Wednesday, July 15, 2015

China Mobile Demos 220 Mbps on 3.5 GHz interband TD-LTE

China Mobile has demonstrated 220 Mbps peak data transmission rates based on 3.5 GHz interband TD-LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation.

The live demo, which was conducted at this week's Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2015, used a commercial Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station and a test device to run combined 3.5 GHz and 2.6 GHz TD-LTE frequency bands.

The 3.5 GHz band is another important spectrum resource for 4G networks, which will be used in TD-LTE. This demo not only proves the commercial feasibility of the 3.5 GHz TD-LTE band, but also shows 3.5 GHz can be aggregated with current bands, enhancing 4G networks with more capacity.”

http://networks.nokia.com

Nokia Launches LTE Radio and Core Features for IoT

Nokia Networks launched its IoT connectivity solution for LTE core and radio networks.Currently, mobile networks are primarily optimized for smartphone traffic. IoT applications are expected to bring new requirements for the network infrastructure, such as the number and type of connected devices, as well as different traffic patter.

The new IoT connectivity solution consists of two elements: Nokia’s Core for IoT and its enhanced Smart Scheduler for LTE radio.

Nokia’s Core:

  • Drives down total cost of ownership (TCO) for IoT solutions on operators’ networks and allows for a business mix of high ARPC and low ARPC M2M traffic
  • Improves operational efficiency by about 35% compared to legacy networks and provides 40% better CPU utilization e.g. for smart meter traffic
  • Open APIs allow for real-time data mining, service control and integration, making it much easier to ensure network optimization and service enablement for IoT applications
  • Programmability enables operators to cope with a multitude of applications and proactively reduce signaling traffic, e.g. by adjusting the timer value for service based paging for connected cars


Nokia’s enhanced Smart Scheduler:

  • With self-adapting algorithms in Flexi Base Stations, it adapts to the IoT device traffic profile, which will become more relevant with the increasing variety of IoT use cases from stationary metering applications to demanding vehicle-to-infrastructure communications
  • It reduces signaling load in the network, enhances responsiveness of the service and lowers power consumption of the IoT modem
  • It improves connection quality even at the cell edge with minimized impact on network capacity

"While IoT represents a major growth opportunity for operators, they need to prepare their networks well. Nokia’s IoT connectivity solution is a key building block required to efficiently manage the related M2M traffic. A secure connectivity layer will then open up further opportunities for management and application platforms, as well as analytics and user services,” stated Michael Clever, Head of Mobile Broadband Core Cluster at Nokia Networks.

http://networks.nokia.com

Intel Sees Strength in Data Center & IoT Segments

Intel reported revenue of $13.2 billion for 2Q 2015, consistent with its previous guidance, gross margin of 62.5%, operating income of $2.9 billion, net income of $2.7 billion and EPS of 55 cents. The company said data center, memory and IoT represented a growing share of its profits, more than offsetting weakness in the desktop PC market.

Revenue by segment:

  • Client Computing Group revenue of $7.5 billion, up 2 percent sequentially and down 14 percent year-over-year
  • Data Center Group revenue of $3.9 billion, up 5 percent sequentially and up 10 percent year-over-year
  • Internet of Things Group revenue of $559 million, up 5 percent sequentially and up 4 percent year-over-year
  • Software and services operating segments revenue of $534 million, flat sequentially and down 3 percent year-over-year

http://www.intel.com

At the end of Q2, Intel had 107,000 employees worldwide, flat compared to the previous quarter.

ConnectHome Initiative to Provide High-Speed Broadband to Low Income Housing

President Obama announced the ConnectHome initiative to provide high-speed broadband to low-income housing communities.

The pilot program, which is launching in twenty-seven cities and in one tribal nation, will initially reach over 275,000 low-income households – and nearly 200,000 children.

Some highlights of ConnectHome:


  • In Google Fiber markets (including the ConnectHome cities of Atlanta, Durham, Kansas City, and Nashville), Google Fiber will offer $0 monthly home Internet service to residents in select public housing authority properties and will partner with community organizations on computer labs and digital literacy programming to bridge the digital divide, especially for families with K-12 students.
  • In select communities of Choctaw Tribal Nation, Cherokee Communications, Pine Telephone, Suddenlink Communications, and Vyve Broadband will work together to ensure that over 425 of Choctaw’s public housing residents have access to low-cost, high-speed internet.
  • In Seattle, and across its coverage footprint, CenturyLink will make broadband service available to HUD households, via its Internet Basics program, for $9.95 per month for the first year and $14.95 per month for the next four years.
  • In Macon, Meriden, Baton Rouge, and New Orleans, Cox Communications will offer home Internet service for $9.95 per month to eligible K-12 families residing in public housing authorities.As part of its existing ConnectED commitment, Sprint will work with HUD and the ConnectHome program to make its free wireless broadband Internet access service program available to eligible K-12 students living in public housing. This builds upon the free mobile broadband service previously committed to low-income students by AT&T and Verizon, for ConnectED.
  • Best Buy will offer HUD residents in select ConnectHome demonstration project cities, including Choctaw Tribal Nation, the computer training and technical support needed to maximize the academic and economic impact of broadband access. Best Buy will also offer afterschool technical training, for free, to students participating in ConnectHome at Best Buy Teen Centers in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, San Antonio, and Washington, DC.
  • The James M. Cox Foundation, a Cox Communications-affiliated Foundation, will make 1,500 discounted tablets, pre-loaded with educational software, available for $30 to students and their families participating in ConnectHome, in Macon.
  • GitHub will provide $250,000 to support devices and digital literacy training to HUD residents in ConnectHome cities.
  • College Board, in partnership with Khan Academy, will offer students and families in HUD housing in all ConnectHome communities free, online SAT practice resources, and contribute $200,000 over three years to fund digital literacy and personalized college readiness and planning training in Cleveland, Los Angeles, New York, San Antonio, Washington, DC and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
  • 80/20 Foundation will provide $100,000 to fund digital literacy training in San Antonio. 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/07/15/fact-sheet-connecthome-coming-together-ensure-digital-opportunity-all

IIJ Picks VMware vCloud for NFV

Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ) has selected the VMware vCloud for NFV platform to support a new Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) virtual CPE (vCPE) service.

The new vCPE “IIJ Omnibus Service,” due to launch in September 2015 will include its proprietary SEIL series of high-performance routers and VPN gateway services to business customers. By moving to a virtualized CPE deployment model, IIJ will be able to transform the economics of the company’s CPE-based services while attaining the agility to adapt quickly to new service opportunities and integrate with their broad digital services portfolio.

IIJ currently uses physical appliances deployed on site to provide its value-added services, including Internet access, outsourcing, and systems integration for all network usage requirements.

VMware vCloud for NFV is an integrated Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) platform that combines VMware’s production-proven virtualized compute, networking, storage and management solutions with integrated support for OpenStack. The platform currently offers support for more than 40 different virtual network functions (VNFs) from more than 30 vendors.

“IIJ and VMware have been longstanding partners, having first collaborated on the successful IIJ GIO Virtual Platform VW Series based on VMware vSphere,” said Kiyoshi Ishida, Executive Managing Officer, Product Division Director, IIJ. “When IIJ decided to extend its virtualized platform to support network functions, we saw VMware’s production-proven technologies and professional service capabilities as the most reliable and fastest route to market.”
 
“IIJ has fully embraced NFV in a way that will allow sustained differentiation in a highly competitive market,” said Shekar Ayyar, corporate senior vice president, Strategy and Corporate Development, and General Manager, Telco NFV Group, VMware. “They are creating a single horizontal platform that will not only allow the onboarding of their own new VNF today, but provide choice to IIJ for the addition of best in class VNFs from external vendors and developers as service needs evolve.”

http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/

ACG Report Presents Business Case for NFV Now

A new study, conducted by industry research firm ACG and sponsored by Affirmed Networks and VMware, presents the business case for why Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) should accelerate their move to a NFV-based architecture.

The report makes a five-year cost comparison between MNOs with traditional and virtualized network architectures.  Some key findings:

  • MNOs that transitioned to an NFV-based platform began saving money in the first year and realize an investment payback in three years;
  • Adopting a virtualized Evolved Packet Core (EPC) solution, reduced capex by 69% and opex by 67% on average; and
  • Mobile operators were able to deploy a virtualized network much more quickly (in as little as six months) than they were with traditional networks (15 months on average) resulting in quicker time to market and time to revenue.

“In order to increase both network capacity and performance, and also accelerate service creation, MNOs have the option of staying with traditional architectures or moving to a virtualized approach,” said Ray Mota, President, ACG Research.  “While we are seeing that many operators intend to move toward a virtualized approach, what we saw as a result of this research were the severe negative consequences that delaying that migration can have on their bottom line.”

http://www.affirmednetworks.com/tco-report/

Dell'Oro: RAN Infrastructure Market to Shrink by $11B between 2015-19

The RAN market is expected to decline at a CAGR of -2% between 2015 and 2019, while the cumulative RAN market during the five-year forecast period is expected to be $11 B lower than the comparative five-year period (2010 through 2014), according to a new report by Dell'Oro Group.

Some highlights:


  • Total LTE  market—macro and small cell—expected to double between 2013 and 2019
  • Total Small Cell market—including distributed radio systems—expected to grow more than ten-fold between 2014 and 2019.
  • About the Report 


"It is of some concern that we are still five years away from the first commercial 5G networks and worldwide LTE POP coverage is nearly 50 percent, whereas 3G coverage was less than 15 percent ten years ago, five years before the first 4G deployments materialized.  Nevertheless, we remain optimistic about the continued positive impact of LTE.  We believe that the long multi-band, multi-carrier, multi-layer, multi-feature, multi-application LTE roadmap will ensure steady LTE investments, even after the initial 4G peak coverage phase, to ensure a smooth transition toward VoLTE, LTE-A, and eventually 5G," said Stefan Pongratz, RAN analyst at Dell'Oro Group.

"The depth of the LTE roadmap will stimulate strong recurring upgrade/capacity business and even so if the total market does not generate significant topline growth, there should be room to improve margins as capacity and upgrades constitute a greater portion of total revenues," continued Pongratz.

http://www.delloro.com

Ericsson Opens Cloud Lab in Aachen, Germany

Ericsson has established a new Cloud Lab in Aachen, Germany to support operators and industry customers in Europe with faster innovation through all stages in the development cycle towards cloud and virtualization. This includes early technology demos, testing, verification and pre-packaging up to live deployments of new services.

The Cloud Lab will be built on Ericsson’s own technology and services expertise. This includes products such as Ericsson HDS 8000, Ericsson Secure Cloud Storage, Cloud Manager based on ECM product, and our offerings for IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) addressing both the IT and Telecom Cloud environments.

http://www.ericsson.com

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Equinix Cites Rapid Growth in Direct Connections to Azure

Equinix cited rapid growth in the number of enterprise customers accessing Azure in Equinix’s International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers around the globe.

Specifically, over the past year as the availability of direct connections to Microsoft Azure has expanded to 16 market, Equinix has facilitated hundreds of connections to Azure via its Cloud Exchange. Recent Equinix customers taking advantage of private access to Azure include GE, HarperCollins, Hitachi Data Systems, and Red Lobster, among others.

Some notes:

  • More than one hundred companies are currently on the Equinix Cloud Exchange, the company’s interconnection solution that brings cloud and network service providers together with enterprises through private, security-enhanced and high-performance connections. Since launching the service in 2014, Equinix has facilitated hundreds of connections to Azure taking place on Cloud Exchange. The company also offers a number of flexible interconnection offerings, including Cross Connects (dedicated fiber cables), Internet exchange (carrier grade switches connecting many providers) within the data center, and Metro Connect (dedicated Layer 1 and switch-based Layer 2 services) between data centers in the same metro.
  • Equinix recently announced that it will be one of the first companies to offer private, managed connections to Microsoft Office 365, including Skype for Business, via ExpressRoute through the Equinix Cloud Exchange.
  • Hybrid cloud deployment is on the rise among enterprise customers. In fact, according to Robert Mahowald, program vice president at IDC and head of the SaaS & Cloud Services practice, “More than 65% of enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud technologies before 2016, vastly driving the rate and pace of change in IT organizations.”
  • Azure is used by 57% of the Fortune 500, and according to a recent report by Synergy Research is experiencing 96% year-over-year growth, and is second in overall market share for cloud infrastructure services.
  • Access to Azure via ExpressRoute on Equinix Cloud Exchange is currently available in 16 markets globally, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Sao Paulo, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Washington DC, Amsterdam, London, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo, with Osaka being added later in 2015.

“By providing direct access to Azure via ExpressRoute inside Equinix data centers, we are enabling companies to bridge their cloud and data center strategies and fully realize the benefits of hybrid and multi-cloud. Since we began offering the Microsoft solution just over a year ago, we have witnessed significant growth in connections and companies increasingly benefit from the scale, flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the cloud—all without the complexities associated with traditional network connections,” stated Chris Sharp, vice president, Cloud Innovation, Equinix.

Equinix also noted that it is working with Datapipe, Unitas Global and ScienceLogic to develop custom solutions that further help enterprises create hybrid clouds, maximizing the public cloud through Azure and ExpressRoute, paired with dedicated on-premise infrastructure and services inside Equinix.

http://www.equinix.com/solutions/by-services/interconnection/exchanges/equinix-cloud-exchange



NetScout Acquires Danaher’s Communications Business

NetScout Systems completed its acquisition of Danaher Corporation’s Communications Business. The deal was valued at $2.3 billion and involved the issuance of 62.5 million shares of NetScout common stock at $36.89 per share to Danaher’s shareholders.

The acquisition includes Tektronix Communications, Arbor Networks and parts of the Fluke Networks businesses, all of which were owned by Danaher Corp.  The deal was first announced in October 2014.

Danaher’s Communications business generated revenue (unaudited) of approximately $836 million for the year ended December 31, 2013.

Danaher’s Communications business, which has over 2,000 employees worldwide, includes: 

Tektronix Communications, based in Plano, Texas, which provides a comprehensive set of assurance, intelligence and test solutions and services support for a range of architectures and applications such as LTE, HSPA, 3G, IMS, mobile broadband, VoIP, video and triple play. Also included are VSS Monitoring and Newfield Wireless.

Arbor Networks, based in Burlington, Massachusetts, which provides solutions that help secure the world’s largest enterprise and service provider networks from DDoS attacks and advanced threats.

Fluke Networks, based in Everett, Washington, which delivers network monitoring solutions that speed the deployment and improve the performance of networks and applications. The data cabling tools business and carrier service provider (CSP) tools business within Fluke Networks are not included this transaction.

“This acquisition represents an important milestone for NetScout that enhances our ability to drive value for customers, stockholders, employees and other stakeholders,” stated Anil Singhal, president and CEO.   “With a broader range of market-leading capabilities and technologies, as well as more extensive, global go-to-market and distribution resources, NetScout will be better positioned to capitalize on the many exciting opportunities we see to further expand our customer relationships around the world.  We welcome over 2,000 new colleagues to NetScout and collectively, we are looking forward to realizing the Company’s potential in the marketplace.”

NetScout also announced today that it has secured a new five-year, $800 million senior secured revolving credit facility that replaces its previous revolving credit facility of $250 million.

http://www.netscout.com

Danaher acquired Tektronix in 2007 for $1.1 billion.

Danaher acquired Arbor Networks in 2010.

Windows Server Now Available on Google Compute Engine

Google announced general availability of Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012 R2 on its cloud compute service.

For Windows Server instances, Google Compute Engine promises "increased uptime due to transparent maintenance, cheap and predictable block storage, and best in class Google Cloud Storage Nearline backup. Sharepoint, SQL and Exchange Server, and other Microsoft applications are also available to Compute Engine customers via the Microsoft License Mobility program."

Other OSes supported by Google Compute Engine include CentOS, Debian, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE, Ubuntu, CoreOS, FreeBSD, openSUSE, and SELinux.

http://googlecloudplatform.blogspot.com/2015/07/Bringing-Windows-to-Google-Cloud-Platform.html

Digital Realty to Acquire Telx for Data Centers and Internet Exchanges

Digital Realty Trust agreed to acquire Telx, a national provider of data center colocation, interconnection and cloud enablement solutions, for $1.886 billion from private equity firms ABRY Partners and Berkshire Partners.

The combination is expected to double Digital Realty's footprint in the rapidly-growing colocation business, as well as provide Digital Realty customers access to a leading interconnection platform.

As of March 31, 2015, Telx managed 1.3 million square feet of data center space operating out of 20 facilities across the country, of which two are Telx-owned, 11 are leased from Digital Realty, one is partially sub-leased from Digital Realty and an unrelated third party, and six are leased from third parties. Telx's flagship facilities include its NYC1 data center at 60 Hudson Street in Manhattan, which serves as a nerve center for international communications and offers access to physical connection points to the world’s telecommunications networks and Internet backbones. Telx occupies multiple floors at 60 Hudson with interconnectivity to more than 400 carriers, financial exchanges and application, media, content, and software-as-a-service providers with just a single connection. Telx operates other NYC data centers at 111 8th Ave. and 32 Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave).

As of March 31, 2015, Digital Realty's portfolio consisted of 130 properties, including 14 properties held as investments in unconsolidated joint ventures, comprised of approximately 22.1 million square feet, excluding approximately 1.2 million square feet of space under active development and 1.3 million square feet of space held for future development, located throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

"This transformative transaction is consistent with our strategy of sourcing strategic and complementary assets to strengthen and diversify Digital Realty's data center portfolio and expand our product mix and presence in the attractive colocation and interconnection space," said A. William Stein, Digital Realty's Chief Executive Officer.  "Telx's well-established colocation and interconnection businesses provide access to two rapidly-growing segments with long-standing customer relationships in top-tier metropolitan areas such as New York and Silicon Valley.  The fact that more than half of Telx's 20 facilities are run out of Digital Realty properties further highlights the strategic fit as well as the potential incremental revenue opportunities we expect to be able to pursue as one company on a global basis.  This transaction advances our objective of ensuring that Digital Realty's suite of products and services is able to best serve our customers' current and future data center needs."

"We are excited to join Digital Realty and become part of a much larger global data center services platform," said Chris Downie, Chief Executive Officer of Telx.  "We look forward to working with the Digital Realty team to extend a broader, enhanced data center solution to our collective customers.  The combination of Telx's colocation and interconnection capabilities with Digital Realty's expansive wholesale platform provides greater flexibility and optionality for our customers and creates a global solutions provider covering wholesale customer applications and smaller performance-oriented deployments in select high-growth urban submarkets across the U.S.  As we open this new chapter, I am proud of our team who, with the support of our partners, ABRY and Berkshire, have significantly increased Telx's revenue and earnings since 2011 and have positioned the company for long-term growth."

In connection with the definitive agreement, Digital Realty received a commitment from a syndicate of lenders for a $1.850 billion unsecured term loan bridge facility, the proceeds of which will be available for use, if necessary, to fund a portion of the acquisition of Telx.  Borrowings, if any, under the bridge facility will bear interest at a rate based, at the borrower's option, on LIBOR or a Base Rate (as defined in the commitment papers), in each case plus an applicable margin based on Digital Realty 's credit rating, and the facility will mature 364 days after the closing date of the acquisition of Telx.

http://www.telx.com
https://blog.digitalrealty.com/2015/07/power-of-connection-bill-stein-telx-acquisition/


SK Telecom Deploys Accedian's Performance Monitoring

Accedian Networks announced the deployment of its performance monitoring solution across the SK Telecom mobile network -- encompassing 12,000 locations across the six largest cities in South Korea.

Accedian's virtualized solutions collect precise network performance indicators in real time from SK Telecom's existing network infrastructure, as well as from Accedian's NFV-based (network function virtualization) performance assurance modules. SK Telecom operates a multi-vendor network, ensuring each supports the RFC-5357 two way active measurement protocol (TWAMP), a vendor-independent, global performance monitoring standard. Accedian's centralized monitoring solution acts as a uniform instrumentation layer, centralizing a real-time view of network performance throughout the network. Where access equipment lacks TWAMP standards support, SK Telecom installs Accedian's Nano smart SFP modules to ensure ubiquitous network coverage from end-to-end.

Accedian said SK Telecom plans to extend coverage to all sites serving over 28 million subscribers nationwide. T

"At SK Telecom, best-possible quality of customer service and experience is at the heart of our reputation and our business," stated Choi, Seung-won, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Solution Office, SK Telecom. "Partnering with Accedian helps us ensure the highest levels of QoS and QoE, which is particularly important as we continue to extend our network towards 5G, and to expand coverage with small cells, making the need for 24x7 end to end network visibility critical. Accedian's performance monitoring solutions make this possible. SK Telecom selected Accedian's TWAMP performance assurance solution specifically as the quality indicator and standard for LTE business-to-business networks."

"SK Telecom is a premier example of a mobile service provider pushing network performance and technology to the limit," stated Accedian Founder, President, and CEO, Patrick Ostiguy. "They are early adopters and innovators, and their efforts result in the extremely high levels of service and experience quality their customers have come to expect. Accedian is honored to help support their performance assurance objectives through our comprehensive solutions, built with providers like SK Telecom in mind."

http://www.accedian.com
http://www.sktelecom.com




Blueprint: 5G and the Need For SDN Flow Optimization


by Scott Sumner, VP Solutions Development and Marketing, Accedian Networks As more subscribers run bandwidth-intensive applications from a variety of devices, mobile access networks are increasingly strained to maintain quality. According to Ericsson, annual mobile traffic throughput is predicted to increase from 58 exabytes in 2013 to roughly 335 exabytes by 2020. It’s clear that brute-force bandwidth over-provisioning is no longer an economically...


Sysdig Targets Container-Native Monitoring

Sysdig, a start-up based in San Francisco, announced the general availability of its “container-native” monitoring solution along with $10.7 million in Series A venture funding.

Sysdig, which describes itself as "the container visibility company," has developed the first monitoring, alerting, and troubleshooting platform specializing in container visibility. The Sysdig Cloud performance management solution uses patent-pending "ContainerVision" technology" to monitor the entire architecture using its own stand-alone container, with zero configuration.  This enables deep visibility into every other service running in the environment. In other words, Sysdig Cloud is monitoring as a microservice. It is available as software as a service.

“Containers are by their very nature dynamic, isolated, lightweight, and portable,” said Loris Degioanni, CEO and founder of Sysdig. “These characteristics have put containers at the heart of the current revolution from monolithic apps to microservices. But these same characteristics also make containers impractical to monitor with traditional, agent-based methods. What the market is demanding now is a new, ‘container-native’ performance management approach that both respects the core principles of containers and enables their core benefits.”

The recent funding round was led by Accel and Bain Capital Ventures (BCV).  This latest round of financing brings Sysdig’s total funding to date to $13 million, including a previously undisclosed $2.3 million seed funding round led by BCV in June 2013.

http://www.sysdig.com

  • Sysdig is headed by Loris Degioanni (founder and CEO), who was instrumental in the creation of WinPcap and Wireshark.

MapR Reports Triple Digit Growth for its Apache Hadoop

MapR Technologies, a start-up based in San Jose, California, reported more than 100% growth in bookings and billings during Q2 2015 compared to the same quarter in the prior year for its Apache Hadoop solutions.

MapR processes big and fast data on a single platform, enabling real-time applications for enterprise deployments.

“New customer adoption and expanded deployments of the MapR Distribution for Hadoop have continued to accelerate as enterprise customers are realizing top-line revenue growth and operational efficiencies,” said John Schroeder, cofounder and CEO, MapR Technologies. “Our technology innovations with Apache Hadoop coupled by a proven, subscription-based licensing model, has enabled our business to grow with predictable success.”

https://www.mapr.com

MapR Raises $110 Million for Apache Hadoop


MapR Technologies, a start-up based in San Jose, California, raised $110 million in venture funding for its distribution for Apache Hadoop software. MapR has significant production Hadoop environments in financial services, healthcare, media, retail, telecommunications, and Web 2.0 companies.  The financing will be used to continue growth in the big data and analytics segment, especially to fund additional engineering resources and support...

Monday, July 13, 2015

Intel Shows its Omni-Path Architecture for HPC

Intel conducted the first public "powered-on" demonstration of its Omni-Path Architecture, a next-generation fabric technology for high performance computing (HPC) clusters.

The demonstration, conducted at the ISC2015 show in Frankfurt, featured Intel Omni-Path Architecture (Intel OPA), an end-to-end solution, including PCIe* adapters, silicon, switches, cables, and management software, that builds on the existing Intel True Scale Fabric and Infiniband. Intel OPA was designed to address the challenge that processor capacity and memory bandwidth have been scaling faster than system I/O.  It accelerates the message passing interface (MPI) rates in next gen systems. Intel OPA also promises the ability to scale to tens — and eventually hundreds — of thousands of nodes.

Intel Omni-Path Architecture uses technologies acquired from both QLogic and Cray, as well as Intel-developed technologies. In the near future, Intel says it will integrate the Intel Omni-Path Host Fabric Interface onto future generations of Intel Xeon processors and Intel Xeon Phi processors.

Intel also announced new a collaboration with HP to develop purpose-built HP Apollo systems designed to expand the use of HPC solutions to enterprises of all sizes.  The purpose built HP Apollo compute platforms will utilize the Intel HPC scalable system framework, including next generation Intel Xeon processors, the Intel Xeon Phi product family, Intel Omni-Path Architecture and the Intel Enterprise Edition of Lustre software.

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/high-performance-computing-fabrics/omni-path-architecture-fabric-overview.html


In April 2015, Intel and Cray were selected to build two next generation, high-performance computing (HPC) systems that will be five to seven times more powerful than the fastest supercomputers today.

Intel will serve as prime contractor to deliver the supercomputers for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF). The Aurora system will be based on Intel’s HPC scalable system framework and will be a next-generation Cray “Shasta” supercomputer. Intel said the Aurora system will be delivered in 2018 and have a peak performance of 180 petaflops, making it the world’s most powerful system currently announced to date. Aurora will use future generations of Intel Xeon Phi processors and the Intel Omni-Path Fabric high-speed interconnect technology, a new non-volatile memory architecture and advanced file system storage using Intel Lustre software.



In November 2014, Intel confirmed that its third-generation Intel Xeon Phi product family, code-named Knights Hill, will be built using 10nm process technology and that it will integrate Intel Omni-Path Fabric technology. Knights Hill will follow the upcoming Knights Landing product, with first commercial systems based on Knights Landing expected to begin shipping next year.

Intel also disclosed that its Intel Omni-Path Architecture will achieve 100 Gbps line speed and up to 56 percent lower switch fabric latency in medium-to-large clusters than InfiniBand alternatives. The architecture targets a 48 port switch chip compared to the current 36 port InfiniBand alternatives. This will reduce the number of switches required in HPC clusters.

Intel Previews Enhanced Lustre File System for HPC

Intel previewed a number of new features coming in its Enterprise Edition for Lustre 2.3, including support for Multiple Metadata Targets in the Intel Manager for Lustre GUI. Lustre, which has been in use in the world’s largest dataccenters for over a decade and hardened in the harshest big data environments, leverages an object-based storage architecture that can scale to tens of thousands of clients and petabytes of data.

New capabilities will enable Lustre metadata to be distributed across servers. Intel Enterprise Edition for Lustre 2.3 supports remote directories, which allow each metadata target to serve a discrete sub-directory within the file system name space. This enables the size of the Lustre namespace and metadata throughput to scale with demand and provide dedicated metadata servers for projects, departments, or specific workloads.

Intel is also preparing to roll out new security, disaster recovery, and enhanced support features in Intel Cloud Edition for Lustre 1.2, which will arrive later this year. These enhancements will include network encryption using IPSec, the ability to recover a complete file system using snapshots, and new client mounting tools, updates to instance and target naming, and added network testing tools.

http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/software/intel-enterprise-edition-for-lustre-software.html

WSJ: Tsinghua Unigroup Bids for Micron

Micron Technology, which makes DRAM and NAND memories, is the target of a $23 billion acquisition offer from Tsinghua Unigroup of China, according to The Wall Street Journal.  Neither company has confirmed the report.

http://www.micron.com/


  • Tsinghua Unigroup is 51% owned by Tsinghua Holdings and 49% owned by Beijing Jiankun Investment Group.   It has previously acquired Spreadtrum and RDA Microelectronics.  Tsinghua Holdings is controlled by Tsinghua University in Beijing.


Intel and Micron Announce 3D NAND Flash Memory

Intel and Micron Technology announced availability of their 3D NAND technology, the world's highest-density flash memory, for use in data center servers, laptops, tablets and mobile devices.


The new 3D NAND technology, which was jointly developed by Intel and Micron, stacks layers of data storage cells vertically to create storage devices with three times higher capacity than competing NAND technologies.  The companies have been able to package up to 48GB of NAND per die — enabling three-fourths of a terabyte to fit in a single fingertip-sized package.  A 256Gb MLC version of 3D NAND currently is sampling with select partners, and a 384Gb TLC design will be sampling later this spring.

"Micron and Intel's collaboration has created an industry-leading solid-state storage technology that offers high density, performance and efficiency and is unmatched by any flash today," said Brian Shirley, vice president of Memory Technology and Solutions at Micron Technology. "This 3D NAND technology has the potential to create fundamental market shifts. The depth of the impact that flash has had to date—from smartphones to flash-optimized supercomputing—is really just scratching the surface of what's possible."

IDC: EMEA Cloud Infrastructure Market Grows 16% in Q1

IT infrastructure spending (server, disk storage, and Ethernet switch) for public and private cloud in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) grew 16% year over year to reach $1.01 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2015, according to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Cloud Infrastructure Tracker. IDC's report tracks Cisco, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Lenovo, NetApp, Oracle, the major ODM vendors, and others.

Significantly, the cloud-related share of total EMEA infrastructure expenditure on server, disk storage, and Ethernet switch grew 2 percentage points compared with the same period a year ago to reach 19% in the quarter.

"Western European cloud expenditure this quarter was mainly fueled by public cloud, which grew almost 30% year on year also thanks to the impact of hyperscale datacenter installations around the region," said Michal Vesely, research analyst, European Infrastructure, IDC. "Private cloud expenditure, especially on premises, on the other hand, is more directly connected to regular IT investments by enterprises. Private cloud spending saw a slower pace as users assess their storage, as well as integrated and hyperconverged systems, strategies. Once decisions are made, we expect another major push in the forthcoming period."

Some other highlights:

  • In terms of storage capacity, cloud represented around 33% of total EMEA capacity in 1Q15, with 45% year-on-year growth.
  • The emerging markets of Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (CEMA) took 14% of EMEA cloud investments in 1Q15. This is a strong decrease compared with the same quarter last year, when CEMA accounted for 17%. Challenging macroeconomic conditions in Russia and weaker investments in the public cloud segment were the main reasons for the decline.
  • Cloud infrastructure spending in the CEMA region is estimated to be 11% of the total addressable server, storage, and networking hardware market, with public cloud accounting for about 40% of this.


http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUK25750815


Crehan: Data Center Switch Market Ready for 100 GbE Upgrade

Switches capable of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) will soon experience a very strong increase in adoption, according to Crehan Research's most recent Data Center Switch Long-Range Forecast Report.

The firm is forecasting that data center switch port shipments in this market segment will grow from a current annual run-rate of tens of thousands to handily exceed ten million by 2019. The report points to compelling pricing as a key enabler of the strong uptake, with average 100GbE selling prices falling by approximately 50% year-over-year for a number of consecutive years.

"We expect that 100GbE-capable data center switching will soon see a dramatic increase as a result of the compelling economics and diverse use-cases that the upcoming next-gen products enable," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. "Price premiums over prior technologies should be relatively small, and these switches can be deployed from the core of the data center network all the way down to the server access layer, given their flexible speed configurations via breakout cables," he said.

The report further predicts that the keen interest in this next-generation 100GbE-capable data center switching technology from the hyper-scale cloud segment will be a major driver of the initial strong uptake. The deployment of a new technology from large hyper-scale customers such as Google and Microsoft can result in its dramatic growth. This was recently the case with 40GbE server-access deployments and was highlighted in a prior Crehan Research data center networking report.

http://www.crehanresearch.com/