Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Blueprint: What’s Next for Carrier Ethernet?

by Stan Hubbard and Members of the MEF

More than 1,000 service providers and network operators worldwide now rely on Carrier Ethernet (CE) to support high-performance Ethernet & Ethernet-enabled data services, to interconnect network-enabled cloud services, to underpin 4G/LTE mobile and consumer triple play services, and to meet internal networking needs. Tens of thousands of businesses and enterprises in every industry vertical have transitioned to these CE services in order to control communications costs, efficiently scale with traffic demand, improve business agility, and boost productivity.

As the dominant protocol of choice for affordable, scalable, high-bandwidth connectivity, Ethernet has overtaken TDM in the wide area network (WAN) and has emerged as the indispensable digital fuel for accelerating communications-related business transformation. According to Vertical Systems Group, global business Ethernet services bandwidth surpassed installed legacy services bandwidth in 2012 and is projected to exceed 75% of total global business bandwidth by 2017. In short, CE has transformed the WAN network over the past decade.

CE’s key drivers

The twenty-first century’s accelerating bandwidth consumption paved the way for Carrier Ethernet and continues to drive demand. It was not just the size of the available bandwidth, however, but also the granular way it could be delivered.

Taking mobile backhaul as an example: as pressure on the network increased there was nothing to stop the operator from ordering further leased lines from the cell tower to core, but each extra line meant a big jump in cost, it took time and manual labour to install, and the effort needed to be justified in terms of future expected demand. But with a CE connection bandwidth could be raised immediately in small increments as needed, without field installation, and it could just as easily be lowered if the demand boost turned out to be temporary. This moved business from CapEx towards more flexible OpEx pricing model.

From a carrier perspective, CE’s flexibility gave similar benefits: enterprise custom could be attracted with “bandwidth on demand” services, and CE offered enormous scalability to accommodate new customers and rising demand.

Another advantage of Ethernet were that customers were already familiar with Ethernet in the LAN, so it was easier to understand and adapt to CE than to gather expertise in legacy WAN protocols like ATM and Frame Relay. The fact that enterprise customers typically wanted the carrier to link their Ethernet LANs, also made CE attractive as an end-to-end Ethernet solution.

Given the above drivers that helped launch the uptake of Carrier Ethernet, there arises another type of driver, and that is market momentum. As CE went mainstream, the relatively simple CE hardware (compared with legacy WAN systems) gained mass sales and became increasingly cost-effective. This further accelerated CE’s performance-price benefits.

The reason that cost was such a strong driver for CE was that its uptake coincided with a serious economic downturn, putting cost-efficiency high on the buying agenda for much of the first decade. But it was never the only factor: flexibility and simplicity are also very much in demand in times of high competition, and CE also majored on those benefits.

Lastly, sales exploded as standards were established – but that is a topic in itself.

Standards and the role of the MEF

Founded in 2002, the MEF is a global industry alliance with the aim to accelerate the worldwide adoption of Carrier-class Ethernet networks and services. The MEF develops Carrier Ethernet technical specifications and implementation agreements to promote interoperability and deployment of Carrier Ethernet worldwide.

As well as being responsible for the creation of Carrier Ethernet, the combined effort of MEF member companies has been to define, develop, and encourage worldwide adoption of standardized CE services and technologies. During the 2008 recession, even with CE offering massive benefits in cost and flexibility, business would have been far more nervous about migrating to a relatively new technology, had it not been for the MEF’s certification program, firstly to certify equipment to global CE standards, then services and then professional expertise.

According to Marie Fiala Timlin, Director of Marketing, CENX: “Vendors have converged on common CE standards, advocated by the MEF, so the SP has multiple options of standards-compliant infrastructure equipment, which will interoperate cleanly in the network.  Those benefits get passed on to the end-user in the form of high quality Internet connections, supported by CE service performance attributes.” Timlin added: “Furthermore, the specifications are continuously updated as technology and experience evolves, hence ensuring that vendors and SPs can innovate and yet remain standardized.”

And Christopher Cullan, Director of Product Marketing, Business Services, InfoVista, explained: “We’re in the standardization phase today with defined best practices from the MEF. MEF 35 is available with the basic support of Carrier Ethernet network and service performance monitoring, and MEF 36 and MEF 39 provide two constructs to enable MEF 35 using SNMP and NETCONF respectively. Some leading vendors are already moving forward, with MEF 35 compliance, and MEF 36. These cut the integration effort for an Ethernet device to enable full, MEF-aligned performance monitoring – valuable to both the internal stakeholders like operations and engineering as well as for end customers.”

The current suite of standards has been labelled “CE 2.0”. As Zeev Draer, VP Strategic Marketing, MRV explained: “The combined effort to ratify CE 2.0 was paramount in CE’s adoption in wide area and global international networks. CE 2.0 provides the right toolkit for legacy network replacement based on multiple Classes of Service (Multi-CoS), interconnect and manageability.”

“Interconnect” refers to CE 2.0’s E-Access, as Madhan Panchaksharam, Senior Product Manager, VeryX, explained: “The wholesale interconnect process has been tremendously simplified by MEF E-Access. The combined effort has resulted in overcoming delays in the wholesale interconnect process. This has enabled bigger carriers to quickly expand across geographies, and provided business opportunities for many smaller carriers to interconnect with bigger players and maximize their revenues.”

Already 26 service providers in 12 countries now offer more than 74 CE 2.0-certified services, and many more are in the process of services certification and/or have been building out CE 2.0-compliant services.  Meanwhile, 34 network equipment companies now offer 145 devices that are CE 2.0-certified and thus capable of powering CE 2.0 services. More than 2,300 individuals from 257 organizations in 62 countries have now been recognized as MEF Carrier Ethernet Certified Professionals (MEF-CECP or MEF CECP 2.0) – a population that has nearly tripled in the past 12 months. With MEF-CP standards, SPs can identify knowledgeable professionals to manage data network operations across a multi-vendor infrastructure.

MEF standards clearly help to harmonise the technical aspects, but they also make it easier to communicate between regions and business cultures, as Olga Havel, Head of Product Strategy and Planning, Amartus explains: ”We are creating the common industry language that specifies CE services, and therefore significantly reduces the cost of delivery for these services.” Christopher Cullan also says: “The more that CE standards are communicated to the buyer market (e.g. Enterprise), the greater the level of understanding, and hence adoption.”

Where next for CE adoption?

Zeev Draer says: “We are at a maturing stage in the networking industry... It’s no longer about big pipe connectivity, but more about application-driven intelligence with strong end-to-end multi-layer provisioning of services, performance monitoring across layers, and high elasticity of the network that should scale to millions of subscribers and services.”

Christopher Cullan agrees, adding: “Cheaper-than-TDM, is no longer good enough, it must be proven through simple, easily understood SLAs. As margins shrink with market maturity, over-provisioning cannot solve the needs of the enterprise business cost-effectively... Communication Service Providers need SLAs that align with the market and are standardized such that services are less bespoke and more cost effective.”

There is general agreement with these comments about the growing demands of cloud computing. Marie Fiala Timlin said: “CE is a means to connect enterprises to the cloud with guaranteed SLAs.  Within the data center itself, CE is the mechanism to provide quality exchange connectivity between tenants, and between the tenant enterprise to the cloud-based application server.  Also, CE serves to interconnect data center locations”.

For Zeev Draer: “The next step for Carrier Ethernet adaption will be highly focused on BSS and OSS integrations along standardization in CE 2.0 APIs. This is the most critical area that will save OPEX and enable new services such as the "Internet of Things" and services that didn't exist up to now. Now that we see maturity in CE definitions and more stringent technology factors than required from any large service provider, the focus will be on automation and monetization of CE services.”

Olga Havel agrees: “Automation is the key word right now, Service Providers and MEF must now focus on automation of full Carrier Ethernet delivery lifecycle (Design->Provision->Operate) in order to monetize their today’s networks and be ready to operate tomorrow’s virtualized networks. The next step for CE adoption is real-time OSS – service-centric orchestration platforms with open APIs that enable Software-Defined Service Orchestration.”

Towards agile, assured services orchestrated over efficient, interconnected networks
One way for SPs to compete is by reducing OPEX and increasing service lifecycle efficiency for interconnected SLA-oriented networks. Customers will pay more for performance guarantees, especially in cloud access networks with SLA dependency. But it requires a rich set of OAM capabilities for end-to-end service visibility.

Carrier Ethernet needs to evolve further to accommodate and facilitate new services  oriented towards business applications and needs. These require flexibility, agility, inter-connectivity and security in networks. Achieving these will require new CE attributes, interface definitions and APIs to enable greater programmability and automation.

Madhan Panchaksharam believes: “There is an increasing need to articulate MEF’s vision to bring together various players in the eco-system such as enterprises, cloud service providers, carriers and infrastructure providers, to demonstrate how this agility and dynamic delivery models can be achieved”. He sees the convergence of Carrier Ethernet, NFV and SDN as carriers transition towards agile, on-demand and flexible service models especially for cloud-type applications: “Carrier Ethernet has inherently better capabilities that can enable these goals to be achieved without sacrificing the quality of experience for users.”

However, NFV sub networks or overlays add further complexity according to Marie Fiala Timlin, who sees a corresponding need for next generation service orchestration systems: “Today’s OSS are siloed by function: inventory, fault, provisioning, performance monitoring.  One needs a holistic view of the network for end-to-end service fulfilment and assurance.  Also APIs between technology domains, and between carriers, are needed to help automate workflows for service agility”.

For Olga Havel too: “What needs to happen next is standardization of MEF Service Orchestration APIs. This will open the way for MEF certification for CE service orchestration platforms and interfaces. These APIs would enable users, applications and OSSs to design, provision & operate MEF services over single and multiple operators’ networks. MEF Service Management Reference Architecture must take into account integration between multiple Operators, but also with NFV Orchestrators and Cloud Managers for providing delivery of end-to-end connectivity services between Carrier Ethernet and Data Centre VMs and/or VNFs”.

Conclusion

The MEF has a reputation for moving quickly to anticipate business needs and deliver solutions and standards at the right time. Recognising that the issues go beyond technology and tools, the MEF launched its Service Operations Committee (SOC) last year to define, streamline and standardize processes for buying, selling, delivering and operating MEF-defined services.

MEF GEN14The SOC has established several projects to develop process flows, use cases and APIs to support all aspects of the ordering and provisioning of MEF-defined Ethernet services and accelerate delivery of MEF services to customers.

The MEF is also shaping a Vision and White Paper towards standardising delivery of dynamic connectivity services via physical or virtual network functions orchestrated over multiple operator’s networks. The MEF is also addressing the need for standardised service orchestration APIs. Later this year the MEF will be announcing more detail about its industry vision and various strategic initiatives.

The MEF Global Ethernet Networking 2014 (GEN14) event will be held on 17-20 November at the Gaylord National in Washington, DC.  GEN14 is a global gathering of the CE community defining the future of network-enabled cloud, data, and mobile services powered by the convergence of CE 2.0, SDN and virtualization technologies.

More information about GEN14 is available at www.gen14.com

About the Author

Stan Hubbard, Director of Communications & Research, MEF is a veteran Carrier Ethernet analyst Hubbard, who was previously Senior Analyst at independent research organization Heavy Reading for 9 years.

Infinera and DANTE Demo Single-Card Terabit Super-Channel

Infinera and DANTE, the European advanced technology research network organization, successfully demonstrated a single card terabit super-channel on an active segment of GÉANT's production network between Budapest, Hungary and Bratislava, Slovak Republic.

The demonstration showed for the first time how a single photonic integrated circuit (PIC) can enable more than a terabit of super-channel coherent capacity from a single line card with a single fiber connector.

Infinera said the demonstration illustrated how the single card could plug into the existing line card slot of the Infinera DTN-X packet optical networking platform, which will be able to upgrade service to 1.2 Tb/s per slot in the future with a total of 12 Tb/s of non-blocking switching capacity in a single rack. This design is intended to provide forward-scale to support up to twelve 100 GbE interfaces or three of the emerging 400 GbE per 1.2Tb/s slot in the future, and the DTN-X will be able to support up to ten of these slots per chassis. In addition to the 12 Tb/s in a single bay, the DTN-X platform is designed to scale up to 240 Tb/s of non-blocking capacity managed as a single large switch.

"This is not only a single line card super-channel -- it is also a single chip super-channel," said Geoff Bennett, Director of Solutions and Technology at Infinera. "Large scale PIC technology is fundamental to making terabit scale super-channels a practical reality. The small footprint of the terabit scale PIC means we will be able to more than double the capacity of our line cards and our DTN-X chassis in the same rack space; and for all of the DTN-X customers around the world that means they can more easily scale to meet the ever-growing demand from the Internet."

"This is a great example of how the GÉANT network facilitates the innovation of new networking technologies, helping to shape the Internet of today and tomorrow," said Michael Enrico, CTO of DANTE. "This prototype service from Infinera will help us to continue to support the ever growing needs of our NREN (National Research and Education Network) partners and the research and education communities we all serve."

http://www.dante.net
http://www.infinera.com


Huawei and 21Vianet Build China”s Largest Commercial SDN

21Vianet, the largest carrier-neutral Internet Data Center provider in China , is preparing to launch the largest to launch commercial SDN in China to enable the management of cloud services in its facilities. Huawei is the supplier.

Specifically, 21Vianet deployed Huawei's Cloud Fabric Data Center Network Solution that mainly uses the CE12800 series data center switches and Agile Controller.  Initial deployment is at eight large-scale data centers in China located in major cities like Beijing , Guangzhou , Nanjing and Wuhan . These data centers support the company's services throughout China and combine to be the country's largest commercial SDN data center network. In the next phase, 21Vianet will expand the deployment of the SDN-enabled solution to more than 80 large-scale data centers in over 40 cities.

Huawei said its Open Programmability System shortens 21Vianet's new service innovation period from six months to only one month. In addition, the solution's automatic path adjustment and optimization function increased the efficiency of link bandwidth utilization from 50 percent to 80 percent.

"21Vianet's goal is to become one of the most respected Chinese companies in the Internet infrastructure sector. 21Vianet's SDN-enabled network is an example of the successful commercial application of an SDN network in China ," said Mike Ma , Vice President, 21Vianet. "We are pleased to be partnering with Huawei to explore the use of SDN technology for data centers and the commercialization of solutions developed by our joint innovation initiatives. We hope that these innovations will improve the efficiency of network operations, facilitate fast service delivery and service launch, enhance user experience, and create more value for our customers."

"Huawei has worked closely with 21Vianet in cloud computing data centers. The successful deployment of China's largest commercial SDN network that effectively supports 21Vianet's growth strategy marks a significant industry milestone," said Yu Li , General Manager, Data Center Network Domain, Switch & Enterprise Communications Product Line, Huawei. "The openness of Huawei's Cloud Fabric Data Center Network Solution makes it possible for enterprises to easily embrace SDN, accelerate the speed to market for new services, facilitate rapid development, and enable business success in the age of agility."

http://www.huawei.com

In March 2014, Microsoft Azure is now commercially available in China. The service is delivered by 21Vianet from multiple locations in China to enable critical disaster recovery scenarios.

21Vianet has already provides cloud services to more than 3,000 customers in China, including CNTV, LineKong, GMW.cn and Coca-Cola China.

Microsoft said this launch is significant because Microsoft has now become the first global company to make onshore public cloud services available to customers in China.

In December 2013, IBM announced a partnership with 21Vianet Group, a carrier-neutral Internet data center operator in China, to introduce a private cloud service in China.  IBM will provide the physical point of distribution (POD) and service while 21Vianet will host the POD facility at 21Vianet data center in Beijing.

Josh Chen, Chairman and CEO of 21Vianet Group, Inc said: “IBM is a global leading enterprise-level cloud computing provider. What’s more, IBM is a sincere partner, not only sharing its own technologies and services, but also growing together with us with business insights, management experience, operation and marketing to help drive innovation."

Seaborn Builds US-Brazil Undersea Cable with ALU

Alcatel-Lucent kicked off construction of US-Brazil subsea cable for Seaborn Networks.  A turnkey installation agreement is in force for the six-fiber pair Seabras-1 system, which will boast an initial maximum design capacity of 60 Terabits per second.

“We look forward to continuing to work closely with Alcatel-Lucent during the manufacturing and build stage of this project,” said Larry Schwartz, Seaborn’s Chief Executive Officer. “And we are most appreciative of our customers who have enabled us to achieve this important milestone so as to ensure a ready-for-service date in 2016.”

The Alcatel-Lucent solution to be deployed for this project includes an integrated 100G wet plant of cable and high bandwidth repeaters, power feed equipment, and its 1620 Light Manager (LM) submarine line terminal
equipped with advanced coherent technology and offering unique flexibility to increase direct connectivity between countries.

http://www.seabornnetworks.com
http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

DOJ Clears Level 3's Acquisition of tw telecom

The U.S. Department of Justice has cleared Level 3 Communications' pending acquisition of tw telecom, completing the process under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976
(HSR).

http://www.level3.com
http://www.twtelecom.com



  • In June, Level 3 Communications agreed to acquire tw telecom in a deal that will combine its global fiber network and international data centers with tw telecom's extensive metro footprint in major U.S. markets. The stock-and-cash transaction is valued at $40.86 per TWTC share, or $5.7 billion in aggregate, based on market close as of June 13, 2014. tw telecom stockholders will receive $10 cash and 0.7 shares of Level 3 common stock for each share of tw telecom common stock that is owned at closing.

Intel Releases 2nd Generation LTE Modem Platforms

Intel announced the first commercial availability of the Intel XMM 7260 modem.

The LTE modem is now shipping in the Samsung Galaxy Alpha smartphone for Europe and other regional markets. The Intel XMM 7260 and Intel XMM 7262 modems delivers Category 6 data rates up to 300 Mbps.

Intel said its second-generation LTE platforms and provide device manufacturers a high-performance, power-efficient solution for the coming wave of LTE-Advanced networks and devices.

At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco this week, Intel also announced shipment of Edison, a postage stamp-size computer with built-in wireless that was announced at CES in January.  Edison is aimed at IoT applications.

http://www.intel.com

Procera Hits Max Performance on Intel Open Network Platforms

Procera Networks reports that its NFV software solution has demonstrated theoretical maximum performance running on Intel Xeon processor E5, Intel Xeon processor E5 v2, and Intel Xeon processor E5 v3-based commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) platforms.

The performance testing consisted of side-by-side instances of test systems based on multiple generations of Intel Xeon processor-based systems. The test utilized the new Intel Xeon processor E5 2600 v3, running PacketLogic/V software in a virtual machine with 4x10 10Gbps Ethernet connections. The PacketLogic/V software had a complete complement of traffic detection and management rules enabled, simulating a real world deployment, and line rate traffic was sent into the VNF.  In each case the PacketLogic/V software performed at bare metal rates and was able to achieve maximum throughput of all of the available Ethernet interfaces in the system.

"Today's results are significant to our customers and the NFV community," said James Brear, president and CEO at Procera. "Not only have we demonstrated on Intel technology that high-performance applications such as PacketLogicTM can successfully perform as software-only solutions, but our customers now have a choice in deploying PacketLogic as hardware or software with no performance penalty."

This performance was achieved through participation in the Intel Network Builders program and was focused on demonstrating that high-performance NFV applications can be successfully deployed on Intel architecture-based COTS platforms.

http://www.proceranetworks.com

Intelsat Sees Market Transition to 4K Services

An Intelsat survey of media company executives has found that 42% have made the decision to launch a 4K UHDTV service and have a specific timeframe for its rollout, with 23% planning to launch in less than four years.

The survey finds that 35% of non-technical executives expect Direct-to-Home (DTH) will be the first segment to gain momentum as compared to 60% of technical executives who believe Video on Demand is where 4K UHDTV will first take hold.

The main driver cited by media companies was the ability to provide the competitive differentiation necessary to attract new subscribers to their linear broadcast and cable television channels.

Intelsat surveyed technical and non-technical (primarily marketing) media executives from its global customer base, which is comprised of many of the world’s largest media companies that conduct business on a regional and global basis.  The nearly 80 respondents represent a statistically significant sample of the pool of potential respondents.

“While it is becoming more evident that the transition to 4K UHDTV is highly likely, the road to adoption will take many paths, given the business model evolution resulting from the multi-screen viewing environment,” stated Peter Ostapiuk, Vice President, Media Product Management, Intelsat. “As with high definition television, socio-economics, demographics and technology infrastructure will determine the adoption timeline.  This time, however, media companies are more focused on building the right business model that will enable them to deliver high quality and reliable content delivery across multiple platforms and, at the same time, achieve a strong return on their investment.”

http://www.intelsat.com

Monday, September 8, 2014

802.11ac Drives Industry Refresh Cycle

802.11ac pushes Wi-Fi into the gigabit domain. We are now seeing .11ac shipping as standard on smartphones, tablets, laptops and wide range of consumer and business access points.

Bringing gigabit power to the last link means that its time to upgrade other segments of the network and the numbers are now showing faster uptake than in previous upgrade cycles.

This video, sponsored by Vitesse Semiconductor, brings together thought leaders from across the ecosystem to discuss why 802.11ac is important and how it is driving an industry upgrade cycle, including:

  • Edgar Figueroa, President of the Wi-Fi Alliance
  • Matthew Gast, Director of Advanced Technology, Aerohive Networks
  • Chris DePuy, Vice President, Dell'Oro Group
  • Martin Nuss, Chief Technology Officer, Vitesse Semiconductor
  • Ben Gibson, Chief Marketing Officer, Aruba Networks
  • Chris Spain, Vice President, Cisco
  • Pravin Bhagwat, Co-Founder and CTO, Airtight Networks
  • Larry O'Connell, Product Marketing Director, Vitesse Semiconductor

http://youtu.be/ZzoApUXxKoE


Intels Aims Xeon E5-2600/1600 v3 at Software-defined Data Centers

Intel unveiled its latest generation Xeon processor E5-2600/1600 v3 product families for software-defined data center loads, including in servers, workstations, storage and networking infrastructure. The big improvements over the previous generation include 3X performance gain, better energy efficiency and enhanced security. The devices use Intel's 22nm, 3-D Tri-Gate technology.

Some highlights of the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 product family:

  • A new cache monitoring feature provides data to enable orchestration tools to intelligently place and rebalance workloads resulting in faster completion times. This also provides the ability to conduct analysis of performance anomalies due to competition for cache in a multitenant cloud environment where there is little visibility into what workloads consumers are running.
     
  • New platform telemetry sensors and metrics for CPU, memory and I/O utilization. With the addition of thermal sensors for airflow and outlet temperature, the visibility and control has increased significantly from the prior generation. The processors offer a holistic set of sensors and telemetry for any SDI orchestration solution to more closely monitor, manage and control system utilization to help maximize data center efficiency for a lower total cost of ownership.
     
  • Up to 18 cores per socket and 45MB of last-level cache.  This represents up to 50 percent more cores and cache compared to the previous generation processors.
  • An extension to Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 2 (Intel AVX2)4 doubles the width of vector integer instructions to 256 bits per clock cycle for integer sensitive workloads and delivers up to 1.9x higher performance gains.
     
  • Increased virtualization density, allowing support for up to 70 percent more VMs per server compared to the previous generation processors.
  • Memory bandwidth constrained workloads will gain up to 1.4x higher performance compared to the previous generation with the support of next-generation DDR4 memory.
  • Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel AES-NI) have also been enhanced to accelerate data encryption and decryption by up to 2x without sacrificing application response times.
  • New "per-core" power states dynamically regulate and adjust power in each processor core for more power-efficient workload processing. 

Intel also noted that the Xeon E5-2600 v3 processors can be paired with the Intel Communications Chipset 89xx series featuring Intel Quick Assist Technology to enable faster encryption and compression performance to improve security in a wide range of workloads.

In addition, the new Intel Ethernet Controller XL710 family helps address the increasing demands on networks with capabilities to enable better performance for virtualized servers and networks. The flexible 10/40 gigabit Ethernet controller provides twice the bandwidth while consuming half the power compared with the previous generation.

"The digital services economy imposes new requirements on the data center, requirements for automated, dynamic and scalable service delivery," said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel. "Our new Intel processors deliver unmatched performance, energy efficiency and security, as well as provide visibility into the hardware resources required to enable software defined infrastructure. By enabling the re-architecture of the data center, Intel is helping companies fully exploit the benefits of cloud-based services."

http://www.intel.com

Radisys Adds Support Intel Xeon E5 2600 v3 Series Processor

Radisys announced support for the new Intel Xeon E5 2600 v3 series processors with performance upgrades across its broad x86 product portfolio.  A new, standards-based ATCA-4700 blade for the Radisys T-Series Ultra and Pro and the latest Radisys T-Series Compact Rackmount Server are based on the new Intel Xeon E5 2600 v3 series processor.

Radisys said the performance boost makes these solutions well suited for SDN and NFV applications. Carrier-scale deployment of SDN and NFV will require platforms that can process hundreds of millions of data plane flows simultaneously, across thousands of Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs).

Radisys also noted Intel Data Plane Developer Kit (Intel DPDK) optimizations and support across its x86 product line to ensure customers get the best performance possible.  In addition, Radisys brings solutions and expertise in LTE, Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) and security to its broad range of applications. The combination of telecom-grade performance and a broad product portfolio optimized with Intel DPDK allows TEMs to focus resources on rapid innovation in the virtualized application arena.

“At Radisys, we’re focused on enabling the industry and our customers with leading COTS technology to maintain their market leadership,” said Keate Despain, vice president of business development, Radisys. “As we upgrade our T-Series portfolio and roll out new products with the latest Intel processor and virtualization capabilities, Radisys, with its broad and deep expertise across Telecom platforms, software and solutions, is very well positioned to help its customers successfully transition to the next-generation of Intel technologies.”

“The continued momentum towards adopting server, cloud and virtualization technologies in telecommunications networks will bring many benefits including lower operating costs and faster deployment of new services,” said Rose Schooler, Vice President and General Manager, Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group, Intel. “Radisys’ rapid adoption of telecom-grade products based on Intel’s newest E5-2658 v3 series processors, all optimized to operate with the latest DPDK technology, will help meet the needs of demanding data plane applications in today’s NFV and SDN deployments.”

http://www.radisys.com



Global Capacity to Acquire MegaPath’s National Aggregation Network

Global Capacity agreed to acquire the Network Services Business of MegaPath. The deal covers Megapath's wholesale business and national colocation aggregation network. Financial terms were not disclosed. Pivotal Group, a private equity group, will provide financing.

MegaPath's aggregation network delivers DSL, T1, Bonded T1, high-speed Ethernet, and cable via 4,200 Central Offices (COs) and an extended reach of an additional 25,000 COs across 235 metro markets in the U.S.

Global Capacity has focused on its One Marketplace, which helps businesses buy connectivity by combining interconnected, aggregated network with a Cloud application that automates the procurement of network services. Customers get a single interface through which to design, price and fulfill multi-network, multi-geography requirements, as well as a single SLA, contract and point of contact, and full network visibility and management.

MegaPath is maintaining its Voice network, MPLS network and security network.  It will focus on services.

“Today’s deal creates a more focused MegaPath, with increased access to capital to fund our strategic, high-growth, value-added services,” said D. Craig Young, Executive Chairman of MegaPath. “MegaPath now has a greater capability to invest in a product growth strategy to meet the needs of our customers and partners.”

After the deal closes, MegaPath will be the largest Global Capacity customer.

http://www.megapath.com



  • MegaPath was formed through the 2010 merger of Speakeasy, Covad Communications and the original MegaPath.


Vitesse and RubyTech Show 2.5G Managed Ethernet Switch Design for 802.11ac

Vitesse Semiconductor and RubyTech unveiled the industry’s first 2.5G managed switch reference design for 802.11ac Gigabit Wi-Fi applications.

The design is ideal for Wave 2 802.11ac deployments, which can support access point uplink speeds up to 1.3G into the Enterprise LAN.  It is based on Vitesse’s recently introduced SparX-IVTM Ethernet switch family (VSC7442, VSC7444 and VSC7448) and software SDK.

Vitesse said 2.5G is the optimal choice for upgrading 802.11ac access aggregation links because it delivers up to 50% lower power and cost versus 10G.

“2.5G is really about giving Enterprises flexibility and finding the easiest and most cost-effective way to connect the new .11ac access points within current infrastructures using Cat5 cable,” said Larry O’Connell, product marketing director for Vitesse. “Access equipment with 10G uplinks is a clear cost and power overkill. Vitesse and RubyTech’s joint 2.5G reference design provides Enterprises a painless migration path to fully benefit from .11ac’s Gigabit speeds, while avoiding a complete network upgrade.”

Taiwan-based RubyTech specializes in design and manufacturing of networking products.

http://www.vitesse.com



Crehan Research: Low-Priced Switches Drive Data Center Ethernet Growth

After a particularly weak first quarter, steep price declines helped propel the Ethernet data center switch market to new shipment highs in the second quarter of 2014, according to the most recent data center Ethernet switch report from Crehan Research Inc..

As shown in the accompanying figure, the growth was particularly pronounced in the high-speed Ethernet segment, which includes 10, 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet data center switches. In that segment, data center switch port shipments increased by one million ports during the single quarter alone. Cisco, which holds a strong leadership position in high-speed Ethernet, was responsible for much of the market growth, gaining share with its Nexus portfolio of data center switches.

“Besides typical seasonality, there were a number of factors that constrained the data center Ethernet switch market in 1Q14," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. "These included pockets of supply constraints, and possibly some customer buying pause while recently-introduced 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet data center switches and line cards with much lower prices were evaluated. As these factors eased and we moved into the seasonally stronger second quarter, the data center Ethernet switch market rebounded strongly," he explained.

In its previous long-range forecast report, Crehan Research forecast a stronger migration to higher Ethernet speeds as a result of the arrival of significantly lower-priced data center switches. The firm further expects that this migration will also be aided by the arrival of Intel’s Grantley-based server platforms, where it expects 10 Gigabit Ethernet adapters to be a much more popular server networking.

http://www.CrehanResearch.com

Nokia Launches Double Capacity LTE/Wi-Fi Picocell

Nokia Networks introduced a double-capacity small cell base station called the Flexi Zone G2 Pico that features a 4-pipe radio and twice the processing capability of its earlier Flexi Zone Micro/Pico base station.

The first Flexi Zone G2 Pico base station to be available will be a 3.5 GHz TD-LTE Advanced Carrier Aggregation Pico with 4x4 MIMO for advanced LTE markets. The unit also integrates Wi-Fi 802.11ac for additional capacity in a compact 8 liter, 8 kg unit for easy siting and installation. It offers full software and feature parity of Nokia Networks macro base stations and packs the same Smart Scheduler and HetNet interference management features. The Flexi Zone G2 Pico BTS can also be used as a stand alone unit or paired with Nokia’s Flexi Zone Controller to create large small cell clusters that act as one eNodeB.

Nokia is also adding an indoor planning service enhanced by 3-D geolocation to pinpoint precise locations in high-rise buildings.

“Nokia Networks has demonstrated its commitment to small cell development by being the first supplier with macro parity small cells, and we’re now the first to introduce small cells with LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation capabilties,” said Randy Cox, head of Small Cell Product Management at Nokia Networks. “Operators have an ever-increasing need to provide users with the best mobile broadband experience in key indoor locations. The addition of unique 3-D geolocation technology ensures the best planning and optimization techniques for outstanding performance throughout these buildings - from the top floor boardroom to the ground floor cafeteria.”

http://www.nsn.com

Vitesse Adds MPLS-TP to Carrier Ethernet Software Suite

Vitesse Semiconductor announced availability of an MPLS-TP protocol software module for its CEServices software, which is complete turnkey solution for Carrier Ethernet access network equipment.

Vitesse’s offering includes advanced Operations and Maintenance (OAM) supporting service provider end-to-end provisioning, monitoring and managing of their Ethernet Virtual Circuits (EVCs).  Vitesse Serval-2, LynX-2 and Jaguar-2 Carrier Ethernet switch engines are the only merchant silicon solutions available today which can support both ITU (Y.1731) and IETF standards (BFD) for MPLS-TP OAM in hardware, enabling line rate performance.

Access equipment based on MPLS-TP can deliver capabilities such as enhanced protection and connection-oriented packet switching, ideal for the ongoing transition from TDM to packet-based

“We see MPLS-TP as a growing market requirement over the next few years – according to our global service provider research, over half of operators have deployed or plan to deploy MPLS-TP in the next two years,” stated Michael Howard, principal analyst for carrier networks and co-founder of Infonetics Research. “MPLS-TP is emerging as a must-have technology for service providers deploying an Ethernet Virtual Circuit-like architecture end-to-end over their network. Vitesse’s ViSAA technology building blocks can enable MEF CE 2.0 feature-full service delivery over Ethernet and MPLS-TP networks.”

“The potential capex and opex advantages of using an EVC-like architecture end-to-end over carrier networks are largely untapped today,” said Craig Pasek, software product marketing manager at Vitesse. “MPLS-TP gives Ethernet service delivery robustness, greater scale, stronger layering and protection. Turnkey solutions like Vitesse’s that readily enable MEF CE 2.0, feature-rich service delivery over Ethernet and MPLS-TP networks will be essential for carriers to fully leverage those capex/opex."

http://www.vitesse.com


In January, Vitesse Semiconductor introduced its CEServices software suite for easier provisioning and management of Carrier Ethernet business services.

CEServices software works in tandem with Vitesse's ViSAA-enabled Carrier Ethernet switch engines -- Jaguar, LynX, Caracal, and Serval -- to simplify Ethernet business service provisioning and monitoring at greater scale and wire-speed performance with various standards-based capabilities including:
  • Service classification and MEF compliant policing to meet advanced Service Level Agreements (SLAs);
  • Performance Monitoring and Service Activation Measurements - RFC2544, Y.1731 and Y.1564;
  • Multi-operator OAM - Up and Down MEPs;
  • Extensive suite of Carrier Ethernet and MPLS/MPLS-TP networking protocols; and
  • SyncE and IEEE 1588v2 PTP protocol support with Vitesse's VeriTime, the industry's de facto highest accuracy IEEE 1588v2 synchronization technology.

For service subscriber Edge applications, such as SLAs, ViSAA Service Edge Software control functionality enables per EVC, policers, shapers, queues, tagging and marking, statistics and extensive OAM to ensure traffic flow compliance.

For network applications, CEServices software enables ViSAA networking functionality for provider bridge (Q-Q) tunneling. Traffic protection enables scalability, while ensuring reliability. CEServices also enables end point and immediate point access to MEF CE 2.0 capabilities and functions.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Vertical Systems: Mid-2014 Global Provider Ethernet LEADERBOARD

Orange Business (France) once again topped the Mid-2014 Global Provider Ethernet LEADERBOARD by Vertical Systems Group. The study measures multinational Ethernet network market presence. Global Providers ranked on the LEADERBOARD hold four percent (4%) or more of retail business Ethernet installations based on billable ports at sites outside of their respective home countries.

Here is the list (in rank order based on port share) : Orange Business (France), BT Global Services (U.K.), Verizon (U.S.), Colt (U.K.), AT&T (U.S.), Level 3 (U.S.) and NTT (Japan).

The next or Challenge Tier for Global Providers includes companies with between 2% and 4% share of this defined market. Seven companies achieved a position in the Mid-2014 Global Provider Challenge Tier as follows (Note – in alphabetical order) : Cogent (U.S.), Reliance Globalcom (India), SingTel (Singapore), Tata Communications (India), Telefonica Worldwide (Spain), T-Systems (Germany) and Vodafone (U.K.).

“The integration of Ethernet into MPLS network infrastructures is generating revenue opportunities for global carriers, driven by customer demand for higher bandwidth connectivity,” said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. “More than half of new global IP VPN connections are being delivered over Ethernet.”

http://www.verticalsystems.com/vsglb/mid-2014-global-provider-ethernet-leaderboard/

Saturday, September 6, 2014

AT&T Add Apps to its Connected Car Platform

AT&T announced six, voice-enabled applications for its connected car platform, AT&T Drive.

These include:

  • AccuWeather for AT&T Drive, which provides localized current conditions, hourly, and five-day forecasts.
  • Glympse, a location sharing app that allows connected car drivers to share their dynamic location in real-time with anyone, eliminating the need for phone calls or text messages to let someone know where they are, or when they will arrive.
  • iHeartRadio, a digital radio service that offers thousands of live radio stations from across the country and the ability to create custom stations based on an artist or song.
  • Newsbeat, a mobile news app developed by Tribune Digital Ventures that provides personalized audio streams of the day's top articles from leading newspapers and websites.
  • Stitcher, radio shows and podcasts on demand.
  • Parker by Streetline, a parking guidance application that displays data in real-time from in-ground sensors, from camera-sensing technology, and from gate counters in garages and lots, as well as static data like policy hours, pricing, and location. 

"Each of these apps provides an enhanced in-car experience for users while also keeping driver safety top of mind," said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, Emerging Devices. "AT&T Drive's app selection was developed so that drivers could make more informed decisions while they are driving to help them point A to point B safely, but do so as efficiently and comfortably as possible."

http://www.att.com

NTT Tests 400G Coherent Transmission with NEC, Fujitsu

NTT has successfully tested 400 Gbps/channel-class digital coherent optical transmissions technology in conjunction with NEC and Fujitsu.

The tests multiplexed up to 62 channels of 400 Gbps.  This demonstrated fiber capacity of up to 24.8 Tbps.  The tests covered various modulation methods over distances ranging from several thousand kilometers up to 10,000 km.

The companies said these tests accelerate the effort to commercialize 400 Gbps-class optical transmission technology. Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) sponsored the testing as part of its “Research and Development Project for the Ultra-high Speed and Green Photonic Networks” program.

Key technologies demonstrated included:

  • Extremely flexible 400 Gbps-class adaptive modulation/demodulation. In addition to Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK), which is used in existing 100 Gbps transmissions and which superimposes information on the phase of the light, an 8 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) and a 16 QAM were used, superimposing information on both the phase and amplitude of the optical waves to expand data volume, and combined with sub-carrier multiplexing enabled by spectral compression technology called Nyquist filtering. The companies cited clear advantages by selecting a modulation format appropriate for the quality of the link.  This required the development of an algorithm that can be implemented in an electronic circuit including an 8 QAM. Transmission ranges of 500 km to 1500km for capacities of 10 — 20 Tbps per each core of optical fiber were successfully covered, which was not possible up until now, even with QPSK and 16 QAM.
  • Compensation function using digital backward propagation signal processing, enabling long-distance transmissions. To overcome complex waveform distortions caused by nonlinear optical effects, the companies developed digital backward propagation signal processing, which, through refinements to the algorithm and circuit designs that dramatically reduced the volume of calculations, enabled circuit implementation and compensation of the nonlinear optical effects. They also developed chromatic dispersion estimation technology enabling estimations, for 10,000km of optical fiber, of the values of chromatic dispersion, which is a phenomenon in which the propagation lag times differ for each wavelength in an optical fiber. 

More online.

http://www.ntt.co.jp/news2014/1409e/140904a.html

Sprint Extends its LTE Roaming Footprint

Sprint announced LTE agreements with 15 additional rural and regional network carriers as part of the Rural Roaming Preferred Provider program it announced with Competitive Carriers Association earlier this year.  This brings the program to 27 carriers, extending coverage in 27 states, over 565,000 square miles and a population of more than 38 million people. The 15 carriers joining the program are:

  • Bluegrass Cellular, serving Kentucky
  • Blue Wireless, serving New York and Pennsylvania
  • Pine Belt Wireless, serving Alabama
  • Pioneer Cellular, serving Oklahoma and Kansas
  • Public Service Wireless, serving Alabama and Georgia
  • Syringa Wireless, serving Idaho
  • Rural Independent Network Alliance (RINA) members and their partners:
  • STRATA Networks, serving Utah, Wyoming and Colorado
  • Silver Star Wireless, serving Wyoming and Idaho
  • All West Wireless Inc., serving Wyoming and Utah
  • NNTC, serving Colorado
  • Snake River Personal Communications Service, serving Oregon
  • CTC Telecom Inc., serving Idaho
  • South Central Communications Inc., serving Utah
  • Custer Telephone Wireless, serving Idaho
  • Breakaway Wireless, serving Utah


“In just a few short months, Sprint has made significant progress by signing agreements covering 27 regional carriers that serve millions of people across the country,” said Michael C. Schwartz, Sprint senior vice president of Corporate and Business Development. “By working together, we will bring mobile broadband and better wireless devices to underserved communities while expanding 4G LTE coverage for Sprint customers.”

http://www.sprint.com

In June, Sprint announced nationwide availability of HD Voice, as well as 28 new 4G LTE markets and three new Sprint Spark markets.

Sprint HD Voice is currently supported on 28 postpaid smartphones and 33 prepaid phones. The company estimates approximately 16 million of its customers are currently using an HD Voice enabled device. In addition to a fuller, more natural-sounding voice, the service uses noise-cancelling technology to minimize background noise from places like busy roads or crowded restaurants.

Sprint's new activated LTE markets, including Seattle, Cleveland, and San Jose, bring its nationwide 4G LTE footprint to 471 cities covering more than 225 million people. Sprint expects to reach 250 million with 4G LTE coverage by mid-year.

Sprint Spark has been activated in three new markets (St. Louis, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, N.C.). The enhanced LTE network is designed to deliver average wireless speeds of 6-15Mbps and peak wireless speeds of 50-60Mbps today on capable devices, with increasing speed potential over time. Sprint plans to reach 100 million people by year-end with the service. T

Sprint is currently field testing 8T8R radios for improved coverage and signal strength at 2.5 GHz. Commercial deployment of these radios is expected this summer.

Sprint will be adding International WiFi calling in the coming weeks.  This will enable customers to make calls and send texts via WiFi in more than 100 countries.

In addition, Sprint will begin offering a 30-day trial period for new customers to test out their service. If customers aren’t completely satisfied with the Sprint experience within the first 30 days, Sprint will refund the cost of their device and waive all service and activation charges.

“We believe customers will be delighted with the Sprint retail experience, our customer service, and the performance of America’s newest network,” said Dan Hesse, Sprint Chief Executive Officer, “so we’re guaranteeing it.”