Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Internet.org Aims for Global Connectivity

A new Internet.org initiative is being launched to make the Internet "available to every person on Earth."

The effort is being spearheaded by Facebook, in partnership with Ericsson, Qualcomm, Mediatek, Opera Software, Samsung and Nokia.  The partners plan to explore solutions in three major opportunity areas: affordability, efficiency, and business models.


Vertical Systems: Cable Operators Advance on U.S. Ethernet Leaderboard

Cable MSOs are making advances as providers of business Ethernet services and now comprise 20% of the total U.S. Ethernet port base, according to Vertical Systems Group's latest U.S. Ethernet Leaderboard. The Incumbent Carrier segment remains the largest, with 47% of total U.S. Ethernet ports, followed by the Competitive Provider segment (33% of ports).

Vertical Systems Group's U.S. Ethernet Leaderboard are as follows (in rank order based on port share): AT&T, Verizon, tw telecom, CenturyLink, Cox, XO, Time Warner Cable, and Level 3. Port shares for mid-2013 were calculated using Vertical's base of enterprise installations, plus direct input and other data from surveys of Ethernet Service Providers. To qualify for the Leaderboard, a provider must have four percent (4%) or more of billable retail port installations.

The following seven Ethernet providers have the next highest mid-2013 port shares and have achieved a position in the Challenge tier (in alphabetical order): Charter Business, Cogent, Comcast Business, Integra, Lightpath (formerly Optimum Lightpath), Windstream, and Zayo Group (includes AboveNet and other acquisitions). To qualify for the Challenge tier, a provider must have 1% or more of billable retail port installations.

"During this reporting period, the Cable MSOs showed very strong market penetration. For the first time, the Cable MSO segment had more new Ethernet port installations than the Incumbent Carrier segment," said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "Competition was heaviest in the mid and small business sectors served by MSOs and regional CLECs, resulting in very favorable pricing for customers."

Some other key results of Vertical's Mid-2013 Carrier Ethernet services share analysis:

  • Leaderboard changes for the period include XO moving up to sixth position, Time Warner Cable moving up to rank seventh, and Level 3 dipping to eighth position.
  • The eight Leaderboard companies as a group lost more than 2% market share to smaller competitors during the first half of the year.
  • A larger percent of retail Ethernet ports are being sold using wholesale and other channel partners.
  • Ethernet providers cited an uptick in demand for connectivity to Private Clouds using Ethernet Private Lines (EPLs) and Ethernet Virtual Private Lines (EVPLs).
  • The fastest growing offerings during the period were Ethernet access to IP/MPLS services and Cloud connectivity.

The Market Player tier includes all other providers selling Ethernet services in the U.S. Companies in the Market Player tier include the following providers (in alphabetical order): Alpheus Communications, American Telesis, Bright House Networks, BT Global Services, Canby, Cbeyond, Cincinnati Bell, Consolidated Communications, Earthlink Business, Expedient, FairPoint Communications, FiberLight, Frontier, IP Networks, Lightower (includes Sidera Networks), LS Networks, Lumos Networks, Masergy, Megapath, NTT America, Orange Business, Reliance Globalcom, Sprint, SuddenLink, Tata, US Signal, Virtela and others.


SK Telecom Plans 32,000 LTE-Advanced Base Stations by Year End

SK Telecom is expanding its LTE-Advanced commercial service network, via its local entity Ericsson-LG, to downtown areas of 84 cities nationwide, including the entire Seoul metropolitan area and six other major cities.  The carrier launched its commercial LTE-Advanced service earlier this summer, offering up to 150Mbps mobile broadband speeds, twice that of LTE.  The initial launch included the entire Seoul area, the downtowns of 42 cities in Gyeonggi-do and Chungcheong-do provinces, and 103 campus towns.

The carrier plans to deploy 32,000 LTE-Advanced base stations by the end of the year, which will cover 84 cities nationwide and approximately 300 college campuses.

Ericsson confirmed its major role in the upgrade, providing the software for Carrier Aggregation and multi-carrier technology for the B5 (850MHz) and B3 (1.8GHz) bands in South Korea’s southeastern regions, where Ericsson partnered with SK Telecom for the LTE network deployment and commercial service launch in 2011.

Jan Signell, Head of Region North East Asia, Ericsson, says: "We are proud to power SK Telecom’s LTE-Advanced network, which now covers major areas of the nation. SK Telecom will be able to offer its users broader network coverage and an enhanced mobile broadband experience, ensuring continued loyalty among its customers and market leadership. Ericsson will keep collaborating with SK Telecom to exceed increasing user expectations in South Korea."



Hibernia Networks Links Telecity's London & Frankfurt Data Centers

Hibernia Networks announced two new Points of Presence (PoP) into Telecity Group’s 8/9 Harbour Exchange London and Gutleutstrasse, Frankfurt data centers.  Hibernia will now deliver Ethernet and Wavelength services from 2Mbps to 100Gbps at these locations.

Hibernia can provide carriers, ISPs and enterprise organizations two new venues that enable Amazon Web Services (AWS) and LINX (London Internet Exchange) connectivity in London and Global Peering Solutions for members of DE-CIX (Deutscher Commercial Internet Exchange) in Frankfurt.  The carrier said its network engineering bypasses the high-demand London backhaul routes by travelling from North America to Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris directly. From Europe, Hibernia also provides diverse routes that can bypass New York City and Chicago into Montreal and Toronto.  Hibernia now provides access to over 170 points of presence across North America, Europe and Asia.

"Hibernia is continually working to improve its network with more geographic density, enhanced technological delivery platforms and the highest level of reliability available,” states Bjarni
Thorvardarson, CEO for Hibernia Networks. “Hibernia’s very diverse European connectivity options, empowers customers with the highest possible capacity services to reach the necessary
locations for their network needs.”

“The addition of Hibernia’s network into our Harbour Exchange and Gutleutstrasse data centers is a plus for our clients, expanding their options for secure, diverse connectivity,” comments Michael
Tobin, CEO, TelecityGroup. “Operating carrier neutral data centers throughout Europe, TelecityGroup is home to organizations that require high performance capacity to fuel their highly
connected environments.”


AT&T Sees Savings in Cooling Systems

AT&T estimates that  U.S. commercial buildings with cooling towers could collectively save up to 28 billion gallons of water annually by upgrading systems and relying more on free cooling techniques. This is equivalent to the amount of water that more than 765,000 Americans use at home in a given year.  The water savings could range from 14-40% of overall building usage, according to the study conducted by AT&T and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

For its own operations, AT&T upgraded one cooling tower filtration system upgrade at a cost of under $100,000.  This change promises more than $60,000 in annual water and sewer savings—paying for itself in less than two years.  Another minor $4,000 equipment upgrade to expand free air cooling promises nearly $40,000 in annual savings.

AT&T has now set a target to to reduce its approximately 1 billion gallon annual cooling tower water use by 150 million gallons per year by 2015. Cooling tower water use accounts for approximately 30 percent of AT&T's 3.3 billion gallons of annual water use.

AT&T and Environmental Defense Fund are releasing a Building Water Efficiency toolkit to help others implement these best practices.

"People knew these cooling systems use a lot of energy, but nobody had ever focused on how much water they guzzle, or how we could reduce that 'aqua-print,'" said Tom Murray, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at EDF. "Even we were surprised by what we were able to achieve with AT&T. It's a huge opportunity for companies to save water, save money and help out the communities where they operate."

"Thirty-one of our top water consuming facilities are in water stressed regions," explained John Schinter, AT&T Executive Director of Energy. "We couldn't wait until a drought put a strain on our operations; we needed to manage risk from water scarcity and increasing water costs today. EDF helped us find ways to do so that were good for the communities where we operate and that were financially sound."


Oklahoma's Dobson Tech. Deploys Cyan for Packet/Optical + SDN

Dobson Technologies, an Oklahoma-based provider of business and residential telecom and transport services, as well as cloud data center services, has deployed Cyan's Z-Series packet-optical transport platforms (P-OTPs) across its major markets and has turned-up Cyan's Blue Planet software-defined networking (SDN) system.

The Cyan solution comprises Z77, Z33 and Z22 packet-optical platforms deployed in roughly 40 markets supporting Dobson's telecom and transport services. The solution also includes Blue Planet applications Planet Design for network design functions, Planet Operate for network and service orchestration functions, and Planet View, which provides customers with visibility into and control over their services.

"We are seeing a number of demands, primarily from wireless backhaul, business Ethernet, and data center customers, that have challenged our network resources and operational model. The Cyan Z-Series platform allows us to cost effectively address those demands. But to truly get ahead of the curve and proactively offer compelling and profitable new services requires sophisticated software such as Cyan Blue Planet, which will help us create an entirely new customer experience," sated James Rutherford, Dobson president of network operations.


Infonetics: Carrier VoIP/IMS Market Surges 30% in 2Q13

The market for VoIP and IMS solutions surged 30% in 2Q13 boosted by VoLTE spending in North America, according to Infonetics.

"IMS equipment has officially moved into an LTE and voice-over-LTE world, and there’s no going back now,” notes Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS at Infonetics Research. “In the second quarter we saw this impact spending on session border controllers and IMS core equipment for VoLTE access and interconnection (LTE to 3G) buildouts.  Though LTE- and VoLTE-related equipment sales are growing, the market will continue to be lumpy from quarter to quarter."

Some highlights:

  • Typically a strong quarter, in 2Q13 the global service provider VoIP and IMS equipment market grew 30% sequentially, to $936 million
  • All major geographical regions – North America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Asia Pacific and Latin America – posted year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter gains in 2Q13
  • North America continues to be positively impacted by LTE-related activity, growing 78% year-over-year in 2Q13
  • The standout vendors in 2Q13 in terms of sequential revenue growth are Alcatel-Lucent, BroadSoft, Genband, Huawei and Sonus
  • Meanwhile, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent and Genband remain atop the VoIP and IMS market share leaderboard.


Crehan: 10-Gigabit Ethernet Returns to Strong Growth

The market for 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) has returned to strong growth, posting double-digit increases in both revenues and shipments for the second quarter of 2013, according to the recently published Server-Class Adapter & LAN-on-Motherboard (LOM) Report from Crehan Research.

The report shows that the 10GbE growth was broad-based, with both the adapter card and LOM/controller segments posting increases.

"The demand for high-speed server networking rebounded strongly, with both enterprise and public cloud/web-scale data center customers upgrading existing networks as well as building out new networks to handle increased traffic demands and application workloads," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “The strong rebound propelled the 10GbE market to new highs,” he added.

In parallel with the strong 10GbE growth seen in the server-class adapter and LOM market, Crehan anticipates that the data center switch market will also post robust results on the strength of record 10GbE deployments.

"The recent introduction of numerous software-defined 40GbE- and 100GbE-capable data center switches for core and aggregation deployments seems to be giving customers more comfort in deploying 10GbE server access switches," he said.


USA and Canada Agree to Border Spectrum Sharing

The U.S. and Canada have agreed on three interim spectrum sharing arrangements covering a range of wireless communications operations along the U.S.-Canada border.

The agreements, which were negotiated by the FCC and Industry Canada, govern the sharing and coordination of spectrum in the 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz, 92-94 GHz and 94.1-95 GHz bands.  The agreement also covers general aviation air-to-ground communications services, and more efficient use of spectrum for specialized mobile radio services. 

"The arrangements announced today will help pave the way for improved wireless broadband deployment along the U.S.-Canada border for consumers and businesses, among other multiple public and commercial benefits. The arrangements are also critical to maximizing interference protection for commercial licensees operating along our common border with Canada, and will also promote more efficient use of spectrum. The arrangements were reached as a result of a collaborative effort by the FCC, the State Department, NTIA and Industry Canada," stated Mignon Clyburn, acting FCC Chairwoman.

Columbus Networks Deploys Juniper T4000 Core Routers

Columbus Networks, which operates a number of undersea cables across the Caribbean, has upgraded its network with the Juniper Networks T4000 Core Routers to meet rapidly expanding bandwidth requirements for hosted services and multimedia applications, including mobile, video, cloud and research.   The upgrade extends and enhances the existing Juniper Networks T1600 core routing infrastructure in the network.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Columbus Networks, with its joint venture partner CWC Wholesale Solutions, operates more than 26,000 miles of subsea fiber.

"Our priority is to exceed customer expectations as our network continues to experience continuous growth. As we evolve the Columbus IP network and realize the capabilities of the T4000, Juniper has been a critical technology partner enabling us to reduce our operational expenditures while also increasing our performance, reliability and efficiency," stated Paolo Autore, engineering manager, Columbus Networks.


XO Expands to Canada

XO Communications announced an expansion to Canada.  Its Canadian subsidiary will now offer route-diverse, high-speed network services across all of Canada's six time zones. XO network services are now available throughout Canada, including Dedicated Internet Access, high-speed IP transit, MPLS IP-VPN, VPLS, Ethernet, Private Line and Wavelength services for enterprise and wholesale customers.

"Our Canadian expansion is an example of the progressive organic growth we've experienced since implementing our initial network hub in Toronto and the growing demand from our customers for end-to-end network service capabilities throughout Canada," said Don MacNeil, chief marketing officer for XO Communications. "Our further expansion across Canada will enable XO Communications to continue to provide high-capacity network services to enterprise and wholesale customers, whether they need connectivity within Canada or high-speed access to markets in the U.S."


Monday, August 19, 2013

Infonetics: North America Drives Growth in Optical Networking

The optical network hardware market, including WDM and SONET/SDH equipment, totaled $3.3 billion worldwide in 2Q13, up 27% over the preceding quarter, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

Some highlights:

  • EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) is operating at record low levels of optical capital intensity; positive capex rumbles from tier 1 carriers have yet to translate into more optical spending
  • The top 3 optical market share leaders in 2Q13 are, in rank order, Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent and ZTE
  • Alcatel-Lucent continues to decline on a year-over-year basis, though optical investment is set to increase in 2013 as part of its SHIFT Plan to double down on optical and routing
  • Ciena is well positioned to capture the torrent of 100G spending expected this year from AT&T and Verizon
  • Infinera is the fastest-growing supplier of optical WDM gear in Europe

“We expected the optical hardware market to turn, particularly in North America, and that’s exactly what happened in the 2nd quarter. Total optical spending is up 27% quarter-over-quarter, and the WDM equipment segment is up 21% year-over-year,” notes Andrew Schmitt, principal analyst for optical at Infonetics Research.

“WDM spending accelerated dramatically in North America as a result of 100G deployments hitting the ground, and worldwide spending on 100G speeds is tracking close to 15% of all optical spending,” Schmitt adds. “China’s 100G deployments will begin in earnest as the year closes, led by China Mobile, and we’re anticipating more than 5,000 ports of 100G in China alone in 2013.”


HP's New Graphic Server Blade Virtualizes NVIDIA GPUs

HP introduced a Graphics Server Blade powered by NVIDIA GRID GPUs.  This allows up to 8 simultaneous virtual desktops to benefit from the processing performance of NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs).

HP said its Gen8 server with NVIDIA GRID or Multi-GPU Carrier lowers the cost per user while delivering levels of graphics performance previously unavailable for desktop virtualization users. The NVIDIA GRID K1 and K2 GPU adapters also enable multiple media-rich PC or high-end graphics users per blade by providing graphics capability to each virtual machine.



Digital Realty Joins Epsilon's Global Network Exchange

Digital Realty, which owns 127 data center properties worldwide, has signed a network partnering agreement with Epsilon to offer a dynamic bandwidth solution in London to cloud and content providers for seamless backbone connectivity.  The new platform facilitates enhanced connectivity for cloud and content providers from Digital Realty's London-area data centers with seamless interconnectivity to over 65 data centres globally.

Epsilon is a privately owned communications service provider specializes in operating high-density metro connectivity platforms.  It operates an extensive global network exchange, powered by BTI's intelligent networking software and systems, to enable the delivery of on-demand metro connectivity services. Epsilon has created an application-aware network to rapidly scale capacity to support 100G connectivity and facilitate on-demand switching of cloud-based application workloads between data centres.

The partnership initially involves the establishment of points of presence in two of Digital Realty's data centers in the UK (Chessington and Woking). The connectivity platform will operate on a major dark fiber ring, commissioned by Digital Realty, and connecting to 22 key London-area Internet and metro gateway centres.  Further expansion across Europe is contemplated.

"Our goal is to provide flexible solutions that accommodate the evolving needs of our customers' businesses, now and in the future," said Bernard Geoghegan, Managing Director, EMEA, for Digital Realty. "Our London-area customers require on-demand and rapidly scalable automation of their bandwidth as part of their data centre solutions. We are pleased to offer this platform as we continue to build the Digital Realty Ecosystem across our portfolio in Europe and globally."

"Epsilon's global network exchange, powered by BTI's Cloud Networking Solution, provides the platform that we believe will help us achieve our distributed cloud data centre vision," said Robert Bath, Vice President, Engineering, at Digital Realty. "We expect the solution to attract a new class of global cloud and content provider customers to our data centres."

"We see growing demand from data centre customers for our outsourced connectivity model and this agreement with Digital Realty reaffirms our commitment to supporting cloud and content connectivity development," said Andreas Hipp, Chief Executive Officer at Epsilon. "As a global provider, we are driven by service excellence and agile operational objectives. Working with BTI helps us achieve our dual mission by simplifying network operations and increasing service velocity, while enabling the introduction of new cloud connectivity services."


OIF Marks Progress in Pluggable Coherent Modules, OTN, Transport SDN

The Optical Internetworking Forum announced a new, second project for a pluggable coherent optics transceiver (CFP2) module, saying standardization of a micro Integrated Coherent Receiver (ICR) will enable component manufacturers to quickly ramp up production while also reducing the cost and time to market for high volumes of pluggable modules.

Following its quarterly meeting, the OIF also cited progress on projects addressing thermal aspects, CEI-56G, E-NNI multi-domain recovery, OTNv3, and transport SDN:

  • The OIF Physical Layer Users Group is working to specify the surface smoothness and flatness of optical modules, which are key elements for thermal management by helping to improve heat dissipation.
  • For CEI-56G, simulations of this proposed interface were presented to members of the Physical and Link Layer (PLL) working group. The CEI-56G work effort potentially supports both narrower 100Gbps as well as 400Gbps efforts.
  • The E-NNI Recovery Amendment adds extensions to the E-NNI to allow automated backup from failure or maintenance in multi-domain carrier networks, a critical feature of the optical control plane.
  • The OTNv3 Amendment adds updates to the E-NNI to support the latest OTN control plane standards, now supporting rates from 1Gbps up to 100Gbps.
  • The Carrier completed documenting an initial set of carrier requirements for Transport SDN, providing a framework for Transport SDN in a multi-domain carrier network and identifying requirements on signaling network, control plane and management for deploying SDN in a reliable, secure and high performance manner. OIF members are reviewing this document before it is available to the public.

In addition, the OIF announced the election of Evelyne Roch of Huawei as the Networking & Operations Working Group chair and plans for workshops on Next Gen efforts and Transport SDN in early 2014.  New Members to date in 2013 include Google, KAIST, Mellanox, Optelian, Ranovus, Sandvine, TELUS and US Conec.


Zayo Acquires Fiber Network in Minneapolis for $40 Million

Zayo agreed to acquire Access Communications, a metro network operator in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., for $40 million.

Access owns and operates a 1,200 mile metropolitan fiber network that covers the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, connecting more than 500 on-net buildings, including the area’s major data centers and carrier hotel facilities. Access is primarily focused on providing dark fiber services to a concentrated set of Minneapolis area carrier, enterprise and governmental customers, particularly within the education segment.

"Given the complementary breadth and depth of its fiber network, the Access transaction is a natural step for Zayo,” said Dan Caruso, President and CEO of Zayo Group. “The acquisition is the latest in a series of major investments supporting the growth of our Bandwidth Infrastructure business in Minnesota.”


Marvell's New Prestera Switching Processors Target Dynamic Access/Aggregation

Marvell introduced its Prestera DX4200 series of packet processors for the access and aggregation layers of fixed and mobile networks.

The new product family, which represents the eight generation of Marvell switching silicon, is implemented in 28nm. The design integrages multi-core ARM v7 CPUs, a carrier grade traffic manager and a flexible IPv6 packet processing pipeline to enable dynamic software defined networking and advanced service virtualization.

It supports CAPWAP, MPLS, VPLS, OAM, SPB and Bridge Port Extension, and offer synchronization features. An integrated InterLaken interface also enables the development of transport and circuit switched solutions while leveraging the service enabling paradigms of the DX4200. The integrated traffic manager offers hierarchical flow based quality of service and massive external buffering enabling tens of thousands of applications and users through unique queuing schemes that insure no variance in user experience across different access models. Sampling begins in September.

"As demand for higher service density per watt increases, Marvell is uniquely positioned to offer platforms for the software defined storage, networking, mobile and compute clouds being designed today," said Ramesh Sivakolundu, vice president for the Connectivity, Services and Infrastructure Business Unit (CSIBU) at Marvell Semiconductor.


Korea's Dacom Crossing Deploys Infinera DTN-X

Dacom Crossing, a Korean provider of international IP communications, has deployed the Infinera DTN-X packet optical networking platform connecting Seoul, the terrestrial backhaul network and the EAC Korea landing station.

Dacom Crossing provides wholesale services to Tier One carriers, ISP’s and content providers. The Infinera Intelligent Transport Network, featuring the DTN-X, enables Dacom Crossing to offer 10, 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) services in addition to existing International Private Lease Circuit services up to 10 Gbps.

This marks the first deployment of Infinera's solutions by a Korean network operator.


Digital Realty Completes $3 Billion Refinancing

Digital Realty Trust, which has 127 data centers around the world, has completed the refinancing of its global revolving credit facility and term loan.  The refinancing allowed the company to reduce pricing, extend loan maturities and increase its aggregate commitments by $450 million. The combined facilities total $3 billion, representing the 5th largest unsecured credit facilities among US REITs. The refinancing provides funds for acquisitions, development, redevelopment, debt repayment, working capital and global expansion.

"We are very pleased with the strong demand we received from the international lending community to participate in the refinancing of these facilities, which were oversubscribed with commitments totaling $4.6 billion from 27 financial institutions from around the globe," said A. William Stein, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Digital Realty.  "To satisfy this demand, we upsized our Global Revolving Credit Facility by $200 million and increased our Term Loan by $250 million.  In addition, the improved pricing grid is equal to or better than any widely syndicated credit facility for a U.S. large cap investment grade REIT, including those with a credit rating higher than DLR's BBB/Baa2 rating.  We believe these positive trends illustrate the institutional lender community's view on the strength of our balance sheet and underlying business, while providing us with greater financial flexibility as we continue to expand our portfolio globally."


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Google Outage Leads to Big Drop in Internet Traffic

Google experienced a global outage beginning on 16-Aug-2013 at 4:37 PM (Pacific) and lasting 1 to 5 minutes.  The disruption impacted all of the company's most popular services, including search, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Drive, Google Maps, etc.

GoSquared Engineering, which provides real-time analytics, said its tracking showed that the momentary Google outage resulted in an immediate, 40% drop in global Internet traffic.