Thursday, December 17, 2015

Equinix Unveils Interconnection Oriented Architecture

Equinix unveiled its Interconnection Oriented Architecture (IOA) -- a blueprint for becoming an interconnected enterprise.

Equinix said goal with IOA is to help companies understand, deploy and benefit from interconnection.

Equinix said it developed IOA as a repeatable engagement model that both enterprises and solution providers can leverage to directly and securely connect people, locations, clouds and data.  The goal is to shift the fundamental IT delivery architecture from siloed and centralized to interconnected and distributed, and only the Equinix Interconnection Platform provides the critical building blocks to implement this architecture – a global footprint, dense cloud and service provider ecosystems, and the ability to integrate data and analytics at the edge.

Equinix has a global footprint of more than 100 data centers, combined with its Performance Hub solution, which combines data center elements, networking infrastructure, and cloud access via Equinix Cloud Exchange.

"Results of our recent Enterprise of the Future survey, together with the experience we've gained working with our top global enterprise and service provider customers, indicate that we are on the precipice of a massive interconnection-led reinvention of enterprise IT.  We believe an Interconnection Oriented Architecture is a valuable, repeatable strategy that will guide enterprises on their journey to becoming a truly interconnected enterprise, leveraging Equinix's distinct interconnection and colocation capabilities," Tony Bishop, vice president, vertical marketing, Equinix.

http://www.equinix.com/ioa/

Cloud Native Computing Foundation Opens for Technical Contributions

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which was launched earlier this year to drive the alignment of container technologies, announced its formal open governance structure and new details about its technology stack.

Cloud native applications are container-packaged, dynamically scheduled and microservices-oriented. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation focuses on development of open source technologies, reference architectures and common format for Cloud native applications or services. This work provides the necessary infrastructure for Internet companies and enterprises to scale their businesses.

The foundation's open governance model includes a Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) that will direct technical decisions, oversee working group projects and manage contributions to the code base. The nominations are currently open for TOC members and we encourage everyone to get involved; see the c​ncf-toc mailing list f​or more information. There is also an End User Advisory Board and Board of Directors to guide business decisions and ensure alignment between the technical and end user communities.

The Foundation said is looking at open source at the orchestration level, followed by the integration of hosts and services by defining APIs and standards through a code first approach to advance the state-of-art of container-packaged application infrastructure. The organization is also working with other L​inux Foundation Collaborative Projects, such as the Open Container Initiative, which is establishing the industry standard for container image specification and runtime, and the Cloud Foundry Foundation.

“As cloud computing matures, we’re finding there are a variety of ways to approach application development in this environment. Among some of the world’s largest users, such as Google and Facebook, cloud native development allows unprecedented scale and efficiency,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “With the level of investment from across the industry and technical contributions from some of the developer community’s best talent, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation is poised to advance the state of the art of application development at Internet scale.”

h​ttps://cncf.io/

Cloud Native Computing Foundation Seeks Alignment Among Container Technologies

A new Cloud Native Computing Foundation is being launched to drive the alignment of container technologies.  Founding organizations include AT&T, Box, Cisco, Cloud Foundry Foundation, CoreOS, Cycle Computing, Docker, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Google, Huawei, IBM, Intel, Joyent, Kismatic, Mesosphere, Red Hat, Switch SUPERNAP, Twitter, Univa, VMware and Weaveworks.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which is a project managed by The Linux Foundation, aims to advance the state-of-the-art for building cloud native applications and services, allowing developers to take full advantage of existing and to-be-developed open source technologies. Cloud native refers to applications or services that are container-packaged, dynamically scheduled and micro services-oriented.

Specifically, he Foundation will look at open source at the orchestration level, followed by the integration of hosts and services by defining API's and standards through a code first approach to advance the state-of-art of container-packaged application infrastructure. The organization will also work with the recently announced Open Container Initiative on its container image specification. Beyond orchestration and the image specification, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation aims to assemble components to address a comprehensive set of container application infrastructure needs.

“The Cloud Native Computing Foundation will help facilitate collaboration among developers and operators on common technologies for deploying cloud native applications and services,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. “By bringing together the open source community’s very best talent and code in a neutral and collaborative forum, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation aims to advance the state of the art of application development at Internet scale.”

https://cncf.io

New MulteFire Alliance Promotes LTE in Unlicensed Spectrum

A new MulteFire Alliance has been formed with the backing of Nokia, Qualcomm, Ericsson and Intel to promote MulteFire, an LTE-based technology for small cells operating solely in unlicensed spectrum, such as the global 5 GHz unlicensed band.

MulteFire will utilize the robust radio link, ease of management and self-organizing characteristics of LTE and its 3GPP standard evolution to deliver enhanced performance in local area network deployments.

“By bringing the benefits of LTE technologies to unlicensed spectrum, MulteFire helps provide enhanced coverage, capacity and mobility. It can also improve the Quality of Experience and security in private network deployments” said Stephan Litjens, Vice President, Portfolio Strategy & Analytics, Mobile  Broadband, Nokia, and MulteFire Alliance board chair.  “This technology is also aimed to deliver value to existing mobile networks and private customers such as building owners. MulteFire can act as a “neutral host” with the ability to serve users from multiple operators, especially in hard to reach places such as indoor locations, venues and enterprises.”

“With MulteFire, consumers and network providers will enjoy the combination of 4G-LTE like performance with Wi-Fi-like deployment simplicity in local-area deployments,” said Ed Tiedemann, Senior Vice President, Engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and MulteFire Alliance board member.  “Users will benefit from an enhanced connectivity experience when moving across spaces such as shopping malls and corporate offices thanks to MulteFire’s mobility features and optional integration with wide-area networks.”

http://www.MulteFire.org

3GPP Release 13 to Include Low Power Wide Area Specs

The GSMA hailed new 3GPP standards for the emerging Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) connections, a market forecast to grow to US$589 billion by 2020, or approximately 47 percent of the machine-to-machine (M2M) market, according to Machina Research.

The new standards, which will be part of 3GPP Release 13, include: Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT), Extended Coverage GPRS (EC-GPRS) and LTE Machine Type Communication (LTE-MTC).

“This is an important step in enabling operators to deliver industry standard solutions by extending their existing high-quality managed networks, service platforms and world-class customer management capabilities,” said Alex Sinclair, Acting Director General and Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “The Low Power Wide Area market is a high-growth area of the Internet of Things and represents a huge opportunity in its development. A common and global vision will remove fragmentation, accelerate the availability of industry standard solutions and help the market to fulfil its potential.”

In addition, the members of the recently announced NB-IoT Forum have agreed that this will now be part of the GSMA’s Mobile IoT Initiative and will focus on fostering a global ecosystem for NB-IoT technology. A key element of the forum will be the creation of ‘Open IoT Labs’ that will be available to any operator, module vendor or application provider and are designed to develop and accelerate the commercial availability of LPWA technology as well as encourage organisations to create NB-IoT enabled devices and applications for a variety of different verticals. They will also provide an opportunity for end-to-end and interoperability testing.

http://www.gsma.com/newsroom/press-release/gsma-welcomes-mobile-industry-agreement-on-technology-standards/

IDC Estimates 2 Billion Mobile Internet Users in 2016

International Data Corporation (IDC) estimates that 3.2 billion people, or 44% of the world's population, will have access to the Internet in 2016. Of this number, more than 2 billion will be using mobile devices to do so.

"Over the next five years global growth in the number of people accessing the Internet exclusively through mobile devices will grow by more than 25% per year while the amount of time we spend on them continues to grow. This change in the way we access the Internet is fueling explosive growth in mobile commerce and mobile advertising," said Scott Strawn, Program Director, Strategic Advisory Service.

IDC said the big gains in new users are coming from China, India, and Indonesia, which together will account for almost half of the gains in access globally over the course of the next five years. The combination of lower-cost devices and inexpensive wireless networks are making accessibility easier in countries with populations that could not previously afford them.

The total number of mobile Internet users is forecast to rise at a pace of 2% annually through 2020 unless significant new methods of accessing the Internet are introduced. Efforts by Google, SpaceX, and Facebook among others to make the Internet available to the remaining 4 billion people via high altitude planes, balloons, and satellites are underway. However, it remains unclear how successful these endeavors will be and when they will be operational at scale.

http://www.idc.com

Weave Enhances its Networking + Monitoring for Docker

Weaveworks, a start-up with offices in San Francisco and London, announced the 1.4 release of its networking and monitoring software for Docker deployments.

Weave Net 1.4 is a Docker networking plug-in that eliminates the requirement to run and manage an external cluster store (database). The plug-in simplifies and accelerates the deployment of Docker containers by removing the requirement to deploy, manage and maintain a centralized database in development and production. It builds on Docker’s core networking capabilities. It runs a “micro router” on each Docker host that works just like an Internet router, providing IP addresses to local containers and sharing peer-to-peer updates with other micro-routers, and learning from their updates. It also responds to DNS requests by containers looking to find other containers by name, also known as Service Discovery. Features include:


  • A simple overlay networking approach for connecting containers across Docker hosts
  • Fast, standards-based VXLAN encapsulation for the network traffic
  • An application-centric micro-network
  • Built-in service discovery

Weaveworks developed “micro router” technology to make Docker container networking fast, easy and “invisible”.

“Removing the dependency on a cluster store makes it faster, easier and simpler to build, ship and run Docker containers,” said Mathew Lodge, COO of Weaveworks. “Weave Net 1.4 embodies Weaveworks’ commitment to making simple, easy to use products that accelerate the deployment of microservices and cloud native applications on containerized infrastructure.”

http://weave.works/

Canada's Shaw Communications Diversifies with Bid for WIND Mobile

Shaw Communications agreed to acquire WIND Mobile Corp. for approximately CAD$1.6 billion.

WIND is Canada's largest non-incumbent wireless services provider, serving approximately 940,000 subscribers across Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta with 50MHz of spectrum in each of these regions. The company reports a 47% increase in its subscriber base over the past two years which has translated into strong growth in revenue and EBITDA. In calendar year 2015, WIND is expected to generate $485 million in revenue and $65 million in EBITDA. A scheduled upgrade to 4G LTE services is planned by 2017.

Shaw Communications, which is headquartered in Calgary, is a diversified cable, communications and media company, serving 3.2 million customers mainly in  British Columbia and Alberta, with smaller systems in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Northern Ontario.

“The global telecom landscape is quickly evolving towards 'mobile-first' product offerings as consumers demand ubiquitous connectivity from their service providers. The acquisition of WIND provides Shaw with a unique platform in the wireless sector which will allow us to offer a converged network solution to our customers that leverages our full portfolio of best-in-class telecom services, including fibre, cable, WiFi, and now wireless," said Chief Executive Officer, Brad Shaw.

http://newsroom.shaw.ca/

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ciena to Offer Hardened Version of ONOS Open-Source Software

Ciena announced plans for commercial version of the Open Networking Operating System (ONOS). Blue Planet ONOS will extend Ciena’s Blue Planet network orchestration software to enable highly-scalable, flow-based control of data center networks.

Ciena said its hardened version of ONOS, to be marketed as Blue Planet ONOS, will give service providers the ability to take advantage of the cumulative software expertise of the open source community combined with the level of assurance and support that users require for commercial deployment. Any enhancements Ciena makes to ONOS for customer engagements will be fed back into the open source community. Ciena’s Blue Planet ONOS, which aligns with the Falcon release of ONOS, is projected to be available in the first calendar quarter of 2016.

“Our mission at the ONOS project has been to produce an open source network operating system that enables service providers and vendors to build real software-defined networks. We are excited that Ciena, a recognized leader and advocate for open, programmable networks, will bring this vision to market with Blue Planet ONOS and really appreciate its commitment to contributing bug fixes and enhancements back to open source. In one short year, we have gone from inception to commercial maturity – this is a validation of the power of open source innovation,” stated Guru Parulkar, Co-Founder and Executive Director ON.Lab and Chairman of the ONOS Board

“As with all Blue Planet software development and support, Ciena embarked on this effort with the LINUX Foundation and ON.Lab as a result of customer demand and engagements. Ciena’s support of ONOS re-affirms our commitment to open source technology and reflects our position as a leader in the global, software-based network transformation movement," said Mike Hatfield, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Blue Planet, Ciena and Director on the ONOS Project Board of Directors

http://www.ciena.com/about/newsroom/press-releases/Cienas-Blue-Planet-Division-Collaborates-with-ONLab-to-Offer-First-Hardened-Version-of-ONOS-Open-Source-Software-for-Commercial-Use.html

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.

IHS: 5-Year Small Cell Backhaul Market Worth $6.5 Billion

IHS is forecasting that a cumulative $6.5 billion will be spent worldwide on outdoor small cell backhaul equipment between 2015 and 2019.

The latest IHS Infonetics Small Cell Mobile Backhaul Equipment report tracks equipment used for transporting traffic from outdoor small cell sites, such as those attached to light poles, utility poles, and the sides and tops of buildings. Some highlights:

  • Much of the activity in the small cell market continues to be around indoor small cells, as in-building spaces in public venues often have problematic macro-based mobile network coverage
  • In 2015, the global small cell mobile backhaul equipment market is forecast to grow 143 percent from the previous year
  • Around 75,000 outdoor small cell backhaul connections are projected to be deployed in 2015, rising to 960,000 in 2019
  • Point-to-point (P2P) microwave is anticipated to account for just under a third of total small cell backhaul equipment revenue in 2015, the highest of any technology

“As outdoor small cell deployments scale up, we look for the small cell backhaul equipment market to kick into higher gear in 2017, when it will reach over $1.2 billion. This year we started to see the early ramp-up beginning, while trials are still ongoing for many operators,” said Richard Webb, research director for mobile backhaul and small cells at IHS.

http://www.infonetics.com/pr/2015/1H15-Small-Cell-Mobile-Backhaul-Market.asp

Ekinops Supplies 100G DWDM in Kazakhstan

Transtelecom JSC, one of the largest service providers in the Republic of Kazakhstan, has deployed 100G DWDM optical transport equipment from Ekinops across its country-wide optical network and to the border of China.

Transtelecom owns more than thirteen thousand kilometers of fiber-optic cables throughout Kazakhstan, primarily along the railway lines. Transtelecom wanted to increase its backbone capacity in Kazakhstan and their ability to carry high capacity from China across to Russia. A major requirement for serving customers in China is providing low latency and the Ekinops solution was able to meet this and other requirements.

http://www.ekinops.net/en/press-releases/337-transtelecom-in-kazakhstan-chooses-ekinops-for-its-100g-dwdm-network-to-china

Huawei Marine Builds 100G Cable for Maldives

Huawei Marine is working with Ooredoo Maldives to deploy a Nation-wide Fiber Optic Submarine Cable to the Maldives.

The nationwide submarine cable, which will span 1,200k, will use Huawei Marine’s 100G technology. The cable will address the country’s increasing communication needs across developing islands and new resort locations.

“As the internet continues to bring remarkable value to individuals, families and businesses around the world, we firmly believe that it is the right of each and every individual to be connected to the abundant benefits of the internet,” said Vikram Sinha, CEO of Ooredoo. “With this is mind, we are proud to take this revolutionary step that will enable us to connect our communities to a fast and reliable broadband internet and support their digital lifestyles from wherever they are in the Maldives.”

Ooredoo’s Nationwide Submarine Cable is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

http://www.huawei.com

US Internet Readies 2.5G and 5G Residential Service in Minneapolis

US Internet is preparing to launch 2.5 and 5 Gbps fiber Internet service in Q1 2016 via its "Active Ethernet" fiber platform for residents and businesses of the City of Minneapolis.

USI launched a 10G service in Minneapolis a year ago. The new services bridge the gap in speed. Plans now include 1, 2.5, 5 and 10 Gbps at $65/mo., $99/mo., $199/mo. and $399/mo., respectively.

Travis Carter, CTO and Co-Founder of US Internet, said: "Our top local goal is to connect with the community and make the City of Minneapolis the most connected city in the U.S. Through this expanded high-speed Internet initiative, USI continues to empower Minneapolis residents and businesses with leading edge and extremely cost-effective technology solutions to meet their ever-growing digital needs without bottlenecks, slowdowns or hidden fees."

http://fiber.usinternet.com

IBM Signs Vodafone Netherlands for MobileFirst Portfolio

Vodafone Netherlands will offer IBM MobileFirst solutions to enterprise clients.

BM MobileFirst will extend Vodafone Ready Business, which includes communications solutions aimed at helping businesses become more flexible, innovative, collaborative and responsive to their customers and employees. The IBM and Vodafone collaboration will help further drive mobile adoption among enterprise organizations in the Netherlands.

“Vodafone has always been at the forefront of enterprise mobility. In collaborating with IBM, we are drawing on the enterprise expertise of both companies, combining Vodafone’s strengths in enterprise mobility management and 4G connectivity with IBM’s industry, mobile and integration knowledge,” said Alexander Saul, Director Enterprise Business Unit Vodafone Netherlands. “Together, we are empowering our enterprise clients with enhanced mobile capabilities that simplify business processes, increase employee productivity, enable deeper customer engagement and drive overall growth.”

https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/48499.wss

IBM Opens Global HQ for Watson IoT in Munich

IBM inaugurated its global headquarters for Watson Internet of Things (IoT) in Munich, launching a series of new offerings, capabilities and ecosystem partners designed to extend the power of cognitive computing to the billions of connected devices, sensors and systems that comprise the IoT. These new offerings will be available through the IBM Watson IoT Cloud, the company’s global platform for IoT business and developers.

IBM said its campus in Munich will bring together 1,000 IBM developers, consultants, researchers and designers to drive deeper engagement with clients and partners, and will also serve as an innovation lab for data scientists, engineers and programmers building a new class of connected solutions at the intersection of cognitive computing and the IoT.

http://www.ibm.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blueprint: Network Capacity Planning and Bandwidth Management in the IoT Era

by Leon Adato, Head Geek, SolarWinds

Enterprise network architecture has certainly evolved; from flat networks where everything was interconnected, to hierarchical models with enhanced security and now to a borderless world. But the one network metric that has remained a priority despite these changes is bandwidth, and by extension the individual traffic flows that comprise it.

Many enterprises have treated bandwidth as the elephant in the room—they have awareness of it and the tools to monitor it, but don’t have nearly enough insight into its usage. They don’t have visibility into usage history. They can’t correlate past performance to future trends. They lack any way to get a breakdown from the “big number” (bandwidth usage) to the root of the problem.

This has to change because, quite frankly, bandwidth is running out, and has been for some time now. What’s more is that there are additional bandwidth-hogging trends starting to crest the horizon.

Where We’re At

Already, BYOD and cloud have added extra layers of complexity when it comes to managing the network. With users connecting externally obtained devices such as cell phones, tablets, smart watches and even personal personal computers to corporate environments on top of corporate-provided devices, we’ve seen an exponential increase in bandwidth consumption. Furthermore, as more infrastructure is moved to the cloud, the network connections needed on that offsite infrastructure have also grown in both number and criticality. As a result, we network administrators have been tasked with redesigning networking schemes to adapt to these changes.

For those of us who have been through this and lived to tell the tale, we know that the key to success in the era of network complexity is preparedness in the form of network capacity planning and bandwidth management. Having a plan to manage current bandwidth issues and regularly analyze utilization information will best set us up to stay ahead of future issues that may arise.

Where We’re Going

Speaking of, what might be considered the second—yet much more challenging—installment of the bandwidth-hogging BYOD trend is fast approaching. Enter another now (in)famous acronym—IoT, or the Internet of Things.

Yes, it’s true that soon, even your company’s toaster oven may be connected to the network, along with a host of other devices and appliances—it won’t just be a swarm of HVAC, lighting and security controls or intelligent shop-floor tools that will expect Internet access; delivery trucks, trailers, shipping containers, smart pallets with onboard GPS, inventory management routing, sort and delivery elements, scanners and sensors of every variety will become Internet “things” using network protocols and bandwidth in unexpected ways. With more network devices in play than ever before, there will be an explosion of network traffic to accommodate the massive data volume, resulting in a harder time regulating the network. While some of the bandwidth being used will of course remain strictly internal, at the end of the day it’s all competing traffic, and competing traffic at a volume we haven’t had to account for in the past.

On top of that, because IoT will fundamentally change the way we humans interact with our environments, the ensuing complexities won’t just be about device and bandwidth entitlement added to the fully burdened cost of each employee. Environments will respond to the presence of humans, and user context—person, authentication, location, traffic, application—will all need to flow seamlessly as people move across traditional IT boundaries. So, as another consequence of IoT, IT departments will need to work closer than ever with the CIO, as well as legal, HR and other business departments.

And of course, it will be left up to us network engineers to sort all of this out.

Getting a Grip on IoT Network Capacity Planning and Bandwidth Management

If you’re like me, it probably seems like you’ve just barely gotten BYOD under control. The good news is that we learned some valuable lessons during that (long) process that are very applicable to getting a grip on IoT network capacity planning and bandwidth issues, too.

First and foremost is the need to closely monitor traffic—and not just the raw volume of network traffic, but application traffic, too. When it comes to IoT, traditional approaches like NetFlow will still be valuable, but IoT traffic will be more about application awareness than simple traffic monitoring and management. Quality of service monitoring is also very important, keeping in mind that IoT device responsiveness will be more important than traditional bandwidth-consuming things like email. Paradoxically, latency and reachability will be top priorities over limiting traffic.

And it won’t be enough to simply be a data collection platform or even a metrics dashboard solution. This monitoring will need to analyze more data than ever before, and transform it into concise, useful information to help us troubleshoot bandwidth-related network performance problems. Providing the breadth and depth of information needed to support devices, applications and networks in the era of IoT can only be done with an end-to-end, comprehensive monitoring solution.

As part of capacity planning for IoT, it will also be important to get IP address management under control and get gear ready for IPv6, which is what most IoT devices will prefer. Traditionally, many of us have managed IP address infrastructure with manual processes, which is labor-intensive, time-consuming and error prone. In addition, it leads to decentralized, fragmented, and outdated data. A simple request for a single new IP assignment can result in many hours of work, complex coordination and the likelihood for errors and conflicts, which in turn, can lead to a plethora of network problems. Just imagine what this will all look like when innumerable IoT devices start requiring their own addresses.

Finally, automate, automate, automate. In the IoT era, automating as much network management as possible will be more important than ever. At a time when there will be more devices accessing the network than you can shake a stick at, automation solutions will help to more quickly correct issues as they arise and will provide immediate remediation to reduce response times, significantly reducing potential network downtime due to any number of IoT-related capacity and bandwidth issues.

While it may seem crazy to say so, network capacity planning and bandwidth management in the IoT era really does not need to be a daunting task—we’ve been down this road before with BYOD. It’s simply a matter of remembering what worked then, being aware of the subtle differences we’ll experience with IoT and planning for them.

About the Author 
Leon Adato is a Head Geek and technical evangelist at SolarWinds, and is a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), MCSE and SolarWinds Certified Professional (he was once a customer, after all). Before he was a SolarWinds Head Geek, Adato was a SolarWinds® user for over a decade. His expertise in IT began in 1989 and has led him through roles as a classroom instructor, courseware designer, desktop support tech, server support engineer, and software distribution expert. His career includes key roles at Rockwell Automation®, Nestle, PNC, and CardinalHealth providing server standardization, support, and network management and monitoring.

About SolarWinds 
SolarWinds (NYSE: SWI) provides powerful and affordable hybrid IT infrastructure management software to customers worldwide from Fortune 500® enterprises to small businesses, government agencies and educational institutions. We are committed to focusing exclusively on IT Pros, and strive to eliminate the complexity that they have been forced to accept from traditional enterprise software vendors. Regardless of where the IT asset or user sits, SolarWinds delivers products that are easy to find, buy, use, maintain and scale while providing the power to address all key areas of the infrastructure from on premises to the cloud. Our solutions are rooted in our deep connection to our user base, which interacts in our thwack online community to solve problems, share technology and best practices, and directly participate in our product development process. Learn more today at www.solarwinds.com.

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Bell Labs Study Quantifies Residential vCPE Gains

A new study from Bell Labs claims that communications service providers can dramatically reduce their operating costs by up to 40% by ‘virtualizing’ complex functions currently deployed on residential gateways into the network cloud.

A virtualized residential gateway (vRGW) moves functions like IP routing and Network Address Translation (NAT) into the cloud, along with centralized management and control. This lets service providers introduce a more simplified, bridged gateway model making it easier for the user to successfully install, operate and maintain their home network, without having to make service calls or home visits.

Bell Labs estimates that a vRGW can reduce the costs of service fulfilment, assurance and lifecycle management up to 40%. In addition to reducing operating cost and improving the customer experience, a virtualized gateway model allows new services to be introduced more rapidly and consistently across the installed base of residential gateway devices.

Key Facts:

  • The Bell Labs study reveals cost savings in the following categories:
  • Service fulfillment: 7-12% cost reduction - a simpler residential gateway, extended auto-installation capabilities and network-based service capabilities lead to faster turning up of upgrades or new services and fewer home visits  by technicians to address service activation or upgrade issues. Home visits can easily represent over 80% of service fulfillment cost.
  • Service assurance: 63-67% cost reduction - service provider data shows that 30-40% of trouble tickets are related to issues deeper in the network. These can be resolved better by virtualizing and centralizing these deeper functions in combination with home device management capabilities.
  • Life-cycle management: approximate 66% cost reduction - although life-cycle management costs are relatively small compared to fulfillment and assurance costs, enhanced service velocity and agility improve service innovation, time to market, and revenue.

In addition to boosting profitability, a virtualized residential gateway delivers structural improvements in customer experience, service velocity and operational agility.

Alcatel-Lucent’s virtualized residential gateway solution is supported by both the 7750 SR and the Virtualized Service Router product line, and complemented by the Motive vRGW Controller  and the 7368 ISAM CPE and ONT product lines. The company’s vRGW solution is available now, with more capabilities being introduced in first half 2016.

"While the operating cost savings are essential to sustain profitable growth, having a well thought out  VRGW architecture is a pre-requisite to enable service providers to seamlessly extend the home network into the Cloud,” said. “This is critical to operationalize the rapid introduction of new features and automate the delivery of new value added services for the home network, without having the necessity to upgrade the customer premises equipment," stated Enrique Hernandez-Valencia, Consulting Director, Bell Labs.

https://www.alcatel-lucent.com/

ALU Builds Out vRAN portfolio with Red Hat, Advantech, 6Wind

Alcatel-Lucent announced collaboration agreements with Red Hat, Advantech and 6WIND. The partnerships are aimed at accelerating the delivery of commercial virtualized radio access network (vRAN) products.

Alcatel-Lucent is trialling its near-commercial vRAN with leading service providers in North America, Asia and Europe using a platform that consists of 6WIND, Advantech and Red Hat hardware and software. In 2016 Alcatel-Lucent will expand these trials using the CloudBand NFV™ platform to onboard and manage applications.

Some key points:

  • Alcatel-Lucent and Red Hat are expanding their existing collaboration on CloudBand and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform to jointly enhance NFV-based features and better address the needs of the telecommunications market with open source. This includes the integration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform,  and Red Hat Ceph Storage within Alcatel-Lucent’s vRAN offering.
  • Advantech is supplying its Packetarium XLc PAC-6009, a high-density carrier-grade blade server with switching infrastructure that supports all processing, storage and switching elements in a compact size.  Advantech’s PAC-6009 server is ‘NEBS compliant’ for the North American market and fits in a standard rack to simplify network introduction.
  • 6WIND will supply its 6WINDGate product offering a variety of networking and security protocols and features to allow Alcatel-Lucent to optimize the performance of its vRAN technology.
  • Alcatel-Lucent is also working with a number of service providers to develop innovative NFV-based radio access network technologies. Additionally the company demonstrated its progress with China Mobile, Telef√≥nica and Intel at Mobile World Congress in 2015 and announced the industry’s first live field trial of vRAN technology with China Mobile in July. 

"We are leaders in vRAN technology and use a strategy of collaboration to integrate leading third-party technologies and deliver world-class products that meet the unique needs of our service provider customers. Working with Red Hat, Advantech and 6WIND we are accelerating the availability of our vRAN, giving operators the flexibility and efficiency they require on a large-scale to meet subscriber data demand into the future,” said Glenn Booth, vice-president of Wireless Portfolio Management and Strategy at Alcatel-Lucent.

https://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Advantech Launches Packetarium XLc Carrier Grade Blade Server

Advantech launched its Packetarium XLc carrier-grade blade server designed for mobile edge computing, where greater scalability and elasticity are needed to respond to fluctuations in subscriber demand and the introduction of additional new services.

Advantech said its Packetarium XLc is the first commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) telco-grade server of its class to extend Network Function Virtualization (NFV) beyond the core network to both edge and access equipment. The system scales compute performance over nine Intel Xeon processor blades. Higher processing densities and lower power footprints are achieved through dual Intel Xeon processor blades that provide up to 144 powerful Intel Xeon processor cores in a compact 6U platform with a reduced depth of 400mm. The system routes traffic through two redundant switches that connect to the dual-star backplane creating an internal network with no single point of failure. It integrates Advantech’s Advanced Platform Management and is designed to meet demanding industry standards requiring five 9’s availability and NEBS Level 3 compliance.

Dan Rodriguez, General Manager, Intel Communications Infrastructure Division, said “Advantech’s Packetarium XLc is a good example of how members of the Intel Network Builders ecosystem play a key role in providing operators with the tools they need to actually go out and deploy a scalable and flexible NFV infrastructure built on Intel Xeon processors”.

“The Packetarium XLc enabled by a rich middleware partner ecosystem provides a solid NFV Infrastructure (NFVI) to application developers and content providers enabling them with the cloud-computing capabilities and IT-style service environment they need at the edge of the mobile network so they can drive new revenue streams for operators.” said Peter Marek, Senior Director x86 Solutions, Advantech Networks and Communications Group. “In addition, the system addresses real network deployment needs in locations with high mobile subscriber density and where greenfield installations are not possible.”

http://www2.advantech.com/networks-telecom/News.aspx?doc_id=32F7F005-9765-459F-B8B9-ECAF13A5B1C5


HPE Delivers Visibility into the Virtual Switching Fabric

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced network management and visualization software for virtual networks

The new Network Node Manager i (NNMi) software provides visibility into network topologies, helping companies to maintain control and extends their insight into the virtual switching fabric of their entire network. The software gives network managers the visibility into virtualized devices and topologies to help them ensure that their devices are connected, configured and performing as expected. When a device fails, NNMi can analyze events associated with the failure and help to recommend action. NNMi also provides predictive information that helps identify potential failures before they occur.

“Network managers today are unable to see a complete picture of their virtualized devices in real time, which limits their ability to ensure compliance and engineer the network for optimal  performance” said Balaji Venkatraman, PhD, Director of Product Line Management, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “We are the first in the industry to provide a broad suite of network management system software with integrated fault, performance, configuration and compliance management capability that enables customers to optimize workloads to maintain application performance and resilience.”

https://www.hpe.com

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