Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Blueprint: Hyper-Converged is Leading the Data Center Revolution

by Sachin Chheda, Senior Director, Product and Technical Marketing, Nutanix

Historically, provisioning and managing infrastructure in a data center has never been straightforward.  There is the need to organize the purchase of the servers; the acquisition of the storage, the choice of the network supplier - and all that before the choice of the software.
All that is changing: the notion that there’s a need to acquire an array of different products in order to manage a data center is fast disappearing. According to a survey from Gartner in 2014, 29% of enterprises are now looking to move to a converged infrastructure.

It used to be easy to deal with additional demands:  more compute power? Just stick an extra server in the rack. Additional storage?  Time for another storage array.  Network running slow?  Looks like it’s time for more bandwidth and so on. In today’s budget conscious times, this is not a worthwhile approach. The modern day business cannot simply throw money at the problem, which is why we’ve seen companies looking to virtualization and server consolidation in an attempt to cut down on their data center footprint.

In fact, the issue was not just about trying to match needs with your infrastructure but also coping with additional demands.  The infrastructure, especially storage had to be over-provisioned to cope with any peaks – and modernizing the infrastructure by opting for more virtualization has not helped this process, in fact it’s introduced even more over-provisioning as the existing storage components do not have the right levels of automation for optimal performance.

There’s a disconnect between the speed with which virtual provisioning works and the time it takes to provision an organization’s storage needs.  Just because a virtual machine can be brought online in a matter of minutes it doesn’t mean that the same follows for other parts of the infrastructure – setting up storage and networking will take large amounts of time. And this is a process that has been made worse by the growing use of fast flash storage, which has made networking effectively much more difficult.

Trying to combine legacy network storage infrastructure with virtualized servers is ensuring bottlenecks somewhere. Essentially, you’ll have a supercharged datacenter in the body of an old jalopy. In this scenario, the old approach of throwing more dollars at your infrastructure therefore is not solving the problem but is actually making things worse as the gap between virtualized servers and legacy hardware grows wider.

What does the CIO do? Welcome to the world of hyper-converged infrastructure. It’s an overloaded phrase, that sounds like it’s been cooked up by some imaginative publicity departments, but this is no over-hyped buzzword.  It’s a technology that provides a leap forward for those companies who want to cope with increasing demand on storage, handle today’s modern application workloads and manage the whole operation seamlessly, without busting the bank.

Most important of all, a hyper-converged system will provide enterprises with type of scalability and flexibility enjoyed by the software based architecture employed by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and Facebook.

These companies all faced a common problem: the need to scale quickly and efficiently to meet growing demand. They all tried to construct an architecture using existing technologies, but gave up as the legacy hardware centric kit could not cope with the demands: it was obvious that a new type of datacenter infrastructure was needed - one that did away centralized storage systems, as traditional SANs were one of the major inhibitors.

They did this in several ways; they made extensive use of software based functionality coupled with state of the art and run of the mill hardware and used REST APIs, a technology which helps organizations to cope more effectively with increased demand.  These were used to introduce a greater degree of automation into the process.

The operational efficiency of AWS, Google and Facebook is the bar that IT is now managed against. Web-scale methodologies of software-based distributed architecture are entering the enterprise market in the form of solutions that do not require a team of highly skilled experts to configure and maintain. Enterprises can stop being envious of hyperscale IT and start to look at ways to deploy the technology in their own datacenters.

Rather than construct an elaborate collection of server farms and storage arrays, the hyper-converged approach takes a single state-of-the-art x86 server combined with SSD and HDD storage. It doesn’t sound very complex but the secret sauce is in the software layer of the storage infrastructure. A hyper-converged solution for example, could provide an architecture that runs in conjunction with industry standard hypervisors including ESXi, Hyper-V and KVM. This datacenter infrastructure could deliver modular and linear scalability, better performance and simplified manageability for any virtualized workload at any scale. Another proof point is that, hyper converged solutions can go even farther  and offer integrated enterprise class availability features including VM-centric data protection and disaster recovery – enabling virtualized tier 0 and tier 1 workloads to be run on the same infrastructure supporting initiatives such as VDI and server virtualization.

One of the major initial stumbling blocks of hyper-converged infrastructure is that the initial pre-converged architecture failed to deliver on the promises it made. If you consider the examples where different vendors combined their proprietary offerings to create a converged stack, like Cisco, VMware and EMC  into VBlock and Cisco and Netapp into Flexpod, these products made promises about easier integration, but failed on a hardware level as each of the components was still too proprietary to deliver efficiency when pair with the others. True hyper-converged solutions use commodity hardware, and as discussed above, let the software do the hard work.

For example, the use of the wrong sort of converged architecture does nothing to do away with the need for SANs – and as we saw earlier, the more virtualization that’s introduced, the more requirement for additional storage, which often needed upfront to minimize disruption and re-architecting datacenter infrastructure . And this storage can lead to bottlenecks that reduce the efficiency of the infrastructure. It is therefore far better to opt for the hyper-converged approach that negates the need for upfront investment in a traditional SAN.

Companies are thinking more creatively about how to handle the increased storage workloads brought about by virtualization: there’s a growing need for more compute power, there’s an increasing need to keep costs low and bring greater efficiencies, but there’s no need to follow some of the old methods, nor opt for an implementation based around log-established SAN technology. The world of the data center is changing inexorably and CIOs need to seize the opportunity to bring their systems up to date, in many cases hyper-converged infrastructure will provide the future-proofed solution these companies demand.

About the Author

Sachin Chheda is Senior Director of Product and Technical Marketing at Nutanix.

About Nutanix

Nutanix delivers invisible infrastructure for next-generation enterprise computing, elevating IT to focus on the applications and services that power their business. The company’s software-driven Xtreme Computing Platform natively converges compute, virtualization and storage into a single solution to drive simplicity in the datacenter. Using Nutanix, customers benefit from predictable performance, linear scalability and cloud-like infrastructure consumption.


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Cisco Expands its Intercloud Ecosystem

Cisco announced major milestones and next steps for its Intercloud initiative -- a globally connected network of clouds -- saying that it now has 65 partners running Intercloud Fabric in over 350 data centers.  The aim of Cisco Intercloud is to reduce complexity out of hybrid clouds.

Some Intercloud highlights:

  • Recent enhancements to Cisco Intercloud are focused in the areas of security, control, and expanded hypervisor support, including OpenStack, KVM and Microsoft Hyper-V.
  • Cisco has signed up 35 independent software vendors (ISVs) to accelerate the creation of innovative cloud services for the Intercloud.
  • At Cisco Live!, 10 Intercloud partners—Cirrity, Datalink, iland, Long View, Peak 10, Presidio, QTS, Quest, Sungard Availability Services and Virtustream—announced new hybrid cloud services built on Cisco Intercloud Fabric. Cisco also announced that KPIT Technologies, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, and the Salvation Army are using Cisco Intercloud Fabric to implement a single operational model across dev/test, quality assurance and production environments.
  • Cisco is planning to open an Intercloud Marketplace —- a partner-centric global storefront for Intercloud-based applications and cloud services from Cisco and partners. The first wave of new Cisco Intercloud Marketplace application developers and service partners include: ActiveState, Apprenda, Basho, Chef, Citrix, CliQr, Cloud Enabled, CloudBerry Lab, Cloudera, Cloudify, CloudLink, Couchbase, CTERA, Datadog, Davra Networks, desktopsites, Druva, Egnyte, ElasticBox, F5 Networks, Hortonworks, Informatica, MapR, MongoDB, Moonwalk, Nirmata, Panzura, Pegasystems, Platfora, Sanovi, ScaleArc, Skytree, StoAmigo, Talisen Technologies and Zenoss. Intercloud Marketplace launch is targeted for fall of 2015.  
  • Cisco is expanding its participation in leading open source developer communities like Cloud Foundry, OpenShift and Kubernetes. To help developers to build container-based micro-services, Cisco is building an integrated toolset for continuous integration and deployment. By providing developers with access to the latest APIs and micro-services across all Cisco cloud, IoE and big data technologies delivered through the Intercloud, Cisco is extending its focus on embracing and enabling its developer community via its DevNet initiative.
  • Cisco Intercloud Fabric now extends its zone-based firewall services to support Microsoft Azure. Cisco Intercloud Fabric Firewall solves the problem of securing traffic between virtual machines without redirecting this traffic to the edge firewall for lookup by including a zone-based firewall, the Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG). With VSG support in Cisco Intercloud Fabric, customers who use the VSG for the Cisco Nexus® 1000V Series Switch in their enterprise data center can extend the same policies to the VSG instance in the public cloud. This allows them to have consistent firewall policies across their entire hybrid cloud infrastructure.
  • Cisco is now extending its VM onboarding to support Amazon VPC.  Cisco Intercloud Fabric is designed to make the onramp to hybrid cloud easier. Its VM onboarding capabilities allows businesses to easily extend management to VMs already deployed in a public cloud by identifying pre-existing target VMs and moving them under Intercloud Facric control.
  • Cisco Intercloud Fabric now supports OpenStack, KVM and Microsoft Hyper-V. A business' ability to choose the right cloud for the right workload should not be limited by the underlying infrastructure or in this case, the hypervisor. Business requirements do not care which hypervisor a public cloud uses. Operational models are better served if all public clouds are treated the same. With support for VMware vSphere, OpenStack KVM, and Microsoft Hyper-V, Cisco Intercloud Fabric now supports the vast majority of hypervisor deployments.


http://www.cisco.com

Nutanix Builds New Capabilities for its Hyper-Converged Infrastructure

Nutanix unveiled two new product families for hyperconverged data centers -- Nutanix Acropolis and Nutanix Prism -- both aimed at simplifying and scaling infrastructure while enhancing IT service delivery.

Nutanix Acropolis, which builds on the core capabilities of the company’s flagship hyperconverged product, is an open platform for virtualization and application mobility. Nutanix is supporting a choice in application platform, including traditional hypervisors, emerging hypervisors or containers. Nutanix Acropolis is comprised of three foundational components:

  • Distributed Storage Fabric - enables common web-scale services across multiple storage protocols. Acropolis can mount volumes as in-guest iSCSI storage for applications with specific storage protocol requirements such as Microsoft Exchange, unifying all workloads on a single infrastructure. Acropolis also includes a robust implementation of erasure coding storage optimization, which reduces the storage required for data replication by up to 75% compared to traditional mirroring techniques, and can be enabled on previously deployed Nutanix appliances with a simple software upgrade.
  • App Mobility Fabric - a newly-designed open environment capable of delivering virtual machine (VM) placement, VM migration, and VM conversion, as well as cross-hypervisor high availability and integrated disaster recovery. It supports most virtualized applications, and will provide a more seamless path to containers and hybrid cloud computing.
  • Acropolis Hypervisor - while the Distributed Storage Fabric fully supports traditional hypervisors such as VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V, Acropolis also includes a native hypervisor based on the proven Linux KVM hypervisor. It features enhanced security, self-healing capabilities based on SaltStack and enterprise-grade VM management.

Nutanix Prism, which is an infrastructure management systems, features one-click software upgrades for more efficient maintenance, one-click insight for detailed capacity trend analysis and planning and one-click troubleshooting for rapid issue identification and resolution. Nutanix said its simplified management provides an end-to-end view of all workflows – something difficult to achieve with legacy three-tier, compute, storage and virtualiation architectures. It also features machine learning technology with built-in heuristics and business intelligence to mine large volumes of system data and generate actionable insights for enhancing all aspects of infrastructure performance,

“The most transformative technologies are the ones we don’t even think about. They work all the time, scale on demand and self-heal. In other words, they are invisible,” said Dheeraj Pandey, CEO and founder of Nutanix. “Building on our foundations of web-scale engineering and consumer-grade design, we will make virtualization as invisible as we’ve made storage and elevate enterprise IT expectations yet again.”

http://nutanix.com/invisible-infrastructure

Dell’Oro: Data Center Switching Growth Driven by Big Clouds

The Ethernet Switch – Data Center market grew strongly in the first quarter 2015 to slightly more than $2.0 billion, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group, thanks to spending from big cloud operators such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.

The Quarterly Ethernet Switch – Data Center Report also indicates that Cloud Customers will begin migrating to 25 and 100 GE at the end of 2015.

“Strong adoption of 40 GE amongst large US Cloud customers drove strong year-over-year growth in the Ethernet Switch – Data Center market,” said Alan Weckel, Vice President of Ethernet Switch – Data Center market research at Dell’Oro Group.  “When Dell’Oro Group looks at the overall data center market, many trends are similar between Servers, Storage, and Networking, such as the movement by Cloud customers to white box / bare metal solutions.  We are often able to leverage our holistic coverage to forecast trends early and accurately before they become widespread, such as the upcoming market migration to 25 GE server access, or the recent movement in large US Cloud customers to 40 GE,” stated Weckel.

http://www.delloro.com

IHS: Data Center and Enterprise SDN Markets to See Strong Growth

The software-defined networking (SDN) market (Ethernet switches and controllers) will reach $13 billion in 2019, up from $781 million in 2014, as the availability of branded bare metal switches and use of SDN by enterprises and smaller cloud service providers (CSPs) drive growth, according to a newly published IHS Infonetics' biannual Data Center and Enterprise SDN Hardware and Software report.

Some highlights:

  • SDN still spells opportunity for existing and new vendors; the leaders in the SDN market serving the enterprise data center will be solidified during the next 2 years as 2015 lab trials give way to live production deployments
  • Bare metal switches are the top in-use for SDN-capable switch use case
  • SDN network virtualization overlays (NVOs) will go mainstream in 2016

“The SDN market is still forming, and the top market share slots will change hands frequently, but currently the segment leaders are Dell, HP, VMware and White Box,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., research director for data center, cloud and SDN at IHS.

http://www.infonetics.com

IHS: Microwave Equipment Sales Decline in Q1

The global microwave equipment market totaled $1.2 billion in the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15), a 9 percent sequential decline as operators continued to be cautious with spending, according to the IHS Infonetics Microwave Equipment report.

Some Highlights:

  • Microwave equipment revenue has been trending downward for the last few years due to pricing pressure and competition from fiber-based backhaul solutions
  • Backhaul comprised 85 percent of microwave equipment revenue in 1Q15, while transport made up 8 percent and access 7 percent
  • From a technology perspective, the dual Ethernet/TDM and all-Ethernet segments dominated microwave sales in Q1
  • EMEA and Asia Pacific again led in microwave equipment revenue, together combining for 81 percent of global share
  • Most microwave gear manufacturers reported decreased quarter-over-quarter results in 1Q15

“While some seasonality in the first quarter is typical, the microwave market was a little softer than usual in the first quarter as operators kept a tight rein on capex. On the plus side, the market did grow 15 percent from the year-ago first quarter,” said Richard Webb, research director for mobile backhaul and small cells at IHS. “In the long term, new shoots of growth from LTE/LTE-A backhaul upgrades and small cell deployments will give the market a boost, driving it back to revenue growth beginning in 2017."

http://www.infonetics.com/pr/2015/1Q15-Microwave-Equipment-Market-Highlights.asp

Samsung and Telefónica Collaborate on IoT

Samsung Electronics Iberia and Telefónica I+D have formed a collaborative partnership focused on IoT.

The companies are working to integrate Telefónica Thinking Things ecosystem with the advanced capabilities of Samsung’s devices.  Two prototypes are already under development. The first one integrates Telefonica’s Thinking Things Modular solution with the capabilities of Samsung’s devices and sensor technology in order to identify new products and services. The second prototype involves the development of a physical button that will be used to simplify the application of IoT capabilities to different environments.

“This initiative with Telefónica allows us to explore the countless possibilities offered by Samsung’s industry leading technology in order to create innovative solutions and make them available for our consumers”,  said Alfredo Aragüés, Samsung Spain's R&D division lead. “At Samsung, we believe that the true value of IoT technology is making the user experience easier and more intuitive. This is why we regard Telefónica's Thinking Things platform as an excellent environment for the development of revolutionary initiatives in the IoT field that will be able to bring these opportunities to life in the present day.”

http://saladeprensa.telefonica.com/

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

ONF Readies Atrium Open SDN Software Release

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) announced its "Atrium" open SDN software distribution, integrating previously standalone open source components.

Atrium, which will be released by the end of the month, incorporates the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), the Open Network Operating System (ONOS), and Open Compute Project (OCP) components. The software elements run in either controllers or switches, communicating via the OpenFlow protocol, and include plugin opportunities for other switching solutions to help foster an open ecosystem of interoperable, hardware-based OpenFlow switches.

Atrium 2015/A components include:

  • Documentation for installation, configuration, and operation
  • A snapshot of ONOS verified to work with the white-box software stack as well as other vendor switches that have provided a driver for their pipeline
  • A BGP peering application that runs on ONOS and includes the Quagga BGP stack
  • A collection of OpenFlow v1.3 device drivers in ONOS, meant for talking to vendor equipment with different hardware pipelines
  • Indigo OpenFlow client together with Open Network Linux and OFDPA for the OCP white-box switches
  • Mininet with the use of Open vSwitch (OVS) to emulate the hardware pipelines of the switches involved; (hardware pipelines represent a sequence of match-action tables in an OpenFlow switch)
  • Full testing suite for functionality tests

“ONF is actively creating the ecosystem and the architecture needed to bring open SDN to network operators around the world. Atrium is the first top-to-bottom, soup-to-nuts open source implementation that someone can actually download from GitHub and use to run a real network,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation. “Atrium’s philosophy is to build on software from many developers that has been community developed and tested to help network operators more easily build custom solutions and allow vendors to take advantage of common building blocks, reducing their development costs and improving interoperability. ONF views open source software as critical to accelerating commercial adoption of open SDN.”

“We have adopted an extensible architecture so that adding features and a variety of forwarding planes will follow easily,” said Saurav Das, principal system architect at the Open Networking Foundation. “With community contribution, this platform should evolve even more rapidly.”

“Atrium is entirely focused on ease of open SDN deployment by lowering barriers to adoption,” said Yatish Kumar, Atrium project lead, member of the ONF Technical Council, director of the ONF Specifications Area, and CTO of Corsa Technology. “We continue to view OpenFlow as key to meeting operator needs for a functional multi-vendor southbound protocol. We will build on Atrium’s offerings not only in the controller and switch spaces but also in the application space, making sure that the OpenSourceSDN.org community has a voice in what is included in future releases.”

Industry Support for Atrium
ONF’s open source software initiatives are built on a collaborative effort to ensure our work is complementary to and interoperable with the work being done by other organizations. Organizations supporting ONF’s efforts have said:

"Transitioning the networking industry to shared development around open source code rather than proprietary protocols is a key part of the ONF Mission,” said Urs Hölzle, chairman and president of the Open Networking Foundation and senior vice president of Technical Infrastructure and Google Fellow, Google. “Atrium is an important step toward realizing this direction."

“We are pleased to see OCP adopted for the open source hardware and operating software for the forwarding plane in Atrium,” said Corey Bell, CEO of the Open Compute Project. “Together with ONF and partners we are moving the industry to new models of efficiency and innovation in networking and computing for the benefit of all who operate IT infrastructures.”

“It's great to see more momentum building around open solutions for users,” said Neela Jacques, executive director of OpenDaylight. “ONF is a key partner and we share a common vision and purpose to promote SDN. We look forward to seeing the next release of Atrium running on OpenDaylight offering even more opportunities for operators to adopt open SDN.”

“We value working closely with ONF and pleased to bring Atrium to life and provide ONOS and BGP peering application as the key building blocks,” said Guru Parulkar, co-founder and executive director of ON.Lab. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with ONF and enabling real progress of open source software in achieving mainstream adoption.”

http://www.opensourcesdn.org
https://www.opennetworking.org

Fujitsu Enhances FLASHWAVE with Integrated OTN Access, Switching, Transport

Fujitsu announced enhancements to Optical Transport Network (OTN) switching and OTN access in its FLASHWAVE 9500 and FLASHWAVE CDS packet optical networking platforms.  Specifically, Fujitsu is extending its FLASHWAVE 9500 by introducing 2.4 Tbps OTN cross-connect grooming and an OTN control plane, enabling cross-connect services through OTN networks. The rollout includes:

A new suite of OTN units provides maximum grooming from ODU0 up to ODU4 and can be used in multiple operational modes, with or without the centralized switch fabric. The new 2 × OTU4 unit also supports coherent CFP modules for highly scalable ROADM deployments. Additional software features include support for ITU G.8032 Ethernet ring protection switching and Y.1731 performance monitoring.

Integrated OTN and ROADM switching in the FLASHWAVE 9500 allows for grooming and rearranging of traffic at intermediate drop sites without the need for additional transponders or muxponders. When used with the FLASHWAVE CDS, direct connection eliminates equipment bookending, providing a complete, lower cost solution. Enhanced OTN performance monitoring (PM) and operations, administration and maintenance (OAM) further strengthen FLASHWAVE 9500 management capabilities versus ROADM-only solutions.

The latest release of the FLASHWAVE CDS provides higher-capacity OTN access, a new compact chassis, and enhanced protection capabilities. A new OTU2 OTN transponder provides 4 × 10G OTN demarcation, supplementing the high-density OTN switch muxponder and OTU1 OTN transponder units currently available in the FLASHWAVE CDS. A new 1RU, AC-powered chassis for OTN units offers a footprint optimized for customer premises equipment demarcation. Y-cable protection support for OTN modules provides hardware resiliency for high-availability applications.

The FLASHWAVE CDS can operate as a stand-alone, end-to-end solution or as an extension of the FLASHWAVE 9500 and FLASHWAVE 7500 platforms. With 80 Gbps of OTN switching capacity, the FLASHWAVE CDS provides high-density OTN multiplexing and switching to operators requiring fully transparent transport of Ethernet, SONET, SDH and wholesale service extensions.

“Network traffic is growing at an exponential rate, and operators are looking for ways to boost bandwidth and increase network functionality,” said Steve Pelosi, head of the Optical Business Unit at Fujitsu Network Communications. “OTN provides operators a way to support different traffic types in a more cost-effective manner than legacy technologies. As our customers’ networks evolve, we will continue expanding our product portfolio to address their needs.”

http://www.fujitsu.com/us/products/network/news/newsroom/

Time Warner Cable Wi-Fi Network Tops 100K Hotspots

Time Warner Cable (TWC) now has over 100,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in its national Wi-Fi network.  Through the Cable WiFi partnership, TWC Internet customers now have access to more than 400,000 hotspots.

The latest cities to gain outdoor Wi-Fi coverage on the TWC national network are Dallas and San Antonio, Texas and Raleigh, North Carolina.

“In today’s highly mobile world, one of the biggest benefits of being a TWC Internet customer is access to free WiFi throughout the U.S.,” said Rob Cerbone, VP of Wireless Product Management for Time Warner Cable. “We’re growing our network every day and helping customers stay connected to what matters to them most by offering superfast broadband Internet speeds whether they are at home or away. Most importantly, our customers are noticing. Last year, TWC Internet customers engaged in more than 180 million WiFi sessions on our network, a 327% increase over the previous year.”

TWC Internet customers also can enjoy free WiFi access at more than 100 premium Boingo locations, including 25 of the busiest airports in the U.S., as a result of bilateral roaming announced by the companies last year. Nearly all of the TWC WiFi Hotspots as well as the Boingo locations are Passpoint-enabled so that customers can securely roam and seamlessly connect to the TWC WiFi-Passpoint and Boingo “Passpoint Secure” networks.

http://www.twc.com/wifi

ZTE Standardizes on Radisys' Virtualized MRF

ZTE will standardize on Radisys’ MediaEngine virtualized Media Resource Function (vMRF) as the media processing solution for its Value-added Services (VAS) and core network offerings in VoLTE, VoWiFi, video and IMS. Solutions based on Radisys’ common media processing platform will help ZTE's customers accelerate the deployment of new interactive HD audio and HD video services.

ZTE is a market leader in value-added service deployment, with 20 percent worldwide market share for voicemail that includes major deployments throughout China, India, Latin America and Europe. China Mobile will leverage ZTE’s IMS core and ring-back tones solutions, all powered by Radisys’ virtualized MRF.

“Mobile operators are deploying Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to bring the benefits of the cloud to their networks, such as scalability, increased efficiencies and reduced costs,” said Yang Wei, chief architect of core network deployment, ZTE Corporation. “To enable our mobile operator customers’ transition to an NFV environment, ZTE is migrating its IMS solutions and VoLTE core network service offerings to a cloud architecture, driving an important requirement for virtualized media processing. Radisys’ vMRF delivers HD audio and HD video media processing and transcoding that are required by today’s increasingly multimedia-intensive applications.”

“ZTE is a long-time customer of Radisys, having deployed Radisys’ hardware MRF portfolio for many years to provide the critical media processing for our value-added services, such as voicemail and ring-back tones, used by more than 600 million subscribers around the world,” said Huang Xiaobing, director of VAS product planning department, ZTE Corporation. “As we looked to transition our VAS service offerings to the cloud, we made the strategic decision to standardize across our IP service delivery solutions on Radisys’ virtualized MRF. This will allow ZTE to rapidly deploy new interactive multimedia services such as VoWiFi and WebRTC, while reducing our customers’ total cost of ownership.”

http://www.radisys.com



  • In May 2015, Radisys announced a follow-on order of approximately $11 million for its MediaEngine product from a large Asian carrier in support of its VoLTE network deployment. The order is expected to be fulfilled by Radisys over the course of the second and third quarters of 2015.




PLUMgrid Names Larry Lang as CEO

PLUMgrid, a start-up offering an Open Networking Suite (ONS) for clouds based on OpenStack, named Larry Lang as chief executive officer. Founder Awais Nemat has been appointed chairman of the board of directors.

Lang has held executive positions including president and CEO of Quorum Labs, vice president and general manager of the mobile internet business unit at Cisco Systems, and vice president of product management at Ipsilon Networks, now part of Nokia. His board service includes Violin Memory and previously BelAir Networks, now part of Ericsson.

"Enterprises and service providers are excited by the business transformation made possible by cloud data centers and software-defined networking," said Lang. "PLUMgrid's innovation in secure virtual networking is unmatched in providing customers the scalability and agility they require. It's a privilege to join the PLUMgrid team, and I look forward to leading the company and working with our customers and partners."

PLUMgrid is based in Sunnyvale, California.

http://www.plumgrid.com


PLUMgrid's Open Networking Suite (ONS), which supports OpenStack distributions and network functions, is a software-based network virtualization platform designed for cloud operators and large-scale cloud environments.

Virtual network functions in ONS 2.0 include routing, switching with Private VLAN, security policies, NAT, and DHCP. In addition, ONS 2.0 is introducing tech previews for DNS as a service and end to end data encryption.

In addition, PLUMgrid is announcing support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5 (RHEL-OSP 5) with ONS 2.0.

Cisco Collaborates with CERN on Next Gen Computing

Cisco is joining CERN openlab and will collaborate with the European research organization on developing highly secure computing infrastructure technologies capable of handling large and ever increasing amounts of data.

Specifically, Cisco and CERN openlab plan to investigate novel concepts that build on the latest evolution of hardware, heterogeneous system designs and increasing functionality of the network interface hardware.

CERN openlab provides a framework to develop and prototype state-of-the-art technologies in CERN’s highly sophisticated research environment. It also offers an opportunity to train the next generation of engineers and work with a global talent pool, thanks to CERN’s collaboration with the world’s top universities.

CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) research program involves collecting and analyzing data from millions of sensors. Today, these sensors can produce data at a rate of up to a petabyte (equivalent to around 20,000 Blu-ray discs) per second. Over the next decade, CERN expects these rates to grow significantly.

http://www.cisco.com

IHS: LTE Infrastructure Sales to Peak this Year

The global LTE mobile infrastructure revenue will peak at $23.3 billion in 2015 and then start to decline as a result of diminishing rollouts, according to the latest IHS Infonetics Mobile Infrastructure Equipment report.

“As we anticipated, we’re reaching the peak of LTE rollouts, and LTE is now set to perform at $6 billion a quarter for some time as operators complete their major remaining rollouts,” said Stéphane Téral, research director for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics at IHS.

Some highlights:

  • LTE revenue totaled $6 billion worldwide in the first quarter of 2015 (1Q15), a 1 percent sequential decline
  • LTE rollouts were not strong enough in 1Q15 to fully offset the abyssal year-over-year decline of 2G/3G spending, resulting in an 8 percent sequential decline for the global 2G/3G/4G mobile infrastructure market, which came to $11 billion
  • On a year-over-year basis, the 2G/3G/4G mobile infrastructure market was up 4 percent in 1Q15, driven by unabated TDD LTE activity in China


http://www.infonetics.com

AppFormix Promises Better Orchestration of VMs and Docker Containers

AppFormix, a start-up based in San Jose, California emerged from stealth mode to unveil its platform for managing the physical infrastructure and orchestrating virtual machines and Docker containers by leverating OpenStack, Kubernetes and Mesos.

The company said its goal is to create a fully optimized software-defined data center by bridging the gap between application requirements and the underlying resources. The AppFormix software solution provides developers, operators, and DevOps teams with the ability to monitor, analyze and control how applications consume cloud resources in real-time. AppFormix is currently in beta, and will be generally available in Q3 2015.

AppFormix also announced $7 million in series A funding from top tier venture capital firm, August Capital.

"Siloed tools for different types of infrastructure are yesterday's technology. The future is about real-time infrastructure visibility and the convergence of all tools and teams across the IT department,” said Sumeet Singh, founder and CEO of AppFormix. “Cloud infrastructure is shared infrastructure. By providing application-level visibility of the infrastructure and programmatically controlling how applications use the shared infrastructure AppFormix is enabling a more economical, reliable and agile software defined data center.”

http://www.appformix.com

IEEE Adopts Baseline for 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T Specs

The IEEE P802.3bz 2.5/5GBASE-T Task Force unanimously adopted baseline technology to be used for 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T specifications.

 “There is a great deal of industry support for the development of a single IEEE 802.3™ standard enabling multi-vendor interoperability for 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T Ethernet,” said Dave Chalupsky, chair of the IEEE P802.3bz task force and network architect at Intel Corporation.

“Swift achievement of consensus among participants has enabled the task force to move immediately into the next phase of the project, drafting the initial specifications.” “Ethernet is seeing growth in diversity of rates to address different applications,” said David Law, chair of the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group and distinguished engineer with HP Networking. “2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T serve this need at the edge of the network for a number of important use cases, such as satisfying the growing bandwidth needs of wireless access points supporting IEEE 802.11ac.”

https://standards.ieee.org/develop/project/802.3bz.html
http://standards.ieee.org

Monday, June 8, 2015

Cisco Targets "Security Everywhere," Intros Firepower 9300

Cisco is rolling out a "Security Everywhere" initiative aimed at embedding security throughout the extended network – from the data center out to endpoints, branch offices, and the cloud. The goal is pervasive threat visibility and control for enterprises and service provider networks. To get there, Cisco is adding more sensors to increase visibility; more control points to strengthen enforcement; and pervasive, advanced threat protection to reduce time-to-detection and time-to-response, limiting the impact of attacks.

Cisco is launching the following set of solutions across the entire networking portfolio:

Endpoints: With Cisco AnyConnect Featuring Cisco AMP for Endpoints, customers using the Cisco AnyConnect 4.1 VPN client now can easily deploy and significantly expand their threat
protection to VPN-enabled endpoints to continuously and retrospectively guard against advanced malware.

Campus and Branch: FirePOWER Services solutions for Cisco Integrated Services Rou
ters (ISR) provides centrally managed Next-Generation Intrusion Prevention System (NGIPS) and
Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) at the branch office integrated in the network fabric, where dedicated security appliances may not be feasible.

Network as a Sensor and Enforcer: Cisco has embedded multiple security technologies into the network infrastructure to provide broad threat visibility to rapidly identify users and
devices associated with anomalies, threats and misuse of networks and applications. New capabilities include:

o Broader Integration between Identity Services Engine (ISE) and Lancope StealthWatch: Enterprises can go beyond just mapping IP addresses to identifying threat vectors based
on ISE’s context of who, what, where, when and how users and devices are connected and access network resources. This provides greater contextual threat visibility with
StealthWatch for accelerated identification of threats.

o NetFlow on Cisco UCS: Extending Cisco’s network-as-a-sensor capabilities to the physical and virtual servers, customers now have greater visibility into network traffic
flow patterns and threat intelligence information in the data center.

Using the new embedded security capabilities, Cisco networks now have the ability to automate and dynamically enforce security policies. Customers can segment applications and
users throughout the network – across the extended enterprise to use policy to define which users can get which applications and what traffic can traverse the network then automate
security operations.

o TrustSec + ISE and StealthWatch Integration: StealthWatch can now block suspicious network devices by initiating segmentation changes, providing rapid response to identified
malicious activity. ISE can then modify access policies for Cisco routers, switches, and wireless LAN controllers embedded with TrustSec technology.

Hosted Identity Services provide a secure, 24/7, cloud-delivered service for the Cisco Identity Services Engine, a security policy management platform that unifies and automates secure
network access control. The new hosted service speeds time to deployment, supporting business growth and providing role-based, context-aware identity enforcement of users and devices permitted on the network, streamlining enterprise mobility experiences.

pxGrid Ecosystem: Eleven new partners have joined the pxGrid Ecosystem with the addition of several new ecosystem technology categories, including cloud security and network/application performance management. pxGrid is Cisco’s security context information exchange fabric that enables security platforms to share information to drive better threat detection, mitigation and overall security operations.

Cisco is also expanding advanced threat-centric protection for its Evolved Programmable Network (EPN), which is its open network architecture designed to advance the adoption of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). Cisco’s new service provider security solutions include the following:

Cisco Firepower 9300 Integrated Security Platform is a carrier-grade, high-performance, scalable and modular multi-services security platform purpose-built for service providers, that
can scale security for increased data flows due to accelerated service demands and carrier class requirements.

Expanded Advanced Orchestration and Cloud Capabilities enable Cisco’s new security solutions to integrate with the Cisco architecture and third-party SDN/NFV solutions, as
well as Cisco’s Adaptive Security Appliance Virtual (ASAv) with Cisco’s Network Service Orchestrator (NSO) and Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI). These orchestration and cloud capabilities also include open APIs for integration with orchestration, Operation Support Systems/Business Support Systems, and Cloud Security-as-a-Service solutions.

• Advanced features such as secure containers to accommodate future security services and applications. Additionally, Cisco ASA firewall and third-party DDoS mitigation from Radware
are currently supported, with additional capabilities planned for the second half of 2015.

http://www.cisco.com

Gigamon and JDSU Develop Software-Defined Traffic Visibility

JDSU is developing closed loop integration plugins that support Gigamon’s Software Defined Visibility, a framework that allows customers, security and network equipment vendors, as well as managed service providers, to control and program Gigamon’s Visibility Fabric via REST-based APIs.

There are several use cases in which JDSU plans to utilize Software Defined Visibility:


  • Session-based Filtering – JDSU will take advantage of Gigamon’s Adaptive Packet Filtering capabilities to dynamically drop unwanted ‘streaming’ traffic such as Netflix or YouTube, thereby reducing the demand on monitoring appliance storage capacity.
  • IPv4 and IPv6 Traffic Filtering – As more networks begin deployment of IPv6 along with legacy IPv4 infrastructure, JDSU expects customers will need to selectively filter v4 and v6 traffic. Leveraging the intelligent filtering of the Gigamon Visibility Fabric, network administrators can rest assured knowing that they have comprehensive visibility and a future-proof path to simplify IPv6 adoption without creating new blind spots.
  • Reduce ‘Mean Time To Resolution’ – To assist with faster diagnosis of traffic anomalies, the ability to enhance captured packets that are subsequently stored on JDSU’s GigaStor appliances will improve diagnosis accuracy and focus. Through the addition of Gigamon’s “Flow Mapping” meta-data and “network neighbor” discovery information, Network Operators will be able to evaluate network incidents more effectively and isolate issues to specific segments of the network infrastructure.

“We are excited to be working with Gigamon to integrate with APIs that support Software Defined Visibility,” said Charles Thompson, senior director, Product Line Management for JDSU. “With this integration, we envision a multitude of possibilities where our customers can automate traffic visibility, so that they can focus their resources on other mission-critical activities.”

“Having partners like JDSU on board and adopting our recently released APIs accelerates our Software Defined Visibility market momentum,” said Ananda Rajagopal, VP of Product Line Management at Gigamon. “Not only is JDSU at the forefront of adoption, they are validating the market need for pervasive and active visibility. Their API-based development demonstrates the true power and flexibility that a programmatic framework can provide to quickly and automatically react to changes in network conditions.”

Gigamon's GigaVUE-FM 3.0 Fabric Manager offers a single pane-of-glass view of both physical and virtual nodes across the Visibility Fabric, while providing a wizard-based approach for configuring Flow Mapping and GigaSMART traffic policies. A single instance of GigaVUE-FM can manage hundreds of visibility nodes across multiple locations delivering more than a quarter of a million physical and virtual ports. Flow Mapping is a patented technology at the heart of Gigamon’s GigaVUE Visibility Fabric nodes that takes line-rate traffic at 1Gb, 10Gb, 40Gb or 100Gb from a network TAP or a SPAN/mirror port (physical or virtual) and then optimizes flows based on individual traffic profiles of the tools and applications that secure, monitor, and analyze the network infrastructure.

http://www.gigamon.com

Alibaba's Aliyun Announces Cloud Marketplace Alliance Program

Alibaba's Aliyun cloud computing arm, is launching a global Marketplace Alliance Program (MAP) to boost public cloud services worldwide. The MAP program will provide enterprises worldwide with access to Alibaba cloud computing’s public cloud solutions. Essentially, the program enables Aliyun to localize its cloud computing offerings by partnering with other leading players.

Aliyun has data centers in Beijing, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Silicon Valley, and Dubai (under construction). As of June 30, 2014, Aliyun served more than 1.4 million customers directly and indirectly through independent service providers.

The initial Aliyun’s MAP partners include Intel, Singtel, Dubai holding company Meraas Holdings, Equinix, Hong Kong's PCCW, French website hosting and cloud services provider LINKBYNET, and Hong Kong public utility Towngas.

“The new Aliyun program is designed to bring our customers the best cloud computing solutions by partnering with some of the most respected technology brands in the world. We will continue to bring more partners online to grow our cloud computing ecosystem,” said Sicheng (Ethan) YU, vice president, Aliyun.

Commenting on the scheme, Raejeanne Skillern, general manager of Cloud Service Provider Business at Intel Corporation said, "For years Intel and Alibaba have collaborated on optimizing hardware and software technology across the data center for Alibaba's unique workloads. As a partner in Aliyun's Marketplace Alliance Program, Intel looks forward to continuing our collaboration to promoting joint technology solutions that are based on Intel Architecture specifically tailored to the rapidly growing market of international public cloud consumers."

“As one of the first global partners of Aliyun, Singtel will offer our customers even more choices in cloud infrastructure platforms in China and around the world,” said Lim Seng Kong, Singtel’s managing director (Global Enterprise Business). “With Singtel’s strong Managed Cloud services capabilities, extensive customer reach and strong suite of information and communications technology services, we can also provide the springboard for Aliyun to grow its footprint in the Asia-Pacific, which is one of the fastest growing markets for cloud services.”

http://www.aliyun.com

Coriant Supplies 100G for UNINETT's Arctic Optical Network

UNINETT, a non-profit provider of telecom and data network connections to Norwegian universities and research institutions, selected Coriant to build a new 100G-capable subsea optical transport infrastructure connecting Ny-Ålesund and Longyearbyen on the Svalbard archipelago. The network will enable UNINETT to scale optical transmission capacity and meet the low latency connectivity requirements of demanding, high-bandwidth scientific research and education traffic and applications.

The deployment uses the Coriant hiT 7300 Multi-Haul Transport Platform and the Coriant Transport Network Management System (TNMS), serving as Submarine Line Terminal Equipment (SLTE).  The Coriant hiT 7300 LH/ULH platform will provide UNINETT with coherent 100G connectivity between Ny-Ålesund and Longyearbyen in a DWDM subsea application spanning approximately 260 kilometers.

The northernmost civilian year-round settlement in the world, Ny-Ålesund is an important international research community that hosts a broad range of life, earth, and environmental scientists. Eleven institutions from ten countries have established permanent research stations in Ny-Ålesund, and an increase in research activities, including plans for a new astronomical research observatory, is one of the primary drivers behind the need for higher network capacities. Real-time and near-real time astronomy data transmission is one example of the types of research and education applications requiring reliable, high-speed connectivity.

“High-speed global collaboration and real-time exchange of media-rich data and applications are critical to research and educational institutions, and serve as the life blood of research communities like Ny-Ålesund,” said Vidar Faltinsen, Chief Technology Officer, UNINETT. “In order help us achieve our goal of bringing our customers state-of-the art broadband communications, we needed a proven technology partner that could deliver a highly reliable and flexible DWDM solution, with the service expertise to support network deployment and service commissioning in Svalbard’s particularly harsh environment. Coriant proved the ideal partner on all fronts.”

“Coriant has a wealth of experience in providing robust and reliable optical transport solutions for hybrid subsea and terrestrial networks,” said Uwe Fischer, Chief Technology Officer, Coriant. “We continue to build our industry leadership on superior photonic layer performance, stability, and scalability, with proven features such as active power transient management and integrated high-density LH/ULH ROADMs that ensure the high-availability required by UNINETT’s customers.”

http://www.coriant.com/company/press_release.asp?id=1226