Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Juniper: Mobile Users in Developing Countries More Satisfied

Mobile users in developing nations tend to more satisfied with their service despite lower bandwidth than people in developed countries, according to a new Global Bandwidth Index Report from Juniper Networks. The report explores differences between how people use mobile Internet connectivity in their day-to-day lives at work and at home and what they hope to achieve using their connected devices in the future.

Some highlights:

  • Nearly twice as many people in developing countries regularly use connected devices for educational purposes as those in developed markets. 
  • 46 percent of respondents in developing countries use connected devices for professional development versus 27 percent in developed markets.
  • 97 percent of people in emerging markets reported fundamental life changes due to connectivity, including a transformation in the way they complete a wide range of essential and everyday tasks, from banking to accessing local information, enjoying entertainment, receiving health care and engaging in civic life.
  • 22 percent of consumers in developed markets who report that connectivity has not had a significant effect on their lives.
  • 40 percent of respondents in emerging markets report that connectivity has improved their earning power, compared with just 17 percent in developed markets.
  • 60 percent of consumers in emerging markets believe that connectivity has transformed their social lives, compared with 38 percent in the developed countries.
  • 60 percent of consumers in emerging markets cited connection speed as the most common problem (compared with 27 percent in developed countries).
  • 30 percent of people in emerging markets stated that simply finding a connection remains an issue (compared to just 13 percent in developed nations).

“Despite these connectivity challenges, the Global Bandwidth Index data shows that consumers in emerging markets are still significantly more satisfied with their networks than their counterparts in developed countries. The transformative impact of connectivity on peoples’ lives in the developing world is much stronger than the feeling that networks should be faster and more reliable. Meanwhile, in developed countries, high bandwidth connectivity is so commonplace that people are much more sensitive to interruptions in service,” Mike Marcellin, senior vice president, strategy and marketing, Juniper Networks.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

2014 Top Blueprint articles on Network Architecture

Converge! Network Digest publishes articles from across the industry in our ongoing Blueprint Network Architecture series.  These articles provide insights on how new infrastructure is being deployed, how new technologies are changing the network, and how the big traffic trends are transforming the market.

We are pleased to announce the following Top Blueprint articles for 2014, based on overall impact to network architecture and interest from our readers.

Blueprint: Distributed and Virtualized Data Center Architecture

by Vinay Rathore, Sr. Director Solutions Marketing, Infinera 
While there has been a strong trend toward creating bigger and more powerful centralized data centers to meet end user needs, there has been another less notable trend toward pushing the data center closer to the end users for the same reasons.  Large data centers create efficiency through a centralized location that accommodates equipment that shares centralized resources (UPS, generators,...

Blueprint: The Rise of the Virtualized Network

By Sanjeev Mervana, Sr Director, Service Provider business, Cisco

As consumer’s bandwidth demands and quality experience expectations are increasing, service providers’ operational expenditures (OpEx) also are growing at an average rate of 11 percent each year. To address the needs of end-users and provide new, more lucrative services, operators are increasingly looking at adopting several new technology innovations  to reduce their OpEx and improve their bottom line – virtualizing many of their network functions is one of such innovation.     READ MORE

Blueprint: The Ethernet of Things

By Nicholas Ilyadis
VP & CTO, Infrastructure & Networking Group,  Broadcom Corporation

It’s hard to avoid the buzz these days about the Internet of Things (IoT), the next evolution of computing where the connections are made, not just between PCs and servers or across mobile devices but to billions of devices across the Internet.   But all those devices – and more – generate and consume data that has to go somewhere. The networking industry is responding to this coming data deluge with innovations that are intended to move data quickly, efficiently and reliably.  READ MORE

For 2015, we will be expanding our Blueprint series with more columns on more topics including 5G, Open Compute, OpenDayLight, OpenStack, IoT, VoLTE and software-defined everything.

If you have an idea for a Blueprint article, please see our editorial guidelines. 

Microsoft Activates Azure Government Cloud

Microsoft announced general availability of its Azure Government cloud service.

Key attributes include:

  • Isolation – All aspects of Microsoft Azure Government’s hyperscale infrastructure, including the data center, hardware, network and software, are isolated to meet the unique compliance standards of the U.S. public sector. This isolation covers all physical, logical and network components of the service.
  • Community – Azure Government is restricted to only a targeted set of government agencies and their solution providers, including federal, state, local, tribal and the Department of Defense.
  • Security – Data centers are secured using physical, logical and procedural controls. Important controls include secured access control to the data center, second person screened escorts, aisle cameras, and secured cabling. All security controls are audited and logged.
  • Screened personnel – Operations and support are performed by personnel who are United States persons, who have been background screened. These personnel are based in redundant Service Operating Centers (SOCs), which are greater than 500 miles apart.
  • Continental United States – All customer data, content, and organizational data (both at rest and in transit); all hardware, networking and other physical infrastructure; and all personnel reside in the Continental United States (CONUS).
  • Business continuity - Data centers are physically isolated from other cloud services and geographically distributed more than 500 miles apart. This enables geo-replication and integrity between locations that supports business continuity and disaster recovery.
  • East Coast region – Azure Government has an East Coast region in order to be in close proximity to customers and to, provide efficient high speed connections to Washington D.C. and surrounding areas.

Microsoft first announced its Azure Government cloud in March 2014 and since then over one hundred government customers and solution providers have been testing it.

ADVA Adds Fiber Access Link Monitoring

ADVA Optical Networking introduced its new FSP 3000 Access Link Monitoring (ALM) solution for providing greater insights into carrier fiber access networks.

The ADVA FSP 3000 ALM, which is currently in trials with several major operators, is a small, non-intrusive device that operates independently of data networking equipment and regardless of the bitrate and protocol the overlaying service is using. It provides visibility into the health of fiber links by analyzing reflections of a non-intrusive test signal in continuous real-time. It can simultaneously monitor up to 16 fiber access tails and supports distances of 30km.

ADVA said its solution is able to provide operators with up-to-the-second knowledge of their fiber plant and an understanding of where and what action may need to be taken to ensure continued service availability.

“Access networks are undergoing a radical transformation. Fiber is moving closer and closer to the end user,” said Christoph Glingener, CTO, ADVA Optical Networking. “But with this transformation comes the need for insight, for intelligence combined with cost-efficiency. As operators rapidly build their fiber access networks, they need to ensure they’re able to fully leverage their potential. Until now, applications that did not allow for active demarcation devices defaulted back to un-lit service models. Our ADVA FSP 3000 ALM solution with Optojack™ technology changes everything. This deceptively simple concept will forever change how operators sell their access applications. For the first time, they will be able to precisely monitor every aspect of their un-lit fiber access networks. For the first time, they will be able to offer strict SLAs. We’re talking about a new class of service offerings, a new source of revenue opportunity.”

Commercial availability is expected in early 2015.

IBM Gains Low-cost Cloud Routing Patent

IBM was awarded U.S. Patent #8,676,981 B2 "Routing Service Requests Based on Lowest Actual Cost within a Federated Virtual Service Cloud."  The company said the technique described by this patent uses analytics to increase cloud computing performance and reduce costs by dynamically moving workloads -- between or within cloud centers -- based on an automatic analysis that determines the most efficient and effective use of available resources.

IBM's patented invention automatically pools cloud computing resources from disparate cloud centers, enabling clients to improve performance and save money by reducing the amount of manual intervention needed to allocate hardware, software and services. The automated technique enables users have more control over where and how their cloud workloads are run and facilitates optimal use of a cloud infrastructure.

"Cloud delivery models are evolving and maturing and are creating new possibilities for end-users and third-party service providers to lower costs for IT deployments as they enter new markets and create new solutions," said Leonard Hand, IBM Master Inventor and lead inventor on the patent. "Our patented invention will give users more control over their cloud deployments so that they can extract the most value from their IT resources at the most optimal cost."

GlobeNet Deploys Infinera on US Terrestrial Network

GlobeNet, a wholesale provider of Latin and North America data network services, has deployed Infinera's DTN-X packet optical transport networking platform across its North America routes in the Northeast and South Florida.

GlobeNet's submarine cable network spans 23,500 km system and offers the lowest latency available between the Americas. The network links cable landing stations in Tuckerton, NJ and Boca Raton, FL, USA, with cable landing stations in Fortaleza (CE) and Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Brazil, St. David’s, Bermuda, Barranquilla, Colombia as well as Maiquetía, Venezuela.

GlobeNet has deployed an Infinera Intelligent Transport Network across its entire U.S. terrestrial backhaul network. The Infinera DTN-X offers GlobeNet the capacity to deliver 100 Gbps coherent transmission today via 500 Gbps super-channels, with a forward-scale design to support terabit super-channels in the future.

Infinera said this upgrade provides GlobeNet a network that can deliver over eight terabits per second (Tbps) of transmission capacity on a single fiber.

"GlobeNet's selection of an Infinera Intelligent Transport Network for its North America backbone underscores the value of our solutions to wholesale carriers operating mission critical networks," said Scott Chandler, Infinera vice president, North America sales. “The Infinera Intelligent Transport Network enables GlobeNet to automate, converge and simplify its optical transport network to reliably deliver advanced services to its customers.”

Nutanix Adds Data-at-Rest Encryption

Nutanix, which offers a converged appliance that combines compute/storage/networking for scale-out applications, announced a number of new security capabilities for its Virtual Computing Platform, including data-at-rest encryption.

The new security capabilities are available with Nutanix Operating System (NOS) 4.1 software, and help IT security teams meet stringent standards like HIPAA, PCI DSS and SOX. Nutanix hardware platforms now meet a number of certification standards including FIPS 140-2, NSA Suite B support (to Top Secret), Common Criteria EAL2+, NIST-SP800-131A and others.

Security features available in this release include:

  • Self-encrypting drives to secure data at rest, compliant with FIPS 140-2 Level 2 standards
  • Strong two-factor authentication, including the use of client certificates, to prevent unauthorized administrator log-ins
  • Nutanix Cluster Shield to limit administrator access in security-conscious environments by restricting shell logins.

“Security is required across the entire data center architecture, including server and storage systems. Unfortunately, legacy infrastructure components often lack the necessary controls and fail to meet common certification requirements,” said Simon Mijolovic, Senior Security Solutions Architect at Nutanix.

  • In August, Nutanix, a start-up based in San Jose, California, announced a $140 million Series E funding round at over a $2 billion valuation.

China Unicom Deploys Coriant hiT 7300 DWDM

China Unicom, a leading fixed and mobile service provider in China, has selected Coriant's hiT 7300 Multi-Haul Transport Platform to expand its 100G backbone network.  The deployment will link the cities of Wuhan, Hefei and Nanjing.

"We're constantly working to accelerate the expansion of our mobile communications network across China, while providing our customers with high-quality broadband communications and information services," said Mr. Guangquan Wang, Director of Network Technology, Network Technology Research Institute, China Unicom. "For this network expansion, we chose the Coriant hiT 7300 solution because it enables us to support an upgrade without interrupting existing traffic. It also provides us with the flexibility to add capacity as network demands increase."

"Our team has been working with China Unicom since 2006 and we're excited to enhance this network with a solution that enables virtually unlimited capacity growth and seamless scalability," said Pat DiPietro, Chief Executive Officer, Coriant. "Our Coriant hiT 7300 solution allows China Unicom to expand to 100G channels over existing 40G links without service disruptions."

Broadcom Raises Q4 Guidance, Announces Stock Buyback

Broadcom raised its financial guidance for the fourth quarter of 2014, increased its dividend and announced a stock buyback plan for 2015.

The company now expects its Q4 2014 revenue to approximately $2.075 — $2.150 billion, which is in the upper half of its previously guided range. Broadcom's quarterly dividend will increase by $0.02 per share, to $0.14 per share or $0.56 on an annual basis, a 17% year-over-year increase, beginning with the dividend that will be declared in the first quarter of 2015. In addition, the company announced a $1 billion share buyback authorization in 2015.

3M and Orange Bring Cloud and 3D Printing to Dental Care

3M is launching a 3D digital scanner service for the dental market using Orange Business Services' secure cloud platform in Europe.

3M and Orange Business Services designed an advanced solution that uses an intra-oral digital camera to capture highly accurate digital scans.  The data is securely transmitted to production centers where prosthetic and orthodontic works or moldings are produced via 3D printers. The service enables better patient care, saves time and maximizes the comfort offered to dentists, orthodontists, dental technicians and patients.

This platform also requires the storage and sharing of patient data. With the Orange Flexible Computing Healthcare solution, 3M implemented a solution complying with the legal requirements of the French Ministry of Health. The French legislation, one of the most stringent in Europe, requires that the data be hosted by an organization approved by the Ministry of Health.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Nokia Demos 4.1 Gbps over TDD-FDD LTE

Nokia Networks showcased a record-breaking speed of 4.1 Gbps over TDD-FDD LTE in collaboration with Ooredoo Qatar and China Mobile at the ITU Telecom World 2014 event in Doha.

The speed was achieved by combining TDD- and FDD-LTE spectrums and aggregating 10 carriers with 200 MHz bandwidth. The demo used:
  • Nokia Networks’ commercial Single RAN Advanced hardware
  • including the Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station for high-capacity throughput
  • Software to aggregate carriers on both TDD- and FDD-LTE spectrum
  • LTE-Advanced Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology.

Waleed Al Sayed, Chief Operating Officer, Ooredoo Qatar, said: “We are building the biggest, fastest network in Qatar, so that customers across the country can access next-generation wireless data services. We are very proud that the first-ever ITU Telecom World to be held in Qatar should showcase this record-breaking success with the support of Ooredoo. By deploying our  advanced LTE network in Qatar, we are truly laying the foundation for the future.”

  • In June 2014, Nokia and SK Telecom have tested the aggregation of ten 20 MHz spectrum bands to achieve a record LTE throughput speed of 3.78 Gbps.  The test used Nokia’s Single RAN solution including the high-capacity Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station, enhanced with software to aggregate carriers on both TDD and FDD LTE spectrum and to implement LTE-Advanced Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology.  The companies noted that their record performance demo utilized twice the amount of carriers and bandwidth specified by 3GPP, which foresees the aggregation of 5 carriers up to a total bandwidth of 100 MHz. Moves Ahead, the new broadband standard designed to deliver access speeds of up to 1Gbps over existing telephone wires gained final approval last week from the ITU. aims to deliver fiber-like speeds over existing copper at distances of up 400m from a distribution point. It maintains coexistence with xDSL and operates at higher frequencies than VDSL2 (start frequency: 2.2, 8.5, 17.664 or 30 MHz).

Service rate performance targets from the ITU:

  • 500-1000 Mbps for FTTB deployments at less than 100m, straight loops
  • 500 Mbps at 100m
  • 200 Mbps at 200m
  • 150 Mbps at 250m
  • Aggregate service rates of equal to or more than 500 Mbps with start frequency of 23 MHz and VHF and DAB bands notches.

The approval of the physical-layer protocol aspects of – defined by Recommendation ITU-T G.9701 “Fast Access to Subscriber Terminals (FAST) - Physical layer specification” – follows the approval in April this year of ITU-T G.9700, a companion text specifying methods to ensure that equipment will not interfere with broadcast services such as FM radio.

ITU-T Study Group 15 has initiated work on an extended set of features for, targeting performance enhancements which will include additions to its range of low-power states. These features are likely to be available for incorporation into service providers’ deployments as early as 3 July 2015.

Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “The time from’s approval to its implementation looks set to be the fastest of any access technology in recent memory. A range of vendors has begun shipping silicon and equipment, and service providers’ lab and field trials are well underway.”

The Broadband Forum has begun developing a test suite and certification programme for systems. The test suite will provide for interoperability, functional and performance testing. A beta-trial of the certification programme is planned for mid-2015, and certified implementations are expected to appear on the market before the end of 2015.

"Consumers should have confidence that the leading broadband service providers globally are working hard to deliver 1Gbps, ultra broadband access," said Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum. "The new standard makes it possible for telcos to deploy 4K UHD services faster and more affordably than they could with Fiber to the Home (FTTH)."

"The hot new product this holiday season and beyond is 4K UHD TVs," said Gary Shapiro, CEA President and CEO. "But consumers need confidence that 4K UHD TV online content distribution services, which are often limited by bandwidth rates, are feasible. offers a promising way to overcome this challenge."

"Besides supporting high-end services such as multi-stream 4K UHD TV, in urban areas already with good penetration of fixed copper telephone lines, has the added benefit of bringing self-installed broadband access to existing homes cheaper and with less disruption than bringing fiber into the home," said Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

Sckipio Raises $17 Million for Silicon

Sckipio Technologies, a start-up based in Israel, has raised US$17 million in a Series B round for its modem chipsets and software.

Sckipio's solution includes chipsets bundled with software for a variety of access and mobile backhaul applications based on the ITU G.9700 and G.9701 standards, to which Sckipio is a leading contributor.

The new funding was led by Pitango Venture Capital and combined with follow-on investment from the original Series A investors; Gemini Israel Ventures, Genesis Partners, Amiti Ventures and Aviv Ventures. This Series B round follows an initial investment of $10 million in the company.

“The market for is about to explode,” said Eitan Bek, General Partner, Pitango Venture Capital. “But what makes Sckipio a special opportunity is its combination of a world-class team, incredible technology and deep expertise in the market.”

“Sckipio intends to extend our leadership in,” said David Baum, Sckipio CEO. “The additional investment will help us move even faster, enhance our product offering more quickly, and provide working capital to scale production to meet the high demand for our solutions.”


CenturyLink Acquires DataGardens for Cloud Disaster Recovery

CenturyLink has acquired DataGardens, a provider of Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), for an undisclosed sum.

DataGardens takes a cloud approach to mirror physical or virtual machine data. Its flagship software suite, SafeHaven, provides cloud-based disaster recovery by creating an offsite virtual data center in locations such as CenturyLink Cloud. Customers can define recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives, and quickly failover and failback with minimal disruption to mission-critical systems. In addition, SafeHaven delivers point-and-click test failover and failback functions that simplify disaster recover testing without affecting production data. DataGardens is based in Alberta, Canada.

CenturyLink said the DataGardens technology platform is ideal for small to midsize business (SMB) customers or enterprise departments that cannot tolerate unexpected downtime, but have traditionally seen disaster recovery as too expensive or complicated to set up.

CenturyLink to Provide Cybersecurity to US Govt Agencies

CenturyLink was awarded a task order from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Cybersecurity and Communications to provide Intrusion Prevention Security Services, known as EINSTEIN 3 Accelerated (E3A) protections, to U.S. federal civilian agencies. The one-year task order was issued under a four-year indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for EINSTEIN cybersecurity services that was previously awarded to CenturyLink in March 2013. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CenturyLink said the EINSTEIN program provides advanced email filtering and web Domain Name System spoofing protections, as well as signature-based intrusion detection, prevention and mitigation services to participating federal agencies under the guidance and oversight of DHS.

"CenturyLink is proud to be selected to continue providing EINSTEIN cybersecurity protections to federal agencies," said Lisa Bruch, CenturyLink Government acting senior vice president and general manager. "We're excited to support DHS's mission to provide federal agencies with advanced managed cybersecurity capabilities that offer additional protections to mitigate growing and evolving threats. The ability to share valuable cyber intelligence and information with an expanding list of federal agencies." 

Mitsui & Co. Invests in Pica8 for Open SDN

Pica 8, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California with R&D in Beijing, China, has added Mitsui & Co. Global Investment to its previously announced Series B funding round.

Pica 8 leverages commodity bare metal switches for its Open-vSwitch (OVS) SDN solution aimed at high-end data centers. PicOS provides extensive support for traditional switching and routing protocols.  Pica8 can provide PicOS, switching hardware or both in a fully integrated package as part of an end-to-end data center SDN solution.

“When network administrators think that programming a Cisco Catalyst switch with Python is SDN, SDN is in trouble,” said Steve Garrison, vice president of marketing at Pica8. “When Cisco says ACI is SDN even though it’s a closed architecture, SDN is in trouble. Pica8 believes that we have come too far along the path toward SDN to declare it the exclusive property of heavyweights like Cisco and Juniper.”

Vitesse Integrates Carrier Ethernet Services with Open Source SDN Controllers

Vitesse Semiconductor announced availability of an open, full duplex machine-programmable application programming interface (API) – JSON/RPC – for its CEServices software. This is an essential tool for enabling open-source SDN controllers to program all essential functions in an automated, programmatic model.

The company said the new capabilities introduced by the JSON/RPC machine-to-machine (M2M) protocol will enable its CEServices software stack to eclipse the rudimentary forwarding behavior of low-level APIs like OpenFlow, and extends SDN controller programming capabilities to:

  • End-to-end service creation
  • Operations, Administration and Maintenance (OAM)
  • Quality of Service (QoS)

“Vitesse’s turnkey CEServices software and Serval Carrier Ethernet switch engine have already been integrated into the popular OpenDaylight controller, and is in customer SDN/NFV trials with large service providers,” said Uday Mudoi, vice president of product marketing at Vitesse. “We recognize the criticality of service agility in global networks and are committed to helping define open and standardized APIs as part of the MEF Third Network Initiative.”

  • 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.

Cox Launches its First Gigabit Home Service in SoCal

Cox Communications has launched its first 1 gigabit residential Internet service at the new Park Place Apartment Homes in Irvine, California.

Cox is the first in Southern California with residential Internet service.

Earlier this year, Cox Communications announced that it would bring 1 gigabit speeds to residential customers in all of its markets by the end of 2016. The company has been deploying gigabit speeds to businesses for more than 10 years, and launched gigabit speeds to residential customers in Phoenix in October.

“Cox already offers the fastest residential Internet in Orange County, and with the launch at Park Place Apartment Homes, we’re the first provider in Southern California to offer 1 gigabit speeds to residential customers,” said Dave Bialis, Senior Vice President and Region Manager for Cox Communications in California. “As technology continues to advance and change how consumers use broadband, Cox will be well positioned to serve our customers in the future.”

T-Mobile to Raise Funds from New Share Offering

T-Mobile US is commencing a registered public offering of 17,391,305 shares of its Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock, Series A, with a liquidation preference of $50 per share.

The company said it will use the funds for capital investments and acquisition of additional spectrum unrelated to spectrum it may obtain in the Federal Communications Commission’s pending AWS-3 spectrum auction.

Ireland's ESBT Deploys Coriant for 100G

ESoB Telecoms Ltd (ESBT) has deployed Coriant's hiT 7300 Multi-Haul Transport solution to enable 100G services for wholesale and enterprise customers across Ireland.

Coriant said the new ESBT network will also utilize the robust capabilities of the Coriant TransNet Planning Tool while being managed by Coriant's well-proven TNMS Management System. With these tools, ESBT can automate workflow and commissioning tasks while accelerating deployment of new services it plans to bring to market.