Wednesday, August 21, 2013

NFV Video Series: NFV + SDN

How does network functions virtualisation (NFV) relate to SDN?

Dan Pitt, Executive Director of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), discusses how telecom service providers are looking to leverage virtualization technologies in servers as well as in networks in order to improve operational efficiency and create new services.

This video covers:

0:12 - How does NFV relate to SDN?
2:21 - What is the ONF doing to support NFV?
3:16 - What are the key drivers for Service Providers?
4:34 - Does NFV open the door for new, virtualized wholesale telecom services?

China Telecom Post Double Digit Growth: 175 Million Mobile Users, 21 Million FTTH

China Telecom posted double-digit growth in both revenues and profits.  Operating revenues amounted to RMB157.5 billion, representing an increase of 14.1% over the same period last year. Excluding mobile terminal sales, operating revenues were RMB139.2 billion, representing an increase of 10.0% over the same period last year.

EBITDA for the first half of 2013 was RMB50.1 billion, while EBITDA margin was 36.0%. The profit attributable to equity holders of the Company was RMB10.2 billion, representing an increase of 15.9% over the same period last year.

Some highlights from the China Telecom's 1H2103 investor report:

  • Added 13.88 million mobile subscribers, bringing the total to 175 million.
  • 3G subscribers accounted for 50% of total mobile subscribers or 87.33 million. 
  • 3G smartphone subscribers accounted for 44% of total mobile subscribers. 
  • 3G APU = RMB 70
  • 2G APU = 41
  • Aggregate 3G handset data traffic was up 2X over last year.
  • Mobile service revenues amounted to RMB54.6 billion, representing an increase of 28.3% over the same period last year, and accounted for 35% of the total revenues. 
  • Revenues from wireline broadband services amounted to RMB35.2 billion, representing an increase of 5.5% over the same period last year. 
  • The number of wireline broadband subscribers reached 95.82 million with a net addition of 5.7 million, among which the number of Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) subscribers reached 21 million.
  • Local wireline voice usage was down 15.5% compared to last year.
  • Long distance wireline voice usage was down 21% compared to last year.
  • Mobile voice usage (aggregate minutes on the network) was up 20.4% compared to last year.
  • Traditional access lines in service fell 3.4% to 159 million.
  • Public phones in service fell 1% to 12.9 million.

ZTE's Revenue Dips 12% as Profits Rise 27%

ZTE’s revenues for the first half of 2013 decreased 11.9% to RMB 37.58 billion while gross profit reached RMB 310 million, a year-on-year increase of 26.6%. Basic earnings per share amounted to RMB 0.09.  The company cited improved gross profit margins and stringent cost controls.

Some highlights:

China:  ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB 18.821 billion in its domestic market in the first half, accounting for 50.1% of overall operating revenue.

Internationally: ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB 18.755 billion from the international market, accounting for 49.9% of overall operating revenue.

Product Categories:  ZTE reported operating revenue of RMB 19.050 billion for carriers’ networks, RMB 12.461 billion for terminals, and RMB 6.065 billion for telecommunications software systems, services and other products.

There was a decline in operating revenue from GSM and UMTS products in the domestic market and GSM handsets and data cards in both the domestic and international markets.

ZTE is now forecasting a net profit of between RMB 500 million and RMB 750 million in the first nine months of 2013, rebounding from a loss in the same period a year earlier.

Avaya Outlines Software-Defined Data Center Framework

Avaya outlined a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) framework based an orchestration process that combines, customizes and commissions compute, storage and network components.  

Avaya said its framework uses the OpenStack cloud computing platform to enable data center administrations to deploy virtual machines, assign storage and configure networks through a single graphical user interface.  

The Avaya Fabric Connect further enhances the OpenStack environment by removing restrictions in traditional Ethernet VLAN / Spanning Tree-based networks to enable a more dynamic, flexible and scalable network services model than exists today.
The Avaya SDDC framework is based on the following components:
  • Avaya Fabric Connect technology as the virtual backbone to interconnect resource pools within and between data centers with increased flexibility and scale
  • An Avaya OpenStack Horizon-based Management Platform, delivering orchestration for compute (Nova), storage (Cinder/Swift) and network via Avaya Fabric Connect (Neutron)
  • Open APIs into the Avaya Fabric Connect architecture for ease of integration, customization and interoperability with other Software-Defined Networking architectures
Avaya said the key benefits of its SDDC framework include:
  • Reduced Time-to-Service: cloud services enabled in minutes through a five-step process
  • Simplified Virtual Machine Mobility: simple end-point provisioning enabling virtual machine mobility within and between geographically dispersed data centers
  • Multi-Vendor Orchestration: coordinated allocation of data center resources via a single interface to streamline the deployment of applications
  • Scale-out Connectivity: services scale to more than 16 million unique services, up from the limitation of 4000 in traditional Ethernet networks
  • Secure Multi-Tenancy: leveraging network, compute and storage layer abstraction and isolation
  • Improved Network Flexibility: overcomes current VLAN challenges to deliver a load-balanced, loop-free network where any logical topology can be built, independent of the physical layout

Dell'Oro: Growth Returns to Optical Transport Equipment Market

The total optical transport equipment market returned to a positive year-over-year growth rate in the second quarter of 2013 following five consecutive quarters of decline, according to a newly published report by Dell'Oro Group.

“It was a great quarter for the optical transport market,” said Jimmy Yu, Vice President of Optical Transport research at Dell’Oro Group.  “Demand for optical equipment took a positive turn in the quarter with higher revenues in North America and Asia Pacific pushing the global market revenue upwards by eight percent.  We attribute the growth in these two regions as follows.  For North America, growth was due to service providers increasing metro capacity to enable better broadband services to residential and enterprise customers, resulting in more DWDM system deployments.  The top two vendors benefiting from North America growth were Fujitsu and Ciena.  For Asia Pacific, the majority of the growth was due to Chinese service providers expanding their mobile LTE network resulting in a significant roll out of optical packet backhaul systems and DWDM long haul systems for inter-provincial capacity. The top two vendors benefiting from China growth were ZTE and Huawei."

Rackspace Launches Dedicated VMware vCenter Server

Rackspace is launching a Dedicated VMware vCenter Server service that helps enterprise customers to extend their VMware capacity off-premise. The service provides a Rackspace-hosted VMware environment that looks and feels just like an extension of the client's own data center.

The Rackspace-hosted VMs are pro-actively supported by VMware Certified Professionals (VCPs) up to the guest-OS layer, and backed by a 100 percent network uptime guarantee and enterprise-grade SLA, along with the company's "Fanatical Support".

Rackspace noted that it hosts one of the largest VMware environments and operates the largest OpenStack-based cloud.

“This new service has been designed to enable customers to migrate workloads out of their data center and into a Rackspace data center. This allows Rackspace to do what we do best, which is providing a fully managed hybrid cloud hosting service backed by Fanatical Support with maximum uptime,” said John Engates, CTO at Rackspace. “Utilizing Rackspace’s hybrid cloud portfolio gives customers the choice to find the best fit for their applications and workloads, all while offloading data center management so that they can focus on their core business.”

Maginatics Raises $17 Million for Cloud Storage

Maginatics, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, raised $17 million in Series B funding for its cloud storage solutions.

The company’s flagship product, MagFS (Maginatics FileSystem), "is an elastic, distributed file system that allows organizations to leverage the agility and economics of object storage (‘the cloud’) without disrupting existing workflows for both traditional and mobile users."

MagFS provides a global namespace for the management of file services, along with accelerations tools.

The funding was led by Intel Capital with participation from WestSummit Capital, Comcast
Ventures and existing investors including Atlantic Bridge and VMware.

AT&T Expands LTE Rollout to 50 More Markets

AT&T announced plans to roll out 4G LTE in at least 50 additional markets by the end of this year.

AT&T 4G LTE currently covers more than 225 million people and 370 markets, and by the end of 2013, coverage is expected to expand to nearly 270 million people and more than 400 markets.

The company noted that it has invested nearly $98 billion into operations over the past 3 years.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013 Aims for Global Connectivity

A new 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.”