Monday, September 16, 2013

Juniper Offers Open Source Version of Contrail

Juniper Networks introduced OpenContrail, a new initiative that makes the source code library for its Contrail SDN solution available through an open source license.  OpenContrail will provide all the components necessary to run a data-center overlay including an SDN controller, virtual router, orchestration API, analytics and management console.  The use of OpenContrail is available today via an Apache 2.0 License.

The company said it decided to offer an open source version of its SDN system due to customer interest in open source and the desire to boost innovation in the industry.  OpenContrail gives developers the opportunity to innovate, adopt and experiment with SDN technology that seamlessly integrates with existing network infrastructures.  

Juniper also plans to work with IBM to submit the OpenContrail source code to OpenDaylight.

The paid version of Contrail is backed by the company's full support resources.

Sprint Brings LTE to 34 More Markets

Sprint activated LTE service in 34 more markets.

With this announcement, Sprint now provides LTE service in 185 markets nationwide and is aiming to provide LTE to 200 million people by the end of 2013.

"Today’s announcement means that even more Sprint customers can enjoy the speed and power of Sprint 4G LTE – up to 10 times faster than 3G,” said Bob Azzi, senior vice president-Network, Sprint. “Our nationwide network build includes new 3G and 4G LTE, which provides improved wireless service and also provides new, state-of-the-art, compact and energy-efficient multimodal equipment." Customers of Sprint’s industry-leading prepaid brands, Virgin Mobile USA and Boost Mobile, also benefit from the new network and expanded 4G LTE service.

DuPont Closes $195 Million Unsecured Term Loan

DuPont Fabros Technology, which operates enterprise-class, carrier-neutral, large multi-tenanted wholesale data centers, closed on a $195 million senior unsecured term loan.  The load bears interest at LIBOR plus 1.75% and matures on February 15, 2019, with no extension option.

DuPont Fabros' ten data centers are located in four major U.S. markets, which total 2.5 million gross square feet and 218 megawatts of available critical load to power the servers and computing equipment of its customers.

China's Z-Com Picks Radisys’ LTE-TDD Software for Small Cells

Z-Com, a leading global wireless solution provider based in Nanjing, China, has selected Radisys’ TOTALeNodeB small cell software solution to enable its small cell LTE-TDD (Time Division Duplex) network deployments in China. Radisys’ TOTALeNodeB will be used for ultra-low cost and low power, high performance enterprise domain small cells provisioned by mobile operators serving dense urban environments.

Z-Com will roll out LTE-TDD trial deployments in the first half of 2014 for Chinese mobile operator, CMCC. The initial focus will be on the Enterprise small cell market, supporting 32-64 users.

Radisys said mobile operators in China are turning to LTE-TDD small cell technology to alleviate the strain on their networks.  LTE-TDD leverages unpaired spectrum allowing downlink (DL) and uplink (UL) traffic to travel in both directions on the same frequency band. As most mobile users download content rather than upload content, Radisys’ LTE-TDD small cell solution provides a cost effective approach for operators to add capacity to congested areas and make more efficient use of their available spectrum.

“We selected Radisys’ TOTALeNodeB small cell software because of its expansive features set and clear roadmap for TDD support,” said Jim Gao, CEO, Nanjing Z-Com. “Radisys’ TDD solution supports integration on next-generation small cell silicon, providing us with a time-to-market advantage.”

ADVA Demonstrates SDN Interconnect for Dispersed Data Centers

ADVA Optical Networking, in partnership with IBM and Maris College, demonstrated a virtualized optical transmission network using Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and OpenFlow-based control.

The idea is to extend virtualization to the physical network that interconnects data centers.

In the SDN demonstration, which took place at Marist College in New York, three geographically diverse data centers with switching, server and storage technology from IBM were interconnected by a fully reconfigurable and OpenFlow-enabled optical network based upon the ADVA FSP 3000. An open-source SDN application, developed by Marist College, dynamically provisions the optical circuits and monitors, manages and manipulates (create, modify, delete) end-to-end flows across all layers of the network.

In the first stage of the project, a web interface running on an open sourced OpenFlow controller was developed to enable on-the-fly provisioning as well as downloading of pre-defined traffic profiles to quickly reconfigure optical traffic patterns. In a second stage, the OpenFlow-enabled Layer 2 switching fabric from IBM was added to the network highlighting full network virtualization across both Layers 1 and 2. In the final stage, the fully automated movement of Virtual Machines (VMs) between data centers was achieved in response to alarms triggered by VM monitoring software, including the provisioning of completely new optical circuits, thus demonstrating how relevant data center applications can benefit from a virtualized network approach.

“Bandwidth patterns in cloud environments are constantly changing, creating dynamic bandwidth bottlenecks in static transport networks. SDN and related software finally give us the tools and all-layer access to write applications to create agile and flexible data flows,” said Robert Cannistra, senior professional lecturer, Computer Science and Information Technology, Marist College. “The only way to meet the fierce bandwidth demand while improving the end user experience is to make the network more dynamic and responsive. With the technology in our test bed, you only need to setup the network once. Afterwards, everything else is handled automatically in response to real-time performance metrics.”

“When end-to-end provisioning of an “application” aware network becomes automated and therefore instantaneous, a whole new paradigm in network orchestration arrives,” said Todd Bundy, business development director, ADVA Optical Networking. “In addition to load balancing across data centers, dynamic functions such as bandwidth calendaring, “follow-the-sun” applications and new more cost effective disaster recovery mechanisms become possible as well. I can now push a button and instantly accomplish what used to take dozens of people across multiple departments weeks to months to do. The possibilities are profound.”

Splunk to Acquire BugSense for Mobile App Analytics

Splunk, which provides software for real-time operational intelligence, agreed to acquire BugSense, a start-up providing an analytics solution for machine data generated by mobile devices. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 2011, BugSense provides developers and users rich analytics across a wide variety of use cases including mobile app performance, app quality, troubleshooting and usage based on data from mobile devices. BugSense supports all major mobile platforms, including Android, iOS and Windows Phone, via its mobile software development kits (SDKs). Today, BugSense enables users to analyze data from hundreds of millions of mobile devices through a highly scalable cloud platform.

Splunk software enables organizations to monitor, search, analyze, visualize and act on massive streams of real-time and historical machine data.

“Enterprise applications and IT investments are increasingly shifting to mobile, making it an important source of data for operational intelligence,” said Godfrey Sullivan, Chairman and CEO, Splunk. “BugSense has a strong mobile development team and is an exciting addition to our product portfolio. Our goal is to make it easier for customers to gain insights from machine data generated by mobile devices, along with other machine-generated data, across Splunk’s core use cases in IT operations, security, application management and business analytics.”

Oclaro Reports Continue Losses, Sale of Certain Businesses to II-VI

Oclaro reported revenues of $136.1 million for its fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, compared with revenues of $141.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2013.  GAAP gross margin was 9% for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, compared with a GAAP gross margin of 9% in the third quarter of fiscal 2013.

GAAP operating loss was $44.1 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013, which included $18.9 million of flood-related income, net of expenses, due to the flooding in Thailand, and an impairment of goodwill and intangible assets of $26.7 million.  This compares with a GAAP operating loss of $27.4 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2013, which included $11.5 million of flood-related income, net of expenses, due to the flooding in Thailand.

Last week, Oclaro announced the sale of its Oclaro Switzerland GmbH subsidiary and associated laser diodes business to II-VI Incorporated in a transaction valued at $115 million. In addition, II-VI acquired an exclusive option to purchase Oclaro's optical amplifier and micro-optics business for $88 million in cash.

"While our fiscal fourth quarter results were in line with our expectations, the continued losses underscore the urgency of our turnaround plans. We remain focused on transforming Oclaro into a sustainable company that will deliver shareholder value over the long-term," said Greg Dougherty, CEO, Oclaro. "Our successful sale of the Zurich Business demonstrates to our employees, customers and suppliers that we are taking deliberate action to create a stable future. With the resulting infusion of cash, we can now begin to take the necessary steps to begin to restructure the company. Our goal will be to focus Oclaro primarily on the optical communications market, and leverage our photonics innovation, vertical integration, and long-term customer relationships to return Oclaro to profitability."

Polatis to Demonstrate SDN-enabled Optical Circuit Switching

Polatis, in partnership with the High Performance Networks Group at the University of Bristol, will host a live demonstration of a hybrid packet/optical circuit switched software-defined network (SDN) at next week's European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) in London.

The demo will showcase hybrid packet-optical circuit switching architectures for dynamic management of large flows in data center applications such as virtual machine migration.

Polatis said its series 6000 optical cross-connect offers an embedded OpenFlow interface, enabling seamless integration with SDN control planes. The Polatis Series 6000 OCS adds transparent, flexible, dark fibre connectivity for up to 192x192 fibre ports with less than 1dB typical loss and negligible impact on transmission budgets.

"We are excited about the close collaboration with the University of Bristol, which has allowed us to accelerate our technology developments to support the emerging SDN market," said Gerald Wesel, CEO Polatis, Inc. "Our customer response to the Series 6000 in the last twelve months has been phenomenal. The addition of SDN support across our full product range brings dynamic optical layer connectivity with outstanding performance to the software-defined datacentre".

"Unified software control of the physical layer is a key requirement for next generation networks", said Professor Dimitra Simeonidou, Head of the High Performance Networks Group at the University of Bristol. "Adding SDN support to Polatis optical circuit switches brings dynamic reconfigurability to optical systems and enables us to explore new programmable architectures for efficient, high capacity, telecom and datacentre networks."

OpenFlow is an emerging standard for SDN which can be used to control optical circuit switch (OCS) elements for applications such as router bypass for high capacity data centres, management of dark fibre network connectivity and advanced colourless, directionless and contention-less architectures.

ZTE’s Announces Reconfigurable Terabit Router

ZTE announced a flexible reconfigurable terabit router for high-performance broadband networks.

The terabit router, which uses a custom chipset developed in-house, is designed to support a variety of line cards ranging from 10G up to 1 Tbps. The router's modular design will enable it to scale from 200G to 18T of total throughput. ZTE said its platform will achieve leading power-consumption performance of 0.8W/Gbps.

“Globally, it is becoming more important to deliver excellent value to customers, and help them achieve sustainable development of their businesses,” said Mr. Xu Ming, General Manager of ZTE’s Bearer Network Product Division. “The flexible reconfigurable terabit router offers industry-leading routing performance, and can drive improved efficiency and extend equipment life-span. The high flexibility and configurability of the router offers unprecedented scalability, and supports a wide range of service provisions as the network evolves.” 

Belgacom Cites Digital Intrusion

Belgacom reported a digital intrusion in the company’s internal IT system. There has been no impacts on customers or their data.

Belgacom said it has all appropriate actions to protect the integrity of its IT system and to further reinforce the prevention against possible incidents.  The company is looking to Belgium's Federal Prosecutor to pursue the investigation.

Belgacom did not say who it believes is behind the intrusion.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wind River Announces Open Network Software for Data Center Switches

At last week's Intel Developer Forum (IDF13) in San Francisco, Wind River introduced its open software environment for the creation of network switches for software defined networks and infrastructures.

Wind River's Open Network Software encompasses control plane software, development tools, and the network resources needed to build software defined networking (SDN) solutions such as top-of-rack switches, micro-server platforms, and other network infrastructure elements.  The company said its goal is to provide the tools and resources to create, modify, and update network layers' L1, L2+, and L3+ functionality. Open Network Software is designed with a flexible and modular open architecture with standard interfaces for management and control.

Wind River solution supports the Intel Open Network Platform (ONP) Switch Reference Design and has been optimized for Intel hardware to provide high performance and flexibility.

Early customers of Open Network Software include Fujitsu.

GM Deploys Flywheel for Backup Power in LEED Gold Data Center

General Motors has deployed flywheels for battery-free backup power at its Enterprise Data Center, which has earned Gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, program.  GM switched from a space-hogging, battery-based Uninterruptible Power Supply to one powered by mechanical flywheels and a diesel engine. The flywheel also avoids the use of the equivalent of 12,000 car batteries, along with the heating and cooling systems required to keep the batteries at their optimal temperature.

The facility also features in-row cooling.  Together with the flywheel, this innovation contribute to a 70 percent reduction in power usage.

Fewer than 5 percent of data centers in the U.S. achieve LEED certification, according to the building council. GM’s data hub on its Technical Center campus in this Detroit suburb is the company’s fifth LEED-certified facility and second brownfield project.

“We set out to consolidate our global IT infrastructure from 23 data centers to two, which is helping improve application performance while reducing operating costs and energy use,” said Randy Mott, GM senior vice president and CIO. “We’re not only gaining efficiencies from insourcing, but we’ve incorporated world-class energy-saving technology into the facility itself.”

“We have built 5 million square feet of data centers around the world and this is one of the first ones incorporating this flywheel-powered back-up technology,” said Bernie Woytek, senior associate with Gensler, a global architecture, design, planning and consulting firm. “It essentially eliminates a football field-sized room of batteries.”

Infonetics: Unified Communications Sales Take Off as PBX Market Falls

Worldwide revenue for enterprise PBXs (TDM, hybrid, pure IP) fell 9% in 2Q13 from 2Q12, to $1.81 billion, according to a new report from Infonetics.

“Slower demand and competitive pricing pressure delivered a one-two punch to the enterprise PBX market in the 1st half of 2013,” reports Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics Research. “The slight recovery we saw late in 2012 hasn’t extended into the current year. Telephony spending remains stagnant as businesses rely on existing solutions.”

Myers adds: “On the other hand, unified communications (UC) is still on fire. Worldwide UC revenue grew 34% in the 2nd quarter of 2013 from the year-ago quarter. Microsoft’s been a big beneficiary, but they’re not alone as more vendors are enhancing their offerings, finding appeal with a broader range of enterprises in the process.”

Some additional highlights:

  • North America was the standout region in 2Q13, posting quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year growth as a result of improving economic conditions and a return to enterprise telephony spending
  • In contrast, Asia Pacific took a hit in 2Q13; while the 2nd quarter is typically down in Asia, revenue declined in the double digits both sequentially and from the year-ago 2nd quarter
  • Shipments of all PBX line types (TDM PBX, hybrid, pure IP) declined in 2Q13
  • Cisco posted a sequential gain in enterprise PBX revenue in 2Q13, increasing its share of the global market to 27%; this is Cisco’s 8th consecutive quarter atop the revenue share leaderboard
  • Infonetics expects the UC application segment to grow 21.3% in 2013, and the enterprise PBX market to decline 2.6%.

Gordon Stitt Joins Nebula, the Enterprise Private Cloud Company

Gordon Stitt, the founder and former CEO of Extreme Networks, will be joining Nebula, a start-up focused on the enterprise cloud space, as CEO effective September 23rd.

Nebula is developing an integrated hardware and software appliance providing distributed compute, storage, and network services in a unified system.

Prior to founding Extreme, Stitt co-founded Network Peripherals, one of the pioneers of high-performance enterprise networking, where he served as VP of Marketing. Stitt currently serves on the board of Barracuda Networks, and previously served on the boards of RGB Networks and SkyFire Labs. He also serves as chair of the industry advisory board for the Computer Engineering department at Santa Clara University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science. He also holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley.

"Nebula has achieved tremendous market traction in a short period of time,” said Chris C. Kemp, Nebula’s Founder & CEO. “I couldn’t ask for a better partner to help me build Nebula into a company of consequence."

  • Nebula is privately held and venture‐funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Comcast Ventures, Highland Capital Partners. Other investors include Innovation Endeavors, and Google's first investors, Andy Bechtolsheim, David Cheriton and Ram Shriram. 

Verizon Sells Part of its Lower Manhattan Building for $274 Million

Verizon will sell 40% of its historic, 32-floor building at 140 West St. in lower Manhattan to a condominium developer for $274 million.  The deal includes  22 floors and one of the five sub-basement levels of the NYC landmark. Since the 140 West St. building contains switching and other telecommunications equipment, the sale must be approved by the New York Public Service Commission.

Magnum Real Estate Group is the buyer.

Verizon also announced plans to return its headquarters to space it owns in 1095 Ave. of the Americas in midtown Manhattan.  After the sale, approximately 600 Verizon employees will occupy the lower floors of 140 West St., maintaining Verizon's significant presence in lower Manhattan. 

"We are pleased to continue to move forward with the conversion of our building on West Street from a traditional telecommunications hub to a multipurpose building that will contribute meaningfully to the city's long-term vision for a vibrant World Trade Center neighborhood," said John M. Vazquez, Verizon senior vice president of global real estate. "We believe that with our co-owners, Magnum Real Estate Group, we will stand out in what already has become a desirable tourist and residential center for New York City."

The Verizon building, previously known as the Barclay-Vesey Building and the New York Telephone Company Building, was opened in 1927.  It served as the headquarters of New York Telephone, then NYNEX, Bell Atlantic and finally Verizon. The front of the building was damaged by the collapse of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

DT Deploys Cisco’s Videoscape for

Deutsche Telekom is using Cisco’s Videoscape Distribution Suite (VDS) enhanced content delivery technology to power its recently launched TV Everywhere service called "Entertain to go."

Cisco VDS, part of Cisco’s Videoscape Unity TV services delivery platform, enables the distribution of video content across multiple screens, protocols, applications and networks. VDS serves as the network distribution engine behind the Videoscape architecture. It is an open, component-based, complete, interoperable and holistic solution that bridges cloud and network functionality – providing greater levels of insight into, and management of, content delivery networks.

Deutsche Telekom’s "Entertain to go" service allows subscribers of its Entertain IPTV service to view 40 TV channels on their PCs and mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. Priced at €4.95 per-month the service gives access to the Entertain content on devices that are connected to the users’ home WiFi network, as well as allowing them to view on demand content from the Entertain video library.

Celeno 802.11ac 3x3 Silicon

Celeno Communications announced availability of its a new chip supporting the new 802.11ac standard.

The Celeno CL2330 supports 3 radios, 3 MIMO streams configuration, operating at 80MHz and achieving 1.3Gbps PHY speed. The CL2330 operates in both 2.4GHz and uncongested 5GHz frequency channels and works with legacy home networks as well as new, 802.11ac 5GHz powered portable devices for a superior video experience.

Celeno’s said its OptimizAIR technology drives the 802.11ac standard farther and stronger to achieve whole home coverage as well as optimize performance for wireless video and multiple data clients with its innovative air time management and scheduled MAC architecture. Celeno’s OptimizAIR also employs interference mitigation techniques which are becoming critical in the increasingly saturated 5GHz band.

Quantenna’s 4x4 802.11ac Paired with STMicroelectronics’ STB Solution

Quantenna Communications and STMicroelectronics announced a single board Wi-Fi enabled set-top box reference design platform that features Quantenna’s QSR1000 802.11ac Wi-Fi chipset and ST’s STiH206 Liege platform.

Using Quantenna’s 4x4 802.11ac Wi-Fi, the combined solution will deliver the world’s fastest and most reliable wireless streaming of bandwidth-intensive data, such as video content.

Some highlights:
  • Fastest Wi-Fi with 1.7 Gbps total throughput
  • Wave 2 802.11ac technology
  • Lowest cost eBOM incorporating 16 bit DDR3
  • Full featured ST HbbTV pre-integrated solution with the widest choice of CAS certification and middleware adaptations
  • Supports Interactive Services, L2 Cache frees up resources for interactive applications

SanDisk Introduces Fastest Memory Card -- Write Speed of 350 MB/s

SanDisk introduced what it calls "the world's fastest memory card" -- the Extreme Pro CFastTM 2.0 , designed for professional broadcast, cinematography and next-generation professional photography.

The 120GB SanDisk Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 memory card boasts read speeds of up to 450MB/s (3000X) for maximum workflow efficiency and write speeds up to 350MB/s (2333X) for faster recording performance. This is up to double the shot speed of today’s fastest cards.

SanDisk said the new memory can move large files faster than ever. For example, a 100GB file takes nearly 20 minutes to transfer from CompactFlash at 90MB/s. With the SanDisk Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 memory card, it takes only four minutes to transfer at 450MB/s.

“With the SanDisk Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 card, we are enabling a next generation card format to meet the needs of high-end professional cinematographers,” said Dinesh Bahal, vice president, product marketing, SanDisk. “These cards will enable new digital solutions for professional filmmakers looking to embrace technologies such as high-quality 4K video, and are another example of SanDisk's innovation and leadership in flash memory storage.”

The SanDisk Extreme Pro CFast card is the first to utilize the CFast 2.0 specification. This specification was a collaboration of leading CompactFlash Association members to meet the demanding requirements of professional video and photography applications. Early adopters and endorsers include SanDisk, Canon, ARRI and Codex. The result of this alliance is the CFast 2.0 specification, delivering a new level of performance for next generation professional video and photography cameras.

Leading motion picture equipment manufacturer ARRI, will be the first to implement CFast 2.0 as recording media in a camera. The new documentary-style ARRI AMIRA will record to in-camera CFast 2.0 cards, and ALEXA XT camera users will be able to use a new CFast 2.0 adapter, allowing ALEXA XT cameras, as well as ALEXA Classic cameras upgraded with the XR Module, to do the same. Stephan Schenk, general manager of ARRI’s camera and DI systems business unit said, “SanDisk’s new SanDisk Extreme Pro CFast 2.0 cards deliver tremendous performance, allowing professionals to record ProRes 4444 up to 200Fps with AMIRA, and up to 120Fps with ALEXA XT/XR cameras, on cost-effective recording media.”

Canon is also a supporter of the CFast 2.0 standard. Masaya Maeda, managing director and chief executive of image communication product operations at Canon said, “With extremely fast performance, CFast 2.0 memory cards will enable us to develop next-generation cameras with more powerful features, enabling future 4K Ultra HD video recording capability.”

Molex Acquires Germany's FCT Electronics

Molex has acquired FCT Electronics Group, specializes in designing and manufacturing custom mixed-layout connectors and cable assemblies.

FCT Electronics Group was founded in 1972 and is based in Munich, Germany.

“FCT Electronics Group is a great fit for Molex because it builds on our ability to provide customized connector and cable assembly solutions to a broader range of customers,” said Tim Ruff, Molex senior vice president of business development and corporate strategy. “FCT is well known for its technology and service as well as the depth and breadth of its product offerings. Their excellent team of talented, experienced professionals has a long history of success, with deep customer relationships across diverse markets.”