Sunday, August 7, 2016

Ericsson and Bombardier test LTE at 200 kmh

Ericsson and Bombardier have completed trials of LTE networks for railway solutions at simulated speeds of up to 200 kilometers per hour with the goal of supporting communications-based train control (CBTC), closed-circuit television (CCTV), voice, platform information, advertising and Wi-Fi for passengers, and other such applications.

The companies said LTE could potentially be employed for CBTC, which uses high-resolution location determination and high-capacity data communications - such as those enabled by LTE networks - to support automatic train protection, operation and supervision functions.  In the CBTC tests, the LTE networks achieved uplink and downlink latencies far below the threshold of 100 milliseconds and packet losses approaching zero (anything less than 0.5% was considered a pass mark). Quality of Service capabilities built into Ericsson's equipment also allowed for the preemption and prioritization of mission-critical railway services.

Charlotta Sund, Head of Customer Group Industry & Society at Ericsson, says: "The results of the tests performed to date are very promising and we will continue to test a variety of modems to ensure we can provide robust LTE networks for rail applications. We aim to develop solutions that ensure enhanced rail safety through communications-based train control and CCTV, as well as enhanced entertainment for passengers through services such as voice, platform information, advertising and Wi-Fi."

https://www.ericsson.com/news/2032987

MEF COO Kevin Vachon: Annual Meeting Highlights & MEF16 Preview

MEF is focused on enabling agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services over automated, virtualized, and interconnected networks.

MEF COO Kevin Vachon shares highlights on key LSO and open initiative work at MEF’s Annual Meeting in Boston and provides a preview of the MEF16 event in Baltimore, 7-10 November.

See video: https://youtu.be/o2X5R7i9E40


MEF Launches 5G, SD WAN & Cloud Exchange Projects

MEF is advancing development of Third Network services based on LSO, SDN, and NFV encapsulated in OpenCS use cases and OpenLSO capabilities.

MEF CTO Pascal Menezes discusses the launch of new projects for 5G, SD WAN & Cloud Exchange technology domains that will be orchestrated using LSO APIs.

Project directors will coordinate use cases, information models, and APIs needed for orchestrating services across these and other domains.

See video:  https://youtu.be/bL1y14I4EcQ

Friday, August 5, 2016

MEF Looks to Certify Lifecycle Service Orchestration

MEF is now looking to take the next big step forward with certification of Third Network services enabled by LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration), says Bob Mandeville, President of Iometrix.

The pivotal moment will come at this fall’s MEF16 event on November 7-10 in Baltimore.


See video: https://youtu.be/I0Kor42LX40




Microsoft Azure Previews Nvidia GPU VMs

Microsoft is getting ready to offer Azure N-Series Virtual Machines, billed as "the fastest GPUs in the public cloud," powered by NVIDIA’s GPUs. The service will enable users to run GPU-accelerated workloads and visualize them while paying on a per-minute of usage basis.

The Azure Our N-Series VMs are split into two categories: NC-Series (compute-focused GPUs) for compute intensive HPC workloads using CUDA or OpenCL and powered by Tesla K80 GPUs; and the NV-Series for visualization of desktop accelerated applications and powered by Tesla M60 GPUs.

Microsoft noted that its service, unlike other providers, will expose the GPUs through discreet device assignment (DDA) which results in close to bare-metal performance.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/azure-n-series-preview-availability/

Vantage Data Centers Plans Second 9-acre campus in Santa Clara

Vantage Data Centers plans to build a new, 9-acre campus in Santa Clara, California. The newly announced expansion will deliver 51MW of critical IT load. This increased capacity is in addition to a 21MW expansion of the existing campus (V5 and V6), which was announced in May of 2016.

The new 9-acre site is located approximately 2 miles from Vantage's existing Santa Clara campus. The company anticipates four separate data center buildings and a dedicated substation, with construction starting on the site in 2017. Capacity will be delivered in phases, beginning in 2018.

“Today’s 51MW new campus announcement underscores Vantage’s strong commitment to supporting our customers’ long term growth in Santa Clara”, said Sureel Choksi, President and CEO, Vantage Data Centers. “When combined with the 21MW planned expansion of our existing campus, Vantage has secured 72MW of total expansion capacity in this highly constrained market, solidifying its position as Santa Clara’s leading wholesale data center services provider.”

Some company highlights:


  • Vantage’s $295M bank facility upsizing, completed in February 2016, increased the credit facility to $570M in total and will support continued growth and expansion.
  • Vantage has 15MW of capacity under construction at its first Santa Clara campus, including its new 6MW V4 facility, all of which are scheduled for completion by fall of 2016. Total campus operational critical IT load will be 51MW by the end of 2016.
  • Vantage has initiated development of 21MW of additional expansion on its first Santa Clara campus, which will deliver capacity in phases beginning in the second half of 2017.


http://www.vantagedatacenters.com/2016/08/04/vantage-continues-santa-clara-growth-with-new-51mw-data-center-campus/

Thursday, August 4, 2016

CENX: Service Orchestration Encompasses Many Functions

MEF has published its LSO reference architecture. Orchestration encompasses a wide variety of functions, says Marie Fiala Timlin, Director of Marketing for CENX. These capabilities include fulfillment control, security policy, analytics and assurance -- areas that CENX focuses on.

See video: https://youtu.be/QBsh9T5OCD8




Facebook and Google Agree on 48v Open Rack Standard Architecture

Google and Facebook have collaborated on an Open Rack v2.0 Standard, which specifies a 48V power architecture with a modular, shallow-depth form factor that enables high-density deployment of Open Compute Platform (OCP) racks into data centers with limited space.

In a blog posting, Google's Debosmita Das and Mike Lau note that Google developed and has extensively deployed a 48V ecosystem with payloads utilizing 48V to Point-of-Load technology in its data centers since 2010.  Google said its experience with 48v has resulted in a significant reduction in losses and increased efficiency compared to 12V solutions, thereby saving millions of dollars and kilowatt hours.

https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/

Here's what Happened at Open Compute Project Summit


In the five years since its launch, the Open Compute Project (OCP) has chalked up dozens of innovations and technical specification contributions that have been implemented by hyperscale data center operators. The ambitions have now expanded beyond rack hardware to include switching, storage, silicon photonics,  a telemetry framework, an open-source analytics platform and new domain of solutions adapted for telecom operators. Here are some...

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Arista Posts Q2 Revenue of $269 Million, up 11% YoY

Arista Networks reported Q2 revenue of $268.7 million, an increase of 11.0% compared to the first quarter of 2016, and an increase of 37.4% from the second quarter of 2015. Some highlights:

  • GAAP gross margin of 63.8%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 64.0% in the first quarter of 2016 and 65.4% in the second quarter of 2015.
  • Non-GAAP gross margin of 64.1%, compared to non-GAAP gross margin of 64.4% in the first quarter of 2016 and 65.8% in the second quarter of 2015.
  • GAAP net income of $38.9 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $24.0 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2015.

"We are in the midst of a multi-year shift from legacy IT silos to cloud networking,” stated Jayshree Ullal, Arista President and CEO. “This quarter puts Arista at a billion-dollar run rate, which is a fitting validation of this trend, based on our innovative cloud-class, cloud-scale and cloud-converged offerings.”

Commenting on the company's financial results, Ita Brennan, Arista’s CFO, said, “We are pleased with our financial performance in the second quarter which reflects strong adoption of our new products and consistent operational execution.”

http://investors.arista.com/company/investors-relations/press-releases/press-release-details/2016/Arista-Networks-Inc-Reports-Second-Quarter-2016-Financial-Results/default.aspx

Nokia’s Networks Business Drops 11% YoY

Nokia reported non-IFRS net sales in Q2 2016 of EUR 5.7 billion down from EUR 6.4 billion on a comparable combined company basis (Alcatel-Lucent + Nokia).

The company said it intends to accelerate its cost savings program as it works to integrate Alcatel-Lucent. Related to this, Nokia recorded approximately EUR 600 million of restructuring and associated charges in the second quarter 2016.

Some highlights from the report:

Nokia Networks

Nokia’s Networks business experienced an 11% year-on-year net sales decrease in Q2 2016, which the company said reflected its outlook for the wireless infrastructure market. Net sales were weak in Mobile Networks within Ultra Broadband Networks, and accounted for approximately 80% of the overall decrease in Nokia’s Networks business.

IP Networks and Applications also contributed to the decrease. This was partially offset by strong growth in Fixed Networks within Ultra Broadband Networks.

In Q2 2016, gross margin of 37.4% and operating margin of 6.0% were adversely affected by a customer in Latin America undergoing judicial recovery. Excluding this, gross margin would have been approximately 38% and operating margin would have been nearly 7%.

Nokia Technologies

This division also experienced an 11% year-on-year net sales decrease in Q2 2016. Excluding the impact of non-recurring items that benefitted the year ago quarter, Nokia Technologies net sales would have grown by approximately 10% year-on-year, primarily due to higher intellectual property licensing income from existing licensees.

Rajeev Suri, Nokia's President and CEO, commented:

"Nokia’s second quarter results were largely as expected and reflect solid execution in the midst of a challenging market and the ongoing integration of Alcatel-Lucent. When we announced our first quarter results, I said that we did not expect to see typical seasonal patterns in the first half of the year, and that prediction proved to be correct. Net sales were slightly up sequentially in Q2, while operating margin was slightly down, in part reflecting a meaningful negative impact from one of our major customers in Latin America."

"The decline of our topline remains a concern, and reflects challenging market conditions. While we do not expect those conditions to improve in the near term, we believe we are well-positioned given the scope of our portfolio, focus on operational discipline, strengthening sales execution, and opportunities in the evolution from 4G towards 5G."

http://company.nokia.com/en/system/files/download/investors/nokia_results_2016_q2b.pdf

Windstream Revenue Dips in Q2, Profitability Rises

Windstream reported Q2 2016 total revenue of $1.36 billion and total service revenues of $1.33 billion, to $1.42 billion and $1.38 billion, respectively, year-over-year. Operating income was $155 million compared to $79 million in the period a year ago. Net income was $1.5 million or 1 cent per share compared to a loss of $111 million or a loss of $1.13 per share a year ago.


  • Consumer and small business ILEC service revenues were $395 million, a decrease of 2 percent from the same period a year ago. Consumer service revenues were $311 million, a decrease of 1 percent year-over-year. Consumer average revenue per household increased 1 percent sequentially and 5 percent year-over-year driven partly by higher consumer adoption rates of premium Internet speeds.
  • Carrier service revenues were $160 million, a decrease of 7 percent year-over-year. Core carrier and wholesale revenues were $149 million, a decrease of $1 million sequentially.
  • Enterprise service revenues were $491 million, an increase of 3 percent year-over-year. Enterprise contribution margin was $80 million, or 15.7 percent, an increase of $32 million, or 68 percent, year-over-year, and an increase of $9 million, or 13 percent, sequentially.
  • Small business CLEC service revenues were $125 million, a 12 percent decrease year-over-year. Small business CLEC contribution margin remained steady sequentially at $41 million, or 33 percent.
  • Windstream affirmed its previously provided financial guidance for the year with improved cash interest and cash tax guidance.

"We are making solid progress on achieving our 2016 goals. Each business unit is executing an operational strategy to advance the goal of stabilizing and growing operating cash flow over time. We are making the right investments and optimizing the balance sheet. All of which will drive improving results and create value for investors," said Tony Thomas, president and chief executive officer at Windstream.

http://investor.windstream.com/investors/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=982861

CenturyLink Posts Q2 Revenue of $4.4 Billion, Flat Sales but Higher Profits

CenturyLink reported Q2 2016 revenue of $4.40 billion, compared to $4.42 billion in second quarter 2015. Declines in legacy and data integration revenues were partially offset by higher strategic revenues and increased high-cost support revenues related to Connect America Fund Phase 2 (CAF Phase 2) in second quarter 2016.

Net income and diluted earnings per share (EPS) were $196 million and $0.36, respectively, for second quarter 2016, compared to $143 million and $0.26, respectively, for second quarter 2015. The increase in diluted EPS was due to higher net income and the impact of the lower number of shares outstanding due to share repurchases in 2015.

"CenturyLink delivered solid second quarter financial results with total operating revenues and core revenues in line with our guidance, and operating cash flow and adjusted diluted earnings per share that exceeded our previous guidance," said Glen F. Post III, chief executive officer and president. "Our new sales and marketing leadership team continues to refine our sales channels and associated go-to-market strategies for the Business market, and continues to pivot toward higher-value bundled solutions for the Consumer market. While second quarter Consumer subscriber metrics were softer than anticipated, we expect to see an improvement in unit trends in the second half of the year.

"We also are continuing to invest with a 'network first' focus on delivering higher broadband speeds and in the transformation and virtualization of our network infrastructure through the deployment of NFV4 and SDN5 technologies. We ended the quarter with more than 8.4 million addressable households and businesses with 40 Mbps or higher speeds, including 1.2 million GPON-enabled addressable units. We expect to reach 11 million 40 Mbps or higher, including 2 million GPON-enabled addressable households and businesses by year-end 2017," concluded Post.

http://www.centurylink.com



Sedona Raises $13.6M for IP/Optical Converged Control

Sedona Systems, a start-up based in Israel with offices in Cupertino, California, announced $13.6 million in Series B funding for its IP/optical converged control platform for service provider networks.

Sedona said its NetFusion software platform enables coordinated control of the IP and Optical layers in multi-vendor networks, automatically creating a live map of all traffic paths and cross-connections. Following this unique network discovery process, multilayer apps are executed over the platform for tasks ranging from coordinated maintenance to automatic optimization, from network restoration to enabling broadband services on demand. Using Sedona, service providers can run their networks “hotter” and save up to 50% of their expansion capex.

“Service provider networks are going through a generational change,” said Yossi Wellingstein, Sedona’s CEO. “Software and virtualization have become crucial tools in facing the tidal wave of demand for network services. Sedona helps service providers rise to the challenge by using software to fuse the hitherto separate optical and IP layers into one agile and flexible network.”

The new funding round was led by Intel Capital. NextStar also joined as a new investor and previous investor Bessemer Venture Partners participated fully in the round. This brings total investment in the company to $19.6 million.

http://sedonasys.com/index.php/company/news-events/216-sedona-systems-closes-13-6m-series-b-funding

NEC and Netcracker Provide virtualized LTE core to ITRI Taiwan

NEC and its subsidiary Netcracker Technology have provided a virtualized Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) solution to the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), a non-profit research institute working under the Ministry of Economic Affairs in Taiwan.

The NEC/Netcracker vEPC solution delivers virtualized network functions, such as the Mobility Management Entity (MME) that accommodates LTE handset authentication and handover controls, and the Serving Gateway (S-GW)/PDN Gateway (P-GW) for audio and packet processing, enabling them to run on a general-purpose IA server.

The vEPC was adopted by ITRI for an experimental network established for the Small Cell LTE Plugfest compatibility testing event. Ten Taiwanese small-cell LTE base station manufacturers participated in this event, seeking to verify functions for their base stations, enhance the competiveness of their systems and explore new business opportunities.

“We are very pleased to have recently hosted a successful Plugfest compatibility testing event, utilizing the world’s first commercially available vEPC solution from NEC and Netcracker,” said Dr. Sheng-Ching Cheng, Deputy General Director of the Information and Communications Research Laboratories of ITRI. “We will remain focused on undertaking R&D activities in cooperation with NEC, primarily with respect to Software Defined Networking (SDN), Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and the Internet of Things (IoT), aiming to develop new business opportunities and increase the competitiveness of the telecommunications equipment industry in Taiwan.”

http://www.netcracker.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Global Capacity's Mary Stanhope: Ethernet Drives Today's Hybrid WANs

Ethernet continues to drives the next wave of hybrid networks or software-defined WANs, says Mary Stanhope, VP of Marketing for Global Capacity, speaking at the MEF's Annual Members Meeting in Boston.

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

MEF16 - November 7-10, 2016, Baltimore


ONF's Dan Pitt: SDN Meets MEF's Lifecycle Service Orchestration

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has been working with the MEF for over a year to bring SDN and NFV into the scope of Carrier Ethernet, says Dan Pitt, Executive Director of ONF.

The focus now is on Lifecycle Service Orchestration and carrier-grade SDN into multi-carrier deployments.

See video: https://youtu.be/UYtHIjTg8H8


Wedge Networks on Security and Lifecycle Services Orchestration

Security must be an essential part of the MEF's Lifecycle Services Orchestration (LSO) and the Third Network, says Wedge Networks' CTO Hongwen Zhang. Tomorrow's cloud-based economy will rely on the security of network services.

Wedge Networks is proposing a Security as a Service Ad Hoc Working Group within the MEF.



MEF Readies University Partnership Program

The MEF is looking to kick-off a new University Partnership program aimed at fostering collaboration with academia, says Lance Hassan, MEF Director and Principal Engineer at Charter Communications. The first site will be Purdue.

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


See also