Friday, December 4, 2015

Pica8 Appoints Dan Tuchler as VP of Product Mgt

Pica8 appointed Dan Tuchler as vice president of product management. Previously, Tuchler was a product management executive at many successful startups, including Alteon Websystems, Blade Network Technologies, Force10 Networks, Mellanox Technologies, and Vyatta, and he consulted with Cavium/Xpliant on go-to-market strategies for the company’s switching ASIC.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Blueprint: Is Wi-Fi Innovation Slowing Down?

by Jay Botelho, Director of Product Management for Savvius, Inc.

Wi-Fi technology has improved our daily lives in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. We routinely connect to our own personal digital universe from the comfort of our living room, while sitting at a local coffee shop, or even from the passenger seat of a new car. Yet for all of the amazing progress Wi-Fi has made over the years, are we witnessing the end of rapid WLAN innovation? Have we reached a point where ‘fast’ is fast enough? After all, it seems to take longer for organizations and even consumers to embrace each new iteration of this ubiquitous wireless standard.

No one would deny that Wi-Fi technology has come a long way since it burst onto the market fifteen years ago. In that relatively short period, Wi-Fi’s maximum data rate has increased by a factor of 150. For the sake of comparison, the original 802.11b standard had a maximum throughput of 11 megabits per second (Mbps), while the latest 802.11ac 4-stream client device has a throughput of 1.7 gigabits per second (Gbps), or 1,700 Mbps, an amazing improvement.

Tracking the Leaps in Wi-Fi Performance

After 802.11b came three major leaps in Wi-Fi technology: 802.11a/g in 2003; 802.11n in 2009; and 802.11ac in 2014. The improvements in speed, range and intelligence of each successive standard have been remarkable.

802.11a raised the maximum theoretical data rate from 11Mbps to 54 Mbps, and used the 5Ghz band to avoid the degradation issues commonly faced by 11b’s overcrowded 2.4GHz band. 11a also performs better in crowded indoor environments such as offices, though the signals are more easily absorbed by solid objects such as walls, giving them a shorter range.

802.11g, ratified in 2003, extended throughput to 54 Mbps in the 2.4GHz band by using some of the same orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) transmission technology found in 802.11a. Like 802.11b, 802.11g devices suffer from interference due to overcrowding of the 2.4GHz band from digital phones, microwave ovens, and other electronics such as Bluetooth devices.

The next major performance boost came in 2009 with the introduction of 802.11n. This standard uses both the 2.4 and 5GHz bands and multiple antennas to increase the maximum theoretical data rate to 600 Mbps. Now with four spatial streams at a channel width of 40 MHz, 11n supports features for better security and multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO).

802.11ac was announced with a lot of fanfare in early 2014, with the goal of providing data rates of up to 7 Gbps in the 5GHz band. In real environments that level of throughput is unrealistic, but getting 1.7 Gbps is entirely possible with a four-stream client device. The limiting factor with 802.11ac devices is usually the number of antennas. 11ac can support up to eight, each running at 400 Mbps. However, most routers only have four antennas and most devices have fewer than that. Smartphones with only one antenna, for example, will not be able to take advantage of an 802.11ac network’s capacity. Regardless, these speeds are much higher than almost all home broadband connections, and certainly higher than what was possible with 11n just a few years prior. The technology is here today – it’s just not being used to its full potential, yet.

The Proliferation of Wi-Fi into Everyday Devices

So if the advancement of the technology isn’t slowing down, why does progress sometimes seem to be faltering? There are multiple factors. One of the simplest reasons is that Wi-Fi is being embedded into so many products, from PCs to thermostats, that updating each of them to support a new standard is a massive undertaking. Add to that the need to ‘future-proof’ these products with features that may not be needed for a year or two, and the problem becomes more clear. With each successive new standard, products trickle onto the market slowly until production costs fall, but that doesn’t happen until economies of scale are reached. For all the speed offered by 802.11ac, there are still relatively few devices that take full advantage of it, and without those benefits it is hard to convince businesses or consumers to upgrade.

Each subsequent generation of Wi-Fi standards has run into initial obstacles that quickly yielded to astounding growth, and there is no reason to think that pattern will end soon. Once a technology is in place, innovative companies and consumer pressure soon find ways to exploit it, just as we saw with the explosive growth of WLAN innovation thanks to drivers such as 4K video streaming. The 802.11ax standard currently in development is expected to offer a theoretical 10 Gbps or higher. This has the potential to translate into real-world speeds higher than 2 Gbps. It will take a lot of creativity to use that bandwidth effectively, but it will happen. So, to answer my original question, “are we seeing the end of rapid WLAN innovation?” The answer, in my opinion, is a definite no.

About the Author
Jay Botelho is Director of Product Management for Savvius, Inc.

About Savvius

Savvius, Inc. brings 25 years as a leader in network performance and security forensics solutions to customers in more than 60 countries worldwide. Savvius's Omnipliance®, OmniPeek®, Savvius Insight™, and Savvius Vigil™ products enable network and security professionals to identify, understand, and respond to network performance issues and resolve security breaches quickly and comprehensively. Savvius customers include Apple, Boeing, Cisco, Fidelity, Microsoft, and over half of the Fortune 100. For more information, please visit

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Cisco Adds ACI Security Features and Docker Support

Cisco announced a new software release for its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) that adds microsegmentation for both physical (bare metal) applications and multivendor virtualized applications (VMware VDS, Microsoft Hyper-V). New features extend ACI across multi-site environments to deliver policy-driven automation across multiple data centers. The update also adds support for Docker containers through contributions to open source.

Cisco said its ACI now supports automated service insertion for any third party layer 4-7 service and cloud automation tools like VMware vRealize Automation and OpenStack, including open standards-based Opflex support with Open vSwitch (OVS).

“Customers tell me that only five to ten percent of their networks are automated today,” said Soni Jiandani, SVP at Cisco. “They are eager to adopt comprehensive automation for their networks and network services through a single pane of management, while improving security for east-west traffic, multi-cloud traffic and bare metal applications in a consistent manner. Policy-based automation, consistent network security and central compliance support are critical for IT efficiency, business agility, and competitive advantage. Several ACI customers have achieved full automation of the network and are focusing on automation across their Layer 4-7 network services, security and application groups as the next step.”

Cisco ACI Software Release highlights:

Docker Container Support: Cisco delivers support for both physical and virtual endpoints, and now extends support for Docker container endpoints through integration with the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) and Project Contiv. Project Contiv is an open source project defining infrastructure operational policies for container-based application deployment. ACI’s unified policy model enforces policy via endpoint groups (EPG), a collection of network endpoints that includes a wide range of entities, including bare-metal servers, virtual machines, and containers.  Docker offers an open source platform for running distributed applications in Linux containers.

Enhanced security: Cisco ACI now provides micro-segmentation support for VMware VDS, Microsoft Hyper-V virtual switch, and bare-metal applications, which allows granular endpoint security enforcement. Customers can dynamically enforce forwarding and security policies and quarantine compromised or rogue end points based on virtual machine attributes (such as Name, Guest OS, VM Identifier) or network attributes (such as IP address.) Organizations can also isolate workloads within the same policy group. For example, communication between all endpoints within the same web tier can be disabled through policy-based automation, which prevents security threats from moving laterally within the data center.

Support for multiple data centers: Cisco ACI now delivers consistent policy-driven automation across multiple data centers to enable application mobility and disaster recovery through the new multi-site application in the ACI toolkit.

Cisco ACI now also supports service insertion and chaining for any service device, without the need for a device package for policy coordination with the Cisco APIC. Customers can now seamlessly configure and manage all their existing network services, while automating network services connectivity.

Increased operational flexibility: Additional software capabilities provide:  support for NX-OS style Command Line Interface (CLI) for APIC, Basic and Advanced GUI modes, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) support for APIC, and trouble-shooting wizard enhancements such as Heat Map. General availability is Q4 CY 2015.

Cloud automation tools: Adding to its support for Microsoft AzurePack for private cloud, Cisco now offers full policy-based cloud automation with VMware vRealize Automation and also OpenStack deployments. Cisco is extending ACI policy directly to the hypervisor using Opflex on Open vSwitch (OVS). OpFlex provides the policy-based integration between OpenStack and APIC. These will be generally available in Q4 CY 2015.

ACI Ecosystem expands to 47 members: In addition to CliQr, DataTorrent, and Vnomic, four new members that expand complete application and cloud services for ACI deployments have joined the ACI ecosystem: Apprenda, KillerIT, One Convergence and ScienceLogic.

Cisco also noted that it now has over 5000 Nexus 9000 ACI-ready customers using its open platform.

ONOS Enters 5th Release for Carrier-Grade SDN

ONOS, the open source SDN networking operating system for Service Provider networks, released its fifth generation platform.

"When we initially released ONOS, our goal was to provide a solid platform that would act as a base on which ON.Lab, its partners and the community could rapidly develop a number of SDN applications," said Thomas Vachuska, Chief Architect at ON.Lab's ONOS project. "ONOS' growing list of SDN and NFV use cases and solutions is a testament to the robustness of its initial distributed architecture design. Even as we add more features, it continues to provide high availability, scalability, performance, and the rich north- and southbound abstractions required for service provider and mission critical networks."

The Emu release, which keeps to a quarterly update cycle, brings improvements to the platform such as IP Multicast and SDN-IP and key use cases including Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center (CORD), Packet/Optical, service function chaining (SFC) and support for the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV) and OpenStack. Expanding capabilities and advancements include:

OPNFV and OpenStack - In order to become a controller option with OPNFV's upcoming Brahmaputra release, Emu can integrate with OPNFV and OpenStack to provide an easy pathway to future VNFaaS and NFV management and orchestration capabilities. In addition, SK Telecom is leading a project called Simplified Overlay Networking Architecture (SONA), which will ease deployment of software defined data centers, where they have provided OpenStack Switching and OpenStack interfaces for CORD.

Resource Reservation Subsystem - Fujitsu has contributed a general purpose reservation system to replace the previous ones, supporting a single, consistent interface and semantics for different types of resources. The new subsystem is also more easily extensible to new types of resources that operators may wish to bring under ONOS' control.

IP Multicast – DirecTV continues to contribute to the multicast infrastructure. To support multicast use cases and applications the project created the ONOS Multicast Forwarding Application (MFWD). The multicast apps MFWD and Protocol Independent Multicast (PIM) support PIM-SSM Hello and Join/Prune as well as static multicast routes. The ONOS multicast architecture is composed of the following primary components; the Multicast Route Table that maintains Multicast ASM and SSM forwarding state within the ONOS controller, the MulticastForwarding module which responds to live multicast data traffic, the MulticastIntentManager responsible for interacting with the ONOS IntentService which in turn establishes paths through the network.

GUIs - ONOS adds the MFWD CLI and REST APIs that allow external operators and applications to examine and modify the existing MFWD state. The UI adds new archetypes for views as well as a new overlay for Badged nodes and both facilitate the ability to customize the user's view of the network.

Service Function Chaining - Huawei has contributed significant enhancements to the virtual tenant network (VTN) system to enable ONOS to provide Layer 2 and Layer 3 (L2, L3…) virtual networks as well as IETF's Service Function Chaining (SFC). New capabilities include a set of new northbound APIs for creating SFC. These include creating port-pairing for virtual functions, port-pair-grouping for load balancing of virtual functions, flow-classifiers (L2, L3 and L4) and port-chains for function chaining. ONOS implemented an SFC control plane in ONOS by creating an SFC Manager that includes classification and forwarding behavior construction.  New L3 features are: east - west bound communication between different subnets for the same as well as different tenants; south-north bound communication including floating IP and device modeling for external traffic; and the ability to do live virtual machine migrations and to add L3 services in the data path.

CORD – CORD brings a new architecture to the CO that began with a residential subscriber PoC at ONS2015 that will become a field trial with AT&T in the first half of 2016. The trial will also add support for mobile and enterprise PoC's in 2016. New Meter and QinQ support enable more QoS and Policing features. Additionally, SK Telecom helped develop initial implementations of infrastructure support for virtual networks and network services for CORD for the delivery of mobile network use cases.

Adaptive Flow Monitoring - Korea's Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) has added infrastructure upgrades for ONOS to perform adaptive flow monitoring. Monitoring can now be used to debug flows inline. Network traffic monitoring is a fundamental function that can be used to operate and manage a network stably and efficiently. To do this many network management systems require accurate network resource status information in real-time. In order to provide such information in an inexpensive but accurate way, ONOS adds an adaptive flow monitoring subsystem with an efficient sampling algorithm. Selective Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) subsystem in ONOS will be added in future iterations as ONOS plans to develop the subsystem in two phases for its OPEN-TAM functionality subproject.

SDN -IP - is an ONOS application that allows Software Defined Networks to connect to external networks, legacy or software-defined, using the standard Border Gateway Protocol (BGP). It is a key element of ONF's Atrium distribution. The SDN-IP app benefits from the new configuration subsystem announced in Drake by delivering remarkably easy app configuration with Emu enabling reconfiguration of this app at run-time so it can add or remove peers dynamically. Emu also adds default route support in SDN-IP based on the IETF's RFC 4632 standard. In legacy networks, if the router does not have a matchable IP prefix then it will send the packet to the next hop in the default route. Similarly in SDN-IP, if a peer announced a default route then it means that, if you do not know where to route the traffic, you can send it to that peer and it will route the traffic for you. Another benefit of using default route is to reduce the route table size.

Reactive Routing – Reactive routing for SDN-IP can work with and without BGP, however, without BGP it can only handle routing inside local networks. This is due to the situation where reactive routing does not initiate a route discovery process until a route to a new destination is required. It leads to higher latency but delivers lower overhead for slim yet nimble deployments where more is required from fewer hardware resources.

ONOSFW - To deliver ONOS support for OPNFV, ONOS launched the ONOS Framework project (ONOSFW) in the OPNFV open source community. A Virtual Infrastructure Manager (VIM) is a required component used in NFV architecture to manage and control virtualized resources via coordination between OpenStack and the SDN controller. ONOSFW builds the interfaces for ONOS to communicate with OpenStack Neutron's Modular Layer 2 (ML2) plugin, which is a framework allowing OpenStack networking to simultaneously utilize the variety of layer 2 networking technologies found in complex real-world data centers. In terms of functionality, ONOSFW provides VTN, Layer 2, Layer 3 and SFC services in ONOS enabling applications to build tenant-based services on top of ONOS.

Border Gateway Protocols with Link State Distribution (BGP-LS) - On the southbound, Emu adds Border Gateway Protocol with Link State Distribution extension (BGP-LS) as a plug-in to the ONOS controller to collect topology information from the network and make it available to other apps. This topology data can be used by applications such as PCE that can benefit from visibility outside one area or Autonomous System (AS) in order to make better decisions for path computations system-wide.

SDN controllers require complete topology information from the networks they manage to customize them for performance improvements by delivering efficient usage of network resources. In the future, using BGP-LS any app such as PCE or ALTO servers can use new IP topology subsystem to create services for their own use case scenarios. In the southbound, BGP-LS learns all the link state information from IGP in the network, through which it learns the network topology along with the network's traffic engineering parameters.

OTN and Packet Optical Support – ONOS improved the resource reservation API. ECI enhanced ONOS' optical application to support ODU Multiplexing and ODU Cross-Connect services based on OpenFlow (ONF) Optical Transport Protocol Extensions with OCH and ODU Multiplexing with the southbound interfaces based on ONF standards. This enhancement includes support in the creation, deletion and restoration of data paths. The firms are jointly working to deliver ONOS in another packet-optical proof of concept. ECI has successfully demonstrated these features with ONOS over its own optical equipment and this capability will be available to any equipment that supports OpenFlow optical extensions that is using Emu or future versions of ONOS.

OpenFastPath Targets High Performance User Space TCP/IP

A new OpenFastPath (OFP) Foundation has been established with a mission of creating an open-source community around a standardized, accelerated TCP/IP stack that provides top performance for SDN-ready network functions. For operator networks, the new fast-path stack aims to deliver reduced IP latency, higher capacity and thus faster packet forwarding, and lower implementation costs.

The OFP TCP/IP stack implementation is based on the open-source Free Berkeley Software Distribution (FreeBSD) operating system, and includes User Datagram Protocol (UDP), Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), and Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP). New functions will be added in the future. Optimized for OpenDataPlane (ODP) programming interfaces, with a focus on leveraging hardware acceleration through ODP. Will be available for all major processor architectures, including ARM, x86, MIPS and PowerPC. - 

Founding members of the OFP are Nokia Networks, ARM and Enea. The initiative is also supported by several industry players including AMD, Cavium, Freescale, Hewlett-Packard and Linaro.

Verizon Labs taps EMC for Software-defined Storage

Verizon Labs is working with EMC to expand its software-defined storage strategy.

Specifically, Verizon Labs is running EMC’s software-defined storage on commodity hardware while taking advantage of containerized, scalable, geo-distributed object storage and maximum elastic performance. EMC is integrating its commercial storage software with the open source Apache Mesos technology, as well as with the Mesosphere Datacenter Operating System (DCOS), for easier and more effective data center management. The companies said this approach allows Verizon Labs to operate a virtualized data center by managing distributed applications on large clusters of geographically distributed computers.

“With cloud-based data storage like EMC’s, Verizon gains adaptability and intelligent data management, which are integral to our cloud strategy,” said Kumar Vishwanathan, vice president and chief technologist for product strategy and development, Verizon Labs. “Software-defined storage overcomes the restrictions of hard-wired architecture and delivers the benefits needed in today’s dynamic datacenter environment.”

"EMC and Verizon are working to push the boundaries of speed, capacity and capabilities of storage infrastructure to meet the demands of next-generation applications. With this state-of-the-art software-defined datacenter technology, built on EMC’s ScaleIO and Elastic Cloud Storage (ECS) offerings, we expect Verizon Labs to increase datacenter efficiencies in addition to gaining massive scale,” said Sam Grocott, senior vice president of product management and marketing, emerging technologies for EMC. “EMC partnered closely with Verizon to deploy this simpler architecture to help support their cloud service strategy.”

Verizon Opens Secure Cloud Interconnect to IBM Cloud

Verizon has begun offering a secure and direct connection to the IBM Cloud.

Verizon's Secure Cloud Interconnect service provides a flexible, private link to IBM Cloud data center sites located in Dallas and San Jose in the U.S. and Tokyo and Sydney in the Asia Pacific region.  Two additional sites are planned in Europe for the beginning of 2016.

With IBM, Verizon's Secure Cloud Interconnect now offers access to eight cloud providers (Amazon Web Services, Google CloudPlatform, HPE Rapid Connect, Microsoft ExpressRoute for Office 365, Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, Microsoft Azure Government and Verizon ) and three data center providers (Coresite, Equinix, and Verizon) at more than 50 global locations in the Americas, Latin America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

"Verizon's Secure Cloud Interconnect allows users to connect to applications simply, securely and reliably," said Shawn Hakl, vice president of enterprise networking and innovation for Verizon. "With SDN at the heart of our Secure Cloud Interconnect solution, IBM customers will find it delivers an unbeatable combination of performance, control and efficiency to enable their digital transformation."

Digital Realty Launches "Direct Link Colo" to IBM Cloud

Digital Realty Trust introduced Direct Link Colo, linking its data centers directly to IBM Cloud via SoftLayer's global cloud infrastructure platform.

Digital Realty said the new Direct Link Colo delivers incredible network performance, including latency as low as 1.5 milliseconds—one of the lowest latencies for a hybrid cloud solution in the industry. With Direct Link Colo, there are no third-party carriers involved, additional intermediary electronics or steps are minimized, and links are available at 1 GigE or 10 GigE speeds. By directly linking Digital Realty—a data center provider with a global footprint, unrivaled ability to scale with clients of every size, and an eight-year record of 99.999 percent ("five 9s") of uptime—to SoftLayer's modular global cloud infrastructure platform, Direct Link Colo delivers:

IBM Cloud data centers are colocated at Digital Realty's hub locations in the Asia Pacific region, Europe and the U.S., with direct dark fiber connections between them.

Direct Link Colo is currently available in eight markets: Santa Clara, CA; Dallas, TX; Ashburn, VA; London, England; Amsterdam, Holland; Tokyo, Japan; Singapore and Melbourne, Australia; with more locations to be added in the future.

Frontier Gains Approval to Acquire Verizon's California Properties

The California Public Utilities Commission voted to approve Frontier’s proposed acquisition of Verizon's wireline, broadband and video operation in California, including the FiOS network.

Frontier has received all other necessary regulatory clearances, including those from the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Public Utility Commission of Texas, for the $10.54 billion acquisition, which includes Verizon’s wireline, broadband and video operations and FiOS networks in California, Florida and Texas. The transaction is expected to close at the end of March 2016.

Daniel J. McCarthy, President and CEO of Frontier Communications said, “With this final approval, we look forward to completing our transaction with Verizon which represents a significant transformation for Frontier. We will transition our revenue to a more diversified mix, improve our growth prospects, create sustainable value for our shareholders and provide a great experience for our new Frontier customers in California, Florida and Texas.”

Frontier to Acquire Verizon Wireline in CA, FL, TX

Frontier Communications agreed to acquire Verizon's wireline operations that provide services to residential, commercial and wholesale customers in California, Florida and Texas, for $10.54 billion in cash. The deal requires regulatory approvals.

These Verizon properties include 3.7 million voice connections, 2.2 million broadband connections, and 1.2 million FiOS video connections. The network being acquired is the product of substantial capital investments by Verizon and is 54 percent FiOS enabled. Verizon spent more than $7 billion in the buildout of FiOS in the acquired territories.

"This transaction marks a natural evolution for our company and leverages our proven skills and established track record from previous integrations," said Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier Communications Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "These properties are a great fit for Frontier and will strengthen our presence in competitive suburban markets and accelerate our recent market share gains. We look forward to realizing the benefits this transaction will bring to our shareholders, customers and employees."

  • In October 2014, Frontier Communications completed its previously announced $2 billion acquisition of AT&T’s wireline business, statewide fiber network, and U-verse operations in Connecticut. As part of the acquisition, Frontier also acquired AT&T’s DISH satellite TV customers in Connecticut.
  • In 2010, Verizon divested its local wireline operations serving residential and small-business customers in predominantly rural areas in 14 states by selling these operations to Frontier Communications. The deal included switched and special access lines, as well as its Internet service and long-distance voice accounts. The deal include all of Verizon's local wireline operating territories in Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Also included were fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) assets deployed by Verizon in 41 local franchises and the state of Indiana.  
  • Google Announces Huge Purchases of Renewable Energy

    Google announce plans to add an additional 842 megawatts of renewable energy capacity to power its data centers. This brings the company's commitments for renewal energy purchases to  2 gigawatts.

    The new energy contracts include solar capacity purchases in the United States and Chile, as well as wind turbine power from several sites in the U.S. and Sweden.

    Google also noted that it has made separate agreements to fund $2.5 billion into 22 large-scale renewable energy projects over the last five years at various sites around the world.

    Vapor IO Secures Series A Funding for Hyper Modular Data Center

    Vapor IO, a start-up based in Austin, Texas, announced a Series A funding round for its intelligent, hyper modular data center solution.  The funding was led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from AVX Partners, but the amount was not disclosed.

    Vapor IO is focused on new design for maximizing density and energy efficiency in data center design.

    “For the past nine months we’ve been singularly focused on building a telemetry optimized data center analytics company whose mission is to modernize today’s legacy infrastructure and design,” said Cole Crawford, founder and CEO of Vapor IO. “Recognizing the need for innovation and the now standard deployment of open source technologies, we’re thrilled to partner with Goldman Sachs and AVX Partners to drive full stack data center automation in an industry that has traditionally bifurcated the physical assets from the application.”

    Vapor IO Releases Open Source Platform for Server and Rack Mgt

    Vapor IO, a start-up offering a hyper modular data center solution, introduced its Open Data Center Runtime Environment (DCRE) - an open source platform for data center rack and server management.

    Vapor IO, which earlier this year introduced its hyper collapsed, disaggregated  data center solution, developed this new OpenDCRE software to simplify data center infrastructure communication. The solution exposes current generation interfaces to data center operators, system and devops administrators, thereby simplifying the programming needed to start automating the physical infrastructure itself.

    Vapor IO said OpenDCRE is being released as an open source alternative to proprietary interfaces and custom silicon. This ensures that when a user interacts with their data center, they are communicating over a community owned interface and standard. OpenDCRE is designed to support all data center environments supporting HPE Cloudline and other OCP platforms. OpenDCRE replaces the need for out of band management networks saving users thousands of dollars per rack. Additional features of the product include SSL support, analog sensor and power control support and a simple RESTful API running on Raspberry Pi.

    TIM Brasil Picks Nokia for Small Cells and 3G/4G

    TIM Brasil has selected Nokia Networks to modernize and expand its 3G and 4G LTE networks in 17 states across the North, Northeast and Center West regions.Nokia Networks will also provide its small cells products, as well as implementation, optimization and care services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    Nokia Launches 1 Gbps Small Cell

    Nokia Networks unveiled a new Flexi Zone outdoor modular base station that becomes the world’s first small cell to achieve over 1 Gbps peak data rate. 

    The new Flexi Zone G2 Multi-Band Carrier Aggregation Outdoor Micro/Pico Base Station (BTS) offers three RF module slots, enabling operators to deploy and aggregate between various radio access technologies and spectrum combinations including up to three LTE licensed carrier bands or configurations offering a combination of LTE licensed carrier bands, unlicensed LTE bands (LTE-U or LAA) and Wi-Fi.

    Nokia also announced a number of innovations to simplify small cell deployment and help operators to evolve to Ultra-Dense Networks. These include the optimal selection of viable sites, more efficient backhaul, improved plug and play technology, new energy-saving features and simplified synchronization between base stations. The company said its HetNet Engine Room allows operators to deploy small cells 30% faster, with 20% lower costs and serve 10% more subscribers. Using detailed 3-D street level maps, the service calculates a ‘Site Value Index’ that quantifies the likely return on investment (ROI) for operators from different locations.

    Wednesday, December 2, 2015

    Blueprint: Can OpenFlow 1.3.1 and TTP Enable SDN for Carrier Networks?

    by Nicholas Ilyadis
    Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Infrastructure & Networking Group (ING), Broadcom

    Software Defined Networking (SDN) is a trend that continues to garner widespread industry attention these days due to its ability to manage network complexity via a network-wide software platform. Perhaps the most well-known of all SDN instantiations is OpenFlow; the industry’s first standard communications interface between the control and forwarding layers of an SDN architecture. Originally introduced by Stanford and later taken over by the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) consortium, the technology has steadily amassed a growing community of users. And it’s those users who have helped guide the technology’s evolution through the years.
    A perfect case in point is the introduction of the OpenFlow 1.3.1 switch specification. It was developed in direct response to the community’s need for a switch that mapped to OpenFlow; a capability that would help enable SDN for carrier networks. The problem was figuring out just how to make it happen. That task fell to the ONF’s Forwarding Abstractions Working Group (FAWG).
    At the outset FAWG faced a key challenge: OpenFlow 1.0 was not designed on switches. It was developed on servers and that meant that all of the data structures for forwarding data flows through a network, and being able to do look-ups and make decisions on packet flows and forwarding were basically mapped into the server memory. Servers have a significant amount of memory so it was fairly easy to create a unified table that could be used to reference the packet heade
    rs coming in and make forwarding decisions.

    This approach; however, was at odds with what the OpenFlow community wanted. It wanted a uniform model that could be used to describe an OpenFlow switch; a single table with entries in it that could be used to design a switch with that construct. But switches don’t have that construct; they have several different constructs. And they are typically made out of several smaller tables that are used to look up different parts of a packet header, rather than just one massive table. Switches just don’t have the same resources as servers. Porting OpenFlow 1.0 to switches became a challenge and limited its capabilities on real-world switch hardware.

    Faced with this reality, FAWG began to consider another possibility. Rather than redesigning all switches to fit the OpenFlow model, perhaps it could just modify OpenFlow to be more applicable to real-world switches.

    As an example, consider that when we say the word “car” today, it quickly conjures up an image of a vehicle with four wheels, a steering wheel, gear shifter, and brake and gas pedals. This uniform description ensures that you have the ability to drive a car, regardless of its types (e.g., SUV or sedan), as long as it meets the key elements specified in that description. This same type of uniform description is exactly what FAWG set out to create, only for the switch.

    What it came up with is a way to describe a switch in a uniform manner using Table Type Partitioning (TTP) that OpenFlow understands and that is inclusive enough to allow many different real-world switches to fit that description. TTP is leveraged in OpenFlow 1.3.1.

    A TTP is an abstract switch model that describes specific switch forwarding behaviors that an OpenFlow controller can program via the OpenFlow-Switch protocol. The switch forwarding behaviors are described via a sequence of tables that have ingress port information coming in and match fields going out. OpenFlow 1.3.1 specifies an OpenFlow switch that defines a pipeline containing multiple tables with each table containing multiple flow entries. Any variability in the switch that is outside of the TTP is covered as an extension, in much the same way that you could add features to the uniform car description, such as special lights or two versus four seats.

    Because real-world switches from different vendors can now be described as a set of TTPs, they can be easily programmed to do their jobs, without users having to worry about any underlying details, such as how they were built or with what components. It’s really no different than being able to drive say, a sports car, without having to be concerned with what type of engine it has. At the end of the day, that means greater adoption of the OpenFlow standard on hardware forwarding targets and, with broad adoption of common TTPs, easier controller implementation will surely follow.

    While the OFN’s FAWG was able to come up with a way for OpenFlow to understand real-world switches in a uniform manner, its efforts do nothing to address how to map the real-world switch to the TTP model in OpenFlow 1.3.1. And, that means deploying OpenFlow 1.3.1 in real-world deployments is neither quick nor easy.

    One resolution to this dilemma comes from an industry source and it takes the form of an open source abstraction layer known as OpenFlow-Data Plan Abstract (OF-DPA) 1.0. OF-DPA essentially homogenizes the underlying switch so that it meets the OpenFlow 1.3.1 model. Or more simply put, it takes an SUV or sedan and makes it look like a generic car model.

    With little doubt, OpenFlow is hoping to play a critical role in transforming the future of networking. OpenFlow 1.3.1 and TTPs, by enabling OpenFlow on industry standard switches, also aims to contribute to that transformation. Now, developments like OF-DPA are taking things one step further by making deployment of SDN in existing switch networks quick and easy. These advances bode well for enabling SDN on carrier networks, and that means network administrators will be able to roll out new services and functionality faster and with fewer errors, and more easily balance network loads. It’s capabilities like this that make SDN such a compelling answer to the complex challenges facing today’s networks and data centers.

    About the Author

    Nicholas (Nick) Ilyadis serves as Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of Broadcom’s Infrastructure and Networking Group (ING), where he is responsible for product strategy and cross portfolio initiatives for a broad portfolio of Ethernet chip products including network switches, high speed controllers, PHYs, enterprise WLAN, SerDes, silicon photonics, processors and security. Prior to Broadcom, Ilyadis served as Vice President of Engineering for Enterprise Data Products at Nortel Networks and held various engineering positions at Digital Equipment Corporation and Itek Optical Systems. Ilyadis holds an MSEE from the University of New Hampshire and a BTEE from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Ilyadis is a senior member of the IEEE and contributes to both the IEEE Computer and Communications Societies.

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    Nokia Shareholders Approve all Resolutions for ALU Deal

    Shareholders in Nokia Corporation approved all resolutions concerning the proposed acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.

    This follows the earlier-than-expected receipt of all regulatory approvals required to proceed with the proposed transaction and the launch of the French and U.S. public exchange offers for Alcatel-Lucent securities. The planned transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016.

    "We are delighted that the vast majority of Nokia’s shareholders recognize the long-term value creation opportunity that this proposed combination represents. We now encourage Alcatel-Lucent shareholders and convertible bondholders to help realize this potential by tendering their securities into the public exchange offer. By doing so, they would play an important role in helping to create a new leader in next generation technology and services for an IP connected world," stated Rajeev Suri, President and CEO of Nokia Corporation.

    Nimble Says 750+ Enterprises Deploy SmartStack with Cisco

    Nimble Storage announced that more than 750 global enterprises have deployed its flash-optimized SmartStack, an integrated infrastructure solution by Nimble Storage and Cisco since 2012.

    New SmartStack Cisco Validated Designs leverage the Nimble Adaptive Flash platform, Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco Data Center switching and Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite to deliver Enterprise ready solutions. These SmartStack solutions, jointly supported by Cisco and Nimble, speed application deployments, scale infrastructure components independently and simplify overall management.

    In addition to introducing new SmartStack Cisco Validated Designs, Nimble is also introducing its latest SmartStack reference architecture for SQL Server 2014, which addresses the migration requirements in advance of the pending end of life of SQL Server 2005.

    AWS Opens CDN and DNS Edge Location in Chicago

    Amazon Web Services activated a new edge location in Chicago for its Amazon CloudFront (CDN) and Amazon Route 53 (DNS) services.

    With the addition of the Chicago edge location, there are now a total of 21 edge locations in the US and 54 worldwide.

    Bluesky Pacific Picks ALU for NZ-to-Hawaii Cable

    Bluesky Pacific Group has selected Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks to build a new submarine cable system spanning more than 9,700 km across the Pacific.

    The Moana Cable will link New Zealand and Hawaii.  The system will have two main segments: the first segment, based on two fiber pairs, will connect New Zealand to Hawaii over 8,000 km, serving Samoa and American Samoa and significantly enhancing route diversity for New Zealand; the second segment, based on one fiber pair, will link the Cook Islands to the Samoa hub over 1,700 km. 

    The Moana Cable is also designed to accommodate the connection of additional Pacific island nations such as Niue, Tokelau and Tonga, which lie in close proximity to the New Zealand-to-Hawaii trunk, as well as French Polynesia on the East near the Cook Islands. It will be the first long-haul submarine cable in the Pacific islands region relying on the latest 200Gbpstechnology, with ultimate capacity between Hawaii and New Zealand of 20 Tbps.  Project completion is slated for 2018.
    Bluesky Pacific Group owns and operates the ASH Cable connecting American Samoa to Hawaii and SAS Cable connecting Samoa to American Samoa. Anchor customers of the Moana Cable include Bluesky Pacific Group companies and existing ASH Cable customers. Bluesky has also signed a memorandum of understanding with RAM Telecom International, Inc, for collaboration and interconnection with its SEA-US submarine cable linking Asia to Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States.

    Zayo Expands Fiber-to-the-Tower in Atlanta

    Zayo announced the expansion of its fiber-to-the-tower (FTT) footprint in Atlanta to serve an anchor wireless service provider.

    Specifically, Zayo will extend its existing 1,320-mile route mile network by more than 1,000 miles to provide FTT service to over 500 towers. Additionally, Zayo is pursuing opportunities to leverage its expanded Atlanta network to provide lit and dark fiber services to other enterprises and carrier customers.

    “With this expansion, Zayo will have the leading competitive fiber footprint in Atlanta, with more than 2,300 miles of dense, high-count fiber,” said Jacob Fuller, vice president of Zayo’s Mobile Infrastructure business. “It’s a unique and extremely valuable asset, which we will leverage to increase the yield on our investment over time. We’ve already had several large enterprise and carrier customers express interest in our expanded network.”

    Cellwize Secures Funding for its Self-Optimizing Network Software

    Cellwize, a start-up headquartered in Singapore,  raised $14.5 million in a Series A funding round for its Self-Organizing Network (SON) solutions.

    The funding round was led by Carmel Ventures and Vintage Investment Partners. In addition, Viola Credit (formerly Plenus) granted a $10 million credit facility to Cellwize. The funding will be used to boost Cellwize’s innovative SON customer-centric optimization capabilities and to expand its market presence including a planned significant increase in its workforce.

    Cellwize said its optimization solutions are implemented in some of the world’s leading mobile operators serving over 300 million subscribers. Its elastic-SON solution autonomously delivers peak network performance, network reliability and operational efficiencies for increasingly complex heterogeneous networks.

    “Cellwize has continuously invested in technology innovation and solution leadership, we will now be able to further accelerate our product road map and our market reach to take advantage of new SON opportunities,” said Ofir Zemer, CEO of Cellwize. “Our recent growth demonstrates even more, that enabling mobile operators to ensure a high quality of service for subscribers while maximizing profitability is essential in today’s highly competitive market space.”

    Box Now Has 54,000 Paying Business Customers

    Box reported revenue for the third quarter of its fiscal 2016 of $78.7 million, an increase of 38% from the third quarter of fiscal 2015. Billings in the third quarter of fiscal 2016 were a record of $89.4 million, an increase of 37% from the third quarter of fiscal 2015. There was a non-GAAP operating loss in the third quarter of fiscal 2016 was $37.9 million, or 48% of revenue.

    During the quarter, the company grew its paying customer base to 54,000 businesses, including 55% of the Fortune 500. Box also increased the number of registered users to over 41 million.

    “Enterprises in every industry are moving content to the cloud by investing in modern platforms that accelerate employee productivity and replace legacy systems,” said Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Box. “As our strong revenue growth in Q3 indicates, Box is uniquely positioned to drive this transition. We continue to deliver innovations like Box Governance and Box Platform that differentiate us from competitors and assist our global customers to standardize on Box as their next-generation content platform.”