Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Open Compute Project Summit Kicks Off in Silicon Valley

The 2017 Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit kicks off on March 8th and is expected to attract 2,000 attendees interested in next-gen data center design.

Keynote speakers include Kushagra Vaid, General Manager, Azure Cloud Hardware Infrastructure, Microsoft; Masaharu Miyamoto, Senior Server Engineer, Yahoo! JAPAN; Jason Waxman, Vice President, Data Center Group (DCG) General Manager, Datacenter Solutions Group (DSG), Intel; and Vijay Rao, Director of Technology Strategy, Facebook.


HPE to Acquire Nimble Storage for $1 Billion

Hewlett Packard Enterprise agreed to acquire Nimble Storage, a supplier of predictive all-flash and hybrid-flash storage solutions, for $12.50 per share in cash, representing a net cash purchase price at closing of $1.0 billion. In addition to the purchase price, HPE will assume or pay out Nimble’s $200 million in unvested equity awards.

Nimble offers midrange flash storage solutions featuring an intelligent, predictive analytics engine that assesses performance issues across the full data path, from apps to the array.  In addition, Nimble has recently introduced multicloud storage services that combine the best of on-premises and public cloud storage capabilities for Hybrid IT deployments.  Nimble, which is based in San Jose, California, was founded in 2007 and has approximately 1,300 employees worldwide. The company delivered revenue of $402 million in its most recent fiscal year, up 25 percent year over year.

HPE said Nimble’s predictive flash offerings are complementary to its own scalable midrange to high-end 3PAR solutions and affordable MSA products.  In addition, HPE plans to incorporate Nimble’s InfoSight Predictive Analytics platform across its storage portfolio, which will enable a stronger, simplified support experience for HPE customers.

“Nimble Storage’s portfolio complements and strengthens our current 3PAR products in the high-growth flash storage market and will help us deliver on our vision of making Hybrid IT simple for our customers,” said Meg Whitman, President and CEO, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “And, this acquisition is exactly aligned with the strategy and capital allocation approach we’ve laid out. We remain focused on high-growth and higher-margin segments of the market.”

“Over 10,000 enterprises are using Nimble Storage because our Predictive Cloud Platform is reliably fast, radically simple, and cloud ready,” said Suresh Vasudevan, CEO at Nimble Storage. “This acquisition validates our technology leadership in flash and in the use of cloud-based predictive analytics.  We’re confident that by combining Nimble Storage’s technology leadership with HPE’s global distribution strength, strong brand, and enterprise relationships, we’re creating expansion opportunities for the combined company.”


NeoPhotonics Develops Micro Modulator for 400~600 Gbps

NeoPhotonics has developed a 64 GBaud, polarization multiplexed, quadrature micro-modulator (Micro-MOD) implemented in a small form factor (3.9x27x13 mm) package.  The unit is co-packaged with a quad-channel, differential 64 GBaud driver with an Indium Phosphide based Mach-Zehnder (MZ) quadrature modulator chip. It has a bandwidth over 40 GHz and exhibits low insertion loss in a small form factor modulator. By integrating the drivers inside the modulator package directly adjacent to the low power InP modulator chip, the total power requirement is 4.5 Watts.  which leverage its small size, high bandwidth and low power dissipation.

The company said its new modulator is designed for applications in pluggable coherent CFP2-ACO and CFP2-DCO modules as well as on transport line cards. The Micro-MOD could be used in 400/600 Gbps coherent transceiver modules and in line card applications. It joins the NeoPhotonics family of 64 GBaud components, including a 64 GBaud Micro-ICR and ultra-narrow linewidth tunable lasers.

"When coupled with our high bandwidth Micro-ICR and ultra-narrow linewidth tunable laser, this new micro-modulator represents a significant step in providing small form factor capability for next gen 400/600 Gbps datacenter interconnect, core metro and long haul networks for carriers worldwide,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “This device is an excellent example of our advanced hybrid photonic integration capabilities as it depends on a close integration of driver and modulator chips made out of different high performance materials to achieve superior performance, low power, high reliability and stability,” continued Mr. Jenks.


ZTE to Plead Guilty and Pay $1.19 Billion to U.S. Government

In the case involving the shipment of U.S.-origin technology to Iran during the period of economic sanctions, ZTE Corporation agreed to enter a guilty plea and to pay a $430,488,798 penalty to the U.S. ZTE simultaneously reached settlement agreements with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In total ZTE has agreed to pay the U.S. Government $892,360,064. The BIS has suspended an additional $300,000,000, which ZTE will pay if it violates its settlement agreement with the BIS.

Attorney General of the United States Jeff Sessions, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Mary B. McCord, U.S. Attorney John R. Parker for the Northern District of Texas and FBI Assistant Director Bill Priestap for the Counterintelligence Division made the announcement.

“ZTE engaged in an elaborate scheme to acquire U.S.-origin items, send the items to Iran and mask its involvement in those exports. The plea agreement alleges that the highest levels of management within the company approved the scheme. ZTE then repeatedly lied to and misled federal investigators, its own attorneys and internal investigators. Its actions were egregious and warranted a significant penalty,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary B. McCord.


Cylance Plans AI-powered Antivirus for Consumers

Cylance disclosed plans to launch a consumer version of its AI-powered antivirus which blocks everyday malware along with advanced cyber threats.  The company named security industry veteran Christopher Bray to launch its consumer division. Cylance currently sells its artificial intelligence-based CylancePROTECT product to businesses, universities, and government organizations.  The consumer version is planned for 2018.

“All of us at Cylance are thrilled to bring Christopher on board to architect our consumer strategy,” said Stuart McClure, president and CEO at Cylance. “His direct experience building business relationships and consumer businesses for security software companies will provide a strong foundation and ensure a successful launch.”

Bray began his career in brand management for Procter & Gamble, but quickly moved into sales and marketing management positions for Dell in South Africa. Following that period, Bray held a variety of executive positions during more than a decade spent with McAfee Security, ultimately advancing to become the senior vice president and general manager of consumer PC OEM/ISP/Retail/Mobile. Most recently Bray served as senior vice president of Norton Field Sales and Marketing at Symantec, where he spearheaded Norton’s re-entry into PC OEM and other large, high-volume consumer distribution partnerships, positioning the Norton business for a return to growth.


Juniper Announces a Management Shuffle

Juniper Networks announced the appointment of Kevin Hutchins to the newly created position Senior Vice President of Strategy and Product Line Management. Juniper's engineering organization will now report into chief development officer, Andy Athreya. Both of these positions will report into chief executive officer, Rami Rahim.

Hutchins is a six-year veteran of Juniper and has been responsible for strategy and business development. Athreya has been an engineering leader at Juniper since 2004 and has held various leadership positions within the routing and security products groups.

In addition to these shifts, Jonathan Davidson has resigned from the company. Davidson served as executive vice president and general manager of Juniper Development and Innovation.

"The opportunity we have at Juniper to lead the next wave of innovation and network transformation in our industry is incredible," said Rami Rahim, chief executive officer, Juniper Networks. "To achieve our vision, I am thrilled to have Kevin Hutchins and Andy Athreya to lead and help realize our innovation potential. These changes will allow Juniper Networks to double-down on innovation."


Kingston Ships Next-Generation Data Center PCIe SSD

Kingston Digital announced shipment of its Data Center PCIe 1000 SSD, a Flash-based drive aggregates four 8-channel controllers together to deliver up to 1.25 million IOPS from a single SSD.

The PCIe-based NVMe Gen. 3.0 x8 SSD is targeted toward high-performance data center applications such as database optimization, online transaction processing (OLTP), software defined storage, virtual desktop infrastructure and virtualization.

“We are proud to introduce the next generation of PCIe storage and performance for data centers with our new DCP1000 PCIe NVMe SSD,” said Ariel Perez, SSD business manager, Kingston. “This drive is a game changer among data center technology solutions. DCP1000 SSD enables IT professionals to quickly and economically scale and improve performance without replacing an entire storage system or server infrastructure.”

Some key specs:

High capacity: With up to 3.2TB1, DCP1000 is a high-capacity NVMe solid-state drive.
Power failure protection: DCP1000 offers enterprise-class power failure protection to maximize uptime.
Interface: Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe™) PCle Gen 3.0 x8 Lanes
Capacities1: 800GB, 1.6TB, 3.2TB
Sequential Read/Write2:
800GB: 6,800 / 5,000MB/s
1.6TB: 6,800 / 6,000MB/s
3.2TB: 6,800 / 6,000MB/s

Steady-State Random 4k Read/Write2:
800GB: 900,000 / 145,000 IOPS
1.6TB: 1,100,000 / 200,000 IOPS
3.2TB: 1,000,000 / 180,000 IOPS

Latency: (Typical) Read/Write 100us / 30us3
Endurance: Terabytes Written (Whole Drive)4
800GB: 748TB5
1.6TB: 1500TB5
3.2TB: 2788TB5


UNH-IOL Launches ONIE Logo Certification Program

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) is launching a certified Open Network Install Environment (ONIE) Logo Certification Program.

ONIE enables a white box network switch ecosystem where end users can choose from a variety of network operating systems. By allowing any operating system to be installed and used on any white box switch, it greatly simplifies the installation and use of a networking operating system.

The ONIE Tested Logo confirms conformance to the open source initiative enabling a network switch ecosystem that provides end users a choice of network operating systems.

“As part of the Open Compute Project, ONIE is helping reimagine hardware to make it more efficient, flexible, and scalable. Enabling choice in both hardware and software decisions, it creates a vast ecosystem,” said David Woolf, Senior Engineer, Datacenter Technologies, UNH-IOL. “The UNH-IOL ONIE Tested Logo Program and ONIE Tested Integrators List propel open networking forward by enabling companies to validate their devices through trusted, third-party interoperability testing.”

“ONIE certification offers numerous benefits to end users and hardware vendors. With ONIE certified hardware, end users can procure with confidence, knowing their hardware purchases are ready for mega-scale deployment,” said Curt Brune, Project Lead, ONIE and Principal Engineer, Cumulus Networks. “For hardware vendors, ONIE certification adds an additional level of quality assurance and brand recognition to their hardware offerings.”


Vodafone Egypt Teams with Ericsson to Launch Commercial VNF

Vodafone Egypt, which serves nearly 40 million customers in Egypt, has launched what is believed to be the first commercial virtual network function in the Middle East region.

Ericsson stated that since October 2016, its virtual Serving GPRS Support Node - Mobility Management Entity (SGSN-MME) has been serving and managing commercial mobile broadband traffic on the Vodafone Egypt network. Ericsson's virtual SGSN-MME supports multi-access technologies including GSM, WCDMA and LTE, and interworks with WiFi.

The Ericsson solution is designed to provide feature parity and is agnostic to the underlying cloud system, offering support for both OpenStack and VMware. Based on the Ericsson pooling concept, the Vodafone Egypt network operates using a combination of virtual and native SGSN/MME within the same pool and helps to support efficient capacity expansion via enhanced scalability and capacity, enabling operators to optimise their operations and address growth in mobile broadband traffic.

Recently, Ericsson and Cisco announced they had been selected to transform and virtualise Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)'s networks, including evolving its core network to provide greater flexibility and programmability using network slicing.

In 2016, Ericsson in partnership with Cisco announced they had been chosen by Vodafone Portugal to implement a mobile backhaul evolution project. As part of the project, Ericsson was to deploy and integrate Cisco's Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 9000 product families to upgrade Vodafone Portugal's IP backhaul network.

Regarding the project, Osama Said, Vodafone Egypt Technology Director, commented, "Vodafone Egypt is working with Ericsson to take steps towards network function virtualisation… (which) will enhance the speed and efficiency of services provide to customers… and customer satisfaction".


Northeast region operator FirstLight to acquire FLTG serving New York and Pennsylvania

FirstLight Fiber, a fibre bandwidth infrastructure services provider operating in New York and northern New England, announced its intent to acquire Finger Lakes Technologies Group (FLTG), a subsidiary of Trumansburg Telephone Company (TTC) that provides data, Internet and voice solutions to business customers across New York and Pennsylvania.

The company stated that the acquisition of FLTG is intended to strengthen FirstLight's position as a leading fibre communications provider in the Northeast region. The transaction will combine FLTG's privately owned fibre network, which spans nearly 2,500 route miles in New York state and Pennsylvania, with FirstLight's 9,500-plus route mile fibre network and data, Internet, data centre, cloud and voice services.

Through the transaction, FirstLight will be able to offer increased fibre density in the upstate New York area, and expand its service offering in the northern Pennsylvania region. Headquartered in Victor, FLTG and its parent companies employ 140 people, with offices in Buffalo, Binghamton, Norwich, Phelps, Romulus and Trumansburg.

Based in Albany, New York, FirstLight provides fibre data, Internet, data centre and voice services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast, connecting more than 5,000 locations to services and with a further 20,000 locations serviceable over its fibre network.

FirstLight offers a portfolio of high bandwidth connectivity solutions including Ethernet, wavelength and dark fibre services, as well as data centre, cloud and voice services. Customers includes national cellular providers and wireline carriers, enterprises, the education sector and local and state governments.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017, following the satisfaction of customary regulatory and shareholder approvals. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


  • In January, FirstLight, a company of Oak Hill Capital Partners, completed similar transactions with Oxford Networks and Sovernet Communications. Oak Hill Capital Partners completed its acquisition of Oxford Networks and combined the operations with FirstLight, with Novacap, Bank Street Capital Partners and Riverside Partners continuing as minority investors in the combined company. The Sovernet transaction is expected to close early in 2017 following receipt of customary regulatory approvals.

Huawei Intros 4 Tbit/s Line card for NE9000 Backbone Router enabling 80 Tbit/s Capacity

Huawei has unveiled what it claims is the first 4 Tbit/s router line card that enables high density 100 Gigabit Ethernet interface interconnection and equips its NE9000 backbone router to support a total capacity of up to 80 Tbit/s.

The NE9000 platform comprises part of Huawei's CloudBackbone solution, which is designed to provide higher capacity and improved efficiency for core node and data centre interconnection (DCI) applications in cloud environments.

The new Huawei 4 Tbit/s router line cards utilise the latest Solar5.0 network processing chip design and is claimed to deliver the highest density 100 Gigabit Ethernet interface interconnectivity and to help operators to build flattened backbone networks. In addition, as the NE9000 platform provides support for 400 Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, end-to-end 400 Gbit/s links can be implemented with transport devices for a simplified network topology.

The NE9000 router provides capacity of up to 80 Tbit/s, enabling support for up to 2 million concurrent online users streaming 4K video and designed to address current and future network bandwidth requirements. The NE9000 also features energy-saving capabilities, with a single device claimed to consume 0.4 W/Gbit/s.

As a core element of Huawei's CloudBackbone solution, the NE9000 is designed to work with the company's Network Cloud Engine to offer centralised control and allow real-time detection of traffic changes on the network, thereby helping operators to implement flexible adjustment of the network and improve network efficiency.

Additionally, the Huawei NE9000 can be separated into multiple virtual devices to enable unified bearing of multiple services and the use of fewer network nodes. Moreover, service isolation can be provided utilising virtualisation technology for enhanced network security and reliability.


Ericsson and BT Conduct 5G Research

Ericsson, BT and King's College London are collaborating on the development of 5G projects in support of mission-critical services, commercial and consumer markets.

The multi-year collaboration agreement focuses on 5G testing and development.

BT has worked with Ericsson to build a 5G Proof of Concept Center at the BT Labs in Adastral Park, Ipswich. King's College contributes with low-latency use cases and specialized knowledge in communication technologies, robotics and haptic control.

Howard Watson, CEO, BT Technology, Service & Operations, and BT Group CIO, says: "The initial focus of the collaboration is on Proof of Concept solutions and trials of services needing both high availability and low latency - both key features of the forthcoming 5G technology."

In 2016, BT bought EE, the United Kingdom's leading 4G network provider.


Monday, March 6, 2017

Video: 5G is Starting to Happen

5G was front and center at this year's Mobile World Congress, but for all of the talk about autonomous driving, connected living, etc,  the first real application of 5G is likely to be fixed wireless access, says Dan Warren, Hear of 5G Research for Samsung's R&D Institute. Much of the activity for 5G fixed wireless access is taking place in the 28 GHz band.

See video: https://youtu.be/84HQmhkfMQ0

IBM Plans Quantum Capability for the Cloud

IBM is launching an initiative to build commercially available universal quantum computing systems that would be be delivered via the IBM Cloud platform.

As a first step, the company is releasing an API for the IBM Quantum Experience that enables developers and programmers to begin building interfaces between its existing five quantum bit (qubit) cloud-based quantum computer and classical computers, without needing a deep background in quantum physics. Later this year, IBM plans to release a full SDK (Software Development Kit) on the IBM Quantum Experience for users to build simple quantum applications and software programs.

“Classical computers are extraordinarily powerful and will continue to advance and underpin everything we do in business and society. But there are many problems that will never be penetrated by a classical computer. To create knowledge from much greater depths of complexity, we need a quantum computer,” said Tom Rosamilia, senior vice president of IBM Systems. “We envision IBM Q systems working in concert with our portfolio of classical high-performance systems to address problems that are currently unsolvable, but hold tremendous untapped value.”


Crehan: Branded Data Center Ethernet Switch Revenue Tops $10B in '16

Branded data center Ethernet switch sales exceeded $10 billion in 2016, according to the latest report from Crehan Research Inc.  The report notes that this revenue level, a record, was accompanied by the strongest market growth rate since 2013.

“2016 was a strong year for data center Ethernet switching, with robust customer spending on public, private and hybrid clouds," said Seamus Crehan, president of Crehan Research. “40GbE and 100GbE switches were the main market drivers, with a total of over one billion dollars in revenue growth. However, 40GbE data center switch spending softened in the second half of the year, while spending on 100GbE continued to increase throughout the year."

In addition to the strong top-level revenue performance, notable results from Crehan’s data center switch report include:

  • 25GbE shipments ramped exponentially during 2016, exceeding a one-and-a-half million annual port run-rate by 4Q16, driven mostly by Cisco’s Cloud Scale Nexus 9000 series 
  •  100GbE shipments increased dramatically throughout the year, also surpassing a one-and-a-half million annual port run-rate by 4Q16, with data center switches from Arista and Cisco accounting for most of the year’s volume 
  • 10GBASE-T data center switch shipments increased more than 60% for the full year 2016  Cisco accounted for over half of total branded data center Ethernet switch revenues in 2016 
  • Arista, Huawei and Juniper all saw data center switch revenue increases in excess of 30% in 2016, resulting in share gains  
  • The top-line 2016 average selling price per data center switch port was almost identical to that of 2015  

“The total market average selling price remained remarkably stable in 2016, despite factors such as intense data center switch competition and the price negotiating power of the large hyper-scale cloud customers," Crehan said. "Migration to higher speeds and strong adoption of modular switching were key factors in the stability.”


Salesforce Signs Onto IBM Watson

IBM and Salesforce announced a global strategic partnership for leveraging artificial intelligence in business decisions.

Under the deal, IBM Watson, the leading AI platform for business, and Salesforce Ein
stein, AI that powers the world’s #1 CRM, will seamlessly connect to enable an entirely new level of intelligent customer engagement across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more.

IBM is also strategically investing in its Global Business Services capabilities for Salesforce with a new practice to help clients rapidly deploy the combined IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein capabilities.

“Within a few years, every major decision—personal or business—will be made with the help of AI and cognitive technologies,” said Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and chief executive officer, IBM. “This year we expect Watson will touch one billion people—through everything from oncology and retail to tax preparation and cars. Now, with today's announcement, the power of Watson will serve the millions of Salesforce and Einstein customers and developers to provide an unprecedented understanding of customers."

"The combination of Einstein and Watson will make businesses smarter and our customers more successful," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce. “I'm thrilled to form an alliance with IBM—no company’s core values are as close to Salesforce’s as IBM’s. It’s the best of both worlds.”


Vodafone Selects Juniper Contrail SDN

Juniper Networks announced at MWC 2017 that it has been selected as a Vodafone Global Approved Vendor for its Contrail Networking software-defined networking (SDN) solution, which will help the operator to develop new, user-driven and flexible business services for customers.

Juniper noted that Contrail Networking is an open, flexible SDN solution designed to provide automation and orchestration for scalable virtual networks, which can help operators such as Vodafone to leverage the cloud to deliver services, enhance business agility and increase revenue.

During MWC, Juniper hosted a presentation of VPN+ as a showcase Vodafone's multi-vendor mobile VPN services portfolio, which constitutes a key part of the Vodafone Ocean Transformation program to virtualise its networks launched last year.

The demonstration featured VPN+ use cases including SD-WAN, service chaining, on-demand services, virtual cloud-hosted services and universal, virtualised CPE. VPN+ services are designed to leverage a customer portal that allows users to select, change and provision services.

Separately, Juniper announced at MWC the availability of a carrier-grade cloud solution designed to allow the rapid implementation of mobile subscriber service virtual networks functions (VNFs). The solution combines Affirmed Networks Mobile Content Cloud virtualised evolved packet core solution (vEPC) with Juniper's Contrail Networking solution and the Netronome Agilio SmartNICs.

The solution integrates the Juniper Contrail Networking SDN solution with Affirmed Networks MCC vEPC offering probe, analytics, WiFi gateways (TWAG, ePDG), Gi-LAN services, service orchestration and IoT services, and Netronome's Agilio SmartNIC 10/25/40 Gigabit Ethernet platforms that offloads virtual switch and router datapath processing for networking functions to reduce CPU load.


Angola Cables Deploys Ciena on MONET Subsea Cable

Ciena announced that Angola Cables, a wholesale carrier, has selected its GeoMesh and Blue Planet solutions to support the launch of a new service over the currently under construction MONET subsea cable.

Angola Cables is a multinational wholesale telcoms carrier that leverages cable systems across the South Atlantic and around Africa. Angola Cables manages the WACS (West Africa Cable System), providing services to operators in Angola and the sub-Saharan region of Africa; it also operates Angonix (Angolan IXP) in its data centre in Luanda, and is building a data centre and interconnection facility in Fortaleza, Brazil.

The 10,556 km route on the MONET cable system, which is scheduled to be operational in the second half of 2017, will provide over 25 Tbit/s of traffic capacity between the U.S. and Latin America via a hub in São Paulo, Brazil. Angola Cables wholesale customers will be able to utilise the additional connectivity to support bandwidth demands from on-demand applications such as over-the-top (OTT) video and cloud computing.

To meet demand for capacity between the U.S. and Latin America, the Ciena 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, equipped with the WaveLogic Ai coherent optical chipset, can provide wavelengths at capacities of 200 Gbit/s and higher between Angola Cables' point of presences without the need for regeneration along the route.

In addition, Ciena's GeoMesh spectrum sharing capability is designed to enable cost-effective connectivity while also allowing wholesale customers to manage traffic on the network without suffering disruption from other users on the open cable system.

Ciena's Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) software and cloud-based SLA portal will help Angola Cables to more effectively manage bandwidth and provide customers with a real-time view of network events that could affect service level agreements.

The 10,556 km MONET Submarine cable is owned by Algar Telecom of Brazil, Angola Cables, ANTEL of Uruguay and Google. The 100 Gbit/s-capable system will provide a low latency route between Brazil and North America and provide a minimum capacity of 60 Tbit/s. In October 2016, TE SubCom announced it had completed the U.S. landing for the submarine cable, which will connect Boca Raton, Florida to Fortaleza and Praia Grande in Brazil, where landings had been completed earlier in the year.


Eutelsat and ViaSat Enter European Broadband JV

Eutelsat Communications and ViaSat entered a partnering arrangement that combines Eutelsat’s established European broadband business with ViaSat’s broadband technology know-how and Internet Service Provider (ISP) business expertise.

The joint venture, which headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland, expands Eutelsat’s current wholesale broadband business and launches a new consumer retail service in Europe. The company will consist of two businesses:

Wholesale Services will focus on providing wholesale broadband and mobility services in the European and Mediterranean regions to the newly established retail services business and existing Eutelsat distributors. Eutelsat is contributing its current European broadband business including the KA-SAT satellite to the newly formed entity, owned 51% by Eutelsat. ViaSat has acquired a 49% interest in the business for a consideration of €132.5 million.
Retail Services will focus on offering retail broadband services in the European and Mediterranean regions. Enhanced service plans are expected to be introduced in select European countries from 2017 onwards, setting a foundation for growth in the retail services business with the availability of future satellite capacity. This business is owned 51% by ViaSat and 49% by Eutelsat.


Aricent Enhances ANS for Automation in Virtualised Networks

Aricent, a global technology design and engineering company, has announced new capabilities within its Autonomous Network Solution (ANS), designed to provide intelligent automation for next-generation virtualised networks.

Aricent ANS, based on components complaint with standards including ETSI NFV, ETSI AFI GANA, MEF LSO and TM-Forum Zoom, is designed to apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) to support the network transformation. The company cited two applications for AI in networking: enhancing productivity in development, for example in DevOps for root cause analysis, and to enable the network to become an intelligent, as well as an automated, platform

Aricent's Autonomous Network Solution is designed to support functionality including:

1. Network management and orchestration, providing a platform to define and manage virtual network function (VNF) service chains, policies, resource consumption and performance metrics.

2. Lifecycle service orchestration (LSO), enabling an: intent-based management layer to control physical and virtual network resources utilising both physical network and NFV orchestrators.

3. A self-optimisation framework, based on a bespoke machine learning tool chain that can support multiple use cases, such as predictive defect detection, root cause analysis and low latency network services.

Aricent also announced the launch of Cognitive Services, designed to enhance customer engagement and loyalty leveraging AI. Aricent Cognitive Services span service development, design, strategy and software and hardware development and specifically include data-driven design services and capabilities from frog that support data exploration and machine learning techniques, and CognitiveDrive Train Platform (CDP), designed to enable the assembly and integration of AI services from platforms such as IBM Watson, Amazon, Microsoft and Google ML.