Thursday, March 6, 2014

Zayo Acquires CoreXchage -- Adding Data Centers to its Fiber Footprint

Zayo Group has acquired CoreXchange, Inc., a data center, bandwidth and managed services provider in Dallas, Texas. Financial terms were not disclosed.  The purchase adds one new data center to Zayo's zColo portfolio. In addition, zColo will secure an additional 12,000 square feet in CoreXchange’s suite at its existing data center in the Dallas Infomart at 1950 N. Stemmons Freeway.

The acquisition yields over 18,000 square feet of total data center space and brings zColo’s national data center count to 27 locations. As a part of the acquisition, Zayo will also assume ownership of ColoUnlimited, CoreXchange’s online presence that facilitates simple, real-time online sales and ordering of colocation services. zColo will continue operating ColoUnlimited in the Dallas market before integrating into Zayo’s recently announced Internet Portal, Tranzact, in the second quarter of 2014. Tranzact will enable transactional ordering capabilities across zColo’s national data center footprint.

  • The CoreXchange transaction follows Zayo's 2013 acquisition of CoreNAP, establishing zColo’s presence in Austin, Texas, as well as zColo’s recent organic expansion announcement in Miami, Fla., at 36 NE 2nd St. 

Telespazio Upgrades Encoding Platform with Ericsson

Ericsson announced a contract with Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales company, to expand the company's current service offering to include MPEG-4 AVC HD and SD channels, while maintaining existing MPEG-2 SD channels at premium quality within the existing content distribution infrastructure.

Specifically, Telespazio will deploy Ericsson's AVP 4000 system encoder. The Ericsson AVP family of video processors has been very well received by broadcasters and operators around the world. The selection offers the highest performance and broadest capability in the industry on a single platform across all applications, from SD to HD, 1080p50/60, 3DTV and Ultra High Definition TV (UHDTV), and all codecs, including MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC and JPEG2000, with 4:2:0 and 4:2:2, 8-bit and 10-bit all supported.

"In order to consistently deliver the high quality content in high definition that we know our subscribers want, it was imperative that we upgraded our existing content distribution infrastructure. Ericsson was the natural choice, as we were able to leverage our existing legacy platform to minimize costs, while launching additional MPEG-4 AVC SD and HD premium channels," said Michele Aita, Platforms Engineering Manager, Telespazio. "The superior overall picture quality for premium content offered by Ericsson's solution gives us an edge over our competitors, enabling us to maximize our revenue basis over the coming years."

Where is SDN today? ONF's Marc Cohn answers...

Cisco Picks Toronto for $100 Million Global Innovation Centre

Cisco has selected Toronto as one of four global Cisco® Internet of Everything Innovation (IoE) Centres, representing a planned investment of up to $100 million over 10 years.

The decision builds on Cisco’s recent investments in Canada including:

  • Up to $4 billion over 10 years to expand Cisco’s footprint in Ontario and create up to 1,700 new jobs;
  • Multimillion dollar investment to establish research chairs, professorships and innovation centres at 10 universities across Canada; and
  • Signing on as a Premier Partner in the 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games.

Toronto will join Songdo, South Korea; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Germany as one of four centres announced worldwide. The decision to locate in Canada’s largest city reflects Cisco Canada’s demonstrated thought leadership and expertise in working with municipalities, and the Canadian construction and real estate industries.

Where is SDN today? - Netronome's Niel Viljoen answers...

Infonetics: Ethernet Switching Revenue Topped $20B in 2013

Worldwide Ethernet switch revenue continued to grow in 4Q13, up 3% from 3Q13, to $5.4 billion; more important, the market remained positive (+3%) on a year-over-year basis, according to a new report from Infonetics Research.

“2013 was a bumpy year for the Ethernet switch market, but in the end, revenue set another record and passed the $20 billion mark. While 10G was once again the key growth driver, we’re finally seeing this segment mature after a decade, and 40G is now taking over as the new high-growth segment,” notes Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

Some additional highlights:

  • In general, buyers are shifting their purchases toward switches with advanced capabilities such as management features, power-over-Ethernet, and higher speeds, to deal with the increasing demands that applications are placing on network infrastructure
  • 100G ports shipments once again doubled quarter-over-quarter, and Infonetics expects the 100G market to gain critical mass in 2015
  • North America and China were the top-performing geographies in Ethernet switch sales in 2013
  • Huawei’s Ethernet switch revenue soared 80% sequentially in 4Q13, propelling the vendor into the #4 spot behind Cisco, HP, and Juniper

Mid-Atlantic Crossroads Tests 400/800G Optical Transport with Fujitsu

Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX), which is is a multi-state research network led by the University of Maryland, has successfully tested 400G and 800G optical transport in partnership with Fujitsu Network Communications.

The trial, which was conducted over a live network route from Baltimore to McLean, Virginia, carried 400 Gbps and 800 Gbps transmissions alongside the existing 10 Gbps and 100 Gbps channels using the Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet Optical Networking Platform (Packet ONP).

Channel spacing was reduced 25% over conventional dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM). The trial employed advanced modulation techniques, including dual-polarization quadrature phase shift keying (DP-QPSK) and dual-polarization 16-ary quadrature amplitude modulation (DP-16QAM), yielding a super-channel that allows more than 2.5 times increase in bandwidth in the same amount of spectral width as current DWDM technologies. Both the 400G and 800G transmission operated error-free.

“This field trial provided a significant opportunity for MAX and Fujitsu to collaborate on a leading technological advancement in the optical networking field,” said Tripti Sinha, Executive Director of MAX. “The achievement of such a fast networking speed will not only benefit MAX participants, but it will also set the standard for the future of advanced networking, helping to unlock previously unavailable resources for researchers across the world.”

Fujitsu also noted that the trial also employed Nyquist filtering techniques that leverage spectral shaping, resulting in an increase in spectral density. With nonlinear fiber impairments being a major limiting factor of optical transmission, the field trial demonstrated nonlinear compensation (NLC) techniques to reduce the resulting optical penalties and extend the achievable transmission distance. All of these advancements enable a much higher utilization of costly fiber infrastructure and maximize the bandwidth available for demanding R&E applications.

Where is SDN today? - Infinera's Mike Capuano answers...

Ciena Posts Q1 Revenue for $544B, up 18%

Ciena reported revenue of $533.7 million for its fiscal first quarter ended January 31, 2014, as compared to $453.1 million for the fiscal first quarter 2013.

Ciena’s net loss (GAAP) for the fiscal first quarter 2014 was $(15.9) million, or $(0.15) per common share, which compares to a GAAP net loss of $(47.3) million, or $(0.47) per common share, for the fiscal first quarter 2013. Ciena’s adjusted (non-GAAP) net income for the fiscal first quarter 2014 was $13.7 million, or $0.13 per diluted common share, which compares to an adjusted (non-GAAP) net income of $12.3 million, or $0.12 per diluted common share, for the fiscal first quarter 2013.

“Solid execution in our fiscal first quarter, including 18% year-on-year revenue growth and 6% adjusted operating margin, demonstrates our continued momentum, reinforces our market leadership, and positions us well for the long-term opportunity ahead,” said Gary B. Smith, president and CEO, Ciena. “We continue to benefit from the strategic decisions we’ve made to expand our role and reach in the market, driving more consistent performance and progress toward achieving our long-term operating targets.”

Where is SDN today? Riverbed's Umesh Kukreja answers...

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Where is SDN today? - Overture's Chris Swan answers...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ONS 2014 Google Keynote: Software Defined Network Virtualization at Scale

Google is a big believer in cloud networking because it promises an easier operational model and opens the doors to state-of-the-art infrastructure and services, said Amin Vahdat, Distinguished Engineer and Technical Lead for Networking at Google, in a keynote for Open Networking Summit 2014 in Santa Clara, California.

Google's Cloud Platform is enabled by its "Andromeda Network Virtualization" platform -- a software-defined networking (SDN) framework extending across the entire hardware/software stack.  Google takes a holistic approach to all layers in order to achieve QoS, latency parameters and fault tolerance.   Google is making huge investments in its cloud data centers -- at least $2.9 billion in additional planned data centers worldwide in support of cloud services. As reported in the press, managing the energy consumption of these huge facilities is as important as ongoing capital spending.  The company has an extensive CDN footprint to reduce delivery times to end users.

In talks at previous Open Networking Summits, Google first described its global Software-defined WAN, describing the massive backbone as a homegrown project that has enabled the company to treat WAN bandwidth as though it were LAN bandwidth.

Some notes from Amin Vahdat's presentation:

  • Google adopted a share infrastructure model pretty much since its inception.  Hundreds of application run across the same cloud platform.
  • Google is into cluster networking, where storage is disaggregated into pools for virtual machines
  • Google has found that a logically centralized/hierarchical control plane with a peer-to-peer data plane beats out decentralized models.
  • The Andromeda Network Virtualization stack runs on this centralized/hierachical control plane model.
  • Network virtualization bring challenges:  virtual networks must be isolated from each others, DDoS attacks are a threat, network functions virtualization is key to the operation of these networks.
  • Looking ahead a few years, based on Amdahl's Law, Google calculates that future clouds will require extremely high bandwidth and low latencies to interconnect compute resources and shared pools of Flash storage.
  • Virtual machine migration capabilities will be key to support high-availability infrastructure.
  • Vahdat believes that commodity servers running control protocols will be widely used for SDN.
  • Google wishes to eliminate 'one-off' protocols and siloed middle boxes in its network.
  • Google is looking at programmable packet processors to extend network functionality
  • NFV is really about virtualized SDN
  • Andromeda is capable of splitting NFV between soft switches and commodity packet processors.
  • Andromeda capabilities also include cloud load balancing, virtual machine migration, storage services, bandwidth provisioning, and network configuration tools (ACLs, firewall and isolation)
The full keynote has now been posted online by @OpenNetworking Summit.

ONS 2014 AT&T Keynote: SDN Innovations Drive Transformation

AT&T is on a mission to transform its networks, operations, business models and even culture by leveraging a new spirit of innovation, said John Donovan, Senior Executive Vice President for AT&T Technology and Network Operations, in a key note address at Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara, California.

A key theme driving this transformation is openness, said Donovan, and AT&T is moving aggressively to implement "the network of the future" - what it calls the User-Defined Network Cloud, a multi-service, multi-tenant platform where equipment is flexible.

AT&T's User-Defined Network Cloud is all about becoming fast, nimble and more customer-focused, said Donovan.  AT&T will take an evergreen approach, preferring to build a new network rather than overlays on the legacy infrastructure.  AT&T will look at new, non-traditional networking vendors, the academic community and the open source movement.

Some notes on Donovan's presentation:

  • AT&T has led the way through several technology transformation inflection points over the course of its long history.  This will be one of them.
  • Over time, all of AT&T's network capabilities will become cloud-centric workloads
  • Customers will have more control to adapt their applications in real time.
  • Applications will pivot from traditional networking to cloud models.
  • AT&T will pursue openness everywhere, including with its Domain 2.0 program, to encourage opinions and innovations.
  • AT&T has half a dozen "beach-head" projects underway in NFV.
  • At times, AT&T will develop its own solutions.  For instance, the control plane of the AT&T backbone is already a software-defined network that manages the 4 million routes of the footprint.
  • AT&T is actively recruiting people with skills in these areas.

One question after the keynote was "why are you really moving to SDN?"  Donovan's answer:  "Because no army can hold back an economic principle whose time has come"

The entire keynote has now been posted on YouTube.

Equinix Introduces Performance Hub

Equinix introduced its "Performance Hub" concept — a new solution that combines elements of data centers, networking infrastructure and connectivity, and cloud computing access.  The gial is to improve application performance and deliver a globally consistent quality of experience to end users.

Performance Hub deployments include:

  • Equinix IBX data center hosting - Cabinets, power, and cross connects
  • Network connectivity - Metro-Ethernet, long-haul (MPLS-VPN), ISP
  • Network equipment - Routing, switching, firewalls, SSL-VPN, load-balancers, WAN-acceleration
  • Cloud connectivity - Private, high-bandwidth connectivity to leading public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Windows Azure and many others

Equinix said its Performance Hub delivers significant improvement in performance across metro (coast-to-coast) scenarios including:
50 percent improvement in http-load tests for web-based applications

  • Greater than 40 percent improvement on file transfers for Microsoft Sharepoint®
  • 40 percent improvement on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) launch times
  • Reduced jitter and latency for video streaming applications
  • For applications hosted on public cloud infrastructure, 30 percent improvement in page-load tests for web-based applications, if consumed via Equinix Performance Hub with direct connectivity to public cloud infrastructure vs. Internet connectivity; and 100x improvement in data transfers for data-replication applications such as Oracle Data Guard

The Equinix Performance Hub is being launched in Equinix's North American data centers and will be available globally later this year.