Sunday, September 24, 2017

Microsoft Azure introduces Availability Zones

Microsoft Azure has begun offering Availability Zones across its global cloud infrastructure.

Availability Zones are fault-isolated locations within an Azure region, providing redundant power, cooling, and networking.

The ability to designate an availability zone promises higher availability and fault tolerance for data center failures.

To date, Microsoft has announced 42 data center regions worldwide, which is more than any other cloud provider/ Availability Zones are now in preview in two regions, East US 2 in Virginia and West Europe in the Netherlands, with plans to offer preview to additional regions in the US, Europe, and Asia before the end of the year including our new France Central region in Paris.

Source Photonics opens new laser fab in China

Source Photonics, which is headquartered in West Hills, California, continues to expand its manufacturing capabilities.

The company has just announced the establishment of a new optical laser facility in Jintan, China. The new facility will more than double the company’s current output of Indium Phosphide lasers and related components. It will include wafer MOCVD, chip processing, and related component production. This new facility will augment its existing fab in Hsinchu, Taiwan which has more than doubled its output over the past three years and introduced more advanced devices required for the current 100G and emerging 400G markets. Source Photonics expects initial production in the new facility to commence in Q2 2018.

“The new facility in Jintan will allow us to improve our service levels to our customers and bring productive and leading edge technology to market.  It will be a world-class facility, the first of its kind in China. We are pleased to work with the city of Jintan to accelerate our investments in this critical technology,” said Doug Wright, CEO of Source Photonics.

Procera rebrands as Sandvine now that the merger is complete

Procera Networks completed its previously announced acquisition of Sandvine. The combined company will operate under the Sandvine name.

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.

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 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.


The new company 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.

Tata Com hires Bob Laskey to head its America's operations

Tata Communications has appointed Bob Laskey as Regional Head of Americas - its largest revenue generator outside of India.

Laskey has more than 20 years of experience with companies such as CenturyLink, Microsoft, Oracle and Accenture. He will be based in Chicago.

Cisco completes acquisition of Springpath

Cisco completed its previously-announced acquisition of Springpath, a start-up specializing in hyperconvergence software for $320 million in cash and assumed equity awards.

Springpath, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, has developed a distributed file system purpose-built for hyperconvergence that enables server-based storage systems. Cisco and Springpath have worked together since early 2016 to launch HyperFlex, a fully integrated hyperconverged infrastructure system.

Cisco said the acquisition will allow it to continue to deliver next-generation data center innovation to its customers.

WBA publishes paper on Wi-Fi and 5G integration

5G will be a combination of licensed and unlicensed technologies – with Wi-Fi and its current evolution playing a leading role; the convergence of services and coexistence of technologies are vital to the 5G roadmap, according to a new whitepaper published by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA).
The whitepaper explores the opinions of more than 65 companies across the globe.

Among other key finding, the three highest ranking industry verticals – by priority – were smart cities, IoT sensor networks and safety/surveillance.

“While plans to roll out 5G networks are well on their way, the industry still needs to agree upon the standards for the technology before 2020,” said Shrikant Shenwai, CEO, Wireless Broadband Alliance. “The WBA has put together this report to highlight the significant impact that Wi-Fi is having on the definition of 5G and what we as an organisation can do to bridge the gap between licensed and unlicensed technologies within this timeframe.”

http://www.wballiance.com/resources/wba-white-papers/



Friday, September 22, 2017

FCC: 95% of cell sites in Puerto Rico still offline

Almost two days after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, over 95% of cell sites remain offline, according to data from the FCC.

As of September 22, 2017 at 11:00 AM EDT, FCC data showed that 95% of cell sites in Puerto Rico are out of service. Critically, 47 out of the 78 counties in Puerto Rico have 100% of their cell sites out of service even nearly 24 hours after the storm passed. The FCC database shows that there are 1,789 base stations in Puerto Rico and 1,707 are down. Four additional cell sites lost connectivity in the past 24 hours.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, 73% of cell sites are out of service - a 4% improvement in the last 24 hours.

With the widespread power outages in Puerto Rico it is assumed that cable Internet services are also offline for most customers, but the FCC had not received any data on the status of the networks.

NTT Group seeks growth through diversification – part 3

Preamble – The first part of this article presented an organizational look at the NTT Group, which consists of five main groups and an astounding number of subsidiary companies: 944 at last count with interests as diverse as IT outsourcing, mobile apps, real estate, data centers, finance, construction, and even electrical power. The second part of the article looked at NTT’s Global Cloud Business Promotion, which aims to provide full-stack, full-lifecycle integration from the data center, to the managed ICT layer, to the applications.

From its annual report, we know that the NTT Group currently generates about US$16.9 billion in overseas revenues, of which 65% is for IT infrastructure and 35% is for application services.  This breaks down as follows:

Americas         $5.9b, including 55% for IT infrastructure and 45% for applications
EMEA             $6.6b, including 60% for IT infrastructure and 40% for applications
APAC              $4.4b, including 90% for IT infrastructure and 10% for applications




NTT Communications

The network resides between the data center layer and the managed ICT solutions and it is here that NTT perhaps has its greatest strength. Inside Japan, NTT’s fiber infrastructure, through its various subsidiaries, is unrivaled for wholesale operations and FTTH residential connections. The global enterprise networking segment is addressed by NTT Communications.  The second part of this article covered the NTT Comm’s recent Global SD-WAN launch. The company is also well-known for its Global IP Network, which is IPv4/IPv6 backbone network connected through a single AS 2914 and offering high-speed, high-capacity IP communications to all major countries in Europe, North America, Oceania, and Asia. Alongside this IP backbone, NTT Comm operates a global MPLS service that delivers Layer 3 IP-based MPLS and Layer 2 Ethernet-based VPLS in 190 countries/regions.

More recently, NTT Com has developed a Multi-Cloud Connect service that is directly connected to public clouds hosted in key markets across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Multi-Cloud Connect currently connects to Oracle Cloud and other third-party cloud services including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Office 365, Dynamics CRM Online, as well as NTT Com's private cloud service, via a security-enhanced, private Layer 3 connection, avoiding the public Internet.

NTT Comm is an active participant in the subsea space. One project it has led is the recently-completed, consortium-backed Asia Pacific Gateway (APG) optical submarine cable network, which spans a total length of 10,400 km and leverages 100 Gbps optical transmission and digital coherent technology to deliver a capacity of more than 54 Tbps, the highest of any network in Asia. NTT Com has established two diverse landing points, one in the East and the other in the West of Japan for the APG and Pacific Crossing-1 (PC-1) submarine cable which connects between Japan and the U.S. having diverse route such as north and south routes. The company has also implemented diverse landing points in Hong Kong and Singapore for the APG and for the Asia Submarine-Cable Express (ASE), which was launched in August 2012.

It should also be noted that NTT Comm, like other companies in the group, sometimes deploys proprietary technologies developed in-house. Earlier this year, NTT Communications began deploying a 400 Gbps optical transmission system in its data centers. The system raises the transmission capacity of NTT Com's core network above 19Tbps per optical fiber, or more than double existing capacity. The company said the 400G rate is achieved by using advanced digital-signal processing technology developed in house.

Connecting the pieces - Dimension Data

Dimension Data, which was founded in 1983, is probably the best-known technology firm from South Africa having built a global reputation for excellence in networking integration, IT management and data centers. Over the years, Dimension Data expanded into markets worldwide, sometimes acquiring local integration companies, including Australia's ComTech. Dimension Data has also served as Cisco Systems exclusive distributor in South Africa. The company reports an annual turnover of US$7.5 billion. It now has offices in 52 countries and 30,000 employees, 

In 2010, the NTT Group acquired Dimension Data for £2.1 billion ($3.2 billion). Since then, NTT has preserved Dimension Data as an independent subsidiary. Dimension Data still maintains its headquarters in Johannesburg with mostly local management. Jeremy Ord, who served as Managing Director since its inception, continues on as Executive Chairman. In 2016, Dimension Data appointed Jason Goodall as Group Chief Executive Officer. Goodall previously served as Dimension Data's Group COO, where he has been responsible for the regions and several global functions including sales, marketing, Group Information Services (GIS), HR and commercial finance. Goodall is a veteran of Dimension Data having served many roles during his 18-year career with the company. 
Even while under the NTT umbrella, Dimension Data has persevered in its strategy of acquiring other integration companies to add to its team and customer base.

NTT Data

The NTT Group has another global IT integration and management company.  NTT Data, which was founded in 1967 and is based in Tokyo, maintains business operations in 42 countries. For 2016, NTT Data posted annual revenue of US$14.6 billion. It currently has about 120,000 employees. Unlike Dimension Data, which is a fully-owned subsidiary, the NTT Group holds a 54% equity stake in NTT Data. 

(NTT Comware is another IT integration subsidiary, although its operations are focused on the physical assets of the NTT Group itself rather than outside customers)

Overseas acquisitions are also a key element of NTT Data's strategy in Europe, the United States and APAC. In 2016, NTT DATA acquired Dell Services, an IT services provider recognized for its depth in vertical industries and for its offerings around infrastructure services, cloud services, application services, and business process outsourcing. The purchase price was reported at $3.05 billion. This deal significantly increased NTT DATA’s presence in North America particularly in healthcare and insurance industries. Prior to 2009, the Dell Services groups was known as Perot Systems, a business consultancy founded by H. Ross Perot.

Both NTT Group and Dimension Data identify digital transformation as a key business opportunity. Enterprise companies are under pressure to evolve their IT infrastructure or be crushed by more agile competitors. A big part of this revolves around process automation and finding cloud-optimised software that streamlines operations. Hybrid public/private infrastructure is required as is expertise in rapidly evolving open source technologies, such as blockchain. It is here that theses sister companies provide overlapping services and both have access to NTT Group's vast resources.

For example, earlier this year, Dimension Data and NTT Com agreed to explore how to deliver a unified cloud experience to clients through greater collaboration within NTT, initially via closer integration of the Dimension Data and NTT Com cloud IaaS platforms.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

FCC: 95% of Cell Sites down in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria delivered a devastating blow to the mobile networks in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As of September 21, 2017 at 11:00 AM EDT, FCC data showed that 95% of cell sites in Puerto Rico are out of service. Critically, 48 out of the 78 counties in Puerto Rico have 100% of their cell sites out of service even nearly 24 hours after the storm passed. The FCC database shows that there are 1,789 base stations in Puerto Rico and 1,703 are down.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, 77% of cell sites are out of service.

With the widespread power outages in Puerto Rico it is assumed that cable Internet services are also offline for most customers, but the FCC had not received any data on the status of the networks.

Lumentum showcases 400G at ECOC

At this week's ECOC 2017 in Sweden, Lumentum showcased several 400G transceivers including QSFP-DD FR4, DR4, and OSFP FR4. The QSFP-DD and OSFP transceivers comply with the QSFP-DD Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) and OSFP MSA respectively.

Lumentum showed several advanced modulators supporting 100G, 200G, and 400G applications. The company is actively engaged with both the OIF and customers to define next generation modulators utilizing both Indium Phosphide (InP) and Silicon Photonics (SiP) technologies.

Lumentum also displayed an OFM whitebox, or "greybox", that combines the northbound interface for integration with existing geographic information system (GIS) and operations support system (OSS) solutions.  The whitebox can be used for online optical cable monitoring, alarming, fault analysis and positioning which can alleviate the need to send personnel to test and evaluate systems in the field.

Another highlight at the Lumentum booth was its wide portfolio of 100G Transceivers, including:

  • CFP2/CFP4 LR4: transceiver supports links of up to 10 km on duplex, single-mode fiber.
  • QSFP28 SR4: compact 100G transceiver supporting links of up to 100m on parallel multi-mode fiber.
  • QSFP28 SWDM4: compact 100G transceiver supporting links of up to 150m on duplex multi-mode fiber.
  • QSFP28 LR4: compact 100G transceiver supporting links of up to 10 km on duplex single-mode fiber supporting both Ethernet and OTN rates. 
  • QSFP28 CWDM4: compact 100G transceiver supporting links of up to 2km on duplex single-mode fiber.
  • 4WDM-10, 20: compact 100G transceivers supporting links of up to 10km and 20km on duplex single-mode fiber extending the reach of CWDM4 and LR4 platforms through the use of FEC on the host card. Supporting both Ethernet and OTN rates with a maximum power dissipation of 3.5W.

Former CEO of AFOP charged with insider trading in sale to Corning

Peter C. Chang, the founder and chairman of the board at Alliance Fiber Optic Products (AFOP), was charged with insider trading by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in the sale of AFOP to Corning in 2016 for $305 million. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California is also bringing criminal charges against Chang.

The SEC charges that Chang generated more than $2 million in illicit profits and losses avoided by trading on nonpublic information and tipping his brother ahead of two negative earnings announcements and the company’s merger. 

AFOP, which was based in Sunnyvale, California designed and manufactured high-performance passive optical components used by cloud data-center operators and leading datacom and telecom OEMs. Prior to the acquisition, Corning used AFOP products in a number of its existing connectivity solutions. AFOP was founded in 1995 and has manufacturing and product development capabilities in the U.S., Taiwan and China.

Telia agrees to pay US$965 million to settle Uzbek bribery case

Telia Company AB agreed to pay US$965 million in a global settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, and Dutch and Swedish law enforcement.

The case, which dates back to 2007, involved Telia's entrance into the Uzbek telecommunications market. Telia paid at least $330 million in bribes to a shell company under the guise of payments for lobbying and consulting services that never actually occurred. The person receiving the bribes is believed to be a daughter of the President of Uzbekistan.

The SEC said Telia has consented to the order to pay $457 million in disgorgement. Telia has also agreed to pay a criminal fine of more than $508 million imposed by the Department of Justice, although portions of each amount could be offset by payments made in overseas settlements or proceedings brought by the Dutch Openbaar Ministerie or the Swedish Ă…klagarmyndigheten.

Statement from Telia

“Today’s settlement brings an end to an unfortunate chapter in Telia Company’s history. Since 2013 the new board and management have worked diligently and responsibly to understand what went wrong, to remedy what has been broken and to regain trust from all our stakeholders. We have come a long way to establish a more sustainable company with a strong focus on governance and compliance but it is a never-ending journey as we aspire to embed this into our culture making sure that all employees understand the importance of doing the right thing all the time. The resolution and related financial sanction that we announce today is a painful reminder of what happens if we don't”, says Telia Company’s President and CEO Johan Dennelind.

Statement from SEC

Corporate bribery is not just unfair and illegal, it has terribly corrosive effects on business, government, and society,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division.  “As this global settlement demonstrates, the SEC continues to work closely with our counterparts at home and abroad to expose and pursue such corruption.”

ColorChip ramps up production of 100G QSFP28

ColorChip showcased its 100G QSFP28 transceiver products at this week's ECOC 2017 in Sweden.

ColorChip's 100G product family is now in volume production. The company has invested $80M, secured over the past 2 years, to expand the throughput of its industrialized-optics TOSA/ROSA assembly lines in the Israel based facility and to double the optical module integration and testing floor space to 7,000 square feet in Fabrinet.  The devices are based on ColorChip's SystemOnGlass (SOG) TOSA/ROSA platform. 

ColorChip said its SystemOnGlassTOSA/ROSA platform can be used for both DML and EML based PAM4 optical engines, providing the pathway to compact, QSFPx-based PAM4 transceivers at data rates of 200G and 400G. 

The demo featured a 100G 500m CWDM-Lite datacenter transceiver, accepted by the Open Compute Project (OCP), as well as the MSA compliant 2km CWDM4 and 10km 4WDM-10 offerings.  The 100G transceivers are based on uncooled DML's on the CWDM grid and characterized by typical power consumption of 2.6W, highly compact QSFP28 packaging and a standard Duplex LC optical interconnect.

Cignal AI forecasts 400G Coherent WDM shipments in 2020

Shipments of 400G coherent WDM volume starts to ramp this year, led by Ciena deployments and then followed by other suppliers six to nine months later, according to a newly-published, bi-annual Optical Applications Report report from Cignal AI, an independent research firm based in Boston. The introduction of small form factor 100G and 400G pluggable models will be a major catalyst.

“Cignal AI has close relationships with equipment and component manufacturers, as well as end users, and these relationships give us a unique insight into the optical equipment market.  From this vantage point, we can forecast emerging technologies such as coherent 400G WDM usage,” states Andrew Schmitt, lead analyst for Cignal AI. “Pluggable 400G ZR modules should enter the market by 2019, and they will be the final nail in the coffin for 10G WDM networks.”

Some key findings:

  • Both 100G and 400G coherent will be widely adopted at the edge of the network by the end of 2021.
  • Cisco is growing 100G port deployments faster than all other vendors in the market.
  • Equipment originally designed for DCI applications is rapidly evolving into applications outside the datacenter. Cignal AI is now using "Compact Modular for this class of products.
  • Spending on compact modular equipment more than tripled in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period last year. Ciena, Cisco, and Infinera are the market share and technology leaders for this sector.
  • Revenue for packet-OTN systems grew in the double digits in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period last year.


https://cignal.ai/


TE SubCom launches global network operations center for subsea cables

TE SubCom launched a new global network operations center (NOC) to provide cable operators with a single source for fault, configuration, alarm, performance, security and maintenance network management.

SubCom said it is able to provide global 24x7x365 monitoring coverage and both high-level and regional visibility into a status of subsea systems on behalf of cable operators. The NOC has already been selected for the Monet Submarine Cable, a 10,556km cable consisting of six fibre pairs that is owned and operated by Algar Telecom (a Brazilian telecom company and ISP), Angola Cables (a multinational telecom company operating in the wholesale market), ANTEL (the Uruguayan telecom company) and Google.

“With the ongoing surge in undersea cable investment, more operators are searching for reliable network operations services. They’re finding they need providers that truly understand undersea networks and how to optimize their life cycles,” said Don Rotunno, managing director, sales operations, TE SubCom. “Undersea communications is SubCom’s business and the expertise we’ve amassed over decades in the industry will immediately benefit users of our new NOC solution.”

OFS improves special fibre for aircraft

OFS introduced a new FlightLinx PLUS Fiber Optic Cable designed for in-flight entertainment, Internet access, networking and display systems used in commercial aircraft.

OFS has been offering its original FlightLinx Fiber Optic Cable since 2012. The new product features a cable design that allows for reliable pull-proof termination during harsh aircraft installations.

FlightLinx PLUS Fiber Optic Cable is a 1.8 mm ruggedized single jacket cable design that meets ARINC 802 performance requirements without the need for a double jacket. This lightweight cable design also helps address the demand for lighter aircraft and improved fuel efficiency.

NTT Com's Cloud GPUs powers supercomputer in Japan

Preferred Networks (PFN) has launched of a private supercomputer designed to facilitate research and development of deep learning, including autonomous driving and cancer diagnosis.

The new supercomputer, which is one of the most powerful to be developed by the private sector in Japan, uses NTT Com's cloud-based Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) platform. The deployment uses 1,024 of NVIDIA's Tesla multi-node P100 GPUs. Theoretically, the processing speed of the new supercomputer can reach 4.7 PetaFLOPS — a massive 4,700 trillion floating point operations per second.

Eoptolink samples 200G 2×CWDM4 QSFP-DD

Eoptolink, a supplier of optical components based in Chengdu, China, has begun sampling a 200G CWDM4 QSFP-DD optical module.

QSFP-DD doubles the density of QSFP28.

The new device is based on 8x25G NRZ DML technology and fully complies with QSFP-DD and CWDM4 MSA. The company will offer 2km and 10km versions.

Eoptolink is also developing 400G transceivers.


See also