Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Google picks up the pace in cloud computing

When it comes to the cloud, Google certainly isn't taking a summer holiday. Over the past weeks there have been a string of cloud related developments from Google showing that is very focused, delivering innovative services and perhaps narrowing the considerable market share gap between itself and rivals IBM, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. There is a new Google cloud data centre in London, a new data transfer service, a new transfer appliance and a new offering for computational drug discovery. And this week came word from Bloomberg that Google is gearing up to launch its first quantum computing cloud services. While the company declined to comment directly about the Bloomberg story it is understood that quantum computing is an area of keen interest for Google.

New London data centre

Customers of Google Cloud Platform (GCP) can use the new region in London (europe-west2) to run applications. Google noted that London is its tenth region, joining the existing European region in Belgium. Future European regions include Frankfurt, the Netherlands and Finland. Google also stated that it is working diligently to address EU data protection requirements. Most recently, Google announced a commitment to GDPR compliance across GCP.

Introducing Google Transfer Appliance

This is a pre-configured solution that offers up to 480TB in 4U or 100TB in 2U of raw data capacity in a single rackmount device. Essentially, it is high-capacity storage server that a customer can install in a corporate data centre. Once the server is full, the customer simply ships the appliance back to Google for transferring the data to Google Cloud Storage. It offers a capacity of up to one-petabyte compressed.

The Google Transfer Appliance is a very practical solution even when massive bandwidth connections are available at both ends. For instance, for customers fortunate enough to possess a 10 Gbit/s connection, a 100TB data store would still take 30 hours to transfer electronically. A 1PB data library would take over 12 days using the same10 Gbit/s connection, and that is assuming no drops in connectivity performance. Google is now offering a 100TB model priced at $300, plus shipping via FedEx (approximately $500) and a 480TB model is priced at $1800, plus shipping (approximately $900). Amazon offers a similar Snowball Edge data migration appliance for migrating large volumes of data to its cloud the old-fashioned way.

Partnership for computational medicine

Under a partnership with Boston -based Silicon Therapeutics, Google recently deployed its INSITE Screening platform on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to analyse over 10 million commercially available molecular compounds as potential starting materials for next-generation medicines. In one week, it performed over 500 million docking computations to evaluate how a protein responds to a given molecule. Each computation involved a docking program that predicted the preferred orientation of a small molecule to a protein and the associated energetics so it could assess whether it will bind and alter the function of the target protein.

With a combination of Google Compute Engine standard and Preemptible VMs, the partners used up to 16,000 cores, for a total of 3 million core-hours and a cost of about $30,000. Google noted that a final stage of the calculations delivered all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on the top 1,000 molecules to determine which ones to purchase and experimentally assay for activity.

Pushing ahead with Kubernetes

The recent open source release of Kubernetes 1.7 is now available on Container Engine, Google Cloud Platform’s (GCP) managed container service. The end result is better workload isolation within a cluster, which is a frequently requested security feature in Kubernetes. Google also announced that its Container Engine, which saw more than 10x growth last year, is now available from the following GCP regions:

•   Sydney (australia-southeast1).

•   Singapore (asia-southeast1).

•   Oregon (us-west1).

•   London (europe-west2).

Container engine clusters are already up and running at locations from Iowa to Belgium and Taiwan.

New strategic partnership with Nutanix

Google has formed a strategic partnership with Nutanix to help remove friction from hybrid cloud deployments for enterprises.

Reimagining virtual public clouds at global scale

Integrating cloud resources from different areas of the world no longer requires negotiating and installing a VPN solution from one or more service providers. Google can do it for you using its own global backbone. VPC is private, and with Google VPC customers can get private access to Google services such as storage, big data, analytics or machine learning, without having to give the service a public IP address. Global VPCs are divided into regional subnets that use Google’s private backbone to communicate as needed.

VPC, formerly known as GCP Virtual Networks, offers a privately administered space within Google Cloud Platform (GCP). This means global connectivity across locations and regions, and the elimination of silos across projects and teams.

Further information on Google Cloud Platform is available at the blog here:
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AT&T Tops U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD

AT&T topped the newly released U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD from  Vertical Systems Group based on results for year-end 2016.

Eleven companies attained a position on the 2016 U.S. Fiber Lit Buildings LEADERBOARD as follows (in rank order by number of fiber lit buildings): AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum Enterprise, CenturyLink, Comcast, Level 3, Cox, Lightower, Zayo, Altice USA and Frontier.

Retail and wholesale fiber providers with 10,000 or more on-net fiber lit commercial buildings in the U.S. qualify for this new benchmark.

“On-net fiber lit buildings are valued strategic assets that give retail and wholesale providers a competitive edge in profitably delivering services to business customers. A major benefit of a fiber lit building is ready connectivity with provisioning through service orchestration, without the construction cost and extensive lead time required to light a building,” said Rosemary Cochran, principal at Vertical Systems Group. “These dynamics are driving this year’s acquisitions among fiber providers that will significantly impact the U.S. fiber landscape. Eighteen of the twenty-eight Fiber LEADERBOARD and Challenge Tier companies have fiber-related transactions just completed or pending.”

The Challenge Tier of providers includes companies with lit fiber connections to between 2,000 and 9,999 U.S. commercial buildings. Seventeen companies qualified for the 2016 Fiber Lit Buildings Challenge Tier as follows (in alphabetical order): Cincinnati Bell, Cleareon, Cogent, Consolidated Communications, Electric Lightwave, Fairpoint, FiberLight, FiberNet Direct, FirstLight, IFN, Lumos, Southern Light, Sunesys, Unite Private Networks, Uniti Fiber, Windstream and XO.

https://www.verticalsystems.com/vsglb/u-s-fiber-lit-buildings-leaderboard/

MEF Drives SD-WAN Managed Services



MEF is expanding from Carrier Ethernet to many new types of services, including SD-WAN managed services.  Ralph Santitoro, Distinguished Fellow, MEF, discusses a new white paper from MEF that introduces SD-WAN functions, terminology, and service components; explains how the components fit within the LSO Reference Architecture; and provides SD-WAN managed services use cases.  Ralph says that many of MEF’s successful programs related to Carrier Ethernet will be replicated with SD-WAN.

Recorded at the MEF Annual Members' Meeting in Toronto.

See video: https://youtu.be/vnLw6JxkKV4


Nokia to expand development of 5G FIRST

Nokia announced that it is broadening its focus into multiple areas of early 5G mobility use cases, including enhanced mobile broadband and ultra-reliable, ultra-low latency communications.

As part of this initiative, Nokia will seek to accelerate 3GPP industry standardisation while also building on early customer experiences through its Nokia 5G FIRST end-to-end solution, which was launched in February this year at Mobile World Congress.

Nokia noted that with interest in 5G mobility applications already building at operators, notably in markets including the U.S., China, Japan and South Korea, it will implement early 5G specifications by enhancing 5G FIRST with the 3GPP 5G Phase I protocol. This 5G NR (new radio) air interface standard, which is due to be released in early 2018, is designed to enable support for a variety of 5G devices and services.

Nokia will continue to develop and expand 5G FIRST as an end-to-end solution, designed to encourage the broader market adoption of 5G, for both mobility and fixed applications, as well as testing of multiple 5G use cases. Nokia stated that it will build on field experience already gained with its 5G FIRST solution, which has provided insights in areas including:

  • The use of radio propagation in higher frequencies.
  • Massive MIMO and beamforming.
  • Integration with existing networks versus standalone implementations.
  • The use of small cells in 5G deployments.
  • The importance of cloud native core and cloud RAN technologies.
The company noted that, along with other key elements of 3GPP-based 5G implementation, these features will enable it to extend the scope of interoperability testing with a range of devices. Nokia will also continue to apply advanced technologies such as chipset and radio frequency innovations as part of its end-to-end 5G strategy.

The 5G FIRST solution incorporates technology including the multi-access Nokia Cloud Packet Core and Shared Data Layer as part of a cloud-native core architecture designed to deliver the flexibility, scalability and performance operators require to quickly and cost-effectively deliver 5G services.

In addition, a comprehensive 'anyhaul' mobile transport portfolio from Nokia incorporates microwave, IP, optical and fixed access technologies designed to address the capacity, reliability and latency requirements of 5G networks.

Exaring deploys Juniper for delivery of IPTV

Juniper Networks announced that Exaring, a digital service provider based in Germany, has deployed its solutions to create a scalable and fully-automated infrastructure to support delivery of next generation, IP-based TV services.

Exaring's platform offers German households broadcast TV services in the cloud via a smart device. The company operates an extensive fibre infrastructure that is used exclusively for the transmission of IP entertainment services, combining high-definition TV content with intuitive apps and the flexibility of the web. Exaring has also created its own TV platform, waipu.tv.

The flexible and automated network architecture created by Juniper's technology is designed to enable Exaring to integrate and deploy new services faster and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), as well as meet increasing demand for its IP TV playout platform. The automated solution also allows the company to monitor and dynamically adjust network performance based on data analysis.

For the deployment, Juniper supplied its QFX Series switching technology to support the automated delivery of TV services, including HD and 4K (ultra HD) video, to end-users utilising customers' existing Internet connections and without the need for additional installations.

Exaring's services run in a cloud environment created by the QFX switches, high capacity, high-density switching platforms featuring an open architecture that are designed to serve as universal building blocks for automated, programmable fabric architectures.

Specifically Exaring has deployed the Juniper QFX10000 at its data centre edge, which offers IPv4 and IPv6 peering functionality and enables low latency transport, together with Juniper's ASIC functionality, including Virtual output Queueing (VoQ) technology. The new network infrastructure runs on the Junos OS operating system, allowing centralised management to help streamline and simplify network operations, and integration into Exaring's existing orchestration and automation infrastructure.




  • * Earlier this year, ADVA Optical Networking announced that Exaring had deployed its technology to cerate what was claimed to be Germany's first integrated platform for the delivery of IP entertainment services. Based on the ADVA FSP 3000 solution, Exaring's upgraded national 100 Gbit/s backbone was designed to transmit on-demand TV and gaming services to approximately 23 million households across the country.

Hyperoptic secures GBP 100m to accelerate fibre rollout

Hyperoptic, a major residential gigabit broadband provider in the UK, announced that it has secured an additional GBP 100 million in funding to accelerate the build of its full-fibre network.

The new funding is being provided by a consortium of four major European banks, BNP Paribas, ING, RBS and Dutch investment bank NIBC, with LionTree Advisors acting as exclusive financial advisor to Hyperoptic.

Hyperoptic stated that its fibre-based broadband service is currently available across 28 cities and towns in the UK, and over the past six years it has expanded its network five-fold to pass approximately 350,000 homes and business units. The new funding will support Hyperoptic's plan to expand its infrastructure a further six-fold with the aim of making its hyperfast broadband service available to two million homes by 2022 and five million by 2025.

In conjunction with the new funding, Hyperoptic is also evolving its business model to deliver its services to sites with as few as 25 units and based upon the demand for its services and the proximity of its fibre network to serve smaller sites.

Hyperoptic operates its own dedicated FTTP network that enables it to offer symmetrical gigabit broadband services. It has expanded its network reach by over 100% in each of the last three years and has installed more than 20,000 km of dedicated cable.

Hyperoptic noted that it has previously received funding of over GBP 75 million, and that in 2016 the European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to provide GBP 21 million to support its rollout and addressable market expansion. Previously, in 2013 Hyperoptic received an equity investment led by Quantum Strategic Partners, a private investment vehicle managed by Soros Fund Management.


S-Net teams with Versa Networks to provide SD-WAN

Chicago-based S-Net Communications, a provider of fibre Internet and VoIP business phone systems, announced it has partnered with next-generation software-based networking and security solutions supplier Versa Networks to offer enterprise and SMB customers a comprehensive communications solution supporting cloud voice services with enhanced security.

S-Net noted that developments in cloud, SDN and NFV technology is making it possible for service providers to use the cloud to deliver traditional and new communications services. However, this delivery model means that networking technologies such as MPLS are becoming too costly for enterprise customers, as well as being difficult to manage and scale compared with hybrid networks leveraging SD-WAN technology.

The new partnership with Versa Networks provides S-Net with a feature-rich secure SD-WAN solution designed to mitigate the challenges relating to cost and complexity. Utilising SD-WAN to augment or replace MPLS connectivity for its voice services allows S-Net to reduce complexity, increase agility and lower costs, while also delivering high call quality.


* In May, Versa Networks announced a significant expansion of its SDN capabilities from SD-WAN to the software-defined branch (SD-Branch). The expanded Versa Cloud IP Platform enables large enterprises and service providers to virtualise and software-define the branch and WAN to help reduce complexity and increase IT agility.

Managed service providers can use the Versa Cloud platform to offer a portfolio of managed services that combine MPLS, broadband Internet and mobile (3G/4G) network services with SD-Branch, SD-WAN, SD-Security or SD-Router functionality.


* S-Net is a major provider of high speed fibre-based Internet and VoIP business phone systems to enterprises and SMBs, currently serving over 30,000 subscribers on its communications platform.

Molex launches zSFP+ for 56 Gbit/s PAM4 channels

Molex announced it has expanded its zSFP+ Interconnect System to support 56 Gbit/s PAM4 channels in a stacked 2 x N port configuration, allowing next-generation Ethernet and Fibre Channel applications to receive improved signal integrity.

Molex claims the product is the first of its kind on the market, enabling OEMs requiring high-density interconnect applications now to utilise channels with individual lane data rates up to 56 Gbit/s PAM4. The updated Molex product also maintains a low insertion loss, crosstalk, thermal and electromagnetic interference (EMI) containment as provided by the previous generation zSFP+ interconnect system.

The updated interconnect system offers multiple features designed to allow greater flexibility and lower costs for users. The 56 Gbit/s PAM4 channel products include EMI ganged cages, available in multiple port configurations from 2 x 1 through 2 x 12, providing flexibility of PCB signal routing of LEDs.

Molex has also developed a next-generation terminal and wafer on the stacked integrated connectors within the zSFP+ interconnect system. The advanced terminal is designed to provide superior signal integrity for 56 Gbit/s PAM4 applications. The system also allows users to merge standard cables and modules with the increased data-rate accepted.

The new zSFP+ interconnect system targets applications in cellular infrastructure, telecom equipment, switches, data networking servers and storage systems.



  • * Recently, the SFP-DD MSA Group, which includes Molex as a founding member, announced plans to develop the specification for a high-speed, double-density small form-factor pluggable (SFP-DD) interface. The MSA plan to develop operating parameters, signal transmission speed goals and protocols for the SFP-DD interface, which expands on the SFP pluggable form factor.

  • The SFP interface's single electrical lane operates at up to 25 Gbit/s NRZ or 56 Gbit/s PAM4, with the new SFP-DD electrical interfaces designed to support 2 lanes operating at up to 25 Gbit/s NRZ or 56 Gbit/s PAM4 per lane to support 50/112 Gbit/s aggregate bandwidth

Talari enhances SD-WAN with WAN optimisation, security

Talari Networks, a developer of SD-WAN technology, announced that its latest software release includes WAN optimisation services that run natively in the core platform, and introduced a solution jointly validated with Zscaler, a provider of cloud security, to help companies transition to secure, direct-to-cloud connections.

Integrated WAN optimisation

Talari SD-WAN solutions now provide native support for core WAN optimisation features such as data compression and deduplication of data, in addition to congestion controls. Talari WAN Optimization (WAN-Op) is designed to improve efficiency across the WAN for bulk file-transfer traffic, particularly for data requested by more than one user at the same location. The integration of WAN-Op with the SD-WAN software is designed to help organisations simplify the branch office and realise cost efficiencies.

Secure solution

The solution validated with Zscaler enables Talari SD-WAN edge nodes to transparently forward all Internet traffic to the Zscaler cloud over IPsec tunnels, enabling faster performance, reduced bandwidth requirements and simplified operations. The service will be delivered via Talari's Adaptive Path Networking (APN) software (Release 7.0), available on currently supported physical, virtual and cloud appliances.
The Talari joint solution specifically delivers IPsec tunnels to the Zscaler cloud, with one active tunnel per Talari SD-WAN node, and Talari app-aware routing rules to selectively determine what traffic to forward to Zscaler.

SD-WAN performance enhancements

In addition to secure cloud gateway and WAN-Op services, Talari APN 7.0 provides new performance features for Talari appliances. Talari is expanding the VT800 virtual appliance performance rating to multi-gigabit, allowing the virtual appliance to address data centre as well as small branch location requirements.

In addition, for the cloud new performance enhancements for Azure enable customers decommissioning legacy data centres to utilise cloud servers. Talari is also extending the performance of VT1000 virtual appliances to 1 Gbit/s on VMware ESX to address the performance requirements of mid-market sites.

Talari is also enhancing the performance of its E100, T800, T3010 and T5200 hardware products.


Sedona appoints David Amzallag, formerly at Vodafone, as special strategic advisor

Sedona Systems, a provider of multi-layer IP/optical network automation and control solutions, announced the appointment of David Amzallag, former leader of network virtualisation transformation at Vodafone, as a special strategic advisor.

In his new role, Mr. Amzallag brings extensive industry experience and understanding of carrier networks and will help to expand and develop Sedona's NetFusion product line.

At Vodafone, David Amzallag served as group head of network virtualisation, SDN and NFV, and led the company's major Vodafone Ocean SDN/NFV transformation program. Since leaving Vodafone, he has worked with select companies that are helping carriers to create next-generation, end-to-end network architectures.

Prior to Vodafone, Mr. Amzallag served as VP for virtual telecommunications and NFV with Alcatel-Lucent, where he designed the first company-wide vision and strategy for network virtualisation and for NFV management and orchestration. Previously, David Amzallag served as CTO at Amdocs and as chief scientist, BT 21CN, with BT.

Mr. Amzallag holds a PhD in Computer Science from Technion (Israel Institute of Technology), a MS in Operations Research, and bachelor's degrees in Mathematics, Computer Science and Industrial Engineering from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Sedona's NetFusion is a software-defined networking (SDN) solution that automatically discovers and visualises a carrier's IP/MPLS and optical network layers into a single, abstracted model. This real-time view of multi-layer, multi-vendor, multi-domain topology and traffic is designed to provide detailed visibility and enable network convergence and software agility, including with existing network infrastructure.

The NetFusion App Suite furthers this converged solution with optimisation and automation apps that can help to improve network resiliency and efficiency. As SDN controllers are added to the network, NetFusion can evolve into a network controller, providing automation and control across multiple vendors and domains, and abstracting the network to service orchestrators.

Sedona Raises $13.6M for IP/Optical Converged Control



Sedona Systems, a start-up based in Israel with offices in Cupertino, California, announced $13.6 million in Series B funding for its IP/optical converged control platform for service provider networks. Sedona said its NetFusion software platform enables coordinated control of the IP and Optical layers in multi-vendor networks, automatically creating a live map of all traffic paths and cross-connections. Following this unique network discovery process,...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

ONAP Project progresses towards Amsterdam release

The Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) Project announced that, building on its technical momentum and community growth, Comcast, Fujitsu, Infosys, NEC subsidiary Netcracker Technology and Samsung have joined as new members to contribute to the open source framework for network automation.

ONAP noted that six months after its launch it has doubled its community and projects to more than 900 contributors, 50 members and 30 projects. ONAP is working to deliver a neutral automation platform for network, infrastructure and services across service providers, cloud providers and enterprises as they seek to efficiently deliver on-demand services leveraging existing investments.

ONAP stated that it is progressing towards the first release, Amsterdam, which is due to be available later in the year. The Amsterdam release will integrate the original OPEN-O and ECOMP code bases into a common orchestration platform.

In addition, the ONAP community has established projects and technologies key to VNF orchestration that combine features from both the OPEN-O and ECOMP platforms. This effort includes tools and guidelines designed to help vendors create, integrate and validate their VNFs with ONAP; ONAP is also announcing the acceptance of ICE.

ICE, developed at the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto, is an incubation and validation platform for VNF's that was recently made a part of ONAP. Now known as the VNF Validation Program (ICE) Project, it includes a defined validation process and scripts designed to form the basis of the certification and self-test programs for ONAP.

The new project, along with the VNF Requirements Project and VNF SDK Project that utilise code from OPEN-O and ECOMP, will define how VNFs can obtain an ONAP-compatible label. Further key areas of integration include service orchestration, deployment and monitoring of VNFs, plus closed loop automation. Additionally, uses cases required for future carrier networks have been approved by the TSC (technical steering committee), including residential broadband vCPE, vFW/vDNS and VoLTE.



Analysys Mason evaluates Telefónica's UNICA NFV/SDN

Telefonica, serving around 346 million accesses in 21 countries, announced that Analysys Mason, the global consultancy and research firm, has released a white paper commissioned by Telefónica that evaluates progress in implementing its Telco Cloud program, which includes UNICA, the foundational architecture designed to support future networks based on network function virtualisation and software-defined networking (NFV/SDN) technologies.

Telefonica noted that the paper covers its progress with the telco cloud initiative from its launch as an innovation project through to its current status with live deployments in Germany, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. Telefonica launched its UNICA program around four years ago.

The Analysys Mason study identifies Telefónica as amongst the first operator to see the potential of incorporating cloud technologies, general-purpose hardware and a programmable network control plane into its network architecture. Telefónica envisages eventually implementing a network that is fully virtualised and programmable that will enable it to efficiently and flexibly align capacity with demand, reduce network complexity and speed new services delivery.

The Analysys Mason study finds that Telefonica's UNICA platform features a well-founded architecture that does not compromise on the original ETSI NFV principles, specifically: independence from vendor-lock-in at all layers of the architecture; the use of commodity and, where possible, open-source, cloud technologies; and encouraging market innovation through sponsorship of open-source communities.

However, the research firm concludes that Telefónica faces two key challenges in implementing a program as large and advanced as UNICA - technology challenges associated with market immaturity and challenges around the organisational, cultural and process transformations needed to implement UNICA at scale.

To address these challenges, Analysys Mason recommends that Telefónica increase dialogue with business stakeholders to demonstrate the potential of UNICA and that it prioritise internal operational and organisational transformations to prepare its operating businesses from a technology perspective to effectively use the UNICA infrastructure.

The full Analysys Mason study, Telefónica's UNICA architecture strategy for network virtualisation, can be downloaded here:


Two long-term rivals in network policy control reach a merger agreement

by James E. Carroll

Broadband network policy control has often been a somewhat contentious issue in the U.S. and other western markets. Everyone agrees that good network management is essential and often that means prioritising valuable packets over others that are deemed to be lower value, not time dependent, or possibly malicious. On a private network, the good traffic can be sorted from the bad. Enterprise networks, for instance, are under no obligation to carry gaming traffic during business hours. Large academic networks, including those operated by universities and school districts, have legal responsibilities to filter the traffic and ensure that student have access to learning resources but not adult content. Broadband operators and ISPs have similar motivations for performing network management but must balance freedom of speech and other civil liberty interests.

The question of Net Neutrality has been debated for years. As a matter of public policy, the FCC under the Obama administration sought to enshrine several 'bright line' rules for net neutrality:

1.  No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service, and the content is legal, an ISP is not permitted to block it.

2.  No throttling. ISPs should not intentionally slow down some content or speed up others based on the type of service or your ISP’s preferences.

3.  Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs - the so-called last mile - is not the only place some sites might get special treatment.

4.  No paid prioritisation.

These Open Internet Rules of 2015, which were adopted by 3-to-2 vote along party partisan lines, were based on the FCC's authority under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934. The rules allowed some leniency for reasonable network management, especially for mobile networks and unlicensed WiFi public services.

Under the Trump administration, the new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, has moved quickly to reverse these bright-line rules, giving broadband network operators and ISPs much more leeway to implement more robust network policy controls. There have been numerous voices raised in opposition to this Pai reversal, including various online attention-getting statements last week from major tech companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Netflix, but so far, we have not seen many serious cases of legitimate network traffic being blocked or put into a slow lane by major ISPs. One of the most vocal supporters of Net Neutrality under the old rules has been Netflix, whose traffic has continued to surge. The bottom line, at least for now in the U.S. market, is that more network policy enforcement may come into play. On the global stage, many countries explicitly allow network operators to segment and prioritise traffic for a variety of reasons.

The Sandvine Procera deal

Numerous network equipment vendors, including all the big players, have long offered policy enforcement solutions for public network operators. Two of the leading specialists in this domain have been Sandvine and Procera Networks – rivals for over a decade. This week, the companies announced a merger agreement. Under the deal, PNI Canada Acquireco Corp. (PNI), an affiliate of Francisco Partners and Procera Networks, will acquire all the issued and outstanding common shares of Sandvine for C$4.40 per share in cash. The price per share implies an aggregate fully-diluted equity value for Sandvine of approximately C$562 million ($440 million). The cash purchase price represents a 40% premium to Sandvine's closing share price of C$3.15 on May 26, 2017 and a 61% premium to the cash-adjusted closing price on May 26, 2017. Simultaneously, a previous acquisition deal between Sandvine and Scalar Acquireco Corp. has been terminated and Sandvine has agreed to pay C$16.9 million to an affiliate of Scalar.

Sandvine, headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, was founded in 2001 by a team that had worked together on a previous start-up called PixStream, a video networking start-up that Cisco acquired that same year for C$554 million. Sandvine's core expertise is in network policy management, including the control of spam, usage-based billing, quality of service, and P2P throttling over any type of access network, including cable/DOCSIS, DSL/FTTx, Satellite, 3G, LTE, WiFi, and fixed wireless. In 2006, Sandvine completed its IPO and shares are now traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol SVC.  Sandvine said its solutions are deployed by more than 300 CSPs worldwide.

For its second quarter of 2017, Sandvine reported revenue of US$27.5 million, net income of $1.1 million, or $0.01 per diluted share, and EBITDA1 of $3.1 million, or 2c per diluted share. Overall revenue declined by 18% compared to a year earlier. Highlights included:

•   Revenue by access technology market: wireless 55%; fixed telco 26%; fixed cable 17%; other 2%.

•   Revenue by geography: EMEA 37%; NA 29%; APAC 17%; CALA 17%.

•   Revenue by sales channel: direct 55%; reseller 45%.

Procera Networks, based in Fremont, California, was founded in 2002 and includes significant operations in Sweden. Its PacketLogic platforms use deep packet inspection (DPI) to deliver analytics, traffic management, and enforcement use cases for broadband network operators, mobile operators and the academic institutions. In 2007, Procera completed an IPO and in 2013 bought Vineyard Networks, a Canadian DPI company, for C$28 million. In 2015, private funds managed by Francisco Partners Management, a technology-focused private equity firm, acquired Procera Networks in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $240 million.This represented a premium of approximately 21% over the closing price of Procera's common stock on the previous trading day of April 21, 2015, and a premium of approximately 32% over the unaffected closing price from January 22, 2015, the last day prior to an article reporting the potential sale of the company. At the time its privatisation deal was announced, Procera was reporting quarterly revenue in the range of $19.5 to $20.5 million.

The new company

In announcing the deal, officials from both companies said the combined entity will retain the Sandvine name. It will serve over 400 communications service provider customers, with over 1 billion subscribers in more than 100 countries, as well as over 500 enterprise customers and more than 100 OEM and channel partners. It will be led by Procera's CEO Lyndon Cantor, and Procera CFO Richard Deggs. The mission is to be the 'premier provider of network intelligence solutions to communication service providers around the world'. Both companies have developed NFV-based implementations for network policy control, so we should expect to see further rollout of virtualised policy enforcement solutions.

Mavenir acquires Brocade virtual EPC business on undisclosed terms

Mavenir Systems, a supplier of technology enabling network transformations for communication service providers, announced that it has acquired assets associated with the virtual evolved packet core (vEPC) product family from Brocade Communications Systems on undisclosed terms.

The acquisition extends Mavenir's position in network transformation and enhances its next-generation core network offering with a feature-rich, virtualised evolved packet core and advanced network slicing capabilities required for 5G architectures, as well as expanding its customer base. The transaction includes all associated IP with 22 granted and pending patents, a research and development facility in Mumbai, India and customer support and maintenance contracts.

Mavenir noted that Brocade's differentiated vEPC solution features key architectural attributes that leverage cloud computing, network virtualisation and software networking technologies designed to deliver higher scale and efficiency on industry-standard x86-based servers.

The software can scale from a single microprocessing core to a rack of servers, depending on use case, as it maps dimensions of mobile workload independently to cloud resources, while retaining the capability to integrate with traditional node-based EPC architectures.

Combined with Mavenir’s existing network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) offerings, the vEPC acquired from Brocade will comprise a key part of a mobile edge computing and IoT strategy. Mavenir noted that the ability to support low-latency use cases at the network edge enables service providers and enterprises to connect mobile and IoT devices, data centres and public or private clouds.

As part of the transaction, Mavenir is hiring certain Brocade employees associated with the vEPC business. This team will work with Mavenir to support customers of Brocade vEPC as well as deliver end-to-end solutions in the future.

Regarding the transaction, Ashok Khuntia, GM and EVP of Mavenir's Access Products division, said, "Mavenir is building a 5G architecture with control plane-user plane separation and stateless VNFs, the small footprint, combined with a highly scalable architecture and built-in HSS, is ideal for fixed wireless access, private LTE and industrial IoT spaces… when bundled with its virtualised RAN product, Mavenir offers a complete, virtualised end-to-end next generation core and access network".

http://www.mavenir.com/press-releases

Extreme to Acquire Brocade's Switching Business for $55 Million



Extreme Networks agreed to acquire Brocade Communications Systems' data center switching, routing, and analytics business from Broadcom following Broadcom's acquisition of Brocade. The deal is valued at $55 million in cash, consisting of $35 million at closing and $20 million in deferred payments, as well as additional potential performance based payments to Broadcom, to be paid over a five-year term. The sale is contingent on Broadcom closing its...




AT&T completes acquisition of Vyatta network OS assets from Brocade


AT&T, which in early June announced it would acquire Vyatta, has completed its the acquisition of the Vyatta network operating system and associated assets of Brocade Communications Systems through an agreement that included the hiring of several dozen Brocade employees, mainly located in California and the UK.The transaction includes the Vyatta network operating system and vRouter product line. AT&T gains the Vyatta network operating system,...

UK's Jisc selects GTT to support national R&E network

GTT Communications, a major global cloud networking provider serving multinational clients, announced an agreement with Jisc, the provider of digital solutions for the UK research and education community and operator of the Janet network for the delivery of Internet services.

Under the agreement, GTT will provide high-speed Internet services for the Janet network to support the research and learning of its approximately 18 million UK college and university users.

GTT delivers Internet services over its Tier 1 global IP backbone, which features over 300 points of presence and enable the provision of flexible, high-capacity cloud networking services to major organisations worldwide.

GTT’s resilient Internet connectivity solution for Jisc is designed to guarantee high network availability, interconnecting via three geographically separated points of presence. The initial service agreement provides up to 120 Gbit/s of Internet capacity with the opportunity to further upgrade the service as Jisc's user demand increases. GTT noted that the Janet network is also the UK operator of Eduroam, the international roaming service for the education community with 70 million users.

Janet operates a network that includes over 5,000 km of optical fibre and a backbone that runs at 100 Gbit/s with interconnect capacity of around 40 Gbit/s.

ZTE, China Mobile and Qualcomm Demo Pre 5G on TD-LTE

ZTE, together with China Mobile and Qualcomm, announced the demonstration of a Pre5G gigabit rate solution on a TD-LTE commercial network in Quanzhou, Fujian in China leveraging multi-carrier aggregation, 4 x 4 MIMO, 256QAM and other advanced technologies.

During the latest demonstration, China Mobile and ZTE also verified the Pre5G gigabit solution utilising Qualcomm commercial Snapdragon 835 platform and achieved a peak rate of up to 700 Mbit/s using a 10-stream data transmission on a single phone.

ZTE noted that in a white paper assessing 5G vision and requirements, the IMT-2020 (5G) promotion group stated that 5G should support a user data rate of between 100 Mbit/s and 1 Gbit/s. One of ZTE's four-core Pre5G technologies, Giga+ mobile broadband (MBB), uses massive MIMO, multi-carrier aggregation and high-order modulation technologies to improve spectrum efficiency and network-wide capacity and is designed to deliver a peak rate of over 1 Gbit/s.

Previously, in June Quanzhou Mobile and ZTE jointly implemented a commercial deployment of 3D-MIMO in big video environments. With 16 commercial terminals connected, the single-carrier downlink peak cell rate achieved was nearly 730 Mbit/s, while the single-carrier 16-stream downlink peak rate for 3D-MIMO reached 700 Mbit/s, equivalent to a three-carrier rate of up to 2.1 Gbit/s.
ZTE noted that the use in the latest demonstration of 4 x 4 MIMO, multi-carrier aggregation and high-order baseband modulation (256QAM) technologies, together with commercial chips in the commercial network, is designed to significantly improve the efficiency of spectrum utilisation without increasing bandwidth, and can provide a user data rate of more than 1 Gbit/s.


ZTE's Pre5G solution involves both key 5G technologies such as massive MIMO and commercial availability on 4G networks, as well as enhancements to the LTE Advanced (LTE-A) Pro technologies in the 3GPP architecture, including massive CA, unified delivery network (UDN), 256QAM, licensed assisted access (LAA), WiFi link aggregation (LWA) and narrowband Internet of things (NB-IoT).

Interxion to build new data centres in Frankfurt and Marseille

Amsterdam-based Interxion Holding, a European provider of carrier and cloud-neutral colocation data centre services, announced it plans to construct new data centres in Frankfurt (FRA13) and Marseille (MRS2) and to further expand its facility in Vienna.

Frankfurt

As part of the expansion program, FRA13 will be built in two phases, providing 4,800 sq metres of equipped space and 10 MW of customer-available power when fully built out. The first phase of FRA13, which will provide approximately 2,300 sq metres, is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 2018. The second phase, which will provide approximately 2,500 sq metres, is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019.

Interxion stated that the capital expenditure associated with the FRA13 project is expected to total approximately Euro 90 million.

Marseille

Interxion noted that its Marseille data centre serves as a key gateway between Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, and that the increased network capacity resulting from recent subsea cable landings has strengthened that position.

MRS2 will be constructed in three phases, providing a total of 4,300 sq metres of equipped space and over 7 MW of customer available power when fully built out. The first phase will add approximately 900 sq metres and is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2018. Phase two will add approximately 1,800 sq metres of space and is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2018.

The capital expenditure associated with MRS2 is estimated at a total of approximately Euro 76 million.

Vienna


  • Interxion noted that Vienna is a key gateway market, providing cloud and connectivity services to Central and Eastern Europe. For the expansion, it will add another two phases (VIE2.7 and VIE2.8) together with upgraded power for its VIE2 data centre. When completed, the phases will add around 2,300 sq metres and 6 MW of customer power. The initial 300 sq metres is due to become available in the fourth quarter of 2017, with another 700 sq metres to be available in the second quarter of 2018 and another 600 sq metres in the third quarter of 2018.

The capital expenditure associated with the expansion of VIE2 is expected to total approximately Euro 45 million.

Interxion provides carrier and cloud-neutral colocation data centre services across Europe for a range of customers leveraging 45 data centres in 11 European countries.



In February 2017, Interxion announced that it was expanding its London campus, with a GBP 30 million investment in a third London data centre, LON3, and that it would build additional data centres in Frankfurt and Stockholm. In Frankfurt it announced plans to construct its FRA12 facility, and in Stockholm its new STO5 data centre.


Windstream closes acquisition of Broadview Networks for $227.5m

Windstream announced that it has completed the acquisition of Broadview Networks through a $227.5 million all-cash transaction originally announced April 13th, 2017.

Windstream also announced that following completion of the transaction, Brian Crotty, chief operating officer of Broadview, has been named president of its mid-market and small business division. In addition, the following senior Broadview executives are joining Windstream:

  • Mario Deriggi as senior vice president of sales.
  • Stephen Farkouh as senior vice president of cloud technology and platform development.
  • Sanjay Patel as vice president of platform development.
  • Tim Bell as vice president of integration management and Broadview operations.
Windstream stated that after the acquisition of Broadview it expects to realise approximately $30 million in annual operating synergies within two years. The transaction is also expected to improve Windstream's balance sheet by reducing leverage through the synergies and will be accretive to free cash flow in the first year.

Broadview Networks, headquartered in Rye Brook, New York, is a network-based business communications provider serving SMB customers with local and long-distance voice and data communications, patented hosted VoIP systems, data services and a suite of managed and professional services. It also offers a portfolio of bundled, hosted IP phone and cloud computing services. It also offers a suite of cloud-based services under the OfficeSuite UC brand.

Regarding the transaction, Tony Thomas, president and CEO of Windstream, commented, "The addition of Broadview advances Windstream's strategy to differentiate by delivering a superior customer experience using disruptive technologies… Broadview's unified communications solution, OfficeSuite, complements Windstream's SD-WAN offering… both are highly scalable, easy to customise and less expensive to deploy than traditional solutions".

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