Monday, August 28, 2017

First demo of LTE Advanced carrier aggregation in CBRS spectrum

Verizon, Ericsson, Qualcomm, and Federated Wireless demonstrated LTE Advanced carrier aggregation using Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band 48 spectrum.

The demo, which was conducted in an Ericsson lab in Plano, Texas included the end-to-end CBRS communication flow, using 2x20 MHz LTE carriers on the CBRS band 48, and employing a 256 QAM modulation in the downlink. Ericsson provided the band 48 Radio Dot System and Domain Proxy for communication with Federated SAS. Qualcomm Technologies provided a Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE modem test device, and Federated Wireless provided the spectrum management service with their Spectrum Controller.

The CBRS band is made up of 150 MHz of 3.5 GHz shared spectrum which until now has been primarily used by the federal government for radar systems. The FCC has authorized shared use of the band with wireless small cells. Using the LTE Advanced feature of carrier aggregation, Verizon, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies and Federated Wireless were able to demonstrate LTE with carrier aggregation on this band and carry wireless traffic. Federated Wireless provided the Spectrum Access System to dynamically prioritize traffic within the FCC's spectrum sharing framework for this band.

"The use of CBRS spectrum greatly advances our work in emerging spectrum bands. Verizon and our partners are leading the way in creating an ecosystem around the use of CBRS spectrum which will lead to greater capacity and speed for our customers," said Nicola Palmer, Wireless Chief Network Officer for Verizon. "As industry leaders we work tirelessly to provide the best mobile experience available - that includes always innovating through new technologies and software platforms to better serve our customers."

http://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizon-ericsson-qualcomm-and-federated-wireless-team-showcase-first-end-end-band-48-cbrs


Verizon, Ericsson, and Qualcomm hit 1.07 Gbps peak


Verizon, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies announced a new peak downlink speed of 1.07 Gbps using the Qualcomm Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem, the first announced modem to support Category 18 LTE speeds. The new record was achieved during an Ericsson lab trial. using 12 simultaneous LTE streams, which allow for up to 20 percent increase in peak data rates and capacity with a corresponding improvement in average speeds. Ericsson's Radio System and LTE...


ADTRAN Launches Mosaic Open Network Alliance

ADTRAN is establishing a Mosaic Open Network Alliance (Mosaic Alliance) to bring together market participants dedicated to delivering, demonstrating and testing open and proven SDN and NFV solutions.

ADTRAN Mosaic serves as the foundation for this program.

The company said this new alliance builds on the success of its Mosaic SD-Access platforms. Through the program, ADTRAN is providing operators around the globe a single point of reference for best-of-breed SD-Access and NFV solutions.The Mosaic Alliance will provide a one-stop shop of uniquely vetted solutions, saving network operators the time and resources required to assess and substantiate vendors and offerings best suited for their open network demands, while reducing introduction risks posed to the operator’s business.

“By establishing the Mosaic Open Network Alliance, ADTRAN is promoting the acceleration of the industry’s transition to open, programmable, scalable networks, and alliance members play a key role in that transition,” said Chris Thompson, director of Mosaic software and solutions portfolio for ADTRAN. “The caliber of interoperability testing, integration and validation available to vendors in the Mosaic environment presents unique value and creates a single touch point for network operators to validate solution interoperability as they look to rollout SD-Access networks around the world.”

http://www.adtran.com


Watch the video




Adtran Promo
from Cutting Factory on Vimeo.


ADTRAN Introduces Mosaic Software Tools



ADTRAN introduced its Mosaic Subscriber Solutions & Experience, described by the companyt as a new category of software products to help service providers transition their access infrastructure to a more open, programmable and scalable network. Mosaic Activate, which has been shipping for several quarters, is the initial software product released under the Mosaic Subscriber Solutions & Experience umbrella. The software streamlines the...

Video: ADTRAN Mosaic Software Defined Access

Watch the promotional video: https://vimeo.com/231256436


Ixia tester emulates Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) traffic

Ixia, which is now part of Keysight Technologies, is introducing a high-performance LTE test solution for cellular IoT enhanced Machine-Type Communication (eMTC) and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT).

The new IxLoad-Wireless test solution generates real-world traffic enabling network equipment makers and carriers to test the performance of LTE components and networks. IxLoad-Wireless supports multiple Cellular IoT interfaces including S1-Lite, a modified version of the existing S1-MME interface used for the control plane to signal or control messages, and the user plane the data being transferred between users, plus S11u for small data transmission. This allows IxLoad to emulate both the network and IoT user equipment (UE) to test IoT network nodes in isolation or the entire IoT ecosystem.

Ixia said its IxLoad-Wireless simulates IoT network traffic details, including the signaling and messaging for Power-Save Mode and eDRX (extended Discontinuous Reception), where a UE stays inactive for set periods of time to extend battery life.

http://www.ixiacom.com
=

WD acquires Upthere app for consumer cloud storage

Western Digital has acquired Upthere, a start-up that offers an enhanced cloud storage experience for consumers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Upthere, which is based in Redwood City, California, offers an app that is "designed to be the single home for all of a user’s photos, videos, documents and music." The Upthere app is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices, as well as macOS and Windows PCs.

WD said Upthere’s technology and team will augment itss Client Solutions business unit.

In addition, Western Digital announced that Barbara Nelson will lead its Cloud Services business. Ms. Nelson recently joined Western Digital from IronKey, a cloud security business where she was executive vice president and general manager.

http://www.investor.wdc.com

FCC: More cell sites down in Texas flood zone - 4.7%

The number of cell sites that gone offline is growing in flooded areas of Texas.

As of August 28, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. EDT, there were 364 cell sites down out of 7,803 cell sites serving the 55 counties in Texas and Louisiana impacted by Hurrican Harvey and its aftermath. This represents an offline rate of 4.7%, or 44 additional cell site outages from a day earlier. According to the FCC report,  he counties with greater than 50% of cell sites out are Aransas, Calhoun, and Refugio in Texas.  Plaquemines is the only county in Louisiana reporting any cell sites out.

The FCC also noted that a total of 16 Public Safety Support Centers (PSSC), which handle 911 calling remain offline, an improvement of 1 in the last 24 hours.

The number of wireline of cable subscribers continues at the same level: at least 148,565 subscribers out of service in the affected area.

http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0828/DOC-346381A1.pdf

AT&T preps for its mega-merger with Time Warner – Part 2

Part 1 of this article covered operational metrics from AT&T's Q2 2017 financial report. This week, AT&T confirmed that its $109 billion blockbuster acquisition with Time Warner is on track and likely to close by the end of the year. Although the company did not explicitly say that regulators, including the Department of Justice and the FCC, are likely to approve the merger, one can presume that no major issues have been presented yet that could threaten the deal. As the first mega-merger to face review under the Trump Administration, it has not been exactly clear what level of objections such mergers might face, especially under a president who routinely attacks CNN (a Time Warner property) as 'fake news'. Under the Obama administration, AT&T was blocked from acquiring T-Mobile US because the combination was seen as market consolidation that would be detrimental to consumers.

Key terms of the AT&T – Time Warner combination

As a reminder, AT&T officially announced its intention to acquire Time Warner on October 22, 2016. The deal was to be structured as a stock-and-cash transaction valued at $107.50 per share, representing a transaction value of $108.7 billion. The companies said the reason for the deal is to combine Time Warner's library of content and ability to create new premium content with AT&T's extensive customer relationships, world’s largest pay TV subscriber base and scale in TV, mobile and broadband distribution. Time Warner, which was formed in 1990 through the merger of Time Inc. and Warner Communications, encompasses many premium media properties, including HBO, New Line Cinema, Turner Broadcasting System, The CW Television Network, Warner Bros., CNN, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Adult Swim, DC Comics, Warner Bros. Animation, Castle Rock Entertainment, Cartoon Network Studios, Esporte Interativo, Hanna-Barbera Productions, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. It also owns 10% of Hulu.

The basic idea driving the merger is for Time Warner to act as the content arm for AT&T, providing mobile and fixed broadband line subscribers with valuable material as part of packaged service bundle. Consumers presumably would purchase an AT&T service bundle based on the perceived quality and value of the package rather than simply the lowest price for mobile connectivity. This will allow ARPU to rise and ensure a 'stickiness' factor that goes beyond the latest mobile handset deals, currently a leading cause for subscriber churn.

As a content provider, Time Warner requires far less ongoing capital expenditures than AT&T, which must invest routinely in its infrastructure. AT&T has stated that it expects $1 billion in annual run rate cost synergies within 3 years of the deal closing due to cuts in corporate and procurement expenditures. As there is little overlap between the companies, its not clear where these savings would come from. Time Warner does maintain its corporate headquarters in high-priced Manhattan, but this is where significant content transactions are negotiated and it is unlikely to be relocated to Dallas.

Rising debt load

One outcome of a combined AT&T and Time Warner is that the investor profile will be very different. An article this week by Bloomberg points out that after the merger is completed, AT&T's net debt will rise to $182 billion. This will transform AT&T into a more leveraged conglomerate, putting much greater pressure on how management can use free cash flow from operations. Over the past few years, AT&T has been using significant amounts of cash to buy back its own shares, thus increasing shareholder value. AT&T has also been one the more generous corporations in terms share dividends, reportedly returning 70% of free cash flow last year, or about $11.8 billion, according to Bloomberg. Going forward, more cash will be needed to service the heavier debt load, so we might expect that less cash will be available for dividends or share buybacks.

Betting on bundling

For the deal to be a success, AT&T and Time Warner will have to generate some real synergy in the minds of consumers. With Net Neutrality principles no longer an area of focus for the FCC under the new chairman, Ajit Pai, AT&T will have more leeway in positioning special service packages for its subscribers. For instance, home entertainment services may be the first big use case for 5G networks starting in 2019. A mobile operator such as AT&T might launch a 4K TV package for residential consumers in certain markets. With connection speeds in the hundreds of megabits, AT&T could deliver a strong 5G TV service featuring exclusive shows from HBO or Castle Rock Entertainment, while also including in the package regular LTE smartphone connectivity for all members of a household. Such an offer would be unmatched by rivals such as Sprint and Comcast.

There is already some movement in this direction. AT&T is ready to launch a 5G video trial with DIRECTV NOW service in Austin, Texas. The trial will evaluate how fixed wireless mmWave technology handles heavy video traffic. Previously, AT&T reported that its 5G lab trials were achieving speeds up to 14 Gbit/s and latency of under 3 milliseconds.

But how is video bundling working so far for AT&T? In July 2015, AT&T completed its acquisition of DIRECTV, making it the largest pay TV provider in the U.S. with more than 26 million customers in the U.S. and millions more in Latin America, including Mexico and the Caribbean. The implied total equity value of this deal was $48.5 billion although the total transaction value was $67.1 billion, including DIRECTV's net debt.

The DIRECTV acquisition also brought exclusive, premier content, particularly live sports programming to AT&T, including exclusive pay TV rights to NFL SUNDAY TICKET, ownership of ROOT SPORTS Networks and minority stakes in the Game Show Network, MLB Network, NHL Network and the Sundance Channel. Soon after completing the merger, AT&T began offering bundles combining cellular service, satellite-TV or U-serve TV over FTTH (in certain markets). These offers have been widely promoted via TV and print advertising, in the carrier's retail stores, and in notices to AT&T's millions of mobile users.

On a regular basis since then, AT&T execs have described the merger as a 'hit', citing higher ARPU from consumers who take both services. By Q2 2016, AT&T added nearly 1 million DIRECTV subscribers. In more recent quarters, this moment appears to have stalled, perhaps because the pay TV segment is no longer growing as more cord-cutting consumers look to over-the-top (OTT) services instead of traditional satellite TV subscriptions. Operating metrics for Q2 showed a loss of DirecTV and U-verse TV subscribers in the quarter. However, AT&T’s over-the-top DirecTV Now service continues to add subscribers every quarter and now stands at 491,000 users. So, if hardware-based bundling is capex intensive and no longer growing, perhaps OTT packages are the way to go.


AT&T appointments executives ahead of merger with Time Warner



AT&T has announced a number of executive appointments in preparation for completing its acquisition of global media and entertainment company Time Warner; the transaction is currently under review by the U.S. Department of Justice and competition authorities in certain foreign countries.Effective August 1st, the following executives will assume new positions and continue to report to AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson:1.  ...



Champion ONE ships 10km 25G SFP28 LR transceiver

Champion ONE announced commercial availability of its new portfolio of 25G SFP28 hot-pluggable transceivers. The company said its new transceivers are universally compatible across various OEM switch and router platforms .

The new low-power transceivers are based on the SFP+ MSA form factor, and support 25G Ethernet and 24.3G CPRI. They come in two versions: the SR (rated 70m on OM3 multimode fiber or 100m on OM4 multimode fiber) and LR (rated 10km on single mode fiber). The LR is available in both commercial temperature (0 to 70° C) and hardened (-40 to 85° C) versions to support deployment in uncontrolled environments. The power consumption is only 1.0W (SR) and 1.5W (LR) for these transceivers

”We continue to innovate and support our customers’ need for expanded bandwidth,” said Champion ONE CEO John Jutila. “By leading the industry with the release of our new portfolio of 25G transceivers, our carrier customers can use these products for expanded 5G LTE wireless fronthaul applications or 4x25G breakout configurations for their 100G Ethernet links and our enterprise customers can deploy them as a low cost migration to higher data rates.”

http://www.championone.com

Motorola Solutions acquires Kodiak for PTT over cellular

Motorola Solutions has  Kodiak Networks, a privately held provider of broadband push-to-talk (PTT) for commercial customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Motorola Solutions said Kodiak adds a complementary, carrier-integrated PTT-over-cellular solution to its existing mission-critical WAVE PTT portfolio. WAVE connects disparate networks to enable communication between smartphones, radios and computers via wireless or wireline broadband.

Kodiak was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Plano, Texas.

“Acquiring Kodiak Networks is another step in building Motorola Solutions’ communications and collaboration software suite and establishing annual recurring revenue streams,” said Bruce Brda, executive vice president, Products and Solutions, Motorola Solutions. “Kodiak’s broadband PTT software expands our offerings for mobile network operators, especially in commercial markets, and complements our software and carrier capabilities.”


Ciena Appoints Bill Fathers to Board

Ciena appointed William D. Fathers to its Board of Directors.

Fathers, 49, currently serves as the Senior Operating Partner responsible for investments in Communications Infrastructure at Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm specializing in North American middle-market infrastructure. He also currently serves as Senior Advisor to Berkshire Partners, a leading private investment firm. From 2013 through 2016, Fathers was Executive Vice President and General Manager of Cloud Services at VMWare. He previously served as President of Savvis, a public data center and cloud infrastructure provider. Mr. Fathers also worked for Thomson Reuters, where he helped build businesses in a number of international markets throughout Europe, Asia and North America.

Fathers also serves on the board of directors of Cologix Inc.

http://www.ciena.com

Sunday, August 27, 2017

FCC: 4% of cell sites down in coastal Texas

As of August 27, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. EDT,  4.1% of the cell sites were down in the coastal counties of Texas and Louisina impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Of the 55 counties in the hurricane impact zone, three were hit by outages in greater than 50% of cell sites: Aransas, Calhoun, Refugio, and San Patricio counties. Within these counties, there were 7,804 active cell sites prior to the hurricane, and of the time of the report, there were 320 cell sites down.

The FCC found there were at least 148,565 cable and wireline subscribers out of service in the affected area on Sunday morning.

There were 19 ongoing outagages or re-routing incidents involving Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).

In addition, there were 9 radio stations off the air. No TV broadcaster outages were reported.

https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-346369A1.pdf



AWS Cognito provides mobile app authentication

Amazon Web Services (AWS) introduced new capabilities to make it easier for mobile app developers to authenticate users and gain access to resources on the AWS cloud.

The new service features are part of AWS Cognito User Pools – App Integration and Federation, which is now in general availability release.

Amazon Cognito is a managed cloud service that provides authentication, authorization, and user management for web, mobile and even IoT applications. Some highlights:

  • Amazon Cognito User Pools: create and maintain a user directory in order to add sign-up and sign-in to your mobile app or web application. You can also sign in users to a user pool through social identity providers as well as, SAML-based providers
  • Amazon Cognito Federated Identities: enables the creation of unique identities for users and the ability to authenticate them with federated identity providers, such as Google or Facebook, for temporary, limited-privilege access to app resources
  • Amazon Cognito Sync: allows you to synchronize user profile data across mobile devices and the web without the need to build a backend. It supports offline access, cross-device synchronizing, and local data caching of application-related user data so the user app experience remains consistent regardless of the device.

AWS also noted that the mobile client login can now provide a sign-up and sign-in for social identity providers including Facebook, Google, Login with Amazon, as well as through SAML with corporate identity providers such as Microsoft Active Directory.

https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/

IBM Offers Data Protection Software

IBM announced a new data protection software with hybrid cloud capabilities that can rapidly move data from on-premises back-end storage to public or private clouds.

IBM said the software is designed to be used by virtual machines (VM) and application administrators. It also provides data clone functionality to support and automate DevOps workflows.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus is offered for two different deployment options, either as a stand-alone software installed into virtualized environments or as an integrated function with IBM’s Spectrum Protect software, which can be used by large enterprise clients with diverse data protection and availability requirements.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus also has data protection and monitoring based upon automated Service Level Agreements to provide backup status and support retention compliance.

IBM Spectrum Protect Plus provides data availability using snapshot technology for rapid backup, recovery and data management.

https://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/53024.wss

IBM and SAP team on real-time retail data

IBM and SAP have teamed up to provide a co-innovated solution for the retail and consumer packaged goods industries that uses near real-time data to markedly improve planning and execution in the physical store.

The solution leverages unique data sources, such as IBM’s Metro Pulse, which flow through SAP Cloud Platform.

"SAP S/4HANA, coupled with access to rich, hyperlocal data understood and reasoned by IBM’s cognitive services, can provide consumer product and retail business users across the C-suite with the specific insights to gain a competitive advantage in major markets,” said Laurence Haziot, IBM Global Managing Director and General Manager Consumer Industries.
“Through this exciting collaboration between SAP and IBM, retailers and consumer products companies today can respond with speed, precision and confidence to locally relevant events. SAP S/4HANA includes capabilities to enable users to execute end-to-end business processes in ways that other systems cannot,” said Lori Mitchell-Keller, global general manager, Consumer Industries at SAP.  

http://www-935.ibm.com/services/us/gbs/consulting/

Splunk's sales continue to rise - up 32% yoy

Splunk reported solid sales growth for its fiscal second quarter ended July 31, 2017, with total revenues rising to $280.0 million, up 32% year-over-year. Total billings were $303.4 million, up 32% year-over-year. There was a GAAP operating loss of $82.1 million; GAAP operating margin was negative 29.3%.

Some highlights:
  • Signed over 500 new customers.
  • Announced Splunk Insights for AWS Cloud Monitoring
  • Introduced Splunk Insights for Ransomware, a new offering that delivers organizations an analytics solution to manage ransomware threats.
  • Released new versions of Splunk Enterprise 6.6 and Splunk Cloud to make it easier than ever for a wide range of users to leverage datasets, build dashboards, gain answers and share insights.
  • Released the latest version of Splunk Enterprise Security (ES) 4.7 to improve investigation efficiency and incident response, as well as provide insight from common SaaS applications.
  • Splunk and Booz Allen Hamilton announced a private beta of Booz Allen Cyber4Sight for Splunk, a new solution designed to empower security analysts and threat hunters with actionable  intelligence.
  • Released new version of the Splunk Add-on for Microsoft Cloud Services in Splunkbase, which gives Splunk administrators the ability to collect events from various Microsoft Cloud Services APIs.

“I am pleased with the solid sales execution in Q2, particularly our results in EMEA,” said Doug Merritt, President and CEO, Splunk.

http://www.splunk.com

VMware cites momentum as sales rise 12% yoy

Ahead of this week's VMworld show in Las Vegas, VMware reported Q2 revenue of $1.90 billion, an increase of 12.2% from the second quarter of 2016. License revenue for the second quarter was $732 million, an increase of 13.7% from the second quarter of 2016. GAAP net income for the second quarter was $334 million, or $0.81 per diluted share, up 30% per diluted share compared to $265 million, or $0.62 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2016.

"We are very pleased with our Q2 results, which were driven by broad-based strength across the product portfolio in all three geographies," said Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware. "As we continue our multi-year journey from a compute virtualization company to offer a broad portfolio of products driving efficiency and digital transformation, customers are increasingly turning to VMware to help them run, manage, secure and connect their applications across all clouds and all devices. VMware had a strong quarter and is well positioned for the future," said Zane Rowe, executive vice president and chief financial officer, VMware. "We increased our fiscal year guidance, completed our successful debut debt offering and received authorization for an additional $1.0 billion of stock repurchases."

Some highlights:

  • NSX included in all top 10 deals this quarter
  • VMware Cloud Services, including VMware Cloud on AWS service, continues to experience strong customer interest and remains on-track
  • During the quarter, VMware signed its largest ever telco deal with Vodafone, reprsenting "a huge step forward" for its NFV initiative
  • VMware now has 20,916 employees
  • In June, VMware introduced major updates across its VMware vRealize Cloud Management Platform which enable customers to manage and provision at scale -- including compute, network, storage, and application services across multi-cloud environments.


http://www.vmware.com

ZTE posts 1H17 sales of RMB 54 billion, up 13% yoy

Citing strength in mobile networking and its smartphone business, ZTE reported that its first-half revenue increased 13.1% to RMB 54.01 billion (US$8.12 billion). Net profit attributable to holders of ordinary shares of the listed company jumped to RMB 2.29 billion.

Some highlights:

  • R&D spending increased to RMB 6.68 billion in the first half, or 12.4% of revenue. 
  • In March 2017, the company was ranked No. 1 in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)'s latest annual list for patent applications, reflecting the company's increased focus on research and development of next-generation technologies.
  • The Carrier Networks division accounted for 59.9% of revenue.
  • ZTE has deployed over 60 Pre5G networks as well as 240 SDN and NFV networks globally.  
  • ZTE cited a year-on-year growth of 41.7 percent in self-developed chip shipments in the first half of 2017. 
  • In its Consumer division, ZTE reported growth in both operating revenue and gross profit, saying it now ranks fourth in the US smartphone market and ranks among the top five in countries including Australia, Germany, Canada and Spain. ZTE’s terminal STB shipment gained a year-on-year increase of 15% in first-half, exceeding the annual shipments in 2016.

http://www.zte.com.cn

Thursday, August 24, 2017

China Unicom launches LTE-Broadcast and Gigabit LTE with Ericsson

China Unicom commercially launched a Gigabit LTE network.

On August 23, passengers on a Hainan Island high-speed train were able to watch the lauch ceremony via LTE broadcast over the Gigabit wireless network. Ericsson, as China Unicom's strategic partner, is the exclusive provider of the LTE broadcast solution, which is China's first LTE broadcast commercial deployment. Ericsson also provided the Gigabit LTE network upgrade.

Hao Liqian, General Manager, Hainan branch, China Unicom, says: “This remarkable achievement will fulfill our strategy to offer the most advanced services to individuals and enterprises on the China Unicom network. Our launch ceremony today is important, innovative and fun, since we’re using Virtual Reality on a high-speed train over a high-speed network to prove the worthiness of this launch.”

Chris Houghton, Head of Market Area North East Asia, Ericsson, says: “We’re literally putting the network into the hands of the subscribers on day one.  People will be able to immerse themselves in their video experience and not just understand, but feel, the difference with a Gigabit LTE network while they are moving at very fast speeds.  It’s the perfect combination of thrilling speeds – physically and virtually.”

Ericsson said LTE broadcast will revolutionize video delivery in mobile networks enabled by the combination of three new standards: eMBMS, HEVC (H.265) and MPEG DASH/

Recently, Ericsson supported China Unicom in setting up a 1Gbps network in Guangdong, Hainan, Shandong, and Beijing with peak speeds of up to 979Mbps. With that speed, it takes just 13 seconds to download a 1080P high-definition movie. There are more on-going 1Gbps trials in Sichuan, Hubei, Shanxi, Jilin and Jiangsu province. A high-speed mobile broadband network will enable businesses and services using Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and other big data operations.

https://www.ericsson.com/en/press-releases/2017/8/gigabit-network-launched-in-china


Flash Memory Summit – big changes in non-volatile memory part 3

Hyperconverged platforms, such as those offered by Nutanix, have proven to be extremely successful in the market because they integrate compute, networking and storage in a single, scale-out box. They are a new way of looking at the old problem of how best to connect these three resources. In a similar fashion, the Open Compute Project, which was launched by Facebook six years ago, set out to rethink how compute, storage and networking could be optimised at the rack level to build hyperscale data centres.

What we’re seeing now, as evidenced by the 2017 Flash Memory Summit in Silicon Valley, is that non-volatile memory is advancing at a faster pace than other storage technologies, and at faster pace than compute (CPUs and GPUs), or networking. Ethernet has continued to progress in either 10X or 4X steps, but recently, these have taken time. In data centres, 10G backbones are common. Carrier backbones typically run utilise 100G links.

These statements were true a year ago – or even two years ago. We see some 400G pluggable transceiver apparently ready for market this year. But will 400G be rapidly adopted in either data centres or carrier networks? For a variety of network engineering reasons, implementing 400G in a network is not as easily done as deploying new SSDs with 4 times the capacity as last year’s model.

More importantly, Samsung Electronics has a ten-year roadmap showing how its 3D NANDs will evolve from 4th generation to 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th over the course of a decade.

The company says the physics of the last two generations in this progression have yet to be solved but so far look possible. At this point, it seems likely that this rapid evolution will deliver 2X or 3X capacity improvements every two years of less. On the networking side, we’ve seen the Ethernet Alliance publish an Ethernet Roadmap that envisions a proliferation of new interface speeds. This roadmap predicts terabit speed interfaces by 2020, scaling up to 10 terabits/second by 2030. Storage innovation may be winning this race.

Here are some other interesting observations on the storage market.

Western Digital pushes 3D NAND to 96 layers

Western Digital, which received the Flash Memory Summit ‘Best of Show’ award for its BiCS4 technology, has now pushed its 3D NAND technology to 96 layers of vertical storage capability. This marks several years of continuous improvement. In 2016, WD announced 64-layer 3D NAND after achieving 48-layer 3D NAND in 2015. Last month, the company also announced the development of its first four-bits-per-cell (X4) 3D NAND technology. More layers translate into more capacity.
Toshiba faces uncertainty but moves to 64-layer, triple-level Flash

Toshiba’s semiconductor division has been a state-of-turmoil due to restructuring and likely sale. Various suitors have been suggested and apparently rejected either by the company or the Japanese authorities.  Most recently, Toshiba’s management appears to be nearing a deal to sell the business to a consortium led by Bain Capital, although this too may be at an impasse.  The joint venture with SanDisk (a division of WD) focused on flash memory has become mired in legal disputes. Apparently, Toshiba will not ship its latest generation of 96-layer BiCS modules to SanDisk.
Nevertheless, at Flash Memory Summit, Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC) introduced its first enterprise SSDs utilizing the 64-layer,3-bit-per-cell TLC (triple-level cell) technology flash memory: the PM5 12Gbit/s SAS series and the CM5 NVM Express (NVMe) series. Toshiba’s PM5 series will be available in a 2.5-inch form factor in capacities from 400GB to 30.72TB], with endurance options of 1, 3, 5 and 10DWPD (drive writes per day). Toshiba also introduced its own consumer SSDs for PCs and laptops based on the same 64-layer technology. Capacity options include 256GB, 512GB, and 1024GB.

Toshiba is also introducing the first MultiLink SAS architecture, enabling up to 3350MB/s of sequential read and 2720MB/s of sequential write in MultiLink mode and 400,000 random read IOPS in narrow or MultiLink mode.

Mellanox looks to NVMe over Fabrics

Mellanox Technologies is pushing ahead with its BlueField System-on-Chip (SoC) for NVMe over a network fabric. BlueField integrates all the technologies needed to connect NVMe over Fabrics flash arrays. It provides 200 Gb/s of throughput and more than 10 million IOPS in a single SoC device. In addition, an on-board multicore ARM processor subsystem enables flexible programmability that allows vendors to differentiate their software-defined storage appliances with advanced capabilities. The BlueField chip can be used to control and connect All Flash Arrays and Just-a-Bunch-Of-Flash (JBOF) systems to InfiniBand and Ethernet Storage fabrics. The Mellanox SoC combines a programmable multicore CPU, networking, storage, security, and virtualization acceleration engines into a single, highly integrated device. Refence storage platforms are now ready.

“By tightly integrating high-speed networking, programmable ARM cores, PCIe switching, cache, memory management, and smart offload technology all in one chip; the result is improved performance, power consumption, and affordability for flash storage arrays. BlueField is a key part of our Ethernet Storage Fabric solution, which is the most efficient way to network and share high-performance storage,” stated Michael Kagan, CTO of Mellanox.

Seagate revs its Nytro Flash storage

Seagate Technology introduced enhanced versions of two flash technologies to boost performance and capacity for mixed data center workloads. The updated solid-state drives — including the 2 TB Nytro 5000 M.2 non-volatile memory express (NVMe) SSD and the Nytro 3000 Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) SSD — address different segments of the cloud and data center markets. The latest Nytro 3000 SAS SSD offers a dual-port SAS interface to maintain data integrity in the event of an unexpected communication channel loss. Capacity is 15TB, more than four times the capacity of the previous version.

Seagate also previewed plans to offer a 64-terabyte (TB) NVMe add-in card (AIC). This forthcoming product boasts a read speed of 13 gigabytes per second (GB/s) — the fastest and highest-capacity SSD ever demonstrated.

“Large-capacity SSDs are in high demand in hyperscale computing, a market that is growing faster than any other sector,” said Jim Handy, general director of research firm Objective Analysis. “Seagate’s new SSDs, with their high-performance interfaces and high capacities, should find ready acceptance in this market and other data center applications.”

WekaIO, a start-up based in San Jose, California with R&D in Israel, introduced a cloud-native scalable file system that scales to exabytes of data in a single namespace while delivering a big performance boost to applications, processing four times the workload compared to IBM Spectrum Scale measured on Standard Performance Evaluation Corp. (SPEC) SFS 2014. A key innovation is that WekaIO eliminates bottlenecks and storage silos by aggregating local SSDs inside the servers into one logical pool, which is then presented as a single namespace to the host applications. A transparent tiering layer offloads cold data to any S3 or Swift cloud object store for unlimited capacity scaling, under the same single namespace.

In partnership with Intel, WekaIO is now demonstrating a native NVMe-oF system using the new “ruler” form factor for Intel SSDs. The companies said this enables a storage capacity of beyond 1PB in 1U while delivering more than 3 million IOPS.

Apple picks Iowa for $1.3 billion data center

Apple will build a 400,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art data center in Waukee, Iowa, a town with a population of about 14,000 located in the center of the state, near Des Moines.

The investment is valued at $1.3 billion. Construction is expected to start early next year and be completed in 2020.

The new facility will run entirely on renewable energy from day one.

“At Apple, we’re always looking at ways to deliver even better experiences for our customers. Our new data center in Iowa will help serve millions of people across North America who use Siri, iMessage, Apple Music and other Apple services — all powered by renewable energy,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple is responsible for 2 million jobs in all 50 states and we’re proud today’s investment will add to the more than 10,000 jobs we already support across Iowa, providing even more economic opportunity for the community.”

“At Apple, we’re always looking at ways to deliver even better experiences for our customers. Our new data center in Iowa will help serve millions of people across North America who use Siri, iMessage, Apple Music and other Apple services — all powered by renewable energy,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “Apple is responsible for 2 million jobs in all 50 states and we’re proud today’s investment will add to the more than 10,000 jobs we already support across Iowa, providing even more economic opportunity for the community.”

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2017/08/apples-next-us-data-center-will-be-built-in-iowa/


  • Google operates a major data center in Council Bluffs, Iowan


Facebook Plans 4th Expansion of Iowa Data Center


Facebook announced the fourth major expansion of its hyper-scale data center campus in Altoona, Iowa. Specifically, Facebook will add cold storage capabilities to the complex.  The expansion will add more than 100,000 square feet to building 3. Cold storage of Facebook photos and other archival media is currently done at Facebook data centers in Prineville, Oregon and Forest City, North Carolina.