Thursday, November 21, 2013

IBM Tests SDN-based Disaster Prevention Intervention App

IBM is working with Marist College on a rapid re-provisioning application for cloud computing that could move resources to a safe location in the event of a pending natural disaster.  The effort comes in response to last year's Hurricane Sandy, in which many data center operators were warned of the impending weather disaster, but were unable to re-provision applications and storage to a safe location at short notice.

The cloud computing disaster prevention invention that IBM and Marist are currently testing could slash re-provisioning time from days to minutes -- avoiding costly network disruptions and outages. Marist’s SDN Innovation Lab is testing an SDN solution from IBM that enables data center operators to more efficiently control data flows within physical and virtual networks.
IBM said this cloud-based solution could significantly reduce or eliminate the loss of services and data in a major weather event or other crisis that threatens voice and data network resources. It is now being demonstrated to clients and is expected to be commercially available in 2014.

"A year ago, Sandy left millions of individuals and businesses in the Northeast without electronic communications for days, weeks and even months -- in some cases, data centers were literally under water," said IBM Distinguished Engineer Casimer DeCusatis. "With our invention, a data center operator could quickly and simply move data and applications to another data center outside the danger zone in minutes -- from a remote location using a tablet or smartphone."

"Our SDN Innovation Lab provides a cloud networking test bed for early SDN adopters, including IBM clients, and also offers an opportunity to evaluate new technologies across our entire infrastructure here at Marist College," said Robert Cannistra, senior professional lecturer for computer science and information technology at Marist. "We gain practical experience with the latest technology that we can apply to our own operations and curricula, and our students gain valuable knowledge they can apply to their future careers."

Other IBM cloud inventions and projects being tested at the SDN Innovation Lab include:

  • The recently announced "noisy neighbor' invention (U.S. Patent #8,352,953) for dynamically managing network bandwidth for systems running within a cloud that experience dramatic or unexpected peaks and valleys in demand for services.
  • A patent-pending IBM invention that creates a "heat map" of network activity within a cloud to automatically predict and prevent congestion before it occurs. This invention is included in IBM Flex System servers and System Networking offerings.
  • A prototype streaming video invention that monitors server CPU and memory function to dynamically shift the video stream from one virtual machine to another within a cloud while it's running, to ensure picture quality and continuous transmission.
  • An open-source SDN controller that will allow developers to build redundancy, high availability and automation into cloud networks. The controller is based on IBM's DOVE technology, which is being donated to the Linux Foundation's OpenDaylight Project.
  • Additional research partners in the Marist SDN Innovation Lab include Columbia University, City University of New York, the State University of New York 

Optical Internetworking Forum Continues 100G and 400G Work

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) launched three new projects following its Q4 Technical meeting last month in Hong Kong:

400G Framework Document  - the Physical and Link Layer (PLL) and Carrier Working Groups joined forces to begin developing a 400G Framework Document that will analyze and discuss trade-offs between high-order modulation formats, high data rates per channel and a number of subcarriers.  The effort is expected to lead to the definition of application scenarios and limits for 400G operation. The framework document will also consider single optical carrier vs. multi-carrier solutions for long haul and metro applications.

Integrated Polarization Multiplexed Quadrature Modulated Transmitters for Metro Applications -- targeting 100G coherent optical modulator modules for metro applications. This new project will incorporate the use of new and advanced modulator technologies which will enable smaller and more cost-effective components needed for these metro applications.

Multi-Link Gearbox (MLG) 3.0 - an effort to define a protocol to support in-band and remote Monitoring & Control and define IEEE 802.3bj RS-FEC compatibility.  In some applications the transport of 10GBASE-R signals over Nx20G links requires definition, including 2X20G and 1X40G links. The MLG 3.0 Project will define in-band coding that preserves 10GBASE-R physical lane-to-lane ordering and in-lane bit ordering to support synchronous and asynchronous 10G lanes.

The OIF also announced the election of its new leadership.  Newly elected to the board of directors is Dave Brown of Alcatel-Lucent, who will serve a one-year term as vice president of marketing. Re-elected to the OIF board of directors are the following: Steve Joiner of Finisar, who will serve a two-year term; John McDonough of NEC America, who will serve a one-year term, was appointed vice president; and Vishnu Shukla of Verizon, who will serve a two-year term, was appointed president.

Newly elected OIF officers and committee chairs, each serving a one-year term, include: Nathan Tracy of TE Connectivity as Technical Committee chair; Jonathan Sadler of Tellabs as Technical Committee vice chair, Brian Holden of Kandou as Market Awareness & Education Committee co-chair, PLL; Lyndon Ong of Ciena as Market Awareness & Education Committee co-chair, Networking.

“Recently, several approaches to achieving 400G data transmission have been proposed with reported transmit fiber distances from short haul to long haul applications,” said Nathan Tracy, TE Connectivity and the OIF’s Technical Committee chair.  “To develop this white paper, the OIF intends to bring the industry together to discuss the options and where the gaps exist for initial 400G long haul implementations.”

Internap's AgileCLOUD to Offer Native OpenStack API

Internap Network Services announced the beta availability of the next generation of its public cloud.

Internap's AgileCLOUD will fully expose both virtualized and bare-metal compute instances over a native OpenStack API. The company said this will allow customers to easily provision and manage thousands of virtual or bare-metal cloud AgileSERVER instances – to best fit their application and use case requirements – across Internap’s global cloud footprint, which includes locations in New York, Dallas, Silicon Valley, Amsterdam and Singapore.

“AgileCLOUD is now 100% OpenStack ‘under the hood,’ which provides an open, interoperable framework that helps us deliver a dramatically more scalable platform,” said Raj Dutt, senior vice president of technology at Internap. “Not only can we offer our customers all the benefits of the OpenStack platform, but we’ve implemented existing features that our hybridized customers find valuable – such as bare-metal cloud instances, static IP addresses, Layer 2 VLANs and compatibility with our existing hosting API (hAPI).”

Other key features include:

  • Flexible configuration options and hybridization – Bare-metal cloud AgileSERVERs will function as just another instance flavor, providing customers with a seamless choice on a per-application or per-instance basis. AgileCLOUD continues to support Layer 2 VLANs for hybridization across customers’ colocation and managed hosting services with Internap, all of which can be managed through a “single-pane-of-glass” customer portal and API.
  • High-performance storage – AgileCLOUD provides 100% SSD for both local (ephemeral) and networked (persistent) block storage.
  • Improved interoperability and no vendor lock-in – native OpenStack API and third-party OpenStack ecosystem for both virtualized and bare-metal cloud instances, including the ability to more easily hybridize between on-premise and third-party OpenStack clouds.

China Mobile Selects HP for Wireless City Search

China Mobile has selected HP Autonomy's Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) to power the search capability of its strategic Wireless City platform, which allows users to access information on thousands of public services directly from their mobile phones.

HP IDOL uses advanced pattern-matching technology to understand key concepts in all forms of information, including free text, video, audio, image, social media and the web. Unlike traditional, keyword-dependent systems, HP IDOL retrieves all relevant information that is conceptually related to a query, going beyond search to help users discover information they may not know to look for.

“Much of the success of Wireless City depends on the users’ ability to quickly find information and harness the full potential of the platform,” said Cao Yang, project manager, Wireless City, China Mobile. “HP Autonomy stood out by having a great support infrastructure. We believe that the unique conceptual search capabilities of HP IDOL can help us deliver an unmatched experience and a highly valuable service to our customers.”

Infonetics: Banner Year for VoIP and IMS

Bucking the typically soft 3rd quarter, the global service provider VoIP and IMS equipment market totaled $974 million in 3Q13, up 4% sequentially, and up 52% from the year-ago quarter, according to a new report from Infonetics.

“2013 is turning into a banner year for the IMS equipment market due largely to mobile operators in the U.S., Japan, and South Korea purchasing gear for voice over LTE (VoLTE). While many of these networks won’t go live until next year, operators are purchasing and deploying enough capacity to make sure they don’t fall short upon launch,” notes Diane Myers, principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS at Infonetics Research.

Some additional highlights:

  • Legacy equipment—gateways and softswitches—showed resiliency rather than being a drag on results
  • Owing to LTE-related activity, North America enjoyed the strongest year-over-year growth of any region in 3Q13, despite being down on a quarter-over-quarter basis
  • The Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) continues to benefit from the overall expansion of fixed-line VoIP services, notching a 20% sequential increase in revenue in 3Q13
  • Strong performances in Asia Pacific, CALA, and EMEA helped Huawei maintain its leadership in the global service provider VoIP and IMS market
  • In the 3rd quarter, NEC, Ericsson, Mavenir, Genband, and Metaswitch all posted double-digit revenue growth.

Cable Wi-Fi Now Provides Access Nearly 200,000 WiFi Hotspots across U.S.

Cox Communications is now providing its customers with access to nearly 200,00 Wi-Fi hotspots across the U.S. in the Cable WiFi network.

With the latest integration with Time Warner Cable's hotspots, Cox customers now can access free Wi-Fi in additional cities including Los Angeles, New York City, Austin, Charlotte and Kansas City.

"Cox continues to extend our customers access to WiFi hotspots across the country delivering information and entertainment anytime, anywhere," said Len Barlik, executive vice president and chief product officer. "Not only are we providing our customers access to nearly 200,000 WiFi hotspots throughout the country, we are also making it convenient and simple for customers to locate and logon to these hotspots."

Aruba Posts Quarterly Revenue of $161M, up 11% YoY

Aruba Networks reported record quarterly revenue of $160.9 million, up 11 percent from the $144.5 million reported in Q1’13. G

AAP net loss for Q1’14 was $7.8 million, a loss of $0.07 per share, compared with GAAP net loss of $0.8 million, or a loss of $0.01 per share, in Q1’13.

“In the first quarter, we surpassed our revenue expectations and executed well on our initiatives to grow our sales and channel engine,” said Dominic Orr, Aruba’s president and chief executive officer. “The early strong performance of our 802.11ac solutions validate our technology leadership position in the industry. Additionally, we expanded our addressable market with the launch of our Aruba Central cloud-based management service, bringing Aruba’s enterprise-class performance, manageability and reliability to the cloud. Our competitive position continues to grow as IT teams recognize that upgrading their wired closet will not solve their most pressing needs brought about by an increasingly wireless world and the proliferation of devices needing access to their networks."

Splunk Sees 51% YoY Sales Growth for Analytics

Splunk posted quarterly revenue of $78.6 million, up 51% year-over-year, for its software platform for real-time operational intelligence.

“We are pleased to welcome a record number of new customers to Splunk this quarter,” said Godfrey Sullivan, Chairman and CEO, Splunk. “There is tremendous value to be found in machine data. As a result, more customers are adopting Splunk software as their enterprise standard. We expanded our product portfolio this quarter with the release of Splunk Enterprise 6, Splunk Cloud and Hunk: Splunk Analytics for Hadoop, providing more power, functionality and flexibility for our customers.”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

LSI Delivers its ARM-based Axxia 4500 Processor for SDN

LSI announced first commercial delivery of its Axxia 4500 family of communication processors for enterprise and data center networking applications such as evolving application aware networking.

LSI's Axxia 4500, which is the company's first ARM technology-based communication processor, features a new "StreamSight" next-generation Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) engine that provides improved Software-Defined Networks (SDN) controller traffic inspection, efficiency of network management, QoS, security and other network functions. The Axxia 4500 processors combine LSI's acceleration engines with up to four ARM Cortex-A15 cores with a CoreLink CCN-504 coherent, QoS aware interconnect in 28nm process technology. The processors also include up to 100 Gbps of L2 switching functionality.

The company said that by combining its Ethernet switches, networking accelerators and "Virtual Pipeline" technology with power-efficient ARM cores, its new Axxia 4500 can address the performance challenges facing next-generation networks. Customers using the Axxia 4500 are able to solve the control plane scalability challenges of SDN and extract the necessary information required to enable Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) implementations without burdening the server processor.

“With so much content and so many applications residing in the cloud, the need to manage network traffic both more efficiently and securely is increasingly important,” said Jim Anderson, senior vice president and general manager, Networking Solutions Group, LSI. “The Axxia 4500 communication processor family, with its combination of intelligence and acceleration, delivers the high performance necessary for efficient SDN implementations.”

Qualcomm Intros 4th Gen Modem Chipset Supporting LTE-Advanced

Qualcomm introduced its fourth-generation 3G/LTE multimode modem chipset, the Qualcomm Gobi 9x35, and RF transceiver chip, the Qualcomm WTR3925.

The Qualcomm Gobi 9x35 is a cellular modem implemented in 20nm technology.  It offers support for global carrier aggregation with up to 40 MHz for both LTE TDD and FDD Category 6.  This enables download speeds of up to 300 Mbps. It is backwards compatible and supports all other major cellular technologies, including DC-HSPA, EVDO Rev. B, CDMA 1x, GSM and TD-SCDMA.

The Qualcomm WTR3925 is the first announced RF transceiver chip based on the 28 nm process, and is Qualcomm Technologies’ first single-chip, carrier aggregation RF solution that supports all carrier aggregation band combinations approved by 3GPP. The WTR3925 pairs with the Gobi 9x35 chipset and the Qualcomm RF360 Front End Solution, which enable the mobile industry’s premier global, single-SKU LTE platform. Sampling is expected to begin sampling early next year.

“We’re excited to be expanding our portfolio with a fourth generation of 3G/LTE multimode connectivity solutions,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and co-president, QCT. “Not only do these products extend our industry-leading Gobi roadmap, they enable the creation of thinner and more efficient mobile devices capable of connecting to the fastest 4G LTE Advanced networks worldwide.”

Palo Alto Networks and VMware Partner on Network Virtualization Security

Palo Alto Networks and VMware announced a jointly-developed solution that uses the VMware NSX network virtualisation platform to automate provisioning and distribution of Palo Alto Networks next-generation network security in their software-defined data centers.

The companies said the combined solution will enable customers to use the network services insertion capabilities of VMware NSX to deploy, move, scale and protect applications.   Key features include:

  • Automated provisioning of advanced network services
  • A consistent network security model that protects against cyber threats - known and unknown - across both physical and virtual workloads
  • Native segmentation of virtual machines into virtual networks
  • Transparent traffic steering and enforcement at the virtual interface
  • Fine-grained visibility into applications, users and content associated with virtual machine context
  • Context-sharing across virtual infrastructure and security management platforms
  • Separation of duties between server, network and security IT administrators.

"The cloud introduces new security challenges, and legacy security systems based on physical attributes such as port and protocol just aren't adequate to secure these highly dynamic environments," said Jon Oltsik, senior principal analyst at the Enterprise Strategy Group. "A next-generation security approach that eases operational challenges through integration with network virtualisation is a requirement for customers to confidently extend their deployments to cloud."

Metaswitch Announces Support Service for Legacy Class 5 Switches

Metaswitch Networks has extended its technology service and support to include a range of legacy Class 5 switches. The service targets the DMS-10 and DMS-100 families of switches (originally manufactured by Nortel Networks and acquired by Genband) and the 5ESS Class 5 switches (made by Western Electric, which became part of Alcatel-Lucent).

Metaswitch said its service for these switches will include 24-hour-a-day, 365-days-a-year “Level 3” support to assist service provider network operation center (NOC) employees managing day-to-day operations. The company continues to encourage network migration for all service providers.

VSS Monitoring Delivers Network Data to Big Data Analytics Systems

VSS Monitoring, which is now a subsidiary of Danaher, introduced a Big Data Visibility solution that scales analytics and forensics to larger datasets than they could with legacy technology.

The VSS Monitoring’s vMesh architecture can connect hundreds of packet broker nodes, gaining real-time views into big data across their entire global network.  The new Big Data solution leverages two new advances in the vMesh Architecture: vSpool and vNetConnect.

The vSpool hardware module for VSS Monitoring’s vBroker chassis enables network data to be captured directly from the network infrastructure, and delivered to and analyzed synchronously or asynchronously by any network analytics, forensics and big data systems over a common storage or content platform.

vNetConnect software enables agent-free visibility into VMware and Cisco virtual switches, providing visibility into physical and virtual workloads and the associated network traffic without requiring any additional software to be installed on the hypervisor or as a virtual machine.

VSS Monitoring said the addition of vNetConnect enables packets from both virtual switches and physical switches to be directed into the network packet broker layer, while vSpool provides capture and delivery of those packets to analytics tools and content platforms from a single point and in an open standard format.

“Big-data systems are often blind to an invaluable resource: the data that represents every transaction in any networked business,” said Martin Breslin, Founder and President, VSS Monitoring. “Bridging this gap by linking network data with big data systems, enables a comprehensive view of the information that the business needs to make the right decisions.  vSpool addresses these challenges by delivering line-rate performance and advanced traffic grooming, while vNetConnect provides total visibility into network traffic from both physical and virtual hosts, and from active and stored data alike.  No longer are variations in data types, interfaces between systems, network latency, or physical locations of network assets a limitation to high-quality analysis.”

Qualcomm Atheros Debuts Processor for Internet of Everything

Qualcomm Atheros is launching an Internet Processor (IPQ) product line to transform networking devices like home gateways, routers and media servers into “Smarthome” platforms. The new device is aimed at the next generation of IP-based content, applications, systems and things, known as the Internet of Everything, in homes and businesses.

Qualcomm’s “Smarthome” platform combines its dual-core 1.4 GHz Krait CPU with its new dual-core 730 MHz Packet Processor Engine, to offload network traffic, supporting up to 5 Gbps of aggregate capacity across LTE, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, HomePlug powerline, hybrid wired/wireless, and Ethernet.

“Just as Qualcomm helped propel the smartphone experience and ecosystem, we are now employing the company’s mobile DNA to enable the Smarthome as a platform to deliver an advanced class of content, applications and services that can be enjoyed throughout the home. Qualcomm is bringing together its mobile and networking expertise in the Internet Processor to extend its portfolio and enable new capabilities for network platforms,” said Amir Faintuch, president, Qualcomm Atheros. “With this new class of high-performance, energy-efficient and agile processors for home gateways and enterprise access points, Qualcomm is again demonstrating its ability and commitment to elevate consumer experiences by driving innovation at the edge of the network.”

Altera Releases New 100G Ethernet and Interlaken IP Cores

Altera expanded its intellectual property (IP) portfolio with four additions: an ultra-high performance and ultra-low latency 100G Interlaken, 100G Ethernet, 40G Ethernet and 10G Ethernet IP.

The new Interlaken and Ethernet IP cores are optimized for use in Altera's high-performance Stratix V FPGAs as well as future Generation 10 FPGAs and SoCs. Customers today via early access software are using these best-in-class IP cores in 20 nm Arria 10 FPGA designs.

Saudi Telecom Awards Managed Services Contract to Huawei

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has awarded a four year managed services contract to Huawei.

Under the contract, Huawei will provide operations and maintenance, network performance management services for STC’s wireless, microwave, and core networks. Huawei noted that its work with STC dates back to 2000 and includes 9 years of Hajj event assurance, Internet protocol television (IPTV) consultancy support, network performance management, and customer experience management.

Freescale Demos Simultaneous LTE and WCDMA on a Single Base Station Processor

Freescale Semiconductor's QorIQ Qonverge BSC9132 SoC for small cell base station can now run simultaneous WCDMA and LTE thanks to the company's integrated VortiQa Layer 1 (L1) software.

“The addition of WCDMA multimode capability to our comprehensive portfolio of LTE L1 software underscores Freescale’s strong commitment to the small cell market,” said Stephen Turnbull, wireless marketing manager for Freescale’s Digital Networking business. “Freescale is helping accelerate the ability of small cell manufacturers to deliver multimode picocell solutions that work together seamlessly and meet the requirements of wireless network operators.”

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dreamforce in SF Attracts 135,000 Registrants - Power of Cloud's annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco has attracted over 135,000 registrants (online and in-person), making it the largest cloud and software industry event so far.  This compares to about 90,000 registrants last year. The event has about 350 partner companies exhibiting at the expo, as well as 1,200 sessions.

In his keynote address, Marc Benioff, Salesforce's Chairman and CEO, said his company is building the Internet of Customers by leveraging the changing workflows enabled by cloud applications. Salesforce recently achieved its first $1 billion sales quarter (up 36% YoY) and its ecosystem of partners and market share in cloud services continue to grow.

The company is introducing its new Salesforce1 Customer Platform for connecting apps, mobile devices and customer data.  The release includes new APIs and mobile tools to make it easier for companies to build sales and customer-support applications.

FCC Considers Mandatory PSTN Sunset in 2018

The FCC will consider an order at its January meeting addressing the IP Transition along with the recommendation to sunset the public switched telephone network in 2018.

In a statement, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said he welcomes the decision but that adequate testing and preparation must be conducted in advance. Geographic all-IP trials should be conducted so that carriers will be able to  transition from TDM to IP in a discrete set of wire centers.

Ericsson Confirms Key Contracts for China Mobile's TD-LTE Rollout

China Mobile has selected Ericsson to deploy LTE TDD in 15 provinces in China, covering 63 percent of China's population. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Specifically, Ericsson will deploy radio access networks based on its multi-standard RBS 6000. For the core network - which will be used for China Mobile's nationwide mobile network covering 2G, 3G and 4G - Ericsson has been selected to upgrade its installed base, equal to a market share of 40 percent in User Data Management (HLR/HSS). In addition, Ericsson has been awarded 20 percent market share in Evolved Packet Core. This makes Ericsson China Mobile's main supplier in Core.  Ericsson will also provide network design and optimization services.

Jan Signell, Head of Ericsson Region North East Asia says: "We are pleased that our LTE TDD technology and services leadership are recognized by China Mobile. Our leading LTE TDD networks will bring unparalleled network performance to users and create new opportunities for innovations with connected devices and applications. We have been a trusted partner to China Mobile since its introduction of 2G and are committed to supporting the world's largest LTE deployment."

Ericsson noted that this deal is aligned with the 11 percent market share in radio access networks awarded earlier in the China Mobile central purchasing process in September. The deployment has begun.