Friday, December 12, 2014

Fujitsu Launches Supply Chain and Config Service

Fujitsu Network Communications is introducing a Supply Chain and Configuration Service to help network operators with the procurement, integration, testing and deployment of multivendor technology projects.

Fujitsu said its Supply Chain and Configuration Services can deliver turn up-ready systems and components to the installation site in less than a third of the typical implementation time, while reducing associated costs by up to 15 percent.

“The quality, predictability and savings offered by our Supply Chain and Configuration Services solution makes it very attractive to many technology companies,” said Barrie Hall, Senior Vice President, Fulfillment at Fujitsu Network Communications, Inc. “Our customers can count on us to deliver, on-time, preconfigured solutions with hardware and software customized to customer specifications. We stage all technology before shipping to the installation site so that the only thing left to do is un-crate and connect.”

Supply Chain and Configuration Services such as procurement; logistics management; integration, test and turn-up prior to field deployment; packaging and staging/warehousing can be provided individually or offered as an end-to-end solution.

http://us.fujitsu.com/telecom

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Blueprint: InfiniBand Moves from SuperComputing to Cloud

By: Dr. David Southwell, CVO, Obsidian Strategics

Some technology found inside modern supercomputers may prove to be surprisingly applicable to new data center architectures. To understand how, we must first look at the anatomy of contemporary supercomputers. Classics like the Cray vector supercomputers have long since given way to commodity silicon based designs - the vast majority of supercomputers today are huge clusters of servers lashed together with high-performance networks.  Built for massively parallel large-scale simulations, the application work load is distributed across the server nodes which coordinate via messages passed across their shared communications fabric.  The server nodes usually feature floating point heavy CPUs and GPU-based math accelerators and enjoy large main memories, but they are essentially just Linux servers.

InfiniBand is the Fast Interconnect Fabric for SuperComputing

 Most supercomputers attach their storage to the same communications fabric, as is used for inter-processor communication.  Storage must also be fast and parallel to facilitate large data set loading and also periodic checkpointing to save simulation state in case of a failure.  The interconnect is thus a unified fabric carrying management, compute and storage traffic over a single fiber connection to each node.

Reducing cost per node is a key consideration for most, and budget determines a supercomputer’s performance.  For this reason commodity, standards-based hardware components are preferred.  An open standard called InfiniBand (IB) has been the dominant cluster interconnect since its introduction, with specifications first published by an industry consortium that included Intel, IBM, HP and Microsoft in 1999.

IB is attractive due to features such as extreme scalability, low latency (sub microsecond end-to-end), high bandwidth (100GBits/s per port) and hardware offload, which includes a very powerful feature called RDMA (Remote Direct Memory Access).  RDMA allows data to flow “zero copy” from one application’s memory space to that residing on another server at wire speed, without the intervention of the OS, or even the CPU, allowing data movement to scale with memory speeds, not just CPU core speeds (which have stalled). More information on IB can be found here.

InfiniBand Takes on Data Center Scalability and East-West Traffic Challenges

What does InfiniBand have to do with data center design?  The components of good server farm design create a balance of compute, storage and network performance.  Many factors today reveal the shortcomings of the legacy 37-year old TCP/IP Ethernet:

  • Multiple virtual machines are consolidated onto single physical machines via virtualization, which has the effect of further multiplying the network performance requirements per socket and pushing towards supercomputer-class loading levels.  For instance, a TCP/IP stack running over 1Gb Ethernet could require up to 1GHz worth of CPU – overlay 20 such machines on a single node and even many-core CPUs are saturated by the OS before the application sees a single cycle.
  • Many-core processors use billions of transistors to tile tens to hundreds of CPU cores per chip, and server chips are trending strongly in this direction.  It is easy to see that the networking capability must be proportionately and radically scaled up to maintain architectural balance, or the cores will be forever waiting on network I/O.
  • Current data center work flow requirements, which tend to strongly emphasize East-West traffic, require new fabric topologies. Ethernet spanning tree limitations preclude efficient implementations such as “fat tree” featuring aggregated trunks between switches.
  • Rotating storage is being displaced by Solid State Disks (SSDs) – and not just in their early critical applications such as database indexing and metadata storage.  Legacy NAS interconnects that were able to hide behind tens of milliseconds of rotating disk latency are suddenly found to be hampering SSDs and their microsecond-range response times.  SSDs also deliver order of magnitude throughput increases, again stressing older interconnects.
  • Because they minimize network adapters, cables and switches, unified fabrics are highly desirable. They improve a host of system-level metrics such as capital costs, airflow, heat generation, management complexity and the number of channel interfaces per host.  Micro- and Blade-form-factor servers can ill-afford three separate interfaces per node.  Due to its lossy flow control and high latency, TCP/IP Ethernet is not a good match for high performance storage networks.

InfiniBand is in a unique position; it is able to take on all these challenges as well as smooth migration paths – for example, via IPoIB, InfiniBand can carry legacy IP traffic at great speed and while this does not immediately expose all of the protocol’s benefits, it provides a bridge to more efficient implementations that can be rolled out over time.  Furthermore—and contrary to popular misconception—InfiniBand is actually the most cost-effective protocol in terms of $/Gbits/s of any comparable standards-based interconnect technology, and dramatically so if deployed as a unified fabric.

Extending InfiniBand from Local Subnets to Global Distances

It’s true that InfiniBand has plenty of power and scale. It’s also true that an open standard supercomputer interconnect may hold the key to efficient future data center implementations. However, does InfiniBand have what it takes for production deployments?

In the past, InfiniBand implementations were limited to single subnet topologies and lacked security mechanisms such as link encryption. They could only manage very short links between racks by the standard’s precise lossless flow control scheme. However, today’s InfiniBand solutions enable the spaning of global distances over standard optical infrastructure, with strong link encryption and multi-subnet segmentation. Those who make use of the new IB stand to catch the bleeding edge of innovation that the supercomputer world continues to offer.

About the author

Dr. David Southwell co-founded Obsidian Research Corporation. Dr. Southwell was also a founding member of YottaYotta, Inc. in 2000 and served as its director of Hardware Development until 2004. Dr. Southwell worked at British Telecom's Research Laboratory at Martlesham Heath in the UK, participated in several other high technology start-ups, operated a design consultancy business, and taught Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Alberta. Dr. Southwell graduated with honors from the University of York, United Kingdom, in 1990 with a M.Eng. in Electronic Systems Engineering and a Ph.D in Electronics in 1993 and holds a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) designation. 

About Obsidian Strategics
Obsidian Strategics Inc. is a private Canadian corporation offering enterprise-class, commercial off the shelf (COTS) devices supporting the InfiniBand protocol used in Supercomputer and HPC environments. The Obsidian Longbow™ technology was first developed for use in mission-critical military and intelligence environments that imposed operational requirements new to InfiniBand. http://www.obsidianresearch.com/

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Cisco Connected Analytics Targets the Internet of Everything

Cisco unveiled its Connected Analytics strategy for the Internet of Everything, aiming to deliver near real-time information, predictions and trends based on network traffic.  The company is introducing software packages aligned with vertical industries.The portfolio, which builds on  Cisco's IOx platform,  includes:


  • Connected Analytics for Events: Uses insights from Wi-Fi and device usage reporting to provide immediate visibility. For example, it can be used to evaluate sports fan behavior. 
  • Connected Analytics for Retail: Correlates in-store video camera feeds and Wi-Fi data with existing operational data such as inventory. Retailers can track in-store patterns and use existing video technology to determine, for example, where shoppers are spending more time in the store and which shelves need restocking, information that can immediately be used to improve shoppers' experience and drive better store performance.
  • Connected Analytics for Service Providers: Provides intelligence based on patterns in networks, operations and customer data. End-to-end visibility helps service providers improve network planning and understand infrastructure investments in the context of service usage/adoption, and customer and competitive dynamics.
  • Connected Analytics for IT: Provides business intelligence and insights to help align IT capabilities such as data management and data governance with business objectives. For example, analytics can be applied to align implementation of new IT capabilities such as deploying collaboration technology in new branch offices or by understanding evolving security requirements in real time so organization can mitigate risk by improving cyber security.
  • Connected Analytics for Network Deployment: Analyzes the network for operational efficiencies, resolution of incidents and visibility into network deployment. It allows organizations to detect issues before they happen for proactive problem resolution and to make future strategic decisions on how to drive maximum network stability and performance at the lowest possible cost.
  • Connected Analytics for Mobility: Uses location analytics to analyze wireless networks and provide insights about Cisco Service Provider Wi-Fi solution customers. By learning about Wi-Fi use patterns and adoption, service providers can proactively plan Wi-Fi capacity, improve business operations and uncover potential new revenue opportunities such as how to tailor pricing plans based on customer usage.
  • Connected Analytics for Collaboration: Measures the adoption of collaboration technologies internally so a company can analyze Cisco Collaboration applications. For example, an organization can track how many employees are adopting the collaboration technology, how they are using it and what kind of ROI they are seeing from collaborative selling or how the technology is helping reduce travel costs.
  • Connected Analytics for Contact Center: Provides visibility across an organization's entire call center services to deliver actionable recommendations that help organizations understand their customers, provide better service, and improve customer satisfaction. For example, with this visibility, organizations can make adjustments to ensure that the right calls are routed to the right level of service in a timely manner. 

http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=1561096

Intel Unveils its IoT Platform

Intel introduced its end-to-end reference platform for the Internet of Things (IoT), including integrated hardware and software products based on the new platform and new relationships with an expanded ecosystem of system integrators.

"With this platform we are continuing to expand our IoT product family beyond silicon with enhancements to our pre-integrated solutions that make IoT more accessible to solution providers," said Doug Davis, vice president and general manager, Internet of Things Group, Intel. "IoT is a rapidly growing market but faces scalability hurdles. By simplifying the development process and making it easier to deploy new solutions that address market needs, we can help accelerate innovation."

Intel's IoT ecosystem includes Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton, Capgemini, Dell, HCL, NTT DATA, SAP, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., Wipro and others.

The Intel roadmap of integrated hardware and software products includes API management and service creation software, edge-to-cloud connectivity and analytics, intelligent gateways, and a full line of scalable IA processors. Security is fundamental to the roadmap with both dedicated security products and security features embedded into hardware and software products.

The new products from Intel include:

  • Wind River Edge Management System provides cloud connectivity to facilitate device configuration, file transfers, data capture and rules-based data analysis and response. This pre-integrated technology stack enables customers to quickly build industry-specific IoT solutions and integrate disparate enterprise IT systems, utilizing API management. The cloud-based middleware runs from the embedded device up through the cloud to reduce time to market and total cost of ownership.
  • The latest Intel IoT Gateway will integrate the Wind River Edge Management System via an available agent so gateways can be rapidly deployed, provisioned and managed throughout the life cycle of a system to reduce costs and time to market. In addition, the gateway includes performance improvements, support for lower cost memory options and a broader selection of available communication options. Intel IoT Gateways are currently available from seven ODMs with 13 more releasing systems in early 2015.
  • Intel is expanding its cloud analytics support for IoT Developer Kits to include the Intel IoT Gateway series, in addition to Intel Galileo boards and Intel Edison Modules. Cloud analytics enables IoT application developers to detect trends and anomalies in time series at big data scale.
  • McAfee, a part of Intel Security, announced Enhanced Security for Intel IoT Gateways in support of the Intel IoT Platform. 

http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom/blog/2014/12/09/intel-unifies-and-simplifies-connectivity-security-for-iot

Network Virtualization Outlook for 2015 - Cisco's Kelly Ahuja Responds

How will virtualization transform carrier networks in 2015?

Kelly Ahuja, SVP/GM of Cisco's Service Provider Mobility Business, gives us his one-minute perspective.




Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 Boosted for 450 Mbps Peak

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 processor will add support for LTE Category 9 Carrier Aggregation connectivity, enabling its integrated next generation LTE-Advanced modem to support download speeds of up to 450 Mbps over three 20MHz LTE carriers. This will bethe first Snapdragon processor to support Category 9 Carrier Aggregation.

The newly announced Category 9 support makes the Snapdragon 810 processor the first Qualcomm Technologies premium-tier processor to feature a fully-integrated 64-bit multicore CPU and LTE-Advanced multimode modem to support up to 3x20MHz Category 9 Carrier Aggregation, as well as aggregation across FDD and TDD carriers.

“Qualcomm Technologies continues to be a leader in the mobile industry with commercialization of the world’s leading modem technology, delivering fast and reliable cellular data connectivity solutions. This provides speedy application performance and feature richness across greater coverage areas enabled by LTE Category 9 connectivity,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.  “With powerful processors like the Snapdragon 810, we look forward to continuing to drive LTE innovation in the high tier to ensure exceptional user experiences as mobile broadband demand grows.”

https://www.qualcomm.com/news/releases/2014/12/11/qualcomm-expands-lte-capabilities-snapdragon-810-add-category-9-carrier

CenturyLink Acquires Cognilytics for Big Data Analytics

CenturyLink has acquired Cognilytics, a provider of advanced predictive analytics and Big Data solutions to mid-sized and large enterprises.

Cognilytics has developed advanced analytics solutions across multiple industries, including financial services, retail, consumer products, health care, oil and gas, manufacturing, high-tech and logistics. The company has expertise in implementing Big Data technologies such as Hadoop and SAP HANA.  Cognilytics is based in San Jose, California.

"We are excited to expand CenturyLink's IT Services, Big Data and predictive analytics capabilities through the addition of Cognilytics," said Glen F. Post, III, chief executive officer and president. "CenturyLink's network, IT services, cloud, managed and Big Data services, combined with Cognilytics' decision sciences and advanced predictive analytics, SAP HANA expertise and Big Data solutions, will enable businesses to accelerate their Big Data adoption and monetize their data assets."

Gary Gauba, who founded Cognilytics and is its chairman and chief executive officer, will become president of CenturyLink Cognilytics and report to Girish Varma, president, global IT services and new market development at CenturyLink.

http://www.centurylinktechnology.com/big-data
http://www.Cognilytics.com

Telenor Group Commits to Huawei for Radio Access Networks

Telenor Group has awarded a five-year contract to Huawei to supply radio access equipment and professional services. The Global Frame Agreement focuses on modernizing existing 2G and 3G networks and further offers Telenor’s subsidiaries 2G, 3G and 4G technologies through Huawei. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Huawei and Telenor have partnered in Radio Access Network technology since 2008.

"We are pleased that Huawei continues to invest and leverage their innovation in mobile technology with Telenor. LTE is a key area of focus for Telenor and with Huawei global experience in building and supplying radio access equipment and professional services, Telenor will continue to bring superior mobile broadband experiences to end users," said Hilde Tonne, EVP and Head of Group Industrial Development, Telenor Group.

http://www.huawei.com

Cloud Foundry Foundation Advances Platform-as-a-Service

A new Cloud Foundry Foundation has been established with the aim of promoting a global standard for open Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).  The effort will be managed as a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project and operate under a system of open governance created by a team of open source experts from founding Platinum Members EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Pivotal, SAP and VMware.

As an open source project, Cloud Foundry is being used in a variety of commercial deployments including Pivotal Cloud Foundry, IBM Bluemix, HP Helion and Canopy Cloud Fabric among others.

The Cloud Foundry Foundation is also implementing a new approach to open source development called Dojo. This offers developers a unique “fast track” for commit rights, which often take more than a year to gain in a major project.
Recent technical features and community contributions to the project include:


  • Docker support for Diego (early release available for testing)
  • Ability to FUSE devices in containers
  • Firehose: app logs and Cloud Foundry component metrics stream
  • Expanded build pack support for Go, PHP, Python and more
  • Internationalization and extensibility model for Cloud Foundry CLI
  • BOSH external Cloud Provider Interface (CPI)


Gold members of the Cloud Foundry Foundation include Accenture, ActiveState, BNY Mellon, Capgemini, CenturyLink, Ericsson, GE, Hortonworks, NTT, SAS, Swisscom, and Verizon. Silver members include Akamai, Alpine Data Labs, Altoros, Anchora, Anynines, AppDirect, AppDynamics, Azul Systems, Blue Box, Braintribe, Canonical, Canopy, CloudCredo, Docker, Fujitsu, jFrog, Mimacom, Mendix, MongoDB, Piston Cloud Computing, Produban, Redis Labs, Stark & Wayne, Telus and Toshiba Solutions.

http://www.cloudfoundry.org/

Nokia Security Center Opens in Berlin

Nokia inaugurated an advanced mobile broadband security complex that combines a research laboratory and demo center with conference facilities.

Nokia Security Center in Berlin provides a laboratory equipped with a fully-operational 4G/LTE test network. The facility provides a platform for cooperating with mobile network operators, partners, governments and academic institutes to develop and share security know-how and expertise in how to protect networks against increasing security threats.

“The Nokia Security Center is the vital next stage in our strategy to make mobile broadband security a key differentiator for our company. Nokia is designing all its products with security built-in and is continuously expanding its security portfolio with our own developments as well as with qualified partner products. Our solutions improve the security of our digital society,” stated Marc Rouanne, executive vice president, mobile broadband at Nokia Networks.

http://networks.nokia.com/

Ciena Hits Q4 Revenue of $591.0 million

Ciena reported revenue of $591.0 million for its fiscal fourth quarter of 2014, as compared to $583.4 million for the fourth quarter 2013. For fiscal year 2014, Ciena reported revenue of $2.3 billion, as compared to $2.1 billion for fiscal year 2013.

Ciena's GAAP net loss for the fiscal fourth quarter 2014 was $(30.7) million, or $(0.29) per diluted common share, which compares to a GAAP net loss of $(9.8) million, or $(0.09) per diluted common share, for the fiscal fourth quarter 2013.

“We delivered strong revenue growth and improved profitability in fiscal 2014 as we benefited from a more diversified customer base and the strong alignment of our solutions with the increasing on-demand needs of our customers,” said Gary B. Smith, president and CEO of Ciena. “As we continue to expand Ciena’s role and reach, we are well positioned to drive continued growth and increased profitability in 2015.”

http://www.ciena.com

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Blueprint: How NFV is Shifting Service Provider Culture

by Jack Barrett, Senior Director of Strategic Account Marketing, Juniper Networks

Gone are the days where mobile providers and telecommunications companies can rightfully be called “phone companies.”

As early as the end of last year, U.S. service providers for the first time saw data revenue outpace voice fees. Nokia Networks has posited that mobile subscribers will consume a full gigabyte of data daily, up from approximately 500 megabytes today.

This points to a larger trend at play – the business model and infrastructure at the center of the modern service provider’s data deluge are shifting dramatically.

Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) promise to render networks more agile and suitable for evolving subscriber needs. But this shift to virtualized, software-driven networks isn’t just about upgrading technology. It will also require a stark transformation in the business processes, worker skills and culture within telco organizations.

First, some context

Over the last few months, we’ve met with several of our major service-provider customers who have asked us to discuss our point of view on their journey to NFV and SDN.  As a result, we found four main organizational elements that SDN and NFV are forcing service providers to address:
  1. Business processes
  2. New software skills
  3. Roles and responsibilities
  4. Company Culture
The two acronyms SDN and NFV signal a breaking of the silos under which telco servics are traditionally employed. Additionally, the simplification, automation and analytics that accompany NFV and SDN achieve operational benefits by reducing the costs associated with manual and complex processes.

This means groups within telcos – be it the networking guys or the IT folks – that previously never had to collaborate are coming together in new ways as the organizational walls fall.

The Automation in SDN/NFV Requires Faster Business Processes

Simplification and automation is imperative to rapidly delivering the services that consumers and businesses alike need. That could include on-demand firewalls for a startup or tune-streaming services to music lovers that don’t count against data plans.

With NFV, teams can now quickly build and scale these types of new services using virtual functions.

With the introduction of NFV and SDN technologies, software automates complex operational process, and delivers networks functions previously delivered by dedicated or proprietary hardware.  This requires a new process model for controlling software-based objects, not boxes, and as such, service providers must learn to work with logical devices as well as physical devices.   These techniques, which were pioneered in the data center, are no longer restricted to the Web services model and the data center, but now extend to the service provider and global network.

It is important for service providers to understand how SDN and NFV will impact their business. Mapping out where SDN and NFV will most greatly affect their business is the first step to embracing the changes that they will bring. A deep dive into the technology will allow service providers to establish the processes needed, and enable them to support automation and software control.

The New Network Requires New Software Skills

Perhaps one of the most dramatic shifts service providers will face in the transition to NFV or SDN is the need for new software development skills. Network engineering is still a core competency of service providers, who must manage and maintain facilities and service level agreements (SLA) to carry the traffic. However, with services being delivered on programmable platforms, organizations require software skills and DevOps-ready staff.

DevOps brings an agile services delivery model to network services. Spanning code generation, planning, version control, automated testing and code checking, automated release and other functions, DevOps enables service providers to go from delivering services in months and years to delivering services in days and minutes. We see new roles emerging within the service provider:
  • IT generalists with responsibilities throughout the virtualization stack
  • SDN engineering for flow architecture design and management
  • Cloud orchestration, which involves third parties delivering brokerage and clearing-house capabilities
  • Partner and channel development to provide content delivery, XaaS and other cloud services as customer solutions

The New Network Changes Roles and Responsibilities

The result of virtualizing the underlying network and separating it from service delivery is the creation of a development platform for service delivery. Because the network now accommodates the use of software-development methodologies, service providers need to embrace concepts like agility and DevOps as the way to speedy service delivery.

This, therefore, extends the influence of traditional IT and CIO functions to the other more operational realms of the network.

This is not about collapsing the CIO and CTO into a single role. The actual organizational structure is less important in this environment, because regardless of how you slice it the same jobs have be done. The important point is enabling the process for collaboration and establishing accountability. The key organizational transitions we see are:
  • The CTO becomes more future-focused. The CTO must focus on developments like standards and new technologies that will impact how to best build new services, applications and functions for the customers.
  • The CIO becomes more operations-focused. Within most service providers now, the CTO has the lion’s share of operations responsibility, while the CIO is more focused on the enterprise as a whole. The CIO must take on more operations responsibilities. Already widely embraced within the Web services community, this will result from the use of DevOps as the mainstay of the service creation environment.
  • The CMO becomes more technical and feature-focused. The CMO will increasingly  work more closely with the CIO to enable the technical changes required to meet customer demand
  • Sales teams become more solution-focused (and less network-focused). The enterprise sales organization will need to sell customer-specific SDN and NFV-enabled packages across wire-line and wireless access networks, with a focus on end-to-end management and accountability of the service and application. These services will be built to individual preferences regardless of technology.

The New Network Transforms Company Culture

Through all of this, service providers will need to shift to a software-centric business culture that mimics Web-services, content and media companies.

The change in pace that SDN and NFV, not to mention customer requirements, will cultivate means that service providers will need to get comfortable with launching services in beta, testing “on the fly,” and acknowledge “fast-fail” as success, perhaps more often than not.

Externally, the transitions brought about by NFV and SDN will require cultural changes in terms of service delivery and customer interactions. This biggest shift from a customer-facing perspective will be for service providers to switch from primarily being a connectivity providers to solutions-oriented providers focused on a holistic customer experience.

Bridging the NFV/SDN Chasm From Hype to Reality

The idea that a telecommunications company will move from a hardware-centric company to an agile, software-driven organization is imminent. We are bridging the chasm from NFV/SDN “hype” to reality, while recognizing the unique requirements that telecommunications companies have.

So, while lessons from the IT world related to embracing agile and extending these concepts to operations provide a good vision, we understand it will be important to do so in the context of the telecommunications environment.

With that said, it is more important now than ever before for traditional service providers to embrace change. This cannot be overstated. Quick response to these technologies will allow service providers to embrace the telco transformation and provide the improved services that their customers demand.

About the Author 

Jack Barrett is Senior Director of Strategic Account Marketing, Juniper Networks. He has more than 25 years of experience in Telecommunications and Networking.

About Juniper Networks 

Juniper Networks delivers innovation across routing, switching and security. From the network core down to consumer devices, Juniper Networks' innovations in software, silicon and systems transform the experience and economics of networking. Additional information can be found at Juniper Networks.



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AT&T Adds Brocade, Ciena and Cisco to its Domain 2.0 List

AT&T confirmed the latest vendors to join its Domain 2.0 supplier list: Brocade, Ciena and Cisco.

Previously, AT&T has announced Alcatel-Lucent, Amdocs, Juniper Networks, Fujitsu Network Communications, Ericsson, Affirmed Networks, Tail-F Systems (acquired by Cisco, and Metaswitch Networks.  This brings the program to ten vendors.

“With Domain 2.0, we are seeking out agile and disruptive suppliers to help us innovate more quickly as we drive forward towards our next-generation network vision,” said Susan Johnson, senior vice president, AT&T Global Supply Chain.

http://about.att.com/story/att_adds_companies_to_its_20_domain_supplier_program.html

AT&T Rolls out VoLTE in First Markets

AT&T has launched VoLTE and HD Voice in select areas in the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. The carrier's first VoLTE rollouts occurred in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin earlier this year.

AT&T also noted that its VoLTE is network performing very well.

VoLTE includes the ability to simultaneously talk and surf the web at LTE speeds. VoLTE also allows for higher audio quality for calls through HD Voice.

http://about.att.com/newsroom/voice_over_lte_network_performance_strong_expansion_planned_for_2015.html



  • In November, Verizon and AT&T confirmed that they are working to establish VoLTE interoperability between their networks. The companies are working through a full set of requirements, beginning with extensive testing in lab environments and then moving to field trials.  This approach ensures customers will have a seamless experience making VoLTE HD Voice calls between networks and lays the foundation for interoperability of other Rich Communications Services (RCS) such as video calls, rich messaging, and more in the future.

VoLTE interoperability between Verizon and AT&T customers is expected in 2015.   

Avi Networks Unveils its Cloud Application Delivery Controller

Avi Networks, a start-up founded by key engineers behind Cisco's Nexus data center platforms, unveiled its hyperscale application delivery controller (ADC) for helping enterprise customers deliver for on-premise and cloud-based applications.

Instead of using fleets of hardware-based ADC appliances, Avi's Cloud Application Delivery Platform (CADP) and Hyperscale Distributed Resources Architecture (HYDRA) adopts the same approach taken by large cloud service providers, such as Amazon, Facebook and Google, in that it runs entirely in software on x86.  Compared to virtualized ADCs or load balancers, Avi's architecture separates the control plane from the data plane, bringing the cloud-scale to the application delivery platform. Avi is also bringing traffic analytics into its Layer 7 switching, enabling application flows to dynamically adapt to traffic conditions.

"In today’s mobile cloud era, the traditional appliance-centric, monolithic application delivery approach doesn’t work anymore,” said Umesh Mahajan, Founder and CEO of Avi Networks. “Inspired by the proven architectural approach pioneered by hyperscale cloud service providers, we developed the Avi Networks Cloud Application Delivery Platform to allow enterprise customers to accelerate their cloud journey, while maximizing their end-user application experience.”

Avi cited the following five virtues of its architecture:

  • Agility via programmability, self-service and an on-demand elastic scale.
  • Analytics and insights about every real-time and historic user-to-application transaction.
  • Adaptive to changes in user-demand or application scale, automatically.
  • Mobile-access optimization – from a performance, scale and security perspective.
  • Multi-cloud support for on-premise, private and public cloud deployments.
In addition, the company announced a $33 million funding round led by Greylock Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Menlo Ventures.

https://avinetworks.com/


  • Prior to co-founding Avi Networks in November 2012, Umesh Mahajan was VP/GM of Data Center Switching at Cisco, responsible for the Nexus 7000, MDS, NX-OS and DCNM families. Before that, he was Senior Director of Software Engineering at Andiamo, which was acquired by Cisco.  Avi's team also includes Murali Basavaiah (co-founder and Engineering Lead), who previously was VP Engineering at Cisco for NX-OS Software and Nexus 7000/MDS product; and Ranga Rajagopalan (Cheif Architect and CTO), who previously was Sr. Director of Engineering at Cisco and responsible for NX-OS systems/platform software for the Cisco Nexus 7000.

Accenture and Microsoft Launch Hybrid Cloud

Accenture and Microsoft officially introduced the Accenture Hybrid Cloud Solution for Microsoft Azure, aiming to bring new capabilities, economics and innovation to the enterprise infrastructure and applications.

“Our expanded relationship with Microsoft represents a game-changing proposition that addresses the biggest concerns and our clients face as they look to leverage the cloud,” said Pierre Nanterme, chairman and CEO, Accenture. “With new demands being placed on IT departments every day, enterprises need to smartly connect their infrastructure, software applications, data and operations capabilities in order to become agile, intelligent, digital businesses.”

“Enterprises around the globe are looking for the right platforms and partners to help them transform and thrive in a mobile-first, cloud-first world,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “The Microsoft cloud, combined with Accenture’s industry knowledge and implementation expertise, accelerates our customers’ cloud adoption and unlocks new benefits, including powerful new applications, data-driven insights and increased productivity.”

Key attributes:

  • The Microsoft cloud platform of Microsoft Azure providing enterprise performance, hyper-scale and hybrid capabilities connected to Windows Server with Hyper-V, System Center and Azure Pack running in customer data centers.
  • The Accenture Cloud Platform which supports multi-platform environments with self-service provisioning for any application. Its central dashboard controls cloud brokerage and management capabilities, and provides the enterprise-grade governance, reliability, security and operations enterprise clients expect.
  • An end-to-end spectrum of professional services to help clients define and execute against their cloud goals, based on Accenture’s specialized industry knowledge and proven business transformation experience — from strategy and transformation to migration, deployment and managed services.
  • Avanade’s deep bench of skilled professionals equipped with broad expertise in Microsoft technologies and a laser focus on unlocking business value in the enterprise.

http://www.accenture.com/us-en/Pages/service-hybrid-cloud-solution-microsoft.aspx

Cisco to Acquire Neohapsis for Security AdvisoryService

Cisco agreed to acquire Neohapsis, a privately-held provider of mobile and cloud security advisory services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Neohapsis provides risk management, compliance, cloud, application, mobile, and infrastructure security solutions to Fortune 500 customers. The company is based in Chicago.

The Neohapsis team will join the Cisco Security Services organization under the leadership of Senior Vice President and General Manager Bryan Palma. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal year 2015.

https://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-announces-intent-to-acquire-neohapsis
http://neohapsis.com/

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.

http://www.juniper.net

See also