Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Intel's Latest Xeon E7 Packs up to 18 Cores for Big Performance Gains

Intel introduced its latest Xeon processor E7-8800/4800 v3 product families, targeted at real-time analytics and enhanced performance and reliability for mission-critical computing. The design is optimized for processing and analyzing massive data sets in system memory.

Some highlights for the Xeon processor E7-8800/4800 v3:

  • 40 percent average performance improvement compared to the prior generation.
  • Up to 6x improvement in business processing application performance for in-memory transactional workloads optimized with the new Intel Transactional Synchronization Extensions (Intel TSX).
  • Up to 18 cores, a 20 percent increase in cores compared to the prior generation, and up to 45 megabytes of last-level cache, the processor family can deliver up to 70 percent more decision support analytic sessions per hour4.
  • The processors support configurations up to 32 sockets with support for the industry’s largest memory capacity per socket (8-socket systems are capable of supporting up to 12 terabytes of DDR3 or DDR4 memory technology).
  • Product family comprises 12 processor models, including multiple segment optimized processors such as two high-frequency models that are designed for a subset of database applications requiring the fastest cores available. 

Intel said the new product family delivers up to 10x greater performance per dollar while driving up to an 85 percent lower total cost of ownership compared to alternative RISC architectures by reducing the cost of hardware acquisition and power and cooling.

The new Xeons also gain new security and reliability capabilities, including increased cryptographic performance via the latest Intel Advanced Encryption Standard New Instructions (Intel AES-NI), as well as additional micro-architectural improvements. In addition, Intel Run Sure Technology, a unique set of reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features for the Intel Xeon processor E7 family, is enhanced with new features designed to further ensure “five nines” availability for mission-critical applications.

“In the digital services economy, success or failure can depend on how quickly businesses act on insight from vast stores of data,” said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel. “The Intel Xeon processor E7 v3 family is the engine for accelerating business intelligence through real-time analytics, enabling businesses to improve customer satisfaction through more personalized products and services, generate new revenue streams and enhance operational efficiency.”


HP Debuts NFV System with Helion OpenStack Carrier-Grade

HP introduced its pre-integrated network functions virtualization (NFV) platform for communications service providers (CSPs).

The HP NFV System, which leverages HP Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade, is an open source based cloud platform that enables CSPs to decouple the network functions from proprietary hardware appliances.

“Many telcos and suppliers have done NFV proof-of-concepts and are now ready to move to production. To do that, they need solutions that are open, carrier grade, and easy to deploy,” said Saar Gillai, senior vice president and general manager, Network Functions Virtualization and global lead, Telecommunications, HP. “HP NFV System provides an integrated, pre-tested, deployment-ready NFV hardware and software platform to get customers up-and-running quickly and confidently.”

HP NFV System consists of:

HP NFV Starter Kit – An all-in-one kit comprised of compute nodes with carrier grade performance, control nodes in high availability configuration running virtual infrastructure management (VIM) software – HP Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade, as well as physical infrastructure management (PIM) software and storage nodes. HP NFV Starter Kit is a complete turnkey solution for NFV clouds.

HP NFV Compute Kit – Comprised of server nodes that run virtual network functions (VNF) workloads, combined with carrier grade capabilities that enable fast packet processing required in telecommunications applications. HP NFV Compute kit can be added to the HP NFV Starter kit to augment its workload processing capacity, providing customers a flexible scale out path.

HP NFV Control Kit – Consists of HP Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade VIM software and PIM software, including HP OneView, HP Intelligent Management Center and HP Central Management Console. HP NFV Control Kit is designed for customers running custom, limited trials reusing existing infrastructure elements with minimal CAPEX spend.

HP NFV Storage Kit – A pre-configured solution that can be integrated with HP NFV Starter Kit to provide additional capacity for storage intensive applications like content delivery networks (CDN). HP NFV Storage Kit simplifies integration with existing HP NFV System environments, reducing time to roll-out new services, minimizing OPEX spend.

HP also introduced NFV Director 3.0, providing management and orchestration (MANO)capabilities that enhance the flexibility and scalability of CSPs current operations support systems (OSS), as well as new analytics capabilities to help harness NFV data to enhance real-time decision making.  New HP NFV analytics capabilities in HP NFV Director 3.0 are powered by HP Vertica, providing CSPs the ability to make decisions in real time using NFV data to improve uptime, traffic steering, resource, application and network usage. Predictive analytics gives CSPs critical insights on trending as well as historical capacity usage and threshold crossing warnings (alarms).

Availability for the HP NFV System Starter Kit, HP Helion OpenStack Carrier Grade, HP NFV Director 3.0 with HP NFV Analytics and HP Trusted NFV Platform Transformation services is targeted for the third quarter of calendar year 2015.


EMC Releases Open Source ViPR Controller for Software-defined Storage

EMC released "Project CoprHD" ("copperhead"), an open source version of its EMC ViPR Controller for software-defined storage. Project CoprHD makes the code for ViPR Controller – all the storage automation and control functionality – open for community-driven development.

ViPR Controller is storage automation software that centralizes and transforms EMC and third-party storage into a simple, extensible and open platform and EMC will continue to sell the commercial version of Project CoprHD, the EMC ViPR Controller, as a fully supported offering. ViPR Controller is offered as a key enabler for Third Platform applications that require fully integrated, next-generation scale-out storage architectures.

"For anyone left confused, today's announcements prove this is not your father's EMC. By offering access to Project CoprHD, the open source version of EMC ViPR Controller and free downloads of EMC ScaleIO – two key enabling pieces of our Software-Defined Storage portfolio – EMC has turned a corner by delving more deeply into open, collaborative software development with our customers, partners, developers and competitors. This represents a massive shift in our strategy that we believe will help accelerate our customers' efforts to develop new application-centric business models," stated Jeremy Burton, President Products and Marketing, EMC Corporation.


Big Switch' Big Tap Monitoring Fabric 4.5 Aims for Security and Visibility

Big Switch Networks released the latest version (4.5) of its Big Tap Monitoring Fabric 4.5, delivering new security monitoring and visibility features, including inline/out-of-band deployment, flow-level granularity, and advanced analytics.

Big Tap is a 1G/10G/40G network visibility fabric that leverages software defined networking (SDN) principles and high-performance ODM or Dell Open Networking switches to provide scalable data center wide monitoring.

“With the release of Big Tap 4.5, we add the ability to interoperate with more partner products, giving the end user comprehensive monitoring and security capabilities they desire, all while providing huge CapEx and OpEx reductions,” said Prashant Gandhi, Vice President of Product Management and Strategy at Big Switch. “With Big Tap’s high-value SDN software powering open, high-performance Ethernet switches, customers can now combat cyber threats in a pervasive manner while future-proofing their monitoring infrastructure for scale and programmability.”

Key features of Big Tap 4.5:

  • In-line deployment mode, in addition to out-of-band (enablement of DMZ deployment)
  • Service chaining with in-line mode (allows multiple security tools to be processed in a chain, as specified by user-defined policy)
  • sFlow generation (centrally configured flow generation on monitoring fabric)
  • Enhanced visibility for security (DNS tracking, DHCP tracking)
  • Header stripping for MPLS (support service provider WAN monitoring)
  • Configurable hash setting for granular load balancing of tools (allows tool elasticity)


Infinera and Arista Target Data Center Interconnection

Infinera and Arista Networks announced a technology alliance to deliver scalable, turn-key metro and regional cloud networking solutions.

The solution integrates Arista's 7000 series switching portfolio with the Infinera Cloud Xpress to deliver an interoperable solution designed for data center interconnects of up to 8 Tbps and extending up to 200km. The companies completed interoperability testing earlier this year.

"Arista and Infinera are redefining the datacenter interconnect market," said Ed Chapman, vice president, business development and alliances for Arista Networks. "Disruptive applications such as HPC, IP storage networking, content-intensive networking, and virtualized datacenters are paramount for Cloud-scale web customers."

"We teamed up with Arista to deliver optimized solutions for the rapidly growing Cloud services market," said Ashoka Valia, senior vice president, business development at Infinera. "We believe our alliance offers best in class solutions, combining Arista's programmable platforms with Infinera's Cloud Xpress Ethernet transport to deliver state-of-the-art scale, performance and energy efficiency for datacenter interconnection applications."


  • In September 2014, Infinera unveiled its Cloud Xpress, a compact, high-density, optical system optimized for the transport network that interconnects multiple data centers within a metro area. It leverages existing Infinera technologies, including its Photonic Integrated Circuit (PICs) and super-channel aggregation, to provide massive bandwidth in a form factor that data center operators can rack-n-stack and easily integrate into their operations. The Cloud Xpress provides point-to-point hyper-scale bandwidth over distances of up to 200km without amplification.  On the client side, it supports 10GbE, 40GbE, 100GbE interfaces and on the line side its offers 500 Gbps WDM super-channels. It can be managed with a wide range of tools: CLI, the Infinera Network Management System—DNA as well as an API-driven SDN control. 

Cloudera and Intel Accelerate Big Data Encryption by 2.5X

Cloudera and Intel have been able to achieve a 2.5X improvement in encryption off-load performance, enabling an entire Hadoop data set to be encrypted with a system overhead that ranges from only 1% to 4% depending on the workload.

The gains are made by optimizing Cloudera’s distribution, including Apache Hadoop, with the latest Intel Xeon processor with embedded Intel AES New Instructions (Intel AES-NI) has enabled more robust protection of critical enterprise data. As a result, full database encryption is now possible with minimal impact to system performance so that processing resources can run Hadoop jobs at a faster rate, and perform additional Hadoop jobs to accelerate business insights.

Cloudera also disclosed that following Intel’s $740M investment last year, its annual recurring subscription software revenue grew 100 percent year-over-year and enterprise subscription software customers grew by more than 85 percent.


HP and SAP Pitch S/4HANA on Helion Managed Cloud

SAP and HP are deepening their partnership to help customers transition to SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA) utilizing HP Helion Managed Cloud service.

“By combining SAP S/4HANA with HP migration and cloud expertise, we are demonstrating our commitment to providing customers with simplicity and choice for their journey to the digital economy,” said John Hinshaw, chief customer officer and executive vice president, Technology & Operations, HP. “Customers can now execute their transition to SAP S/4HANA on HP Helion Managed Cloud, confident in the knowledge they have two of the world’s best IT services firms working together to enable their success every step of the way. HP is also planning to use SAP S/4HANA to accelerate our own transformation.”

In addition, HP will serve as a premier strategic provider of cloud infrastructure services for business-critical SAP applications in SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.


IBM Watson Develops Hybrid Cloud Capabilities

IBM Watson will be gaining new hybrid cloud capabilities that help bridge enterprise data with web-based cloud applications for faster and more insightful data intelligence.

IBM said Watson Hybrid Cloud will use Watson Explorer — a cognitive computing exploration capability for the enterprise — as the on-premises platform for the application development, combining enterprise data sources into the application through a scalable environment that keeps utilized data local, private and a secure.

"Enterprise developers are building applications that are more than just using infrastructure, they're creating capability to process business transactions that fuse insights spanning various data sets," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president, IBM Watson. "What we see today is that the cloud is transforming into a hybrid data delivery model, so naturally developers seek flexibility to run apps and services across on-premises systems and the cloud; thereby making it much easier to deliver Watson to the enterprise."


Ixia Posts Q1 Revenue of $121 Million

Ixia reported total revenue for the 2015 first quarter of $121.0 million, compared with $113.7 million reported for the 2014 first quarter and $127.2 million reported for the 2014 fourth quarter. On a GAAP basis, the company recorded a net loss for the 2015 first quarter of $9.6 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $19.5 million, or $0.25 per diluted share, for the 2014 first quarter. Non-GAAP net income for the 2015 first quarter was $9.7 million, or $0.12 per diluted share, compared with non-GAAP net income of $4.7 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, for the 2014 first quarter.

“We are very pleased with our first quarter financial results as revenue exceeded our guidance for the second consecutive quarter. Revenue for our visibility solutions grew 47 percent year-over-year and included a strong quarter from our largest service provider customer,” said Bethany Mayer, Ixia's president and chief executive officer. “From a market perspective, we added over 200 new enterprise customer accounts and continued to build momentum across the portfolio as customers turn to Ixia to enhance application performance and ensure security resilience.”


CloudGenix Raises $25 Million for Software-Defined WAN

CloudGenix, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, announced $25 million in Series B funding for its software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) solutions.

CloudGenix virtualizes underlying transports into a secure application-defined WAN. The solution leverages a CloudGenix controller with selective peering to interoperate with the physical carrier network. The design supports application-specific overlays and policies, including allowed paths and service projection.

The funding was led by Bain Capital Ventures and included additional investments from Charles River Ventures and the Mayfield Fund. This brings the total funding CloudGenix has raised to $34 million.

“CloudGenix is the only SD-WAN company creating a new, application-defined fabric that radically simplifies how WANs are designed and managed,” says Kumar Ramachandran, co-founder and CEO of CloudGenix. “This new investment will help us fulfill strong market need for WAN solutions that deliver more than twice the performance at less than half the cost, leading to a much faster time-to-value once deployed, and extending datacenter-class security to the network edge.”


  • CloudGenix is headed by Kumar Ramachandran (CEO), formerly in Cisco's WAN optimization business.

Marvell Introduces ARMADA Mobile PXA 1826 LTE Modem with Carrier Aggregation

Marvell Semiconductor's latest ARMADA Mobile PXA 1826 LTE modem supports the latest carrier aggregation features.  Marvell has been a leader in TDD LTE technology.

Several carriers now have licenses across TDD and FDD, creating a need for LTE modems supporting both. Presented by Allen Leibovitch, Senior Product Marketing Manager.

See video: https://youtu.be/OZ5_DdQu9kg

Neighbor-Awareness Networking in Wi-Fi

Marvell is implementing support neighbor-awareness networking, or social Wi-fi, in its 802.11 silicon, enabling any nearby devices to connect in a peer-to-peer fashion, which can then engage in all sorts of shared applications.

The Wi-Fi is working on neighbor-awareness networking for smartphones, tablets, smart watches, without the need for an AP between them. It is also working on a Wi-fi Aware capability and Marvell's plans to certify its chipsets for this capability.

See video: https://youtu.be/tUd9Dg0R9CA

Indoor Navigation Capabilities with 802.11ac Silicon

Marvell Semiconductor is implementing indoor navigation capabilities on its 802.11ac chipsets.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals can used to navigate large indoor facilities, such as malls, office complexes, hospitals, etc.

See video: https://youtu.be/RpgLAsUgc4I

Enabling the Mobile Ecosystem with Leading-Edge Technology - Lu Chang

Mobile is a fast moving industry, both from the consumer point-of-view and the service provider point-of-view, says Lu Chang, Sr. Director, Mobile Products at Marvell. Here he discusses the mobile ecosystem.

Marvell has been in the mobile sector for some times, starting out building 3G products and later expanding into multi-mode 2/3/4G and LTE. The company works closely with service providers around the world to enable the next generation of smartphones and tablets.

See video: https://youtu.be/fO3vvS2I20k

Marvell Powers Samsung’s Galaxy J1 LTE Smartphone

Marvell is supplying its PXA 1908 processor to power Samsung’s Galaxy J1 LTE Smartphone, says Allen Leibovitch.

It is a 64-bit architecture with integrated LTE modem supporting 5-mode operation.

See video: https://youtu.be/L3HwcpUtRMs

Marvell Partners with Google’s ATAP to Support Project Ara

Allen Leibovitch discusses Marvell's partnership with Google’s Advanced Technology and Products (ATAP) Group to support Project Ara.

Specifically, Marvell can provide the processor, the LTE and the Wi-Fi, enabling a new round of innovation in handset technology.

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

Monday, May 4, 2015

Chuck Robbins to Succeed John Chambers as Cisco CEO

Chuck Robbins will succeed John Chambers as Cisco's Chief Executive Officer effective July 26, 2015, the end of the company's current fiscal year. Robbins was also elected to the Board of Directors of Cisco, effective May 1, 2015. John Chambers will assume the role of Executive Chairman on July 26, 2015, and will continue to serve as the Chairman of Cisco’s Board.

Robbins joined Cisco in 1997 and most recently served as Cisco’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, leading the company’s global sales and partner team that drives $47B in business for the company. Cisco said he has played a key role in the development of Cisco's security and collaboration businesses and was a sponsor for the Sourcefire and Meraki acquisitions. He holds a Bachelor of Science (BS), Mathematical Sciences, from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“I joined Cisco 17 years ago because I wanted to be a part of a company where I believed the possibilities were limitless. Today, I am even more convinced that Cisco is that company,” said Chuck Robbins. “Over the past 20 years, John Chambers’ vision and leadership have built Cisco into one of the most important companies in the world; a company fiercely committed to delivering for its customers, shareholders, partners, and employees. The opportunity that lies ahead for Cisco is enormous, and the ability to lead this next chapter is deeply humbling and incredibly exhilarating.

John Chambers has served as CEO of Cisco since January 1995, having joined the company in 1991 as the head of sales.


Ciena to Acquire Cyan for $335 Million

Ciena agreed to acquire Cyan for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $400 million (or approximately $335 million net of cash).

Cyan, which is based in Petaluma, California, supplies its carrier-grade BluePlanet SDN/NFV software and Z-series packet-optical platform to carriers and large enterprises. Cyan's Blue Planet provides service orchestration, automation, SDN control, and multi-vendor management capabilities. The company claims over 150 deployments by network operators since its introduction in November 2012. The Z-series is a scalable, COTS-based P-OTP family that converges Carrier Ethernet 2.0, DWDM, ROADM, OTN and SONET/SDH for metro and regional networks. It new N-Series Open Hyperscale Transport Platform (OHTP) is designed for large numbers of 100G connections between data centers over campus or metro regional distances.

Cyan was founded in 2006 and has approximately 260 employees worldwide. FY 2014 revenue amounted to $101 million.

Ciena said the acquisition bring orchestration and control software that is vendor-agnostic and best-in-class. Ciena is looking to build an expanded ecosystem of VNF partners. Cyan's metro packet/optical hardware business offers a complementary base of key customers.

“Ciena is transforming networks by applying web-scale technologies for delivering greater efficiency, network automation and agility while driving the industry toward an open ecosystem,” said Gary Smith, president and CEO of Ciena. “The addition of Cyan accelerates the availability of a complete solution for our customers to deliver virtualized networks and services on-demand.”

“Since launching the first Z-Series packet-optical products in 2009, Cyan has introduced the world’s first integrated packet-optical platform, the world’s first deployment ready multi-vendor SDN controller and NFV orchestrator, and the world’s first disaggregated “bright box” optical system. Innovation is core to our business, and our innovation has always been focused on helping customers transform their networks. Joining forces with Ciena, another clear innovator in the networking space, will accelerate this transformation," stated Mark Floyd, chairman and chief executive officer, Cyan.

Cyan also reported that revenue for the first quarter of 2015 grew to $36.0 million, up 89 percent when compared with $19.0 million in the first quarter of 2014 and up 18 percent when compared with $30.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2014. GAAP net loss for the first quarter was $52.9 million, or $1.11 per share, compared to a net loss of $17.8 million, or $0.38 per share, in the same period last year and a net loss of $15.0 million, or $0.32 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2014.



  • In March, Cyan confirmed that CenturyLink is preparing to launch NFV-enhanced services to enterprise and small and midsized business (SMB) customers based on Cyan’s Blue Planet NFV Orchestrator. Specifically, CenturyLink will use Cyan’s Blue Planet orchestration for their Programmable Services Backbone (PSB), its platform that for next-generation virtualized services to its customers.  Blue Planet NFV Orchestrator bridges multiple technologies to instantiate virtual network functions (VNF) from multiple vendors. Blue Planet will add these virtual network functions to CenturyLink’s network for quickly providing software-enabled services and ubiquitous service coverage to CenturyLink’s broad set of customers.

    Cyan said its Blue Planet software can instantiate and control virtual functions, coordinate with physical and virtual network resources, and interconnect virtual functions (i.e., vFirewall, vDPI, vEncryption, vRouter, vDNS, etc.) to achieve service chaining. The programmability of the Blue Planet NFV Orchestrator allows carriers like CenturyLink to onboard and define new services through a flexible template-based architecture. The open architecture of Blue Planet’s NFV Orchestrator enables rich, multi-vendor environments within the NFV Infrastructure (NFVI), including support for different cloud management software and physical servers.

  • In June 2014, CenturyLink sponsored an ETSI NFV ISG-approved proof of concept (PoC) solution based on RAD’s dedicated customer-edge D-NFV equipment running Fortinet’s Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) and Certes Networks’ virtual encryption/decryption engine as Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) with Cyan’s Blue Planet system orchestrating the entire ecosystem. The companies said their D-NFV allows the placement of VNFs where they will be both most effective and least expensive, including at the customer edge.  Cyan's Blue Planet can orchestrate both NFV and multi-vendor Ethernet services.
  • In October 2014, Cyan significantly extended the reach of its Blue Planet SDN platform by adding the ability to provision and manage Ethernet services across Cisco ASR a nd Juniper MX routers.

    Blue Planet SDN-based control over Cisco and Juniper equipment is based on access to standards-based interfaces such as CLI and NETCONF/YANG.  New element adapters being introduced this quarter use Link-Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) to auto-discover Cisco network, including all nodes, connections, and the overall physical layer topology.  Platforms supported include the Cisco ASR 901, ASR 903, ASR 9000 and ME 3600 platforms, as well as the Juniper MX960, MX480, and MX2010 platforms. Blue Planet functionality allows customers to automate, manage, inventory, and provision Ethernet services across networks built with these devices.

Level 3 Launches SDN-based Adaptive Network via ExpressRoute to Microsoft Azure.

Level 3 Communications introduced SDN-based Adaptive Network Control Solutions via ExpressRoute to Microsoft Azure. The service is designed to help enterprises move applications and workloads from on-premises data centers to the cloud.

Adaptive Network Control services include:

  • Enhanced Management - provides visibility into and analytics of key network performance characteristics like latency and packet loss on an end-to-end, site-by-site basis
  • Dynamic Capacity - which gives customers the ability to scale their bandwidth by up to three times on demand or automatically based on scheduled events or utilization triggers.  

Level 3 said its SDN-based network functionality is ideal to support a variety of use cases in Azure, including scheduled backups for disaster recovery, managing large ad hoc IT workloads and handling seasonal volume growth.

"Traditional private networks typically provide fixed amounts of bandwidth with minimal insight into performance," said Anthony Christie, chief marketing officer at Level 3. "Now enterprises can take advantage of Level 3's Enhanced Management and Dynamic Capacity for Microsoft Azure, giving them the ability to seamlessly and instantly adjust their bandwidth needs as well as garner important network data that can help inform their future network decisions. This new approach to managing bandwidth helps enterprises significantly increase operational efficiencies and performance, which are critical components to a company's long-term success."


Equinix to Offer Direct Access to Office 365 via Equinix Cloud Exchange

Equinix will begin offering private, managed connections to Microsoft Office 365 via Azure ExpressRoute through the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

The service bypasses the public Internet, thereby providing lower latency and better security for enterprise customers accessing Office 365. Equinix expects to offer the service in 15 markets worldwide starting in Q3 of this year.

Equinix first launched its partnership with Microsoft in April 2014, and today offers direct connection to Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute in 15 markets globally via the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

“By offering direct access to Office 365 on Cloud Exchange, we are helping our enterprise customers get the most out of their cloud investments. Private access to Office 365 results in lower latency and higher performing connections, thus providing business grade performance and the end-user experiences that enterprises are demanding with their adoption of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications,” stated Chris Sharp, vice president, cloud innovation, Equinix.

“Office 365 customers have been asking for direct connectivity to Office 365 since Azure ExpressRoute launched last year, and we’re pleased that Equinix will be among the first to offer it through Cloud Exchange. With network performance as predictable as a customer’s own on-premises environment, ExpressRoute for Office 365 is like having the full Office 365 productivity solution in your own datacenter," said Mike Schutz, GM of cloud platform, Microsoft.