Sunday, July 3, 2016

Intel Teams with BMW and MobilEye for Autonomous Driving

BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye announced an alliance to combine their strengths in automotive, technology and computer vision to bring solutions for highly and fully automated driving into series production by 2021.

In a press conference in Munich, the companies said their goal is to develop future-proofed solutions that enable the drivers to not only take their hands off the steering wheel, but reach the so called “eyes off” (level 3) and ultimately the “mind off” (level 4) level transforming the driver’s in-car time into leisure or work time. This level of autonomy would enable the vehicle, on a technical level, to achieve the final stage of traveling “driver off” (level 5) without a human driver inside. The timeline calls for self-driving fleets by 2021.

“Highly autonomous cars and everything they connect to will require powerful and reliable electronic brains to make them smart enough to navigate traffic and avoid accidents,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “This partnership between BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye will help us to quickly deliver on our vision to reinvent the driving experience. We bring a broad set of in-vehicle and cloud computing, connectivity, safety and security, and machine-learning assets to this collaboration enabling a truly end-to-end solution.”

http://www.intel.com

BT to offer Direct Access to Oracle Cloud

BT will begin offering direct access to the Oracle Cloud in the final quarter of calendar year 2016.

With BT Cloud Connect for Oracle FastConnect, customers can use a private connection based on BT’s IP Connect VPN service, which is designed to predictably, securely and consistently exchange large volumes of data between the Oracle Cloud and their own on-premises environment. BT will connect directly to Oracle’s Cloud locations in Amsterdam and London, giving customers access from anywhere in the world to services provided in European data centres. Through pre-provisioning via BT Cloud Connect, BT can cut the typical dedicated connection deployment time from months to days.

The Oracle Cloud supports 70 million users and more than 34 billion transactions each day and runs in 19 data centres around the world.

“Cloud is the fastest growing part of Oracle’s business,” said Thomas Kurian, president of Product Development, Oracle.“This partnership will help our customers leveraging the Oracle Cloud execute on their business strategies by taking advantage of the breadth and depth of BT’s global network and its Cloud Connect offering for their high bandwidth connectivity needs.”

http://www.btplc.com/
http://www.oracle.com

Deutsche Telekom Opens Narrow-Band IoT Prototyping Hub

Deutsche Telekom has established a Narrow-Band IoT (NB-IoT) Prototyping Hub that brings existing and potential customers together with Deutsche Telekom’s pool of specialized and highly skilled IoT developers. The aim is to increase time-to-market speed to the benefit of business and consumers alike. Most importantly, Deutsche Telekom’s B2B customers will be able to gain crucial market insights which will allow for rapid market entry, as well as build flexible and highly scalable NB-IoT applications and business models that will be effective for years to come.

DT said Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology is currently one of the most widely discussed innovations in M2M communication for the Internet of Things, with analysts anticipating around three billion LPWA connections by 2023. The technology is especially optimized for applications with low bandwidth requirements (from 100bit/s to just a few Kbit/s), such as smart parking, smart metering or smart waste management, and enables a much deeper indoor penetration than currently available (+20db compared to GSM). With low power consumption and a battery life of up to 10 years, the technology is environmentally friendly and ideal for mass production and deployment.

"Our aim is to provide our customers with IoT solutions that work worldwide based on international standards," says Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, Chief Technology Officer, Deutsche Telekom. "The NB-IoT technology is a future-proof and reliable solution that supports international operations and will enable a meaningful and broad IoT ecosystem for our customers in the coming years."

https://www.telekom.com/innovation/317738

BT Smart Hub Packs 7 Wi-Fi Antennas

BT is launching a new Smart Hub that is optimised for strong Wi-Fi performance.  It comes with 7 antennas and the ability to deliver 3x3 11b/g/n/ac in the 2GHz band, and 4x4 11a/n/ac in the 5 GHz band. It also comes with the latest chipset and has built in advanced filters that automatically block interference.

Pete Oliver, MD consumer, commercial, marketing and digital, BT, said:“Customers want a quality connection throughout their homes and the new BT Smart Hub delivers the UK’s most powerful wi-fi signal so customers can enjoy wi-fi in more places. It’s packed with the latest wi-fi technology and is the only router from a major UK broadband provider to offer 7 antennas to offer unbeatable wi-fi range”.

http://www.btplc.com/news/#/pressreleases/bt-smart-hub-launches-with-the-uk-s-most-powerful-wi-fi-signal-1446529

MWC Shanghai Attended by 53,000 Visitors

This year's Mobile World Congress Shanghai, held 29 June – 1 July, attracted 53,000 visitors from 104 countries. The event hosted nearly 550 exhibitors, with 64 percent of exhibiting companies coming from outside of China. The conference programme attracted more than 4,100 attendees, with over 57 per cent of delegates holding C-level positions, including over 300 CEOs. Nearly 840 international media and industry analysts attended the event.

“We are thrilled with the results of our 2016 Mobile World Congress Shanghai, which set new records for attendance and exhibition,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. “This was our largest and most ambitious event in Asia, with many new event features and programmes for business attendees and consumers alike. It truly showcased the power of mobile and its impact in our everyday lives.”

http://www.gsma.com

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Cisco and IBM Collaborate on Cloud-based Apps

IBM and Cisco will form a suite of cloud-based workplace tools and applications infused with IBM Watson.

Specifically, Cisco Spark and WebEx collaborative workspace platforms will be integrated with IBM’s leading cloud collaboration solutions, including Verse and Connections, and underpinned by IBM’s cognitive computing capabilities. The joint solutions will utilize IBM Watson and Connections APIs as well as Cisco Spark and WebEx APIs.

“The irony of many workforce tools available today is that with because there are so many to choose from, they can reduce employee effectiveness,” said Inhi Cho, General Manager, IBM Collaboration Solutions. “With our combined technology strengths and understanding of how teams get work done, IBM and Cisco can deliver the next generation of collaboration tools needed to cultivate innovation and drive productivity. By incorporating analytics and cognitive technologies into these solutions, we expect them to be able to learn what is important, in context, and take the right actions on behalf of the user.”

“At Cisco, we are constantly innovating to improve the collaboration experience and there has never been a better time to take our offerings to the next level,” said Jens Meggers, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Cisco Cloud Collaboration Technology. “That’s our goal here—to think exponentially and together with IBM create the next generation of collaboration. Now we can deliver amazing, next-generation “Intelligent Collaboration” that allows enterprises to compete in this fast moving digital world.”

http://www.cisco.com
http://www.ibm.com

Friday, July 1, 2016

Shanghai Mobile Implements VoLTE Optimization with Nokia

Shanghai Mobile, China Mobile's regional subsidiary, has implemented Nokia's Predictive Optimization technology to quickly deploy high-quality VoLTE service. Nokia has applied its technical and professional services expertise to combine big data collection, storage and processing capabilities to develop an analytics platform monitoring signalling data across the network at all times.

The companies said the deployment of this technology allowed Shanghai Mobile to quickly expand its VoLTE service from hundreds of pre-commercial users to the more than 700,000 subscribers to its 4G network in Shanghai.

Optimization of the Shanghai Mobile's VoLTE in Shanghai is underpinned by the platform, which enables end-to-end performance management and assurance across a multi-vendor core and radio network. Intelligence analytics are used to identify issues in real time, such as the setting up of a new mobile device as it joins the network, allowing Shanghai Mobile to resolve the issue and minimize impact to quality of service.

Dennis Lorenzin, head of Mobile Networks Network Planning & Optimization at Nokia, said: "This is another important achievement in a long-standing collaboration with China Mobile and its subsidiaries. Working with Shanghai Mobile we have developed a highly competitive end-to-end approach to optimizing VoLTE performance. In future, the Nokia AVA  platform will enable us to replicate this with other operators across the globe to ensure the fast roll-out of commercial VoLTE services, ensuring the provision of the highest-quality voice telephony possible."

http://www.nokia.com

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Blueprint: LSO Hackathons Bring Open Standards, Open Source

Open standards and open source projects are both essential ingredients for advancing the cause of interoperable next-generation carrier networks.

When a standards developing organization (SDO), like MEF, creates standards, those written documents themselves aren’t the end goal. Sure, the specifications look good on paper, but it takes a lot of work to turn those words and diagrams into hardware, software and services. And if there are any ambiguities in those specifications, or misinterpretations by vendors building out their products and services, interoperability could be problematic at best.

By contrast, when an open-source project is formed, the team’s job is obvious: to create software and solutions. All too often, the members of the project are focused on reaching a particularly objective. In those cases they are working in a vacuum, and might write code that works great but which can’t be abstracted to solve a more general problem. In those cases, interoperability may also be a huge issue.

The answer is clear: bring together SDOs and open-source teams to write open-source code that’s aligned with open specifications. That’s what is happening at the LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Hackathons hosted by MEF: open source teams come together to work on evolving specifications, and the end result is not only solid code but also effective feedback to MEF about its specs and architecture. Another benefit: networking experts from across the communications industry work together with software developers from the IT world face-to-face, fostering mutual understanding of the constraints of their peers in ways that lead to more effective interaction in their day jobs.


MEF recently completed its Euro16 LSO Hackathon held in Rome, Italy during April 27-29, 2016. This followed the debut LSO Hackathon at MEF’s GEN15 conference in Dallas in November 2015. (See “The MEF LSO Hackathon: Building Community, Swatting Bugs, Writing Code,” published in Telecom Ramblings.)

“The Euro16 LSO Hackathon built on what we started in the first Hackathon at GEN15,” said Daniel Bar-Lev, Director of Certification and Strategic Programs, MEF and one of the architects of the LSO Hackathon series.

One big change: not everything had to be physically present in Rome, which expanded both the technology platform and the pool of participants. “We enabled work to be done remotely, said Bar-Lev. “While most of our participants were in Rome, we had people engaged from all over the United States. We also didn’t need to bring the networking equipment to Rome. Most of it remained installed and configured in the San Francisco Bay area. Instead of shipping racks of equipment, we set up remote access and were able to position the hardware and software in the optimal places to get development done.”

Lifecycle Service Orchestration and the Third Network Vision

Why “Lifecycle Service Orchestration” for the MEF-hosted LSO Hackathons? Bar-Lev explained that it ties into MEF’s broad vision for Third Network services that combine the ubiquity and flexibility of the public Internet with the quality and assurance of private connectivity services such as CE 2.0.

 “When we think of traditional CE 2.0 services, we tend to think of them as “static” — often taking weeks or months to provision or change a service,” said Bar-Lev. “With the Third Network vision, we are driving specifications for services like CE 2.0 that can be created and modified in minutes instead of months and also be orchestrated over multiple provider networks.”

As Bar-Lev explained, the real work of MEF today is to formally define Third Network services and all the related services required to implement flexible inter-network communications. “End-to-end LSO is essential for that,” he continued, “along with SDN and NFV.”

That’s where open standards and open source projects converge, with MEF initiatives like OpenLSO (Open Lifecycle Service Orchestration) and OpenCS (Open Connectivity Services). “It’s all about creating and trying out building blocks, so we can give service providers reference designs from which they can develop their offerings more quickly. They don’t have to define those services themselves from scratch; rather they can access them at MEF, which gives them a valuable and time-saving starting point,” Bar-Lev said.

Indeed, the OpenLSO and OpenCS projects describe a wide range of L1-L7 services that service providers need in order to implement Third Network services. MEF is defining these services, and developers work on evolving elements of the reference designs during LSO Hackathons.

A Broad Array of Projects and Participants at Euro16 LSO Hackathon

According to MEF, the OpenLSO scenarios worked upon at Euro16 LSO Hackathon were OpenLSO Inter-Carrier Ordering and OpenLSO Service Function Chaining. The OpenCS use cases were OpenCS Packet WAN and OpenCS Data Center. The primary objectives of the Euro16 LSO Hackathon included:

        Accelerate the development of comprehensive OpenLSO scenarios and OpenCS use cases as part of MEF's Open Initiative for the benefit of the open source communities and the industry as a whole.

        Provide feedback to ongoing MEF projects in support of MEF's Agile Standards Development approach to specification development.

        Facilitate discussion, collaboration, and the development of ideas, sample code, and solutions that can be used for the benefit of service providers and technology providers.

        Encourage interdepartmental collaboration and communications within MEF member companies, especially between BSS/OSS/service orchestration professionals and networking service/infrastructure professionals

Strong Industry Participation at Euro16

Around 45 people participated in the Euro16 LSO Hackathon – the majority in Rome and the remainder being the AT&T Remote Team in Plano, Texas as well as other participants attending remotely from other parts of the United States.

“We brought people together with widely divergent backgrounds,” said MEF’s Bar-Lev. “We had software developers with no networking expertise, and network experts with no software skills. The core group worked in the same room in Rome for three days, with additional folks working independently and syncing up with the Rome teams when appropriate.”

The Euro16 LSO Hackathon included participants from Amartus, Amdocs, AT&T, CableLabs, CenturyLink, Ciena, Cisco, Edge Core Networks, Ericsson, Gigaspaces, HPE, Huawei, Infinera, Iometrix, Microsemi, NEC, Netcracker, NTT, ON.Lab, Telecom Italia Sparkle and ZTE. The whole process was managed by Bar-Lev and Charles Eckel, Open Source Developer Evangelist at Cisco DevNet.

“What is most important about the LSO Hackathon is that it takes the specifications that are being defined and transforms them into code”, said Eckel. “It moves that process forward dramatically. The way standards have traditionally been done is a very long process in which people spend months and sometimes years getting the details of documents figured out, and then it can turn out that the specification is almost non-implementable. With the LSO Hackathon we create code based on early versions of the specifications. This helps the process move forward because we identify what’s wrong, what’s missing, and what’s unclear, then we update the specs accordingly. This is an important reason for doing the LSO Hackathon.”

Eckels continued, “Equally important is the positive impact on the participating open source projects and open source communities. Usability issues and gaps in functionality are identified and addressed. The code implemented during the Hackathon is contributed back upstream, making those projects better suited to address the requirements mapped out by the specifications.”

Dawn Kaplan, Solution Architect, Ericsson, added: “The Euro16 LSO Hackathon aimed to solve a very crucial inter-carrier business problem that will change our industry when solved.  The ordering project in the LSO Hackathon is focused on implementing the inter-carrier ordering process between service providers. At the Hackathon we built upon the defined use case, information model, and a sample API to enable service providers to order from one another in a completely automated fashion. With the code and practices developed at the Euro16 LSO Hackathon we will come much closer to tackling this very real issue.”

“We are a new participant in the LSO Hackathon and find this initiative very important on a community level,” explained Shay Naeh, Solution Architect for NFV/SDN Projects at Cloudify by GigaSpaces. “Through the Euro16 LSO Hackathon, we are learning how to contribute our own  open source code solutions and combine them alongside closed source solutions to make the whole ecosystem work. Open source is very important to us,  and we are excited to see telcos coming around to the open source model as well. By having a close relationship with open source communities, the telcos influence those projects to take into account their operational requirements while reducing the chances of being locked into relationships with specific technology providers. You can mix and match vendor components and avoid having a vertical or silo solution. What is very important to telcos is to introduce new business services with a click of a button and this is definitely achievable.”

MEF Euro16 LSO Hackathon Report

MEF has published a new report spotlighting recent advances in development of LSO capabilities and APIs that are key to enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services over multiple provider networks. The report describes objectives, achievements, and recommendations from multiple teams of professionals who participated in the Euro16 LSO Hackathon.

Coming Next:  MEF16 LSO Hackathon, November 2016

The next MEF LSO Hackathon will be at upcoming MEF16 global networking conference, in Baltimore, November 7-10, 2016. The work will support Third Network service projects that are built upon key OpenLSO scenarios and OpenCS use cases.

“We will have different teams working on Third Network services,” said MEF’s Bar-Lev. The work will accelerate the delivery of descriptions of how to create Third network services, such as Layer 2 and Layer 3 services. Participants will get hands-on experience and involvement in identifying the different pieces of technology needed to develop those projects."

About the Author
Alan Zeichick is founder, president and principal analyst, Camden Associates. 
Follow Alan on Twitter @zeichick

IDC: Q1 Cloud Infrastructure Spending Grows 3.9% to $6.6 Billion

Sales of infrastructure products (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud IT, including public and private cloud, grew by 3.9% year over year to $6.6 billion in the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16) on slowed demand from the hyperscale public cloud sector, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker.

"A slowdown in hyperscale public cloud infrastructure deployment demand negatively impacted growth in both public cloud and cloud IT overall," said Kuba Stolarski, research director for Computing Platforms at IDC. "Private cloud deployment growth also slowed, as 2016 began with difficult comparisons to 1Q15, when server and storage refresh drove a high level of spend and high growth. As the system refresh has mostly ended, this will continue to push private cloud and, more generally, enterprise IT growth downwards in the near term. Hyperscale demand should return to higher deployment levels later this year, bolstered by service providers who have announced new datacenter builds expected to go online this year. As the market continues to work through this short term adjustment period, with geopolitical wild cards such as Brexit looming, end-customers' decisions about where and how to deploy IT resources may be impacted. If new data sovereignty concerns arise, service providers will experience added pressure to increase local datacenter presence, or face potential loss of certain customers' workloads."

Some highlights:

  • Total cloud IT infrastructure revenues climbed to a 32.3% share of overall IT revenues in 1Q16, up from 30.2% a year ago. 
  • Revenue from infrastructure sales to private cloud grew by 6.8% to $2.8 billion, and to public cloud by 1.9% to $3.9 billion. In comparison, revenue in the traditional (non-cloud) IT infrastructure segment decreased by 6.0% year over year in the first quarter, with declines in both storage and servers, and growth in Ethernet switch. 
  • Ethernet switch also showed strong year-on-year growth in both private and public cloud, 53.7% and 69.4%, respectively. 
  • Storage grew 11.5% year over year in private cloud, but declined 29.6% in public cloud. Conversely, server declined 1.1% in private cloud and grew 8.7% in public cloud.
  • From a regional perspective, vendor revenue from cloud IT infrastructure sales grew fastest in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) at 25.9% year over year in 1Q16, followed by Western Europe at 20.6%, Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) at 18.5%, Japan at 17.7%, and Canada at 9.5%. Latin America declined 21.2% year over year, while the United States declined 4.1% and Central & Eastern Europe fell just 0.1%.


http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS41567916

Faster Wi-Fi Wave 2 Approaches

The Wi-Fi Alliance is expanding its certification program to include "wave 2" features, including:

MU-MIMO: Networks with MU-MIMO are capable of multitasking by sending data to multiple devices at once rather than one-at-a-time, improving overall network efficiency and throughput
160 MHz channels: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac increases the maximum channel bandwidth from 80 MHz channels to 160 MHz channels, potentially doubling transmission speeds
Four spatial streams: Device speeds are proportional to the number of spatial streams. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac now includes support for four spatial streams, up from three spatial streams.
Extended 5 GHz channel support: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac encourages device support for a greater number of available channels in 5 GHz. Support for additional channels makes more efficient use of available spectrum and reduces interference and congestion by minimizing the number of networks operating on overlapping channels.

“In today’s world, people have more Wi-Fi devices per person and per household, and those devices require significantly more bandwidth,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi Alliance updated the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac program to meet increasing user demands and to stay ahead of emerging applications, while preserving interoperability.”

The first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac products to support new features and which comprise the test bed for interoperability certification are:

  • Broadcom BCM94709R4366AC
  • Marvell Avastar 88W8964
  • MediaTek MT7615 AP Reference Design and MT6632 STA Reference Design
  • Qualcomm IPQ8065 802.11ac 4-stream Dual-band, Dual-concurrent Router
  • Quantenna QSR1000 4x4 802.11ac Wave 2 Chipset Family


http://www.wi-ficertifiedac.com

Xirrus Announces Cloud-Managed Wave 2 Portfolio

Xirrus announced new four-and eight-radio high density 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi access points (APs), which the company says can deliver up to eight times the Wave 2 capacity per AP compared to competitive solutions.

The new four radio XD4 and eight radio XR high density Wave 2 solutions were built specifically for enterprises, educational institutions and large public venues face. Key features:

  • Full spectrum of Wave 2 Wi-Fi features on four and eight Wave 2 radios per AP, each capable of up to 3.47 Gbps (3x faster than Wave 1) and four-stream multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) compared to three-stream MU-MIMO supported by other solutions
  • Enables migration to Wave 2 over time by working with existing and new Wi-Fi clients
  • Provides software-defined radios that empower one-click upgrades for migration to a 100 percent Wave 2 network at the most appropriate time
  • Cloud-based or on-premise Xirrus Management System (XMS) offer zero-touch software provisioning and EasyPass access control
  • Four and eight radio Xirrus high density APs reduce the quantity of APs required to deliver needed capacity. Integrated controllers in each AP eliminate cost and complexity that centralized controllers associated with competitive APs and significantly reduce overall network equipment and deployment cost. 


“Xirrus offers the fastest Wi-Fi on the planet with the broadest and most flexible portfolio of Wave 2 products available on the market,” said Bruce Miller, VP of product marketing, Xirrus. “Many Wi-Fi vendors offer Wave 2, but none offer the full spectrum of features and speed available with the latest standard. Xirrus Wave 2 solutions provide the greatest flexibility, density and adaptivity at the lowest cost in the industry.  

https://www.xirrus.com/wave2/

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Transpacific FASTER Cable Enters Service with 60 Tbps Capacity

The world's highest capacity undersea cable system has entered commercial service -- six fiber pairs capable of delivering 60 Terabits per second (Tbps) of bandwidth across the Pacific.

FASTER is a 9,000km trans-Pacific cable connecting Oregon and two landing sites in Japan (Chiba and Mie prefectures). The system has extended connections to major hubs on the West Coast of the U.S. covering Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Portland and Seattle. The design features extremely low-loss fiber, without a dispersion compensation section, and the latest digital signal processing technology.

Google will have sole access to a dedicated fiber pair. This enables Google to carry 10 Tbps of traffic (100 wavelengths at 100 Gbps). In addition to greater capacity, the FASTER Cable System brings much needed diversity to East Asia, writes Alan Chin-Lun Cheung, Google Submarine Networking Infrastructure.

"From the very beginning of the project, we repeatedly said to each other, 'faster, Faster and FASTER,' and at one point it became the project name, and today it becomes a reality. This is the outcome of six members' collaborative contribution and expertise together with NEC's support," said Hiromitsu Todokoro, Chairman of the FASTER Management Committee.

"This was the first trans-Pacific submarine cable built solely by NEC Corporation, employing the latest 100Gbps digital coherent optical transmission technology. We are honored that the consortium entrusted us to build FASTER. Although we faced many challenges during the construction, I am truly glad that we were able to overcome these and to welcome this day," said Kenichi Yoneyama, Project Manager for FASTER at NEC's Submarine Network Division. "This epoch-making cable will not only bring benefits to the United States and Japan, but to the entire Asia-Pacific region."

Construction of the system was announced in August 2014 by the FASTER consortium, consisting of China Mobile International, China Telecom Global, Global Transit, Google, KDDI and Singtel.

http://www.nec.com
https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/2016/06/Google-Cloud-customers-run-at-the-speed-of-light-with-new-FASTER-undersea-pipe.html


  • Google previously invested in the 7.68 Tbps Pacific Unity cable system, which came online in 2010.

Video: The Increasing Impact of Cloud Providers in Submarine Cables

What impact are big cloud companies such as AWS, Facebook, Google and Microsoft having on the market for submarine cable capacity?

The big content providers are having a positive impact on the submarine cable market, says Julian Rawles, Principal at Julian Rawles Consulting, particularly with the development and financing of new cable projects. Traditional carriers, which have long been the main sponsors of undersea cables, are under pressure and frankly do not have the same kind of bandwidth demands as the cloud providers.

See video:
https://youtu.be/xlrnfA8GpYQ


Microsoft and Facebook to Build 160 Tbps Transatlantic Cable

Microsoft and Facebook will jointly fund a new transatlantic cable system linking Virginia Beach, Virginia to Bilbao, Spain.

The MAREA cable, which will be managed by Telxius, Telefónica’s new infrastructure company, will feature eight fiber pairs and an initial estimated design capacity of 160 Tbps. The new 6,600 km submarine cable system will take a more southern route than other transatlantic cables, which mostly connect northern Europe to the New York/New Jersey region.

Construction is set to begin in August 2016 with completion targeted for October 2017.

“In order to better serve our customers and provide the type of reliable and low-latency connectivity they deserve, we are continuing to invest in new and innovative ways to continuously upgrade both the Microsoft Cloud and the global Internet infrastructure,” said Frank Rey, director, global network acquisition, Microsoft Corp. “This marks an important new step in building the next generation infrastructure of the Internet.”

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/server-cloud/2016/05/26/microsoft-and-facebook-to-build-subsea-cable-across-atlantic/

  • Microsoft has previously announced investments with Hibernia and Aqua Comms for fiber connectivity from North America to Ireland and on to the United Kingdom.
  • Microsoft is a consortium partner in the New Cross Pacific (NCP) Cable Network.  Other partners include China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, and KT. TE SubCom its the cable supplier.


O3b Beams "Fiber from the Sky" to Amazon

O3b Networks began delivering its "Fiber from the Sky" satellite service to Tefé, a city of 60,000 located in the interior of the Amazon, about 500km from the regional capital of Manaus.

The announcement marks O3b's entrance into the Brazilian market. O3b provides high-performance connectivity to Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and government so that they enjoy a link via satellite with fiber optic quality (high throughput and low latency), enabling 3G and 4G/LTE performance. O3b satellites are located only 8,000km from Earth, far closer than traditional geostationary satellites which are 36,000km from Earth.

"Our technology provides the same high quality connectivity for a remote region as a large urban center would have,” said Sandro Barros, General Manager of O3b Networks in Brazil. “We want to bring to Tefé citizens, as well as many other similarly under-connected cities in Brazil, the ability to access the same type of connection found in Rio or São Paulo. Any city that has difficulty being connected with fiber is a potential market for O3b."

By 2018, O3b Networks will add another eight satellites to the 12 which comprise the company’s constellation today.

http://www.o3bnetworks.com/

Nokia Intros Cloud-based Diameter Engine

Nokia introduced a cloud-based Dynamic Diameter Engine (DDE) aimed at simplifying, scaling and securing control plane traffic in mobile and fixed networks.

The platform is the first to incorporate Nokia's Agile Rules Technology (A.R.T.), which is backed by more than 150 patents. It can run on commercial off the shelf hardware but is designed to run in the Telco Cloud. It is integrated with Nokia's CloudBand portfolio that hosts, orchestrates, automates, and manages virtualized network functions and services.

Nokia said its DDE serves as a control plane "traffic cop" with a rules-based engine that reduces operational expenses by allowing operators to quickly create and modify rules.

Bhaskar Gorti, president of the Applications and Analytics Business Group at Nokia: "There are plenty of established signaling control solutions that do the job as required today. However they typically are not built for virtualization and often lack the flexibility needed for the signaling requirements of IoT and VoLTE. In contrast, Nokia DDE was built for the Cloud and is ready to support emerging signaling requirements."

http://company.nokia.com/en/news/press-releases/2016/06/29/nokia-dynamic-diameter-engine-prepares-networks-to-handle-growing-iot-and-volte-signaling-traffic

Windstream Launches Cloud Connect

Windstream introduced its new Cloud Connect service for making it easier for companies to access the cloud and use it as a foundational element of their IT strategy.

Windstream Cloud Connect benefits new and existing Ethernet, MPLS and Wave (optical) customers, by providing mission critical cloud connectivity through highly secure, performance-optimized virtual and dedicated private access to third party public and private cloud providers. Bandwidth options range from 50 Mbps to 10 Gbps.  Connectivity options include switched Ethernet, MPLS, VPN or point-to-point. Initial clouds supported are AWS and Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute.

“More companies are moving mission-critical applications and business processes to the cloud to take advantage of the flexibility and cost savings that cloud infrastructure can provide, but using the public internet for such applications has a number of downsides: poor performance that affects accessibility, iffy security that puts sensitive data at risk, just to name two,” said David Works, president of Enterprise at Windstream. “The solution to that is dedicated cloud connectivity, but in the past, that has only been available to the largest companies with the deepest pockets. Now, Windstream’s Cloud Connect solution makes it possible for a much larger swath of companies to have much more reliable, faster, safer cloud connectivity.”

http://www.windstream.com

Google's Project Zero Discloses Symantec Vulnerabilities

The Project Zero team at Google published details of multiple critical vulnerabilities in all platform editions of Symantec Endpoint Protection.

The report said the "vulnerabilities are as bad as it gets", with the potentila for remote exploits corrupting kernel memory without requiring any user action.

Symantec has responded by publishing a long list of security advisories.

http://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com/2016/06/how-to-compromise-enterprise-endpoint.html

Australia's Vocus to Acquire Nextgen

Vocus Communications agreed to acquire NextGen Group, including its North West Cable system and the planned Australia Singapore Cable.

Vocus Communications, which is headquartered in Sydney, owns a significant fibre network across Australia and New Zealand. Vocus also owns and operates 18 data centers across Australia and New Zealand.

The deal includes Nextgen’s 17,000km national fiber network, the almost‐completed subsea Port Hedland to Darwin cable and the proposed Perth to Singapore subsea cable. The Nextgen Group will continue to own its data center business, Metronode, which operates as a separate entity.

Nextgen Group is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (71%) and CIMIC Group Limited (29%). Both OTPP and CIMIC Group will retain ownership of the Group after the sale.

https://www.nextgengroup.com.au
http://www.vocus.com.au/

Red Hat Insights Now Extends to Containers, OpenStack

Red Hat announced a number of enhancement to its analytics platform, including  risk assessment and remediation planning capabilities for virtualization hosts, containers, and OpenStack-based private clouds.

Red Hat Insights provides highly scalable, prescriptive analytics across users’ hybrid IT infrastructure. It is delivered as a Software-as-a-Service offering and generates tailored remediation steps that can be fully automated. The newest additions and enhancements to Red Hat Insights include:

  • Container workload analysis: Red Hat Insights now offers workload analysis for containers, giving operations the visibility they need to more safely adopt containers.
  • Actionable intelligence for OpenStack private clouds and KVM virtualized environments: Operating at both the infrastructure and guest level, Red Hat Insights now offers real-time, full-stack analysis of OpenStack-based private clouds and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization environments. 
  • Insights Action Planner: This new feature on the Insights Dashboard enables teams to identify and assign remediation tasks individually or in groups. 
  • Insights Early Access mode: A new opt-in modality gives users visibility into upcoming new features, allowing users to test out functionality, give feedback, and help shape the evolution of Red Hat Insights. 

http://www.redhat.com

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