Friday, November 27, 2015

WRC15 Reaches Agreement on Satellite Spectrum

The World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 in Switzerland agreed on a framework for future access to satellite spectrum.

“WRC-15 has been a turning point in the global recognition of the value of satellite services for the future. We commend the national administrations – and the WRC Chairman, Mr. Festus Daudu – for their commitment to connectivity for all,” said a joint statement of a coalition of associations representing the satellite industry. “These decisions provide the stability necessary for the entire satellite industry to fully leverage its strengths in support of the vision expressed by the WRC delegates.”


L-band: WRC-15 avoided identification of the L-band spectrum, which is used by mobile satellite service operators around the world, for IMT. The Conference identified the band 1427-1518 MHz for IMT, requesting the ITU-R to determine the technical measures to ensure compatibility with the mobile-satellite service operations in the adjacent band (1518-1559 MHz).

C-band: WRC-15 reconfirmed the need to protect critical fixed-satellite service (FSS) services throughout the world in this unique band. The lower 200 MHz of the C-band downlink frequencies (3400-3600 MHz) were identified for IMT in ITU Regions 1 and 2; In Region 3 a handful of countries will sign a footnote allowing potential IMT use of these 200 MHz, while the vast majority of the region will continue satellite use of this band with no change. A position of “No Change” was adopted in the band 3600-4200 MHz, and only in Region 2 was a footnote agreed which identified IMT for a few countries in the 3600-3700 MHz band. A “No Change” decision means that administrations have recognised the vital and widespread use of those frequency bands by satellite services. Anywhere that IMT is deployed, it will be subject to adherence to strict protection requirements with neighbouring countries. In addition, the Conference declined to consider a proposal for IMT systems in the C-band uplink frequencies (5925-6425 MHz).

Ku-band: In order to address a spectrum imbalance in Ku-band spectrum, WRC-15 identified additional spectrum for FSS systems between 10-17 GHz. A downlink allocation in the 13.4-13.65 GHz band in Region 1 (EMEA) was approved by the Conference. In addition, an allocation in the 14.5-14.8 GHz was approved in several countries around the world.

Future bands for 5G: The Conference decided that no globally harmonised bands for the fixed satellite service, mobile-satellite service and broadcast-satellite service in C, Ku or Ka band would be included in the scope of a new WRC-19 agenda item, which aims to identify new frequency bands for future IMT/ 5G use. Throughout the deliberations, multiple administrations in every world region expressed strong opposition to studying the Ka band for IMT/5G, again confirming the Conference’s confidence in satellite being a key player in the future digital eco-system.

ESIMs: The Conference adopted new regulations to facilitate the operation of “Earth Stations in Motion” (ESIMs) in part of the Ka-band satellite spectrum (19.7-20.2 GHz and 29.5-30 GHz). ESIMs operating in this band provide satellite broadband connectivity to mobile terminals, such as on ships and aircraft. The new regulations adopted by WRC-15 will facilitate the global roaming of such terminals, while protecting other services and applications from interference.

Other: WRC-15 adopted several agenda items for future conferences that will spur growth in the satellite industry. Studies were approved for WRC-19 for additional FSS spectrum in 51.4-52.4 GHz. In addition, the conference adopted a future agenda item for WRC-23 for additional satellite spectrum in the 37.5-39.5 GHz. Also, in a hotly contested debate, the Conference adopted a Resolution which sets the path towards allowing the use of FSS links for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).

Ericsson Opens 5G Garage in Budapest

Ericsson opened at 5G "Garage" within its R&D facility in Budapest, Hungary to served as an incubator for the 5G ecosystem.

5G for Hungary is part of the recently launched "5G for Europe" program, which will deliver industry pilots of 5G solutions in areas including the Internet of Things, energy and utilities, safety and security, public infrastructure and retail. It will include joint innovation and prototyping as well as demos to operators and enterprises.

Ericsson said these initiatives also support the recently launched “5G Exchange” (5GEx) collaborative innovation project co-funded by the European Commission and that is driven by the Ericsson Research team in Budapest.

Ericsson Expands 5G R&D Program in Europe

Ericsson is expanding its cross-industry 5G research and development (R&D) program in Europe, aiming to bring together major industrial players, the public sector and leading universities across Europe to strengthen the continent's competitiveness and maximize the benefits of the Networked Society.

The 5G for Europe program will focus on delivering research, innovation and industrial pilots that use next-generation 5G networks as an enabler. One of the goals is to deliver industry pilots of possible 5G solutions in areas including transport and automotive, the Internet of Things, utilities, public safety, public infrastructure and retail.

The program's academic and research partners include major technical universities such as Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa, Italy, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany, Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, Spain, IMDEA Networks Institute, Madrid, Spain, and King's College, London, United Kingdom. Among the industry partners are leading enterprises such as wiseSense, Weiss Robotics and MyOmega System Technology in Germany and Zucchetti Centro Sistemi in Italy.

Ulf Ewaldsson, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson, says: "5G is the next step in the evolution of mobile communication and will be a fundamental enabler of the Networked Society. However, Ericsson needs to work together with industries to understand their specific network requirements in order to realize the full benefits of 5G technologies. "By expanding our 5G program to include major partners across Europe, we will gain valuable insights that will enable industries to digitalize effectively, to create new value and to strengthen the competitive position of European industry."

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Blueprint: Operationalizing NFV in the Face of 100G

by Dan Joe Barry, VP Positioning and Chief Evangelist, Napatech

A recent survey on the future of network appliances indicates that 100G will be the dominant speed rate in core, metro and access in 2018. How can we ensure that NFV is ready for this challenge?

Great strides have been made over the last three years in proving the viability of Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). Dozens of Proof of Concept (PoC) trials have proven that workloads can be migrated to virtual environments running on standard hardware, and there are even examples of carrier deployments using NFV. This is all thanks to the work of visionary carriers and vendors who recognize the need for a drastic change in how carriers do business if they are to survive and thrive in the future.

Thanks to this effort, the issue is no longer whether NFV will work; the issue is how we can make NFV work effectively so it will deliver on its promise. The issue is no longer whether a service can be deployed using NFV, but whether we can manage and secure that service in an NFV environment. In other words, the challenge now is to operationalize NFV.

Managing and securing services requires network appliances that can monitor and analyze network behavior. A recent survey by Heavy Reading on behalf of Napatech provides insight into how network appliances are being used today, progress on migrating network appliances to virtual environments and insight into the challenges that need to be addressed to ensure the success of this migration.

In “The Future of Network Appliances,” 47 percent of respondents considered network appliances for network management and security as essential, while a further 39 percent considered them valuable, reflecting a broad appreciation for the operational value of appliances. Survey responses also show that network management and security appliances are broadly deployed, especially for applications like network and application performance monitoring, test and measurement as well as firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, and data loss prevention.

Nevertheless, the survey also showed progress in migrating network appliances to virtual environments, especially for the most widely deployed applications. 73 percent of carriers indicated that they intend to deploy virtualized appliances over the next two years. Network equipment vendors are responding, with 71 percent indicating that they intend to deliver virtualized appliances in the same time frame.

The top three challenges that respondents could see in delivering and deploying virtualized appliances were interworking with other vendor solutions (81 percent concerned or extremely concerned), security (79 percent) and throughput (80 percent).

But the most eye-opening challenge that the survey highlighted must be the extensive deployment of 100G network data rates in not just the core but also the metro and, most surprisingly of all, the access network. Survey respondents were asked to indicate the most common planned data rate for the core, metro and access networks in 2018. The responses showed that 75 percent of respondents planned for 100G as their most common data rate in the core and 71 percent planned to use 100G in the metro, while 58 percent planned to use 100G in the access network.

This will potentially prove to be the greatest challenge in virtualizing network appliances over the next three years. The first 100G physical network appliances are just now being introduced to the market. They are based on standard servers, as the majority of physical network appliances are today. However, they rely on high-performance network interface cards capable of providing the throughput required at these data rates.

Standard Network Interface Cards (NICs) cannot provide the performance required for these kinds of applications even at data rates of 10G. Recent benchmark testing of NFV solutions which are based on standard NICs have shown that there are serious performance challenges in using these kinds of products for high-speed applications even when using Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) acceleration. Solutions based on bypassing hypervisors, such as Single-Root Input/Output Virtualization (SR-IOV), provide some relief, but come at the expense of virtual function mobility and flexibility.

Network management and security solutions are essential to the successful operation of virtualized networks and will need to be able to operate at 100G data rates within the next three years. One should therefore expect a reassessment of the need for alternative NIC solutions in NFV deployments. These need not be focused solely on network management and security virtualized applications, as the performance issues faced by these applications are similar to those that will be faced by other virtual appliances at high data rates. This technical challenge has already been solved in the physical world. Now it is merely a question of migrating these solutions to the virtualized environment to make sure that NFV is not only deployable but also operational, even at speeds of 100G.  

About the Author

Daniel Joseph Barry is VP Positioning and Chief Evangelist at Napatech and has over 20 years experience in the IT and Telecom industry. Prior to joining Napatech in 2009, Dan Joe was Marketing Director at TPACK, a leading supplier of transport chip solutions to the Telecom sector.  From 2001 to 2005, he was Director of Sales and Business Development at optical component vendor NKT Integration (now Ignis Photonyx) following various positions in product development, business development and product management at Ericsson. Dan Joe joined Ericsson in 1995 from a position in the R&D department of Jutland Telecom (now TDC). He has an MBA and a BSc degree in Electronic Engineering from Trinity College Dublin.

First 3.5 GHz LTE FDD-TDD 3 Carrier Aggregation Test

Nokia Networks, Deutsche Telekom and Cosmote (Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary in Greece and leading network operator in the country) have demonstrated a world-first: LTE-Advanced 3 carrier aggregation combining LTE-FDD in band 3 (1.8 GHz) with LTE-TDD in band 42 (3.5 GHz). The showcase, completed with the commercially available Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station, confirms the ability of 3.5 GHz LTE-TDD technology to increase mobile broadband capacity and improve the consumer experience.

The demonstration used the Nokia Single RAN Advanced platform, including the Nokia Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station for both LTE-FDD and -TDD technologies, with its high-capacity TD-LTE-Advanced 8-pipe radio.

“Deutsche Telekom is a real innovation leader. Hand in hand with our NatCos we are shaping the local markets, especially in LTE. Spectrum plays a fundamental role for mobile communications as we look to exploit opportunities to meet the growing demand for network capacity. The demonstration of FDD-TDD 3 carrier aggregation together with our partners, sets a benchmark for a completely new combination of technologies including the increasingly recognized band 42 which will be expected to be a mainstream TDD band," Rachid El Hattachi, SVP Technology Architecture & Blueprints, Deutsche Telekom.

Microsemi and PMC Agree on Acquisition

Microsemi Corporation and PMC-Sierra entered into a definitive agreement under which Microsemi will acquire PMC for $9.22 in cash and 0.0771 of a share of Microsemi common stock for each share of PMC common stock through an exchange offer. The transaction is valued at approximately $2.5 billion and represents a 77.4 percent percent premium to the closing price of PMC's stock as of Sept. 30, 2015.

"We are pleased PMC has accepted our compelling strategic offer, which clearly benefits shareholders of both Microsemi and PMC. We can now shift our focus to realizing the significant synergies identified during our comprehensive analysis," said James J. Peterson, Microsemi's chairman and CEO. "As we have previously stated, this acquisition will provide Microsemi with a leading position in high performance and scalable storage solutions, while also adding a complementary portfolio of high-value communications products."

The transaction is expected to be immediately accretive to Microsemi's non-GAAP EPS and free cash flow. Microsemi anticipates achieving more than $100 million in annual cost synergies with greater than $75 million of those expected to be realized in the first full quarter of combined operations. Microsemi currently estimates approximately $0.60 of non-GAAP EPS accretion in the first full year after closing the transaction.

Terms of the agreement were approved by the boards of directors of both Microsemi and PMC.

Skyworks to Gain $88.5 Million Merger Break-up Fee

Skyworks Solutions confirmed that PMC has terminated its acquisition agreement and, as a result, Skyworks is entitled to an $88.5 million termination fee from PMC.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Reports Renewed Growth

Hewlett Packard Enterprise reported fiscal 2015 fourth quarter revenue of $14.1 billion, down 4% year over year, or up 3% in constant currency. This is the second consecutive quarter of year over year, constant currency revenue growth for the Hewlett Packard Enterprise segments.

Business segment results are as follows:

Enterprise Group revenue was $7.4 billion, up 2% year over year, up 9% in constant currency, with a 14.0% operating margin. Industry Standard Servers revenue was up 5%, up 13% in constant currency, Storage revenue was down 7%, flat in constant currency, Business Critical Systems revenue was down 8%, down 2% in constant currency, Networking revenue was up 35%, up 43% in constant currency, and Technology Services revenue was down 11%, down 4% in constant currency.

Enterprise Services revenue was $5.0 billion, down 9% year over year, down 2% in constant currency, with an 8.2% operating margin. Infrastructure Technology Outsourcing revenue was down 11%, down 4% in constant currency, and Application and Business Services revenue was down 5%, up 1% in constant currency.

Software revenue was $958 million, down 7% year over year, down 2% in constant currency, with a 30.1% operating margin. License revenue was down 6%, down 2% in constant currency, support revenue was down 9%, down 4% in constant currency, professional services revenue was down 3%, up 4% in constant currency, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) revenue was down 2%, down 2% in constant currency.

HP Financial Services revenue was $802 million, down 11% year over year, down 4% in constant currency with a 2% increase in net portfolio assets and a 4% decrease in financing volume. The business delivered an operating margin of 10.8%.

"Hewlett Packard Enterprise is off to a very strong start," said Meg Whitman, president and chief executive officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. "The new company's business segments delivered a second consecutive quarter of constant currency revenue growth in Q4, and we believe that momentum will accelerate into FY16."

Australia's Macquarie Telecom Deploys MapR

Macquarie Telecom, Australia’s leading managed hosting and business-only telecommunications company, has deployed the MapR data platform to help secure the communications of the Australian government.

Macquarie Telecom’s Government Division today secures telecommunications for 42% of government agencies in Australia. The company provides government employees with a secure Internet gateway, so they can safely access external public websites, downloads, and email services.

“With the growing complexity of the digital threat landscape and the development of SaaS and cloud services, Macquarie Telecom must secure and analyze an exponentially growing amount of data, as well as predict increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks,” commented Aidan Tudehope, managing director of Macquarie Hosting Group at Macquarie Telecom. “Big data analytics in a hybrid cloud services model is the next big thing in complex security environments such as those of governments. We needed a comprehensive platform that is able to analyze data in the cloud and most importantly in real-time, which is what MapR is providing us with today. We considered several distributions of Hadoop, and chose the MapR Distribution as best for our needs.”

Monday, November 23, 2015

Blueprint: OpenFlow and SDN in Action

by Calvin Chai

There’s a lot of talk about OpenFlow as an evolving architecture for driving software-defined networking (SDN), but so far much of the action has been around development rather than deployments, and most of the deployment activity has been in the data center. In this article, we’ll look at some real-world examples of OpenFlow and SDN in action in the larger network.

Disaggregating the Network

Implementing open networking solutions is a matter of disaggregating the network. Historically, networking has been done through a series of vertically integrated systems. Major networking equipment vendors sell tightly integrated switches, routers, and line cards, and provisioning the network means manually configuring each network element.

In OpenFlow-driven SDN, the model is to disaggregate, to use standardized building blocks to create solutions. End users and subscribers want to change applications, raise or lower bandwidth limits, or choose the speed of their connections, and manually configured networks simply can’t respond quickly enough. OpenFlow-based SDN delivers policy-driven networks where network settings are reconfigured on the fly via the OpenFlow controller, and OpenFlow is the common control protocol between all of the disaggregated parts (network operating system, or NOS, controller, and applications).

Meter, match, and act are the three steps SDN undertakes to execute tasks in a policy- driven network. SDN enables the metering of traffic conditions, application and user behavior to match those conditions against a set of pre-defined criteria and then to act on the match according to a policy. Part of a policy framework is to pre-set conditions that are metered against. So, for example, if a customer uses a home interface to ratchet up bandwidth, the OpenFlow controller receives this input and automatically delivers more bandwidth to that subscriber. If a network must scale to support more users, the OpenFlow controller can add routes, VLANs, and flows through the network switches.

In a way, disaggregating the network is tearing it down in order to build it up again in a more useful, flexible, and dynamic way. Now, let’s look at OpenFlow and SDN applications in action.

A Subscriber Control Panel

An Asia-Pacific service provider offers its subscribers a choice of price, performance (bandwidth, latency, and throughput), and security settings. To scale this offering, the provider needed to automate the process so that network throughput, for example, could be changed remotely and quickly through a subscriber action.

Specifically, the service provider wanted to enable:

  • Liquid bandwidth – allowing subscribers to dynamically change the speed of their connections
  • Metered access – implementing an AWS-like, usage-based billing model
  • QoS on Demand – enabling the network to dynamically select the QoS level based on the usage model or application.

SDN enables these services because traffic engineering is based on policies derived from inputs to the customer portal. A graphical slider like the one in Figure 1 drives requests to the OpenFlow controller. Moreover, SDN enables seamless public and private cloud-bursting and migration, turning up more capacity automatically as needed.

Figure 1: A self-service control panel allows customers to dial up bandwidth from home or office.

The critical customer requirements for this use case were a combination of OpenFlow and legacy protocol support. Specifically the customer wanted integration between MPLS and hardware-based OpenFlow. The rationale followed what Google published in January 2011. Specifically, OpenFlow reprograms MPLS labels as a result of a policy, triggering the need to change a path for a giving traffic flow. The policy would be governed by the slider input from the control panel. From a traffic engineering perspective, paths would be chosen to ensure the path selected delivered the expected SLA.

The customer had also tracked OpenDaylight (ODL) development and felt that it was the best controller for their needs. Pica8 was the best choice for this SDN project since the Pica8 NOS, PicOS, supports OpenFlow 1.4, is integrated with ODL, and has support for MPLS.

Turning Up Bandwidth to Rural Subscribers

Renewed popularity of fiber to the premises (FTTP) for homes and small businesses is enabling municipalities and regional governments to reduce the “digital divide” and provide high-speed content and services to rural areas. Customers want to apply the “App Store” model at home for selecting content and bandwidth services, but bandwidth requirements and capabilities vary widely across the region.

Rather than manually provisioning VPNs to customer premise equipment (CPE), this regional service provider used OpenFlow to set up virtual CPE (vCPE) that can dynamically adjust bandwidth and services under user control. Two other services users desired were on-demand disaster recovery (disaster recovery as a service, or DRaaS) and hybrid cloud services for small businesses.

In this case, the vCPE can offer advanced firewall services in addition to dynamic VPNs offering DRaaS. Scalable liquid bandwidth is guaranteed as part of an SDN access network.

For this SDN deployment, the customer was keen to offer “smart city” services by leveraging existing infrastructure to minimize CapEx of new SDN services. At a fundamental level, service redundancy was desired to ensure Telco-like resiliency, thus redundant hardware was used throughout the topology. Hardware-based OpenFlow, driven again by ODL, was selected based on the customer’s involvement with this community.

Lastly, PicOS was chosen as it supports a rich set of Layer-2 and routing features including OSPF and BGP. This support ensured integration of the service edge based on white box switches with upstream Cisco and Juniper aggregation and core devices. The integrator for these smart cities additionally leveraged virtual CPEs (vCPEs) on hardened services to deliver high touch services on top of the liquid bandwidth services.

Maintaining Competitive Video Service

A North American satellite broadcast media provider faced increasing competition from over-the-top (OTT) providers and other cable and satellite broadcasters, and wanted to improve the speed, ease, and quality with which its services could be delivered. Customers were demanding an app-store, point-and-click content selection model, but a manually provisioned network couldn’t deliver this functionality. Self-provisioned networks would meet the demand, and they would also reduce the need for truck rolls and significantly lessen churn caused by long waits for new services or upgrades.

The solution was to implement self-service provisioning with point-and-click content selection via OpenFlow. The tight integration of OpenFlow and the current multicast environment drives rapid ROI and ensures smooth integration.

In this last deployment scenario, the customer was particularly interested in leveraging hardware-based OpenFlow in conjunction with the ONOS controller from ON.Labs, now governed by the Linux Foundation. As with the other two examples, integrating the new SDN functionality with legacy protocols was key. Here, since this is a media / video streaming application, multicast support was mandatory and PicOS has a suite of multicast support protocols, including IGMPv3, PIM-SM and PIM-SSM.

Lastly, integrating the new SDN functionality into existing OSS / BSS frameworks was accomplished through standard APIs.

OpenFlow is Driving Real Applications Today

As we have seen, OpenFlow-based SDN applications are increasingly driving customer satisfaction and service provider revenues in the market today. Networks are becoming more flexible in an era of on-demand computing, bandwidth, and services; and megatrends like mobile usage, Big Data, and the Internet of Things will continue to drive a need for network scale and agility. By breaking monolithic networks apart and building solutions with OpenFlow and SDN, network operators can be ready for the future.

About the Author

Calvin Chai is the Head of Product Marketing for Pica8 Inc. Prior to Pica8, Calvin has held numerous leadership roles in product, technical, solution, and corporate marketing.  Most recently, he led the cloud product marketing team at Juniper Networks where he was responsible for the marketing strategy focused on the cloud and data center markets.  Prior to Juniper, Calvin spent ten years at Cisco focused on various technology initiatives including integrated security, policy, and identity management solutions.

Calvin holds a BS degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

Zayo to Acquire Allstream for its Canadian Network

Zayo Group Holdings agreed to acquire Allstream,a wholly owned subsidiary of MTS, for CAD $465 million, representing a pre-synergized adjusted EBITDA multiple of less than five times. Allstream has approximately CAD $600M revenue and Adjusted EBITDA (excluding restructuring charges) of approximately CAD $100M.

Allstream is a Canadian leader in IP communications and the only national provider that works exclusively with business customers.  Zayo said the acquisition will add substantial fiber and colocation assets across Canada to its own core network Communications Infrastructure business. Allstream has over 9,000 route kilometers of metro fiber network concentrated in Canada’s top five metropolitan markets, (Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Calgary) that connect to approximately 3,300 on-net buildings. In addition, Allstream has an approximate 20,000 route kilometer long-haul fiber network connecting all major Canadian markets and 10 U.S. network access points. In addition, Allstream operates colocation space in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.

“Within today’s Allstream is a robust collection of fiber networks, which are enormously valuable to both Allstream and Zayo customers,” explained Dan Caruso, chairman and CEO of Zayo. “We will unleash the full potential of these assets by combining them with Zayo’s network and focus on providing high-quality and low-cost bandwidth to help fuel the growth of Canada’s economy.”

Zayo estimates that approximately half of Allstream’s revenue is a direct fit with Zayo’s existing core business. Zayo’s investment thesis is to separate this business from other parts of Allstream, and integrate it into Zayo, using the same approach as is currently in place for Zayo UK and Zayo France. This plan includes retaining a strong Canadian brand and presence. The segmentation of the Communication Infrastructure portion of Allstream’s business (“Zayo Canada”) and follow-on reporting into Zayo’s core business segments (Dark Fiber Solutions, Colocation & Cloud Infrastructure, and Network Connectivity) will take multiple quarters to complete.

“As we stand up Zayo Canada, we are targeting CAD $300M of revenue, a >40 percent EBITDA margin, and a high single digit growth rate,” said Karl Maier, president of Zayo International. “If we achieve this outcome and apply an EBITDA multiple similar to Zayo, the value of Zayo Canada will be substantial.”

The other half of Allstream’s business will be organized into two additional segments: Voice and Universal Communications (approximately one third of Allstream’s revenue), and Small Business (primarily enterprise voice). Each of these will be separated into standalone business units in parallel with the formation of Zayo Canada.

MTS is Manitoba’s leading communications company and is wholly owned by Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. (TSX: MBT).

AWS Extends AWS Direct Connect in Dallas and London

Equinix announced availability of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect in its Dallas and London International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers (DA2 and LD5).

AWS Direct Connect availability in London marks the second Equinix location in Europe to offer the service.  This deployment allows Equinix to improve upon previous connectivity options by offering “native” AWS Direct Connect service to customers into the full portfolio of AWS Cloud offerings.  Previously, connectivity in London was available via tether from Equinix in London into AWS’s Dublin facilities.  In October 2014, Equinix announced availability of AWS Direct Connect in the company’s Frankfurt data center.

Equinix’s Dallas IBX, DA2, is the fourth data center in North America to offer AWS Direct Connect, joining Equinix’s facilities in Seattle, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. Equinix now offers AWS Direct Connect in ten global locations; Dallas, Frankfurt, London, Osaka, Seattle, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington, D.C./Northern Virginia. Equinix customers in these metros experience lower network costs into and out of AWS and take advantage of reduced AWS Direct Connect data transfer rates.

China Telecom Expands Rollout of ALU's 7950 XRS IP Core Router

China Telecom is deploying Alcatel-Lucent's IP routing technology, including the 7950 XRS IP Core Router and 7750 Service Router, to expand its 4G LTE network.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent said its 7950 XRS, which is already in use in Jiangsu province and Shanghai, will manage the increasing traffic in the urban data centers of Beijing  as the financial hub of Guangzhou. Alcatel-Lucent’s 7750 Service Router will be deployed across seven major provinces.

All deployments will be completed in preparation for service in China Telecom’s network in December.

Alcatel-Lucent is also providing 15 percent of China Telecom’s new-build edge routing capabilities under this contract, including the deployment of its 7750 SR portfolio across seven major provinces to aggregate traffic at the metro network edge.

Alcatel-Lucent now providing 25 percent of China Telecom’s new build core routing network capabilities under this contract, including support for all data center interconnections in Beijing and Guangzhou.]

Spirent Announces Customer and Network Analytics Solution

Spirent Communications unveiled an operator analytics solution that focuses on customer experience assurance and troubleshooting, with support for 2/3/4G technologies including VoLTE and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Spirent's InTouch Customer and Network Analytics (CNA) enables mobile operators’ engineering, customer care, and marketing groups to proactively identify and resolve wireless customer experience issues spanning LTE/4G networks and services like VoLTE. The solution is an evolution of the company's field-tested InTouch platform, which has been deployed in networks exceeding 100 million subscribers.

“Our solution is unique in that it allows operators to build and leverage quality of experience (QoE) scores using data mining techniques, which can prevent churn,” said Frank Galuppo, general manager of Spirent’s CEM business unit. “This allows them to rapidly identify and resolve issues before customers complain or leave.”

Several operators are already deploying beta versions of InTouch CNA, especially for new services like VoLTE and IoT.

Broadband Forum Completes FTTdp Work

The Broadband Forum completed work on the management of Fiber to the Distribution Point (FTTdp), which aids in the management of fiber-fed nodes in the periphery of the access network.

At the Broadband Forum’s quarterly meeting in Mexico, it was agreed that the FTTdp YANG management model was ready for release exclusively to members for testing in network equipment. This is the Forum’s first software project written in the YANG modelling language.

“This is great news for our members whether they be service providers, vendors or test houses,” said Broadband Forum CEO Robin Mersh. “By adopting YANG modelling we are in the process of moving the management of FTTdp from the drawing board into the network, helping to drive open interoperability between different devices. This means service providers can offer competitive ultrafast services such as”

Regarding, the Forum approved the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Labs (UNH-IOL) as a test facility for the latest plug-fest – paving the way to the industry’s first certifications.

“The success of the Forum in accelerating broadband innovation would not be possible if it weren’t for the expertise and energy of its members,” said Kevin Foster, Chairman of the Broadband Forum. “When the Broadband Forum started there were less than a million broadband connections and now there are more than 750 million. This is an extraordinary achievement and one that would not be possible without the hard work and commitment of our members, like Les, on our various projects.”

Infinera and EBlink Partner on Mobile Fronthaul

Infinera and EBlink, a supplier of of wireless fronthaul technology, announced a partnership to deliver both fiber and wireless based solutions and to provide an end-to-end fronthaul architecture.

The joint solution has already been demonstrated in a live field trial with Orange in western France that interconnected baseband units (BBU) and remote radio heads (RRH) from several of Orange's Radio Access Network (RAN) vendors. In the live field trial, the combined Infinera TM-Series and EBlink FrontLink solution demonstrated on Orange's network how it can deliver a unique end-to-end performance combining fiber and wireless for mobile fronthaul.

Where fiber exists, the Infinera TM-Series delivers bandwidth using WDM. Where there is no fiber, EBlink's wireless fronthaul is complementary to the WDM fronthaul solution.

"Mobile fronthaul is a challenging environment with tough requirements on latency and synchronisation for optical solutions," said Sten Nordell, CTO of Infinera's Metro Business Group. "As one of the few suppliers capable of achieving these requirements, we are very pleased to partner with EBlink and Orange to demonstrate that the combination of fiber and wireless is the right alchemy for mobile fronthaul."

"This partnership with Infinera reaffirms the relevance of our wireless fronthaul technologies and how complementary fiber and wireless can be," said Eric Sèle, deputy CEO of EBlink. "The deployment of the Infinera and EBlink solutions on Orange's network underscores the concept that wireless fronthaul picks up where fiber leaves off."

Brocade Posts Q4 Revenue of $589 Million, up 4% YoY

Brocade reported fourth quarter revenue of $589 million, an increase of 4% year-over-year and 7% quarter-over-quarter. Revenue for fiscal year 2015 was $2,263 million, up 2% year-over-year. The resulting GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) was $0.20 for the fourth quarter and $0.79 for fiscal year 2015, up 6% and up 48% year-over-year, respectively.

"Fiscal 2015 was a productive year in which we achieved many significant milestones," said Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade. "We delivered annual revenue growth in fiscal 2015, with a year-over-year revenue increase in each fiscal quarter. We grew our non-GAAP EPS by 12% for the fiscal year, delivering more than a dollar per share for the first time. We continued to expand our portfolio of software and hardware products through both technology innovation and strategic acquisitions. Looking forward, these investments create new opportunities for us to continue to grow revenue and EPS in 2016 and beyond."

SAN product revenue for Q4 was $325 million, flat year-over-year and up 5% quarter-over-quarter. The Q4 year-over-year product revenue performance reflects a 14% increase in director sales and a 1% increase in embedded switch sales, offset by a 12% decrease in switch sales. For fiscal year 2015, SAN product revenue was $1,301 million, down 2% year-over-year, primarily due to lower switch and embedded switch sales, partially offset by higher director sales.

IP Networking product revenue for Q4 was $170 million, up 12% year-over-year and 10% quarter-over-quarter. The Q4 year-over-year increase was primarily driven by a 28% increase in Ethernet switch sales and improved software sales, partially offset by a 20% decline in router revenue. For fiscal year 2015, IP Networking product revenue was $601 million, up 14% year-over-year due to stronger switch, router, and software sales.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

GEN15: Business Ethernet Enabling Advanced Services

by James E. Carroll

The outlook for Carrier Ethernet is very robust, according leading U.S. service providers at last week's GEN15 event in Dallas.  Vertical Systems Group is forecasting that by 2020 there will be over four million ports installed worldwide, of which approximately 1.3 million ports are expected to be in the U.S.  This build-out of Carrier Ethernet infrastructure is further expected to become the platform NFV-driven advanced services. The GEN15 event focused onenabling the future of agile, assured, and orchestrated services that are powered by CE 2.0, LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), SDN, and NFV.

In a keynote at GEN15, Josh Goodell, VP of AT&T's Network on Demand, said its platform is already in 170 markets across of the country. Ethernet on Demand is the first service, to be followed shortly by a Managed Internet on Demand service.

Some notes from GEN15:
  • The MEF continues to focus on Carrier Ethernet 2.0
  • MEF reports growing intereset in its Lifecycle Service Orchestration (LSO) initiative.  Work on LSO has shifted from high-level architecture to developing API components.
  • Industry collaboration toward the globalization of CE 2.0 and the MEF's Third Network vision is growing
  • The Ethernet Interconnect Points (IEP) Project will link CE 2.0 networks using ENNIs, the foundation for LSO
  • MEF Certification Programs for Service Providers and for Equipment vendors have continued to expand
  • The first 100G CE 2.0 certications have been awarded to Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco, Coriant, Huawei, and Infinera. The 100G CE 2.0 testing and certification was performed by Iometrix
  • The MEF has collaboration projects underway with ATIS, ETSI, IEEE, IETF, ITU, Open Daylight, OpenCloud Connect, OPNFV, ONF, and tmforum.
  • RAD, Sandvine, and CenturyLink conducted a joint Proof of Concept (PoC) demonstration of application-aware service level agreement networking solutions.  This showed Service Assured Access and Cloud Services Policy Controller in an application-aware networking architecture.
  • PCCW Global has selected CENX’s Cortx Service Orchestrator to enhance elements in its VPN and cloud offerings that will facilitate self-serve, on-demand connectivity. Using an on-line portal, integrated to PCCW Global’s OSS and BSS environments, customers can dynamically scale their bandwidth connectivity and cloud data center resources. 
  • Wedge Networks, which supplies orchestrated threat management solutions, named James Hamilton as its new CEO. Hamilton previously was CEO of TippingPoint, the company that defined Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) and that was acquired for $430 million by 3Com, where he stayed on and continued to lead the TippingPoint line of business.
  • Cylance, a start-up applying artificial intelligence, algorithmic science and machine learning to cyber security, announced that Dell will integrated its technology into Dell Data Security solutions.  This collaboration builds on the Dell Ventures investment in Cylance earlier this year.
  • GEN15 was hosted at the Omni Hotel in Dallas and attracted  about 1,000 registered attendees from 280+ organizations based in 35 countries. GEN15’s 55 sponsors included Host Operator Sponsor AT&T, Platinum Sponsors Comcast Business, Cox Business, PCCW Global, Verizon, Ciena, and dozens of other service, technology, and test companies.

Filmed at GEN15 in Dallas, Texas.





GEN15 - One Minute Videos

Check out this collection of 1~2 minute perspectives on the market for Carrier Ethernet Services.

Filmed at GEN15 in Dallas, Texas.


AT&T Business, Comcast Business, Cox Business, Level 3 Communications, Alcatel-Lucent, tmforum, Vertical Systems Group, Cylance, Wedge Networks, Spirent Communications, Open Cloud Connect.

Cisco to Acquire Acano for Video Bridging

Cisco agreed to acquire Acano Limited, a start-up developing collaboration infrastructure and conferencing software, for $700 million in cash and assumed equity awards, plus additional retention based incentives for Acano employees who join Cisco.

Acano, which is based in London, offers gateways and video and audio bridging technology.  The products allow customers to connect video systems from multiple vendors across both cloud and hybrid environments. Acano has focused on developing products that connect a wide variety of endpoints and systems from all the major collaboration vendors, includes enhanced support for Microsoft’s proprietary protocols and mobile browsers through WebRTC support.

Cisco said the Acano acquisition will accelerate its collaboration strategy to deliver video everywhere across every endpoint, every screen, every workspace, and to every user.

“People, companies and organizations are more geographically dispersed than ever before, and collaboration is essential to helping teams increase productivity and drive growth,” said Rob Salvagno, vice president, Cisco Corporate Development. “Acano’s innovations make it easier for customers to collaborate when, where and how they want. Together, we will help our customers to extend collaboration to every room, every screen and every user.”

The Acano team will join the Cisco Collaboration Technology Group led by Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

OIF Launches Flex Coherent DWDM Framework Effort

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) announced its intent to specify a framework for Flex Coherent DWDM Transmission in long haul, metro, and data center inter-connections. The idea is to enable the following flexible transceiver attributes: modulation formats, symbol rates, and number of subcarriers.

Flex Coherent DWDM will outline a software-defined optics ecosystem that initially leverages past and current OIF projects for tunable lasers, high bandwidth PMQ modulated transmitters and integrated coherent receivers. The Flex Coherent DWDM Transmission will start with the following modulation formats suitable for different scenarios; QPSK, 8QAM, 16QAM for long haul and metro applications and 32QAM, 64QAM for data center inter-connection applications.

The framework will build upon work the OIF completed for 100G LH DWDM and provide guidance for 400G.  

“We’ve discussed the hardware implications of SDN for a couple years now,” said Junjie Li, of China Telecom and OIF board member.  “We need to move away from fixed performance transceivers in order to provide Service Providers with a flexible solution, complete with software “knobs” that can be dialed-in to achieve the desired performance.”

The OIF also announced the results of its recent leadership elections, welcoming Peter Landon, BTI Systems as the chair of the Networking & Operations Working Group committee for 2-year term. Newly elected to the Board of Directors are Ian Betty, of Ciena for a 2-year term, Tom Issenhuth of Microsoft for a 2-year term and Mike Tessaro of Qorvo for a 1-year term. Junjie Li of China Telecom was re-elected to the board for a 1-year term. John McDonough of NEC America will serve as president. Dave Brown of Alcatel-Lucent continues to serve as VP of Marketing and Dave Stauffer of Kandou Bus continues to serve as secretary/treasurer.