Monday, February 6, 2017

WD and Toshiba Produce First 512 Gigabit 64-Layer 3D NAND Chip

Western Digital Corp. announced pilot production of the first 512 Gigabit (Gb) three-bits-per-cell (X3) 64-layer 3D NAND (BICS3) chip in Yokkaichi, Japan, with mass production expected in the second half of 2017.

The company describes the first production as a significant achievement in a nearly three-decades-long legacy of flash memory innovations.

“The launch of the industry’s first 512Gb 64-layer 3D NAND chip is another important stride forward in the advancement of our 3D NAND technology, doubling the density from when we introduced the world’s first 64-layer architecture in July 2016,” said Dr. Siva Sivaram, executive vice president, memory technology, Western Digital. “This is a great addition to our rapidly broadening 3D NAND technology portfolio. It positions us well to continue addressing the increasing demand for storage due to rapid data growth across a wide range of customer retail, mobile and data center applications.”

The 512Gb 64-layer chip was developed jointly with the company’s technology and manufacturing partner Toshiba.

http://www.wdc.com

Western Digital Achieves First 64 Layer 3D NAND


Western Digital has achieved pilot production of 3D NAND technology in 64 layers. The technology, which WD is calling BiCS3, was developed jointly with Toshiba, its manufacturing partner. It will be initially deployed in 256 gigabit capacity and will be available in a range of capacities up to half a terabit on a single chip. WD expects commercial volumes of BiCS3 in the first half of calendar 2017. "The launch of the next generation 3D NAND...


ZeroStack Unveils 3-part Strategy for Self-Driving Clouds

ZeroStack, a start-up based in Mountain View, California focused on self-driving private clouds, unveiled its roadmap and first suite of artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities derived from machine learning.

ZeroStack’s intelligent cloud platform collects operational data and leverages machine learning to help customers make decisions about capacity planning, troubleshooting and optimized placement of applications.

ZeroStack said its vision is to extend existing functionality in three phases:

  • First, a suite of capabilities that deliver the self-driving capability in three levels of ‘cognitive’ capacity planning, a state machine to perform ‘hands-free’ upgrades, and ‘intelligent’ optimization, to manage virtual machine (VM) sizing. These capabilities guide the user to optimized use of infrastructure.
  • Next, ZeroStack will release a cloud optimization suite, including a broker that will assist with workload placement for best cost / performance outcomes.
  • The third component is automated performance troubleshooting. The capability will assist in identifying the root cause of application performance issues, such as correlating application performance with CPU, memory and IO metrics and identifying anomalies that may have caused poor performance. These capabilities can also be used to detect potential security issues.

“ZeroStack has continually worked to reduce IT’s I&O burden for enterprise customers, and our AI software strategy points the way to the future of IT operations,” said Kamesh Pemmaraju, vice president of product management at ZeroStack. “As placement and management of customer workloads increase datacenter complexity, AI will be a key requirement for cost-effective management, and we are at the forefront of using this technology.”

http://www.zerostack.com

Mellanox 100G Milestone: 100,000 Direct Attach Cables Shipped

Mellanox Technologies reached a significant milestone:  more than 100,000 units of its Direct Attach Copper Cables (DACs) have now been shipped to serve the growing demand of hyperscale Web 2.0 and cloud 100Gb/s networks.

“Hyperscale customers are selecting Mellanox cables due to our advanced manufacturing automation technologies which enable us to achieve higher quality, lower costs and to deliver in high volume,” said Amir Prescher, senior vice president of business development and general manager of the interconnect business at Mellanox. “Copper cables are the most cost effective way to connect new 25G and 50G servers to TOR switches as they enable the entire new generation of 100Gb/s networks.”

Mellanox offers a full line of 10, 25, 40, 50 and 100 Gbps copper cabling for server and storage interconnect. The two most popular options are splitter cables, which feature a 100 Gbps connector at one end for plugging into a switch port and either two 50 Gbps connectors or four 25 Gbps connectors at the other end for connecting to 25G or 50G servers. Widely used by hyperscale customers to connect servers to the top of the rack (TOR) switch, DACs have lower cost and zero power consumption when compared to optical cables and transceivers. The superior performance and low 1E-15 BER eliminates the need for FEC, which would add latency to the critical server-TOR link.

http://www.mellanox.com

Three UK to acquire UK Broadband Limited

Three UK agreed to pay £250 million to acquire UK Broadband Limited. A deferred £50 million will be made available as a credit toward an MVNO agreement on Three’s network.

 Three UK, which is a member of CK Hutchison Holdings, carries 35% of the UK’s mobile data traffic and its network covers 98% of the UK population.

 UK Broadband Ltd provides broadband access via a combination of licenced spectrum and fibre backhaul to 15,000 customers in the U.K.

 http://www.threemediacentre.co.uk/news/2016/ukbroadband-news.aspx

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Deutsche Telekom Launches Security Business Unit

Deutsche Telekom launched a new Telekom Security business unit with a goal of double digit growth in cyber security services.

Anette Bronder, Director of the T-Systems Digital Division, will now take on the additional role of Director of Telekom Security. Dirk Backofen will manage the new division operationally.

“No business today can afford to offer solutions and not factor in security. We are a pioneer here with Telekom Security working shoulder to shoulder with the Digital Division. We continue to offer the main pillars of digitization with solutions for the Internet of Things and for the cloud – along with compatible security solutions. Everything from a single source,” said Anette Bronder, Director of T-Systems, Digital Division and Telekom Security at an event in front of some 1,200 Telekom Security employees.

https://www.telekom.com/en/media/media-information/archive/telekom-wants-to-grow-faster-than-the-market-in-security-484876

Intel Sends Swarm of 300 Shooting Star Drones to Super Bowl

During the Super Bowl Halftime Show, three hundred Intel Shooting Star drones performed a choreographed aerial show. The sequence, which was pre-recorded, was the first time drones were used to complement an entertainment act at this scale.

All 300 drones were be controlled by one computer and one drone pilot. The FAA granted special permission for the fleet to fly up to 700 feet. Intel also received an additional special waiver to fly
the drones in the more restrictive class B airspace.

Intel said its software automated "the animation creation process by using a reference image, quickly calculating the number of drones needed, determining where drones should be placed, and formulating the fastest path to create the image in the sky.

https://newsroom.intel.com/news-releases/intel-drones-light-lady-gaga-performance-pepsi-zero-sugar-super-bowl-li-halftime/


IBM Watson Takes on Tax Preparation with H&R Block

IBM is working with H&R Block to apply Watson's analytical intelligence to a consumer-facing tax preparation service.

IBM Watson technology will be used by H&R Block’s tax professionals this tax season to help deliver the best outcome for each unique tax situation, while helping clients better understand how different filing options can impact their tax outcome. As part of the first phase of the collaboration, H&R Block and IBM development teams trained Watson in the language of tax, first applying the technology to the thousands of questions and topics discussed during the return filing process.

IBM said Watson is a good match because the field of tax preparation involves massive volumes of data, including a federal tax code with more than 74,000 pages and thousands of yearly tax law changes, all of which impact a client’s tax outcome.

“IBM has shown how complex, data-rich industries such as healthcare, retail and education are being transformed through the use of Watson. Now with H&R Block, we’re applying the power of cognitive computing in an entirely new way that everyone can relate to and benefit from – the tax prep process,” said David Kenny, senior vice president, IBM Watson and Cloud Platform.

http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/51505.wss

Cisco Advances its Tetration Analytics

Cisco announced new capabilities for its Tetration Analytics framework including automated policy enforcement derived from its deep inspection of packet traffic.

Cisco Tetration Analytics, which was first unveiled in June 2016, gathers telemetry data from the ASICs on-board Cisco Nexus 9000 switches and/or from low-overhead software sensors in servers. It then applies machine learning techniques using analytics software running on Cisco UCS C220 servers to addresses critical data center operations such as policy compliance, application forensics, and whitelist security. REST APIs are used to drive a WebGUI. Tetration provides actionable results dynamically based on behavior analysis of billions of flows, processes, and workload characteristics.

Micro-Segmentation

Cisco’s latest software for Tetration Analytics now provides consistent security policy enforcement applied holistically across each application.

Cisco said policy can be enforced regardless of where the application resides: virtual, bare metal, physical servers, or in private or public clouds, across any vendor’s infrastructure. This new enforcement model binds policies to workload characteristics and behaviors while ensuring that the policy stays intact even as the workload moves.

Cisco is also delivering two new deployment models for Tetration Analytics. In addition to the original large scale platform, Cisco now offers a new smaller-scale platform, Tetration-M, suitable for deployments up to 1,000 workloads. Cisco is also introducing a new cloud appliance with software deployed in the public cloud on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Tetration Cloud – also suitable for deployments up to 1000 workloads. Regardless of the deployment model, Tetration can monitor workloads in private as well as public clouds.

https://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=press-release&articleId=1818269

Cisco Tetration Targets Pervasive Visibility with Forensics



Cisco unveiled its new Tetration Analytics solution for deep, real-time visibility into packet flows across a data center -- every packet, every flow, every speed. Cisco Tetration Analytics gathers telemetry data from the ASICs on-board Cisco Nexus 9000 switches and/or from low-overhead software sensors in servers. It then applies machine learning techniques using analytics software running on Cisco UCS C220 servers to addresses critical data center...


NVIDIA Debuts Latest Quadro Pascal GPUs

NVIDIA introduced its latest line-up of Quadro GPUs products, all based on its Pascal architecture and designed for professional workflows in engineering, deep learning, VR, and many vertical applications.

"Professional workflows are now infused with artificial intelligence, virtual reality and photorealism, creating new challenges for our most demanding users," said Bob Pette, vice president of Professional Visualization at NVIDIA. "Our new Quadro lineup provides the graphics and compute performance required to address these challenges. And, by unifying compute and design, the Quadro GP100 transforms the average desktop workstation with the power of a supercomputer."

Some highlight of the new generation of Quadro Pascal-based GPUs:

  • the GP100 combines double precision performance with 16GB of high-bandwidth memory (HBM2) so users can conduct simulations during the design process and gather realistic multiphysics simulations faster than ever before. Customers can combine two GP100 GPUs with NVLink technology and scale to 32GB of HBM2 to create a massive visual computing solution on a single workstation.
  • the GP100 provides more than 20 TFLOPS of 16-bit floating point precision computing, making it an ideal development platform to enable deep learning in Windows and Linux environments.
  • the "VR Ready" Quadro GP100 and P4000 have the power to create detailed, lifelike, immersive environments. Larger, more complex designs can be experienced at scale.
  • Pascal-based Quadro GPUs can render photorealistic images more than 18 times faster than a CPU.
  • Visualize data in high resolution and HDR color on up to four 5K displays.
  • for digital signage, up to 32 4K displays can be configured through a single chassis by combining up to eight P4000 GPUs and two Quadro Sync II cards.

The new cards complete the entire NVIDIA Quadro Pascal lineup including the previously announced P6000, P5000 and mobile GPUs. The entire NVIDIA Quadro Pascal lineup supports the latest NVIDIA CUDA 8 compute platform providing developers access to powerful new Pascal features in developer tools, performance enhancements and new libraries including nvGraph.

http://www.nvidia.com

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Qualcomm and TDK Joint Venture Targets RF Front-end Modules

Qualcomm and TDK have established a joint venture named RF360 Holdings Singapore PTE. Ltd. that will enable Qualcomm’s RFFE Business Unit to deliver RF front-end (RFFE) modules and RF filters into fully integrated systems for mobile devices and fast-growing business segments, such as Internet of Things (IoT), automotive applications, connected computing, and more. The business being transferred constitutes a part of the TDK SAW Business Group activities.

RF360 Holdings will have a comprehensive set of filters and filter technologies, including surface acoustic wave (SAW), temperature-compensated surface acoustic wave (TC-SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW), to support the wide range of frequency bands being deployed in networks across the globe. Moreover, RF360 Holdings will enable the delivery of RFFE modules from QTI that will include front-end components designed and developed by QTI. These components include CMOS, SOI and GaAs Power Amplifiers, a broad portfolio of Switches, Antenna Tuning, Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs) and the industry’s leading Envelope Tracking solution.

“The ongoing expansion of mobile communication across multiple industries, and the unprecedented deployment of multi-carrier 4G technologies now reaching over sixty-five 3GPP frequency bands are driving manufacturers of wireless solutions to higher levels of miniaturization, integration and performance, especially for the RFFE in these devices,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., and president, QCT. “Further, 5G will increase the level of complexity even more. To that end, the ability to provide the ecosystem a truly complete solution is essential to enabling our customers to deliver mobile solutions at scale and on time.”

http://www.qualcomm.com

Friday, February 3, 2017

FCC Ends Investigation into Mobile Free Data Programs

The FCC's  Wireless Telecommunications Bureau has ended its investigation into wireless carriers' free data offerings.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement: “Today, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is closing its investigation into wireless carriers' free-data offerings. These free-data plans have proven to be popular among consumers, particularly low-income Americans, and have enhanced competition in the wireless marketplace. Going forward, the Federal Communications Commission will not focus on denying Americans free data. Instead, we will concentrate on expanding broadband deployment and encouraging innovative service offerings.”

http://www.fcc.gov

Openreach Appoints Two Members to Board

Openreach, the wholly owned and independently governed division of the BT Group, appointed Sir Brendan Barber and Edward Astle as independent members of a newly formed Board to oversee strategy, investment and service delivery at the UK’s leading digital infrastructure company. The company said that establishing the new Board is central to governance reforms that Openreach has been implementing to become a more transparent and autonomous business.

Sir Brendan Barber is former General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress and current chair of Acas.

Edward Astle is a former Board member of National Grid.

Mike McTighe was appointed independent Chairman of Openreach in December 2016. A fourth independent non-executive is due to be announced imminently with a specific focus on customer service.

http://www.btplc.com/news/#/pressreleases/openreach-appoints-independent-board-members-1776414


Ofcom, the official regulator for the telecom market in the UK, will seek the legal separation of Openreach from BT.  Openreach is the division of BT Group that develops and maintains the UK’s main telecoms network used by providers such as Sky, TalkTalk, Vodafone and BT’s retail business. Ofcom said the decision follows after BT failed to offer voluntary proposals that address competition concerns. Ofcom believes BT has the incentive and ability...


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Infomart: Expanding & Improving Carrier-Neutral Colocation



Infomart Data Centers is a rapidly growing builder, operator and owner of carrier-neutral, wholesale data centers, with locations in Dallas, Portland (Oregon), Silicon Valley and Ashburn (Virginia).

In this video, Scott Mitchell, Senior VP of Sales at Infomart, gives us an update on the company's progress, including its cutting- edge work with LinkedIn.

Filmed at PTC'17 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

https://youtu.be/16L_mgHOOyU



AWS Sales Rocketed 47% YoY in Q4 2016

In its financial report for Q4 2016, Amazon noted that sales for AWS rose 47% YoY to reach #3.546 billion.  Operating income rose 60% YoY to reach $923 million.

Some AWS highlights for the quarter:

  • AWS accelerated its infrastructure expansion in 2016, opening eleven Availability Zones across five geographic regions in the U.S., Korea, India, and most recently, Canada and the U.K. AWS now operates 42 Availability Zones across 16 infrastructure regions globally and plans to open an additional five Availability Zones in two regions (France and a second region in China) in the coming months.
  • AWS announced that customers migrated more than 18,000 databases using the AWS Database Migration Service in 2016.
  • AWS continues to accelerate its pace of innovation with the release of 308 significant new services and features in the fourth quarter, bringing the total number of launches in 2016 to 1,017.
  • AWS announced three Artificial Intelligence (AI) services that make it easy for any developer to build apps that can understand natural language, turn text into lifelike speech, have conversations using voice or text, analyze images and recognize faces, objects, and scenes. Amazon Lex, Amazon Polly, and Amazon Rekognition are based on the same proven, highly scalable AI technology built by the thousands of deep learning and machine learning experts across Amazon. AWS also announced a significant investment in MXNet, an open source distributed deep learning framework. AWS will contribute code and improve the MXNet developer experience to enable machine learning scientists to build scalable deep learning models that can significantly reduce the training time for their applications.
  • AWS announced Amazon Athena, a pay-as-you-go, interactive query service that makes it easy for customers to analyze data directly in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) using standard SQL. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, customers can point Amazon Athena at their data stored in Amazon S3 and begin using standard SQL to run queries and get results in seconds. With Amazon Athena there are no clusters to manage and tune, no infrastructure to setup or manage, and customers pay only for the queries they run.
  • AWS announced AWS Greengrass and AWS Snowball Edge, hybrid services that help customers extend the power of the AWS Cloud to connected devices and other environments that exist beyond the network edge.
  • AWS announced AWS Snowmobile, an Exabyte-scale data transfer service that customers can use to move extremely large amounts of data to AWS. Each Snowmobile is a 45-foot long ruggedized shipping container pulled by a semi-trailer truck that is capable of moving up to 100 PB of data — from video libraries and image repositories to entire data centers — to the AWS Cloud in as little as a few weeks.
  • AWS announced seven new compute services and capabilities to support an even wider range of applications, introducing the next generations of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Memory Optimized, Compute Optimized, and High input/output (I/O) instances, adding a way for customers to get started quickly with virtual private servers (VPS) through Amazon Lightsail, and delivering hardware acceleration with Elastic GPUs and Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)-enabled F1 instances.
  • AWS announced the expansion of Amazon Aurora to include full PostgreSQL compatibility. With Amazon Aurora’s new PostgreSQL support, customers can get up to several times better performance than the typical PostgreSQL database and take advantage of the scalability, durability, and security capabilities of Amazon Aurora — all for one-tenth the cost of commercial grade databases.
  • AWS announced the general availability of Amazon QuickSight, a very fast, cloud-powered business analytics service that makes it easy for all employees, regardless of their technical skill, to build visualizations, perform ad-hoc analysis, and quickly get business insights from their data at one-tenth the cost of traditional solutions.


http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=97664&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=2241835

Facebook Passes 1.2 Billion Daily Active Users, up 18% YoY

Facebook is now serving over 1.227 billion daily active users, up from 1.038 billion DAUs a year earlier.

Some other metrics:

  • Mobile DAUs – Mobile DAUs were 1.15 billion on average for December 2016, an increase of 23% yearover
    -year.
  • Monthly active users (MAUs) – MAUs were 1.86 billion as of December 31, 2016, an increase of 17% year-over-year.
  • Mobile MAUs – Mobile MAUs were 1.74 billion as of December 31, 2016, an increase of 21% year-overyear.
  • Capital expenditures for the full year 2016 were $4.49 billion, up from $2.25 billion for 2015.


http://www.facebook.com

Mellanox Says Infiniband Continues to Grow

Mellanox Technologies reported Q4 sales of $221.7 million and $857.5 million in fiscal year 2016. GAAP gross margins were 66.8 percent in the fourth quarter, and 64.8 percent in fiscal year 2016.

“During the fourth quarter we saw continued sequential growth in our InfiniBand business, driven by robust customer adoption of our 100 Gigabit EDR solutions into artificial intelligence, machine learning, high-performance computing, storage, database and more. Our quarterly, and full-year 2016 results, highlight InfiniBand’s continued leadership in high-performance interconnects,” said Eyal Waldman, president and CEO of Mellanox Technologies. “Customer adoption of our 25, 50, and 100 gigabit Ethernet solutions continued to grow in the fourth quarter. Adoption of Spectrum Ethernet switches by customers worldwide generated positive momentum exiting 2016. Our fourth quarter and full-year 2016 results demonstrate Mellanox’s diversification, and leadership in both Ethernet and InfiniBand. We anticipate growth in 2017 from all Mellanox product lines.”

http://www.mellanox.com


HPE Acquires Niara for User and Entity Behavioral Analytics

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has acquired Niara, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California that specializes in the emerging User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) security market segment. The technology seeks to identify next-generation security threats that have penetrated traditional firewalls and other perimeter systems.Financial terms were not disclosed.

After an incident is discovered by Niara, a ClearPass network access policy can be automatically triggered to isolate or disconnect the user or device from the network to prevent access to sensitive information such as credit cards or other customer and corporate information.

Niara will operate within HPE Aruba to enhance the company’s ClearPass network security portfolio for wired and wireless network infrastructure. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“With this transaction, we are continuing to innovate at the Intelligent Edge with software-defined solutions to better protect our customers’ business and IoT data,” said Keerti Melkote, Senior Vice President and General Manager, HPE Aruba. “With over 20 billion IoT devices expected to be connected to networks by 2020, security is the number one concern for our customers. Combining Niara’s next-generation behavior analytics software with Aruba’s ClearPass network security portfolio will deliver the industry’s most complete visibility and attack detection system.”

http://www.hpe.com

OIF Approves Polarized Multiplexed Quadrature Modulator for 400G

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) approved an Implementation Agreement (IA) for an optical integrated Polarization Multiplexed (PM) quadrature modulator for coherent applications with nominal symbol rates up to 64GBaud. The agreement supports the 16QAM modulation format for 400G applications.

“As we go to higher data rates, we need higher performing optical components that maintain a reasonable level of complexity,” said Karl Gass of Qorvo and the OIF’s PLL Working Group – Optical Vice Chair. “These components are targeted for 400G applications. RF bandwidth is the highest priority for this project.”

The forum members also started the CEI-112G in MCM project to support interconnect within Multi-Chip-Modules (MCMs). In addition to the CEI-112G-VSR specification that is being developed, there is a need to support high rate interconnect amongst large logic devices as well as to small driver devices within an MCM.

Members have also started a maintenance project to produce amendments to the User Network Interface (UNI) 2.0 and External Network to Network Interface (E-NNI) 2.0 specification documenting the extensions for support of OTN rates higher than 100G. Adding these extensions to UNI 2.0 and E-NNI 2.0 will facilitate vendor interoperability. The project seeks to assist the IETF as it develops the required routing and signaling extension by providing a description of the Byond100G data-plane and the operations to be controlled by GMPLS.

http://www.oiforum.com

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Network Visibility 2017 - AT&T



Carriers around the globe are embracing SDN and NFV to enhance the experience of their customers while also increasing their organizational agility and driving down operational costs, says Paul Hooper, CEO of Gigamon.

AT&T really started with the customer experience , says Josh Goodell, VP, Network on Demand, AT&T. Customers want control and flexibility in the network. He discusses how AT&T has reengineered the core fabric of its network to enhance the customer experience.

Series produced by Converge! Network Digest and sponsored by Gigamon.

https://youtu.be/rWw5ZV6gztA


What is AT&T's Indigo?



What is AT&T's Indigo?

Indigo is the convergence of software-defined networking, artificial intelligence, 5G and other new access technologies, says Steve McGaw, Chief Marketing Officer for AT&T Business Solutions.

First unveiled in January 2017 at the AT&T Developer Summit, Indigo is a "Network 3.0" initiative to create a trusted environment where organizations can share data and collaborate on analytics.

See video:  https://youtu.be/vTDKfaqQrL8