Friday, May 20, 2016

Mitsubishi Upgrades IMEWE Submarine Cable for 100G

Mitsubishi Electric is upgrading the India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE) Cable System for 100G line rates, thereby increasing the overall capacity of the system to 5.6Tbps.

The upgrade, which will involve installing submarine line terminal equipment (SLTE) and terrestrial line terminal equipment (TLTE) in eight countries, is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2016.

The cable system comprises three optical fiber pairs with two fiber pairs on an express path, plus a terrestrial link connecting the cities of Alexandria and Suez in Egypt.

Mitsubishi Updates India-Middle East-Western Europe Cable

 Mitsubishi has upgraded the India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE) Cable Network with its 40 Gbps DWDM.  The upgrade involved installation of submarine line terminal equipment in eight countries.

The IMEWE Cable System spans 12,091 kilometers with 10 terminal stations owned by a consortium of nine leading telecom carriers in eight countries: India, Pakistan, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Italy and France.

The nine IMEWE parties which have contracted for the upgrade and are co-owners of IMEWE system are Bharti Airtel Ltd., Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, France Telecom, OGERO Telecom, Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited, Saudi Telecom Company, TATA Communications Limited, Telecom Egypt, and Telecom Italia SPARKLE S.p.A.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Video: The Hottest Markets for Data Center Construction

The top data center markets in the U.S. include northern Virginia,  NY/NJ, Chicago, Silicon Valley and Texas.

For new construction, including at the hyperscale size, the Ashburn corridor in Virginia probably tops the list, says Edward Stewart, President of Nova Mission Critical.

See video:

Video: Building UC Gateways to the Public Network - Inteliquent

UC providers need to find a network operator that can deliver a range of capabilities, including access to the public network.

Brett Scorza, CIO and EVP of Inteliquent, talks about Inteliquent's nationwide breadth and capabilities for next gen communication providers.

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ARM Announces First Multicore Test Chip Based on TSMC's 10FinFET

ARM announced the first multicore, 64-bit ARM v8-A processor test chip based on TSMC’s 10FinFET process technology.

ARM cited significant power and efficiency gains relative to TSMC’s 16FinFET+ process technology.

“Efficiency is a primary guiding principle in SoC design for premium mobile applications due to increasing demands on device performance,” said Pete Hutton, executive vice president and president of product groups, ARM. “TSMC’s 16FFLL+ process and ARM Cortex® processors have already set new standards for efficiency. Our collaboration with TSMC on 10FinFET ensures SoC-wide efficiency that will allow our silicon partners even greater room to innovate while staying within strict power budgets.”

“Our partnership with ARM offers our ecosystem rapid advances in process and IP and accelerates customer product development cycles,” said Dr. Cliff Hou, vice president, R&D, TSMC. “Together, we are defining processor technologies that continue to propel the mobile market. Our latest endeavor, enabling ARM processors on TSMC 10FinFET technology, is transformative for the end user experience across premium mobile and a diverse range of consumer electronic goods.”

Brocade Completes vEPC Performance Tests with Telefonica

Brocade completed performance benchmark testing for a virtual EPC (vEPC) implementation within the Telefonica NFV Reference Lab framework.

Specifically, he Brocade vEPC, running on Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Intel-based x86 servers in Telefonica's standardized reference test environment, was benchmarked with a broad mix of mobile traffic loads to measure both user plane and control plane performance. Telefonica's standardized NFV Reference Lab enables the deployment of complex network scenarios using Telefonica's OpenMANO stack. Brocade said its vEPC achieved user data processing rates in excess of 8.5 Mpps while serving 2 million simultaneous bearers at a rate greater than 7,000 bearer activations per second, the highest values seen by Telefonica for the reference test environment. Through this benchmark testing, the Brocade vEPC also demonstrated linear scalability in handling additional user plane traffic and control plane traffic independently with each other.

"The Brocade VCM solution is architected to take maximum advantage of virtualization to meet performance requirements. The ability to quickly scale the control and user planes independently ensures agile and reliable operations. With these capabilities, VCM can satisfy the diverse needs of service providers looking to transform their infrastructure to a cloud environment," said Nishi Kant, vice president of mobile networking at Brocade.

"The objective of the Brocade VCM benchmarking was to determine stability and capacity across a wide range of packet sizes while operating in Telefonica's standard test environment. We are pleased to see that the VCM greatly exceeded the expected performance targets. These results provide the confidence needed to continue with the adoption and deployment of virtualized solutions and to enable the transformation to software-driven networking," said Javier Gavilán, planning and technology director at Telefonica, Global CTO.

Brocade's Q2 Sales Dip to $523 Million, down 4% YoY

Brocade reported Q2 revenue of $523 million, down 4% year-over-year and down 9% quarter-over-quarter, along with GAAP diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.11, down from $0.18 in Q2 2015 and down from $0.23 in Q1 2016.

Some highlights from the quarterly report:

  • SAN product revenue was $297 million, down 5% year-over-year. The year-over-year decline was primarily the result of softer demand across the product portfolio, with Fibre Channel directors down 6%, fixed-configuration switches down 4%, and embedded server switches down 9%. Sequentially, SAN product revenue decreased 15%, with Fibre Channel directors declining 12%, fixed-configuration switches down 14%, and embedded server switches down 25%.
  • IP Networking product revenue of $132 million was down 9% year-over-year. The decline was primarily due to lower router sales, down 33%, partially offset by stronger Ethernet switch sales, up 9% from Q2 of 2015. The year-over-year decline was primarily the result of lower service provider and U.S. federal sales. Sequentially, IP Networking product revenue decreased 2% primarily due to lower Ethernet switch sales, which were down 3% from Q1 of 2016. The sequential revenue decline was primarily due to lower sales to enterprise customers as both service provider and U.S. federal revenue grew sequentially.

"Despite the challenging environment for both SAN and IP networking, Brocade had a productive second fiscal quarter," said Lloyd Carney, CEO of Brocade. "We were excited to announce our intent to acquire Ruckus Wireless, a pioneer in wireless infrastructure solutions, in a transaction that we expect to close in our third fiscal quarter. In addition, we began shipping our industry-leading Gen 6 Fibre Channel switching solution, and garnered our first customer win for the New IP-based mobility platform, Brocade Virtual Core for Mobile, that we launched earlier in the quarter. Through achievements such as these, we continue to drive the strategic evolution of our business as a pure-play networking provider for the digital transformation era. Additionally, we expect our product roadmap to deliver further advancements across our portfolio that set the stage for expanded opportunities in the quarters to come."

PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Signs on For SES-9 Satellite

PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Telkom), Indonesia’s largest satellite telecommunications services, has contracted capacity on SES' recently-launched SES-9 satellite.

As part of the agreement, SES and Telkom will co-market SES-9 capacity over Indonesia, allowing customers from across all market verticals, including video, cellular, broadband, maritime andaeronautical, to utilise satellite capacity within the country. SES-9 will be co-located with SES-7, operating in the arc around 108.2 degrees East, and has a dedicated beam that comprehensively covers the Indonesian archipelago. Scheduled to enter service mid-2016, SES-9 will deliver high-powered capacity that meets the rising demands for connectivity across Indonesia.

“Indonesia is an ideal satellite market, due to its geographic spread and large population of heavy mobile users and television viewers, and SES-9 has been designed especially to meet this demand. We are delighted to partner with Telkom to offer SES-9 satellite capacity that has the potential to deliver satellite TV across the archipelago, as well as improve the lives of millions of Indonesians and accelerate the country’s economic growth,” stated Deepak Mathur, Senior Vice President Commercial, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East at SES.

SpaceX Launches SES-9 on Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX successfully launched the SES-9 satellite using a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

SES-9 is SES’s largest satellite to serve the Asia-Pacific region. It weighed 5.3 tonnes at the launch and has 57 high-power Ku-band transponders – equivalent to 81x36 MHz transponders’ It thus provides significant expansion capacity to serve the buoyant and fast-growing video, enterprise, mobility and government sectors across Northeast Asia, South Asia, India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Boeing was lead contractor.

In addition, SES-9 is equipped with dedicated mobility beams to provide maritime coverage vessels on high-traffic maritime routes between the Suez Canal and Strait of Malacca.

The Falcon 9 rocket attempted to land on a drone ship in the Atlantic, but missed narrowly.

Digicel Pacific Boosts O3b Satellite Capacity to Papua New Guinea

Digicel Pacific will upgrade its O3b satellite capacity to Papua New Guinea (PNG) by more than 300%, with smaller capacity upgrades in both Nauru and Samoa.

O3b Networks said the upgrade is a direct response to significant growth in internet usage throughout these countries due to Digicel’s upgraded and enhanced 3G/4G mobile network featuring the high-throughput, low latency O3b connection.

“This is an exciting time for O3b, Digicel and its customers in the Pacific,” said Steve Collar, CEO of O3b Networks. “The need for this upgrade shows how hungry consumers are for affordable and quality connectivity. It is not only a sign of healthy economic growth for the region, but also offers promise to other remote locations for similar economic advancement.”

“Digicel is looking to promote data usage over the next two years, so offering aggressive data plans, and having a high-performance connection to deliver on those plans, is absolutely essential,” said Michael Murphy, CEO of Digicel Pacific. “Existing customers in PNG who have not been using data are finding the new O3b-enabled data packages affordable, and usage has already seen a big jump.”

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.

  • 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.

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:

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:

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.

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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.”


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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.