Monday, December 15, 2014

Orange Builds Cloud for European Space Agency

Orange Business Services has been selected to deploy and manage a private cloud for the European Space Agency.

ESA operates from eight sites across Europe with 2,200 staff working in a wide range of roles including scientific, engineering, operations, industrial and administrative.

“Esacloud will allow our scientists to do rocket science rather than IT, and our business to jump ahead in time more than five years,” said Filippo Angelucci, ESA head of IT Department and CIO. “We put a high value in close partnership with suppliers in IT and since being selected in 2000, Orange Business Services has helped ESA innovate and be a pioneer in many areas, such as the first European converged MPLS IP VPN. Esacloud marks a new milestone in our joint path.”

Carrier Network Virtualization Outlook - Procera's Mike Kay Responds

Which elements of carrier networks should be virtualized first?

Michael Kay, VP of Business Development at Procera Networks, gives his one-minute take.


Carrier Network Virtualization Outlook - Cyan's Recep Ozdag Responds

Which elements of carrier networks should be virtualized first?

Recep Ozdag, Director of Marketing at Cyan, gives his one-minute take.


Carrier Network Virtualization Outlook - ConteXtream's Sharon Barkai Responds

Which elements of carrier networks should be virtualized first?

Sharon Barkai, Co-Founder of ConteXtream, gives his one-minute take.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Blueprint: 2015 Top Networking Predictions

by Martin Nuss, Vitesse Semiconductor

2015 should be a defining year in the communications industry, thanks in large part to our world’s growing connectedness – between people, and machines, and more and more “things.” Here’s a look at what I expect will dominate the networking industry focus in the coming year.

Ethernet will be everywhere – 2015 will be the year where Ethernet will conquer industrial IoT networks

We have seen it again and again, and it’s about to happen at least twice more: networking protocols that have been long entrenched in specific markets and applications are being replaced by Ethernet.

This first happened for the Enterprise Local Area Network in the late 1990s, and we have seen the same thing happening in Carrier networks starting around 2010, where Ethernet replaced SONET/SDH, PDH, Frame Relay, and ATM. This transition is well underway, and another one just started:  the transition of the many legacy Industrial-IoT protocols like PROFINET, ControlNet, Fieldbus, HART and Ethernet/IP to standards-based Ethernet. Why is this all happening? The answer is simply that the industry has evolved the Ethernet standards and protocols over time to address most, if not all, the of special requirements of the industrial market like high availability, quality-of-service, and network synchronization.

In 2015, we will see the Ethernet standards tackle the last hurdle:  making Ethernet deterministic, so that a packet can be guaranteed to be delivered and accepted by mission-critical devices within a specific time window. This will be accomplished as part of the IEEE 802.1tsn (time sensitive networking) effort, after which Ethernet switches know exactly the time in the network, and can deliver packets out of queues at a certain time or within a certain time. This new Ethernet technology will be relevant not only to factory automation and industrial control systems, but also transportation in general and mission-critical systems like antilock brakes and advanced driver assist and collision avoidance systems in automobiles. The automotive market will thus be the next convert to Ethernet.

By 2020, the number of Ethernet connections in automobiles will exceed all other Ethernet-connected devices in the world

All major automotive companies are driving the replacement of the many legacy and semi-proprietary protocols used within cars by Ethernet to drive economies of scale for the IC supply chain, and to accommodate the ever increasing connectivity and bandwidth challenges in the connected car. It started with infotainment systems and backup cameras being connected by Ethernet, but soon, much more critical systems like diagnostics, advanced driver assist (collision avoidance) systems, and even the main system bus in the car will be Ethernet-networked.

By 2020, more than 120 million cars will be equipped with Ethernet connectivity, with the premium segment connecting up to 35 systems with Ethernet, and in mid-range vehicles, between 8-20 systems. All in all, that translates to somewhere between 500-600 million ports, more than all the Ethernet LAN ports combined today. This is all enabled by new 2-wire Ethernet PHYs developed as part of the IEEE 802.3 100Base-T1 and 1000Base-T1 standards developments, as well as the IEEE 802.1tsn “Deterministic Ethernet” standardization.

In the near-term, all the Software-Defined-Networking (SDN) attention will cut into switch and router sales

Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) have captured the attention and imagination of the networking world, and eventually will revolutionize networks of the future. In the near-term, however, they are putting a damper on switch and router sales as network operators and large enterprises figure out what SDN and NFV mean to them, what the business opportunities are, and how to migrate their networks to a more software- and IT-centric model. For wide-area operators in particular, SDN is a tough value proposition. Although the flexibility of a software-defined network can reduce operational and perhaps even capital costs, most of the equipment in the network is “free” since it is already there, and won't be fully depreciated until years from now. The key to SDN’s success is therefore to figure out how to allow the existing network to participate in the new IT-centric operational model with more centralized control planes and network-wide orchestration. Once that is clear, switch and router sales will pick up again.

Management and network orchestration hold the key to the SDN/NFV network revolution

Although Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are often mentioned in the same context, they are actually different beasts. But what is common to both is an IT-centric view of the network, as opposed to the traditional operational network model. The benefit of the IT-centric model is that network and compute resources can be abstracted from the underlying network and server infrastructure, and “orchestrated” together to deliver services to customers – in minutes and hours as opposed to months.

We predict that the biggest opportunity and revolution will be on this management and orchestration side, and to a lesser degree, on the networking and compute infrastructure side. This will be a dramatic and painful transition, as network operators have to assess skill sets and organizational structures and figure out how to migrate their networks to this new model. Once they do, the revolution can take place.

Security will be the key for Internet of Things (IoT) to succeed

Not a week goes by without a new security breach reported in the press. These threats are not isolated to consumers and credit card and identity thefts, but increasingly are also targeted at Industrial IoT networks. The biggest economic benefits are being realized only when more and more systems are connected to each other and to the cloud, but security becomes a central concern now. No single security scheme can solve all potential vulnerabilities, so it is important to secure applications, networks, and devices. The three As – Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting – apply to all of the above, and are commonplace now for the applications layer, combined with data confidentiality (encryption). But the same principles are enforced less for the network and device/link layer. The link/device layer may be particularly vulnerable since outside of physically secured locations, small cells could be swapped out for rogue devices that can get access to the entire network. Luckily, link layer AAA and encryption technologies like IEEE 802.1AE MACsec are now available even with strong 256-bit AES encryption technologies to secure those last links.

About the Author

Martin Nuss is Vice President, Technology and Strategy and Chief Technical Officer at Vitesse Semiconductor. Dr. Nuss has over 25 years of technical and management experience and is a recognized industry expert in Ethernet technology including timing and synchronization for public and private communications networks. Dr. Nuss serves on the board of directors for the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and IEEE member. He holds a doctorate in applied physics from the Technical University in Munich, Germany.

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Arista's Enhanced OS Supports 3rd Party Functions

Arista Networks announced an enhanced version of its EOS (Extensible Operating System) that allows customers to take advantage of pre-built and custom EOS applications as well as integration with a wide range of technology partner solutions from A10 Networks, Ansible, Aruba, Cloudera, Nuage, Palo Alto Networks, Puppet Labs, Pure Storage, Red Hat, Splunk, VMTurbo, VMware and Zscaler.

The company said its EOS+ allows for rapid deployment using DevOps models and integration with the network as a whole, for reduced operational costs and deployment timeframes. The idea is to allow compute, storage and application teams to integrate with the network, leveraging the Linux and programmatic foundations of EOS. Provisioning, monitoring and dynamic reconfiguration based on application workloads can now be integrated with the network in a programmatic fashion.

Key attributes:

  • EOS SDK – a development framework that allows native access to all levels of EOS for custom development and integration with forwarding and routing stacks that leverage advanced features such as MPLS.
  • vEOS - a virtual machine instance of EOS that includes the same control plane and management plane as the physical switches.
  • EOS Applications – Pre-built integration with technology partners and DevOps systems such as Puppet and Splunk for provisioning and monitoring.
  • EOS Consulting Services – Professional services for development of customized solutions for network automation.

“As part of our work to connect billions of people around the world, we are building a network infrastructure that is more flexible, more scalable, and more efficient than almost anything else out there,” said Najam Ahmad, Vice President of Infrastructure at Facebook. “Arista EOS has proven to be a valuable component of our current designs, providing us with a series of useful features, including better control-plane and data-path programmability, the ability to write traffic steering and monitoring applications that integrate with Sysdb and the entire EOS stack running on our Arista devices, and an SDK framework is fairly easy to develop and test our code in. All this allows us to have more visibility in and greater control over our network — and that helps us continue to move fast as we scale.”

Arista also introduced the EOS SDK for developing applications that integrate directly with the switch operating system. This approach can be used for customizing IP routing, protecting against DDoS attacks through selective workflow-based filtering and analyzing data for fine-grained visibility.

Dell Adds Midokura as Network Virtualization Overlay Option for OpenStack

Dell has added Midokura to its Open Networking initiative to include Midokura.  The deal includes a joint go-to-market program, validated reference architecture and global reseller agreement.

Midokura’s Enterprise MidoNet software will now be available on Dell infrastructure, delivering a network virtualization overlay for OpenStack that helps enterprise customers and service providers create an agile cloud networking infrastructure based on open technologies.

MidoNet is a software-based, highly-distributed network virtualization system that allows service providers and enterprises to build, run and manage virtual networks with increased control and flexibility. Leveraging industry standards and existing infrastructure, MidoNet provides network agility and scalability while helping reduce costs.

Dell said MidoNet fits well with its existing partnership with Cumulus Networks for its Linux operating system. The Dell, Cumulus Networks and Midokura solution enables a growing number of service providers and enterprise customers to provision scalable virtual networks to connect to physical workloads in a matter of minutes. Midokura MidoNet leverages Dell switches to facilitate network traffic flows from virtual machines to non-virtualized, physical workloads such as high-performance databases, email servers and legacy systems at line rate.

What this shows is that we’re actively connecting the dots with like-minded companies to upend the traditional, black-box model of networking,” said Tom Burns, vice president and general manager, Dell Networking. “That old model is too rigid, too locked and too slow to innovate. Dell’s Open Networking initiative is about being open, flexible and software-defined to help maximize our customers’ application environments.”

“Midokura, like Dell, is committed to expanding the Open Networking initiative to meet the needs of today’s modern enterprises and help deliver an open foundation for compute, storage and networking infrastructure,” said Dan Mihai Dumitriu, CEO and co-founder, Midokura. “We’ve already successfully teamed up with Dell to bridge virtual and physical networks and we look forward to deepening our collaboration to create an open, converged infrastructure for enterprises to support clouds that are easy to scale and operate.”

In November, Midokura announced a move to an open source model for its MidoNet network virtualization solution designed for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) clouds.

MidoNet is a highly distributed, de-centralized, multi-layer software-defined virtual network solution for the OpenStack Community. It replaces default OVS plugin from OpenStack deployments and offers a much more scalable and efficient networking solution for highly virtualized and cloud environments. MidoNet also provides L2-L4 services that are distributed at the network edge.

All of the code behind MidoNet is now available under the Apache 2.0 license, letting anyone in the popular and rapidly growing OpenStack community use, distribute and build on the technology, as well as submit back to the project. Midokura said it is committed to building a non-vendor driven community around the project and has dedicated resources to building and supporting a community of MidoNet users, including new staffing, a website and community infrastructure.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Qwilt Launches NFV-based Caching and Acceleration for Mobile Video

Qwilt, a provider of online video delivery and analytics solutions, introduced a new software defined networking (SDN)-based open caching and acceleration suite designed to address the unique challenges of over-the-top (OTT) video delivery for mobile service providers.

Qwilt Mobile Video Fabric enables dynamic caching of unmanaged and managed streams of video content on mobile networks. The company said its open caching solution, which can be deployed either at a centralized (Gi/SGi) level or distributed (eNodeB) level, will extract the most value and capacity from existing mobile network infrastructure by improving network effective capacity by up to 35 percent.

The Qwilt Mobile Video Fabric reduces network latency, improves throughput and addresses complicated mobile video RAN and backhaul challenges such as packet loss and congestion. Key attributes:

  • Caching efficiency. Based on open caching technology that has been proven in networks worldwide, the Qwilt Mobile Video Fabric now extends Qwilt’s expertise to benefit mobile networks, a necessity in light of proliferation of long-form, professionally produced content such as Netflix and Amazon in mobile networks.
  • TCP acceleration. Tuned specifically for radio network conditions, the Qwilt Mobile Video Fabric optimizes TCP for accurate and timely mobile video delivery.
  • Any video format. Qwilt’s QB-Series Video Fabric Controller software is built to cache both video-on-demand (VOD) and live video content on mobile networks.
  • High performance software. Qwilt’s high performance software can run in a network function virtualization (NFV) environment on any platform as an open cache virtualized network function (VNF) or on dedicated COTS hardware platforms, providing a flexible solution for mobile video caching that can be deployed in various network locations based on operator requirements.

“Mobile network operators (MNOs) now face a strategic challenge as a result of the surge and demand for streaming video. Their networks require an open caching solution designed from the ground up for video,” said Alon Maor, Qwilt CEO.

“Our proven solution delivers substantial bandwidth capacity benefits each day to network operators worldwide. We’re pleased to announce the Qwilt Mobile Video Fabric, an open caching solution tailored for mobile video that MNOs can deploy to improve mobile network capacity while saving significantly as they scale their networks. Most importantly, caching mobile content closer to consumers also delivers improved QoE—a win-win for both operators and consumers alike.”

Lockheed Martin Opens MUOS Radio Terminal Development Center

Lockheed Martin announced the opening of a new radio terminal development and certification facility for the U.S. Navy's Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) communications satellite network.

MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed to significantly improve beyond-line-of-sight communications for U.S. forces on the move. MUOS will provide military users 10 times more communications capacity over the existing system by leveraging 3G mobile communications technology, and will provide simultaneous voice and data capability. Lockheed Martin, which the prime contractor and integrator for MUOS, said the satellite-based, smart-phone cell network will enable IP-based terminals to transmit and receive clear voice calls and data from almost anywhere in the world.

Lockheed Martin has now opened the $6.5 million Test Radio Access Facility (TRAF) at its Sunnyvale, California campus. More than 55,000 currently fielded terminals can be upgraded to the MUOS Wideband Code Division Multiple Access waveform.

"Lockheed Martin's goal with the TRAF is to help terminal developers and application integrators get MUOS' capabilities deployed to the warfighter as quickly as possible," said Glenn Ladue, MUOS TRAF manager. "Providing a high fidelity, end-to-end test environment during development will dramatically shorten the time it takes to get from a good idea to operational utility."

The company also noted that two satellites, MUOS-1 and MUOS-2, and three of four required ground stations, already are operational. MUOS-3 has been shipped to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida for its January launch while MUOS-4 is on track to launch later in 2015. The final MUOS ground station also is expected to be operational in early 2015.

  • A single MUOS satellite will provide four times the capacity of the entire legacy UFO constellation of 10 satellites. The satellites also include a hosted legacy UHF payload that will be fully compatible with the current UFO system and legacy terminals.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Hortonworks Soars in IPO

Shares in Hortonworks, which offers enterprise Apache Hadoop solutions, soared on Friday from an IPO price of $16.00 to close at $26.48 - up 65% for the first day.  The share are traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “HDP.”

Hortonworks raised approximately $100 million through the IPO.  The company is based in Palo Alto, California.

  • Hortonworks develops, distributes and supports a 100% open source Apache Hadoop data platform that deeply integrates with existing IT investments and upon which enterprises can build and deploy Hadoop-based applications. The company has deep relationships with the key strategic data center partners, including Microsoft, SAP, Teradata, HP and others.

Windstream Swaps CEO

Windstream announced the departure of its current president and CEO, Jeff Gardner, and his replacement by Tony Thomas as president, CEO and a director of the company.

“I am proud to have led Windstream from its creation in 2006. It has been a privilege to work with our Board, leadership team and talented associates across the organization,” said Jeff Gardner. “The Board and I agree that a change in perspective is needed in order to accelerate the pace of change within the company and to more effectively respond to the rapidly evolving needs of our customers.

Tony Thomas, 43, previously served as the chief financial officer for Windstream from August 2009 through September 2014. He was instrumental in the development of Windstream’s REIT spinoff and has served as president of real estate investment trust operations at Windstream since October 2014.

  • In late November, Windstream announced layoffs affecting about 350 people in its workforce of 13,000.
  • For Q3 2014, Windstream reported revenue of $1.46 billion, a decline of 2.9 percent from the same period a year ago.

Chile's Entel tets 700 MHz LTE with Ericsson

Entel, Chile's leading telecommunications operator, in testing the APT700 (Asia-Pacific Telecommunity 700MHz) spectrum in collaboration with Ericsson.

The trial was conducted by enabling 10 test sites with equipment using APT700 MHz frequency band on Entel's live 4G LTE network in Rancagua city, which is located 85 km south of Santiago de Chile.  The operator is expected to proceed with commercial deployment in 2015.

Antonio B├╝chi, CEO, Entel, said: "The APT700 band has the ability to provide excellent in-building coverage as well as wide area coverage in suburban and rural areas. We expect, once we have the release by the government, to deploy our nationwide network. Our customers will benefit from an LTE mobile broadband service featuring a combination of high speed, improved throughput and low latency, all of which combine to provide an enhanced user experience."

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.