Tuesday, September 16, 2014

AT&T Readies SDN-Powered, "Network on Demand" Ethernet Service

AT&T is preparing to launch a "Network on Demand" capability that lets business customers order, add, or modify Ethernet WAN services on-demand via a portal.

AT&T said its new capability will be the first such software-defined networking solution of its kind in the United States when it launches later this year in Austin. A trial has been underway at the University of Texas at Austin since June.

Beyond Austin, AT&T is planning to deploy this and other new Network on Demand-enabled services, including Internet and virtual private network, in additional markets starting in 2015.

AT&T said key benefits of its "Network on Demand" include:

  • Intuitive and immediate click-through contracting and ordering of network services
  • Dialing up or dialing down broadband speeds in near real time instead of hours or days
  • Provisioning new communications ports in days compared to weeks

"By enabling companies to easily and immediately provision network services on their own, we're creating a truly world-class customer experience," said Roman Pacewicz, AT&T Senior Vice President – Marketing and Global Strategy. "Our new Network on Demand service will do for corporate networks what the cloud did for management of corporate data centers."

SDN-powered Ethernet services are part of AT&T's User-Defined Network Cloud strategy, which was first announced in February.


AT&T's User-Defined Network Cloud program, which aims to transform not only the company's infrastructure but how AT&T does business.

The User-Defined Network Cloud will place customers at the center of the network with a modern, cloud-based architecture.

“The architecture and deployment teams are finalizing their planned introduction of this new architecture, which we expect to roll out later this year and early 2015,” said Tim Harden, president, AT&T Supply Chain. “We look forward to collaborating with Fujitsu and Alcatel-Lucent to achieve our next-generation network.”

Cavium Enters Ethernet Switching with 3.2 Tbps XPliant Fabric

Cavium made its entrance into the merchant Ethernet switching silicon market with the launch of its programmable XPliant Packet Architecture and chips. The technology for this new product line originates with XPliant, a Silicon Valley start-up that Cavium agreed to acquire in July.  The new products target switches for cloud / enterprise data centers and service provider infrastructure, for both top-of-rack and backbone applications.

The XPliant team, which drew talent from Cisco, Juniper, Brocade and Marvell, formed in 2011 with goal of developing a more programmable and scalable design for software-defined networks. The company said its design approach with its XPliant Packet Architecture was to take the dedicated function blocks present in conventional Layer 2 switching silicon and replace then will a flexible Table Type structure that enables software personalities to dictate the exact operation to be performed – for packet parsing, table look-ups, packet re-writes, fabric scheduling, and statistics and counters – without impacting performance. The company said its design fits well with the spine/leaf architecture of scale-out data centers.

Key features of the CNX880xx family of switch chips:

  • 880 Gigabits per second to 3.2 Terabits per second in a single chip
  • Port density at 3.2 Tbps with many flexible configurations, including: 32 ports of 100G, 64 ports of 40G or 50G, or 128 ports of 10G or 25G.
  • Support for the new 25G Ethernet Consortium specification for 25G on a single lane or 50G on two lanes.
  • Standard API support
XPliant will provide source code for a complete set of switching and routing functions as well as several network overlays via its SDK (software design kit).  The newest protocols such as GENEVE are already supported. As new protocols are introduced, updated personalities can be provided, even to switches that are installed in the network. As innovations such as OpenFlow TTPs or VXLAN extensions are created, they can quickly be deployed across the network.

Cavium's first XPliant’s CNX880xx Ethernet Switch chip is expected to sample in Q4.

“Leading cloud-scale Internet companies need to cope with the rapid increase in traffic from mobile apps as well as video” said Eric Hayes, VP and general manager, Switch Platform Group. “With XPA, OEMs will be able to differentiate their products while drastically reducing the time to new service deployment, increasing automation and driving operational efficiency.”


Docker Raises $40 Million for its VM Container Strategy

Docker, Inc., the commercial sponsor of the Docker open source project, secured $40 million in series C funding for its strategy in delivering distributed applications in cloud infrastrecture.

The funding round was led by Sequoia Capital and includes existing investors Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Insight Ventures, Trinity Ventures, and Jerry Yang.  The company plans to use the funds to drive adoption of its platform in the enterprise and to broaden its rapidly growing ecosystem of application developers, system administrators, platform providers, and technology partners.

Docker provides a platform that enables any application to be created and run as a collection of consistent, low-overhead Docker containers that work across virtually any infrastructure. This new model liberates developers from application and infrastructure dependencies, significantly accelerates the software development lifecycle, and enables substantial improvements in infrastructure cost and efficiency.

There have now been 21 million downloads of the Docker platform, up from 3 million at DockerCon in June. Over 35,000 “Dockerized” applications are now available on the Docker Hub Registry, and more than 13,000 Docker-related projects have launched on GitHub. Docker has also seen rapid growth in the technology partner ecosystem with over 100 companies – including industry heavyweights Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Red Hat and VMware – having announced Docker–supporting platform initiatives.

“We are thrilled to have a firm like Sequoia – and an individual like Bill Coughran – join our team,” said Ben Golub, CEO of Docker. “This new partnership provides Docker with an unrivaled venture team and the resources to drive our vision for distributed applications. It’s a testament to the community and ecosystem that have helped Docker reach this important milestone.”

“Docker has emerged as the de facto standard of how you will build, deploy, and orchestrate applications for the cloud. Its impact on the industry will be huge. Ben, Solomon and the rest of the Docker team are incredibly focused on building an enduring technology company, and I am so proud of all they have accomplished in such a short period of time.” – Jerry Chen, partner at Greylock Partners and Docker board member


  • Docker is an open platform which can be used to build, ship, and run distributed applications on various clouds. The use of a container allows the same app to run unchanged on laptops, servers, data center VMs or the cloud -- similar to the concept of shipping container for the transportation industry.
  • Kubernetes is a container cluster management tool developed by Google. It builds on top of Docker to construct a clustered container scheduling service.
  • In June 2014, Docker 1.0 was officially released, marking an important milestone for this open platform which can be used to build, ship, and run distributed applications on various clouds.  Docker enables applications to be quickly assembled from components and eliminates the friction between environments.  It consists of the Docker Engine, the de facto container standard, and Docker Hub, a new cloud-based service from Docker Inc., the start-up company behind the open source Docker project and chief sponsor of the Docker ecosystem.

Cloudyn Raises $4 Million for Cloud Mgt Tools

Cloudyn, a start-up based in San Francisco, raised $4 million for its tools for cloud monitoring and optimization.

Cloudyn's monitoring solution supports Amazon AWS, Google GCE and OpenStack. The company claims more than 2,400 customers worldwide, including F500 industry leaders in aerospace, infrastructure, consumer online travel services, IT management consulting, and manufacturing.

The funding round was led by Titanium Investments, with existing investors RDSeed also participating.


New Network Functions Virtualization Forum Gets Underway

The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) is launching a new Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Forum with a mission to develop use cases that identify emerging business opportunities, such as virtual network operator and service roaming.

The NFV Forum plans to build on solutions being developed by the ETSI NFV ISG specifications, OpenStack’s general purpose virtualization framework, the Linux Foundation’s Open Platform for NFV (core NFV functions), TM Forum Zoom’s program on management and operations, OpenDaylight’s open source SDN solution, and Open Networking Foundation’s OpenFlow.

“ATIS’ newest forum will provide the solutions that will take NFV from being an emerging technology to a true game changer in terms of enhancing the ability to integrate software across service providers in a uniform and automated way, and to scale application instances to meet the changing demand for services,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller.

The Forum’s inaugural event is a virtual meeting to be held September 25.


Orange Bids to Acquire Jazztel of Spain

Orange launched a public bid to acquire Jazztel, a network operator offering broadband and triple play services in Spain.  The offer of 13 euros per share in cash represents a premium of 34% compared to where the stock has been trading. The price of 100% of Jazztel’s capital amounts to 3.4 billion euros.

Orange said the acquisition would make it the second biggest fixed-line broadband operator and one of the most dynamic players in the mobile segment in Spain. Orange estimates synergies for the combined entity of up to 1.3 billion euros, in particular thanks to savings in operational expenditure and investments in networks.


Zayo Launches Tranzact Customer Platform

Zayo introduces a new portal that lets its customers get pricing, place orders, and view existing and pending services. Key features:

  • Shop and buy Bandwidth services in 2 minutes or less
  • Browse over 70,000 worldwide locations
  • Search by building, location type, data centers, and cloud providers
  • Simultaneously compare prices across multiple products, speeds, and locations
  • Access Zayo’s network using our advanced fiber mapping tool
  • Follow straightforward steps to add locations to quotes, even those not on Zayo’s network
  • View and manage existing services online
  • Access our mobile ready platform at your convenience


Monday, September 15, 2014

Brocade Acquires Vistapointe for Mobile Traffic Visibility/Analytics

Brocade has acquired Vistapointe, a start-up based in San Ramon, California with operations in Ireland and Bangalore, India, for its cloud-based and real-time network intelligence solutions for mobile operators. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Vistapointe specializes in data extraction, analysis and insight generation technologies that enable mobile operators gain visibility into their mobile networks. Vistapointe’s product portfolio leverages Network Functions Virtualization (NFV architecture), enabling it to run in the cloud. The Vistapointe solution enables Mobile and Het-Net operators to monetize the explosion of data traffic, save and optimize their cost-structure through better visibility and reduce subscriber churn through better QoE. The solution passively taps into the data, session and signaling layers of 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi networks non-intrusively, while complying with 3GPP, IETF & IEEE standard protocols.

Brocade said the acquisition helps it to address the emerging opportunities and requirements of mobile network operators, providing them with enhanced network visibility and analytics of subscriber data traffic.   These capabilities will be essential for MNOs rolling out 4G/LTE technology across the billions of mobile devices deployed worldwide, led primarily by data networking requirements. This also establishes a firm technology foundation for MNOs as they begin the migration path to 5G technology in the coming years. The expected revenue for data traffic over mobile handsets will exceed $358 billion (USD) by 2018, representing the single largest source of revenue for MNOs over the next six years, according to industry research firm Analysys Mason.

In addition to enhancing the Brocade NFV technology portfolio, the Vistapointe acquisition directly complements the existing Brocade MLX-based IP telemetry solution to provide MNOs with an end-to-end network intelligence solution, from the network packet broker to analytics applications. With this transaction, the Vistapointe technologies are being incorporated into a new Network Visibility and Analytics group reporting into Jason Nolet, Vice President of the Switching, Routing, and Analytics products group, Brocade.

"With the massive growth in connected devices and the dominance of data in mobile networks, network visibility and analytics will be more important than ever. And, as mobile operators continue the aggressive pace at which they intend to adopt software networking solutions, they will benefit from complementary, NFV-based analytics tools to improve subscriber quality of experience and security while also dramatically reducing costs," Nolet said. "The Vistapointe team has recognized the disruptive opportunity of leveraging NFV-based solutions for analytics, and we believe its technology is at the forefront of this space and perfectly aligned to the needs of mobile operators."

"The Vistapointe acquisition affirms our commitment to SDN and NFV as a means to disrupt the status quo of the networking industry," said Ken Cheng, CTO and Vice President of Corporate Development, Brocade. "We will continue to execute against a focused strategy that leverages M&A, strategic partnerships, open source communities, and organic innovation to deliver next-generation networking solutions that are open, virtual, and simple."

As part of the transaction, Vistapointe CEO, Ravi Medikonda, has joined Brocade as Vice President of the Network Visibility and Analytics product group. Furthermore, Brocade has hired the Vistapointe development team, and they will report into Medikonda as part of the new business unit.


  • Vistapointe was headed by Ravi Medikonda (CEO), who previously held leadership roles at Juniper Networks in its Product Management & Marketing groups. Before Juniper, he was Director of Product Management at Tellabs/Vivace Business Unit with P&L responsibility for the IP/MPLS products and successfully led Tellabs into the 3G/Wireless RAN backhaul market.

Huawei's FusionSphere 5.0 Builds on OpenStack

At its Cloud Congress this week in Shanghai, Huawei rolled out its FusionSphere 5.0 architecture for unifying compute, storage and networking in virtualized data centers. Key themes include scale-out performance, software-defined data center infrastructure and an increased focus on big data analytics.

At its foundation, Huawei's FusionSphere 5.0 leverages OpenStack to pursue an open model that it believes will be the basis for all IT.  In its plenary keynote, Huawei cited a number of new performance benchmarks for its cloud infrastructure:
  • Five-nines reliability thanks to redundancy and fault tolerance features
  • The ability to scale cloud storage resources into ultra-large pools reaching 20 peta-bytes (PB)
  • SDN controllers now able to scale to 100,000 network nodes through vSwitching
  • Huawei expects 100 billion devices, sensors, and network nodes online by 2025.
  • Huawei plans to invest US$1 billion in R&D to expand its professional services over next 3 years.
Looking beyond enterprises, Huawei is using the same principles for NFV and telco clouds.
Huawei also released its 2014 Global Connectivity Index (GCI), a barometer of ICT development in 25 nations. Germany came out in top place thanks to its broadband infrastructure and industrial automation progress.

(click to enlarge)

Huawei Picks SanDisk ULLtraDIMM SSD with 5 Microsecond Latency

Huawei Technologies will use SanDisk's new ULLtraDIMM SSD in its high-performance RH8100 V3 servers. Testing by Huawei demonstrated the ULLtraDIMM SSD achieved the industry’s lowest write latency at less than five microseconds and offered bandwidth that topped that of any other SSD solution. Adding flash-based storage to the DDR memory bus with direct connection to the processor allows Huawei to deliver a more powerful solution. Huawei will combine the ULLtraDIMM with its self-developed caching software in order to accelerate application performance with the lowest possible latency, while offering the scalability to handle bandwidth-intensive database and virtualization applications.

“The ULLtraDIMM SSD was designed to expand the reach of ultra-low latency flash storage throughout the data center and scale to meet the requirements of any enterprise application, no matter how bandwidth or capacity intensive,” said John Scaramuzzo, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise Storage Solutions at SanDisk. “We are very excited to partner with Huawei to offer this innovative, ultra-low latency storage solution, which will accelerate the performance of its customers’ cloud, virtualization, OLTP, HPC and other applications, and help them experience the benefits of a flash-transformed data center.”


Direct Send and Other New Services Covered by Wi-Fi Direct Certification

The Wi-Fi Alliance has expanded its "Wi-Fi Direct" certification program with optional features based on peer-to-peer connections.  Devices certified to support the new services can now “discover, connect and do” in a single step, and immediately implement interoperable services for several common tasks. Four services are now certified in the program:

  • Wi-Fi Direct Send - One or more devices quickly and easily can now send and receive content with minimal user interaction
  • Wi-Fi Direct Print - With a single command, print documents directly from a smartphone, tablet or PC
  • Wi-Fi Direct for DLNA - Devices supporting DLNA interoperability guidelines discover each other before connecting to stream content   
  • Miracast - Now, devices can implement the updated device and service discovery mechanisms of Wi-Fi Direct to enable screen mirroring and display in one step

 “Wi-Fi Direct already delivers device-to-device connectivity to billions of devices, and with these important additions in our certification program, we expect Wi-Fi Direct will become indispensable,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “We are pleased to bring these services to vendors and to foster developer innovation with the new toolkit.”

The first products to support the new service enhancements, and which comprise the test suite for interoperability certification, include:

  • Google Nexus 10
  • Marvell Avastar 88W8797 802.11 a/b/g/n Reference Design
  • Mediatek MT6592+6625 Phone
  • Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 800 based Linux Android System with XSPAN™ 802.11n Connectivity
  • Realtek 2x2 11a/b/g/n/ac MiniCard
  • Seiko Epson 100-120v, 100w, WFDS PWG Raster Print Service Reference Design


Ixia Returns to SEC Compliance, Bethany Mayer Comes Onboard

Ixia is now current in filing all required periodic financial reports with the SEC.  The company is welcoming Bethany Mayer as its new CEO.

Mayer brings over 25 years of technology experience to Ixia and joins the company from HP where she has held several key executive roles since 2010. Most recently, Mayer served as HP’s senior vice president and general manager of its Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) business and led the company’s NFV initiative. Previously, Mayer was senior vice president and general manager of the HP Networking Business unit, where under her leadership the business unit delivered 12 consecutive quarters of growth.

Ixia also reported second quarter 2014 revenue of $109.5 million, compared with $112.0 million reported for the 2013 second quarter and $113.7 million for the 2014 first quarter. The 2014 second quarter revenue includes $13.3 million in revenue from Net Optics, which was acquired in December 2013.


AT&T Launches Global SIM for M2M

AT&T Mobility will begin offering a Global SIM card that meets the GSMA specifications for multi-profile SIMs. This will help multi-national companies to connect, manage and support connected and M2M devices around the world.

Key features:

  • Global service management platform with advanced diagnostic tools, smart process automation, machine monitoring, and alert/response capabilities.
  • Global wireless M2M connectivity with access to hundreds of carriers worldwide.
  • Integrated compatibility with global networks.
  • Designed and built to the GSMA specification for remote provisioning.

“Our Global SIM enables the internet of things for companies that need to connect devices, machines, or cars with a single platform around the world,” said Chris Penrose, senior vice president, AT&T Emerging Devices. “We’re the first carrier to announce a global SIM designed to meet GSMA specifications, and we are leading the industry into the future of connected devices.”


Dimension Data Standardizes its Managed Services Globally

Dimension Data, the ICT solutions division of the NTT Group, is standardizing its Managed Services for Data Centres on a global basis.

Dimension Data manages server, storage and networks for on-premise, cloud and hybrid data centers using a state-of-the-art Managed Services Automation Platform.

The company said the launch of this suite of managed services is the next step in a set of strategic initiatives to expand the group’s capability to consistently support domestic and multinational clients’ data center transformation requirements.  The company aims to quadruple the size of its data center business to US$4 billion by 2018.

“We’re seeing a shift away from clients owning and managing their own data centre to outsourcing the entire infrastructure, or the
management of the environment. With Managed Services for Data Centres, clients maintain technology flexibility, while we automate
routine transactional and knowledge work across the network, server, and storage for on-premise and cloud environments," stated Steve Joubert, Dimension Data’s Group Executive for Data Centres.


BT's Statement on Upcoming Vote in Scotland

BT published an open letter regarding the upcoming independence referendum in Scotland.

The company reiterated its commitment to provide and invest in high-quality, affordable services to all customers in the UK. However, BT said a "yes" vote would raise several questions for its business:

  • How would a Scottish telecoms industry be regulated?
  • Would there be continuity with the current European Union regulatory framework, enabling BT to continue to operate across the border with common infrastructure under a single set of rules?
  • What approach would the government of an independent Scotland take to the radio spectrum - currently licensed on a UK-wide basis - without which mobile networks cannot operate? 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

AMS-IX Internet Exchange Hits Milestone of 3 Tbps Peak Traffic

AMS-IX (Amsterdam Internet Exchange) has broken the data transfer speed record of 3 Terabits per second (Tbps) for the first time on September 14th -- an all time record for The Netherlands. Last year in September, peak speed on AMS-IX was 2.4 Tbps.

“Breaking this barrier makes us really proud”, says Job Witteman, CEO at AMS-IX. “In the past year some great, international organisations for who the Internet is of vital importance, connected to AMS-IX. The data traffic that is being exchanged via AMS-IX, keeps on growing. In July 2010, when we reached the barrier of 1 Tbps, we never expected to reach the 3 Tbps barrier this fast. This proves that the continuous expansion of our network, the increase of existing connections, adding exchange locations to our network and improving technical support is profitable.”


New Spec Targets Low Cost 100G for Data Centers

An industry consortium released a detailed specification (revision 1.0) for low cost 100G interfaces targeting data center applications.

The CWDM4 architecture employs 4 lanes of 25 Gbps using Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing (CWDM) technology to transport 100G optical traffic across duplex single mode fiber (SMF). The specification is designed to take advantage of Forward Error Correction (FEC) on the host port, in accordance with IEEE 802.3bj KR4 RS FEC.  The consortium said its spec was developed through a broad review process, soliciting detailed feedback from a large group of industry experts from more than 40 companies that include system OEMs, optical component vendors, chip vendors, and fiber cabling

“The CWDM4 MSA has achieved a key milestone today in the push towards mass adoption of 100G interfaces in data center applications,” said Vladimir Kozlov, Founder and CEO of Lightcounting Market Research. “Achieving revision 1.0 allows the industry to move forward in developing a common, ubiquitous optics platform for next generation data center applications.”

The CWDM4 MSA consortium was formed earlier this year by Avago Technologies, Finisar, JDSU, Oclaro, and Sumitomo Electric. Over the past six months, the group has grown to include Brocade, ColorChip, Hitachi Metals, Juniper Networks, Kaiam, Mitsubishi Electric, Neophotonics, Oplink, Skorpios Technologies, and SiFotonics.


Ericsson to Acquire Fabrix for Cloud DVR

Ericsson agreed to acquire Fabrix Systems, a provider of cloud storage, computing and network delivery for cable and telecom cloud DVR deployments, for US$95 million.

Fabrix Systems, which has offices in Princeton, New Jersey and and Israel, developed a software-based, scale out, network attached storage (NAS) system that leverages the available processing resources on the cluster to also perform distributed computing. It features a "Shared Nothing" architecture and a Storage and Processing Grid that integrates media workflows and can ingest, store, process and stream massive amount of media.  The company has 103 employees and was founded in 2006.

Per Borgklint, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson says, "We are investing significantly across our TV platform and video-network areas to extend our market leadership position. Our Media Vision 2020 shows that traditional TV is shifting rapidly towards TV Anywhere and Ericsson's leadership in broadcast, video and networks places us in a unique position to enable the most demanding customers to define and deliver the future of TV. Fabrix Systems further positions Ericsson to help customers deliver on the Networked Society's global demand for personalized video content on any screen, at any time."


  • Fabrix Systems is headed by Mr. Ram Ben-Yakir, who was previously a cofounder of Elgix Ltd. Previously, he was Vice President of Engineering with Bandwiz Inc. where he was responsible for developing a Multicast VOD Server, and a video assets P2P distribution system.

Google Lures Start-ups to its Cloud

Google is launches an incentive program to lure early-stage start-ups to uses its cloud platform.

Google Cloud Platform for Startups offers $100,000 in Cloud Platform credit, 24/7 support and access to Google's technical solutions team.

The offer is open to start-ups globally who have received less than $5 million in venture funding and who less than $500K in revenue.

Google also announced that Audi is using its cloud to power the Audio Connected Car initiatives.


MTN Picks Huawei for Managed Services in African Markets

South Africa-base MTN  awarded a five-year managed services contract to Huawei covering the six countries in which the group operates globally, including Ghana, Cameroon, Guinea and Benin.  The contract encompasses a range of services such as managed network operations, network performance management and spare parts management.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

MTN has been a long-term partner of Huawei in managed services.  In the next five years, Huawei will continue to operate, optimize, transform and improve MTN’s operations and services with Huawei’s Managed Services Unified Platform (MSUP) and support from its global expertise in MAI (Measure, Analyze, Improve), to ensure greater efficiency and business value can be achieved at MTN.