Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Micron Debuts DDR4 NVDIMM, Combining DRAM with NAND Flash

Micron Technology introduced a persistent memory technology that combines the low-latency benefits of DRAM with the lower cost of NAND Flash. The NVDIMM technology from Micron could play a key role in data center server design, allowing greater volumes of data to be stored closer to the CPU, boosting the performance of applications such as big data analytics, storage appliances, RAID cache, In-Memory Databases and On Line Transaction Processing.

Micron is now producing 8GB DDR4 NVDIMM, the company's first commercially available solution in the persistent memory category.  In the event of a power failure or system crash, Micron's NVDIMM solution provides an onboard controller that safely transfers data stored in DRAM to the onboard non-volatile memory, thereby preserving the data that would otherwise be lost.

"Micron is delivering on the promise of persistent memory with a solution that gives system architects a new approach for designing systems with better performance, reduced energy usage and improved total cost of ownership," said Tom Eby, vice president for Micron's compute and networking business unit. "With NVDIMM, we have a powerful solution that is available today. We're also leading the way on future persistent memory development by spearheading R&D efforts on promising new technologies such as 3D XPoint™ memory, which will be available in 2016 and beyond."


Intel and Micron Unveil 3D XPoint Memory 1000x Faster than NAND

Intel and Micron Technology have developed a non-volatile memory that is up to 1,000 times faster and has up to 1,000 times greater endurance than NAND, and is 10 times denser than conventional memory.

The 3D XPoint technology, which is now entering production, is described as the first new memory category since the introduction of NAND flash in 1989.

"For decades, the industry has searched for ways to reduce the lag time between the processor and data to allow much faster analysis," said Rob Crooke, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Non-Volatile Memory Solutions Group. "This new class of non-volatile memory achieves this goal and brings game-changing performance to memory and storage solutions."

"One of the most significant hurdles in modern computing is the time it takes the processor to reach data on long-term storage," said Mark Adams, president of Micron. "This new class of non-volatile memory is a revolutionary technology that allows for quick access to enormous data sets and enables entirely new applications."

Intel said the 3D XPoint technology follows more than a decade of research and development. The innovative, transistor-less cross point architecture creates a three-dimensional checkerboard where memory cells sit at the intersection of word lines and bit lines, allowing the cells to be addressed individually. As a result, data can be written and read in small sizes, leading to faster and more efficient read/write processes.


In March 2015, 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.

T-Mobile's Binge On Offers Unlimited Streaming from Netflix, HBO, Hulu

Starting November 15th, T-Mobile (U.S.) will allow its Simple Choice users on a qualifying plan to stream unlimited video from Netflix, HBO NOW, Hulu, and other cites without using any of their data plan. There is no additional cost.

The announcement marks T-Mobile's 10th Un-carrier move.

T-Mobile is also boosting its Simple Choice plan by doubling the data at every level and cutting the cost of extra gigs.

“Un-carrier X marks the next step in this revolution, and it is massive,” said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. “Today, we’re not only doubling your data in Simple Choice, we’re making your data work a lot harder for you! With Binge On, video streams free from 24 streaming services to start, and more to come! Only T-Mobile would find a way for customers to watch unlimited HBO, Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV and more…without eating into their LTE data, while the Duopoly is squeezing consumers with overage fees and over-buying!”


ARM Debuts Cortex-A35 for Mobile and Embedded Applications

ARM introduced the first CPU in a new family of ultra-high-efficiency ARMv8-A processors designed for high-growth mobile and embedded applications. Currently more than 50 percent of smartphones now shipping using an SoC based on the ARMv8-A architecture.

The new ARM Cortex-A35, which is expected to begin shipping in production silicon from the company's partners by late 2016, offers 64-bit and 32-bit computational capability with cryptography features.

ARM said its design delivers an average of 20 percent greater performance and efficiency across a range of 32-bit mobile workloads relative to Cortex-A7 while consuming less than 90mW total power per core when operating at 1GHz in a 28nm process node. The Cortex-A35 consumes about 33 percent less power per core and occupies 25 percent less silicon area, relative to the Cortex-A53.

“Cortex-A35 is the natural successor to the compact-footprint Cortex-A7, the leading energy-efficient processor, which has powered more than a billion smartphones and tablets,” said James McNiven, general manager, CPU group. “With the introduction of the world’s most efficient 64-bit capable mobile processor, ARM and its partners will deliver the benefits of 64-bit computing to the next billion smartphone users and beyond.”

At this week's ARM TechCon 2015 conference in Santa Clara, California, ARM is also releasing a new suite of products to accelerate secure IoT deployments. The release includes mbed Device Connector, a free service that businesses can use to connect and securely manage IoT devices. It also includes the enhanced mbed OS (Technology Preview version) and new mbed Reference Designs.


Dell'Oro: SDN Market to Grow Over 70 Percent in 2015

Dell'Oro Group is forecasting that the Software Defined Networking (SDN) Market will grow more than 70% in 2015, versus 2014. A new report finds that 2015 marked an important milestone in SDN, with many Ethernet Switch architectures ratified and production deployments under way.

"SDN's impact on the Ethernet Switch market increased significantly in 2015 as deployments expanded beyond the large Cloud Providers," said Alan Weckel, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group.  "It is clear that, by 2020, data centers will look significantly different from today's.  We are already seeing an impact on the overall networking and IT markets as enterprise customer spend stagnates while spend from Cloud Providers such as AWS and Azure explodes.  As we look towards next generation 25 GE and 50 GE server access we expect to see significant disruption amongst the vendors with Dell's planned acquisition of EMC being a prelude to further market consolidation," Weckel stated.


Versa Unveils its Vision for the SD-WAN

Versa Networks, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, introduced its software-defined WAN portfolio and outlined its vision to transform how enterprises build their WAN and branch office networks. The Versa solution leverages virtualized network functions (VNF), programmability and dynamic provisioning to re-architect the WAN and branch network for much greater agility, cost efficiency and simpler operations.

The Versa VNF solution consists of three components that together create next generation WANs and branch networks:

  • Versa FlexVNF: The core building block for Versa VNF solutions, which includes a broad set of virtualized network and security functions with carrier-grade multi-tenancy, programmability, service chaining, service elasticity and cost-effective deployment choices
  • Versa Director: Single point of centralized control and management for both connectivity and services
  • Versa Analytics: A real-time analytics engine that provides control, visibility, prediction and a feedback loop for adaptability

By eliminating proprietary hardware and truck rolls, the company estimates it can cut the total cost of ownership by up to 80%. For service providers and large enterprises, Versa said its solution changes the game by enabling multi-tenancy with the ability to provision and manage hundreds of individual customers or business subsidiaries.  Versa supports multi-service capabilties with automatic service chaining, enabling complex managed services and branch network architectures with multiple networking and security functions. The Versa VNFs run on commodity-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware.

In its launch materials, Versa cited Orange and Colt.


  • Versa Networks was founded in 2012 by Kumar (CEO) and Apurva Mehta (CTO), who are credited with the development of the MX series routers at Juniper Networks.
  • The company has raised $43 million in funding to date.  Investors include Sequoia, Verizon Ventures and Mayfield.

CenturyLink Picks Nuage for Programmable Services Backbone

CenturyLink has selected Nuage Networks to provide networking functionality for its Programmable Services Backbone (PSB) network architecture.

PSB is an open, software-enabled platform for delivering dedicated services based on NFV technology to CenturyLink's enterprise and small and mid-sized business (SMB) customers at any time regardless of their location. It places applications and services close to the network edge so they can be deployed, modified and scaled rapidly as business demands change.

Nuage said its Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) overlay enables CenturyLink to deliver:
  • Cloud control – VSP unifies or "federates" new virtualized services with VPN, co-location and existing cloud services into a single entity that makes the services available wherever the user is. This foundation provides CenturyLink full control of the unified cloud as well as the ability to program its global network from the customer premises to the public cloud.             
  • Efficient operations – VSP integrates and interoperates with Open Source cloud platforms to coordinate compute, storage and networking needs. It also automates network provisioning across the entire federated cloud. Additionally, Nuage Networks Virtualized Services Assurance Platform (VSAP) provides CenturyLink the capability to detect, debug and resolve problems quickly through a real-time inventory of virtual services, physical connectivity and the correlation between them.
  • Comprehensive, consistent security – VSP's micro-segmentation capabilities protect against internal and external security breaches. VSP also addresses key security gaps in virtual machine and Docker container environments. 

"By moving virtualized network functions from a hardware appliance to a pure software environment coordinated by OpenStack and Nuage Networks, CenturyLink will be able to automate provisioning with a policy-based approach," Nuage Networks Chief Executive Officer Sunil Khandekar said. "It allows CenturyLink to develop, launch and perfect virtualized network services rapidly."


CenturyLink Hits its Stride with NFV/SDN

CenturyLink is on track virtualize 40 percent of its global IP core network locations by end of 2015 with plans to have full global virtualization coverage in its IP core network and data centers by 2018.

The company said it has already built its NFV platform in 36 network and data center locations in seven countries, with plans to expand into a total of 44 locations by the end of the year.

CenturyLink also was one of the first providers to use NFV technology to virtualize security features such as firewalls and a content delivery network (CDN) to distribute video through its Prism® TV service, providing quicker delivery of these services. In the coming months, CenturyLink will begin deploying a range of virtualized data and voice infrastructure services, including virtualized Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) routers and Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) to enable dynamic delivery of scalable services for customers.

"CenturyLink is taking its network assets and combining them with our expanded NFV platform and cloud services to create a customizable and dynamic applications marketplace infrastructure that will give businesses near real-time provisioning and more control over their service experience," said Aamir Hussain, CenturyLink executive vice president and chief technology officer. "The customer experience is a top priority for CenturyLink. Integrating virtualized services into our network and developing an interactive marketplace and portal for our customers allows us to be more responsive to market opportunities and meet changing customer demands. We are pleased that our efforts position CenturyLink as an industry leader in virtualization."

CenturyLink began implementing network virtualization and automation in 2013 when it partnered with five vendors to develop an open environment through common API structures, creating interoperability and enhancing the creation of applications. In February 2014, CenturyLink announced its agreement with Ericsson to deliver a next-generation Operations Support Systems (OSS) and Business Support Systems (BSS) solution through a single, reliable transport infrastructure which can rapidly fulfill customer demands and create the support needed for implementing NFV and SDN services.

In addition to Ciena, CenturyLink is working with several vendors, including Arista Networks, Nuage Networks, Red Hat and Supermicro to implement virtualization functions in its network and to deliver NFV-based versions of the vendors' current product lines.


CenturyLink Readies NFV-Enhanced Service Launch with Cyan

CenturyLink is preparing to launch NFV-enhanced services to enterprise and small and midsized business (SMB) customers based on Cyan’s Blue Planet NFV Orchestrator.

Specifically, CenturyLink will use Cyan’s Blue Planet orchestration for their Programmable Services Backbone (PSB), its platform that for next-generation virtualized services to its customers.  Blue Planet NFV Orchestrator bridges multiple technologies to instantiate virtual network functions (VNF) from multiple vendors. Blue Planet will add these virtual network functions to CenturyLink’s network for quickly providing software-enabled services and ubiquitous service coverage to CenturyLink’s broad set of customers.

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

“CenturyLink has taken a leadership position in driving the changes required to build a more service- centric network that derives maximum value from network assets while addressing evolving customer requirements,” said Aamir Hussain, CTO, CenturyLink. “The Programmable Services Backbone delivers an open, software-enabled architecture based on Cyan’s NFV orchestration technology that will allow us to rapidly deploy new services to enterprise and SMB customers across our footprint.”

“CenturyLink is leading the network transformation movement that is so critical to the future of our industry,” said Mike Hatfield, president, Cyan. “We’re proud that Cyan’s Blue Planet is playing a critical role in how they deploy multi-vendor VNFs as services to end customers. Together, CenturyLink and Cyan are unifying the data center, virtual resources, WAN, and managed services to create a new way of doing business for network operators.”


Broadcom Shareholders Approve Acquisition by Avago

Broadcom shareholders approved all proposals necessary for its previously announced acquisition by Avago Technologies Limited.


Avago's Acquisition of Broadcom Aims to Transform Networking Semiconductors

Avago Technologies agreed to acquire Broadcom for $17 billion in cash consideration and the economic equivalent of approximately 140 million Avago ordinary shares, valued at $20 billion as of May 27, 2015, resulting in Broadcom shareholders owning approximately 32% of the combined company. Based on Avago's closing share price as of May 27, 2015, the implied value of the total transaction consideration for Broadcom is $37 billion.

The merger will create the third largest global semiconductor company with strong presence in wired infrastructure, wireless infrastructure, enterprise storage, ASICs, PHYs, Ethernet switching silicon and set-top box silicon.  It will have combined annual revenues of approximately $15 billion and $77 billion in enterprise value.

Upon completion of the acquisition, the new company will be known as Broadcom Limited. Mr. Hock Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Avago, will continue to serve as President and CEO.  Broadcom co-founder Dr. Henry Samueli will join the board of the combined company as will another director from Broadcom. In addition, Dr. Samueli will be appointed Chief Technology Officer of the combined company. Broadcom co-founder Dr. Henry Nicholas will serve in a strategic advisory role within the combined company, reporting to Mr. Tan.

ESnet Deploys Ciena's 6500 Packet/Optical

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) have deployed Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform to support its new 400G network. Ciena’s WaveLogic 3 Extreme chipset features 16QAM modulation, which doubles system traffic capacity with 200 Gbps per wavelength and allows for a dual subcarrier 400G solution. Inaddition, Ciena’s Flexible Grid technologies allow ESnet to utilize incremental increases in capacity with the ability to pack more wavelengths on a fiber.

ESnet connects tens of thousands of DOE Office of Science researchers at more than 40 U.S. laboratories and supercomputing facilities to research partners around the world. The network currently carries approximately 34 petabytes of data each month. Traffic on the network has increased an average of 10 times every four years, propelled by the rising tide of data produced by supercomputers, global collaborations that involve thousands of researchers, and specialized facilities like the Large Hadron Collider and digital sky surveys. It is expected that ESnet will need to carry more than 60 petabytes of data per month by 2016.

Ciena said the 400G network will provide NERSC with uninterrupted connectivity during its transition to a new site located on the main campus of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California. It will also support advanced research projects on topics ranging from cosmology to genomics to materials, in addition to generating massive datasets from scientific modeling and simulation.

ESnet has also established a 400G testbed, utilizing fiber from Level 3 Communications, to assess the use of flexible grid technologies, which are being developed to allow service providers to extract additional capacity out of fiber spectrum. The testbed allows ESnet to provide advanced network architecture insights to share with other universities, national laboratories and service providers building next generation networks.


Affirmed Networks Lands Saudi Telecom for vEPC

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has deployed Affirmed Networks’ virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) solution in its live network.

Affirmed said its solution involves virtual geo-redundancy, and supports the delivery of Machine-to-Machine (M2M) services in the region. The Virtual Evolved Packet Core deployment is currently in full operation in STC’s network to support M2M services across the Kingdom. The new vEPC platform is initially geared towards supporting services in the area of M2M services. The delivery of M2M connectivity enables STC’s customers to gain real-time information on their respective services and will help reduce costs and improve the productivity and safety of their various assets.


Arianespace Launches Arabsat-6B and GSAT-15 (India)

Arianespace successfully launched two satellites from the French Guiana Space Center on board its Ariane 5 heavy launcher rocket. This marks the 69th successful launch in a row by Ariane 5.

Arabsat-6B (BADR 7) is the ninth satellite orbited by Arianespace since the launch of Arabsat-1A in 1985. This satellite is the first of the sixth generation of satellites in the Arabsat fleet. It will provide telecommunications and direct- to-home (DTH) TV broadcast services for the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.  The satellite is fitted with 27 Ku-band transponders and offers multiple Ka-band spotbeams. It will be positioned at 26° East, and has a design life exceeding 15 years.

GSAT-15 is the 19th satellite to be launched by Arianespace for ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). It will provide telecommunications services for the country, along with dedicated navigation-aid and emergency services. Arianespace has launched 91% of ISRO's geostationary satellites that used non-Indian launch systems, dating back to the launch of the country's experimental satellite APPLE on Flight L03 in 1981.  It is fitted with 24 Ku-band transponders, plus two GAGAN transmitters for augmented navigation accuracy. It will be positioned at 93.5° East, and offers a design life of 12 years.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Cisco + Ericsson Partnership Covers Architecture, Sales, Services

Ericsson and Cisco announced a broad strategic partnership focused on Service Providers, enterprise networking and the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.

The companies see an incremental revenue opportunity of $1 billion or more expected for each company by calendar year 2018. For its part, Ericsson said the extended addressable market is primarily in professional services, software and resell of Cisco products. Ericsson also expects the partnership to generate full-year effect from synergies, primarily in expenses of SEK 1 billion in 2018.

The alliance will include commitments to network transformation through reference architectures and joint development, systems-based management and control, a broad reseller agreement, and collaboration in key emerging market segments. The parties have also agreed to discuss FRAND policies and enter a licensing agreement for their respective patent portfolios.  Together, Ericsson and Cisco hold over 56,000 patents and invest $11 billion annually in R&D. The companies will begin working on a joint initiative focused on SDN/NFV and network management and control.

Hans Vestberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ericsson, stated "I am excited to work with Cisco on continuing to shape the Networked Society. Foremost, we share the same vision of the network's strategic role at the center of every company's and every industry's digital transformation. Initially the partnership will focus on service providers, then on opportunities for the enterprise segment and accelerating the scale and adoption of IoT services across industries. For Ericsson, this partnership also fortifies the IP strategy we have developed over the past several years, and it is a key move forward in our own transformation."

Chuck Robbins, Chief Executive Officer, Cisco said today's announcement "brings together two visionary industry leaders, with complementary cultures and track records of innovation. We have worked with Ericsson during the last year on developing a strategy for future industry leadership, and can start executing together today. Our partnership will drive growth for both companies, unique value for our customers, and incredible innovation for the industry."


Intel Expands Xeon Processor D-1500 Line for SDN/NFV

Intel announced an expansion of its Xeon processor D-1500 product family for extending intelligence from the network core to the edge for improved performance and lower latency.

The rollout includes eight new processors offering high-performance, low-power and twice the maximum memory of previous generations in an integrated system-on-chip.  The designs are aimed at various networking, cloud storage, enterprise storage and IoT applications that operate in dense, rugged environments. Intel said it now has more than 50 networking, cloud storage, enterprise storage and IoT system designs using the Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family in development.

Intel also introduced a new Ethernet Multi-host Controller FM10000 family that offer with advanced switch resources for use in high-performance communications network applications and dense server platforms.  The chips support up to 200 Gbps of high-bandwidth multi-host connectivity and multiple 100 Gigabit Ethernet ports. A new Intel Ethernet Controller X550 family is a low-power, cost-effective 10 Gigabit Ethernet connectivity solution for data center servers and network appliances.

The company also noted that its Intel Network Builders program has grown to more than 180 companies. In August, Intel introduced the Intel Network Builders Fast Track to increase the pace of innovation in the networking ecosystem by optimizing hardware and software solutions, supporting technology integration within the ecosystem and driving interoperable solutions.

In a webcast, Sandra Rivera, vice president, Data Center Group and general manager, Network Platforms Group, Intel, hosted a discussion with execs from Verizon and Cisco focused on the opportunities in IoT and mobile computing. Intel is working closely with industry leaders to accelerate the move toward more flexible and responsive networks today and to lay the foundation for future 5G networks.

"Networks are facing extraordinary demands as more devices become connected and new digital services are offered," said Rivera. "Building intelligence throughout the communications infrastructure and using a standards-based approach offers service providers the foundation to build agile, cloud-ready networks that allow them to expand their services capabilities."


Advantech Extends Ultra High-End Network Appliance Range for 100GbE

Advantech is expanding its family of next-generation, ultra-high end network appliances with a new model for network Service Providers.

The Advantech FWA-6522R achieves mid-range cost efficiencies suitable for stateless load-balancing of thousands of rules/flows compared to the high-range FWA-6522C capable of handling millions of flows using more sophisticated stateless and state aware load balancing technology. It uses the new Intel Ethernet Multi-host Controller FM10000 to add an extra layer of intelligence in front of four Intel Xeon processors in order to optimize packet delivery from high-speed 10/40/100 GbE ports.

The Intel FM10000 switches traffic from the high-speed network ports over 8-lane PCIe gen3 interfaces providing up to 50 Gbps of data bandwidth to each processor. Using advanced hash-based algorithms, the FM10000 ensures an even distribution of loads across the FWA-6522R processing resources. This enables the offload of compute intensive workloads required by network functions such as intrusion detection systems, firewalls, or virtual switching and accelerates overall packet delivery. For data center bridging (DCB) applications, the FM1000 not only distributes flows across the sockets and cores within the FWA-6522R, but can also efficiently spread incoming high bandwidth flows across Intel Xeon processor resources in downstream server clusters in compliance with new DCB standards such as PFC, ETS and DCBX.

The FWA-6522R makes use of the Ethernet switching capability, frame processing pipeline and TCAM support in the Intel Ethernet Multi-host Controller FM10000 to provide advanced features for network appliance and NFV applications. It provides high-bandwidth low-latency connectivity between the CPUs and the network, and offloads Open vSwitch functions into hardware, to help improve system performance and reduce system cost by freeing up CPU cores.

The FWA-6522R preserves the benefits that come from a FlowNIC model and the ability to develop applications using a single x86 software tool chain. This significantly reduces development and support expenses by maintaining compatibility with industry standard software frameworks such as Linux, Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK), OpenFlow and Open vSwitch.

To meet the needs of complex applications the FWA-6522R also maintains the same compute capacity as the high-range FWA-6522C powered by four high performance Intel® Xeon® Processor E5-4600 v3 CPUs for faster application response and support for memory densities up to 1TB of RAM.

The platform provides up to 400Gbps of flexible network I/O through four hot-pluggable PHY Mezzanine Modules with various network interface choices up to 100GbE and optional advanced LAN bypass. Its unique system design improves PCIe connectivity and thermal performance in a compact 2U rackmount footprint. Carrier-grade IPMI and BIOS features include hardware-redundant BIOS and fail safe HPM.1 firmware updates of all components for advanced reliability.

"With the introduction of low-latency 100GbE traffic handling on our flagship FWA-6522C we brought a new breed of platform to the industry capable of handling data plane intensive applications for over 100 million flows in just a small 2U footprint. That was quite an engineering achievement," said Peter Marek, Senior Director, x86 Solutions, Advantech Networks and Communications Group. "Today we're introducing a new member to the ultra-high-end network appliance family that will further democratize FlowNIC technology and offer an economical mid-range solution for customers using the latest compute technology and full Ethernet switching capability from Intel."


Advantech Debuts Platforms with Intel Xeon Processor D-1500s

Advantech unveiled a series of platforms based on the new Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family and scaling from Advanced Mezzanine Cards (AMC) and Versatile Server Modules (VSM) to Carrier Grade servers and Network Security appliances, all the way to high density, highly available blade server platforms for NFV and Edge Computing. Use

The Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family offers a range of cores for performance scalability, 128MB of memory and dual Intel Ethernet 10GbE ports, and enables services to be delivered with high reliability, availability, and serviceability.

Versatile Server Module - the MIC-8304 VSM is the first member of a family of Server-on-a-Module platforms. VSMs allow for simplified integration of the latest, high performance Intel processors into equipment such as small cells, base stations, carrier Ethernet and demarcation boxes to add service capabilities. By running the same VNFs that run in the core network, VSM is a key element of what Advantech terms as NFV elasticity. The tailored, rich feature set also makes VSMs an ideal choice for control plane applications in telecom as well as enterprise networking. Advantech has demonstrated the use of the VSM in a wide range of equipment such as a cloud control node inside its new Packetarium™ XLc system, as a server node inside an SDN-enabled Top-of-Rack Switch and adapted for use by Equipment Providers to add service capabilities based on NFV technologies to existing legacy platforms amongst others.

1U mid-range network appliance - the FWA-3260 brings robust performance into a cost and feature optimized 1U platform for network security and other enterprise networking applications. With the scalability of the new Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family it also enables cost efficient solutions in new applications such as software defined WAN (SD-WAN) and virtualized Enterprise CPE (vE-CPE). A vCPE variant of the appliance is under preparation as a vCPE demonstrator platform with pre-integrated Intel® Open Network Platform (Intel ONP) Server-compliant NFV middleware and 3rd party VNFs from select members of the Intel Network Builders ecosystem.

1U Carrier Grade Server - the CGS-3010 based on the Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family offers a single processor option for customers looking for the best price/performance ratio with balanced compute and I/O expandability. The server has been designed to support two full-height, full-length PCIe cards at high TDP fitting applications that need both server-class performance and a sophisticated PCIe subsystem.

Packetarium XLc PAC-6009 Carrier Grade Blade Server and NFVI - accommodates the maximum density of compute available in a 400mm deep 6U carrier-grade chassis. It is a highly scalable platform for deploying Intel Atom processor, Intel Xeon E5 processor and Intel Xeon Processor D-1500-based blades designed for the most demanding NFV workloads. For media processing and content handling needs, it offers a flexible infrastructure for the addition of video acceleration hardware providing unprecedented video encoding capabilities. The system's 400W per RU power footprint enables deployment in industry standard 19" racks. The PAC-6009 chassis incorporates a highly versatile and modular design with 9 front slots to host 9 single or dual node Intel Xeon processor-based blades. Generic compute blades run application workloads (VNFs) while dedicated cloud control nodes provide orchestration and virtual infrastructure management functions. Cloud storage nodes for content caching and nodes optimized for media and image processing are in preparation. Built-in high availability features and the high compute density achievable at rack-level make the PAC-6009 a perfect fit for scale-out data plane workloads as well as mission critical control plane gear.

Intel Xeon Processor D-1500-based compute blades are available for the Packetarium XLc in single or dual node SKUs. The MIC-8304C node blade is based on a single 8- or 16-core Intel Xeon Processor D-1500 with additional on-board SSD storage while the MIC-8303C is a dual node blade equipped with two 8- or 16-core Intel Xeon Processor D-1500 series CPUs. The MIC-8304C and MIC-8303C extend the range of available blades and complement the MIC-8302C node blade based on a single Intel Xeon Processor E5-2600 v3 with up to 14 cores.

Processor AMC - the MIC-5604C is designed to upgrade legacy equipment to the Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family, enabling higher performance compute and LAN speeds. Processor AMC's are broadly used as control plane and service processors in ATCA switches and many bespoke network equipment designs.

"The Intel Xeon processor D-1500 product family enables robust levels of performance and integration for enterprise, data center and telecom networking equipment alike," said Peter Marek, senior director x86 solutions, Advantech Networks & Communications Group. "The processors offer a foundation for platforms that can be used in various deployment scenarios and that scale from access, edge to core, from small to corporate offices and data centers. Our full range of products announced today will not only bring significant CAPEX and OPEX savings to equipment providers and carriers, but will allow them to capitalize on innovative technologies using an NFVI-on-a-module approach, using stand-alone appliances and servers for legacy and virtualized premise equipment, and leverage carrier-grade blade servers optimized for best-in-class compute density at rack level. With support for Intel QuickAssist technology across the product range, even greater efficiencies can be achieved for use cases requiring support for security protocols like IPsec or support for compression/decompression."

Broadcom's BroadView Software Delivers Switching Telemetry

Broadcom released a software suite for monitoring the performance of switches based in its StrataXGS Trident and Tomahawk silicon.

The new Broadcom BroadView software delivers detailed network analytics directly from the switching silicon, enabling operators to optimize network performance across diverse hardware platforms and network operating systems. Broadcom said its new software tool offers a common way for network telemetry to collected from multivendor switches in data centers. The idea is to offer a platform-agnostic application programming interface (API) and leverage open-source reference controller implementations to give operators deeper visibility into their cloud networks while protecting their investment in existing applications.

Broadcom is working with multiple equipment vendors and third-party analytic tool providers. It is also working with developers on SDN controllers and orchestrations platforms such as OpenStack. Supporters so far include Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise, Big Switch, China Mobile, Cumulus Networks, HP Networking, InMon, Juniper Networks, Midokura, Pica8, PLUMgrid, Pluribus, Xena Networks and others.

"The rapid innovations in software-defined networking (SDN) instrumentation call for a standardized interface to the switches that comprise the network," said Nick Kucharewski, Broadcom Vice President, Network Switch Marketing. "With an open standard API supported on the most pervasive switch silicon portfolio, Broadcom has established a platform that will enable an open ecosystem of network visibility applications running on a wide range of network equipment."

Some highlights

  • Leverages unique silicon instrumentation capabilities supported by Trident2 and Tomahawk silicon families
  • Threshold based monitoring, buffer statistics tracking and triggers for proactive monitoring and scalability
  • Advanced packet tracing tools to improve visibility into traffic flows
  • Trouble shooting tools to facilitate easier mapping of overlay flows with underlay links
  • Aggregation group resolution to ensure optimal utilization of group members and avoid hash polarization
  • Aggregated and abstracted counters as needed by the application
  • Open source modular agent with easier customization for adoption in various products and platforms

Broadcom's BroadView Instrumentation Software Suite is available on Broadcom GitHub.


Fujitsu Extends FLASHWAVE 9500 with High-Density 100G Capabilities

Fujitsu announced high-density, 100G units for its FLASHWAVE 9500 platform and new demarcation and aggregator units for its FLASHWAVE CDS. These new units can be combined with FLASHWAVE 9500 OTN switching, if desired, to provide a comprehensive solution that will make it more simple and efficient to deploy 100G services throughout customer networks.

The new slim 100G muxponder and transponder units for FLASHWAVE 9500 establish an industry-best 7.2 Tbps density for a standard rack. With reduced size, lower power consumption and higher performance, the new units support an all-coherent network architecture and are backward compatible with existing 100G units. Enhanced 100G service delivery and assurance are enabled by combining the next-generation CDC-F ROADM capabilities of the FLASHWAVE 9500 with the automated network management of an SDN controller.

The FLASHWAVE CDS will introduce 40G/100G OTN demarcation and OTU4 aggregator units that extend 100G capacity to the network edge. The demarcation unit increases network capacity to 100G, providing fiber relief and a direct 100G OTU4 connection to the FLASHWAVE 9500 ROADM. The aggregator unit easily upgrades existing equipment to 100G and provides OTN ring protection. An optional self-healing configuration for high-reliability applications also is available. Compared to MSA transponders, both 100G pluggable units deliver flexibility with reach plus substantial cost advantages and power savings.

Another platform, optimized for customer premise demarcation, is a compact version of the existing 2RU FLASHWAVE CDS. The new 1RU, AC-powered shelf houses a single interface card and supports all FLASHWAVE CDS OTN units.

Fujitsu also announced that the next release of its VIRTUORA software platform will enable superior programmability of the network via its SDN controller. Dynamic service activation and restoration is available for both WDM and OTN technologies on the FLASHWAVE 9500 and CDS platforms. This SDN application is driven by a powerful path computation engine that enables service providers to provision and restore services on demand. The creation of a fully programmable network at the OTN layer will enable large operational savings, the elimination of manual operations and faster time to market and revenue.

“For the last year, we’ve been talking about our next-generation ROADM capability, and it really comes to fruition with this upgrade to the FLASHWAVE 9500,” said Steve Pelosi, head of the optical business unit at Fujitsu Network Communications. “Combined with our new high-density 100G units and programmatic control of OTN and optical services, we can provide our customers with a simple, scalable, open solution.”


Blue Coat to Acquire Elastica for $280M - Cloud Security

Blue Coat Systems agreed to acquire Elastica, a start-up offering a cloud security system, for $280 million.

Elastica, which is based in San Jose, California (Santana Row), develops a security platform that provides visibility, control and data-level security across cloud, on premise and hybrid cloud environments. Elastica’s CloudSOC provides unique capabilities such as threat scoring powered by machine learning, user and end-point behavior modeling, natural language-based cloud DLP, and analysis with remediation in a cloud application SOC.  It further provides complete risk analysis and policy management for sanctioned cloud and “shadow IT” applications to ensure safe cloud usage. Elastica delivers these capabilities via its CASB gateway and API controls for cloud application security management and enforcement.

Blue Coat said that combining its on- and off-premise threat defense and cloud data protection with Elastica’s Cloud Access Security and Analytics, it can provide a comprehensive solution as users embrace the cloud.

“This acquisition gives Blue Coat customers access to Elastica’s CloudSOC, which brings an unprecedented level of elegance and innovation to something that is rapidly becoming a complex challenge for organizations to solve. As we evaluated many CASB players, it was clear that Elastica’s technologies represent the future of the CASB space,” said Greg Clark, Blue Coat CEO. “Segmented CASB players have survived through their dependency upon existing on-premise infrastructure. As the industry’s leading web security platform, it is natural for Blue Coat to be the first to deliver an extended spectrum of CASB capabilities while also delivering them with our cloud protection solutions.”

“Given the rapid acceleration of cloud adoption, our holistic data science-powered approach to cloud access security will enhance Blue Coat’s globally deployed security platform, empowering its customers to confidently and securely take advantage of the speed and agility that cloud applications offer,” said Rehan Jalil, CEO and founder of Elastica. “We are thrilled to join forces to broaden the reach of the Elastica CloudSOC platform through Blue Coat’s customers. Blue Coat’s commitment to enabling cloud applications and services aligns with our mission of providing visibility and protection of critical data stored in those applications. Together we are delivering the industry’s strongest set of enterprise cloud security capabilities.”


Pica8 to Support Cavium’s XPliant Switching Silicon

Pica8’s OpenFlow-based PicOS network operating system (NOS) will support Cavium’s new XPliant switch chip.

Cavium’s programmable XPliant switching silicon, which is expected to enter commercial release in Q1 2016, is designed for providing full programmability of SDN environments.

The companies said the Cavium XPliant switch, combined with Pica8's OpenFlow-based PicOS, will give network operators greater granular control to program their infrastructure.

“ASICs are the anchor of an SDN solution stack, and having choice in the market is key. Just as there is an ecosystem forming for SDN applications, controllers and network operating systems, we see having ASIC choice being a key enabler for customers to have the ability to tune the network for their environment,” said James Liao, president and CEO of Pica8. “Pica8 is proud to have been selected as the first NOS on the revolutionary XPliant switches.”

“The XPliant switches deliver the flexibility and throughput required by next generation networks,” said Eric Hayes, VP/GM of the Switch Platform Group at Cavium. “By partnering with Pica8, we can allow our customers to realize the full potential of the XPliant switch and build truly customized SDN implementations.”


Cavium Shows New Xpliant Silicon Driving SDN-enable Ethernet Switches

Cavium is demonstrating OpenFlow and OpenFlow-Hybrid Ethernet switches based on its new XPliant silicon.

Cavium's XPliant Ethernet switches deliver full line rate support in OpenFlow through XPliant's SDK APIs and integration of Open vSwitch (OVS) at an aggregate switching capacity of 3.2 terabits per second.

"Historically, large scale data center customers were only interested in the speeds and feeds of networking silicon. Now customers are looking for standards based vendor interoperable features that enable them to effectively control their networks, scale and grow over time," said Eric Hayes, VP/GM, Switch Platform Group at Cavium. "The XPA architecture is the ideal solution available today with all of these capabilities simultaneously in a cost effective manner."

Cavium noted its XPliant packet architecture XPA Software APIs expose the OVS control abstractions, enabling users to benefit from OVS rich management and networking features, such as L2 pipeline (VLANs, LAGs, FDB, STP etc.), bonding modes (LACP), and advanced tunneling protocols (Geneve, VxLAN, NVGRE) as well as future yet-to-be-defined standards. Now, through XPA Software and APIs, these open and industry proven features can be seamlessly invoked representing a truly hybrid switch optimized for virtualized environments, in a single hardware.


Sysdig Debuts Monitoring Solution for Kubernetes

Sysdig, a start-up offering container-native visibility, announced support for Kubernetes, which is the open source container orchestration tool originally created by Google. The company said its Sysdig Cloud is first and only monitoring solution to offer complete visibility into Kubernetes environments. Open source system exploration tool, sysdig, has also added native support for Kubernetes, further building on its Docker troubleshooting capabilities.

Kubernetes is rapidly becoming the most popular framework on which to deploy microservice-oriented applications in Docker containers. The idea is to simplify the deployment of Docker and clusters of microservices at scale. Kubernetes, like many orchestration tools, deploys applications by distributing interconnected Docker containers across a cluster of shared physical resources.

Sysdig Cloud’s container-native monitoring for Kubernetes includes key features such as:

  • Container-native monitoring with ContainerVision: Sysdig’s ContainerVision offers deep, application-level visibility into Kubernetes and Docker containers, while respecting the independence and isolation of each container.
  • Kubernetes metadata integration: Kubernetes translates microservices into “pods”, “services”, “replication controllers”, and “namespaces”. Sysdig Cloud now understands the full context of your Kubernetes system, and offers alerts and dashboards that correlate this metadata directly with all your system, network, application, and infrastructure data.
  • Zero configuration deployment: Just drop the Sysdig Cloud container into your Kubernetes environment. ContainerVision automatically detects every application running in every other container in your infrastructure and starts streaming back a stunning level a detail in real time. 

The first Kubecon conference is being held this week in San Francisco.


Fujitsu and VMware Expand Global Collaboration in the Cloud

Fujitsu Limited and VMware announced new areas of collaboration to empower customers with flexible and secure cloud technologies. Fujitsu is already a member of the VMware vCloud Air Network and companies have been partners since 2006.

Specifically, the companies have agreed to establish project teams to conduct marketing and sales support activities for the global expansion of FUJITSU Cloud Service K5, a core component of FUJITSU Digital Business Platform MetaArc, based on Fujitsu's most advanced technologies, and FUJITSU Managed Infrastructure Service Virtual Desktop Service V-DaaS, based on VMware Horizon. Both companies plan to collaborate to expand V-DaaS globally, starting in the ASEAN region.

In addition, both companies plan to work together to expand the PaaS capabilities of K5 by leveraging VMware vSphere Integrated Containers to ease the development and distribution of cloud-native applications, and to enable enterprises to flexibly adjust their applications in response to additions and revisions to business processes.