Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blueprint: Distributed and Virtualized Data Center Architecture

by Vinay Rathore
Sr. Director Solutions Marketing, Infinera

While there has been a strong trend toward creating bigger and more powerful centralized data centers to meet end user needs, there has been another less notable trend toward pushing the data center closer to the end users for the same reasons.  Large data centers create efficiency through a centralized location that accommodates equipment that shares centralized resources (UPS, generators, HVAC, other networks, etc.).  The goal is to minimize cost and maximize functionality and reliability of the data center itself.  However, many end users find that they prefer certain mission critical elements of their IT infrastructure to be physically closer to their offices, rather than in a central data center that could be far away. This has given rise to the need for a data center solution physically closer to the customer (aka virtualized data center), which essentially comprise a network extension of the centralized data center into space that is physically closer to the end user, while still offering many of the traditional data center services.  For some locations, such as a remote business park, building a full service, but smaller scale data center may be justified; for others a virtual data center is the next best option.

Why centralized data centers don’t work for some enterprises

Today, enterprises are more dependent upon their IT infrastructure than ever before. Further, they no longer want the burden of managing IT complexity, a function typically far from their core competency. Instead, they simply prefer to move IT resources into a location where space, power and network access is abundant and can be managed remotely. For some enterprises, this model creates a dilemma. The question that arises is, “How should I treat certain mission critical applications in a data center that is 30 kilometers away, shared and in some case not easily accessible (physically, that is)?’ Some business applications don’t care about such parameters, like HR or CRM applications, but others, such as proprietary algorithmic trading or transaction-oriented processes, may suffer due to latency and need for control. The alternative is to keep an IT facility onsite, but ideally there is a preference for someone else to manage it.

Do enterprise users prefer virtualized data centers?

As more enterprise users move toward cloud-based applications, performance and speed of innovation (aka speed of change) become important.  This has driven the desire to have some portion of infrastructure be located in a high performance, controlled IT facility, while other portions can be operated over a public infrastructure, creating a hybrid cloud network.  This concept of a hybrid cloud is defined as having some portion of cloud infrastructure operating in a public cloud facility, and another portion operating in a private facility, usually to meet specific end user demands, such as security, location, accessibility, reliability, etc.. Many large enterprises, including financial and retail enterprises, can address this with a private infrastructure they build themselves,  or outsource it to a data center operator/integrator, who would own and maintain the space and connect it back to the main data center, where a rich set of other cloud services may be available.


Why would data center operators do this?

The concept of the virtual data center is about both revenue and opportunity.  By addressing a specific large enterprise, perhaps through a customized virtual data center solution, data center operators also create opportunity to attract larger, more profitable end users while establishing a footprint in a new market segment.  In fact, many Fortune 500 companies have already started to engage in such strategies by building their own private networks using leased space and contracting companies to manage the network.  This concept of the virtual data center has been shown to be popular in large metropolitan locations, where customers are spread out across larger distances.

Overcoming the network challenge

The key challenge is how to extend the central data center to a virtual location efficiently. In fact, there are several ways to overcome this network challenge, including technology, operational simplicity and ultra-high performance. All of the key operational challenges concern space utilization, power consumption and the need for a high performance network.  In this case, two key technological innovations that enable such solutions to become reality: photonic integration and optical super-channels.

The value of photonic integration lies in replacing multiple discrete components with a single highly integrated optical integrated circuit, also known as the photonic integrated circuit (PIC). A key value of the PIC is that it reduces space and power while ultimately providing higher performance network capacity.  It follows the same philosophy of integrated circuits in our laptops replacing discrete transistors that were much larger and consumed much more power. Ultimately the real value of photonic integration is that it takes the highest power consuming components (e.g., network side lasers) and integrates them into a small compact device that consumes significantly less power and space.

Optical super-channels

Optical superchannels are defined as a group of smaller, more granular optical channels that are bundled into a single, larger optical group that provides equivalent high performance, but also adds the simplicity of managing fewer circuits. For example, would you rather manage 50 x 10G fiber circuits or manage 5 x 100G fiber circuits?

If we agree that PIC based optical superchannels are the simplest and most cost effective way of deploying network capacity, the next question is one of reliability. Fortunately, PIC technology is so reliable that it features an expected Failure in Time (FIT) of more than 1 Billion hours (Source: Infinera).  This solution results in increased reliability with photonic integration and simplification with superchannels that deliver performance.

Conclusion

As the data center market continues to evolve, large centralized data centers and smaller virtual data centers that are closer to the end users will co-exist.  The concept of the hybrid cloud plays a role in that it addresses the need for large enterprises to keep certain mission critical resources close to them while locating other assets in large, more economical and centralized facilities.  This solution also creates opportunity for data center operators to offer value-added services, from the basic virtual storage and computing services to the fully outsourced IT solutions that make the operators more indispensable to the enterprise.  The critical element in this solution remains the network, which must be simple and efficient. From the technology angle, technologies such as photonic integration and optical super-channels will be critical to ensuring the deployment of simple, efficient and high performance virtual data center solutions.

About the Author

Vinay Rathore is Sr. Director Solutions Marketing at Infinera.

Mr. Rathore brings over 20 years of telecom experience across a broad array of technology. He has helped some of the world’s largest operators and suppliers including Sprint, Global One, MCI, Alcatel and Ciena build & market their newest solutions. His areas of expertise include network engineering, operations, sales & marketing in both wire-line and wireless systems as well as leading edge network solutions spanning Layer 0 to Layer 3. Mr. Rathore holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute as well as an MBA from the University of Texas.

About Infinera

Infinera provides Intelligent Transport Networks to help carriers exploit the increasing demand for cloud-based services and data center connectivity as they advance into the Terabit Era. Infinera is unique in its use of breakthrough semiconductor technology to deliver large scale PICs and the application of PICs to vertically integrated optical networking solutions that deliver the industry’s only commercially available 500 Gb/s FlexCoherent super-channels. Infinera Intelligent Transport Network solutions include the DTN-X, DTN and ATN platforms. Find more at www.infinera.com.

The Leading Chinese Carriers Agree to Infrastructure Sharing

China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom reached a major agreement on sharing certain mobile network infrastructure.

The companies have formed a new company, China Communications Facilities Services, whose mission will be the construction, maintenance and operation of telecommunications towers.  The joint venture will also cover the construction, maintenance and operation of ancillary facilities including base station control rooms, power supplies and air conditioning, as well as interior distribution systems and the provision of outsourced base station equipment maintenance services.

The shareholding structure of China Communications Facilities Services Corporation Limited is as follows:

  • China Mobile - 40%
  • China Unicom - 30.1%
  • China Telecom - 29.9%

The companies are at a preliminary stage in discussing whether existing infrastructure should be contributed into the venture.

For its part, China Mobile said the network sharing deal would help reduce the industry's inefficiency and cost of building redundant towers and related telecommunications infrastructure. It will also help alleviate the difficult challenge of site selection for new towers in cities.

http://www.irasia.com/listco/hk/chinamobile/announcement/a127090-ew0941.pdf

From China Mobile's Annual Report issued in May 2014:


Deutsche Telekom Opens Germany's Largest Data Center

T-Systems, Deutsche Telekom's corporate customer arm, has opened the largest data center in Germany.

The state-of-the-art facility, which took 18 months to construct, is located in Biere, near Magdeburg. It offers 5,400 square meters of space (approx. 58,000 square feet) for around 30,000 servers, and could be expanded to almost 40,000 square meters.

Telekom has fitted out an existing T-Systems data center in Magdeburg, not far from Biere, almost identically. The two data centers will work as twins, storing data in parallel, so that even if one of them goes offline, the data can always be accessed via its twin.

The company cites a PUE of of 1.3. The low-energy data center has been awarded international LEED Gold certification.

T-Systems currently employs around 750 staff in Magdeburg. The construction of the twin data center will generate 30 new jobs in Magdeburg and 100 jobs in Biere.

"We are investing in Germany as a center of IT business because German data protection standards are highly valued. Our customers now have a "High-Tech Fort Knox" from a cloud provider they trust fully. IT made in Germany is in demand. We would be very pleased if the political framework continues to make ambitious IT projects possible in Germany, said Tim Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom.

http://www.telekom.com/media/enterprise-solutions/241588

Deutsche Telekom Signs Salesforce.com

Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems division has been appointed as primary reseller for Salesforce.com's CRM Platform in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

In addition, T-Systems will serve as data center provider for salesforce.com’s upcoming German data center. The companies are looking at expanding the partnership to Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at a later date.

Deutsche Telekom said the deal strengthens its mission to be the leading cloud service provider in Germany and Europe.

http://www.telekom.com/media/company/241586


Microsoft Acquires InMage for Cloud-based Recovery Tools

Microsoft has acquired InMage, a start-up providing cloud-based business continuity solutions.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

InMage, which is based in San Jose, California, develops software for backup and disaster recovery.  Its Scout products collects data changes from production servers as they occur, directly in memory before they are written to disk, and sends them to a software appliance called the InMage Scout Server.

Microsoft said it is working to integrate the InMage Scout technology into its Azure Site Recovery service.  The company already announced its plan to enable data migration to Azure with Scout. Microsoft said its strategy is to provide hybrid cloud business continuity solutions for any customer IT environment, be it Windows or Linux, physical or virtualized on Hyper-V, VMware or others.

http://www.inmage.com/
http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/07/11/microsoft-acquires-inmage-better-business-continuity-with-azure/

Friday, July 11, 2014

Vidyo Raises $20 Million for IoT Video Collaboration

Vidyo, which specializes in video conferencing and collaboration technologies, announced a $20 million round of financing to accelerate its efforts to deliver visual communication solutions to the new generation of connected devices, appliances, services, platforms and workflow/business processes.

“Every day there are announcements of new connected solutions or applications in healthcare, banking, government or enterprise solutions visually connecting people at work,” said Ofer Shapiro, Vidyo’s CEO and co-founder. “Vidyo makes it possible to integrate visual communication into these applications, and many others, using commodity devices available today and will support new solutions as they emerge. While the focus of the ‘Internet of Things’ up until now has been on machine-to-machine applications, we are seeing strong demand to visually connect people into workflows for person-to-person applications in the workplace, on the road or at home, all federated with the Internet of Things.”

The current round includes participation from all existing investors, including: Menlo Ventures, Rho Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds, QuestMark Partners, Saints Capital, Four Rivers Group, ORR Ventures, Triangle Peak Partners and Juniper Networks through its Junos Innovation Fund.

This brings the total amount of capital raised by the company to $139 million.

http://www.vidyo.com

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Microsoft's Azure Adds 8K Customers per Week, New Regions Activated

Microsoft continues to report growing momentum for Azure -- more than 8,000 customers and partners are joining Azure every week.

Next week, Microsoft is hosting its Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C., and the company is looking to entice IT integration vendors with a range of Azure services they can sell to their customers.

Some highlights from blog postings by Microsoft:

  • Microsoft has just activated two new Azure regions online -- US Central and US East 2 regions in Iowa and Virginia, respectively.
  • Azure ExpressRoute is expanding to six more Equinix data centers worldwide. Azure ExpressRoute provides a dedicated, private connection with low latency from the colo to the Microsoft cloud.
  • Beginning next month, a new Microsoft Azure StorSimple service will provide a hybrid cloud storage solution for Microsoft's IT integration partners.  Azure StorSimple simplifies disaster recovery, consolidates management and brings on-premises data to the cloud for development and testing of new apps.
  • The Azure Machine Learning service is now available for preview. Partners can use the service to build advanced analytic cloud services for their customers.
  • Microsoft is adding IaaS functionality to its Azure Preview Portal to allow users to manage virtual machines, as well as single-click SharePoint deployment for the management of multiple virtual machines within the Portal.
  • A new Azure Event Hubs service can broker millions of events per second, allowing partners and customers to pull in, process and analyze data from cloud-connected smart devices.
  • Microsoft is planning to expand its Azure government cloud, including offering a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online U.S. government cloud offering.
  • A new service called Delve will bring machine learning and advance search capabilities to Office 365.

http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/07/09/microsoft-delivers-updates-innovations-and-expansions-to-meet-cloud-demand/

http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/07/09/azure-rapid-innovation/

In May, Microsoft confirmed that Azure ExpressRoute connections will be available with partners AT&T, BT, Equinix, Level 5, TeleCity, SingTel and Verizon. Azure ExpressRoute ensures private connections between Azure data centers and on-premise infrastructure or colocation facilities by using an MPLS VPN or other secure tunnel. In addition:
  • Azure Virtual Network now supports more than one site-to-site VPN connection. This enables customers to securely connect multiple on-premises locations. With new VNET-to-VNET connectivity, multiple virtual networks can be directly and securely linked to one another for disaster prevention.  Another new capability is IP Reservation, which allows the customer to reserve public IP addresses and use them as virtual IP addresses—ideal for applications that need static public IP addresses or when there is a need to swap reserved IP addresses to update applications.
  • Azure Traffic Manager, now generally available, supports both Azure & external endpoints, for building highly available applications across Azure and on-premises.

  • Also effective today, two new compute-intensive virtual machine instances — A8 and A9 — came online.  Microsoft said these instances bring faster processors and interconnectivity, more virtual cores, and larger memory.

Microsoft Azure to Support Docker and Google's Kubernetes

Microsoft, which recently announced support for Docker containers on Azure Virtual Machines, and has just announced plans to collaborate with Google and Docker to bring support for both Kubernetes and libswarm open source projects on the Microsoft Azure platform.

Docker is an open platform which can be used to build, ship, and run distributed applications on various clouds. The use of a container allows the same app to run unchanged on laptops, servers, data center VMs or the cloud -- similar to the concept of shipping container for the transportation industry.

Kubernetes is a container cluster management tool developed by Google. It builds on top of Docker to construct a clustered container scheduling service.

Microsoft is also supporting Docker’s libswarm project, which offers imperative management on Docker, so that libswarm will natively support Azure in enabling deployment of containers on Azure Virtual Machines.

http://azure.microsoft.com/blog/2014/07/10/azure-collaboration-with-google-and-docker/


In June, Docker 1.0 was officially released, marking an important milestone for this open platform which can be used to build, ship, and run distributed applications on various clouds. 

Docker enables applications to be quickly assembled from components and eliminates the friction between environments.  It consists of the Docker Engine, the de facto container standard, and Docker Hub, a new cloud-based service from Docker Inc., the start-up company behind the open source Docker project and chief sponsor of the Docker ecosystem.

Docker Inc. is now providing Long Term Support assurances for commercial users of Docker 1.0.  The company is based in San Francisco. 

Amazon Zocalo Offers Cloud Document Storage/Sharing

Amazon Web Services introduced a fully managed, secure document storage and sharing service for the enterprise.

Amazon Zocalo is a cloud storage service that lets users selectively share it with others (inside or outside of their organization), solicit feedback, manage versions and track deadlines.

A Zocalo client application on the desktop/laptop is used to sync files in a designated folder.  AWS initially is supporting Windows 7 and MacOS (version 10.7 or later). Pricing start at $5 per user per month, including 200 GB of storage. A limited preview is underway.

https://aws.amazon.com/zocalo/

Gigamon's Visibility Fabric Adds Security Tools

Gigamon is enhancing its Unified Visibility Fabric with forthcoming set of modules to address inline traffic security with high availability modes, as well as intelligent load distribution across multiple inline and out-of-band security tools.

The new GigaVUE-HC2 modules extend the power of the Visibility Fabric with Active Visibility, utilizing intelligence and robust bypass capabilities to better protect both critical IT traffic and the inline tools designed to prevent malicious activity. The company said high traffic volumes can be efficiently handled by sending only the appropriate data to each tool. The Visibility Fabric can also monitor the health of the attached inline tools and in the event of a tool failure will bypass the outage to ensure the network remains available and protected. For example, an inline appliance can be removed for maintenance while allowing network traffic to be sustained.

“The threat envelope to organizations is constantly expanding. As a result, many organizations have taken a multi-tiered approach to security by deploying both inline and out-of-band security solutions,” said Shehzad Merchant, chief strategy officer at Gigamon. “All of these security solutions depend on getting a relevant, consistent and accurate stream of traffic data. With these new security offerings, Gigamon’s Visibility Fabric will provide a comprehensive and sophisticated security services delivery platform that addresses the stringent traffic delivery needs along with the resiliency and uptime requirements for continuous security management.”

http://www.gigamon.com/gigamon-announces-new-solutions-for-security-services-delivery

Avere Raises $20 Million for NAS to the Cloud

Avere Systems, a start-up based in Pittsburgh, PA, raised an additional $20 million in venture financing for its enterprise storage solutions for the hybrid cloud.

Avere has developed a flexible, software-defined storage tiering methodology that fosters intelligent use of multiple storage technologies (RAM, SSD, SAS and SATA) that can negate the weaknesses of one type of media or accelerate underutilized strengths in another. Its product portfolio is optimized according to workload requirements ranging from small enterprise to the most intense storage scenarios in the world.

“The reality for 99% of enterprises is they will operate increasingly in a hybrid IT storage environment for many years to come. This means that no single storage technology will win, and both on-premises and cloud storage will be required to achieve cost and performance goals,” said Ron Bianchini, president and CEO of Avere Systems. “With this Series D funding round, we continue to scale the company so that we can provide the best solutions to customers embarking on their hybrid cloud path.”

The Series D funding round was led by Western Digital Capital, with participation from previous investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Menlo Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Tenaya Capital. This bring total funding for the company to $72 million.

http://www.averesystems.com/

CenturyLink Wins 10-year NIH Colocation Contract

CenturyLink was selected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide colocation, network connectivity and disaster recovery services to the NIH National Library of Medicine and the NIH Center for Information Technology. The deal could be worth nearly $63 million over the next 10 years. The new agreement follows a previous 10-year contract for these services that was also awarded to CenturyLink.

The National Library of Medicine, located on the NIH campus, is the world's largest medical library. Its collection offers information and research services in all areas of biomedicine and health care. It also coordinates a 6,000-member National Network of Libraries of Medicine that provides access to health information in communities across the U.S.

The NIH Center for Information Technology manages the agency's IT resources, which include operating the NIH computer center and providing data processing and technical services to more than 40,000 users in NIH, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other government agencies.

http://www.centurylink.com

AWS Direct Connect Opens in Sydney

Amazon announced the 12th location where AWS Direct Connect is now available -- the Global Switch SY6 data center in Sydney, Australia.  This is the second Direct Connect location.  It is also offered at the Equinix IBX in Sydney.

Customers who are hosted within an APN Partner can now connect through the Global Switch SY6 data center using a dedicated 1 Gbps or 10 Gbps network connection, which can be provisioned through the AWS Management Console.

http://aws.amazon.com/directconnect/details/

Germany's Fraunhofer ESK Explores Gigabit over Existing Copper

Germany's Fraunhofer ESK has launched a multi-year research project in collaboration with Lantiq and InnoRoute Gmbh aimed at achieving gigabit broadband rates over existing copper access lines.

The research will explore channel properties in the 300 MHz frequency range over relatively short lengths of existing copper. VDSL2 utilizes frequencies up to 30 MHz.

The project is funded by the Bavarian Research Institute.

http://www.esk.fraunhofer.de/en/media/press_releases/pm1407.html

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ciena Unveils its Multi-layer, OpenDaylight SDN Controller

Ciena introduced a multilayer SDN controller for the WAN based on the OpenDaylight framework, along with an initial set of three new software applications for enabling virtualized, on-demand network services and functions.

Ciena said its new Agility software portfolio leverages real-time analytics to help network operators provision multi-vendor networks, ensure maximum efficiency and resiliency, and rapidly create and deploy new, differentiated virtualized services at lower cost.  The OpenDaylight support lets the network operator choose from open source, self-developed and vendor components, thereby avoiding single vendor lock-in.  The use of real-time analytics for provisioning high-bandwidth services and applications lets operators monetize and optimize their networks.

Some highlights of the announcement:

  • Ciena’s new Agility Multilayer WAN Controller enables agile allocation of network resources at the packet, circuit and wave layers.
  • Ciena's controller supports the vendor-neutral OpenDaylight ecosystem.
  • Ciena's controller is a focal point of joint development with Ericsson and further development will leverage contributions from both companies to expand its capabilities.
  • The new suite of SDN applications use advanced real-time analytics to provide greater network assurance, efficiency, monetization and application-driven agility. These applications include:

    Navigate – a multilayer path computation engine that combines a global view of all network resources and service demands with advanced analytics-based algorithms to automatically determine the best possible route through the network to establish a connection.

    Protect – a centralized global restoration calculator that speeds and increases resiliency and minimizes restoration bandwidth by pre-computing and distributing an optimal set of contention-free restoration paths for distributed execution in case of any failure.

    Optimize – a multilayer network optimizer that defragments the network to free up stranded bandwidth by reallocating raw capacity and fine-tuning connection routing.

    V-WAN – a network resource broker and scheduling application that offers immediate or scheduled bandwidth-on-demand to customers through an end-user portal or applications such as cloud and NFV orchestration systems via its open northbound API. 
V-WAN is available today, while the rest of Ciena’s Agility software portfolio is entering field trials with multiple service providers. 


Ciena also noted that its V-WAN network resource broker and scheduling application as well as its network management capabilities lay the foundation for multilayer SDN control. Equinix will use these capabilities to rapidly create and provision high-speed connections with greater agility and lower costs.

http://www.ciena.com/about/newsroom/press-releases/Ciena-Unveils-Agility-Software-Portfolio-to-Enable-Virtualized-Network-Capabilities.html

ALU Achieves 10G over Copper Phone Lines at 30m

Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent, demonstrated the ability to carry 10Gbps over traditional copper telephone lines over a distance of 30 meters.  Bell Labs also announced a prototype technology that can achieve 1Gbps symmetrical over existing copper access networks.

The Bell Labs tests used a prototype technology called XG-FAST, which is an extension of the G.fast standard being finalized by the ITU. When it becomes commercially available in 2015, G.fast will use a frequency range for data transmission of 106 MHz, giving broadband speeds up to 500 Mbps over a distance of 100 meters.

Bell Labs said XG-FAST uses an increased frequency range up to 500 MHz to achieve higher speeds but over shorter distances. Bell Labs achieved 1 Gbps symmetrical over 70 meters on a single copper pair. 10 Gbps was achieved over a distance of 30 meters by using two pairs of lines (bonding). Both tests used standard copper cable provided by a European operator.

Marcus Weldon, President of Bell Labs: “Our constant aim is to push the limits of what is possible to ‘invent the future’, with breakthroughs that are 10 times better than are possible today. Our demonstration of 10 Gbps over copper is a prime example: by pushing broadband technology to its limits, operators can determine how they could deliver gigabit services over their existing networks, ensuring the availability of ultra-broadband access as widely and as economically as possible.”

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/press/2014/alcatel-lucent-sets-new-world-record-broadband-speed-10-gbps-transmission-data-over-traditional

Qualcomm Supports Docomo's VoLTE Launch in Japan

Qualcomm Technologies announced that NTT Docomo's newly launched VoLTE service in Japan is leveraging a VoLTE solution based on its Snapdragon 800 processor with a fully featured multimode integrated VoLTE modem and IMS software.  The Qualcomm implementation supports SMS, HD voice, video telephony (VT), and single radio voice call continuity (SRVCC), which can be found in a wide variety of smartphone devices available on NTT DOCOMO’s network.

The VoLTE solution is also designed to deliver higher quality voice calls, faster voice connections with low call set-up times and simultaneous voice and Cat4 data rates up to 150 Mbps over LTE.

“We are pleased to work with NTT DOCOMO on the first large-scale commercial VoLTE launch, which is designed to provide their customers in Japan with faster, more consistent user experiences,” said Serge Willenegger, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “From improved voice call quality to faster data access, users will recognize the many benefits provided by the Snapdragon 800 processor VoLTE solution.”

The Snapdragon 800 processor supports all key VoLTE features such as CDRX, RoHC, SPS, and TTI Bundling that are designed to improve call quality and lower power consumption. The Qualcomm Technologies modem centric IMS solution is designed to adapt to radio conditions for superior mobility performance, lower power consumption and optimized call latency. This enables wider-bandwidth, high-quality HD voice and low latency voice and video telephony. The VoLTE solution has been performance optimized for diverse radio conditions and its Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) is designed to support a smooth handover from LTE to 3G without dropping voice calls. It also incorporates robust inter-technology working with 2G, 3G and WLAN, all of which has been extensively tested across major infrastructure vendors and operator networks.

“NTT DOCOMO has launched the leading edge voice and video service, allowing VoLTE service to be available commercially nationwide in Japan as of June” said Kazuaki Terunuma, vice president and managing director of communication device development department, NTT DOCOMO, INC. “We have successfully worked with Qualcomm Technologies in LTE technology for many years, which is why we chose to work with them for VoLTE technology as well. With this comprehensive, stable and extensively tested chipset with IMS software solution, we are able to provide leading edge VoLTE services on mobile phones from several manufacturers to our customers.”

http://www.qualcomm.com/

  • In May 2014, NTT DOCOMO confirmed the pending launch of Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) in its home market in late June -- the first such launch in Japan.
    Four smartphones and two tablets in DOCOMO's summer lineup will become compatible with the new service after a software update scheduled in or after late June.

    The carrier said its VoLTE service will newly enable users to receive Area Mail disaster-information notifications while making VoLTE voice/video calls. Also, users will be able to experience data rate of up to 150 Mbps during VoLTE voice calls.

    DOCOMO's new VoLTE service will require a subscription to Xi. Existing Xi billing plans, packet flat-rate services, discounts and dialing charges will be applicable to VoLTE voice calls, including the new Kake-hodai & Pake-aeru billing plans for flat-rate voice and data, as well as data sharing with family members.

    Packet communication charges for VoLTE video calls will be offered free of charge until September 2015, after which video calls will incur both voice and packet communication charges.
    https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/info/media_center/pr/2014/0514_00.html

IBM Kicks off $3 Billion Silicon Research Initiative

IBM announced a $3 billion research initiative that aims to advance silicon technologies to the 7nm threshold or below.  Over the next 5 years, IBM will conduct two broad research and early stage development programs.

The first is aimed at so-called “7 nanometer and beyond” silicon technology and the second is focused on developing alternative technologies for post-silicon era chips using entirely different approaches.

IBM said its research teams will be able to leverage work it already has underway in area such as carbon nanoelectronics, silicon photonics, new memory technologies, and architectures that support quantum and cognitive computing.

"The question is not if we will introduce 7 nanometer technology into manufacturing, but rather how, when, and at what cost?" said John Kelly, senior vice president, IBM Research. "IBM engineers and scientists, along with our partners, are well suited for this challenge and are already working on the materials science and device engineering required to meet the demands of the emerging system requirements for cloud, big data, and cognitive systems. This new investment will ensure that we produce the necessary innovations to meet these challenges."

https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/44357.wss

See also