Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Google Builds a Custom ASIC for Machine Learning

Google has developed a custom ASIC for machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) is tailored for TensorFlow, which is an open source software library for machine learning that was developed at Google.

In a blog posting,  Norm Jouppi, Distinguished Hardware Engineer at Google, discloses that the TPUs have already been in deployment in Google data centers for over a year, where they "deliver an order of magnitude better-optimized performance per watt for machine learning." The stealthy project to develop in-house silicon has been underway for several years.

A number of Google applications are already running on the Tensor Processing Units, including RankBrain, Street View, and the AlphaGo application that recently defeated the Go world champion, Lee Sedol.

Google plans to deliver machine learning as a service on its Google Cloud Platform by providing APIs for computer vision, speech, human language translation, etc.

https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/2016/05/Google-supercharges-machine-learning-tasks-with-custom-chip.html


  • TensorFlow was originally developed by the Google Brain team and released under the Apache 2.0 open source license in November 2015. At the time, Google said TensorFlow can run on multiple CPUs and GPUs.


Cisco Posts Solid Quarterly Revenue of $12.0 Billion, up 3% YoY

Cisco reported third quarter revenue of $12.0 billion, GAAP net income of $2.3 billion or $0.46 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $2.9 billion or $0.57 per share.

"We delivered a strong Q3, executing well despite the challenging environment," said Chuck Robbins, Cisco chief executive officer. "I'm pleased with our performance today as well as the progress we're making in transitioning our business to a more software and subscription focus, which we'll continue to apply across our entire portfolio."

Some highlights for quarter:
  • Product revenue was up 1% 
  • Service revenue was up 11%
  • Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas up 4%, EMEA down 2%, and APJC up 10%. 
  • Product revenue growth was led by Security, Collaboration and SP Video which increased by 17%, 10% and 18%, respectively. Wireless and Data Center each increased by 1%, while Switching and NGN Routing decreased by 3% and 5%, respectively.
  • Total gross margin and product gross margin (GAA) were 64.3% and 63.8%, respectively. 
  • GAAP service margin was 65.9% and non-GAAP service gross margin was 67.1%.
  • Total gross margins by geographic segment were: 66.3% for the Americas, 65.5% for EMEA and 60.4% for APJC.

http://s2.q4cdn.com/230918913/files/doc_presentations/2016/Q3FY16-Earnings-Slides-FINAL_no-guidance.pdf
http://investor.cisco.com/

Video: DE-CIX - Increasing Internet Traffic Flows from East and South

Understanding Internet traffic patterns on a global basis is fundamental to improving user experience.  With its massive Internet exchange located in Frankfurt, Germany, and now many more exchange points worldwide, DE-CIX is ideally positioned to learn from the changing traffic flows.

In this video, Harald A. Summa discusses the increasing Internet traffic flow from the east and the south, and how DE-CIX has positioned itself to handle this change.

See video: https://youtu.be/NAY1PKhFpfA






Video: Hibernia - Demand Rises for Lowest Latency, Transatlantic Capacity

When it set out to build its new Hibernia Express transatlantic cable system, Hibernia Networks really was looking to achieve a couple of goals. The top goal was to provide absolutely the lowest latency across the Atlantic. Another ambition was to provide another diverse, high-capacity system that would be attractive to multiple customer segments.

In this video,  Al DiGabiele, SVP Product Management & Marketing at Hibernia Networks, talks about rising demand on the new cable system and a new protected-wavelength service with automated failure switching.

See video: https://youtu.be/M30rf6GR4Fw





Video: Digital Realty - The Connected Campus

Following its acquisition of Telx last year, Digital Realty is positioned to bring new switching and networking services to key locations.

Tony Rossabi talks about the "Connected Campus", where colocation and connectivity resources from Telx and integrated with Digital Realty's wholesale business.

See video:  https://youtu.be/ncm-7jsjGBQ







CENX Lands a Tier 1 for its Orchestrated Service Assurance

CENX announced a contract with a Tier 1 global communications service provider based in southern Europe (name not disclosed). CENX systems will be used to orchestrate and assure on-demand cloud and data center services.

CENX’s Exanova Service Intelligence software will enable on-demand deployment and real-time assurance of innovative services for the service provider’s international enterprise and wholesale carrier customers. Initial services will include highly reliable connectivity to the public cloud and data center interconnect (DCI). Using a customer portal, subscribers will be able to order, activate, manage and monitor new cloud connectivity and DCI services, on demand. Exanova automates the workflow of the operations tasks required to fulfil customer requests, interfacing with underlying multi-vendor network infrastructure, thus dramatically reducing the time to deploy new services. For ongoing 24/7 assurance, performance and utilization metrics are ingested and analyzed in real time, to provide operations personnel a unified view of the state of the network for rapid troubleshooting, and to provide corporate customers accurate SLA metrics.

“This win represents a significant addition to our European footprint and we look forward to supporting the growth of our customers in the region as they transform their network operations,” said Jay McMullan, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, CENX. “Exanova Service Intelligence enables new, revenue-generating services, in combination with scalability and extensibility, which together provide a future-proof solution for the quick adoption of NFV and SDN infrastructure.”

htt://www.exanova.com

Nokia Plans Return to Mobile Phones

Nearly three years after selling its device business to Microsoft, Nokia is preparing to return to the mobile phone business on a global basis.

Nokia is working with a newly founded company based in Finland that is called HMD global Oy (HMD). This new company will have an exclusive global license to create Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets for the next ten years and Nokia Technologies will receive royalty payments. HMD will be headed by Arto Nummela, who previously held senior positions at Nokia and is currently the head of Microsoft's Mobile Devices business for Greater Asia, Middle East and Africa, as well as Microsoft's global Feature Phones business.

In addition, HMD has conditionally agreed to acquire from Microsoft the rights to use the Nokia brand on feature phones, and certain related design rights. The Microsoft transaction is expected to close in H2 2016. Together these agreements would make HMD the sole global licensee for all types of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets. HMD intends to invest over USD 500 million over the next three years to support the global marketing of Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets.

The remainder of Microsoft's feature phone business assets, including manufacturing, sales and distribution, will be acquired by FIH Mobile Limited (FIH), a subsidiary of Hon Hai Precision Industries (trading as Foxconn Technology Group).  HMD and Nokia Technologies have signed an agreement with FIH to establish a collaboration framework to support the building of a global business for Nokia-branded mobile phones and tablets.

"Today marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the Nokia brand in an industry where Nokia remains a truly iconic name. Instead of Nokia returning to manufacturing mobile phones itself, HMD plans to produce mobile phones and tablets that can leverage and grow the value of the Nokia brand in global markets. Working with HMD and FIH will let us participate in one of the largest consumer electronics markets in the world while staying true to our licensing business model," stated Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies.

http://www.nokia.com
http://www.hmdglobal.com

Video: Secure Cloud Connections - a perspective by Patrick Shutt @UnitasGlobal

Enterprises have absolute aspirations to move from their on-premise infrastructure to the hyperscale cloud.

Patrick Shutt, CEO of Unitas Global, speaks about building secure connections to the cloud for enterprises.

https://youtu.be/Oqx6S4xlZq4





Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Metaswitch Launches Managed Voice Core in the Cloud

Metaswitch Networks launched seven new products and services for helping network operators quickly create, enhance and protect valuable services for businesses and consumers. These include:

MetaSphere Cloud Service -- the core of an operator's communications network deliverable from a cloud infrastructure that is 100 percent managed and maintained by Metaswitch, allowing operators to focus their resources on new business growth and service offerings. With a voice core in the cloud, operators will find it easier to manage, purchase and grow their communication services, quickly introducing new features from Metaswitch's most advanced virtualized telephony application servers.

Metaswitch Robocall Blocking Service -- a new service that protects operators' customers by automatically dropping calls from a database of numbers that have been blacklisted by service providers around the globe. This cloud-based service also leverages complex, weighted algorithms that determine the relative threat posed by a calling party based on geolocation, call volume and other historical trend data.

Insights - System Security Review -- this new service provides a rigorous review of everything from network functions to applications servers and management systems, enabling carriers to act on potential security issues and protect themselves from service theft. This systematic, multi-step process covers many aspects of operators' service delivery strategies, including network access connectivity, internal security practices and end user password strength.

vNOW - NFV Starter Kit -- this offering enables operators to step quickly into network virtualization without adding resources or skill sets. Building on standard Dell platforms, Metaswitch will install and configure VMware virtualization components, then apply the appropriate Metaswitch virtualized network functions.

MetaView Analytics -- this suite of analytical tools gives network operators actionable insight into the performance of their network, their customers' quality of experience and end-user use of unified communication services delivered from their Metaswitch platforms. Advanced data mining tools, interactive dashboards and reports enable operators to increase network efficiency, dramatically reduce repair times for customer quality issues, and adjust their product packages, strategies and pricing in line with actual customer behaviors and predicted use.

Accession Meeting 2.0 -- unified communications that scales to support hundreds of meeting attendees, adding webinar capabilities for thousands of participants, integrating with legacy video conference bridges and offering a low-cost alternative to today's in-room conferencing systems. A standalone client also extends collaboration capabilities to a broader addressable market, allowing service providers to deliver a differentiated, best-in-class complete web and video conferencing portfolio.

MarketVisions Complete -- featuring a new expansion to give network operators a suite of engineering, marketing and business planning resources that equip them to model, build and launch a leading business communications service fast. MarketVisions Complete includes training and consultative services; multivendor reference architectures; exclusive, dedicated, engineering resources; and a powerful configuration validation solution.

"Metaswitch has never been more focused or better prepared to help network operators take advantage of the growth opportunities enabled by a move to software infrastructures, and the products and solutions announced today are a strong testament to that," said Martin Lund, CEO of Metaswitch.

The launch coincides with the company's Metaswitch Forum 2016, which is taking place this week in Scottsdale, Arizona.

http://www.metaswitch.com/forum-2016


IHS: Carrier SDN Market to Grow at a 98% CAGR from 2015 to 2020

The service provider SDN market, including hardware, software and services, is forecast to grow from $289 million in 2015 to $8.7 billion in 2020, with a 2015–2020 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 98 percent, according to IHS.  Some highlights:

  • SDN and NFV represent the shift from a hardware focus to software one: Software and outsourced services will comprise 46 percent of SDN revenue in 2020
  • SDN orchestration and controller software revenue is forecast to grow to over $1.8 billion in 2020
  • But by 2020, there will be more value in SDN apps than in orchestration and control, which will be priced reasonably due to competitive pressure

https://www.infonetics.com/market-research-report-highlights.asp

IEEE 802.3 YANG Data Model Study Group Gets Underway

A new IEEE 802.3 YANG Data Model Study Group has been formed to help build consensus on best network management practices and lead IEEE 802.3 YANG standardization efforts to ensure uniform definition of data models used to configure instances of the IEEE 802.3 standard in network architectures adopting the principles of Software Defined Networking (SDN).
”The introduction of six new Ethernet speeds over the next five years, ranging from 2.5 Gb/s to 400 Gb/s, increases the challenges of managing and configuring services in increasingly complex data networks,” said Marek Hajduczenia, network architect, Principal Engineer, Bright House Networks. “YANG data models are emerging as the management schema for the future due to their functionality and operational consistency across different platforms, vendors, and implementations. Their pervasive support also helps drive forward SDN principles by enabling automated network service provisioning.”

“Because Ethernet is pervasive across many different application areas, it’s important that we leverage the flexibility and extensibility of YANG data models to ensure interoperability, and to streamline industry network management practices that can help save on time and costs,” said Yan Zhuang, acting chair, IEEE 802.3 YANG Data Model Study Group and system engineer, Huawei Technologies. “We look forward to defining the study group’s goals at our first meeting in May and anticipate active participation and dialogue from the industry at large.”

The IEEE 802.3 May 2016 Interim Meeting will be held May 23 to May 27, 2016 in Whistler, British Columbia.

http://www.ieee.org

Video: Aquacomms - Introducing AEConnect Transatlantic Cable System

AEConnect is a new  sub-sea cable system that extends from Long Island, New York to a corresponding cable landing station on the west coast of Ireland.

Greg Varisco, COO of Aquacomms, introduces the key capabilities of AEConnect, which boasts capacity of 130 wavelengths, each at 100Gbps.





https://youtu.be/SVjGxgPe8uY



Riverbed Extends its Visibility in the Cloud

Riverbed is rolling out a series of enhancements to its SteelCentral platform to improve monitoring across the cloud and virtualized environments. These include:

  • extending monitoring capabilities into the cloud with Microsoft Azure and AWS
  • platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and containerized environments
  • large-scale virtualized network performance monitoring
  • expanded unified communications (UC) monitoring with new support for Skype for Business
  • and next generation diagnostics and troubleshooting.

“This release of SteelCentral delivers significant enhancements in cloud-based performance monitoring, along with new capabilities that will help accelerate business execution and boost productivity,” said Mike Sargent, SVP, General Manager of SteelCentral at Riverbed. “As more enterprises embrace digital and cloud services, SteelCentral provides the high definition visibility that is critical to enabling and assuring the success of these transformational initiatives. SteelCentral is the only performance management solution that can deliver comprehensive insight into end user experience, application, network, and infrastructure performance in a unified, central view. It truly is the command center for application performance for the digital enterprise.”

http://www.riverbed.com
http://www.riverbed.com/products/steelcentral/index.html

Avanan Raises $14.9 Million for Cloud Security

Avanan, a start-up headquartered in New York City with R&D in Tel Aviv, announced $14.9 million in Series A financing for its cloud security technology.

Avanan’s Cloud Security Platform  helps enterprises to protect Amazon AWS, Box, Google, Office 365, or any other Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) product, using preconfigured cloud-based versions of security technology from more than 60 leading vendors such as Check Point, Symantec, McAfee, Palo Alto Networks, Sophos and Kaspersky.

The funding round was led by Greenfield Cities Holdings with participation from both of Avanan’s existing investors, Magma VC and StageOne Ventures. The round brings the company’s total capital raised to $16.4 million.

“Companies that leverage SaaS platforms such as Office 365 are looking for ways to ensure these platforms are being used in a secure and compliant manner. Avanan created the solution they need with the security technologies they already trust. With their current list of partnerships and integrations, most recognized brands in the industry are on Avanan’s platform,” said Yuda Doron, co-founder and head of GFC. “We’ve been impressed with the fast adoption of the Avanan vision by customers and look forward to partnering for continued growth.”

Avanan was founded in 2014 by the team that led ForeScout’s successful pivot to Network Access Control.

http://www.avanan.com

NETSCOUT Debuts Updated Wi-Fi Field Tester

NETSCOUT SYSTEMS introduced its latest AirCheck Handheld Wireless Tester featuring enhancements such as troubleshooting and diagnosing 802.11ac networks, access point backhaul testing, and free access to the Link-Live™ Cloud dashboard for more effective results management.

NETSCOUT said it developed the AirCheck G2 wireless tester to enable front-line IT to quickly and easily identify issues responsible for spotty connections, dead zones, and slow speeds, as well as locating rogue access points and unauthorized devices.

New AirCheck G2 enhancements include:

  • 802.11ac 3×3 radio to support next-generation wireless initiatives
  • Link-Live integration for collaboration, reporting and results management
  • 5” touchscreen display for improved ease-of-use
  • Ethernet tests for AP backhaul verification


http://www.netscout.com/

Monday, May 16, 2016

Nokia Bell Labs Hits 10 Gbps Symmetrical with XG-Cable

Nokia Bell Labs has demonstrated a prototype XG-CABLE solution that achieves full duplex 10 Gbps rates over a traditional Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) cable systems and based on CableLabs' DOCSIS 3.1 architecture.

Specifically, the XG-CABLE test used two different cable scenarios:

  • Leveraging a point-to-point 100m coaxial drop cable, XG-CABLE was able to deliver 10 Gbps symmetric data speeds with 1.2 Ghz of spectrum 
  • Using HFC network topologies that utilize a Fiber-to-the-Last-Amplifier (point-to-multipoint coax drop) approach, XG-CABLE was able to deliver 7.5 Gbps of symmetrical data speeds.

Nokia Bell Lab's XG-CABLE utilizes innovative echo canceling technologies developed by Bell Labs to achieve full duplex transmission of 10 Gbps upstream and 10 Gbps downstream simultaneously.

"The XG-CABLE proof of concept is a great example of our ongoing effort and commitment to provide the cable industry with the latest innovations and technology needed to effectively address the growing demand for gigabit services. The proof of concept demonstrates that providing 10 Gbps symmetrical services over HFC networks is a real possibility for operators; it is an important achievement that will define the future capabilities and ultra-broadband services cable providers are able to deliver," stated Federico Guillén, President of Fixed Networks, Nokia.

A whitepaper is posted online.

http://resources.alcatel-lucent.com/asset/195765
http://www.nokia.com

Ericsson Develops Wi-Fi on Wheels for Comcast

Ericsson has packed six Wi-Fi access points into a Ford Transit 350 cargo van for what it calls "Wi-Fi on Wheels."

The mobile Wi-Fi unit, which has an range of about 500 feet, could provid coverage to as many as 2,500 people. It was developed in conjunction with Comcast.

The van is equipped for multiple network access connections, non-line-of-sight (NLOS) microwave backhaul, and onboard backup power and modular deployment elements.

"Driving innovation means not only bringing the best technology, but also enabling it to be used in new ways,” explains Angel Ruiz, President and CEO of Ericsson North America. "This new rapid deployment solution will mean fast dispatch and hassle-free setup for Comcast, so they can bring coverage to new hard-to-reach locations."

http://www.ericsson.com

Video: Diversity of Connectivity is Key, Data Center Demand is Off the Charts

Demand for data center capacity is off-the-charts in many U.S. markets, such as Ashburn, Chicago, Dallas and Silicon Valley.

Tommy Gwinner, Director of Technology for Infomart Data Centers, discusses this booming demand and how purchasers are now requiring very specific network diversity options.

 

https://youtu.be/3f7MR4WOBtk


Video: Boom in the Dallas Data Center Market

Dallas is among the hottest markets for data center capacity in the United States. Aubrey Putney, Director of Marketing & Sales Operations at Infomart Data Centers, describes how the iconic "Crystal Palace" facility has been upgraded with a carrier-neutral, meet-me-room.

Infomart Data Centers has waived cross connect fees and built shared conduit pathways to bring in more carriers.

 

https://youtu.be/urE0V6kq_ZY


Video: DE-CIX - U.S. Expansion, Metro VLANs, New Frontiers

Since entering the U.S. market two years ago, DE-CIX has added over 120 networks to its Internet Exchange in New York. Ed d'Agostino, Vice President of North America for DE-CIX, says the company's positioning as a pure-play IX, rather than a data center offering IX, enables it to expand to new data centers and networks.

In this video, d'Agostino highlight's DE-CIX's unique metro VLAN solution, which is now connecting its New York and Frankfurt exchanges.


 


https://youtu.be/lbk6G2mzAkU