Monday, April 14, 2014

Oracle Announces Back-up and Storage Cloud Services

As part of its commitment to providing its advanced cloud portfolio, Oracle is launching a new Database Backup Service and a new Storage Cloud Service. 

Oracle Database Backup Service is positioned as a simple, scalable, and low-cost Oracle Database cloud backup solution.  It is integrated with Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN), enabling customers to continue using familiar RMAN commands for seamlessly and securely performing backup and recovery operations between on-premises Oracle Databases and the Oracle Cloud. The service also enables customers to parallelize and compress backup data transfers to help maximize performance and it includes client-side encryption.

Oracle Storage Cloud is positioned as a solution to simplify and lower capital and operational costs for storing data backups and archives with high reliability and security.  It is API compatible with OpenStack Swift and provides access to data through REST and Java APIs.

ConteXtream Collaborates with Red Hat on OpenStack Orchestration of Carrier-SDN

ConteXtream is working with Red Hat to integrate OpenStack orchestration with ConteXtream’s software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) fabric for carrier-SDN solutions.

Specifically, ConteXtream has integrated Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform with its ContexNet SDN fabric.

ConteXtream said this collaboration enables end customers to instantiate ContexNet nodes in the right places, servers and switches within the network, as well as to provision the correct parameters and key performance indicators (KPIs).

When used for NFV purposes, ContexNet leverages Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to populate its distributed mapping system with relevant information regarding instantiation of Virtual Network Function Components (VNFCs) in the network. In addition, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform can direct the right VNFCs to the right ContexNet network virtualization edge overlay nodes, whether they are host-based, top-of-rack based or a WAN edge nodes.

The companies plan to continue work on joint use cases in the areas of the collapsed virtualized packet core, IMS-SBC VoIP applications, and full wire speed software forwarding needed for high-touch chaining-balancing actions for service providers.

“SDN and NFV have significant potential for changing the economics of service provider networks, and we believe OpenStack will be a key enabler to making this a reality,” said Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, Virtualization and OpenStack, Red Hat. “Through this collaboration with ConteXtream, we are not only demonstrating new, real-world applications of SDN technology, but setting the foundation for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to become a core component of next-generation programmable networks.”

“SDN and NFV bring efficiencies and feature velocity to service providers based on new abstractions that separate network control from physical forwarding, network functions from physical junctions,” said Sharon Barkai, co-founder of ConteXtream. “ContexNet inline flow orchestration and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform cloud orchestration provide the sound structure enabling the software-defined and subscriber-centric agility, flexibility, elasticity features to emerge in carrier class, carrier scale production deployments.”

T-Mobile US Promises No More Overage Charges

As of May 1, T-Mobile US promises to eliminate overage penalties for its consumer voice, texting and data services.  In a marketing blitz, the carrier is challenging AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to do the same.

"Today I'm laying down a challenge to AT&T, Verizon and Sprint to join T-Mobile in ending these outrageous overage penalties for all consumers - because it's the right thing to do," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. "Overage fees are flat out wrong... Charging overage fees is a greedy, predatory practice that needs to go," continued Legere. "Starting in May for bills arriving in June - regardless of whether you're on Simple Choice, Simple Starter or an older plan, we're abolishing overages for good. Period."

IBM Wins U.S. Patent for Cloud QoS Technique

IBM  has been awarded a U.S. patent for a technique that enables data to be dynamically modified, prioritized and shared across a cloud environment, thereby improving the quality of service.

IBM said its patented technique creates a cloud environment in which Quality of Service priorities can be modified according to real-time or expected conditions, to reduce data bottlenecks in the cloud, thereby ensuring that clients receive the level and quality of service they expect.  The technique could be used by cloud providers to provide simultaneous, efficient and uninterrupted service to a range of clients for applications.

IBM received U.S. Patent #8,631,154 “Dynamically modifying quality of service levels for resources in a networked computing environment," for the invention.

"Since companies are relying upon the cloud to manage and process critical business data and interactions, guaranteeing and delivering quality, reliable service is an imperative for cloud vendors,” said IBM Cloud Offering Evangelist Rick Hamilton. “This patented invention will enable cloud service providers to dynamically respond to potential data choke points by changing quality of service priorities to ensure the free flow of data for their clients.”

Ericsson's Chief Strategist Steps Down

Ericsson announced that Douglas Gilstrap will resign from his role as Senior Vice President and Head of Group Function Strategy and leave Ericsson's Executive Leadership Team.

Gilstrap joined Ericsson in this role in 2009 and has been responsible for developing Ericsson's business strategy and driving the company's M&A activities during this time. The company credits him with playing a key role in dissolving the ST-Ericsson joint venture and integrating the thin modems business into Ericsson; since 2013 he also serves as Chairman of Business Unit Modems.

Hans Vestberg, CEO and President of Ericsson, said: "Douglas has been instrumental in shaping Ericsson's strategy with his broad industry knowledge, business development and transactional skills during the five years that he has been with the company. He has played a leading role in all M&A and key commercial activities during these years, strengthening Ericsson's position across all business segments."

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Huawei Debuts 5.6 Tbps Metropolitan P-OTS Platform

Huawei introduced a new WDM/OTN Packet Optical Transport System (P-OTS) that provides a 5.6 Tbps cross-connection and is designed as the foundation for intelligent, large-capacity metropolitan WDM/OTN networks.

The OptiX OSN 9800 U16 provides 14 slots, each supporting a maximum capacity of 400G. Its line side supports a rate of 100G, 400G, 1T, or 2T and a pair of optical fibers on the line side provides a capacity of over 8T.

The OptiX OSN 9800 U16 is also equipped with an industry-leading “core” that supports 5.6T universal cross-connection capacity. This core cross-connects various types of service granularities, such as OTN, VC, and packet, in real time, capable of accessing multiple types of services, such as TDM, Ethernet, video, and storage. Moreover, the OptiX OSN 9800 U16 supports Huawei's future-oriented SDN solution, which greatly simplifies O&M and provides operators with a flexible, open, and intelligent gold channel. Huawei's OptiX OSN 9800 U16 and OptiX OSN 1800 series constitute a complete metropolitan WDM solution.

Huawei said it has designed its system to make the integration of the OTN rigid channel and packet flexible channel possible. In addition, Huawei incorporates universal cross-connection and SDN technologies with P-OTS, achieving cross-layer integration. In this integration, Layer 0 serves as the optical physical layer, Layer 1 as the optical transport layer, and Layer 2 as the packet layer. In addition to the large capacities inherited from OTN and WDM products, the cross-layer architecture enables the OptiX OSN 9800 U16 to effectively implement service convergence, universal cross-connections, and intelligent service management and control.
“Facing an ocean of data in metropolitan networks, transport pipes must use composite materials that incorporate multiple technologies such as ultra-high-speed WDM, universal cross-connection and SDN,” said Jack Wang, President of Huawei's Transmission Network Product Line, adding: “Only channels with large enough capacity and intelligent management capability can address these growing future requirements. Huawei’s OptiX OSN 9800 U16 and OptiX OSN 1800 series constitute a complete metropolitan WDM solution.”

Huawei also noted that it has helped construct more than two hundred, 100G WDM networks to date.

Ericsson: Services & Software Now Account for 66% of Business

Ericsson hosted its annual Shareholder's Meeting last Friday in Stockholm. Some notes from the general presentation:

  • Software and Services now account for 66% of the company's business, while hardware sales represent 34%.  The Services component was 43% of the total sales in 2013.
  • Ericsson now manages over 1 billion subscriptions on behalf of carrier customers. About 2.5 billion mobile subscribers worldwide are supported on Ericsson platforms.
  • Ericsson currently has about 114,000 employees, of which about 18,000 are in Sweden. 
  • About 64,000 of the employees are Services professionals.
  • In 2013, Ericsson recorded a 5% annual growth rated in sales (adjusted for currency).
All materials are posted online.

Digital Route's Service Control Supports Tiered Data Buckets

Digital Route, a company based in Sweden that provides mediation and data integration solutions, introduced a new Service Control solution that lets network operators support tiered pricing models.

Service Control is a pre-configured Use Case built on DigitalRoute’s MediationZone platform, which is presently used by over 270 communications service providers worldwide. It provides a service delivery and execution engine that is designed to support operators in instances where usage bundles (of voice, data, and/or next generation services) form the core of a competitive strategy.

Digital Route said a key feature of its Service Control is that tiered pricing models can be managed in simple buckets, bypassing costly changes to or even direct involvement with legacy rating and billing. The solution implements a data layer that is system and silo-agnostic.  This enables the offloading of legacy billing.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Trusted Platform Module 2.0 Specs Released

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) 2.0 library specifications have now been released for silicon makers, software developers, system builders and other members of IT ecosystem.

TPM 2.0, which is positioned as the critical next step for a more secure computing environment, aims to provide a secure root of trust to protect data in computers and mobile devices from digital and physical attacks, theft or loss.

The TPM 2.0 specification is designed with cryptographic agility to allow support for more algorithms in the future. It also offers the flexibility for industry implementations across a broad range of platforms including servers, desktops, embedded systems, mobile devices and network equipment.

The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) is also making available the PC Client Platform TPM Profile (PTP) specification, the first in a series of specifications to enable developers and manufacturers to design TPMs into their products. Specifications for additional platforms, including mobile devices and embedded systems, will follow.

F5 Mitigates Heartbleed Bug

F5 Networks confirmed that its BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager, which can be used to terminate SSL connections, already has the necessary protections in place to secure applications against the Heartbleed bug.

For companies terminating SSL connections on application servers (not utilizing F5 SSL offload), F5 said the threat can be mitigated through open, extensible F5 iRules.

“For organizations using F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM) with our SSL stack, applications are already protected from the Heartbleed vulnerability,” said Mark Vondemkamp, VP of Product Management, Security at F5. “They have been protected from the Heartbleed bug since it was introduced in OpenSSL.”

Friday, April 11, 2014

OIF to Host Transport SDN Workshop in Berlin

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) will host a workshop on Transport SDN next month in Berlin.

Speakers will cover specifications and standardization efforts with representatives from the ONF, OGF/NSI, ETSI/NFV and the OIF.  The workshop will also cover the implementation of SDN/NFV with speakers discussing demonstrations, field trials and deployments.

Carrier speakers include OIF president, Vishnu Shukla of Verizon, Joachim Westphal of Deutsche Telekom and Thierry Marcot of Orange.  Forum speakers include Lyndon Ong of Ciena and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Jonathan Sadler of Coriant and the OIF, Guy Roberts of DANTE and the Open Grid Forum(OGF/NSI) and Evelyne Roch of Huawei and the ETSI Network Functions Virtualisation Industry Specification Group (ETSI NFV ISG). Vendor speakers include Joerg Elbers of ADVA Optical Networking, Diego Caviglia of Ericsson and Robert Bryttegard of Infinera.

 The workshop, "Transport SDN - Enabling Technologies, Demonstrators, Field Trials, Deployments" is open to the public and will be held on Monday May 19 at Maritim proArte Hotel, Friedrichstra├če 151.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

BT to Provide Private IP VPN to Microsoft Azure

BT and Microsoft announced a global agreement to provide secure cloud connectivity service.

The Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute service will enable customers to bypass the public Internet when connecting to Azure through a private connection based on BT’s IP Connect VPN service.

BT’s IP Connect VPN service, which is available in 198 countries and territories, integrates the Azure infrastructure directly with the wide area networks of customers. Customers will benefit from lower latency, more predictable performance and enhanced security for Azure workloads.

The service is due to go live in summer 2014 in Europe through direct network connectivity to Microsoft Azure data centres in Dublin and Amsterdam. This will be followed by connections in Asia, then by additional locations around the world.

Luis Alvarez, CEO, BT Global Services, said “IT departments everywhere face the same challenge; Cloud offers them the benefits of flexibility and lower costs, but security and reliability of access to data and applications remain main barriers to adoption. We will help customers build on their hybrid cloud strategies by bringing together BT's expertise and global network with the Azure platform. They will benefit from a globally consistent, more secure and reliable solution, helping them innovate and compete in the global market.”

Jean-Philippe Courtois, President, Microsoft International, said “Microsoft and BT have an established history of delivering cloud solutions that meet the evolving needs of business across many industries. Today’s announcement is yet another example of the two companies joining forces to help customers embrace cloud on their terms, by providing a more secure and reliable way to take advantage of the speed, flexibility and scale of hybrid solutions.”

NTT Com Launches U.S. Cloud-based Virtual Desktop Service

NTT Communications announced the US-market launch of an Enterprise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure service based on XenDesktop by Citrix Systems.

The service, which runs on newly-built server infrastructure located in the United States, is aimed at globally active enterprises with a need "to protect information, standardize IT governance and integrate desktop environments with standardized cloud infrastructure rather than having to build desktop environments in each country. PC environments in overseas locations can now be constructed and managed from within the United States on an integrated basis.

NTT Com's Enterprise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is linked to Arcstar Universal One, the company's global network service for enterprises.

Going forward, NTT Com plans to launch Enterprise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure platforms in other markets, including Europe and ex-Japan Asia, as well as enhance the customer portal with added functionality.

“Citrix is developing leading desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) provider programs and new technologies that partners use to differentiate their businesses,” said Mitch Parker, Vice President and General Manager, Citrix Cloud Services, Citrix Systems Inc. “Incorporation of XenDesktop in NTT Com’s Enterprise Virtual Desktop Infrastructure will enable U.S. companies to better satisfy their global computing needs. The combination of industry-leading desktop virtualization technology with U.S.-based cloud service platforms will ensure that customers worldwide can use desktop virtual environments safely on a highly flexible and expandable service platform.”

Earlier this year, NTT Communications began offering U.S. and Europe-based platforms for Arcstar UCaaS, its globally seamless, cloud-based unified communications service for enterprises.

NTT Com's Arcstar UCaaS uses cloud-based infrastructure to assure low-latency, highly redundant communication. It integrates VoIP phones, web and audio conferencing, instant messaging, presence and other collaboration tools in the cloud.

Arcstar UCaaS combines the expertise and experience of NTT Com and group companies including Arkadin in fields such as applications, cloud infrastructure and networks.

In 2013, NTT Communications agreed to acquire the majority stake in Arkadin, which delivers SaaS conference-related solutions covering audio, web, video conferencing and unified communications services.

Arkadin, which was launched in 2001 by CEO, Olivier de Puymorin, serves approximately 37,000 customers in 32 countries, including France, Germany, the UK, USA, Australia, China, Singapore and Japan. The company was based in Paris.  Arkadin was backed by AXA Private Equity.

Arkadin offers unified communications based on Microsoft Lync, as well as Cisco Jabber combined with WebEx. Services are delivered in the cloud.  Arkadin also offers Adobe Connect for audio/video/web conferencing and collaboration.

AT&T Plans 1G Fiber Broadband in North Carolina

AT&T is in advanced discussions with the North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN) about the possibility of rolling out fiber-based AT&T U-verse with GigaPower broadband service to parts of the Triangle and Piedmont Triad regions. The 100% fiber network deployment would deliver speeds up to 1 Gbps.  NCNGN is a regional initiative focused on stimulating the deployment of next generation networks to North Carolina.

The proposed plan outlines potential fiber deployments in the areas of Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh and Winston-Salem where there is demand for ultra-fast broadband and local policies that support broadband network investment. The next step is for the governing bodies of these six NCNGN member communities to ratify the agreement.

The plan includes options for public Wi-Fi hotspots, free AT&T U-verse with GigaPower at up to 100 public sites and an all-fiber network connected to up to 100 business buildings. It also outlines a free 3 Mbps AT&T U-verse High Speed Internet offer available to 10 affordable housing complexes, up to 3,000 homes. These hotspots, public sites, buildings and apartment complexes will be across the six communities and identified by NCNGN. The plan would also bring AT&T U-verse to the residents and businesses of Durham for the first time.

AWS Launches Memory-Optimized EC2 Instances (R3)

Amazon Web Services began offering high-memory performance R3 instances for applications that require instances with high memory footprint and high memory bandwidth. Netflix and MongoDB are customers.  The instances include the following features:

  • Intel Xeon E5-2670 v2 "Ivy Bridge" Processors
  • Hardware Virtualization (HVM) only
  • SSD-backed instance storage, including TRIM support
  • Enhanced 10 Gbps networking with lower latency, low jitter, and high packet-per-second performance.

AWS Adds Cloud Cost Calculator

Amazon Web Services has added a Cost Explorer toolset for managing spending on its cloud services. Cost Explorer is integrated with the new AWS Billing Console launched in November, and features reporting, analytics, and visualization tools.  The calculator shows current month’s spend and automatically pre-populates the last 4 months of AWS spend, allowing users to visualize AWS costs and start analyzing trends and spending patterns.

CyrusOne Begins Construction of Northern Virginia Data Center

CyrusOne, which operates 25 carrier neutral data centers with over one million square feet of total capacity, began construction of a massive, new facility in the Dulles corridor of northern Virginia.

The first phase of construction of the enterprise-class, multi-tenant data center in the Loudoun Tech Center includes a 124,000-square-foot shell with up to 60,000 square feet of raised floor space, 15,000 square feet of office space, and 12 megawatts of critical load. CyrusOne expects the first phase of the new site to be completed in October.  The 14 acres that CyrusOne has purchased is expected to accommodate a shell of approximately 400,000 square feet at full build, with up to 240,000 square feet of raised floor space, 36,000 square feet of Class A office space, and up to 48 megawatts of critical load.

ZTE Sees Larger Q1 Profit

ZTE expects its profit for 1Q2014 will at least double from the same period last year, reflecting the strengthening of core operations.  The company's newly issued guidance calls for net profit attributable to shareholders to be between RMB 425 million and RMB 637 million in the first quarter, a year-on-year increase of between 107.3% to 210.7%, according to ZTE’s preliminary results announcement filed to the Hong Kong stock exchange today. Basic earnings per share will be between RMB 0.12 and 0.19, compared to RMB 0.06 a year earlier, based on pre-audited financial data.

The company did not disclose its overall revenue or revenue trend.