Thursday, September 11, 2014

Honda Rides NTT Com's SDN-Powered Enterprise Cloud Service

NTT Communications is providing a global enterprise cloud service that Honda Motor Co. is leveraging for its global supplier network.

Specifically, NTT Com has been providing the automaker with its Enterprise Cloud service from delivery centers in Japan and Singapore since 2013. To date, Honda has increased its file-sharing speed by a factor of 14, while reducing operating costs by 30% on an annual basis. Honda is currently planning to expand its use of Enterprise Cloud infrastructure in other key areas of its global business.

NTT Com’s Enterprise Cloud, the first private cloud to deploy Software Defined Networking (SDN), is built on global cloud infrastructure provided from 11 delivery centers in 9 countries. The service leverages SDN to provide flexible support for critical enterprise applications.

Honda’s global network encompasses more than 10,000 suppliers and 54 countries. In 2011, it began reorganizing its internal system for development, procurement and production in specific markets, aiming to strengthen cross-group collaboration to quickly launch price-competitive products that meet local demands. Such collaboration requires the sharing of CAD and other huge data files with suppliers globally, but Honda experienced difficulties with differing systems and security levels among its many markets, resulting in slow data transfers along with added time and cost to introduce new systems.

http://www.ntt.com/enterprise_cloud_e


In May 2014, NTT Communications introduced a suite of NFV-enabled services that can be instantly activated online and are powered by Virtela's global SDN platform.  Virtela Technology Services was acquired by NTT Com in January 2014.

The new services are offered via a pay-per-use model under NTT Com’s Arcstar Universal One portfolio, which are delivered to enterprise customers in more than 190 countries/regions worldwide. The new services will become officially available for sales starting from July 2014.

NTT Com said the new cloud-based network services make branch office networking more asset-light, agile, scalable and economical.  The launch includes the following four new cloud-based network services:
  • Cloud-Based Application Acceleration: Optimizes application performance over the IP-VPN network, enabling global IT consolidation and faster access to cloud-hosted applications
  • Cloud-Based Firewall: This service offers Firewall, IPS, and URL Filtering options, and enables secure Internet access at branch offices using the nearest of 50 Local Cloud Networking Centers distributed globally
  • Cloud-Based IPSEC VPN Gateway: Establishes quick enterprise network connections from public cloud or any site with Internet access
  • Cloud-Based SSL VPN: Enables remote workers or partners using any device to access the enterprise network.
"While many industry experts and service providers have long been speaking about the potential of NFV, we are excited to become the first service providers to commercialize NFV-enabled services on a global scale," says Takashi Ooi, NTT Com’s Vice President of Enterprise Network Service.

Equinix Delivers High Precision Time from Perseus Telecom for Financial Firms

Equinix has begun offering "High Precision Time" by Perseus Telecom to financial firms colocated in its major data centers around the world.

The service can be used by companies in the financial industry to time-stampi trades with NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology) timing.  Equinix and Perseus have simplified this task by offering High Precision Time to Equinix customers in Chicago (CH1), Frankfurt (FR2), London (LD4), New York (NY4) and Tokyo (TY3).

Equinix said that by offering financial firms a standardized method of time-stamping trades globally, it enables them to more efficiently and cost effectively connect to the NIST time scale in Boulder, Colo. through the very data centers in which trades are occurring.

"With its network-rich data centers and savvy customer base ready to embrace new technology, Equinix was a natural partner in making High Precision Time globally available. We anticipate great demand for our solution and are looking at deepening our relationship with Equinix in Hong Kong, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney and Toronto to proliferate our offering," stated Dr. Jock Percy, CEO, Perseus Telecom.

http://www.equinix.com
http://perseustelecom.com/

HP Acquires Eucalyptus to Accelerate Hybrid Cloud Adoption

HP agreed to acquire Eucalyptus, a developer of open source software for building private and hybrid enterprise clouds. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Eucalyptus, which is based in Goleta, California, offers open source software for building private clouds that are compatible with AWS APIs.

Eucalyptus Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Marten Mickos, will join HP as senior vice president and general manager of the Cloud business, reporting to Meg Whitman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of HP. In this role, Mickos will lead the HP Cloud organization in building out the HP Helion portfolio, based on OpenStack technology. Prior to Eucalyptus, Mickos was CEO of MySQL, which he grew from a garage start-up to the company providing the second most widely used open source software in the world.

“The addition of Marten to HP’s world-class Cloud leadership team will strengthen and accelerate the strategy we’ve had in place for more than three years, which is to help businesses build, consume and manage open source hybrid clouds,” said Whitman.

“Eucalyptus and HP share a common vision for the future of cloud in the enterprise,” said Mickos. “Enterprises are demanding open source cloud solutions, and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to grow the HP Helion portfolio and lead a world-class business that delivers private, hybrid, managed and public clouds to enterprise customers worldwide.”

Martin Fink, who currently leads HP’s Cloud business, will remain in his roles as chief technology officer of HP and director of HP Labs, where he will focus on innovation and creating groundbreaking solutions like The Machine. Fink will also continue to lead HP’s Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) business.

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-news/press-release.html?id=1790521#.VBKHly5dXTg

https://www.eucalyptus.com

D-Link Ships 802.11ac Unified Wireless Access Point

D-Link introduced a high power, 802.11ac unified wireless access point with advanced radio management and security features.

The DWL-8610AP delivers maximum wireless signal rates of up to 450 Mbps using the 2.4 GHz band, and 1300 Mbps using the 5 GHz band.  It can be powered using the included AC to DC adapter, or directly through the network cable using Power over Ethernet from any switch or midspan injector that supports IEEE 802.3at.

The AP can be flexibly deployed as an autonomously managed, standalone wireless access point, or as a centrally managed access point controlled by a D-Link Unified Wireless Switch or Wireless Controller. Some additional features include:

  • Band Steering: detects and steers 5 GHz capable clients away from the overcrowded 2.4 GHz network to the less congested 5 GHz network.
  • Load balancing: ensures maximum performance by limiting the maximum number of users per access point.
  • Beamforming technology: enables even greater reach. By focusing the wireless signal at connected devices, it guarantees continuous fast wireless speeds, even under heavy network utilization or in areas that have bad wireless signal. 
  • Plenum-rated chassis: adheres to strict fire regulations for placement in air passageways.

http://www.dlink.com/dwl-8610ap


Ericsson to Offer SAP Mobile Secure for Enterprises

Ericsson and SAP are collaborating to securely deliver network-enabled cloud solutions, which will provide users with secure access to their business apps and content on mobile devices.

Under the agreement, Ericsson will offer SAP Mobile Secure, a set of cloud-based solutions, combined with an IT managed service offering, expanding its portfolio of services available for its 400+ mobile network operators.

The companies said the partnership will bring together SAP Mobile Secure with the stability and scalability offered by Ericsson IT managed services and service delivery capabilities.  Worldwide, Ericsson manages networks that serve 600 million subscribers and additionally provides managed services for networks that serve 1 billion subscribers.

"With its heritage in mobile security, SAP is known for its ability to develop flexible offerings that can be tailored to the needs of any enterprise," said said Per Borgklint, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Support Solutions, Ericsson. "With the increased focus of mobile workforce productivity, this solution will enable fast deployment using the software-as-a-service delivery model.  By using this model, we can serve both small enterprises that might not have expertise in IT security as well as the Fortune 100 companies with complex needs that require more customization."

"As mobile network operators (MNOs) strive to support the changing mobile needs for enterprises, the planned EMM solution from Ericsson and SAP will allow them to better address these needs with faster time to market and minimal infrastructure cost," said Rick Costanzo, executive vice president and general manager, SAP Mobile Solutions. "While demand for mobile traffic is increasing, controlling the costs of their network and driving innovation will be the keys to success for mobile network operators. Through Ericsson's long-term relationships with every major telecom operator worldwide and SAP's proven ability to deliver the most complete and scalable cloud-based mobile security solution, this collaboration will provide MNOs with new service offerings, new revenue streams and stronger ties with their customers."

http://www.ericsson.com/news/1855103

Dell'Oro: VDSL and GPON Drive Strong Q2 Access Market

Total second quarter Access revenue, including PON, DSL, and Cable, surged 12% over the year-ago period, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.  This growth was driven by a greater than 30% increase in VDSL port shipments and more than 40% increase for both GPON OLT port and ONT unit shipments.  The report shows that year-on-year growth was driven by higher shipments across all regions for both technologies.

“EMEA and North America accounted for the vast majority of VDSL shipments with Western Europe being especially strong as an increasing number of operators deploy vectoring products, which can significantly increase bandwidth while using existing copper infrastructure,” said Steve Nozik, Principal Analyst of Access research at Dell’Oro Group.  “For GPON, China continues to dominate the market but there was also significant growth in other regions especially Southeast Asia, Southern Europe and the Middle East,” Nozik added.

The report shows that in the second quarter, Alcatel-Lucent continued to hold the lead for VDSL port shipments, significantly ahead of the next two top vendors, Huawei Technologies and ADTRAN.  For GPON, Huawei Technologies and ZTE were the top two vendors due largely to their market leadership position in China, followed by Alcatel-Lucent in the number three position.

http://www.delloro.com/news/vdsl-and-gpon-drive-strong-second-quarter-access-market-growth

Ericsson Intros Cloud-enabled Media Mgt Services

Ericsson introduced new end-to-end, cloud-enabled media management services under its Broadcast and Media Services portfolio.

The company said broadcasters can use the power of public or private cloud resources to better manage secure contribution, archiving and media processing. Cloud services promise better security, agility, and efficiency while reducing upfront costs often associated with hardware and infrastructure.

Ericsson's Cloud Functionality will include:

  • File receipt gateway: Mechanisms used to send files for processing, including connectivity, accelerators and content encryption
  • Verification: Services that verify content is received as expected and compliant with specified standards
  • Transformation: Services that prepare content for multiple platforms and territories
  • Delivery: Services for the packaging and delivery of video content to its final destination


http://www.ericsson.com/news/1855184

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

JDSU to Split in Two: Optics and Network Enablement

JDSU announced plans to split into two publicly traded companies:

  • An optical components and commercial lasers company (“CCOP”) consisting of JDSU’s current Communications and Commercial Optical Products segment. The CCOP company, with its long-standing reputation for optical innovation and quality, serves a $7.4 billion optical communications market expected to grow at a compounded rate of 11 percent over the next four years.  It also addresses an approximate $2.5 billion commercial lasers market, growing at a forecasted 7 percent annually.
  • A network and service enablement company (“NSE”) consisting of JDSU’s current Network Enablement, Service Enablement and Optical Security and Performance Products (OSP) segments. The stand-alone NSE company will be a leader in its core businesses, addressing an approximate $7 billion network and service enablement market expected to grow at 6-8 percent annually. The NSE company will primarily focus its investments in higher growth markets, particularly software supporting virtualized and software-defined networks. The optical security business addresses an approximate $1.1 billion market growing at an expected 6-8 percent.

“Over the past five years, JDSU has invested heavily in innovation that is well aligned with the industry’s best growth opportunities, including cloud networking, data center expansion and software-defined networks,” said Tom Waechter, JDSU president and CEO.  “These opportunities extend beyond the traditional telecom ecosystem and now include web services, over-the-top, enterprise and other customers. We believe two fundamentally focused companies best position us to stay ahead of the accelerating pace of technology change and to compete even more effectively across the unique markets we serve today.”

http://www.jdsu.com

T-Mobile US Pushes Ahead with Wi-Fi Calling

T-Mobile US announce its latest "Un-carrier" move: a push to enable Wi-Fi calling and texting for its Simple Choice smartphone customers.  The capability will now be supported by every smartphone it sells.

T-Mobile said its disruptive approach is to leverage every available technology to deliver coverage in places unreachable by any cellular network.

“Wi-Fi Un-leashed is a game changer. This is like adding millions of towers to our network in a single day,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “The difference between us and the traditional carriers is that they’ll do everything they can to make more money off you. We’ll do everything we can to solve your problems, and today, that’s about uniting Wi-Fi with our data strong network for unprecedented coverage.”

In addition to enabling T-Mobile customers to use any public or private Wi-Fi connection they can access like a T-Mobile tower for calling and texting, the Un-carrier has rolled out next-generation Wi-Fi calling and texting on its network. This supports high-quality HD voice, fast call setup times, fewer dropped calls and seamless voice coverage between T-Mobile’s nationwide Voice over LTE (VoLTE) network and Wi-Fi with compatible smartphones.

T-Mobile customers can also make free Wi-Fi calls to the United States from anywhere outside the country − all using their existing T-Mobile number with no app to install and no additional IDs or numbers to manage − wherever they have Wi-Fi.

T-Mobile is also introducing Personal CellSpot, a Wi-Fi home router that features patent-pending technology that prioritizes voice calls. Starting September 17, every Simple Choice customer with a broadband connection and a Wi-Fi-calling ready smartphone can get a T-Mobile Personal CellSpot completely free of charge with a $25 refundable deposit.

http://www.tmobile.com

Infonetics: Data Center and Enterprise SDN Market Soars 192%

In-use for SDN Ethernet switch revenue, including branded Ethernet switches, virtual switches, and bare metal switches, grew more than 10-fold in 2013 from the prior year, driven by significant increases in white box bare metal switch deployments by very large cloud service providers such as Google and Amazon, according to a newly published report by Infonetics Research.

Some highlights:

  • Vendors are seeding the market with SDN-capable Ethernet switches in the data center and enterprise LAN
  • The leaders in the SDN market will be solidified during the next 2 years, as 2014 lab trials give way to live production deployments
  • Bare metal switches are the top in-use for SDN-capable switch use case in the data center and are anticipated to account for 31% of total SDN-capable switch revenue by 2018
  • Infonetics forecasts the “real” market for SDN—that is, in-use for SDN Ethernet switches and controllers—to reach $9.5 billion in 2018
  • The adoption of SDN network virtualization overlays (NVOs) is expected to go mainstream by 2018

“There is no longer any question about software-defined networking (SDN) playing a role in data center and enterprise networks. Data center and enterprise SDN revenue, including SDN capable Ethernet switches and SDN controllers, was up 192% year-over-year (2013 over 2012),” reports Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., directing analyst for data center, cloud, and SDN at Infonetics Research. “The early SDN explorers—NEC in Japan and pure-play SDN startups in North America—were joined in 2013 by the majority of traditional switch vendors and server virtualization vendors offering a wide selection of SDN products.”

http://www.infonetics.com/pr/2014/Data-Center-and-SDN-Market-Highlights.asp

#SDNforecast

Cyan Extends its Packet-Optical + SDN with MPLS-TP

Cyan announced a series of new features to its Cyan Z-Series Packet-Optical Transport (P-OTP) and Blue Planet SDN platforms, including support for MPLS-TP, support for additional Carrier Ethernet 2.0+ capabilities, hitless software upgrades, traffic policing and shaping, and support for a new 100G DWDM coherent CFP.

Some highlights of the enhancements:

  • 8-degree, 96 channel ROADM – Cyan is adding to the existing family of single-slot 2- and 4-degree ROADM modules to support more flexible topologies and high-density 10G, 100G, and future 400G applications.
  • Integrated amplifier modules – Cyan is introducing a new family of integrated Erbium Doped Fibre Amplifier (EDFA) modules, which provide extended optical reach for metro, regional, and long-haul applications.
  • Four new APIs for SDN-powered packet-optical infrastructure: Optical Services, SNMP Trap Forwarding, Physical and Logical Inventory, and Site Manager API.
  • Support for MPLS-TP - over the coming months, Cyan will roll out new MPLS-TP capabilities for the Z-Series PSW modules that will ensure highly reliable and predictable delivery of Ethernet services between metros and across an MPLS core. When coupled with Cyan’s Blue Planet SDN Platform, MPLS-TP capabilities will enable resilient and scalable packet transport along with advanced end-to-end control, multi-vendor management, and service orchestration. Cyan also will ensure interoperability between existing PBB-TE networks and new MPLS-TP deployments.

“Over the years, Cyan has been associated with many industry firsts; we brought to market the first family of purpose-built packet-optical transport platforms and the first SDN and NFV orchestration platform optimized for network operators and the WAN,” said Mark Floyd, CEO, Cyan. “With today’s enhancements, we have further enriched our offerings and solidified our position as the network transformation leader.”

http://www.cyaninc.com

Infonetics: Ethernet Switching Up 11% to $5.4B in 2Q14

The global Ethernet switch market grew 11% to $5.4 billion in 2Q14, a result of better than anticipated results at #1 Cisco and strong results by a number of smaller players including Arista, Brocade, HP, Huawei, Juniper, and ZTE, according to Infonetics Research's most recent Ethernet Switches report, which tracks unmanaged, web-managed, and fully-managed fixed and chassis switches by port speed (100M, 1G, 10G, 40G, 100G).

Some highlights:

  • Year-over-year growth accelerated from 2% in 1Q14 to 6% in 2Q14
  • Switching growth was well balanced across small- and medium-sized business (SMB) and enterprise accounts, and the public sector is showing signs of stabilization
  • Web-managed and fully-managed fixed switches posted strong growth from 2Q13 to 2Q14, while unmanaged and chassis switches declined
  • 100G ports grew over 50% sequentially in 2Q14, and over 3,000 ports were sold;
  • 100G on fixed switches will start shipping in 3Q14, which is expected to sustain current market growth rates
  • Asia Pacific is the key growth region for Ethernet switches right now, but not all countries are faring equally: China is delivering very strong growth and the rest of APAC is accelerating, while Japan is trending flat to slightly down


"The Ethernet switching market recovered in the second quarter of 2014 after a slow first quarter, but revenue growth remains challenged as vendors compete aggressively against each other, white-label solutions gain greater traction, and large data center operators negotiate more favorable terms," notes Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

Continues Machowinski: "So while overall switching demand remains healthy, revenue is growing at only half the rate of port shipments."

http://www.infonetics.com/cgp/login.asp?id=914

ALU Virtualizes its Velocix Content Delivery Network

Alcatel-Lucent is rolling out a series of enhancements to its Velocix Content Delivery Network (CDN) solution to enable pay-TV operators to better manage their networks and set a new standard for the customer experience of IP video services. The new capabilities bring this CDN solution in line with Alcatel-Lucent's NFV portfolio.

The company said its goal with these improvements is to decouple the software that controls and routes traffic on a network from the physical infrastructure that provides compute and storage resources. This greatly reduces the time needed to install or expand the CDN. Virtualization also gives operators the agility to instantly create a new CDN cache in case of a hardware failure, minimizing any potential disruption in quality of service.

Specifically, the Velocix Virtual CDN will use automatic resource allocation to create an ‘elastic CDN’ capable of adjusting capacity to both planned and unexpected changes in demand, for example during a popular sporting event or due to a viral video. After the peak, computing resource can be released for other applications.

Additional new capabilities include:

  • The reporting capability of the Velocix CDN has been extended to give operators greater visibility of the traffic flowing through the network without increasing any additional latency or load. Patented Bell Labs techniques are used to measure the quality of video streamed to customers without the need for network probes or for installing software on customers’ devices.
  • Integration with the network routing control plane enables the CDN to learn automatically from changes in the IP infrastructure and optimize the cache selection accordingly. For example, when a new IP address is assigned to a user, the CDN adapts dynamically to make sure customers are always served from the optimal cache.
  • The Velocix Universal Network Application Programming Interface (UNAPI) also enables unprecedented integration with external systems to develop customized applications for network configuration, content management and reporting.
  • Velocix Proxy Language provides a powerful way to dynamically control how content is cached and processed. Using an industry standard programming language (LUA), a pay TV provider can modify how a request is treated depending, for example, on a user’s location or device. This opens up a wealth of personalization opportunities to improve the customer experience or traffic management on the network. It also allows a service provider to bring the web traffic for their pay TV service onto the same CDN as the video traffic.

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

365 Data Centers Pulls in Funding for Expansion

365 Data Centers announced $16 million in Series B funding and a $55 million credit facility for the expansion of its co-location business.

The announcement comes a few months after 365 Data Centers announced a new management team, corporate identity and 365 Quick Start, which makes data centers more accessible.  The company cityes triple-digit percentage YOY sales growth and broken its all-time quarterly sales record by over 20 percent.

The new funding came from existing investors Crosslink Capital and Housatonic Partners.  The credit facility came from Fortress Credit Corp., an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group.

"365 Data Centers brings greater flexibility and accessibility to clients through solutions that simplify colocation services to bring them more in line with cloud consumption models. This new financing allows us to continue executing on our growth strategy, whether organically or by acquisition," said John Scanlon, CEO, 365 Data Centers. "We've put together an experienced management team, created a strong growth plan, and delivered great results in a matter of months. We have the faith and support of capital markets behind us, and when talent meets capital, good things happen."

http://www.365datacenters.com

In April, 365 DataCenters, which was previously known as 365 Main, announced a corporate rebranding as it focuses on colocation services for small and medium enterprises.  The company operates in sixteen markets across the U.S.

In this video interview, John Scanlon looks at the colocation opportunity with small to medium-sized businesses especially as they make the transition from on-premise infrastructure to hybrid cloud solutions. The company's goal is to make data centers more accessible to small customers by eliminating long-term commitments.

Google Hangouts Now Offering Free Calling

Google began offering free voice calls from Hangouts on Android, iOS and the web to regular telephone numbers in the U.S. and Canada.  International calls can be made a low rates.

The new capability represents the integration of Google Hangouts with Google Voice.

http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/call-me-maybe-introducing-free-voice.html

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."

See also