The Xsigo Server Fabric aims to do for infrastructure what VMware did for the servers -- namely, to enable one-click network connections from virtual machines to any data center resource – including servers, networks, storage, and other virtual machines.

The Xsigo Server Fabric is a rack-based solution that works by virtualizing connections between networks, servers and storage, not by re-configuring switches, switch ports, or VLANs. It supports Ethernet and Fibre Channel connections at up to 40 Gbps.  By providing this "one click" tool to connect VMs to networks and storage while using existing Ethernet routers + FC directors, Xsigo calculates that it can reduce the number of I/O cables and cards in a data center by up to 70%, thereby significantly cutting deployment CAPEX and simplifying operations.  

HP Refines Software-defined Storage with Automated Data Tiering

HP is adding new software functionality to its Converged Storage solutions to help customers maximize the return on investment (ROI) of their virtual infrastructure by lowering costs while increasing agility and capacity utilization.

HP said its StoreVirtual VSA is the industry’s first scale-out software-defined storage solution to offer data tiering. This feature moves data blocks to high-performance or cost-optimized storage automatically, based on application needs.

Specifically, new HP StoreVirtual Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) software functionality adds supports for automated sub-LUN (logical unit number) storage tiering.  It also increases VMware and Microsoft integration to improve efficiency and performance. New licensing options provide deployment flexibility to support current workload requirements and future growth needs.

HP also introduced two software plug-ins for HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage, one for use with VMware, and the other for use with SAP software.

“To reduce data center investment and operational costs, budget-conscious organizations are transitioning from dedicated physical hardware to software-defined storage embedded on existing industry standard servers,” said David Scott, senior vice president and general manager, Storage, HP. “Having pioneered software-defined storage with an installed base of over 170,000 StoreVirtual VSA licenses, HP is now extending its leadership in this area with auto-tiering capability to further optimize cost and performance for small or medium-sized businesses as well as remote enterprise branches.”

Amazon Web Services Launches Mobile Push Notification Service

Amazon Web Services announced a new "Mobile Push" for its Amazon Simple Notification Service that transmits push notifications from backend server applications to mobile apps on Apple, Google and Kindle Fire devices using a simple, unified API.

The new feature lets app developers send a message to a particular device (direct addressing), or send a message to every device that is subscribed to a particular SNS topic (broadcast).

The AWS Free Tier means all AWS customers can send one million push notifications per month across iOS, Android and Kindle platforms at no charge. After that, app developers must pay $0.50 for every million publishes and $0.50 per million push deliveries.

Japan's StarBED3 Deploys Juniper's QFabric

StarBED3, the advanced IP network simulator run by Japan's  National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), has deployed Juniper Networks' QFX3000-M QFabric System to support research and development of next-generation networks, security and services.

Located at the Hokuriku StarBED Technology Center, StarBED3 is NICT's third-generation IP network test bed, aimed at emulating large and complex network environments. It comprises more than 1,100 physical servers, together with network switch clusters for controlling experimental nodes and supporting interactive communication over a backbone operating at speeds of up to 200 Gbps. Specifically, NICT is using a QFabric System in a single-layer, distributed switch architecture featuring top-of-rack access nodes and a centralized control node for each logical device, significantly reducing operating costs. The QFabric System currently links 224 experimental servers at StarBED3 at high speed and with less than three microseconds of latency, all within a compact space and with low power consumption.

Juniper said a key issue in constructing the StarBED3 network infrastructure was how to connect the largest possible number of servers at high speed with low latency while working within physical space and power consumption limitations. Another challenge was the traditional approach of concentrating core switches in a single location, creating high cable densities that significantly compromise operational maintenance procedures. NICT was able to overcome these challenges with QFabric technology.

"We have to provide a highly flexible PC server cluster network suitable for a wide range of R&D projects on ICT technology. But often, when you try to design a flexible configuration consisting of many PC server groups linked together by small network devices, you run into problems with speed limitations and latency as well as with operational and administration standardization. QFabric addresses these issues and provides the ideal configuration for next-generation data centers. We see QFabric as a powerful tool for taking our large-scale emulation environment into the next generation," Shinsuke Miwa, director, NICT Hokuriku StarBED Technology Center.

NeoPhotonics and Inphi Begin Shipping High Dynamic Range ICR (HD-ICR) for 100G Colorless Coherent

NeoPhotonics and Inphi announced shipment to multiple customers of a new High Dynamic Range-Integrated Coherent Receiver (HD-ICR) in production volume.

The HD-ICR couples the high dynamic range, low noise and high input current handling capabilities of the Inphi IN3250TA TIA with the high sensitivity of the NeoPhotonics photodiodes and is designed to deliver the high performance that is necessary for next generation 100G colorless coherent transmission systems.

The companies said "colorless" optical transmission is more efficient because add/drop ports are not limited to fixed predetermined wavelength channels, meaning any wavelength channel can enter or exit any port.  However, colorless operation improves the efficiency and cost of coherent transport networks but places additional requirements on receiver performance.  For colorless applications where the remaining channels are not filtered out optically, the incoming signal power can vary significantly depending on how many other channels are present, resulting in up to 100 times higher optical power falling on the receiver than in the single channel case.  For this case, NeoPhotonics integrates a PIC variable optical attenuator that is designed to set the incoming optical power at the optimum point to avoid saturating the detector, while the high dynamic range and low noise of the Inphi IN3250TA enables the desired signal to be reproduced with high fidelity.

For the case where a single wavelength enters the receiver, the high sensitivity of the HD-ICR may eliminate the need for optical pre-amplifier in front of the receiver -- reducing cost and simplifying operation.

“We are pleased to add the HD-ICR to our extensive line of PIC based intradyne coherent receivers and we feel that working closely with Inphi has effectively made available to our customers the high performance of both companies’ technology,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “Our next-generation 100G optical solutions coupled with Inphi’s 100G electronic chips can help us meet the needs of our customers in next generation 100G systems and beyond.”

FCC Updates Rules for 57-64 GHz Unlicensed Spectrum

The Federal Communications Commission updated rules governing unlicensed communication equipment in the 57-64 GHz band, saying the changes support using the spectrum for relatively low-cost, high-capacity short-range backhaul alternative to connect wireless broadband networks and for other wireless applications.

The FCC said the spectrum could provide wireless broadband network connectivity over distances up to a mile at data rates of 7 Gbps, potentially relieving the need and expense of wiring facilities or using existing facilities with less capability.

At the same time the rules for equipment located indoors will remain unchanged, providing regulatory certainty for an emerging family of products that can provide data rates of 7 Gbps for applications such as wireless docking of digital devices and distribution of uncompressed video to TV receivers and video displays.

In the 1990s, the Commission adopted rules for unlicensed operations over a 7-gigahertz wide bandwidth, in the 57-64 GHz band. Because of the wide bandwidth, this spectrum is very desirable for high-capacity uses, both in point-to-point fixed operations outdoors (extending the reach of fiber optic networks by providing broadband access to adjacent structures in commercial facilities), and as networking equipment indoors (enabling users to send data between entertainment equipment such as high-definition televisions and video players within the same room, eliminating the need for complex wiring).

Under the new rules, new limits are set for the power permitted for outdoor operations between fixed points using highly directional antennas. This maximum power permitted is tied to the precision of the antenna beam which determines its potential for causing interference to other users, including to indoor low-power networks. This rule change would permit outdoor devices to deliver high-capacity communication links over longer distances, enhancing the utility of the unlicensed 57-64 GHz band as a vehicle for broadband. It will also facilitate the use of this unlicensed spectrum as a backhaul alternative in densely-populated areas where 4G and other wireless services are experiencing an ever-increasing need for additional spectrum.

The Commission also took additional actions to reduce the regulatory burden on these operations by eliminating a station identification rule that has become unnecessary, and by modifying the measurement units to promote uniformity and consistency.

CloudPhysics Releases SaaS-based IT Management for VMware

CloudPhysics, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, announced $10 million in Series B funding and released its SaaS offering, which automatically uncovers hidden operational hazards before problems emerge as well as identifies radical efficiency improvements in storage, compute and networking with VMware workloads.  The CloudPhysics tools give IT more power to understand, troubleshoot and optimize their virtualized systems.

CloudPhysics is opening a Card Store, essentially an app store built on an industry-wide dataset and community. The CloudPhysics user interface is composed of Cards, each of which is a highly focused app to solve a particular IT operations problem. Cards are built by CloudPhysics and members of its user community using the Card Builder feature of the cloud-based service and range across all IT operations use cases from planning, procurement, reporting, analysis, troubleshooting and capacity management.

The new funding was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Previous investors the Mayfield Fund, Mark
Leslie, Peter Wagner, Carl Waldspurger, Nigel Stokes, Matt Ocko and VMware co-founders also
participated in this round.

"Managing virtualized IT means managing an ever-changing, dynamic set of conditions," said John Blumenthal, CEO and Co-Founder of CloudPhysics. "Today's static solutions can't keep pace and a new approach is called for -- leveraging collective intelligence drawn from industrywide operations big data and delivering solutions rapidly via SaaS as users encounter new operational problems.

  • CloudPhysics, which was founded in 2011 by former VMware executives John Blumenthal and Irfan Ahmad, provides virtualization administrators and architects detailed real-time analytics about their physical infrastructure and specific application workloads.

Telekom Austria and KPN Form Wholesale Partnership

Telekom Austria Group and KPN International have formed a wholesale partnership that encompasses the interconnection of Ethernet, IP VPN, Wavelength and IPT services across Europe.

The combined network footprint doubles the reach of the carriers individually, reaching 73 Points of Presence (PoP) within 35 countries and making it one of Europe's largest fiber networks. Notable, the IP backbone connects the four most important Internet Exchange Points in Europe: Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris.

The cooperation is already in operation.

Stefan Amon, Director of Wholesale at Telekom Austria Group stated "I am really proud to announce this pan-European wholesale partnership with our two regionally complementary infrastructures. I see an excellent operational fit as both backbone network providers focus on top quality. This infrastructure throughout 35 countries will be one of the largest in Europe, offering technological as well as local know-how and experience from Telekom Austria Group in CEE and from KPN International in Western Europe."