Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Deutsche Telekom Appoints Chief Product & Innovation Officer

Deutsche Telekom appointed Christian von Reventlow as its new Chief Product & Innovation Officer (CPIO).  He succeeds Thomas Kiessling, who is leaving the company to join Securitas Direct. Von Reventlow was previously platform manager (SVP Core platform) at Nokia's map service and navigation system subsidiary in Chicago. Replacing Thomas Kiessling, he will also become a member of Deutsche Telekom’s extended board of management, the Executive Committee (ExCom).

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

#MWC15 Preview - @SAP and Unlocking the Value of Context

SAP's Rick Costanzo gives a 30-second preview to one of the big themes of the upcoming Mobile World Congress - how to unlock value from the massive quantity of data on today's networks. 
See SAP at Hall 6, booth 6A30 

Got an idea to share from #MWC15?  Let us know.  Converge! Network Digest will be filming short videos on NFV, VoLTE, VoWiFI, Small Cells, HetNets, Mobile Analytics and other key topics. For more information contact Jim Carroll,

Nokia Advances its Telco Cloud Portfolio and Debuts Radio Cloud

At the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia Networks will be expanding its telco cloud portfolio by launching its Nokia Cloud Security Director, and announcing the commercial availability of its Nokia Cloud Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and Nokia Cloud Network Director to orchestrate virtualized network functions like EPC and VoLTE. The expansion also includes fully virtualized Operations Support System (OSS) and Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions.

The company said implementing network functionality on standardized processing platforms in a data center will transform operators much like smartphones and apps have changed mobile communications.  New virtualized function can be added easily, enabling operators to benefit from state-of-the-art software capabilities immediately when they are released. The telco cloud model is also expected to bring new efficiencies.  Nokia estimates that implementing OSS and CEM in a shared data center means that up to 30% less hardware is needed, which translates into lower capital and energy costs.

The Nokia Cloud EPC, which is expected to begin shipping in Q2/2015, promises scalability and flexibility to cope with growing traffic demand as well as automation to optimize the use of network resources.

The Nokia Cloud Network Director, which is expected to begin shipping in Q3/2015,  is an ETSI NFV compliant orchestrator that will automatically deploy, configure, optimize and repair a set of virtualized network functions to simplify the deployment of services like VoLTE.

The Nokia Cloud Security Director, which will debut in Q4/2015,features multi-vendor capabilities that allow the operator’s security administrator to automatically deploy security policies and functions in cloud and hybrid networks.

Nokia’s virtualized OSS and CEM will be offered in several ways: as software only with the operator taking responsibility for infrastructure purchase; as software as a service (SaaS) hosted by Nokia Networks; or as a full system delivered by Nokia Networks, including software and infrastructure.

In addition, Nokia Networks is unveiling its architecture for highly scalable, flexible and efficient cloud-based radio access networks. The Nokia Radio Cloud enables baseband processing capacity is from almost anywhere in the network, such as an adjacent cell or a centralized data center, to where it is needed most for coordination and capacity. Nokia said this multi-layer approach supports distributed and centralized deployments, or a combination of both, using multiple fronthaul types, including Ethernet. This utilizes an operator’s existing radio access and transport asset more efficiently, avoiding incremental costs to build new infrastructure.

"This is the first radio cloud architecture that offers a layered approach with different deployment models to optimize performance by enabling basic capacity to be built near cell sites, and with peak capacity in the data center being redirected to follow traffic demand. Continuing the evolution from Nokia Single RAN and Nokia Centralized RAN, our Radio Cloud network architecture is a tremendous platform to prepare for upcoming  5G for core and radio," stated Henri Tervonen, Vice President, Mobile Broadband Architecture, Nokia Networks.

IBM Bets Big on Software-defined Storage

IBM plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years to develop next-generation technologies for software-defined storage. IBM intends to focus this investment on R&D of new cloud storage software, object storage and open standard technologies including OpenStack.

The IBM Spectrum Storage portfolio, which already incorporates more than 700 patents held by the company, will be directed toward helping enterprises transform to a hybrid cloud business model.  IBM will provide a single dashboard for managing massive amounts of data across any media from flash storage to tape and cloud for the lowest cost.  Already, IBM’s Spectrum Storage portfolio can centrally manage more than 300 different storage devices and yottabytes of data.

IBM will also further its efforts to extract intelligence from its traditional storage hardware products enabling clients to use it in any form – as-a-service, as an appliance, or, as software. IBM Spectrum Accelerate, which is the first software product that the company has based on the software from its XIV high-end storage appliance, enables clients to layer their infrastructure with intelligent features derived from XIV. These features include unique architecture with zero-tuning that can help clients dynamically add storage capacity in minutes versus the months it takes today to add, install and run storage hardware systems. The software can help provide business continuity upon disaster for all committed data, compared to the risk of losing 15 minutes of data or more with certain other competing storage software. Both speed and data protection are essential to clients in data-driven industries such as financial services, healthcare, retail and telecommunications as they seek to deploy new workloads on the hybrid cloud.

"A new approach is needed to help clients address the cost and complexity driven by tremendous data growth.  Traditional storage is inefficient in today’s world where the value of each piece of data is changing all the time,” said Tom Rosamilia, Senior Vice President, IBM Systems. “IBM is revolutionizing storage with our Spectrum Storage software that helps clients to more efficiently leverage their hardware investments to extract the full business value of data.”

Napatech Debuts 2x100 Gbps Packet Analyzer

Napatech introduced a 2x100 Gbps throughput network analysis solution on PCIe boards and aimed at network operators needed to understand their network traffic at the highest levels.

The Napatech 200G performance solution offer full, non-blocking packet capture and analysis with zero packet loss and low CPU load. To achieve 200 Gbps performance, Napatech combines two of its PCI-SIG® compliant NT100E3-1-PTP accelerators using a unique intelligent hardware interconnect .  The company said this approach ensures the efficient exchange of data and guaranteed performance even when monitoring 200G of traffic. The 200G solution is delivered as a pre-configured product. However, customers that have an earlier release of the NT100E3-1-PTP will be able to upgrade the firmware to take advantage of these features. Future upgrades include advanced de-duplication and slicing, additional filtering capabilities, broader protocol support, the ability to define flows and configure flow recognition based on any header information as well as full IP reassembly support.

Some highlights:

  • Capability to match the delivery capacity of the available PCIe Gen3 interface
  • Each 100G accelerator maps to a single NUMA node, ensuring local cache access to data
  • The Intelligent Hardware Interconnect ensures that data from either port can be directed to the correct NUMA node with full control and guaranteed performance
  • Ability to monitor downstream and upstream traffic in both SPAN and TAP environments
  • Available in 1G to 100G with the same intelligent processing capabilities accessed through a single common API provided by the Napatech Software Suite

“Addressing the data growth challenges are critical to understanding what services or apps subscribers are using, but moreover when and where they are using them. By analyzing this information in real time, operators and service providers can tailor their solutions and offer new services. As a major provider to network appliance manufacturers around the world, our R&D teams have a unique advantage over our competitors in developing solutions that help our customers stay ahead of the data growth curve," stated Henrik Brill Jensen, CEO, Napatech.

Boingo Picks Procera's Virtual PacketLogic/V for its S.M.A.R.T. Wi-Fi

Boingo Wireless has installed a virtual CPE solution from Procera Networks to shape network traffic and apply granular profiles that deliver multiple classes of service as part of its S.M.A.R.T Network offering, which was introduced in September 2014.

Boingo’s S.M.A.R.T network design – which stands for Secure, Multiplatform, Analytics-Driven, Responsive and Tiered – reimagines public Wi-Fi based on usage data that identified multiple classes of users with significantly different connection and usage profiles. For instance, in a typical venue, Boingo's S.M.A.R.T. Network will include three classes of services aimed at three unique user/application profiles: complimentary Wi-Fi, supported by advertising and sponsorship, provides up to 5 Mbps of speed for users with basic connectivity demands, such as e-mail and web browsing; a “Turbo Boost” premium tier of service, supporting speeds up to 10 Mbps, enables streaming media; and an "Enterprise Wi-Fi" tier with 20 Mbps speed for business users.

 Procera said its PacketLogic/V virtual customer premises equipment (CPE) client delivers the full suite of its PacketLogic solution. It bundles all of Procera’s rich insights and actions solutions into an easily deployable Virtual Network Function as a Service (VNFaaS). Procera’s Virtual Network Function Manager will be used to dynamically create PacketLogic/V instances as needed, delivering on the promise of service flexibility and elasticity that the ETSI NFV specifications require.

“Procera’s platform is a great fit for our NFV-driven architecture,” said Derek Peterson, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer of Boingo Wireless. “Their ability to deliver a fully virtualized PacketLogic solution enabled Boingo to achieve the ROI that we needed for our business model. We evaluated hardware-based solutions, but they did not meet our cost or deployment flexibility requirements.”

“NFV is a strategic technology for Procera, and Boingo is a perfect example of new business opportunities enabled by NFV,” said Mike Kay, Vice President of Business Development for Procera Networks. “Virtual CPE solutions can bring the power of Procera’s solutions to the edge of the network with substantial cost savings and deployment flexibility.”

  • Boingo Wireless currently spans more than a million DAS and Wi-Fi locations in places as varied as airports, stadiums, universities, and military bases. 

Procera Hits 150 Gbps Layer-7 Performance on Path to Bare Metal NFV

Procera Networks announced a big jump forward toward bare metal performance for NFV running on Intel-based platforms. Procera has now demonstrated its PacketLogic/V virtualized software solution running at over 150 Gbps on Intel Xeon Processor E5 v3 Family-based commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) platforms. Previously, Procera had reported performance tests of 40Gbps.

"These performance results are groundbreaking," said James Brear, President and CEO at Procera Networks, "PacketLogic/V has demonstrated the highest NFV performance in the industry to date with full Layer-7 Subscriber Experience Intelligence functionality enabled. Our customers can begin taking full advantage of NFV and virtualization in their networks today."

Procera said its NFV performance was achieved through participation in the Intel Network Builders program and was focused on demonstrating that high-performance NFV applications can be successfully deployed on Intel® architecture-based COTS platforms and utilizing the Data Plane Development Kit.

The new benchmark was achieved on an Intel Xeon processor E5 2600 v3 system and running PacketLogic/V software in a virtual machine with multiple 40Gbps Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapters with SR-IOV enabled. The PacketLogic/V software had comprehensive Subscriber Experience Intelligence functionality and congestion management rules enabled, simulating a real world deployment, and the traffic rate was increased into the VNF until packets were dropped. PacketLogic/V software performed at over 150Gbps for traffic below the average packet size seen on the Internet. The software version used in this test is generally available now.

Cloudera Exceeds $100 Million in Annual Revenue for Enterprise Hadoop

Cloudera, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, disclosed that its unaudited annual revenue surpassed $100 million for its recently completed fiscal year.  Recurring subscription software revenue growth accelerated year over year to approximately 100%. In addition, total enterprise subscription software customers(4) grew by more than 85% to approximately 525; approximately 250 new logo customers were added during the year.

Cloudera also said its partner ecosystem, the largest in the industry, expanded beyond 1,450 companies, including new or enhanced partnerships with EMC Isilon, Microsoft, Red Hat, SAP, TCS and Teradata.

“Accelerating growth in the Hadoop market and in our own business can be directly attributed to the introduction of the enterprise data hub, now representing more than 60% of new business for Cloudera,” said Mike Olson, the company's Chief Strategy Officer and Co-founder. “In fact, our customers adopting an EDH are renewing and expanding their use of Hadoop at a faster rate than ever as they see increased value from Big Data.”

Xilinx and BEEcube Deliver 5G Prototyping Platform

Xilinx and BEEcube have teamed up to deliver the world's first millimeter wave (mmWave) prototyping platform solution for 5G.

The solution consists of Xilinx's newest 256QAM 500MHz mmWave modem IP coupled with the BEEcube BEE7 baseband platform.  This provides a complete "out of the box" solution addressing the 60GHz backhaul market. The integrated BEEcube BEE7 baseband platform connects to two 60GHz wideband transceivers and phased-array antennas enhancing the performance by virtue of increased absolute frequency range and channel bandwidth. In addition, the highly configurable point-to-point 500MHz mmWave modem IP from Xilinx includes, among other features, adaptive modulation and bandwidth, high-performance LDPC FEC, adaptive DPD, I/Q imbalance correction, automatic frequency recovery, a hybrid decision-directed equalizer, and supports speeds up to 3.5Gbps in single polarization mode.

"5G will increase cellular network capacity by a factor of 1,000 and the use of mmWave frequencies is critical to address the growing need," said Dr. Bob Brodersen, Co-Founder Berkeley Wireless Research Center and Chairman of the Board at BEEcube. "Existing tools for prototyping at mmWave frequencies are very limited and do not offer good integration. With no competing offerings in this frequency range, the introduction of this mmWave prototyping solution fills a huge gap as companies race to prototype 5G systems."

Citrix Joins Microsoft Cloud Storage Partner Program

Citrix is an inaugural member of Microsoft's new Cloud Storage Partner Program.

Citrix ShareFile is a secure enterprise file sync and sharing service that meets the mobility and collaboration needs of people and the data security requirements of enterprises. ShareFile enables customers to mobilize data and provides a single point of secure access across platforms, including network shares, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft OneDrive for Business or any other enterprise content management system.

Citrix ShareFile will now be integrated with Microsoft Office Online.

Cisco to Offer Professional Engineer Certification for IP Collaboration Solutions

Cisco is expanding its collaboration certification program for engineers to include IP Voice and Digital Video collaboration solutions. The Collaboration Certification portfolio will now include an associate level and professional level, offering a complete career path for collaboration, voice and video network engineers who want to enhance their skills to embrace the new way of working.

Specifically, the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) Collaboration certifications address the convergence of voice, video, data and mobile applications in mid-sized to large networks utilizing the latest Cisco collaboration solutions.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Virgin Media UK Plans £3 billion Cable Network Expansion

Virgin Media (UK) unveiled  "Project Lightning" -- a plan to extend its fiber-rich cable network to approximately four million additional premises over the next five years. The expansion will increase's Virgin Media addressable market by almost a third; from around half of the country today to nearly 17 million premises by 2020.

Virgin Media, which is a subsidiary of Liberty Global plc, expects to invest an additional £3 billion in Project Lightning.  The project will be financed mainly through incremental borrowings.

Virgin Media offers broadband speeds of 152 Mbps.  It also features an advanced interactive television service, bringing together broadcast TV, thousands of hours of on demand programming and the best of the web in a single set-top box.

“Our next-generation fibre-rich networks reach 50 million households across Europe, enabling our customers to discover and experience the endless possibilities of the digital world. After a record operating performance, Project Lightning is a significant investment that demonstrates the confidence we have in Virgin Media and the UK as a place to do business,” stated Mike Fries, Liberty Global Chief Executive Officer.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I welcome this substantial investment from Virgin Media which is a vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan to support business and create jobs by building a superfast nation backed by world-class infrastructure. Together with this Government’s rollout of superfast broadband which has now reached more than two million UK homes and businesses, this additional private investment will create more opportunities for people and businesses, further boosting our digital economy and helping secure a brighter future for Britain.”

Liquid Telecom Raises $150M for African Fiber Network

Liquid Telecom, a telecom group operating long-haul fiber network in southern and eastern Africa, announced $150 million in new funding to expand its infrastructure. The new funding was structured by Standard Chartered.

Liquid Telecom, which is controlled by African telecoms company Econet Wireless, has already built 18,00 0km of fiber across 15 nations, including Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The network offers connectivity to the five main sub-sea cable systems – WACS, EASSy, SEACOM, SAT 3 and TEAMS.

AT&T Launches GigaPower across the Kansas City Area

AT&T launched its "GigaPower" all-fiber Internet network in in parts of Kansas City, Mo., parts of Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe, Overland Park, Kansas and in surrounding communities located throughout the metro area. The service boasts Internet access speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

Additionally, AT&T announced plans to expand the service to Independence, Mo. and Shawnee, Kansas.

“We’ve moved quickly to bring more competition to the Kansas City area for blazing-fast Internet speeds and best-in-class television service,” said John Sondag, president of AT&T Missouri. “But this is just our initial launch. We look forward to continuing to expand our AT&T GigaPower network in the Kansas City area where there are strong investment cases and receptive customers.”

With this announcement, the AT&T GigaPower network is now available across parts of the Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem markets. AT&T previously announced plans to deliver U-verse with AT&T GigaPower in parts of 11 additional markets – Atlanta; Charlotte and Greensboro, N.C.; Chicago; Cupertino, Calif.; Houston; Jacksonville, Fla.; Miami; Nashville, Tenn.; St. Louis and San Antonio.

Brocade Intros IP Storage Switch for EMC Connectrix

Expanding on its longstanding OEM relationship with EMC, Brocade announced an an IP storage switch EMC's Connectrix family of network switches.

The Connectrix VDX-6740B switch can be used to separate IP storage traffic from other data traffic, providing greater reliability and efficiency to legacy deployments where storage traffic and all other network traffic share the same network infrastructure. It provides connectivity for a broad array of EMC high-end and mid-range NAS and iSCSI storage platforms. It supports load-balanced, multi-pathing for optimal performance and efficiency, and features deep on-chip buffers.

"Legacy IP network designs were never intended for today's New IP applications, such as cloud, mobile, social and big data," said Jason Nolet, senior vice president, data center switching, routing and analytics products group, Brocade. "Through our extended partnership with EMC, customers can now realize the improved performance, resiliency and agility of a dedicated IP storage network for the growing mission critical nature of their IP storage-based applications."

Motorola Solutions Acquires Emergency CallWorks for NG9-1-1 Software

Motorola Solutions announced its acquisition of Emergency CallWorks, a privately-held developer of Next-Generation 9-1-1 (NG9-1-1) call-taking software for public safety. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Emergency CallWorks, which is based in Birmingham, Alabama, offers a helps police, fire and emergency medical teams better manage critical incidents by allowing more information to flow seamlessly from the public, through a 911 network and command center, to emergency personnel. The solution can be deployed either as an on-site implementation or as a remote hosted solution, making it scalable to even the smallest public safety agencies, which enables access to the latest technology at a predictable price point. Emergency CallWorks was founded in 2006.

“Smart public safety starts with accurately routing and addressing emergency calls from the community,” said Bob Schassler, executive vice president, Solutions and Services, Motorola Solutions. “Emergency CallWorks’ solution provides an advanced, next-generation version of 911 that will be capable of moving beyond voice-only calls by processing multimedia information into the call flow. Its browser-based workstation architecture eliminates proprietary 911 switching hardware, simplifies operations and provides cost-effective system implementation, allowing for remote monitoring, service and support, with continuous delivery of innovative new features.”

IBM and CenturyLink Open Innovation Center in Lousiana

As part of a 10-year agreement between IBM and CenturyLink, IBM will open and staff a new applications development innovation center in Monroe, Louisiana. The facility is expected to create 400 jobs for specialists in application development, application management and system integration.

The State of Louisiana will contribute $4.5 million in funding over 10 years to expand key higher education programs, including the computer science program at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, the cyber engineering program at Louisiana Tech, and the data analytics program at Grambling State University. In addition, the State will provide $12 million for construction of new office space for the use of IBM, which will become an anchor tenant of a privately developed mixed-use complex.

Huawei Appoints Three Non-Executive Directors to UK Board

Huawei has appointed Lord Browne of Madingley as independent non-executive chairman of its UK subsidiary. In addition, two other non-executive directors have been appointed to the board: Dame Helen Alexander, chairman of UBM plc and Sir Andrew Cahn, who served as chairman of Huawei UK’s Advisory Board from 2011 to 2014.

The independent non-executive directors will be responsible for reviewing the performance of Huawei in the UK, where 70 per cent of employees are recruited locally, and providing counsel to the UK Management Team, as well as the standard legal obligations of directors of a UK limited liability company.

  • Lord Browne of Madingley is known for his role as the chief executive of BP between 1995 and 2007. 

Qosmos Debuts Service Classifier Virtual Network Function (VNF)

Qosmos introduced an ETSI-compliant Virtual Network Function (VNF) or software appliance for use in physical, virtualized and in Software Defined Networking (SDN) architectures.

The Qosmos Classifier identifies and extracts traffic information in real time, identifying protocols, types of application, and extracting additional information in the form of metadata. The company said the VNF is especially well-suited to enable intelligent, dynamic service chaining for mobile Gi-LAN environments. Unlike multi-function, legacy traffic steering solutions (e.g. PCEF, TDF, switches, etc.) which allow only limited service chain combinations, the Qosmos Classifier is a dedicated software function with open SDN & NFV interfaces, which makes it easy to programmatically create any type of service combination.

Key technical capabilities:

  • IETF NSH/SCH tagging (upcoming standard), in addition to existing ToS/DSCP marking and vLAN tagging
  • Application and subscriber awareness
  • Application metadata to enrich traffic information in real time
  • OpenStack-compatible northbound interface for provisioning
  • Open interfaces with SDN & NFV environments (OpenFlow, SDN standards, IETF, SFC)
  • Carrier-grade high performance and availability
  • Support for legacy applications to ensure a smooth migration between existing and future architectures

Ericsson Intros 200W DC/DC Module for RF

Ericsson introduced a new 200W DC/DC converter module for radio-frequency power amplifier (RFPA) applications and supplying the voltage to power transistors that are used in new generation of integrated radio amplifiers that use semiconductor technologies such as Laterally Diffused Metal Oxide Semiconductor (LDMOS).

Ericsson said its new eighth-brick formant offers ultra-wide adjustable output voltage from 15 to 33V, which makes it possible to power a wide range of power transistors and also reducing voltages when the RF power amplifier has been into sleep mode, thereby decreasing power consumption. It delivers power up to 200W and an output current up to 6.67A.