Friday, November 1, 2013

Belgium's BASE Prepares 4G Launch with ZTE

BASE Company, the Belgian subsidiary of Dutch mobile operator KPN,  has launched 4G services.  ZTE serves as radio equipment supplier and provided engineering services.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Brocade Releases Blueprint for Dynamic Network Resource Manager

Brocade is proposing a Dynamic Network Resource Manager (DNRM) blueprint to simplify the deployment and management of physical and virtual networking resources within cloud infrastructures.  The goal is to enable OpenStack cloud environments to more easily access pooled resources in multivendor networks. Brocade intends to present its proposal at next week's OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong.

Highlights of the Brocade DNRM proposal include:

  • Policy-based management of physical and virtual network resources from multiple vendors that will allow OpenStack Neutron to deliver operational efficiency and flexibility for Layers 3-7 of the network
  • Four primary components -- Supervisor, Interceptor, Plugins and Appliance Container -- and several supporting elements, such as a management dashboard
  • Support for emerging technologies, such as Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
  • Continued work with partners of the OpenStack community to deliver DNRM capabilities as part of the Spring 2014 OpenStack release, codenamed "IceHouse"
  • A proof-of-concept implementation of DNRM that will be demonstrated at the OpenStack Summit
  • Brocade is also updating several other OpenStack contributions in its continued drive toward open networking solutions.

Brocade also highlighted the Red Hat Certification of the Brocade VCS Fabric plugin as part of RHEL OpenStack distribution.  The Brocade VCS plugin is part of the current OpenStack Havana release. With it, OpenStack now has a single logical interface to the entire Brocade Ethernet Fabric instead of interfacing with individual switches.

In addition,  the company will support the next "IceHouse" release of OpenStack in Spring 2014 with Brocade SAN Fibre Channel, Brocade ADX Load Balancing as a Service (LBaaS) and an OpenStack solution with Brocade Vyatta vRouter plugins.

"Public and private clouds are evolving from basic, homogenous entities to rich, service-oriented clouds that combine best-of-breed solutions, including both physical and virtual resources. To ensure these next-generation cloud architectures properly serve customers, Brocade is continuing to expand its investment and participation in open projects such as OpenStack and OpenDaylight. It is our belief that contributions such as the Dynamic Network Resource Manager equip customers to build the next-generation services cloud to deliver the flexibility and agility it needs," stated Ken Cheng, CTO and Vice President, Corporate Development and Emerging Business at Brocade.

In October, the OpenStack community marked the eighth release of its open source software for building public, private, and hybrid clouds.  OpenStack Havana introduces nearly 400 new features to support software development, managing data and running application infrastructure at scale.  There were over 900 contributors to the Havana software release, a more than 70% increase from the Grizzly release six months ago. Two new projects, OpenStack Orchestration and Metering, were incubated during the Grizzly release cycle and are now available in the Havana release.

Some of the New Capabilities in OpenStack Havana:

  • Application-Driven Capabilities – OpenStack Orchestration, now available as part of the Havana release, is a template-driven service for describing and automating the deployment of compute, storage and networking resources for an application. The new global clusters feature for Object Storage enables you to cut costs and improve performance by replicating and delivering data around the world, and the new QoS capability across Block Storage drivers allows you to guarantee performance requirements for an application.  Docker support was also added to speed application deployment using containers.
  • Improved Operational Experience – During this release cycle, significant effort went into increasing the breadth of functionality that is exposed through the Dashboard. A new team of user experience experts also contributed their time to improve the UI, workflows and productivity. OpenStack Metering, another new service in Havana, provides users with a single source of usage data across OpenStack services for activities like enterprise chargebacks and feeding systems monitoring tools.
  • More Enterprise Features – OpenStack continues to mature and support enterprise-driven features such as end-to-end encryption across all Block Storage drivers, SSL support across all service APIs, new VPN and Firewall-as-a-Service capabilities, and support for rolling upgrades and boot from volume, which provides the foundation for live migration. Additionally, popular storage and networking providers continue to improve and write new plugins for OpenStack, making it easier for enterprises to work with their trusted vendors and take advantage of existing infrastructure.

Japan's Softbank Mobile Picks Ericsson for VoLTE

SoftBank Mobile has selected Ericsson's voice over LTE (VoLTE)solution.  The network upgrade will support High Definition (HD) voice and video calling, and new enriched multimedia services.

Specifically, Ericsson is upgrading SoftBank Mobile's existing mobile core network (Ericsson Mobile Softswitch Solution and Evolved Packet Core) with a complete IMS core, which includes the Multimedia Telephony Application Server (MTAS). SoftBank Mobile's best-in-class Ericsson-based LTE network is also being upgraded with new VoLTE software. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson noted that until nationwide LTE coverage is deployed, seamless handover of ongoing voice calls from LTE to WCDMA is needed to ensure uninterrupted voice services as the user moves out of LTE coverage. Ericsson will also deploy this end-to-end network handover functionality, SRVCC (Single Radio Voice Call Continuity).

Qualcomm's Snapdragon Powers Google's New Nexus 5

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 processor powers Google's newest Android smartphone, the Nexus 5, which is the first smartphone to be released with global LTE support and Android 4.4 (KitKat).

The Nexus 5 also utilizes the Qualcomm's new envelope tracking (ET) technology for 3G/4G LTE devices and offers significant performance improvements, including reduced heat by up to 30 percent and decreased power consumption by up to 20 percent, enabling thinner form factors with longer battery life.

The Nexus 5 also will include new Android Camera HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) capabilities, which utilizes Qualcomm Technologies' integrated Image Signal Processor and color science algorithms to enable all-new imaging experiences with burst-mode computational photography.

Dell'Oro: Fast Growth Trajectory for SDN Market

The Software Defined Networking (SDN) Market will grow more than six-fold over the next five years, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.  The majority of this market (75%) will consist of Ethernet switches and network security appliances.

"Almost every major Ethernet Switch vendor with exposure in the data center is announcing significant new products over the next several weeks.  To put perspective on the order of magnitude of the data center equipment market, in 2013 sales will exceed $100 B, split between Servers, Storage, Ethernet Switches, and Data Center Appliances, etc.  We predict a wide variety of manufacturers will engage in battle for the supremacy of data center spending and control," said Alan Weckel, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group.

"For Ethernet Switching, data center share will become an increasingly important metric for three reasons: almost all revenue growth in the market over the next five years will come from data center products; vendors will have to fight each other for ever-fewer, although larger, deals; and SDN is changing who owns application and network control points," Weckel stated.

The report examines the disruptive elements to the Ethernet Switch market in the data center, including SDN, Cloud, Virtualization, and the impact of White Box Switching.  The Report addresses issues such as: the importance of SDN to the data center; the portion of the market attributed to White Box and the effect of the Cloud on Ethernet Switch, Application Delivery Controller and Network Security Appliance Markets.  The report also reveals first half 2013 vendor placement in the data center Ethernet Switch market and how Brocade, Cisco, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Extreme, Huawei, IBM, and Juniper place in this increasingly important segment.

Infonetics: Distributed Antenna System (DAS) Market Continues to Expand

Over 1 million distributed antenna system (DAS) nodes were shipped in 2012, sending worldwide DAS revenue to $1.9 billion — an increase of 4% over 2011, according to a new report from Infonetics.  And the market is predicted to continue expanding at a steady rate despite the arrival of small cells.

“DAS first became commercially viable in the late 1980s with the advent of optical fiber installed as a transport medium. Since then, the DAS business has been brisk with its lot of boom and bust, growing into a multi-billion dollar market crowded with a flurry of vendor specialists,” explains Stéphane Téral, principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at Infonetics Research.

“And contrary to all the hype and buzz surrounding small cells, the need for DAS is not going away anytime soon! In fact, most service providers have already included DAS as a key component of their future ‘small cell’ mobile network expansion plans,” continues Téral. “With no signs of abating over the next 5 years, we believe global DAS revenue will grow at a CAGR of 3% from 2012 to 2017 and DAS node shipments will double, driven by a combination of coverage and capacity improvements in specific venues.”

Some highlights:

  • DAS revenue represents just 5% of the total mobile infrastructure market
  • U.S.-based CommScope leads the global DAS market with 17% market share, followed by Hong Kong–headquartered Comba
  • adaptability
  • Sports and entertainment stadiums make up the bulk of the DAS business and are considered in-building or indoor DAS; outdoor DAS is a niche market
  • The U.S. and China are the world’s largest DAS markets and are expected to remain so through at least 2017 due to the number and size of their stadiums, convention centers, and transportation stations and ports.

Alcatel-Lucent Posts Revenue of EUR 3.7 Billion, up 7% YoY

Alcatel-Lucent posted Q3 2013 revenue of Euro 3,668 million, up 7.0% year-on-year at constant exchange rates, and a gross profit of Euro 1,196  million, or 32.6% of revenues, up from 27.8% in Q3 2012.  There was a net loss of (group share) of Euro (200) million for the period, or Euro (0.09) per share. This includes restructuring charges of Euro (117) million and other special charges.

"We are seeing the first positive signs of our new operating model in our day-to-day business and are encouraged by the substantial progress in the Shift Plan key metrics. Going forward, we remain fully focused on execution to leverage the momentum we are building," stated Michel Combes, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent.

Some highlights for the period:

  • The Core Networking segment grew 6.0% year-on-year, driven by a strong performance from IP Routing, and reflecting an improvement in IP Transport, mainly formed by terrestrial and submarine optics, which stabilized after quarters of revenue decline.
  • Revenues for the IP Routing division were Euro 580 million, increasing 7.0% from the year-ago quarter and 14.6% at constant currency, driven by strength in the APAC and EMEA regions, where the latter grew nearly 50% compared to the year-ago quarter.
  • There were four new customers in the quarter for the 7950 XRS core router.
  • Within IP Transport, sales of WDM witnessed a 10% growth in the quarter at constant rate, led by both the Americas and APAC regions. The 1830 Photonic Service Switch represented 38% of optical revenues in the third quarter, and is now deployed with more than 360 customers, including more than 150 100G customers.
  • In the Access segment, both Wireless and Fixed Networks enjoyed a strong performance, driven by broadband roll-outs partially offset by declines in legacy technologies. This is partially offset by the decrease in revenues from Managed Services.
  • Revenues for the Wireless division were Euro 1,196 million, an increase of 12.6% from the year-ago quarter where strong growth in LTE was driven by ongoing investments in the US, in addition to positive trends in both the APAC and EMEA regions.
  • Revenues for the Fixed Networks division were Euro 541 million, an increase of 0.7% from the year-ago quarter on a reported basis and 5.8% at constant currency exchange rate. The VDSL2 vectoring products are now being used by 17 customers, including 4 new contracts in the third quarter.
  • North America posted its second consecutive quarter of nearly 20% year-on-year growth, continuing to be the key driver for the Group.
  • China was stable in terms of revenues, but the rest of the Asia Pacific region declined at a low single digit rate.
  • Encouraging trends continued in Western Europe, growing more than 5%, while Eastern Europe reduced its pace of decline.
  • The recovery in the Middle East and Africa accelerated, witnessing growth in the mid-teens, which was offset by a slowdown in Central and Latin America, resulting in a -9% rate of decline in the Rest of World area.
  • At September 30, 2013, the Group had net debt of Euro (1,004) million, versus Euro (794) million at June 30, 2013.

Ericsson Wins Upgrade Project with Zain Bahrain

Zain has appointed Ericsson to implement the latest LTE technology and prepaid charging including consulting and systems integration services for its network in Bahrain.

Ericsson will replace existing 2G and 3G radio network equipment while adding 4G functionality with the Ericsson RBS 6000 family of base stations. Ericsson will also deploy Evolved Packet Core with triple-access SGSN-MME and Ericsson Evolved Packet Gateway based on Ericsson SSR 8000 family of Smart Services Routers as well as MINI-LINK PT and SP for IP backhaul.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Sprint's "Spark" Leverages Carrier Aggregation to Hit 1 Gbps

Sprint demonstrated 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) over-the-air speeds at its lab near Silicon Valley, California.

Sprint Spark, which is still in prototype status, uses carrier aggregation to combine FDD-LTE at 800 MHz and 1.9 GHz with TDD-LTE at 2.5GHz.

Sprint claims that it is technically feasible to deliver more than 2 Gbps per sector of over-the-air speed given its extensive spectrum licenses, especially in the 2.5 GHz band.
high-speed capability demonstrates 50-60 Megabits per second (Mbps) peak speeds today with increasing speed potential over time. Given Sprint's spectrum and technology assets, it is technically feasible to deliver more than 2Gbps per sector of over-the-air speed.

"Sprint Spark is a combination of advanced capabilities, like 1x, 2x and 3x carrier aggregation for speed, 8T8R for coverage, MIMO for capacity, TDD for spectral efficiency, together with the most advanced devices offering both tri-band capability and high-definition voice for the best possible customer experience," said Dan Hesse, CEO of Sprint.

Sprint announced plans to deploy Spark in about 100 of America's largest cities during the next three years, with initial availability in five markets today at lower speeds in the 50-60 Mbps range.

Sprint 4G LTE service will be available by mid-2014 to approximately 250 million Americans, and Sprint expects 100 million Americans will have Sprint Spark or 2.5GHz coverage by the end of 2014. The first markets with limited availability are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa and Miami. The first smartphones with Sprint Spark capability are scheduled for customer availability in early November.

Some other key points of the announcement:

  • Sprint current has approximately 55,000 macro cell sites and plans to stay at this level for the next few years.
  • A rollout of small cells beginning next year will augment capacity, coverage and speed.
  • Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia Solutions and Networks and Samsung have been selected to provide 2.5GHz radio heads and to enable Sprint Spark. Each company will service approximately one-third of Sprint's deployment markets.
  • The 2.5GHz radios are expected to have capabilities for 8 Transmitters 8 Receivers (8T8R), which will be a first deployment of its kind in North America. These radios will be capable of improved coverage, capacity and speeds when compared to the more traditional 2T2R or 4T4R radios used by our competitors.
  • Sprint Spark is designed to accommodate all of Sprint's spectrum bands on a single tri-band smartphone. The first tri-band devices will be available to customers in the next few weeks and offered by HTC, LG and Samsung.
  • Sprint's HD Voice capability, which is also supported on 3G, reaches approximately 85 million people across the Sprint network today, and the company expects 250 million to have access to HD Voice capability by mid-2014. Sprint expects 12 million HD Voice devices in the customer base by the end of 2013, growing to 20 million by the end of 2014.

NSN Confirms TDD LTE Roll-out with Sprint

Nokia Solutions and Networks confirmed a new contract with Sprint for the deployment of TDD LTE in 2.5 GHz spectrum across the United States.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the contract, NSN will implement its TDD LTE Radio solution with the latest LTE-Advanced-ready software capabilities and NetAct network management system. NSN will also provide professional services. NSN’s TDD LTE Radio solution features the company’s Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station using high capacity baseband platform and high bandwidth TDD LTE 8-pipe radio.

NSN noted a top downlink thoughput of 1.3 Gbps using its Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station at the demonstration of Sprint Spark at the Sprint facility in Burlingame, California.

"As we enhance our network, we need not only a return on our invested capital, but also a partner with proven TDD LTE leadership, innovation and commercialization expertise,” said Bob Azzi, senior vice president of Network Operations for Sprint. “NSN is an ideal vendor for our deployment, which will provide our customers with increased speeds and capacity in densely populated cities. We are excited to showcase what the future might hold through a live demonstration of TDD LTE Advanced with NSN’s commercial base station."

“Our aim is to help our customers drive a superior mobile broadband experience with the latest innovations,” said Rick Corker, executive vice president and president of North America for NSN. “NSN has a track record of delivering TDD LTE solutions, which have proven their worth time and again with tier one operators around the world. Our demonstration with Sprint at its lab is yet another testament to NSN’s TDD LTE expertise. We are delighted to provide Sprint with proven technology that will further enhance its goal of delivering a quality mobile broadband experience to its U.S. subscribers.”

Internap to Acquire iWeb for $145 Million

Internap Network Services agreed to acquire hosting and cloud provider iWeb for approximately $145 million.

Montreal-based iWeb provides on-demand server and cloud infrastructure to over 10,000 customers.

The combination creates a top five pure-play IT infrastructure services provider, with trailing twelve months revenue in excess of $320 million. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, iWeb serves 10,000 SMB customers in more than 100 countries and has approximately 200 employees.

Internap said iWeb’s dedicated and cloud hosting offerings complement its own portfolio of bare-metal and virtual cloud, managed hosting and colocation services while significantly expanding its addressable market to SMBs.

"iWeb fits perfectly into our strategy to deliver a comprehensive portfolio that can serve the needs of our customers at every stage of their business lifecycle, from an initial start-up wanting a single dedicated server to a scale-out Internet app provider or global enterprise requiring a hybrid solution across multiple data centers around the world,” said Eric Cooney, president and chief executive officer of Internap. "This combination represents a milestone in the transformation of Internap’s business to a leading IT infrastructure services provider that can deliver on customers’ complete range of IaaS demands."

CableLabs Releases DOCSIS 3.1 Specs

CableLabs announced the availability of its DOCSIS 3.1 PHY (physical layer) and MULPI (MAC and Upper Layer Protocol) specifications.

Some highlights:

  • Speed: Defines support for up to 10 Gbps downstream and up to 1 Gbps upstream network capabilities.
  • Quality of Experience: Utilizes Active Queue Management to significantly reduce network delay as data traffic grows in the home network, dramatically improving responsiveness for applications such as online gaming.
  • Higher Capacity: Enables a significant increase in network capacity with the ability to transmit up to 50 percent more data over the same spectrum, on existing HFC networks.
  • Energy Efficiency: Enhancements to the DOCSIS protocols will increase cable modem energy efficiency.
  • Flexible Migration Strategy: DOCSIS 3.1 modems are designed to co-exist with older versions enabling incremental deployment based on market demand.

“To meet the demand for higher speed access and increased network efficiency, CableLabs completed the development of DOCSIS 3.1 specifications 40 percent faster than previous DOCSIS projects,” said Phil McKinney, president and chief executive officer of CableLabs. “These specifications represent the combined work of a large consortium of cable industry stakeholders.”

DB Systel Picks ADVA's FSP 3000

DB Systel GmbH has selected the ADVA Optical Networking's FSP 3000 platform to support metro and long distance network applications. AXIANS is named as systems integrator.

DB Systel, which is a subsidiary of Deutsche Bah and based in Frankfurt, is one of the leading providers of ICT services in Germany.  As DB Group’s internal ICT provider, DB Systel provides data center services, connection of ticketing machines, online bookings, sales and passenger information systems, schedule control, video surveillance and internal office communications.

“We are now able to address the increasing demand for bandwidth arising from different applications and departments of the DB Group, as well as internal office communications in the most flexible, cost-effective and future-proof way with service provider based solutions as well as our own optical network implementation,” said Brigitte Baumgartner, head of Access and Carrier Services, DB Systel GmbH. “The ADVA FSP 3000 offers the modularity, ease of use and reliability we need in a platform to support our varied connectivity needs. What’s more, AXIANS and ADVA Optical Networking have established themselves as leading players in the marketplace.”

Tollgrade Launches "Virtual Broadband Technician" CPE

Tollgrade Communications introduced a "Virtual Broadband Technician" (VBT) customer premise device for diagnosing slow broadband connections.

The device can be used to pinpoint problems like intermittent faults, noise on the line and unresolved line speed instability.  The VBT is placed in line with the residential DSL modem.  It then performs a series of 50 tests, and can diagnose the cause of the problem – whether it lies within the customer premises (e.g., electromagnetic interference in the home) or anywhere in the local access network.

Tollgrade said its data from VBT field deployments found that 82 percent of tested customer premises equipment (CPE) would have been returned unnecessarily had it not been for the diagnostic capability of the VBT. By correctly pinpointing problems inside the home that would otherwise have been left undiagnosed, the VBT reduced repeat dispatches by over 50 percent, saving millions and reducing customer churn.

JDSU Reports Revenue of $429 Million

JDSU reported revenue of $429.0 million for its fiscal 2014 first quarter ended September 28, 2013, with net income of $0.3 million, or $0.00 per share. Prior quarter net revenue was $421.3 million, with net income of $92.5 million, or $0.38 per share. Net revenue for fiscal 2013 first quarter was $420.9 million, with net loss of $(11.6) million, or $(0.05) per share.

“We are pleased to have delivered our 28th consecutive quarter of positive operating cash flow, further strengthening our balance sheet and ability to fuel JDSU’s strong innovation pipeline,” said Tom Waechter, JDSU’s President and CEO. “Our results for the quarter were driven by strong growth in products that help our customers build out network capacity and this, coupled with robust customer adoption of our new products, positions JDSU well in the markets we serve."

  • Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific customers represented 46.4%, 24.3% and 29.3%, respectively, of total net revenue for the quarter.
  • The company held $1,087.3 million in total cash and investments and generated $29.5 million of cash from operations for the quarter.

Aviat Networks Hires Ericsson Exec

Aviat Networks has hired Ola Gustafsson as senior vice president, product and services portfolio management.
He most recently served as Ericsson's head of product line microwave and mobile backhaul.

ARRIS Sees Strong Q3

ARRIS reported Q3 revenue of $1,067.8 million and GAAP net income in the third quarter 2013 was $0.13 per diluted share.  The company ended the third quarter 2013 with $695.0 million of cash resources.

"I am very pleased with our third quarter results and our outlook for the balance of the year.  Our customers continue to react positively to our Motorola Home acquisition and we are making good progress in delivering new products to our customers," said Bob Stanzione, ARRIS Chairman and CEO.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Juniper Outlines MetaFabric Architecture for Cloud Data Centers

Juniper Networks introduced its MetaFabric architecture for next generation data centers with the goal of simplifying and accelerating the deployment and delivery of applications within and across multiple facilities.

The key design principles for MetaFabric are to be Open (standard interfaces for integration with multi-vendor data center equipment), Simple (single pane of glass management), and Smart (leverage traffic analytics to adapt the network for cloud, mobile and Big Data applications).  The MetaFabric architecture could be used in existing data centers or with next gen SDN controllers, including Juniper Networks Contrail and VMware NsX, and cloud orchestration platforms such as Openstack.  A consistent control plane is used across all systems to shared information and propagate state within and across data center locations.

Juniper's MetaFabric encompasses switching, routing, orchestration, SDN controllers and security hardware. Within a specific data center, Juniper's MetaFabric could be used with its QFabric family of products, Virtual Chassis technology, and Virtual Chassis Fabric switching architectures, or it could be implemented on traditional equipment. Across locations, protocols such as Ethernet VPN (EVPN) automatically and dynamically change the path for traffic flows.  MetaFabric could also use VPLS or MPLS to link data centers.

So far, Juniper has released MetaFabric Reference Architecture 1.0, which provide guidance to customers and partners deploying a VMware virtualized data center. The company said this tested reference architecture combines its routers, switches and security solutions with EMC, VMware and IBM systems running Microsoft applications. Juniper will support MetaFabric with its own professional services and with industry partnerships.

Juniper announced the following new products :
  • QFX5100 family of 10G and 40G access switches: The QFX5100 family is made up of top-of-rack (ToR) switches designed for the hitless, zero downtime data center. The rollout includes the QFX5100-48S, a10GbE switch offering 48 dual-mode, small form-factor pluggable transceiver (SFP/SFP+) ports and six quad small form-factor pluggable plus (QSFP+) 40GbE ports; the QFX5100-96S, a10GbE switch providing 96 dual-mode, small form-factor pluggable transceiver (SFP/SFP+) ports and eight quad small form-factor pluggable plus (QSFP+) 40GbE ports; and the QFX5100-24Q, a 40GbE switch supporting up to 32 quad small form-factor pluggable plus (QSFP+) ports.
  • New SDN and WAN capabilities on MX Series routers: Juniper Networks MX Series 3D Universal Edge Routers can now act as universal SDN gateways to connect physical and virtual networks seamlessly.  Juniper also added support for Ethernet VPN (EVPN), which maximizes performance by creating the most efficient forwarding paths across the WAN.
  • SDN solutions for data center optimization: MetaFabric can be the foundation for the emerging ecosystem of SDN controllers.  Juniper Networks Contrail will support VMware ESXi, providing customers with an even broader array of choices. In addition, MetaFabric allows customers to connect Juniper systems directly to OpenStack and CloudStack orchestration platforms, and SDN controllers, such as Juniper Networks Contrail and VMware NSX. 
"For the first time, MetaFabric will allow companies to operate multiple data centers - physical and virtual, private and cloud - as a single, flexible pool of network resources, providing tremendous levels of flexibility and efficiency, as enterprises and service providers shift towards an application-driven world." stated Rami Rahim, executive vice president, Platform Systems Division, Juniper Networks.

In September, Juniper Networks announced the commercial launch of its Contrail software-defined networking (SDN) solution for enterprise data centers and Service Provider networks.  The company said the primary benefit of Contrail is that it provides a simple way to connect physical networks with a virtual environment and provision underlying services, reducing the time, cost and risk for customers when configuring the network. In addition to virtualizing network resources, Contrail promises automated configuration for Network Functions Virtualisation (NFV). The launch represents the third step in Juniper's SDN strategy announced earlier this year (see below)

Juniper Networks Contrail, formerly known as JunosV Contrail, is comprised of an SDN controller, vRouter, and analytics engine.  It creates a virtual network, enabling seamless integration between physical and virtual networks.  Contrail's hypervisor forwarding plane provides line rate routing and switching in a multi-tenant virtualized environment that is completely decoupled from the underlying physical fabric switches. Contrail enables a variety of VPNs in software, including L3 VPNs, E-VPNs, Site-to-Site IPSec, and SSL VPNs.

Contrail also features built-in load balancing across application tiers or network services.  As for security, Juniper said its hypervisor forwarding plane includes built-in policy enforcement.  Contrail seamlessly integrates with Juniper's virtual firewall, Firefly Perimeter. In addition, Distributed Threat Prevention can be delivered in software using JunosWebApp Secure.

Contrail seamlessly integrates with the Juniper Networks MX, EX and QFX Series switches.  The company said it will be interoperable with most industry switches and routers.

In an enterprise setting, Contrail could be used for combining private and public clouds, enabling workload mobility between resources.  In a Service Provider setting, Contrail can dynamically service-chain virtualized or physical network resources, such as for NFV. 

In June 2012, Juniper Networks introduced a smaller version of its QFabric System aimed at mid-sized data centers. The QFabric architecture, which was first unveiled in February 2011 and began shipping in September 2011, collapses multilayer data center infrastructure into a single, any-to-any fabric that unifies networking, storage and cloud computing resources. The product set is composed of three components that create a high-performance, low latency fabric. The QF/Node acts as the distributed decision engine of the fabric; the QF/Interconnect is the high speed transport device; and the QF/Director delivers a common window, controlling all devices as one.   Specifically, the new and smaller QFX3000-M enables scalability from 48 10GbE ports and up to 6,144 10GbE ports using the QFX3000-G QFabric System. The smaller version delivers three microseconds latency, compared with five microseconds for the larger Qfabric.

Wheeler Confirmed as FCC Chairman

The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Thomas Wheeler as Chairman of the FCC and Michael P. O'Rielly as FCC Commissioner for the term previously help by Robert McDowell (ending June 2014).

Tom Wheeler previously served as Managing Director of Core Capital Partners, a venture capital firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. with approximately $350 million under management. Portfolio investments of Core Capital Partners include Sourcefire (NASDAQ: FIRE), Inlet Technologies (acquired by Cisco), SwapDrive (acquired by Symantec), IXI Corporation (acquired by Equifax), SilverStorm (acquired by QLogic), Roundbox, Twisted Pair Solutions, BridgeWave Communications, UpdateLogic, Infinite Power Solutions, GENBAND, PureWave, Trust Digital and others.  Wheeler served as President of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) from 1979 to 1984.  He then served as CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) until 2004.

Mike O'Rielly is a congressional staffer for Senator John Cornyn, a Republican for Texas.

Ixia to acquire Net Optics for $190 million

Ixia agreed to acquire Net Optics for $190 million in cash, in a cash-free/debt-free transaction and subject to certain adjustments based on Net Optics’ net working capital at closing.

Net Optics, which is based in Santa Clara, California, specializes in application and network visibility solutions for real-time network intelligence. Its product lines include taps and virtualized taps, bypass and in-line switches, and network packet brokers.  The company recorded revenue of $49 million in 2012. In the first nine months of 2013, Net Optics revenue grew 21% over the same period in 2012, reaching $42 million, with Q3 revenue growth of 31% year-over-year to reach a record $15.5 million. Ixia expects the acquisition to be accretive to non-GAAP earnings by the second full quarter after the acquisition closes.

Ixia said the deal enhances its position as a supplier of network packet brokers and application-aware visibility solutions.

“Next-generation cloud providers, mobility operators and enterprises demand more visibility into their global networks in order to maintain quality of service across virtualization, application and service delivery,” said Errol Ginsberg, Ixia Chairman and Acting CEO. “The acquisition of Net Optics solidifies our position as a market leader with a comprehensive product offering including network packet brokers, comprehensive physical and virtual taps and application aware capabilities. Additionally, the acquisition strengthens our service provider customer base, increases our footprint in the enterprise, and broadens our sales channel and partner programs.”

“The combined Ixia and Net Optics technology and capabilities will create a very compelling value proposition for enterprises and service providers around the world,” said Eldad Matityahu, Net Optics Founder and Chairman. “Ixia will offer visibility solutions that will address the full network, and I am very excited about the opportunities that the acquisition will create for our customers, partners and employees.”