Thursday, April 2, 2015

ONOS Blackbird Focuses on SDN Control Plane Performance and Scale

A new version of the Open Network Operating System (ONOS), named Blackbird, has been released (the first version of ONOS was out in December 2014).

ONOS features a highly available, scalable SDN control plane featuring northbound and southbound open APIs and paradigms for a diversity of management, control, and service applications across mission critical networks. It is architected as a distributed but logically centralized control plane to achieve high performance, scale-out and high availability. ONOS' high availability characteristics include full recovery from events such as switch and link failure, node failure, entire ONOS cluster failure, single node cluster failure, cluster partitioning and device-node communication failure.

The ONOS Blackbird release defines the following set of metrics to effectively measure performance and other carrier-grade attributes of the SDN control plane.

Performance Metrics
Topology – link change latency
Topology – switch change latency
Flow operations throughput
Intent (Northbound) install latency
Intent (Northbound) withdraw latency
Intent (Northbound) reroute latency
Intent (Northbound) throughput

Scalability
Ability to scale control plane by adding capacity

High Availability
Uninterrupted operation in the wake of failures, maintenance and upgrades

ONOS aims to achieve extremely high target numbers of 1,000,000 flow operations per second and less than 100 ms (and ideally under 10 ms) latency. Most of ONOS Blackbird release's measurements meet these targets; the ones that do not will continue to be optimized in the coming releases and in conjunction with use case and deployment requirements.

The Blackbird release also addresses the challenge of effectively determining "the carrier-grade quotient" of the SDN control plane. Metrics currently used to measure performance, including simplistic ones such as "Cbench," do not provide a complete or accurate view of the SDN control plane capabilities thereby highlighting the need for a more indicative set of measurements.

"Achieving the high availability required to deliver network resilience at the necessary scale without compromising performance as you add controller instances has been an elusive goal for open source SDN solutions and a barrier to adoption—until now," said Guru Parulkar, Executive Director for ON.Lab.  0"Architected as a distributed system, ONOS is the first open source SDN solution to achieve linear scale-out while maintaining high performance and availability. As the size of your network grows, ONOS instances can be added to scale the SDN control plane, and seamlessly deliver the needed throughput. This ability not only breaks down barriers to real-world deployment but also future-proofs your network."

A comprehensive explanation of these metrics and Blackbird performance assessment using these metrics is published on the ONOS wiki at http://bit.ly/1GhIr3X

http://onosproject.org/


Video: Guru Parulkar on the Strategic Vision of ONOS

The strategic vision of ONOS is simple - to build a scalable, high-available, high-performance network operating system for Service Provider networks, says Guru Parulkar, Executive Director of ON.Lab. Here he gives an update of how this open community effort fits in with the ambition of network operators.

See video:  https://youtu.be/ilKSkCK91U8

 

Video: Evolving Transport Networks for Clouds

TeliaSonera International Carrier is already seeing a major impact from cloud traffic, says Mattias Fridström Vice President, Technology.  Much of it is driven by the enormous flows between the mega data centers of the big cloud providers.

Topics in this interview include:

1:04 - Does traffic from cloud services tend to be aggregated in big hubs?
1:44 - Has the market for 100G transport developed as expected?
2:39 - Who is buying 100G interfaces today?
3:13 - Do you provide wavelength or dark fiber as well?
4:03 - Hot trends at #OFC2015

See video:  https://youtu.be/lGfowCF6gvI

FCC to Consider Spectrum Sharing in 3.5 GHz Band

The FCC upcoming open meeting on April 17 will consider ways to leverage spectrum sharing technologies to make 150 megahertz of contiguous spectrum available in the 3550-3700 MHz band for wireless broadband and other uses, as part of a Citizens Broadband Radio Service.

http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-announces-tentative-agenda-april-open-meeting-2

Dell'Oro: Strong Dollar to Have Big Impact on Telecom CAPEX

Telecom operators around the world invested heavily in their fiber and LTE networks during 2014 resulting in a fourth consecutive year of Capex growth as advancements in mobile related spending offset declining wireline investments. However, the strength of the dollar could wipe out $20 billion in telecom Capex in 2015, according to a newly published Carrier Economics report by Dell’Oro Group.

“We have not made any major changes to our constant currency Capex projections for 2015 and continue to expect the market will grow at a low-single-digit pace in 2015 driven primarily by China and Europe,” said Stefan Pongratz, Dell’Oro Group Carrier Analyst. “But in U.S. Dollar terms, assuming rates remain at current levels, the strengthening U.S. Dollar will unequivocally impact Telecom Capex, and we have revised our 2015 Capex in U.S. Dollar terms downward rather significantly to adjust for currency fluctuations,” continued Pongratz.

http://www.DellOro.com

Telstra to Sell IBM's SoftLayer Infrastructure-as-a-Service

Telstra will sell IBM's SoftLayer Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform from IBM. Under the agreement, Telstra customers will have access to SoftLayer’s highly secure and agile cloud infrastructure.

IBM recently opened new data centres in Melbourne and Sydney.

“Telstra customers will be able to access IBM’s hourly and monthly compute services on the SoftLayer platform, a network of virtual data centres and global points-of-presence (PoPs), all of which are increasingly important as enterprises look to run their applications on the cloud. SoftLayer is a platform that lets businesses quickly migrate, build, test, and deploy their applications and innovations,” said Erez Yarkoni, Telstra’s Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of Cloud.

http://www.telstra.com.au/aboutus/media/media-releases/ibm-and-telstra-join-forces-to-offer-softlayer-cloud-platform.xml

CyrusOne Buys New Data Center in Austin

CyrusOne will purchase an additional powered shell in Austin’s Met Center, creating what is expected to be its largest facility in Austin at 172,000 total square feet of shell and offering 120,000 colocation square feet (CSF), with up to 12 megawatts of power, and over 25,000 square feet of class A office space at full build.

CyrusOne’s new Austin III data center will use the company's "Massively Modular" design engineering approach to optimize materials sourcing and enable delivery of industry-leading energy optimization and just-in-time data hall inventory to meet customer demand. The first phase of construction includes up to 60,000 square feet of CSF and 6 megawatts of critical load.

“Based on current and projected customer demand, it was essential to expand in this market. We’ve been extremely successful and have seen a tremendous amount of growth in Austin,” said John Hatem, senior vice president, data center design and construction, CyrusOne. “Once this facility is complete, enterprise-level companies will be able to utilize our Massively Modular design capabilities to scale rapidly and efficiently while taking advantage of CyrusOne’s exceptional uptime delivered by redundant power, cooling, and connectivity infrastructure.”

http://www.cyrusone.com/



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ethernet Roadmap Envisions Terabit Interfaces in 2020s

The Ethernet Alliance has published a 2015 Ethernet Roadmap that outlines the ongoing development and evolution of Ethernet through the end of the decade, while envisioning terabit speed interfaces scaling up to 10 Tbps rates by 2030.

Four new speeds – 2.5 Gigabit per second (Gb/s); 5 Gb/s; 25 Gb/s; and 400 Gb/s Ethernet – are currently in development by the IEEE, while the industry is also considering 50Gb/s and 200 Gb/s Ethernet.

The 2015 Ethernet Roadmap looks at Ethernet’s accelerating evolution and expansion in four key areas: consumer and residential; enterprise and campus; hyperscale data centers; and service providers. The roadmap provides visibility into the underlying technologies, including electrical and optical infrastructures. It further highlights the different area’s rate progressions, while emphasizing the changing dynamics and challenges within the Ethernet ecosystem, which includes support for wireless technologies such as 802.11ac.

“Ethernet is constantly evolving and diversifying into new markets and application spaces. Such expansion is successful when there is greater visibility about a technology’s future. The 2015 Ethernet Roadmap will allow the industry to peer into Ethernet’s future,” said Scott Kipp, president, Ethernet Alliance; and principal technologist, Brocade. “The roadmap, developed by our members, will help users understand where Ethernet is going. Such insight will heighten confidence to the market that Ethernet has a clear path forward and help further drive adoption of Ethernet solutions.”

http://www.ethernetalliance.org/roadmap


Vertical Systems: Business Fiber Penetration Hits 42.5% in U.S.

Business fiber penetration of commercial buildings in the U.S. increased to 42.5% in 2014, according to latest research from Vertical Systems Group. This compares to a penetration rate of only 10.9% in 2004. These statistics measure fiber availability at company-owned and multi-tenant buildings with twenty or more employees, which covers more than two million individual business establishments.

“Accessibility to fiber-based business services in the U.S. nearly quadrupled between 2004 and 2014, with hundreds of thousands of sites newly fiber-connected during this time period. As a result of this growth, our fiber penetration benchmark now exceeds 40% for the first time,” said Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group. “Looking forward, the high stakes endgame for network operators is to deepen and broaden their service infrastructures around fiber – the future of wireline.”

In the U.S., fiber is used to deliver the majority of Carrier Ethernet service connections. Fiber implementations are also increasing for access to high speed IP/MPLS VPN services, Cloud and Internet connectivity, and for mobile backhaul applications.

In response to Vertical Systems Group’s recent worldwide survey of Carrier Ethernet service providers, fiber footprint reach was cited as the top competitive advantage overall. Fiber expansion was the primary growth challenge for 2015.

http://www.verticalsystems.com/vsgpr/business-fiber-penetration-hits-42-5-in-u-s/

Cisco to Acquire Embrane for its ACI Software

Cisco announced its intention to acquire Embrane, a start-up offering a lifecycle management platform for application-centric network services.

Embrane, which is based in Santa Clara, California, offers a software platform for powering application-centric network services, including firewalls, VPN termination, server load balancers and SSL offload.

Cisco said the deal would enhance its ACI vision. The Embrane team will be joining the Insieme Business Unit.

http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-announces-intent-to-acquire-embrane
http://www.embrane.com/


  • Embrane was co-founded by Dante Malagrinò and Marco Di Benedetto, both previously with Cisco.
  • In March 2014, Embrane, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, raised $14 million in Series-C funding for its application-centric network services. The funding round was led by Cisco and included new Embrane investor Presidio Ventures, and participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and North Bridge Venture Partners.

Palo Alto Networks and VMware AirWatch Target Mobile Security

Palo Alto Networks and VMware are extending their strategic partnership by integrating their enterprise security and mobile management technologies to give organizations a rich and unique combination of mobile device management (MDM) with advanced threat prevention for secure enterprise BYOD support.

The partnership bring together Palo Alto Networks' Next-Generation Firewall, WildFire and GlobalProtect technologies with the AirWatch by VMware Enterprise Mobility Management platform.  The solution helps customers enforce security policy to protect networks from unauthorized or infected devices, provides the appropriate level of access to apps and data for mobile users, and enables mobile devices to be properly configured for business use and connection to a global threat intelligence service.

Detailed capabilities include:

  • Malware Detection:  Palo Alto Networks WildFire security subscription service identifies known and previously unknown mobile malware. By integrating the intelligence provided by WildFire, users can identify infected applications and take immediate and automated action for security and containment, such as creating an application blacklist. 
  • Network Protection:  Organizations need to make sure only approved devices are used with sensitive applications and networks; this is accomplished with Palo Alto Networks GlobalProtect Host Information Profile (HIP), a direct tie between information about the mobile device, its configuration and what data and applications the device can access. 
  • VPN and Network Security:  Palo Alto Networks GlobalProtect provides a secure connection between AirWatch managed mobile devices and the Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Firewall at the device or application level utilizing per-app VPN. This allows consistent inspection of traffic and enforcement of network security policy for threat prevention, wherever the user goes.

The Palo Alto Networks GlobalProtect iOS VPN app deployed by AirWatch is now available.

https://www.paloaltonetworks.com/products/technologies.html
http://www.air-watch.com


  • In 2014, Palo Alto Networks and VMware announced a software-defined data center reseller agreement and network security and network virtualization solutions.


CipherCloud Acquires Anicut Systems - Adaptive Security as a Service

CipherCloud, which provides cloud visibility and data protection, announced the acquisition of Anicut Systems, a privately held provider of adaptive security as a service. Financial terms were not disclosed.

CipherCloud said Anicut's technology enhances its cloud discovery, data protection and monitoring platform by bringing additional intelligence and security controls that help organizations defend against a fast evolving threats landscape. Anicut provides advanced cloud security analysis of real-time traffic using machine learning to detect malicious insider and external threats. The technology detects both high risk clouds and high risk user activities in their use of cloud services based on over 60 attributes to detect advanced attacks on cloud services such as spear phishing and watering hole. It also enables administrators to effectively configure and enforce corporate cloud use policies.

CipherCloud's open platform provides cloud application discovery and risk assessment, data protection – searchable strong encryption, tokenization, data loss prevention, key management and malware detection – and extensive user activity and anomaly monitoring services.

"We continue to raise the bar for cloud security," said Pravin Kothari, founder and CEO of CipherCloud. "The rapid pace of cloud adoption by organizations requires deep intelligence into cloud threats and real-time protection for data across clouds. We are making this investment to go deeper into cloud visibility and security given the clear demand."

http://www.ciphercloud.com


Dell'Oro: Data Center to Drive Ethernet Switch Market Growth

The Ethernet Switch market continues to fragment as the Campus, Data Center, Small Medium Business (SMB), and Carrier Ethernet segments grow and contract in different ways, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

While Cisco Systems and Hewlett-Packard were already above five percent market share in the data center, both Arista and the white box / bare metal switching segment joined them by virtue of their respective greater than 40 percent revenue growth posted in 2014. White box / bare metal switching represented 7% of data center revenue in 2014.

"The Ethernet switch market continued to evolve rapidly in 2014 with vendors performing very differently in each segment of the market," said Alan Weckel, Vice President of Ethernet Switch research at Dell'Oro Group.  "In looking to our forecast, we believe the demands of the Cloud and higher speeds of Ethernet such as 25 Gbps, 50 Gbps, and 100 Gbps, will cause the vendor landscape in the Data Center market to change significantly.  At the same time we believe the Campus market is about to go through a mini upgrade cycle to 2.5 Gbps and 5.0 Gbps to support higher speed WLAN Access Points," explained Weckel.

http://www.delloro.com

Infonetics: Wireless LAN Gear Neared $5 Billion in 2014

Almost 1.2 million 802.11ac access points shipped in the fourth quarter of 2014 (4Q14)-a quarter of all access points-cannibalizing 802.11n rather than the older 802.11a/b/g access points, according to a new report from Infonetics Research (now part of IHS).

Some highlights:

  • Worldwide wireless LAN (WLAN) equipment revenue reached $4.9 billion in 2014, growing just 6 percent over 2013-a far cry from the 20-percent-plus annual increases of a few years ago
  • In 4Q14, WLAN equipment sales totaled $1.3 billion, up 5 percent quarter-over-quarter, and up 10 percent year-over-year
  • Though demand for WiFi connectivity continues unabated-access point shipments were up 22 percent year-over-year in 2014-revenue growth has run out of steam due to fewer service provider and K-12 WiFi sales, 802.11ac not yet lifting ASPs, controller-less approaches and low-cost solutions
  • There was higher than usual demand for WiFi phones in 4Q14, influenced by a large number of deals, but this isn't expected to be sustained in 2015
  • Despite fickle economic conditions, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) was the fastest-growing major region in 2014, up 9 percent
  • Among the top 5 WLAN vendors-Aruba, Cisco, HP, Ruckus and Zebra-Ruckus led revenue growth in 2014.


"A pullback in K-12 spending in the US has caused a significant slowdown in the WLAN market, which, after having grown at double-digit rates for several years, grew only 6 percent in 2014," said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

http://www.infonetics.com

Arista Offers its Extensible Operating System as a Subscription

Arista Networks is now offering its Extensible Operating System (EOS) as a subscription. The Arista EOS is already provided on a perpetual license basis to customers who purchase as such.  The company said that by disaggregating hardware and software, its customers would gain more flexibility in managing their CAPEX/OPEX budgets.

Separately, Arista announced that CFO Kelyn Brannon will leave the company for personal reasons. Ms. Brannon has served Arista as CFO since July 2013, playing an instrumental role in taking the company public in June 2014 at NYSE.

http://www.aristanetworks.com

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Facebook Deploys Infinera for Multi-Terabit European Network

Facebook has deployed an Infinera Intelligent Transport Network  to light the world's longest terrestrial optical network route, spanning 3,998 kilometers without any regeneration.

The network, which is capable of delivering up to eight terabits per second (Tbps) of data transmission capacity, stretches from Facebook's data center in Lulea, Sweden across major hubs throughout Europe. Facebook deployed the Infinera portfolio of products, which includes the DTN-X platform, to connect these hubs, harnessing Infinera’s unique FlexCoherent solution to deliver terabits of capacity on a single fiber across the continent.

Infinera said its DTN-X platform enables Facebook's European network to deliver 100G coherent transmission via 500 Gbps super-channels, with the ability to support 1.2 Tbps super-channels in the future. The high capacity super-channels are enabled by 500 Gb/s photonic integrated circuits (PICs) developed and fabricated by Infinera – the only supplier providing 500 Gb/s of transmission capacity from a single line card. PICs enable the DTN-X platform to integrate wavelength division multiplexing super-channel transmission with up to 12 Tbps of non-blocking optical transport network switching, providing seamless scaling as traffic requirements grow in the future. The DTN-X also features SDN-ready application programming interfaces that enable network programmability and automation of network operations to reduce both operational cost and service delivery times while facilitating new services.

"The Infinera Intelligent Transport Network makes it easy for us to rapidly grow network capacity while keeping operations simple,” said Niclas Comstedt, Director of Network Engineering at Facebook. “Once the equipment is in place we are able to turn up as many terabits as we need."

“I’ve worked closely with service providers around the world to test and deploy ultra-long-haul optical transport systems for over a decade,” said Steve Grubb, Fellow at Infinera. “The route we are announcing with Facebook is delivering multi-terabit capacity today and I believe this is the world’s longest 8 Tb/s capable route in production.”

"Facebook's deployment of the Infinera Intelligent Transport Network underscores the value Infinera brings to Internet content providers and datacenter operators around the world," said Tom Fallon, Infinera CEO. "Facebook is a classic example of how leading Internet content providers are building global networks that interconnect their datacenters to accelerate the delivery of high bandwidth, feature rich services worldwide.”

http://www.infinera.com/j7/servlet/NewsItem?newsItemID=447


  • In June 2013, Facebook activated its major European datacenter in Lulea, Sweden, on the Fulf of Bothnia near the Arctic Circle. The facility is powered by locally-generated hydro power. 

The CloudRouter Project Aims for Linux-based Routing at Scale

A beta version of The CloudRouter Project has been officially released.

The CloudRouter Project is an open source initiative for secure Linux-based open source routing and software-defined networking (SDN) in large-scale cloud environments, data centers, enterprises, and network operators. Backers of the project include CloudBees, Cloudius Systems, IIX, NGINX, and OpenDaylight.

It incorporates the latest release of OpenDaylight and will maintain a stable and up-to-date Linux distribution based on Fedora, including best-of-breed open source technologies. This provides DevOps for networks (NetOps) with the ability to easily deploy an integrated and hardened stack.

Key CloudRouter features include:

  • Capability to run on public and private cloud infrastructures at scale with a fully-automated configuration system
  • Container-ready, including support for Docker, Cloudius, OSv, and KVM images
  • Secure connectivity using standards-based IPSec VPN, SSL or L2TP
  • Monitoring and reporting with integrated network protocol analysis for network detail at a fine-grained level
  • High availability and system redundancy with failover and synchronization


"With our peers in the industry, we hope to build a true open source community around the CloudRouter Project to really respond to industry demand for a secure, high-quality SDN and router distribution, something that's essentially non-existent today," said Jay Turner, CloudRouter Project Lead and Senior Director of DevOps at IIX. "As the industry moves to cloud computing, there needs to be a bridge from legacy architectures to SDN, hybrid clouds, and data center-to-data center connections. To accelerate the development of this bridge, the CloudRouter Project will initially focus on performance and security."

https://cloudrouter.org/

The Weather Company Moves to IBM Cloud

The Weather Company will shift its massive weather data services platform to the IBM Cloud and integrate its data with IBM analytics and cloud services.

The global alliance with IBM enables The Weather Company, through its WSI B2B division, to integrate real-time weather insights into the business processes of other enterprises to improve operational performance and decision-making. Its forecasting system ingests and processes data from thousands of sources, resulting in approximately 2.2 billion unique forecast points worldwide, and averages more than 10 billion forecasts a day on active weather days.

IBM and WSI will deliver new cloud services to businesses in three key ways:

  • Watson Analytics for Weather: IBM and WSI will enable easy integration of historical and real-time weather data in business operations and decision making with IBM analytics platforms such as Watson Analytics. The companies will jointly develop industry solutions for insurance, energy & utilities, retail and logistics among others.
  • Cloud and Mobile App Developer Tools: Entrepreneurs and software developers will be able to rapidly build mobile and web apps that take advantage of WSI data combined with data from operational systems, connected devices and sensors using advanced analytics through Bluemix, IBM’s cloud application development platform.
  • Business and Operational Weather Expertise: Thousands of consultants from across IBM Global Business Services will be trained to combine WSI data with other sources to more effectively interpret industry pain points, providing clients new insights that solve business problems.

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/46446.wss

Charter to Acquire Brighthouse for $10.4 Billion

Charter Communications, the fourth largest cable operator in the U.S., agreed to acquire Bright House Networks for $10.4 billion. Bright House is the sixth largest cable operator in the United States, and serves approximately 2 million video customers in central Florida including Orlando and Tampa Bay, as well as Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, and California.

Tom Rutledge, President and CEO of Charter Communications said, "Bright House Networks provides Charter with important operating, financial and tax benefits, as well as strategic flexibility. Bright House has built outstanding cable systems in attractive markets that are either complete, or contiguous with the New Charter footprint. This acquisition enhances our scale, and solidifies New Charter as the second largest cable operator in the US. I look forward to working with the Bright House team, whom we have known for years, in delivering great products and services to grow our market share."

Steven Miron, Chief Executive Officer of Bright House Networks said, "We are excited about our transaction with Charter. At Bright House Networks, we are very proud of what we have achieved - from the quality of our infrastructure to the level of service our employees provide to customers every day. We share the same vision for the future of our business as Tom and the Charter leadership team, which is to gain market share by offering customers competitive products and excellent service at a tremendous value. Also, our family has known and worked with Tom Rutledge for more than 20 years. Tom managed cable systems that were part of our partnership with Time Warner Cable prior to the formation of Bright House Networks. We think the combination with Charter gives our employees, our customers and Advance/Newhouse the strongest prospects for the future."

https://www.charter.com/
http://brighthouse.com/

Tanium Secures $52 Million in Funding for Endpoint Security

Tanium secured an additional $52 million in venture funding from Andreessen Horowitz for its security and systems management solution.  The additional funding is a follow-up to Andreessen Horowitz’s initial financing of $90 million Tanium in May 2014.

Tanium, which was founded in 2007 and is based in Emeryville, California, said its system and help enterprises achieve "15-second visibility and control over every endpoint, even across the largest networks." Its system is designed to to detect and remediate threats and issues across millions of endpoints in seconds.  The company said it ended 2014 cash flow positive, debt free, with total cash in excess of $100 million.

“Tanium's magic innovation uniquely positions the company at the modern crossroads of systems management and security. Tanium's platform reimagines these categories and adds a new level of value and capability to forward-leaning IT teams,” said Steven Sinofsky, partner at Andreessen Horowitz.

“We started Tanium in 2007 with the goal of re-inventing how organizations secure and manage their endpoints, which have quickly become the most business critical – and vulnerable – IT assets. With Tanium, even the world’s largest organizations can achieve 15-second visibility and control over every endpoint, even across the largest networks,” said Orion Hindawi, co-founder and CTO at Tanium.

http://www.tanium.com/