Sunday, March 5, 2017

Carriers Work with MEF and TM Forum on APIs for Inter Carrier Services

Major carriers are working with MEF and TM Forum to release the first set of standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services later this year. This initiative uses MEF’s LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) framework and TM Forum’s Open API framework to enable SDN architectures from different network service providers to interoperate with each other.

Participating carriers include AT&T, Orange, Colt Technology Services, Comcast, Level 3, PCCW Global, Sparkle and Verizon. The effort also includes CableLabs and Kyrio. The projected release of the first round of APIs is at the end of 2017. This is a key step toward enabling orchestrated on-demand services over more automated and interconnected networks.

There are plans to standardize 8 API definitions. This builds on the industry-agreed Open APIs developed by TM Forum members. The first 3 APIs below will be defined in the first round of the project this year.

1. Address validation
2. Service availability
3. Ordering
4. Quoting
5. Billing
6. Assurance
7. Testing
8. Change management

“MEF is delighted to host pioneering inter-provider LSO API standardization work that will help unleash the power of on-demand services orchestrated across a global ecosystem of connected networks. Our collaboration with TM Forum and major service providers is a key step toward automating the $50+ billion Carrier Ethernet services market with LSO and will be foundational for orchestrating IP and wavelength services across many provider networks as well,” stated Nan Chen, President, MEF.

“Transformation of the Carrier Ethernet market is an essential building block in delivering TM Forum’s mission to ensure service providers thrive in the digital market. By leveraging our established Open API framework, digital business architecture, industry standard Information Framework and tools for end-to- end service management and orchestration, we are delighted to partner with MEF and the service provider community to accelerate the pace of industry change,” stated Nik Willetts, Deputy CEO, TM Forum.

“Our research shows that the number one issue impeding the delivery of on-demand services is the need for a standardized approach to orchestrating services across multiple provider networks,” said Rosemary Cochran, Principal, Vertical Systems Group.  “This initiative led by industry leaders to collaboratively standardize on APIs for Ethernet services is an essential step toward tackling this challenge”.

https://www.mef.net/

Video: Nan Chen Discusses Inter-Carrier APIs



Nan Chen, President of MEF, discusses how major carriers are working with MEF and TM Forum to release the first set of standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services later this year. This initiative uses MEF’s LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) framework and TM Forum’s Open API framework to enable SDN architectures from different network service providers to interoperate with each other.

See video: https://youtu.be/rpI48DSbzf0




Vertical Systems: 2016 Global Provider Ethernet LEADERBOARD

Orange and Colt retained the top two positions on Vertical Systems Group's year-end 2016 Global Provider Ethernet LEADERBOARD.  The results are as follows (in rank order based on retail port share): Orange Business Services (France), Colt (U.K.), AT&T (U.S.), BT Global Services (U.K.), Level 3 (U.S.), Verizon (U.S.) and NTT (Japan). The Global Provider LEADERBOARD, the industry's benchmark for multinational Ethernet network market presence, ranks companies that hold a 4% or higher share of billable retail ports at sites outside of their respective home countries.

Based on year-end 2016 Global Provider port share, Orange and Colt retain the first and second LEADERBOARD positions, respectively. AT&T gains share to move into third position, ahead of BT Global Services.

The Challenge Tier of Global Providers includes companies with share between 2% and 4% of this defined market. Six companies qualify for the 2016 Challenge Tier (in alphabetical order): Cogent (U.S.), SingTel (Singapore), T-Systems (Germany), Tata Communications (India), Telefonica Worldwide (Spain) and Vodafone (U.K.).

"Global carriers are rolling out dynamic network services that provide enterprises with unprecedented levels of agility and reliability," said Rick Malone, principal at Vertical Systems Group. "Ethernet is playing a critical role in emerging SDN-based architectures that will support the increasing demand for hybrid WANs, and high-speed data center and cloud connectivity."

The three leading Global Providers - Orange, Colt and AT&T - are working with MEF and TM Forum on the first standard application programming interfaces (APIs) for orchestrated Carrier Ethernet services over SDN architectures. These efforts are a significant advancement toward standardizing dynamic service connectivity between network providers throughout the world.

https://www.verticalsystems.com/new-2016-global-provider-ethernet-port-share-results/


ADTRAN to Develop SD-Access for 5G Networks

ADTRAN announced that to further its effort to deliver access networks that are open, programmable and cost-effective as carriers prepare to implement the foundations for 5G, it is focusing on developing its position in mobile access networks.

The company believes that realising the potential of 5G will require a number of steps. Firstly, service providers will need to deploy large numbers of radios closer to the network edge to support bandwidth-intensive applications; secondly, there will be a need for more transport-friendly Ethernet backhaul; and thirdly, it will be necessary to extend SDN/NFV to the 5G mobile network core via the access network leveraging software defined access (SD-Access).

ADTRAN stated that SD-Access for 5G, incorporating point-to-point (P2P) and point-to-multipoint (P2MP) next-generation PON, will constitute a key technology in providing the converged backhaul, fronthaul and 'crosshaul' networks needed to support high-bandwidth, low-latency connectivity.

ADTRAN has pioneered the development of XGS-PON, 10 Gbit/s EPON and NGPON2 SD-Access solutions based on open reference architectures such as CORD, and is now focused on extending its position into mobile access networks leveraging the following technologies:

1. Multi-wavelength NG-PON2 as the infrastructure technology for delivering low latency, multi-Gigabit services for fronthaul, backhaul and crosshaul  networks.

2. The open and scalable SD-Access architecture, ADTRAN Mosaic, featuring disaggregated physical network access elements and an open source SDN controller.

3. Fixed Access Network Sharing (FANS) capability, designed to allow access to be shared between multiple operators.

ADTRAN has also announced that it is contributing to the CORD (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter) project, expanding its CORD-compliant portfolio and broadening the use cases to enable open principles to be applied over any network infrastructure and for any customer segment.

http://www.adtran.com

EXFO Acquires Ontology Systems for Network Topology Discovery

EXFO has acquired privately held Ontology Systems, which specializes in real-time network topology discovery and service-chain mapping, for US$7.6 million, net of cash.

UK-based Ontology Systems uses graph-data and semantic searches to build real-time views of network services and related network elements. Network functions virtualization (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN) technologies render communications infrastructures highly agile to deploy new services on the fly. This has created the need for an automated network inventory solution fully integrated with probing agents to accelerate fault discovery, root-cause analysis and eventually closed-loop automation in hybrid physical-virtual environments. The company generated approximately US$4.0 million in revenue during the last 12 months, including sales to tier-1 CSPs. The acquisition is expected to be neutral to EXFO's adjusted EBITDA in fiscal 2017 and accretive thereafter.

EXFO said the combination of Ontology Systems' expertise in mapping complex, cross-domain, multi-layer network topologies with its end-to-end service assurance and real-time 3D analytics solutions will deliver a truly comprehensive view across physical, virtual and hybrid networks.

"This strategic acquisition uniquely positions EXFO with agile, real-time visualization and troubleshooting solutions that enable communications service providers (CSPs) to manage their networks more efficiently and ensure heightened quality of experience and scalability for next-generation networks, which will be hybrid in nature for many years to come," said Germain Lamonde, EXFO's Founder, Chairman and CEO. "Combining EXFO's physical and virtual probes and real-time analytics solution, with Ontology Systems' unique mapping methodology, delivers an unmatched value proposition for monitoring and managing next-generation networks. Based on early discussions with CSPs, this new offering is resonating very strongly with them, since they are striving to improve customer experience while becoming more agile and cost-efficient."

http://www.exfo.com

China Unicom Launches "CUniq" MVNO in U.S.

China Unicom Global Limited launched its "CUniq" mobile virtual network operator ("MVNO") business in the U.S. market.

A similar "CUniq" MVNO was launched in Europe in December 2016.

"CUniq" is an overseas mobile communication service created for international business travelers. The service expands on the basis of "CUniq UK" one-card-multiple-number service that shares data in 45 countries and regions, "CUniq US" one-card-multiple-number card service raises the numbers to 47, providing 4G high speed network service among the main countries and regions of China, America, Asia and Europe. Customers are able to keep Mainland China, Hong Kong (China) and the US mobile numbers, which can be managed using a single account. Customers can use data, voice and SMS services in different countries, contact China Unicom's 24/7 trilingual customer service (Chinese, English, Cantonese), and enjoy a smooth, joyful global communication experience.

"CUniq" MVNO business launch ceremony was held in Los Angeles. Liu Haiyan, Economic and Commercial Counselor Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Los Angeles; Marissa Rivera, Representative of Economic Development, County of San Bernardino; Sherman Zhang, Chairman of CGCC-LA(CEC) & President of AVIC International USA; Richard Pelly, Vice President of sales and business operation of Plintron; Meng Shusen, President of CUG and Zhou Lisong, Executive Vice President of CUG jointly officiated the ceremony.

Lisong Zhou, Executive Vice President of CUG, said, the "CUniq" one-card-multiple-number service launched in America this time will have three plans including Share Plan, Local Plan and Visitor Plan, appealing to global businesspersons, American local users and tourists respectively. Besides, CUG supports electronic paying including WeChat paying, Alipay, Visa, MasterCard, UnionPay and other convenient paying methods. Customers can enquire for various plans and make purchase on CUniq website www.cuniq.com/us

Shusen Meng, President of CUG, said the cooperation between CUG and American leading telecommunications operators not only provides high-quality service for business enterprises, but also provides high-quality overseas MVNO business through "CUniq" for the public users. CUG will continue to drive innovations and improve services, expanding high-quality service to more countries and regions.

IBM and Maersk Develop Blockchain for Shipping Industry

IBM is working with Maersk to use blockchain technology to help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers across the world by digitizing the supply chain process from end-to-end to enhance transparency and the highly secure sharing of information among trading partners.

The blockchain solution based on the Hyperledger Fabric and built by IBM and Maersk, the global leader in transport and logistics, will be made available to the shipping and logistics industry. Blockchain is an immutable, security rich and transparent shared network resource that provides each participant end-to-end visibility based on their level of permission. IBM hosts the solution on the IBM Cloud and the IBM high-security business network, delivered via IBM Bluemix.

Some highlights:

  • Each participant in a supply chain ecosystem can view the progress of goods through the supply chain, understanding where a container is in transit. They can also see the status of customs documents, or view bills of lading and other data.
  • Detailed visibility of the container's progress through the supply chain is enhanced with the real time exchange of original supply chain events and documents.
  • No one party can modify, delete or even append any record without the consensus from others on the network.
  • This level of transparency helps reduce fraud and errors, reduce the time products spend in the transit and shipping process, improve inventory management and ultimately reduce waste and cost.
  • The solution enables the real time exchange of original supply chain events and documents through a digital infrastructure, or data pipeline, that connects the participants in a supply chain ecosystem. This promotes sustainable transport by integrating shipping processes and partners, and establishing evaluation frameworks through increased transparency and trusted access. 

"As a global integrator of container logistics with the ambition to digitize global trade, we are excited about this cooperation and its potential to bring substantial efficiency and productivity gains to global supply chains, while decreasing fraud and increasing security," said Ibrahim Gokcen, chief digital officer, Maersk. "The projects we are doing with IBM aim at exploring a disruptive technology such as blockchain to solve real customer problems and create new innovative business models for the entire industry. We expect the solutions we are working on will not only reduce the cost of goods for consumers, but also make global trade more accessible to a much larger number of players from both emerging and developed countries."

"We believe that this new supply chain solution will be a transformative technology with the potential to completely disrupt and change the way global trade is done," said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, Industry Platforms, IBM. "Working closely with Maersk for years, we've long understood the challenges facing the supply chain and logistics industry and quickly recognized the opportunity for blockchain to potentially provide massive savings when used broadly across the ocean shipping industry ecosystem. Bringing together our collective expertise, we created a new model the industry will be able to use to help improve the transparency and efficiency of delivering goods around the globe."

http://www.ibm.com

Saturday, March 4, 2017

ZTE Debuts E-OTN and Cloud Works Platform

ZTE announced at MWC 2017 the release of the E-OTN solution and demonstrated what it claims is the first commercially available Carrier DevOps platform.

E-OTN solution

ZTE's E-OTN solution is designed to address the demands of services such as 'big video', wireless, government and enterprise private line, data centre interconnect (DCI) by enabling operators to build high-capacity, lowlatency, secure multiservice transport OTN systems, as well as transition from OTN to all-optical networks.

The ZTE end-to-end E-OTN solution supports functionality including express pass in the optical layer, unified transport of optical channel data unit/packet/virtual container (ODUk/PKT/VC) and is designed to enable more elastic network architectures.

The E-OTN family comprises the ZXONE 9700 series, ZXONE 8000 series and ZXMP M721 series products, which feature intelligent control plane, optical cross-connection (OXC), packet processing and OTN technologies and offer support for 100 Gbit/s-plus transport and electrical cross capacity of 64 Tbit/s. The solution also provides colourless-directionless-contentionless Flexgrid (CDCF) and ROADM capabilities to allow transparent transport, flexible dispatching and convergence.

Cloud Works platform

ZTE has announced at MWC the launch of what it claims is the first commercially available Carrier DevOps platform and conducted a demonstration based on the DevOps workflow designed to showcase the capabilities of the DevOps operational environment and network slicing.

ZTE noted that it debuted the Cloud Works (carrier DevOps) solution at MWC last year and the solution is now ready for commercialisation. The Cloud Works solution is based on open virtual network function (VNF) micro-service components, DevOps tools and Docker technology and is designed to enable flexible development with continuous integration and delivery of services to support on-demand customisation and rapid service introduction.

ZTE network slicing, based on the carrier DevOps environment, integrates the features of second-class elasticity, minute-level deployment and wizard-based design, while also providing an end-to-end view of the slicing lifecycle, AI-based Ops deployment and maintenance environment. These capabilities are designed to improve the efficiency of both network deployments and operations and maintenance (O&M) processes.

http://www.zte.com/cn

Telecom Argentina Picks Huawei for All-Cloud Core network

Huawei announced that Telecom Argentina has launched a commercial all-cloud core network to support voice and data services for 2G/3G/4G mobile subscribers following the roll-out of ICT converged telecom services over a cloud infrastructure.

As the largest mobile operator in Argentina and Paraguay with more than 22 million mobile subscribers, Telecom Argentina developed an ICT network transformation strategy in 2015 designed to enhance network resource utilisation, reduce O&M costs and prepare for future demands. A core element of the strategy was to cloudify its networks utilising NFV.

In 2016, Telecom Argentina selected Huawei to construct an all-cloud core network as part of its network transformation strategy. Huawei stated that toll-out of the all-cloud core network started in March 2016 and in December Telecom Argentina was able to launch the network commercially and begin to transition from its traditional core network to the cloud core network. Currently, the network is running stably and reliably supporting voice and data services as traffic is migrated across to the new infrastructure.

The Huawei NFV-based CloudCore and CloudEdge co-deployment solution is designed to address Telecom Argentina's business and technology requirements and transform its operations as follows:

1. Support traditional core network functions, such as IMS, MSS, EPC and DRA, on Huawei's FusionServer and FusionSphere OpenStack, with resources dynamically shared by core network functions to improve resource utilisation.

2. Provide a distributed data centre (DC) network architecture, with cloud-based network functions on the control plane deployed in central DCs to enhance resource utilisation and functions on the media plane distributed in edge DCs for an improved user experience; Telecom Argentina can also deploy new all-cloud network functions over the unified, open architecture and gradually implement its full network cloud strategy.

3. O&M and big data analysis are integrated into the element management system (EMS) and NFV management and orchestration (MANO) to enhance intelligent network O&M via functions including KPIbased fault self-healing, cross-layer information collection and fault alarm management and help reduce O&M costs and improve O&M efficiency.

Earlier in February, Huawei and China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK) announced they had migrated CMHK services to an NFV-based commercial cloud core network. CMHK deployed a 3GPP system designed to support ervices of more than 20 network systems, including IMS, evolved packet core (EPC), Diameter routing agent/mobile number portability (DRA/MNP), HSS/HLR and mobile switching centre-server (MSC-S).

Huawei noted that as of January 2017 it had gained more than 170 contracts worldwide for NFV-based core networks, and claims to be a leading partner for global operators with regards to cloudified telecom network projects.

http://www.huawei.com

Friday, March 3, 2017

Xtera Appoints Douglas Umbers as CEO

Xtera, a provider of subsea optical communications solutions, has announced that, following the acquisition of the company by private equity firm H.I.G. Capital earlier in February, it has appointed a new leadership team.

As part of the company's new organisation, Dr. Stuart Barnes, Xtera's chairman and chief strategy officer, has announced the following appointments to the leadership team:

Douglas Umbers as CEO

With experience across a range of industries, Mr. Umbers has a track record of reinvigorating businesses that spans over two decades. As CEO of Xtera, he will be responsible for leading the execution of the company's goal of becoming a major player in the subsea communications market.

Most recently, Mr. Umbers served in executive board level roles at VT Group (now Babcock International), where he ran the IT and communications division, and as COO at Arqiva, the UK telecoms and broadcast infrastructure group.

Jayesh Pankhania as CFO

Mr. Pankhania has more than 25 years experience in senior finance roles, and as CFO at Xtera will be responsible for overseeing the company's capital structure and maintaining its financial standing. He has previously served in multiple senior roles with public and private companies, including as CFO at HOC Group and with Asia Resource Minerals.

In addition, Keith Henderson, co-founder of Xtera, will serve as COO and Robert Richardson, co-founder of the company, will serve as chief sales officer.

Dr. Barnes, Mr. Umbers and Mr. Pankhania are based at Xtera's Harold Wood office near London in the UK; Mr. Henderson is based in Allen, Texas near Dallas and Mr. Richardson is based in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, near Atlanta.

The new executive team is supported by the company's experienced senior management team that includes its recently appointed CTO Tony Frisch and SVP of Turnkey Systems, Joerg Schwartz.


XTERA Communications Acquired by H.I.G. Capital

H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), a leading global private equity investment firm with over €20 billion of equity capital under management, has acquired substantially all the assets of Xtera Communications, a supplier of sub-sea fiber optic solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

H.I.G. previously provided debtor-in-possession financing to the Xtera debtors in connection with the chapter 11 case.

Established in 1998 and based in the UK (Harold Wood, Essex) and the US (Allen, Texas), Xtera supplies un-repeatered and repeatered sub-sea systems, using high performance optical amplifiers to carry data. Under H.I.G.’s ownership, Xtera’s management and technical team will remain at the helm of the business, focused on successfully executing key existing customer contracts and expanding the business in the rapidly growing markets it serves with a clear roadmap of disruptive product launches.

Carl Harring, Managing Director at H.I.G. Capital commented: “We believe Xtera has considerable growth potential as an independent, well-funded business with a new ownership structure. Its world class IP protected technology is not only differentiated and superior to that of its competitors, but it is delivered to an impressive range of global clients at a cost-effective price point. We are excited to be working with this industry-leading team and our immediate focus will be to work with them to deliver and build on existing contracts and over the long-term, provide the financial support to enable the company to fully capitalise on its technology with a broader base of customers.”

Stuart Barnes, Founder of Xtera, added: “We are delighted to announce our new partnership with H.I.G. Capital, which has previously invested in the fiber-optics sector and has a proven understanding of how to grow specialist industrial suppliers into market-leading players. We share the same vision of strengthening Xtera’s footprint in the future.”

http://www.xtera.com/

Nutanix Hits Revenue of $182M, up 77% YoY

Nutanix reported revenue of $182.2 million for its second quarter of fiscal 2017, ended January 31, 2017, growing 77% year-over-year from $102.7 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016. GAAP net loss was $93.2 million, compared to a GAAP net loss of $33.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2016; or a GAAP net loss per share of $0.66, compared to a pro forma GAAP net loss per share of $0.28 in the second quarter of fiscal 2016.

“Our journey has taken us from an unknown upstart to a well-established enterprise IT brand approaching a $1 billion annualized billings run-rate in just five years of selling. We continue to evolve and refine our strategy, including product expansions, sales focus and alternate consumption models, as we seek to capture a growing share of the highly dynamic $100+ billion enterprise infrastructure market,” said Dheeraj Pandey, CEO, Nutanix.

“Our solid results were driven by notable strength in our international business. Further, I am pleased we were able to hold our non-GAAP gross margins essentially steady despite component price increases impacting our costs,” said Duston Williams, CFO, Nutanix.

http://www.nutanix.com


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Telstra Tests Pre-positioning of Videos on Consumer Devices

Telstra is piloting a service that pre-downloads premium movies onto consumer devices before they request the content. Participants will receive notifications when the latest movies that match their interests become available.

Telstra is working with Ericsson and The Fox Innovation Lab at 21st Century Fox on this unique content delivery solution. It leverages Ericsson MediaFirst's cloud based media store for content processing and origin; Ericsson's Unified Delivery Network for global content delivery; and Ericsson MediaFirst TV Platform, to provide a seamless, personalized, and intuitive experience.

Andrew Penn, Chief Executive Officer, Telstra, says: "Our customers love entertainment content and are increasingly watching it on their mobiles. Running this pilot in collaboration with innovative partners is a great way for us to test and learn how we can improve the customer experience while at the same time achieving network efficiencies. It has the potential to offer our customers a truly distinctive video customer experience, delivering studio sanctioned picture and audio quality. The solution will use Telstra's Media Optimised Network, including LTE-B capability to pre-position content, and therefore have limited impact on overall network traffic with little to no additional infrastructure cost."

http://www.ericsson.com
http://www.telstra.com

Ericsson and T-Mobile Work on LTE Optimization

Ericsson and T-Mobile are working together on a network evolution plan and optimization path to prepare the network for 5G, including 3GPP Release 13 and beyond.

Ericsson's Antenna-Integrated Radio (AIR) helped enable T-Mobile's rapid rollout of 4x4 MIMO and 256 and 64 QAM last year, which doubled peak data speeds. The next step is for T-Mobile to combine its spectrum holdings into one data pipe to enable Gigabit LTE speeds within the year. The plans also calls for LTE-U for bringing Gigabit LTE speed to more places.

Ericsson said it also provided 700 MHz tuning and optimization services, which enabled T-Mobile to adapt coverage, throughput and capacity to manage data traffic growth while ensuring high-quality service to its customers.

Neville Ray, CTO, T-Mobile, says: "T-Mobile's LTE network is the most advanced in the US and we'll continue to deploy the latest, global leading technologies that will create the foundation of a powerful 5G network built for mobility. We work closely with strategic partners like Ericsson to deliver the most advanced technologies that enhance our customers' experience."

Ulf Ewaldsson, Chief Strategy and Technology Officer, Ericsson, says: "Our work with T-Mobile has pushed us to find the highest-quality solutions for a growing and demanding subscriber base.  For example, our pioneering HD Enhanced Voice service for LTE and Wi-Fi last year improved audio quality and reliability for voice and music within calls. The bar gets higher each time, and we continue to push our own teams to prepare T-Mobile for its journey to 5G."

https://newsroom.t-mobile.com/news-and-blogs/the-un-carrier-road-ahead.htm
http://www.ericsson.com

SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom Launch Quantum Alliance for Secure Communications

SK Telecom of Korea and Deutsche Telekom announced at MWC 2017 that they have established the Quantum Alliance, designed to enable secure communication in the quantum computing era.

The companies noted that with industrial espionage and cyber-attacks a growing threat, plus the prospect in the near future that quantum computing could enable the cracking of existing encryption algorithms, today's common cryptography methods could become ineffective, meaning that server access, data links and documents, and the Internet as a whole, could be insecure and easily accessible.

In an effort to address this, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom have founded the Quantum Alliance, intended to ensure communications remain secure and with the primary objective of establishing the technical prerequisites for secure communications into the future. The partners believe that to achieve this network operators and hardware manufacturers will need to work together to define and implement common, global technical standards.

As a second step, the Quantum Alliance will seek to develop flexible services and security solutions that maintain secure communications. In the medium-term, the alliance has a target of developing, testing and delivering products that enable secure communications in the age of quantum computing.


As part of the initiative, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom are committed to recruiting partners for the alliance over the coming months, and plan to approach network operators, network equipment makers, device manufacturers and software vendors. Working with the new partners, the companies then plan to create a detailed action plan for how to proceed.

Recently, SK Telecom and Deutsche Telekom (DT), working with Ericsson, announced a joint demonstration of an intercontinental 5G trial network providing network slices in each operator's footprint covering South Korea and Germany. The demonstration was hosted at DT's corporate R&D centre in Bonn, Germany and the SK Telecom 5G Testbed at Yeongjong-do (BMW driving centre) in Korea, and followed the announcement of a collaboration on 5G at MWC Shanghai 2016.

The partners noted at the time that at MWC 2017 they would demonstrate the creation and management of federated network slices in a NS-as-a-Service (Network Slice as a Service) model.

http://www.sktelecom.com

Palo Alto Networks Buys LightCyber for $105M

Palo Alto Networks completed its acquisition of LightCyber, a privately held cybersecurity company that offers highly automated and accurate behavioral analytics technology. Palo Alto Networks paid $105 million in cash.

LightCyber leverages machine learning to quickly, efficiently and accurately identify attacks based on identifying behavioral anomalies inside the network.

Palo Alto Networks will continue to offer the LightCyber products and support existing customer implementations while it engineers the technology into the Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform by the end of the calendar year.

"The LightCyber team's vision to bring automation and machine learning to bear in addressing the very difficult task of identifying otherwise undetected and often very sophisticated attacks inside the network is well-aligned with our platform approach. This technology will complement the existing automated threat prevention capabilities of our platform to help organizations not only improve but also scale their security protections to prevent cyber breaches," stated Mark McLaughlin, chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks.

https://www.paloaltonetworks.com/

VeloCloud Raises $35M for its SD-WAN

VeloCloud Networks, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, closed a $35 million Series D round of funding for its SD-WAN solutions.

The funding was led by Hermes Growth Partners and included new investors Telstra Ventures and Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the strategic investment fund of the Government of Malaysia (“Khazanah”), in addition to existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Venrock, March Capital Partners, Cisco Investments, and other undisclosed strategic investors. This brings total funding to $84 million.

The company said the funding will be used to expand business, capacity and operations as it accelerates new SD-WAN product development, supports larger customer rollouts, and dramatically increases sales and marketing in theaters worldwide.

VeloCloud reports that its number of SD-WAN sites has grown to more than 50,000 and total customer wins exceed 600, including the two largest SD-WAN wins in the world. The company has secured deals from AT&T, Sprint, Mitel, TelePacific, and Windstream for its “VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN for Service Providers” solution for both Network Integrated and Over The Top implementations. In addition, VeloCloud continued work with its existing ecosystem of service provider partners, including Vonage, MetTel, EarthLink, and NetOne to deliver the benefits of VeloCloud Powered SD-WAN for their customers.

“We are experiencing significantly more growth than we even predicted as a stretch goal for VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN,” said VeloCloud CEO and Co-founder Sanjay Uppal. “VeloCloud has broken away from the field with the industry’s largest number of customers, sites, and sales along with key strategic Service Provider partnerships. With this new round of funding we are able to stay well ahead of this new level of demand we are experiencing.”

http://www.velocloud.com

Hedvig Raises $21.5M for Software-Defined Storage

Hedvig, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, raised $21.5 million in Series C funding for its software-defined storage solutions.

Hedvig provides software-defined storage for enterprises building private, hybrid, or multi-cloud environments. The Hedvig Distributed Storage Platform consolidates block, file, and object into a single, API-driven platform that keeps pace with ever-growing data needs. Its Universal Data Plane technology forms a distributed, scale-out cluster that transforms commodity servers or cloud computing into a flexible foundation for bare metal, hypervisor, and container infrastructure.

The funding included new investments from Singapore-based EDBI and Hewlett Packard Pathfinder, part of Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). The round also included expanded investments from Atlantic Bridge Ventures, including its Oman Technology Fund, and contributions from existing investors True Ventures and Vertex Ventures. The company has now raised a total of $52 million to date.

“All sectors of enterprise IT are being hit by new demands from the massive wave of emerging digital businesses. It’s a wake-up call for the storage industry and a signal that a flexible, simple software-defined storage solution is needed for primary and secondary storage in the era of cloud,” said Avinash Lakshman, founder and CEO of Hedvig.

http://www.hedviginc.com

Level 3 Expands SDN-enabled dynamic Ethernet to APAC

Level 3 Communications, which is in the process of being acquired by CenturyLink, announced it is expanding availability of its Metro 2.0 global Ethernet platform and software-defined networking (SDN) solutions to the Asia Pacific region, enabling enterprises to access its Ethernet platform at two points in each of Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore, for a total of six access points across the region.

Level 3's Ethernet services are available in more than 290 markets worldwide with flexible bandwidth options ranging from 2 Mbit/s up to 6 Gbit/s. The operator noted that the service features its SDN-based solutions platform, Adaptive Network Control Solutions (ANCS), offering with dynamic capacity, and that enterprises utilising the dynamic capacity capability account for over 1,500 bandwidth scalability events each month, with up to 75% during normal business hours.

Level 3's Ethernet platform offers full E-Line and E-Access product capabilities including Ethernet Virtual Private Line (EVPL) and Ethernet Private Line (EPL), which allow global end-to-end connectivity to both on- and off-net locations. The latest service expansion is part of Level 3's objective of providing a single, global Ethernet suite that offers customer-defined networking functionality including bandwidth scaling on demand.

Level 3 noted that it has an established presence in Asia Pacific and serves 14 on-net markets throughout the region with service reach to more than 50 markets. In Asia Pacific it offers global cloud and data centre connectivity to businesses, with on-ramps to AWS and Microsoft Azure in Singapore, and in addition to Ethernet services offers VPN, direct Internet access, managed services, unified communications, CDN and security solutions.

Level 3 also recently announced the deployment of DDoS scrubbing centres at facilities in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore.

CenturyLink announced in October 2016 that it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Level 3 in a cash and stock transaction valued at approximately $34 billion. Under terms of the agreement, Level 3 shareholders would receive $26.50 per share in cash and a fixed exchange ratio of 1.4286 shares of CenturyLink stock for each Level 3 share held, implying a total purchase price of $66.50 per Level 3 share. At that time the transaction was expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.

http://www.level3.com

MEF16: Level 3's Adam Saenger on Geographic and Service Expansion


Adam Saenger highlights the geographic expansion and new capabilities of Level 3's advances services portfolio this year. Visibility and flexibility are key differentiators. See video: https://youtu.be/vyd1-CBBJtc...


Barefoot and Netronome Demo DevOps Approach for NFV

Barefoot Networks, creator of Tofino, claimed to be the fastest available 6.5 Tbit/s Ethernet switch chip, and Netronome, a provider of intelligent networking solutions, have demonstrated a solution combining the Agilio CX SmartNIC platform with Barefoot's Tofino P4-programmable switch to deliver precise, real-time network telemetry information for detecting and resolving service quality and connectivity issues.

The joint Barefoot-Netronome solution demonstrates how DevOps can be used to triangulate performance issues to VMs and NICs in servers or network switches, making it possible to instantly detect low-performing virtual network functions (VNFs) in service chains and then correct them.

The companies noted that new applications and services in future 5G mobile networks will require network elements in the telco data centre to support those applications and the zettabytes of data that they generate or consume. These applications and services require efficient coordination of data centre resources among network infrastructure, servers, NICs and VMs running VNFs in the data centre.

However, current solutions are unable to triangulate performance issues to VMs, NICs or network switches, making it difficult or impossible to effectively implement SLAs across the network infrastructure. The programmable high-performance switches from Barefoot and SmartNICs from Netronome allow precise triangulation of performance issues to VMs, NICs and switches, so that operators can accurately quantify performance degradation and identify affected network slices, applications, and flows.

Launched in mid-2016, Barefoot Networks' Tofino Ethernet switch ASICs and Capilano software development environment (SDE) are designed to enable full network programmability by opening the forwarding plane, enabling granular control down to the packets flowing on the wire. The first Tofino chips were delivered to customers in the fourth quarter 2016.

Netronome's Agilio CX 10, 25 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet SmartNIC platforms serve to transparently offload virtual switch and router datapath processing for networking functions such as overlays, security, load balancing and telemetry, enabling compute servers used for server-based networking and cloud computing to reserve CPU cores for application processing and deliver higher performance. The programmable Agilio CX platform is designed for general-purpose x86 COTS rack servers to meet operating system, power and form factor requirements.

At MWC 2017, Barefoot and Netronome are demonstrating in-band network telemetry (INT) implemented utilising P4 in SmartNICs and network switches to locate latency degradation caused by service-chained VNFs and generate triggers that can be used to automatically launch new VNFs or move VNFs to servers with more resources.

The demonstration shows how vendor-agnostic, open source P4 programs can be used across programmable NICs and switches, and how DevOps teams can extend INT on the SmartNIC or network switch to collect additional metadata or perform new actions.

https://www.barefootnetworks.com/
http://www.netronome.com

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

NTT DOCOMO Works with Qualcomm and Ericsson on 5G NR trials

NTT DOCOMO plans to conduct interoperability testing and over-the-air field trials in Japan based on the 5G New Radio (NR) specifications being developed by 3GPP. The trials will operate in mid-band spectrum at 4.5 GHz, as well as millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum at 28 GHz, showcasing the unified 5G NR design across diverse spectrum bands. The trials intend to drive the mobile ecosystem toward rapid validation and commercialization of 5G NR technologies at scale, enabling timely commercial network launches based on 3GPP Rel-15 standard compliant 5G NR infrastructure and devices.

The trials will utilize device prototype and base station solutions from Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson respectively, along with trial environments from NTT DOCOMO, to simulate real-world scenarios across a broad set of use cases and deployment scenarios. The trial will include 5G NR operation at 4.5 GHz, which allows a large bandwidth resulting in high data rates and good capacity with reasonable coverage to address the large number of envisioned 5G use cases.

The trial will showcase advanced 3GPP 5G NR technologies including Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology, beamforming techniques, adaptive self-contained TDD, scalable OFDM-based waveforms to support wider bandwidths, advanced coding and modulation schemes, and a new flexible, low-latency slot structure based design. In addition, the trial will include 5G NR operation in mmWave spectrum at 28 GHz, employing advanced 5G NR antenna technology to deliver robust and sustained mobile broadband communications, including non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments and device mobility.

"We are excited to conduct early 5G NR trials based on the 3GPP specification with Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson," said Seizo Onoe, EVP and Chief Technology Officer, NTT DOCOMO. "NTT DOCOMO plans to deploy a 5G NR commercial system by 2020 and it is essential that the industry cooperate closely to create a 5G ecosystem in a timely manner. Through acceleration of the standardization and standard-compliant 5G NR trial activities, we will ensure the highly-stable 5G services."

https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/info/media_center/pr/2017/0227_02.html