Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Aviatrix Builds Cloud Native Networking for Scaling Virtual Private Clouds

Aviatrix, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, unveiled a "Cloud Native Networking" solution that combines a software-defined network controller and software gateways to enable businesses to scale out virtual private clouds (VPCs) with VLAN-like segmentation of cloud instances and policy-based security. The idea is to make it easier to provision and manage VPCs that span public, private and hybrid clouds. The Aviatrix software provisions, orchestrates and connects secure tunnels across regions, eliminating manual configuration and reducing administrative complexity of cloud-to-cloud, user-to-cloud and site-to-cloud connectivity.

The upcoming Aviatrix 2.0 software, which will be generally available in June, enables virtual cloud provisioning for AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.  Aviatrix could be used to link and manage resources in multiple clouds. The company said it has already established close partnerships with the big three cloud providers.

The solution consists of the Aviatrix web-portal-based controller, and one or more Aviatrix gateways deployed on the cloud or on-premises. The controller is the central point of configuration, orchestration, and monitoring for all functions and cloud services, while the gateway manages each VPC and performs encryption/decryption, packet forwarding, policy enforcements and logging capabilities. VLAN-like segmentation helps maximize application security by ensuring that each application is fully isolated and protected.

Aviatrix 2.0 key capabilities:

  • Encrypted Peering – Inter-region and inter-cloud encrypted peering lets enterprises use AWS and other cloud vendors for data replication, disaster recovery and high-availability.
  • Simplified hybrid deployments – Utilizing mixed layer 2 and layer 3 technology, enterprises can extend private LANs to public clouds within minutes, without additional hardware and any changes to existing network infrastructure.
  • Enterprise-class OpenVPN for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud – OpenVPN is the open source industry standard for secure remote access with the broadest range of devices. Built on OpenVPN, Aviatrix 2.0 enables user profile-based access controls that dynamically enforce security policies at the network perimeter; Multi-factor authentication with Active Directory, Duo Security, Google or Okta. Geo-aware OpenVPN access connects users to the nearest cloud region.
  • Cloud network visibility – Aviatrix 2.0 includes a centralized management console, user activity monitoring and routing diagnostics, as well as event logging to Elasticsearch, Sumo Logic and Splunk, and remote syslog server.
  • Expanded cloud platform support – Aviatrix Cloud Native Networking Software is now expanded to include Google Cloud, AWS GovCloud (US), Azure Resource Manager, and Azure China. Aviatrix 2.0 provides additional security by adding encryption over private, dedicated physical links such as Azure ExpressRoute and AWS Direct Connect.
  • Multi-account support – Aviatrix simplifies the connectivity between multiple user accounts to enable enterprises to have cost controls and accountability.
"Cloud native networking is designed to make networking as dynamic and disposable as compute and storage. Using virtualized versions from traditional network equipment vendors in the cloud is not the answer,” said Sherry Wei, Aviatrix co-founder and CTO. “We are focused on removing constraints and limitations on network design for cloud architecture in order to empower enterprises to realize the full potential of the cloud, whether public, private or hybrid and regardless of VPC numbers or locations.”

Aviatrix also announced the appointment of Steven Mih as chief executive officer. Mih most recently served as the SVP of worldwide field operations at Mesosphere, starting in early 2015. Prior to Mesosphere, Mih served as the SVP of worldwide sales at Couchbase, the fastest growing startup in the NoSQL database field.


IBM Boosts Support to OpenStack’s RefStack Project

IBM is confirming its lead role in the OpenStack RefStack Project, which was created last year as part of the OpenStack community’s effort to drive interoperability across clouds. The ability to move data and apps from one cloud to another is a major obstacle in the evolution of cloud and business.

IBM, which is the lead contributor to RefStack, said the project is a critical pillar of its commitment to ensuring an open cloud.

The specific upgrades to the upcoming RefStack release include:

  • User functionality and usability enhancements to allow easier, more streamlined visibility into test data for OpenStack release compatibility.
  • Tempest plug-in enablement to allow users to expand existing test suites to include external test cases.
  • Stability enhancements to expand the availability of the RefStack service and support a growing number of RefStack users.
  • Additionally, RefStack will soon enable vendor registration, allowing community members to easily correlate test results in RefStack’s central repository with specific OpenStack vendors – ensuring results are more transparent. 

“The OpenStack ecosystem is very rich and rapidly evolving, and provides an extremely strong foundation for real interoperability. However, achieving this will require deep, sustained collaboration across the open community,” said Angel Diaz, Vice President of Cloud Architecture and Technology at IBM. “We are ready and willing to work with every single OpenStack cloud provider on this, and are challenging the OpenStack community to collaborate with us. We are determined to provide customers with the flexibility they want – regardless of their provider – so that they have a global platform for business and innovation.”


Riverbed Launches its SteelConnect SD-WAN Solution

Riverbed Technology introduced its SteelConnect SD-WAN (software-defined wide area network) solution for networking in a cloud-centric world.

Riverbed said it is delivering an application-defined approach to networking with SteelConnect, which aims to unify network connectivity and orchestration of application delivery across hybrid WANs, remote LANs and cloud networks such as AWS (available today) and Microsoft Azure (later this year).

SteelConnect includes a fully integrated line of secure WAN gateways, remote LAN switches and Wi-Fi access points, all managed centrally through a cloud console with a graphical user interface.  The goal is to streamline and simplify the process of designing, deploying and managing distributed networks, enabling organizations to modernize their network architecture to realize the full potential of digital transformation.

“The market is going through one of the largest transformations ever, with organizations moving quickly to adopt more digital and cloud services and hybrid networks,” said Jerry M. Kennelly, Riverbed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Unfortunately, legacy approaches to managing distributed networks and routing – which are hardware-bound, hard-coded, inflexible and error-prone – haven’t changed much in 20 years. We believe SteelConnect has the potential to disrupt the multi-billion dollar branch office router market and re-define networking as we know it today. With SteelConnect, we’re delivering an application-defined networking solution that leverages Riverbed’s application DNA and integrates industry-leading visibility, to provide the agility, simplicity and speed enterprises need to manage today’s complex cloud and hybrid architectures.”

“SteelConnect represents a complete rethink of how networks should be built and managed in today’s cloud-centric world,” said Paul O’Farrell, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Riverbed’s SteelConnect, SteelHead and SteelFusion business units. “SteelConnect provides a new experience of networking for both IT and business, where deploying and managing network services is as intuitive as downloading apps onto your smart phone and as instant as spinning up compute and storage resources into a public cloud.”

Key attributes of the Riverbed SteelConnect system:

  • Unified Connectivity & Management Across WAN, Remote LAN & Cloud Networks: SteelConnect provides a software-defined and application-defined connectivity fabric that spans WANs, remote office LANs and cloud infrastructure networks through a line of physical, virtual and cloud-based WAN gateways, as well as remote LAN switches and Wi-Fi access points.
  • Business-aligned Orchestration: Instead of managing networks through configuration of individual appliances, SteelConnect provides policy-based orchestration that is naturally aligned to the language and priorities of business: Applications, Users, Locations, Performance SLAs and Security requirements. An IT network architect can now easily set up global or local policies such as: send all video application traffic over the highest-capacity circuits; send software updates over Internet broadband circuits; or send all business traffic over secure VPNs. Previously network operators needed to enter hundreds or thousands of lines of CLI (command line interface) code to make network and application changes, which is both inefficient and prone to human error.
  • Cloud-based Management Experience: SteelConnect provides an intuitive graphical user interface that supports an agile and intent-based workflow for managing networks. With SteelConnect, operators can design every aspect of a distributed network before deploying any hardware. Zero-touch provisioning then provides instant deployment of physical devices into a network. Central management of global network policies enables agile and efficient updates to support business requirements.
  • Ubiquitous Visibility: SteelConnect provides complete visibility of all users and devices connected to a distributed network, and supports industry-leading NPM and APM capabilities from Riverbed SteelCentralTM natively integrated into the SteelConnect central management console.


AT&T Posts Q1 Revenue of $40.5 Billion

AT&T posted Q1 revenues of $40.5 billion and diluted EPS of $0.61 as reported; $0.72 diluted adjusted EPS, a 10.8% increase. The results include AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV. Compared with results for the first quarter of 2015, operating expenses were $33.4 billion versus $27.0 billion; operating income was $7.1 billion versus $5.6 billion; and operating income margin was 17.6% versus 17.1%.

“It was a good start to the year. We had solid financial results and executed well on our strategy to be the premier integrated communications provider for businesses and consumers,” said Randall Stephenson, AT&T chairman and CEO. “We’re seeing good momentum with our initial integrated wireless, video and broadband offers. And we’ll expand the integrated choices for customers in the fourth quarter when we launch our new video streaming services." “Our consolidated revenues, adjusted earnings and free cash flow continue to grow as margins continue to expand. And we’re putting up these numbers even as we invest in building our Mexico wireless business. In addition, DIRECTV merger synergies are on track to reach $1.5 billion or better by the end of the year.”

Some highlights:

  • 2.3 million North American wireless net adds driven by connected devices, Mexico and Cricket; 712,000 branded (postpaid and prepaid) phone net adds
  • Total churn of 1.42% in U.S., stable year over year; postpaid churn of 1.10%
  • At the end of the first quarter, AT&T had 54.7 million Consumer Mobility subscribers and added 92,000 total subscribers in the quarter with 500,000 prepaid subscribers and losses of 4,000 postpaid subscribers and 378,000 reseller subscribers.
  • At the end of the first quarter, AT&T had 75.8 million business wireless subscribers. The company added 133,000 postpaid subscribers and 1.6 million connected devices in the first quarter. Postpaid business wireless subscriber churn was 1.02%, compared to 0.90% in the year-ago quarter. 
  • Business Solutions revenues up 0.3% year over year; wireless revenues up 2.3%
  • Strategic business services revenues of $2.8 billion, up nearly $250 million
  • Total business broadband had a loss of 19,000 subscribers in the quarter
  • 328,000 U.S. DIRECTV net adds; total video subscribers decline slightly
  • Entertainment Group broadband grew with 186,000 IP broadband net adds


Radisys Brings Enhanced Voice Services Codec to Mobile Operators

Radisys has added Ultra HD Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) audio codec support to its MediaEngine Media Resource Function (MRF).

By leveraging the new EVS codec, mobile operators can use less spectrum to deliver HD Audio or can deliver Ultra HD Audio using the same spectrum required for HD Audio. In addition, advanced error resilience built into EVS makes it ideal for VoLTE, delivering the same voice quality as AMR wideband while using less bandwidth – even in the face of up to 3x more packet loss.

The company confirmed that it has been working with a leading mobile operator in the deployment of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) to roll out Ultra HD Audio to its subscriber base.

“At Radisys, we’re laser focused on helping mobile operators solve the tough challenges of next-gen networks, including how to solve the problem of scarce spectrum,” said Grant Henderson, vice president, MediaEngine and Corporate Marketing, Radisys. “By adding EVS codec support to our MediaEngine solution, we’ve provided mobile operators with an important tool to make their existing spectrum more efficient and to deliver an Ultra HD Audio experience.”


Coho Data Adds OpenStack Support to its Cinder Storage

Coho Data, which specializes in scale-out flash storage for the enterprise, announced support for OpenStack on DataStream and that the Coho Cinder driver is part of the OpenStack Mitaka released earlier this month. The goal is OpenStack block storage infrastructure that dynamically scales both performance and capacity in response to application demands.

Coho said its unique per-virtual machine (VM) visibility feature for VMware vSphere environments also supports OpenStack environments. It provides OpenStack VM instance level real-time performance analytics through both Coho’s REST API and web-based Management UI to help organizations simplify performance troubleshooting.

“Most enterprise storage systems stand as a stark counterexample to the operational efficiency and elasticity of infrastructure OpenStack is designed to achieve,” said Andy Warfield, CTO, Coho Data. “Coho’s Cinder integration brings a block storage solution that effortlessly scales on demand and that integrates deeply with datacenter networking to continuously adapt performance in response to workload demands. I’ve been excited to see our system used to build successful enterprise private cloud environments for OpenStack customers and I look forward to continuing to broaden our support for other OpenStack APIs as we continue to work with this community.”


Dell Pushes Ahead with its Open Networking Initiatives

Dell announced several steps in advancing its Open Networking initiatives:

  • Newly released Operating System 10 (OS10) aligns with community building and integration projects including Open Compute Project’s (OCP) Software for Open Networking in the Cloud (SONiC) and partners Ansible, F5 and Silverpeak. 
  • Dell OS10 and OCP SONiC– Dell, in conjunction with Microsoft Azure and other industry leaders, made foundational contributions to the newly-announced SONiC effort. The goal is to open source all the components needed to build fully-functional networking software. SONiC is a collection of software packages/modules that can be installed on Linux on a network hardware switch which makes it a complete, functional router. Dell has successfully integrated its OS10 base software to serve as a foundational element for SONiC.
  • Ansible – from app deployment to multi-tiered orchestration, Ansible Tower by Red Hat powers enterprise automation by adding control, security and delegation capabilities.
  • F5 – F5 with OS10 delivers load balancing over active-active clusters across network services for scale out deployments.
  • Silver Peak – Silver Peak provides optimized SD-WAN interconnects between the data center and branch offices across public and private clouds.
  • Two new in-rack switches are optimized to accelerate 10G deployments and harness the latest silicon-based features. The S4048T-ON and S6010-ON are ONIE-compliant to provide cloud and Web 2.0 customers an Open Networking environment with fully-tested and validated third-party operating systems. They include advanced features for VXLAN, larger tables and expanded buffering compared to other Dell models.
  • A new collaboration with  Aerohive will deliver cloud-managed solution that integrates and manages wired and wireless infrastructure. The co-branded solution incorporates Dell N-Series switches and Aerohive access points into Aerohive’s HiveManager NG – a next-generation cloud-based management solution. 


Barracuda's Revenue Grows 16%

Barracuda Networks' revenue for the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2016 increased 16% to $83.7 million, compared with $72.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015. Appliance revenue was $21.7 million, compared with $20.9 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015, and recurring subscription revenue grew to $62.1 million, up from $51.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2015, representing 74% of total revenue. GAAP net income was $3.2 million, or $0.06 per share, based on a diluted share count of 53.1 million, compared to a GAAP net loss of $68.4 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.


MACOM Files Patent Suit Against Infineon over GaN

MACOM Technology Solutions filed a legal claim against Infineon Technologies and International Rectifier (acquired by Infineon in 2015) concerning its rights to use the pioneering and patented gallium nitride on silicon (GaN) technology developed by Nitronex (acquired by MACOM in 2014) in MACOM’s core markets. GaN has potential applications in 4G/LTE and 5G base stations.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Juniper Advances its Software-Defined Secure Networks Framework

Juniper Networks announced several cloud and virtualized service offerings as part of its Software-Defined Secure Networks (SDSN) framework, including a new compact and containerized virtual firewall called Juniper Networks cSRX. This  next-generation firewall is designed for advanced security services for Software Defined Networks. The cSRX, which Juniper describes as the industry's first virtual firewall in a containerized form factor, provides a way to wrap advanced security services around every workload and the ability to scale up to high multi-tenancy. Advanced security services in the cSRX include Content Security, AppSecure, and unified threat management (UTM).

The rollout also includes a multi-core version of the Juniper Networks vSRX virtual firewall that is expected to be capable of reaching 100 Gbps - 10 times greater than the nearest competitor and creates new possibilities for using agile and flexible virtual firewalls. The multi-core vSRX offers full routing, firewall and L4-L7 security features. The vSRX delivers high availability, granular security with segmentation capabilities between zones, organizations, lines of business and applications, as well as rich connectivity features like Network Address Translation (NAT), routing and VPN.
Working closely with Intel, vSRX leverages the Open Source Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) software architecture

Both products are anticipated to enable the network to better detect and combat threats through increased performance, intelligence, and a higher density of services on the Intel Xeon processor family (x86 platform).

"As the security landscape continues to evolve, it is more important than ever to work together to combat cyber threats. These key additions to our security portfolio will further our Software-Defined Secure Networks vision and greatly benefit our customers. Our products provide the best opportunity to create secure networks through policy, detection and enforcement. We are excited to be releasing the most flexible firewall solutions in the market and continue to showcase our commitment to bringing SDSN to organizations across the globe," Kevin Walker, security CTO, Juniper Networks


Netronome Brings Hardware-Acceleration to OpenStack Networking

Netronome has tuned its Agilio Server Networking Platform for delivering hardware-acceleration for OpenStack networking, allowing data centers to accelerate applications such as network virtualization, security, load balancing and telemetry using different data plane options suitable for use cases spanning traditional IT to IaaS and Telco NFV workloads. Netronome's own testing has found a 5X boost in VM performance when network functions are offloaded to its Agilio interface cards.

At this week's OpenStack Summit in Austin, Netronome, in collaboration with Ericsson and Mirantis, is showcasing acceleration of open source datapath implementations, specifically, Open vSwitch (OVS), Stateful Firewall (Connection Tracking) and OpenContrail vRouter using Agilio CX intelligent server adapters. The company said this approach will be incorporated as an enhanced OpenStack networking plug-in architecture specification. As a result, critical networking functions that would otherwise hamper performance of the OpenStack implementation are offloaded to the Agilio platform, accommodating significantly more virtual machines per server leading to up to 6X lower TCO and higher services revenue per server compared to traditional NICs.

“The OpenStack platform has become the de facto cloud and SDN orchestration tool and server-based networking has become the cornerstone of pervasive SDN and cloud-based networks,” said Sujal Das, senior vice president and general manager, strategy and marketing at Netronome. “Our flagship Agilio product-based demonstrations and proposed open specification bring much needed hardware-based efficiency to that mix.”

“Mirantis OpenStack delivers comprehensive cloud orchestration tools that are optimized for Enterprise IT and NFV deployments,” said Kamesh Pemmaraju, vice president of product marketing at Mirantis. “Utilizing Netronome’s expertise in server-based networking and its Agilio intelligent server adapters, our joint pioneering work promises to provide the industry with new OpenStack networking capabilities that will enable rapid SDN deployments, delivering significantly higher networking performance and increases in server efficiency.”

Netronome plans to release beta releases of products that integrate OpenStack with Agilio Software for OVS, Stateful Firewall and OpenContrail vRouter, and an open enhanced OpenStack networking plug-in architecture specification in Q3 2016.The specification enhancements will propose extension of the current SR-IOV OpenStack plug-in mechanism for efficient packet delivery to virtual machines and add the OVS, Stateful Firewall and vRouter data paths implemented in intelligent server adapters such as Netronome’s Agilio CX products. Through support of innovative VirtIO extensions, hardware-based performance and efficiency benefits are delivered without compromising operational agility, while virtual machine migration capabilities needed for efficient server resource utilization are preserved.


Netronome's Agilio Server Networking Accelerates Cloud Data Centers

Netronome introduced its Agilio Server Networking Platform for transparently offloading server-based networking data paths, such as open virtual switch (OVS), Juniper Networks Contrail vRouter, and Linux firewall.

The company said its hardware and software-based Agilio platform delivers up to 5X higher throughput while reducing CPU requirements by up to 80 percent compared to traditional NICs and server-based networking implemented in software.

Server-based networking is being widely deployed in cloud data centers to handle virtualization, firewalls, load balancing, telemetry, zero-trust security using micro-segmentation, virtual network functions (VNFs) and application-based analytics. The big cloud providers (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google) are using server-based networking in their mega data centers. Netronome's Agilio solution accelerates such server-based networking functions by offloading compute-intensive flow and tunnel processing from the CPUs.

The Agilio CX intelligent server adapters (ISAs) are based on Netronome's own flow processing silicon (NFP-4000) and software architecture (Agilio Software). The Agilio ISAs use onboard memory to support up to two million security policies, and deliver 28Mpps of throughput using hardware-based acceleration.

Nexenta Adds OpenStack & Docker Support for Scale-Out Storage

Nexenta announced significant updates to its block and object storage platform, including seamless integration with OpenStack and Docker environments.

The NexentaEdge is a software-only, scale-out, multi-service storage solution to deliver cluster-wide inline deduplication and compression, offering high-performance, simplified management of petabyte-scale repositories. With the latest updates, the block and object software-defined platform includes additional performance optimizations for all-flash and hybrid configurations, tightly integrates with the OpenStack ecosystem to simplify deployments in OpenStack clouds, and adds support for container-based deployments and Docker environments.

In addition to full iSCSI, NexentaEdge now supports native block device services, allowing hyperconverged OpenStack deployments to run Nova nodes directly on the NexentaEdge cluster. To fully automate deployment and configuration of NexentaEdge nodes in Canonical OpenStack environments, Juju Charms are available from the Canonical Juju Charms Store. All NexentaEdge Cinder drivers are also fully integrated in the OpenStack Mitaka release.


QTS Signs Big Cloud Customer for DFW Mega Data Center

QTS Realty Trust confirmed that one of the world's largest cloud provider companies has doubled its custom data center agreement to support its rapid growth.

The hyperscale cloud provider selected QTS in early 2016 to provide more than 20,000 square feet and four megawatts of power. The new agreement dramatically increases the company's usage to a total of 40,000 square feet and eight megawatts of power at the LEED Gold certified QTS Dallas-Fort Worth mega data center.

The QTS Dallas-Fort Worth data center is 700,000 square feet with the capacity to increase by 600,000 square feet for a total of 1.3 million square feet. The purpose-built facility is structurally reinforced and built with 90' subterranean concrete piers that isolate the building from movement.


  • QTS will open its newest mega data center in downtown Chicago in the former Chicago Sun-Times printing plant later this summer.

Mirantis and QCT Partner on OpenStack Appliance

Mirantis and QCT (Quanta Cloud Technology) are partnering to offer Mirantis Unlocked Appliances, turnkey, rack-based appliances featuring Mirantis OpenStack. The appliance is targeted at Cloud Native Applications featuring hardware and software from QCT and Cumulus Networks.

“Mirantis Unlocked Appliances gives enterprises a fast, easy way to exploit the flexibility and cost-savings of OpenStack. They are off-the-shelf, optimized solutions that reduce time-to-value while also reducing risk in OpenStack deployments,” said Mirantis co-founder and CMO, Boris Renski. “The addition of the QCT Mirantis Unlocked Appliance brings hyperscale platforms as an alternative in Unlocked Appliances.”


EBSCO Load Balances OpenStack Cloud with Avi Networks

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) has deployed Avi Networks on OpenStack to create a highly-automated private cloud and cutting-edge software-defined data center.

Avi Networks delivers public-cloud-like agility for application services beyond load balancing including deep application analytics, predictive autoscaling, and security in the data center or public cloud.


Sequans LTE for IoT Module Certified by AT&T

Sequans Communications' newest EZLinkLTE module, the US60L, has been certified to operate on AT&T’s 4G LTE network.

At the heart of the module is Sequans’ IoT-optimized, LTE Cat 4-capable chipset, Colibri, along with memory, power management and a complete RF front-end.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

Blueprint: Top 10 Use Cases for OpenStack SDN

by Wendy Cartee, VP of Product Management and Marketing at PLUMgrid

Years ago, Linux opened up the data center and made it programmable, uncorking a Genie’s bottle of previously unimagined use cases, wealth and possibilities that became known as the cloud. For years after the data center became a software-programmable cloud, networking remained the bottleneck in an otherwise programmable environment. Today, we’re seeing a similar transformation with the advent of SDN and NFV. Launching in 2010, a free and open-source software infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform for cloud computing, OpenStack, made it easier to configure cloud infrastructure by linking compute, storage, and networking resources to support a range of use cases. Now, SDN is not just supporting but driving some of the biggest innovations in cloud services. Enabling users to easily deploy and manage resources from a single pane of glass, production services that used to take months to provision are now live in mere minutes.

To illustrate this evolution, here are 10 top use cases that have emerged for OpenStack SDN including both as-a-services and vertical examples:

XaaS Use Cases

Infrastructure as a Service – OpenStack’s compute, storage, and networking services were built to provide IaaS and through its 13 releases OpenStack has evolved to enable much more than IaaS.

IaaS enables achievement of strategic business objectives including faster time to revenue for customers, Opex and CapEx efficiency, and scale while overcoming the challenges of traditional provisioning with rapid time to revenue and the ability to address complex change management.

Platform as a Service – PaaS offers a ready-to-consume development environment, with databases, tools and libraries. Delivering similar business benefits to IaaS, PaaS enables application developers to immediately start writing code, significantly reducing time to production and speeding time to market for new applications.

Communications as a Service – Service providers who offer voice, video, and data services are now delivering more than just connectively and bandwidth. With Communications as a Service, OpenStack enables cloud-based delivery of unified communications, multi-site collaboration, and video conferencing without truck rolls.  

Streaming content and media services – Content providers are leveraging OpenStack to deliver streaming content and media such as movies, live television, videos, music, photographs, and more. The technology delivers on key business objectives such as increased service velocity to reduce churn and attract new subscribers with high application performance and the ability to control infrastructure costs while achieving scale.

Hadoop as a Service – Big data analysis requires the elasticity and resources provided by cloud infrastructures. With OpenStack, Hadoop as a Service offers easy to access big data services to scientists, and businesses alike to accelerate research and data analysis.

Container as a Service – As microservices drive application development for mobile and IoT, containers are providing rapid, lightweight resources for developers. Through several container projects, OpenStack is enabling container deployment and orchestration models including Docker, Mesos, and Kubernetes.

Vertical Use Cases

Financial cloud solution – Financial services require data center resources in highly secure, reliable, and compliant cloud environments. Through OpenStack’s Neutron project, the community is building firewalls with vendor plug-ins that add micro-segmentation, encryption, analytics, and enhanced high availability for resiliency.

Retail/ecommerce solution – Micro-segmentation, policy-based security, flexible workloads, and simplified installers are driving adoption for retailers. Retailers are increasingly leveraging OpenStack to build private clouds for ecommerce that reduce costs while increasing online revenues by enabling the agility required to accommodate rapidly changing consumer and client tastes.

Pharmaceutical/life sciences solution – Pharmaceuticals and life sciences are deploying OpenStack clouds for telemedicine, mobile applications, and research to enhance care and deliver private data center resources for security and compliance. Through micro-segmentation, OpenStack enables strict isolation of clients, data and applications that must be implemented at every level of the service architecture to comply with strict security and privacy rules and guidelines.

Government – Public sector groups including government, research, and education are deploying OpenStack clouds for enhanced research, collaboration, and online services. Private virtual domains that provide policy-based security and traffic isolation are key to enabling multi-tenancy that meet regulatory compliance.

According to the most recent OpenStack User Survey, the number one business driver for choosing OpenStack is the ability to accelerate innovation and better compete by deploying applications faster. Avoiding vendor lock-in and increasing operational efficiency were a close second. Of the seven drivers presented in this study, from the 67 percent of users surveyed who listed “Save money over alternative infrastructure choices” as a motivating factor—all of them listed it as their number one reason.

Top business drivers of OpenStack

Which industries use OpenStack and how?
The IT industry continues to dominate OpenStack users who took their survey, making up nearly two-thirds of all response. The top industry segments after IT were telecommunications (12 percent), academic/research (10 percent), and 2 percent each for film/media, finance, and manufacturing/industrial. However, IT supports a variety of uses with the cloud. As part of the top 10 use cases listed above, the IT services and uses provided by OpenStack include:  big data, call center, cable TV and ISP, data center/co-location, government identity and security, high-performance computing, online video games, professional services/IT consulting, public/private/hosting cloud services, software development/DevOps/delivery, storage solutions, system integrators, telco and networking and Web hosting and email hosting.



In just a few years, SDN has evolved networking to significantly impact the cloud, enabling it to continue apace with its accelerating rate of innovation. As illustrated above, the combination of SDN and OpenStack delivers agility and simplicity across a diverse range of use cases, from several instances of XaaS to a number of vertical industry-specific examples. As open source adoption has taken hold, the cloud and a large global community of open source contributors have made building out new use cases almost instantaneous. Although it took a decade for the cloud to find mainstream appeal, OpenStack was founded in 2010 and there are already 20+ million lines of code, 38,000 contributors from 178 countries and 583 companies supporting the community. Who knows what use cases and profitable new services have yet to be imagined?

Stay tuned and follow the OpenStack community or come to an OpenStack Summit near you to find out. The pace of innovative disruption is much faster now, so you won’t have to wait long.

About the Author

Wendy Cartee is VP of Product Management and Marketing at PLUMgrid, Inc., the leading innovator of secure cloud infrastructure for enterprises building private and public clouds.  With over 15 years of product management and marketing experience at prior companies such as Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, and HP Cloud, Wendy has defined solutions for data centers, WAN, Internet, and mobile infrastructure that generated billions in revenue. An avid technology and customer advocate, Wendy has 8 U.S. patents in networking technologies, all of which are deployed in some of the largest networks.  Wendy is listed in the CCIE Hall of Fame as the first 100 CCIEs in the world.  She has a BSEE from Cal Poly, MBA from Santa Clara University, and is a graduate of the Stanford Executive Program from the Graduate School of Business.

About PLUMgrid

PLUMgrid is the leader of secure and scalable virtual network infrastructure solutions for OpenStack clouds. PLUMgrid delivers industry leading software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) solutions that enable modern data centers to connect tenants, applications and workloads efficiently across hypervisors, virtualized, container and bare metal architectures. PLUMgrid is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif. and is funded by venture capital and strategic investors. Visit www.plumgrid.com

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Akanda Updates its OpenStack Astara

Akanda announced its new Mitaka release for open source network orchestration and virtualization.

Akanda is the major contributor to OpenStack Astara, which is a vendor-agnostic solution for open source network orchestration and virtualization. Astara does not require an SDN controller.

DreamHost, which is a web and cloud hosting provider based in Los Angeles, is using Astara to support more than 2,000 customers with thousands of virtual machines (VMs).

New features in OpenStack Astara include:

  • Over-the-Top Network Functions - OpenStack operators can bring their own network function to any Layer 2 network. 
  • Advanced Features for High Network Availability - higher levels of reliability and scalability for Layer 3 services, such as routing, load-balancing, and application performance management.
  • Lightweight IPV6 VPNaaS - Astara can now support up to 16 million IPV6 VPNs over VXLAN. IPV6 VPNs are a lightweight alternative to more expensive MPLS-based VPNs, which can't be decoupled from network hardware without significant vendor support. Many network experts consider IPV6 VPNs to be foundational for hybrid cloud and IOT use cases.

"The Mitaka release of OpenStack Astara introduces web-scale to virtualized network services," said Henrik Rosendahl, CEO of Akanda. "It's all about software defined hardware choices; new features that allows cloud operators to scale up and out, and radically simple OpenStack Neutron deployment. We're also excited about new services such as IPV6 VPNs, which are elemental for hybrid cloud and IOT applications."


University of Cambridge Builds OpenStack with Mellanox

The University of Cambridge has selected Mellanox End-to-End Ethernet interconnect solution including Spectrum SN2700 Ethernet switches, ConnectX-4 Lx NICs and LinkX cables for its OpenStack-based scientific research cloud.

“The new generation of analytics-based research, with access to unprecedented volumes of data, coupled with the need to provide quick and secure access to computing and storage resources to the research community in and beyond UoC, have fueled the momentum behind an OpenStack cloud tailor-made for scientific research,” said Chole Jian Ma, Senior Director of Cloud Market Development, Mellanox. “Mellanox Ethernet interconnect solution enables UoC to deploy a high-throughput, low-latency cloud network fabric and leverage advanced offload and acceleration capabilities such as SR-IOV, RDMA, and VXLAN Offload that mitigate virtualization penalties.”


AT&T Teams with Globecomm for IoT Satellite Connectivity

AT&T is teaming up with Globecomm to launch a new service that allows satellite connectivity to work seamlessly with its cellular network.

The Globecomm satellite connectivity will help businesses connect their IoT assets all over the world.

“We’re offering a one-stop shop for IoT connectivity,” said Mike Troiano, vice president, AT&T IoT Solutions. “Our customers now have a flexible, reliable and highly secure service to monitor their assets nearly anywhere. They don’t have to choose one connectivity solution over the other – they can have the full package.”

“Businesses want more real-time visibility into their assets on a global scale,” said Jon Kirchner, senior vice president, Products and Corporate Strategy, Globecomm.  “We’re working with AT&T to offer seamless connectivity over a single platform. We’re helping businesses collect and analyze critical information wherever their assets are – to generate operational improvements and hard ROI – on land or at sea.”