Monday, November 16, 2015

SC15: Intel Shows HPC Scalable System Framework and Omni-Path Fabric

At this week's SC15 in Austin, Intel is showcasing several advancements to its Scalable System Framework (Intel SSF) that promise to bring high performance computing (HPC) capabilities and benefits to more industries and new workloads.

One of the foundational elements of the Intel SSF is its Omni-Path Architecture, a new HPC-optimized fabric technology that makes the performance of HPC clusters more accessible to a broader variety of users.

Some highlights:

  • Intel will provide Intel SSF reference architectures, designs and validation tools. These technical system specifications will include hardware and software bill of materials for Intel SSF validated systems.
  • Companies planning to launch systems based on SSF include Colfax, Cray, Dell, Fujitsu Systems Europe, HPE, Inspur, Lenovo, Penguin Computing, SGI, Sugon and Supermicro
  • Intel OPA’s 48-port switch enables up to 26 percent more servers than InfiniBand EDR within the same budget and up to 60 percent lower power consumption for a more efficient switch and system infrastructure.
  • Intel OPA is currently being used at several large sites, including the Texas Advanced Computing Center and the Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center. Colfax, Cray, Dell, Fujitsu Systems Europe, Hitachi*, Huawei*, HPE, Inspur, Lenovo, NEC, SGI, Sugon, Supermicro and other system vendors starting to announce Intel OPA-based switches and server platforms, with volume shipments ramping in the first quarter of next year.
  • Intel announced that preproduction Intel Xeon Phi processors (code-named Knights Landing) are running in several supercomputing-class systems. Cray has a system currently running multiple customer applications in preparation for the supercomputer deployments at Los Alamos (Trinity system) and NERSC (Cori system). Systems are also installed at CEA (the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) by Atos and Sandia National Laboratories by Penguin Computing. Intel expects more than 50 system providers to have Intel Xeon Phi product family-based systems in the market at launch.
  • Intel is among more than 30 founding members of the OpenHPC Collaborative Project, a new community-led organization focused on developing a comprehensive and cohesive open source HPC system software stack to drive broader adoption. Intel-supported versions of the open source HPC system software stack are expected to be available next year.
  • Intel expands HPC ecosystem support and investments with the creation of five new Intel Parallel Computing Centers focused on Lustre software development; through a new long-term strategic partnership with the Alan Turing Institute to further the role of high performance computing and data sciences in the U.K.; and with an expanded collaboration with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, focused on advancing the exascale capabilities of the Intel SSF.
  • Intel announced a multiyear, multimillion-dollar program to increase diversity within the HPC ecosystem consisting of a new scholarship program designed to attract women and underrepresented minorities to pursue graduate degrees in computational and data science programs, as well as a new internship program to increase the diversity of Intel’s HPC workforce.

“We’re entering a new era in which supercomputing is being transformed from a tool for a specific problem to a general tool for many,” said Charlie Wuischpard, vice president and general manager of HPC Platform Group at Intel. “System-level innovations in processing, memory, software and fabric technologies are enabling system capabilities to be designed and optimized for different usages, from traditional HPC to the emerging world of big data analytics and everything in between. We believe the Intel Scalable System Framework is the path forward for designing and delivering the next generation of systems for the ‘HPC everywhere’ era.”

Intel Unveils Knights Landing Processor and Omni Scale I/O Fabric

Intel announced microarchitecture and memory details of its next-generation Intel Xeon Phi processor (code-named Knights Landing) and an end-to-end interconnect fabric optimized for fast data transfers, both aimed at powering High-Performance Computing (HPC) systems.

Knights Landing, which is expected to debut in the second half of 2015, will include up to16GB high-bandwidth, on-package memory at launch – designed in partnership with Micron – to deliver five times better bandwidth compared to DDR4 memory, five times better energy efficiency and three times more density than current GDDR-based memory. Knights Landing will be available in a PCIe-based card option, or mounted directly on the motherboard socket to remove the bandwidth bottlenecks of data transfer over PCIe, common in GPU and accelerator solutions.

Powered by more than 60 HPC-enhanced Silvermont architecture-based cores, Knights Landing is expected to deliver more than 3 TFLOPS of double-precision performance and three times the single-threaded performance compared with the current generation.

Intel's new Omni Scale fabric, which is built upon a combination of enhanced acquired IP from Cray and QLogic along with tis own in-house innovations, addresses the I/O requirements of the HPC sector.  Intel Omni Scale Fabric is an end-to-end I/O solution encompassing adapters, edge switches, director switch systems, cables and management software. Intel intends to replace traditional electrical transceivers in the director switches with silicon photonics, enabling increased port density, simplified cabling and reduced costs. Intel Silicon Photonics-based cabling and transceiver solutions may also be used with Intel Omni Scale-based processors, adapter cards and edge switches.

Intel noted continued market gains in powering the HPC sector.  The company said its current generation of Xeon processors and Xeon Phi coprocessors powers the top-rated system in the world – the 35 PFLOPS "Milky Way 2" in China, and its designs account for 85 percent of all supercomputers on the 43rd edition of the TOP500 list.

SC15: CenturyLink and Infinera Deliver 1.5 Tbps of Super-Channel DWDM

CenturyLink is delivering 1.5 terabits per second (Tbps) of super-channel transmission capacity to support SCinet at this week's International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC15)p in Austin.

The 1.5 Tb/s of line-side capacity will connect the Austin Convention Center to CenturyLink's global fiber optic network, utilizing the Infinera DTN-X platform.

The terabit deployment will demonstrate CenturyLink's rapid provisioning of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) services from the conference to CenturyLink's point of presence in Austin and to six major U.S. cities across the country.

"This deployment demonstrates the power of CenturyLink's network and its ability to scale and quickly provide super-channel transmission capacity for real-time high-performance computing," said Pieter Poll, senior vice president of national and international network planning at CenturyLink. "Providing SCinet with 1.5 terabit of transmission complements the work we are doing to transform our network and keep up with increasing bandwidth demands now and into the future."

Nokia Networks joins Open Compute Project

Nokia Networks has joined the Open Compute Project (OCP), demonstrating its commitment to openness and collaboration in offering leading cloud-based solutions.

Nokia Networks said it will work with the OCP Foundation to build an OCP variant of the Nokia AirFrame Data Center Solution.

The vision is to deliver modular and flexible cloud architectures and delivering low latency and telco-grade reliability for all types of workloads.
Nokia plans to support the full range of its own Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), as well as third-party VNFs. A variety of configurations, from hyperscale to smaller and distributed data centers needed to support specific services, will begin to be supported. Added enhancements made available through OCP will include improved cooling as well as greater Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE), one of the key metrics for all data center deployments. Expands its Telco Cloud Portfolio
Nokia Networks announced a number of improvements and enhancements in its telco cloud portfolio, including the new Nokia OSS Office for Telco Cloud, the Nokia AirFrame Data Center Solution (now also available in a container), the intelligent Nokia Service Chaining and Nokia cloud wise Care Services.

Some highlights:

  • The Nokia OSS Office for Telco Cloudsolution is a service to help operators plan their best path for transforming their network and service operation centers for the telco cloud.  This includes planning from high level strategy to processes, tools and use cases. 
  • The Nokia AirFrame Data Center Solution is now available as a containerized solution with an efficient power and cooling system built-in. It can simply be dropped into place to cater for peak demand or to provide localized telco and IT services. A software-defined storage (SDS) module has also been introduced to provide flexible data storage pools within the data center environment.
  • Nokia Service Chaining provides greater efficiency and management through a virtualized service environment for the delivery of network services. Dynamic service functions, such as firewalls and media optimizers, can easily address peak loads and intelligently steer traffic. These scalable and best-of-breed functions can be implemented within the telco cloud at a fraction of the cost required for conventional networks. Nokia also launched third party appliance certification as well as implementation and integration services for service chaining.
  • Nokia cloud wise Care Services: two new service packages to help operators run and maintain their deployed telco cloud networks. Nokia Resolution Prime Services provides operators with a single point of contact and service management for resolving VNF faults within a complex multivendor telco cloud network. Nokia TotalCare for VMWare, a newly launched care package, supports operators’ VMWare deployments with an extended SLA covered by the company.


NEC Corporation of America (NEC) introduced its UNIVERGE BLUE Business Cloud Services (UNIVERGE BLUE) for cloud unified communication (UC) services. UNIVERGE BLUE delivers business-class voice, mobility, messaging, presence, web conferencing and contact centers.

The solution consists of NEC Fault Tolerance servers, software-defined networking (SDN), software, and data centers.

Some highlights:

  • Architected for high availability, 99.999 percent
  • Multi-tenant, enterprise-grade security and encryption in the cloud
  • 24/7 support and system monitoring
  • Mission-critical UC applications: voice, mobility, messaging, presence, conferencing and contact center
  • Supports private, hybrid and public cloud UC deployments

“If an enterprise is building a private, hybrid or public cloud service, the underlying architecture has a big impact on what can be done,” said Jay Krauser, director, Business Development Cloud Services, NEC Corporation of America. “Not all cloud solutions are built the same, so it’s also important for businesses to examine the bottom line of their cloud investments and to understand the underlying technology. UNIVERGE BLUE is built from the same reliable software foundation as UNIVERGE 3C™, ensuring mission-critical communications.”

Procera Intros Virtual Probe for Subscriber Intelligence

Procera Networks is launching a Virtual Experience Probe designed to deliver intelligence to real-time analytics systems.

Procera's "eVolution" is an all-virtual data enablement solution that empowers fixed, cable, mobile and WiFi operators to enhance the subscriber experience, by providing contextual intelligence they can act upon immediately. The eVolution data probe runs in VMware or KVM virtualization environments on COTS hardware. Procera said eVolution is differentiated by:

  • Infrastructure and Vendor agnostic data acquisition
  • Real-time virtualized software with highly optimized performance on COTS hardware
  • Deployment flexibility for a broad ecosystem of customers: carriers, enterprises, system integrators, OEMs, channel partners, and third party big data providers
  • Flexible data and KPI formats for use by big data repositories
  • Best cost per subscriber value designed to augment or displace cumbersome and expensive passive probing solutions

As NFV orchestration is deployed, eVolution instances will be able to be created, sized, and deployed in real time, and relocated as needed through the network by the operator using ETSI NFV specifications.  The base eVolution probe delivers access to real-time network forensics leveraging Procera's unique Dynamic LiveView. Software license add-ons deliver real-time data feeds to Big Data systems using IPFix or historical data through ODBC database integration, enabling integration into a wide variety of Real-time and Big Data ecosystems that leverage Hadoop and other standard database technologies.

"Network operators need a turnkey virtual probing solution that provides better real-time data to feed their analytics and customer relationship systems in order to deliver a high quality broadband experience to their subscribers," said Lyn Cantor, President and CEO of Procera Networks. "eVolution from Procera represents a game-changer; the most economical cost per bit data enablement solution for subscriber-based analytics on the market today, and we look forward to the market place unlocking new value from this disruptive solution."

Alcatel-Lucent Intros Radio Interface for DAS

Alcatel-Lucent introduced a radio frequency module for distributed antenna systems (DAS) for connecting subscribers at large public venues.

The Distributed Antenna System Radio Frequency Module is a wideband low-power LTE interface card which removes the need for bulky radio technology in a public installation. It connects to Alcatel-Lucent's 9926 digital baseband unit, working directly with the analog DAS through RF signals that consume just one-eighth of the power and heat dissipation of an average remote radio head, reducing space requirements and optimizing costs. The 9926 digital baseband unit, connecting into a number of distributed radios, can divert capacity where needed when there are spikes in traffic, redistributing capacity to other radios when no longer required.

Up to 40 radio sectors with the associated baseband processing, can be fitted into a standard 19 inch indoor cabinet. The Alcatel-Lucent DAS RFM is offered in two wideband hardware versions, one for low band and one for high band radios. Each radio covers between 6 and 10 bands. Based on the latest Alcatel-Lucent RF platform it leverages common hardware and software and can quickly be adapted to various market frequency demands using pluggable cards.

Based on a study from Bell Labs, the company calculates its new DAS RFM offers up to 30 percent cost savings in terms of the wireless and DAS equipment required, up to 81 percent cost savings in terms of power and cooling, up to 91 percent cost savings in terms of construction,  and up to 78 percent cost savings in terms of energy.

"Alcatel-Lucent has been working closely with operators on how to improve LTE deployment in dense urban environments by leveraging their DAS infrastructure. This product was developed on the latest leading edge RF Platform that operators use for their Macro today allowing them full benefit and feature parity with their Macro sites. It is designed for use with any vendors' analog DAS," said Glenn Booth, Senior Vice President and General Manger of Alcatel-Lucent's LTE Business Unit said: .

CableLabs Schedules Conference for April 2016

CableLabs will host a new Inform[ed]: conference series beginning on April 13, 2016 in New York City.

  • Phil McKinney, President and CEO, CableLabs
  • Prof. Theodore S. Rappaport, NYU (founding director of NYU WIRELESS)
  • Neville Meijers, VP of Small Cell, Qualcomm
  • Jeremy Bye, VP of Carrier and Wholesale, Cox Business
  • Paul de Sa, Bernstein Research
  • Rob Howald, VP of Network Architecture, Comcast

"As wireless technology continues to advance, it’s imperative that the wireless industry fully explores both the opportunities and challenges of developing innovative wireless technologies that benefit consumers and drive technology forward,” said Phil McKinney, president and chief executive officer of CableLabs. "CableLabs is continually expanding its testing and research in a variety of areas in the wireless space. This conference gives us the opportunity to bring together the industry’s top minds to tackle the most prominent issues in wireless in new and inventive ways.”

PMC-Sierra Reiterates Commitment to Skyworks Deal

PMC-Sierra's board of directors unanimously determined that the proposal received on November 9, 2015 from Microsemi Corporation to acquire all of the outstanding shares of PMC common stock is not superior to PMC’s existing agreement with Skyworks Solutions, Inc..

The company's board said the Skyworks all cash proposal provides more value certainty to PMC stockholders than the stock and cash consideration provided in the Microsemi proposal.

Ericsson Wins 5-Year Deal with Ooredoo Group

Ooredoo Group awarded a five-year frame agreement to Ericsson for 2G, 3G and 4G radio, core and transmissions solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The group frame agreement includes radio, core and transmission equipment as well as related services. The agreement also covers Ericsson's Software model with its predefined software value packages which ensures better performance and reduces time to market for new functionalities. Using these solutions, Ooredoo's network performance will improve to meet growing end-user expectations.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

ZTE Makes Progess in D-MIMO Technology

ZTE announced a breakthrough in its development of D-MIMO (distributed multiple input and multiple output) technology, which promises up to a 9X increase in wireless network performance at the cell edge.

In mobile networks with many base stations, interference can cause degraded signaling at the cell edge, affecting user experience. D-MIMO technology can effectively improve the data rate at the cell edge through coordinated transmission among base stations, resolving a major challenge facing operators.

ZTE said a recent outdoor field test conducted jointly with a partner used D-MIMO technology based on ZTE’s proprietary Cloud Radio solution.  The testing covered single-user and multiple-user scenarios in an environment with multiple overlapping base stations, and used commercially-available mobile device terminals.

The Coherent-Joint Transmission technology used in ZTE’s new D-MIMO system ensures full phase synchronization among base stations, so that the jointly transmitted signal is amplified to the maximum level as it arrives at the antenna of a user terminal, minimizing interference with other terminals. Compared with the legacy Non-Coherent-JT technology, Coherent-JT provides 3 dB of additional gain at the antenna of a target user terminal and forms null steering at the antennas of other user terminals to minimize signal interference, achieving multi-user joint transmission (MU-JT).

The indoor D-MIMO test result shows that the MU-JT technology can form null steering toward multiple users to guarantee good multi-user joint transmission in an enclosed and small space. The service data rate of a single testing cell has been at least quadrupled in an ideal non-interference situation, and a number of testing cells have enhanced their resistance to interference by more than a hundred times.

IHS: Sales Increasing for SDN

Data center and enterprise LAN software-defined networking (SDN) deployments began to ramp in the first half of 2015 (1H15), according to a new report from IHS .

IHS forecasts the market for ‘in-use’ SDN Ethernet switches and controllers to top $1.4 billion this year, nearly doubling from last year.

Some highlights:

  • In the first half of 2015 (1H15), bare metal switches accounted for 45 percent of global in-use SDN-capable Ethernet switch revenue
  • White box switch vendors, as a group, are #1 in bare metal switch revenue
  • Dell owns 100 percent of branded bare metal switch revenue
  • HP has the largest share of SDN-capable (in-use and not-in-use) branded Ethernet switch ports
  • In-use virtual switch (vSwitch) ports are expected to make up 11 percent of SDN (in-use and not-in-use) ports shipped by the end of 2015
  • SDN in-use physical Ethernet switches are forecast by IHS to comprise 15 percent of Ethernet switch market revenue in 2017, up from 4 percent today

“New SDN use cases continue to emerge, and the first half of 2015 was no exception with the establishment of the software-defined enterprise WAN (SD-WAN) market. The SD-WAN market is still small, but many startups and traditional WAN optimization appliance vendors and network vendors have jumped in,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., research director for data center, cloud and SDN at IHS.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Huawei Develops Lithium-Ion Quick Charge

 Huawei Technology has developed a new quick charging capability for lithium-ion batteries.

The company said its new tech enables new batteries to achieve a charging speed 10 times faster than that of normal batteries, reaching about 50% capacity in mere minutes.

In a demo, Huawei showed how one battery with a 600 mAh capacity can be charged to 68% capacity in two minutes.  Another demo shows a 3000 mAh capacity and an energy density above 620 Wh/L, which can be charged to 48% capacity in five minutes to allow ten hours of phone call on Huawei mobile phones. These quick charging batteries underwent many rounds of testing, and have been certified by Huawei's terminal test department.

According to Huawei, the company bonded heteroatoms to the molecule of graphite in anode, which could be a catalyst for the capture and transmission of lithium through carbon bonds. Huawei stated that the heteroatoms increase the charging speed of batteries without decreasing energy density or battery life.

Brocade Appoints Security CTO

Brocade announced the appointment of Hadi Nahari as vice president and security chief technology officer (CTO) and the promotion of David Meyer to Brocade Fellow.

Nahari previously was chief security architect of mobile and software platforms at NVIDIA where he initiated Trusted Little Kernel, the foundation for Android Trusty. He has held principal security architect roles at PayPal, MontaVista Software, Motorola, NetScape and the U.S. Government. Nahari holds 13 patents -- 11 in the U.S. and two in the European Union. In his new role at Brocade, Nahari will be responsible for Brocade's product security strategy, architecture, and portfolio, as well as building the company's security ecosystem.

Since joining Brocade in 2012 as chief scientist and service provider CTO, Meyer has become the company authority on external technologies and industry direction. He is the co-inventor of the Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) and a much sought-after advisor in the industry. In addition, he is the founding chair of the OpenDaylight Technical Steering Committee, the founding co-chair of the Open Networking Foundation Forward Abstractions Working Group, as well as the founding chair of the Internet Research Task Force's Software-Defined Networking Research Group. Prior to joining Brocade, Meyer spent 12 years at Cisco Systems as a distinguished engineer.

"Hadi Nahari and Dave Meyer are shining examples of Brocade attracting the best technologists in the industry," said Ken Cheng, CTO and senior vice president of Corporate Development and Emerging Business at Brocade. "Hadi and Dave each bring a wealth of knowledge and experience across many different technology sectors, including mobile, machine learning, massively scalable systems, and security. They have an intense passion to deliver innovative products that benefit our customers' businesses. Hadi will drive Brocade's product security strategy and innovation while Dave will focus on a wide variety of emerging technologies, including machine learning research and development."

ARM Tunes its 64-bit CPUs for HPC

ARM has developed new math libraries designed to enable the maximum performance of computational software running on ARM-based HPC (High-performance computing) servers and systems. ARM math libraries take advantage of each silicon partner’s specific microarchitecture innovations and features within their SoCs based on the ARMv8-A architecture to ensure peak system performance.

“ARM Performance Libraries are another key milestone in the advancement of the ARM server and HPC ecosystem,” said Hobson Bullman, general manager, developer systems group, ARM. “The HPC community are early adopters of ARM-based servers and the introduction of optimized math routines build a foundation for enabling scientific computing on 64-bit ARM based compute platforms. ARM Performance Libraries hit the mark for both software performance and a consistent library interface to enable ease of software development and portability to ARMv8-A server platforms.”

To accelerate porting of software to platforms based on the ARMv8-A architecture, including 64-bit ARM Cortex® processor-based servers, ARM Performance Libraries offer tested binary distributions of popular open source applications for HPC including ATLAS, OpenMPI, NumPy and TAU. All changes required to port these open source applications to ARM will be fed back to the open source repositories to enable HPC community development and collaboration.

Gogo's 2Ku Delivers 70 Mbps In-Flight

Gogo said its 2Ku next generation satellite technology is capable of matching or exceeding the bandwidth of any other system currently offered.  The new technology will deliver peak speeds to the aircraft of more than 70 Mbps.

As part of the flight testing of 2Ku on its Boeing 737 aircraft, Gogo has simultaneously streamed videos on more than 40 devices while supporting browsing on additional devices. The technology also benefits from the global coverage and redundancy of the more than 180 satellites in the Ku-band.  In addition, the proprietary antenna design gives 2Ku a significant cost advantage over any other global solution.

Gogo's 2Ku is expected to be launched commercially in the coming months.

"This is a tremendous milestone for Gogo.  In about a year and a half, we've been able to fully develop and bring this new technology to market, a speed which is unprecedented in this industry.  The accomplishment really highlights Gogo's leadership in this space and the tremendously talented employees we have within our ranks," said Gogo's president and CEO Michael Small.  "Gogo created the in-flight connectivity market in the U.S. through its technological innovations, and we expect 2Ku to be the technology that kick-starts this industry for global aviation."

Nokia Delivers LTE for Smartone in Macau

Nokia Networks is providing an LTE upgrade for SmarTone's network in Macau.

Under the 5-year contract, Nokia Networks is planning and deploying the operator’s 4G LTE network in one of the world’s densest traffic areas. The project includes:

  • Single RAN Advanced solution, based on the energy-efficient, high-capacity Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station
  • Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and Subscriber Data Management platform, a centralized database for all relevant subscriber information
  • Self Organizing Networks (SON) software features for more network efficiency
  • NetAct, a virtualized OSS, will be updated for effective and consolidated configuration, monitoring, management and optimization of SmarTone’s LTE network
  • Network planning and optimization, systems integration and network implementation services to ensure high network quality and a swift rollout   

Michael Shieh, Head of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau Sub-region, Nokia Networks, said: “We are proud to be working with SmarTone on its journey to ultra-fast LTE-based broadband connectivity, having already helped the operator build its 2G and 3G networks. Our services experts can meet the challenges of such a high-volume traffic area and are supporting this journey throughout, from the planning phase through system integration and implementation, and also with network maintenance and staff training.”

NTT Comm Signs with PLDT for Data Center Services in Philippines

NTT Communications and Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) signed a deal to provide Nexcenter solutions in the Philippines and promote cross-selling.

Under the agreement, Philippines corporations with international operations will be able to use NTT Com’s globally standardized high-quality Nexcenter services at some 140 locations in 84 cities of 19 countries, in addition to its Arcstar Universal One private-network service, which is already available in the Philippines.

PLDT, supported by NTT Com, expects to gain Nexcenter accreditation for its two main data centers and begin providing Nexcenter services by January 2016. In addition, PLDT will incorporate Nexcenter standards in a new data center now under construction, which also will be launched as a new Nexcenter™ facility. The additions will strengthen Nexcenter™ as No. 1 data center brand in the Asian region.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Cisco Posts Strong Growth in Income but Guidance Cites Macro Economic Uncertainty

Cisco reported first quarter revenue of $12.7 billion, net income on a generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of $2.4 billion or $0.48 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $3.0 billion or $0.59 per share. Revenue was up 3.6% compared to the same period last year, while net income rose by 33%.

"Q1 was a very strong quarter. We are accelerating our ability to deliver on growth opportunities, aggressively driving our cloud business, and delivering continued strength in our deferred product revenue, as we sell more of our portfolio in software and cloud models," said Chuck Robbins, Cisco chief executive officer. "We guided to solid growth in Q2. Our guidance reflects lower than expected order growth in Q1, driven largely by the uncertainty of the macro environment and currency impacts. Despite these headwinds, I believe we are executing very well. We are moving very fast to capture new opportunities and I feel good about how we are positioned for the second half of the year."

Some highlights:

  • Product revenue increased by 4% and service revenue increased by 1%. 
  • Total revenue by geographic segment was: Americas up 4%, and each of EMEA and APJC up 3%. 
  • Product revenue growth was led by Data Center and Collaboration at 24% and 17%, respectively. 
  • Wireless and Security each grew 7%, Switching grew 5%, NGN Routing decreased 8%, and Service Provider Video decreased 2%.
  • By product orders per customer segment, Enterprise (3%), Public Sector (0%), Commercial 7%, Service Provider 6%.  Overall 3%.
  • By product orders geographically, Americas 1%, EMEA 3%, APJC 9%. Cisco total 3%.
  • Cash and cash equivalents were $59.1 billion, up from $52.1 billion a year ago.
  • Cisco headcount was 72,063, which is about the same as a year ago.

Mellanox Intros 100Gbps InfiniBand Switch

Mellanox Technologies introduced its next generation InfiniBand switch for High-Performance Computing, Web 2.0, database and cloud data centers.

The Mellanox Switch-IB 2 is capable of 100 Gbps per port speeds and is the world's first smart network switch that offloads MPI operations from the CPU to the network to deliver 10X performance improvements. It integrates 144 SerDes which can operate at 1Gbps to 25Gbps speeds per lane and delivers 7.02 billion messages-per-second, 90ns switch latency and low power consumption, making Switch-IB 2 the best solution for high-performance computing, cloud, Web 2.0, database and storage centers.

Mellanox said a major innovation is that the switch can manage collective communications (MPI and SHMEM) using embedded hardware, decreading the amount of data traversing the network, reducing application latency with additional benefit of freeing up CPU resources for computation rather than using them to process communication.

“Mellanox smart interconnect solutions will continue to bring not just the widest and fastest interconnect but also more hardware offloads to free the CPU to focus on the application,” said Gilad Shainer, vice president of marketing, Mellanox Technologies. “Mellanox’s smart interconnect technology is a full generation ahead of the competition in terms of performance and return-on-investment advantages it brings to IT and applications managers.”

Rancher Can Now Orchestrate Persistent Storage Services for Docker

Rancher Labs, a start-up based in Cupertino, California, now offers the ability to orchestrate Persistent Storage Services for Docker.  This makes its easier for developers to define and deploy the exact storage capabilities needed for their containerized applications.

Rancher, which is the company's flagship software tool for building a private container service, can be used with a Docker 1.9 volume plugin to:

  • Orchestrate the deployment and configuration of storage services directly on container hosts, utilizing any software defined storage platforms shipped as containers, including, for example, Gluster, Ceph and NexentaEdge.
  • Launch applications using Docker Compose that can leverage these storage services to automatically create and mount persistent Docker volumes to support stateful application services such as traditional databases.
  • Utilize any vendor-specific advanced storage features offered by storage services such as snapshot, backup, remote replication and data analytics.
  • Deploy an application with all of its necessary storage services on any virtual machine or bare metal server, running in any public cloud or private data center.

For example, a user deploying a web application running on Tomcat and MySQL can also use Rancher to deploy a Persistent Storage Service based on Gluster. The Gluster storage service can then be distributed across multiple disks running on different hosts within the Rancher cluster. When the MySQL service is launched, Rancher can orchestrate the deployment of a block storage volume from the Gluster service, which is then connected to the MySQL container as a Docker Volume. Users can leverage GlusterFS geo-replication to backup the application to a remote site.

Once the application is deployed, Rancher continues to manage both the application and storage services, monitoring hosts and disks for failures and responding whenever necessary to ensure the availability of the application.

“As developers begin to deploy more stateful applications using Docker, it is critical that storage services become as easy to deploy and migrate as regular Docker containers,” said Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs. “We’re thrilled to announce this latest update to Rancher, as we believe persistent storage services will unleash a new wave of innovation for the Docker ecosystem, community and users.”

Rancher Labs Launches its Container Infrastructure Platform

Rancher Labs, a start-up based in Cupertino, California, announced the beta release of its platform for running Docker in production. It includes a fully-integrated set of infrastructure services purpose built for containers, including networking, storage management, load balancing, service discovery, monitoring, and resource management. Rancher connects these infrastructure services with standard Docker plugins and application management tools, such as Docker Compose, to make it simple for organizations to deploy and manage containerized workloads on any infrastructure.

Key Rancher features:

  • Cross-host networking: Rancher creates a private software defined network for each user, allowing secure communication between containers across hosts and even clouds.
  • Container load balancing: Rancher provides an integrated, elastic load balancing service to distribute traffic between containers or services.
  • Storage Management: Rancher supports live snapshot and backup of Docker volumes, enabling users to backup stateful containers and stateful services.
  • Service discovery: Rancher implements a distributed DNS-based service discovery function with integrated health checking that allows containers to automatically register themselves as services, as well as services to dynamically discover each other over the network.
  • Service upgrades: Rancher makes it easy for users to upgrade existing container services, by allowing service cloning and redirection of service requests. This makes it possible to ensure services can be validated against their dependencies before live traffic is directed to the newly upgraded services.
  • Resource management: Rancher supports Docker Machine, a powerful tool for provisioning hosts directly from cloud providers. Rancher then monitors host resources and manages container deployment.
  • Native Docker Support: Rancher supports native Docker management of containers. Users can directly provision containers using the Docker API or CLI, as well as using Docker Compose for more complex application management functions. Third-party tools that are built on Docker API, such as Kubernetes, work seamlessly on Rancher.
  • Multi-tenancy and user management: Rancher is designed for multiple users and allows organizations to collaborate throughout the application lifecycle. By connecting with existing directory services, Rancher allows users to create separate development, testing, and production environments and invite their peers to collaboratively manage resources and applications.