Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ericsson nominates an outsider as next Chairman

Ronnie Leten has been nominated as new Chairman of the Board of Ericsson, replacing Leif Johansson, who has served in the role since 2011 and who recently announced his intention to step down,

Leten is a well-know Belgian business executive who has served as president and CEO of Atlas Copco since 2009. 

Leten is currently a board member in SKF, the Chairman of the Board of Electrolux and proposed Chairman of the Board of Epiroc, the part of Atlas Copco planned to be dividend out in 2018.

Ericsson's Nomination Committee has also propose Kurt Jofs as new member of the Board. Jofs was responsible for Ericsson’s Networks business 2003-2008 and is currently the Chairman of the Board in Tieto.

Both nominations need to be approved by the company's board of directors. Ericsson’s Nomination Committee consists of Johan Forssell, Investor AB (Chairman of the Nomination Committee); Bengt Kjell, AB Industrivärden and Handelsbankens Pensionsstiftelse; Christer Gardell, Cevian Funds; Anders Oscarsson, AMF Försäkring och Fonder; Johan Held, Afa Försäkring; and Leif Johansson, Chairman of the Board.

Edgecore contributes 10G PON OLT design to Open Compute

Edgecore Networks, which is the wholly-owned switching subsidiary of Accton, is contributing its hardware design for a disaggregated 10G PON OLT to the Open Compute Project (OCP) Foundation.

Edgecore's whitebox OLT could be used to deploy 10G PON services from Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) infrastructures, which utilize whitebox hardware and open source SDN and NFV software to lower equipment costs, increase service delivery agility, and leverage open technology innovation. The design offers 16 XFP ports supporting 10G XGS-PON or NG-PON2 plus four 100 Gigabit Ethernet QSFP28 uplinks. Furthermore, it conforms to the AT&T Open XGS-PON 1RU OLT specification contributed to the OCP Telco Project, and is based on Broadcom StrataDNX switch and PON MAC SOC merchant silicon. The Edgecore disaggregated OLT supports the Virtual OLT Hardware Abstraction (VOLTHA) interface to centralized PON management software in CORD infrastructures.

By contributing the design to OCP, Edgecore is making it easier for service providers to choose whitebox hardware to accelerate 10G PON deployments.
 are developing software to integrate and manage the OLT in CORD deployments”

“Edgecore is working closely with service providers and partners worldwide who are testing our whitebox OLT hardware as they plan 10G PON services, and with partners who are developing software to integrate and manage the OLT in CORD deployments,” said Jeff Catlin, VP Technology, Edgecore Networks. “Our contribution to OCP of the hardware design package for the 10G OLT will enable service providers to deploy completely open hardware and software CORD infrastructures including our OCP-ACCEPTED leaf/spine switches, Ethernet edge switches and now the whitebox OLT for residential and business service delivery.”

Intel joins Open Neural Network Exchange

Intel has joined the Open Neural Network Exchange (ONNX), which was first announced last month by Microsoft and Facebook to give users more choice in AI frameworks.

Currently, the ONNX format is supported by Microsoft Cognitive Toolkit, Caffe2 and PyTorch. Microsoft’s FPGA-based Project Brainwave will also support ONNX.

Intel said it is participating in the project to provide greater flexibility to the developer community by giving access to the most suitable tools for each unique AI project and the ability to easily switch between frameworks and tools.
 center.

Tata Teleservices looks to shut mobile operations in India

It appears that Tata Teleservices is preparing to exit the mobile market in India.

According to TRAI, the national regulatory authority, Tata had 42,094,961 mobile subscribers as of the end of July, down by 1.6 million in only a month.

On Monday, Tata Sons Chairman N Chandrasekaran told The Economic Times, said the business was in "really bad shape".  It carries a debt of Rs 31,000 crore debt in addition to spectrum liability. It looks increasingly likely that the company will sell off its network assets and cease operations. No timelines were given.

Toshiba intros 50 Mbps photocouplers

Toshiba America Electronic Components introduced two high-speed photocouplers for applications such as programmable logic controllers, I/O interface boards, photovoltaic inverters, and factory automation inverters:

  • TLP2767 -- a 50Mbps photocoupler that provides both a creepage and clearance distance of 8mm and isolation thickness of 0.4mm, supporting reinforced isolation. It features isolation voltage of 5000Vrms (min) and is housed in a SO6L package. 
  • TLP2367 -- provides creepage and clearance distance of 5mm (min) and isolation voltage of 3750Vrms. It is available in a 5-pin SO6 package. 


Monday, October 9, 2017

Nokia debuts its Software-Defined Access Network vision

Nokia is introducing its Software-Defined Access Network (SDAN), which comprised of its "Altiplano" cloud-native software, "Lightspan" open programmable hardware, scalable deployment practices, automated operations and integration services for operators.

The cloud-native, Altiplano SDN/NFV software helps operators scale their network by centralizing and virtualizing network functionality that was traditionally embedded in the access equipment. Altiplano leverages open interfaces, open data models and open industry initiatives such as Open Broadband , ON.LAB , Open Networking Foundation (ONF), CORD , ONAP and BBF. Nokia developed Altiplano to be integrated in multivendor environment.

The Nokia Lightspan family of programmable access nodes bring data center practices to the central office. The programmable design brings cloud and operational agility to the copper/fiber outside plant. It features the Lightspan SX-16F, the world's first 16-port reverse-powered G.fast micro-node which can be safely reverse-powered from the home. It also includes the Lightspan CF-24W, a stackable software-defined optical line terminal (OLT) that delivers the industry's highest next-generation PON (NG-PON) capacity in a single one-rack unit.

Nokia said it already had real world SDAN use-cases defined developed in cooperation with leading operators like du, nbn, and SK Telecom.

"Nokia focuses on areas where virtualization provides concrete benefits to operators. We deliberately go for an open, standardized, vendor-agnostic approach that smoothly integrates legacy as well as new cloud services. Our fixed access virtualization portfolio now covers copper, fiber, coax networks and professional services, which makes us ideally placed to transform the operator's network, operations, and business just as the opportunities of 5G begin to accelerate," stated Federico Guillén, president of Nokia Fixed Networks.

Iron Mountain to buy data centres in London and Singapore

Iron Mountain has agree to acquire two Credit Suisse data centers in London and Singapore for approximately $100 million. As part of the transaction, Credit Suisse will enter into a long-term lease with Iron Mountain to maintain their existing data center operations. The two facilities combined add 273,000 square feet and over 14 megawatts (MW) of capacity (including future expansion) to Iron Mountain’s growing portfolio – of which 4.2MW is leased to Credit Suisse. The London data center is 120,000 total square feet and located in the Slough Trading Estate, while the Singapore data center is 153,000 total square feet located in Serangoon.

The deal represents the first international expansion of Iron Mountain's data center business.

Iron Mountain plans to fund the purchase with proceeds from a new share issua.


  • In September, Iron Mountain acquired the FORTRUST data center business.
  • Also in September, Iron Mountain opened the first of four planned data centers at a new, 83-acre campus in Northern Virginia. The first is a Tier III, 165,000 square-foot, 10.5-megawatt multi-tenant and cloud facility located in Prince William County. The company invested over $80 million in the first phase of this data center and expects to invest $350 million to bring the full campus to completion. The first phase opens with more than half of its first phase capacity pre-leased, including customers like Virtustream, a Dell Technologies business. 
  • Northern Virginia is Iron Mountain’s fifth U.S. data centre market. Additional locations include Boston, Denver, Kansas City and Western Pennsylvania.

Ericsson refocuses on 5G silicon with ASIC design center in Austin

Ericsson has selected Austin, Texas to be the site of a new ASIC Design Center that will develop core microelectronics of 5G radio base stations. Ericsson said it intends to employ 80 designers at the facility by mid-2018.

Ericsson said it selected Austin to be near other processor manufacturers.

Sinisa Krajnovic, Head of Development Unit Networks, Ericsson, says: “We are strengthening our radio design capability in one of the world’s 5G pioneer markets. We’ll be up and running with our first group of designers in Austin by the end of 2017. Along with our ASIC design teams in Sweden and China, we’ll be making faster, better and greener 5G products to bring into the Ericsson portfolio by 2019.”



  • In 2008, Ericsson merged its Mobile Platforms business with ST-NXP Wireless in a 50/50 joint venture  to create a leading supplier of semiconductors and platforms to Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, LG and Sharp. The fabless joint venture had almost 8,000 people with pro-forma 2007 sales of US$3.6 billion.
  • In 2013, Ericsson and STMicroelectronics agreed to split up their joint venture, ST-Ericsson.  After the split, Ericsson took on the design, development and sales of the LTE multimode thin modem products, including 2G, 3G and 4G multimode. ST took the existing ST-Ericsson products, other than LTE multimode thin modems, and related business as well as certain assembly and test facilities.


Telenor and Cisco introduce WorkingGroupTwo

Telenor and Cisco are launching a new business entity called “WorkingGroupTwo” (WG2) that will offer mobile operators a cloud solutions platform.

WG2 will offer a mobile-core-network as-a-service and as-a-platform supporting IoT and other industry verticals.

Erlend Prestgard has been appointed CEO of “WorkingGroupTwo” and Birger Magnus has been appointed Chairman of the Board. The Board of Directors and employees own about 5% of the company, with Telenor and Digital Alpha LLC owning the remaining shares in equal proportion.

“The “WorkingGroupTwo” platform is a Telenor innovation. I am proud that we as a company are able to leverage new technologies to make a pioneering telco platform with the potential of bringing the whole industry forward. We are firmly committed to supporting “WorkingGroupTwo”, and want to give the entity the freedom to unleash wider industry eco-system dynamics. For this reason we have also set up a strong global partnership with Cisco,” said Sigve Brekke, CEO of Telenor Group.

“Cisco’s partnership with Telenor to launch “WorkingGroupTwo” demonstrates how we are driving positive change for our customers,” said Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco.  “Our joint efforts will help mobile operators automate the delivery of mobile cloud services and deliver innovation at a faster pace.”

McLaren-Honda turns to NTT Com's SD-WAN Solution

High-speed SD-WAN will connect Suzuka Circuit and McLaren-Honda's UK headquarters to efficiently transmit car data for strategic in-race management according to data priority

McLaren-Honda will use SD-WAN from NTT Communications for track-side connectivity for its Formula 1 motor racing team.

Specifically, NTT Comm's software-defined-everything (SDx) will be used in a track-side network connecting the Suzuka Circuit in Japan and the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking, UK during the 2017 Formula 1 Japanese Grand Prix.

McLaren-Honda will conduct a series of tests during the Japanese Grand Prix to strengthen its remote management of race strategy using telemetry data provided at extra high speed.

NTT Comm said its secure ICT infrastructure will control network bandwidth flexibly and efficiently. Data will also be transmitted between Japan and the UK via an existing MPLS circuit, as well as by the SD-WAN which will integrate complementary circuits, including Internet, constructed at the circuit. Large-capacity, high-resolution, video conferencing will be distributed over the NTT SD-WAN to enable the all-important collaboration between engineers working trackside and other global locations.

The SD-WAN will also enable WAN acceleration and unified threat management (UTM) protection via NTT Comm's NFV infrastructure. NTT Comm is also providing McLaren-Honda with its Arcstar Universal One enterprise VPN network service to connect its 16 global offices.

Aquantia files for IPO

Aquantia Corp., which supplies high-speed Ethernet silicon for data centres, enterprise infrastructure and client connectivity, filed an S-1 registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission relating to a proposed initial public offering of shares of its common stock.

Aquantia has applied to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “AQ.”

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, Barclays Capital Inc., and Deutsche Bank Securities are acting as bookrunners for the proposed offering. Needham & Company and Raymond James are acting as co-managers.

  • Aquantia is based in Fremont, California. 
  • Aquantia is headed by Faraj Aalaei, CEO and Chairman of the Board. Previously, Aalaei served as Chief Executive Officer and was one of the founders of Centillium Communications, a semiconductor solutions company.


Nokia intros virtualized Distributed Access Architecture

Nokia introduced the next generation of its Unified Cable Access solution based on a Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) that gives cable operators the flexibility to deploy both R-PHY and R-MACPHY devices within the same network and easily switch from one to the other based on their network requirements and strategic direction.

The basic idea with DAA is to move cable access layer functions that are traditionally placed in the headend and hub sites to the access nodes. To date, cable operators have had to choose between two DAA approaches: R-PHY, which moves only the DOCSIS signal generation (PHY) to the access node; and R-MACPHY, which moves both the PHY and DOCSIS processing (MAC) to the access node.

Features of Nokia's new vDAA include:

  • vCMTS Anywhere - Nokia has virtualized a cable modem termination system (CMTS), which includes the DOCSIS MAC, as a virtual network function (VNF). This provides the flexibility to run the vCMTS anywhere in the network: on the node, or on an off-the-shelf server in the outside plant, hub, headend or data center. 
  •  Universal Node - Cable operators can convert a Gainspeed cable access node from R-PHY to R-MACHPHY, or vice versa, on the fly. This capability lets operators choose the best approach to a node for a given use case. It also enables an operator to seamlessly evolve from an R-PHY to R-MACPHY deployment.
  •  Unified Control - The Gainspeed access controller can simultaneously support both R-PHY and R-MACPHY nodes, expanding its current cable and fiber unified control capabilities. This helps operators reduce costs and simplify network design by using the same controller to manage all types of Nokia access nodes deployed across HFC and fiber networks 
  • Interoperability - Nokia is committed to full solution interoperability and will support any R-PHY or R-MACPHY node as part of its solution.
In 2016, Nokia acquired Gainspeed, a start-up specializing in DAA (Distributed Access Architecture) solutions for the cable industry via its Virtual CCAP (Converged Cable Access Platform) product line. Financial terms were not disclosed. Gainspeed's Virtual CCAP enables cable operators to increase the capacity of their existing HFC (Hybrid Fiber Coax) infrastructure and rapidly deploy new services, while simultaneously reducing space and power requirements in the headend. The solution also enables cable operators to migrate their networks to a software-driven, all-IP architecture. Gainspeed's design eliminates the physical CCAP by leveraging SDN and NFV to distribute the CCAP’s functions to other devices and locations in the network. This centralizes routing, control and management in the data center or cloud and pushes
the physical layer, DOCSIS processing and RF modulation into the node, deep within

Saturday, October 7, 2017

FireEye updates its Cybersecurity Threat Detection

FireEye announced major new software releases and next-generation hardware to drive drive performance at scale and increase deplyment flexibility. FireEye solutions updated with the new software and next-generation hardware include FireEye Network Security (NX), FireEye Email Security (EX), File Content Security (FX), Central Management (CM), and Malware Analysis (AX). The new releases include:


  • FireEye Network SmartVision is a new capability to address post-breach attacks and insider threats. It leverages a machine-learning framework to detect suspicious lateral threat movements (East-West traffic) and data exfiltration. This capability is designed to provide customers with greater detection and expanded visibility across their perimeter and now network core and servers.
  • FireEye Network (NX) deployments can now burst network traffic to FireEye’s MVX Smart Grid during periods of high-content scanning activity, to address overload and gaps in protection that might otherwise occur. Other new software capabilities include significant updates to alert handling, event change visualization, expanded logging, and overall usability improvements.
  • Fifth-generation FireEye hardware features the latest Intel processors, increased storage and port density. The four models are engineered to deliver throughput from 300 Mbps to 2500 Mbps, replacing existing fourth-generation models that are available until the end of October 2017.
  • FireEye File Content Security (FX) is a new virtual offering that extends FireEye protection further into hybrid IT environments.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

AT&T releases its Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction to ONF

AT&T is contributing its Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction (VOLTHA) code into the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).

VOLTA provides the framework behind AT&T's XGS-PON access network in the cloud. AT&T is currently performing proof-of-concept testing of VOLTHA in its labs and are planning to deploy XGS-PON field trials before the end of 2017.

AT&T described its decision to contribute its VOLTHA code as one more step in its commitment to move toward open source software and SDN/NFV frameworks.





AT&T to launch software-based 10G XGS-PON trial

AT&T announced it will conduct a 10 Gbit/s XGS-PON field trial in late 2017 as it progresses with plans to virtualise access functions within the last mile network.

The next-generation PON trial is designed to deliver multi-gigabit Internet speeds to consumer and business customers, and to enable all services, including 5G wireless infrastructure, to be converged onto a single network.

AT&T noted that XGS-PON is a fixed wavelength symmetrical 10 Gbit/s passive optic network technology that can coexist with the current GPON technology. The technology can provide 4x the downstream bandwidth of the existing system, and is as cost-effective to deploy as GPON. As part of its network virtualisation initiative, AT&T plans to place some XGS-PON in the cloud with software leveraging open hardware and software designs to speed development.
AT&T has worked with ON.Lab to develop and test ONOS (Open Network Operating System) and VOLTHA (Virtual Optical Line Terminator Hardware Abstraction) software. This technology allows the lower level details of the silicon to be hidden. AT&T stated that it has also submitted a number of open white box XGS OLT designs to the Open Compute Project (OCP) and is currently working with the project to gain approval for the solutions.

The company noted that interoperability is a key element of its Open Access strategy, and prompted the creation of an OpenOMCI specification, which provides an interoperable interface between the OLT and the home devices. This specification, which forms a key part of software-defined network (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NFV), has been distributed to standards and open source communities.



  • AT&T joined OCP in January 2016 to support its network transformation program. Earlier this year at the OCP Summit Edgecore Networks, a provider of open networking solutions and a subsidiary of Accton Technology, announced design contributions to OCP including a 25 Gigabit Ethernet top-of-rack switch and high-density 100 Gigabit Ethernet spine switch. The company also showcased new open hardware platforms.
  • At the summit, Edgecore displayed a disaggregated virtual OLT for PON deployment at up to 10 Gbit/ based on the AT&T Open XGS-PON 1 RU OLT specification that was contributed to the OCP Telco working group.
  • Edgecore's ASFvOLT16 disaggregated virtual OLT is based on the AT&T Open XGS-PON 1 RU OLT specification and features Broadcom StrataDNX switch and PON MAC SOC silicon, offering 16 ports of XGS-PON or NG-PON2, with 4 x QSFP28 ports and designed for next generation PON deployments and R-CORD telecom infrastructure.

IDC: Worldwide cloud IT infrastructure revenues up 25.8% in Q2

Vendor revenue from sales of infrastructure products (server, storage, and Ethernet switch) for cloud IT, including public and private cloud, grew 25.8% year over year in the second quarter of 2017 (2Q17), reaching $12.3 billion, according to IDC's updated Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker service.

"The strength in public cloud growth continued at an accelerated pace through the first half of 2017," said Kuba Stolarski, research director for Computing Platforms at IDC. "We have already reported that most of this growth is being driven by Amazon. However, it is important to remember that many of the other hyperscalers – Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu – are preparing for their own expansions and Skylake/Purley refreshes of their infrastructure.

Here are some highlights from IDC

  • Public cloud infrastructure revenue grew 34.1% year over year and now represents 33.5% of total worldwide IT infrastructure spending at $8.7 billion, up from a 27.0% share one year ago. 
  • Private Cloud revenue reached $3.7 billion for an annual increase of 9.9%. 
  • Total worldwide cloud IT infrastructure revenue has almost tripled in the last four years, while the traditional (non-cloud) IT infrastructure revenue continues to decline and is down 3.8% from a year ago, although it still represents 52.4% of the worldwide share of overall IT revenue at $13.6 billion for the quarter. 
  • Public Cloud now represents 70.2% of the total cloud IT infrastructure revenue. 
  • The market with the highest growth in the public cloud infrastructure space was Enterprise Storage Systems with revenue up 30.4% compared to the same quarter of the previous year, and making up over a third of the revenue in public cloud. 
  • Server and Ethernet Switch public cloud IT infrastructure revenues were up 24.6% and 26.8% respectively. 
  • Private cloud infrastructure spending continues to be driven by the server market, which has remained nearly 60% of the revenue in that space for the past 18 quarters.

Carrier-1 Dallas offers "data center with a data center"

Carrier-1, which owns a wholesale colocation building in Dallas, has begun offering private, purpose-built, dedicated suites within its 106,866 square foot facility.

Carrier-1 refers to its offering as a "data center within a data center" because the private suites are separated from the general colocation area.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area is widely acknowledged as one the hottest data center markets in the U.S.

General Electric picks AWS as its preferred cloud

General Electric has named Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The companies said that GE has been migrating thousands of its core applications to AWS in process that began in 2014. So far, more than 2,000 applications have been migrated to AWS, including several that leverage AWS’s analytics and machine learning services. Business units with applications on AWS include GE Power, GE Aviation, GE Healthcare, GE Transportation, and GE Digital.

“Adopting a cloud-first strategy with AWS is helping our IT teams get out of the business of building and running data centers and refocus our resources on innovation as we undergo one of the largest and most important transformations in GE’s history,” said Chris Drumgoole, Chief Technology Officer and Corporate Vice President at General Electric. “We chose AWS as the preferred cloud provider for GE because AWS’s industry leading cloud services have allowed us to push the boundaries, think big, and deliver better outcomes for GE.”

“Enterprises across industries are migrating to AWS in droves, and in the process are discovering the wealth of new opportunities that open up when they have the most comprehensive menu of cloud capabilities–which is growing daily–at their fingertips,” said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. “GE has been at the forefront of cloud adoption, and we’ve been impressed with the pace, scope, and innovative approach they’ve taken in their journey to AWS. We are honored that GE has chosen AWS as their preferred cloud provider, and we’re looking forward to helping them as they continue their digital industrial transformation.”

AT&T now has temporary cell sites in 11 sites in Puerto Rico

AT&T announced that it now has temporary cell sites operational in the following locations in Puerto Rico: Fajardo, San German, Ponce Cursillo, Manati, Cayey, Mayaguez Mesa, Ponce, Arecibo, Humacao, Rio Grande, and Aguadilla. Further deployments are planned in Yauco, Guayama, and Vega Alta.

AT&T is currently carrying more than 9 million calls and 5 million text messages a day on its network in Puerto Rico. The temporary cell sites are carrying more than 250,000 calls and 1 million text messages a day.

AT&T is transporting temporary cell sites, trucks, Emergency Communications Portable satellite units, generators, and restoration equipment to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands via military air transport as well as by sea.

A satellite COLT began processing more than 2,800 calls per hour immediately after it was deployed in the city of Ponce on September 29th.

NeoPhotonics announces layoffs and cost reduction efforts

Citing uncertainty in demand from China, NeoPhotonic announced a set of restructuring actions, including a reduction in force, real estate consolidation, a write-down of inventory for certain programs and assets and a write-down of idle assets.

NeoPhotonics also trimmed its financial outlook for the third quarter of 2017, saying revenue is now expected to be in the range of $69 to $71 million, with GAAP gross margin of approximately 10% to 13% and GAAP loss per share of $0.50 to $0.40, inclusive of restructuring charges. Previously, the company had stated revenue expectations for the third quarter of 2017 to be $70 to $76 million, GAAP gross margin of 23% to 26%, and GAAP net loss per share of $0.21 to $0.11 and non-GAAP gross margin of 24% to 27%.

“Lacking a clear indication of increased demand in China in the third quarter, we initiated several operational changes with the goal of expediting our return to profitability, including implementing certain restructuring initiatives designed to align our business with the current demand environment and lowering manufacturing output to manage inventory levels,” said Tim Jenks, Chairman and CEO of NeoPhotonics. “In taking these actions, we have maintained our research and development focus on products for next-generation coherent systems, operating at 400 Gigabits/sec to beyond 1 Terabit/sec, wherein our advanced hybrid photonic integration provides the highest value,” concluded Mr. Jenks.

Colt upgrades Asia Pac networks with Ciena's 6500

Colt Technology Services is deploying Ciena’s 6500 Converged Packet Optical Platform as part of an upgrade to its core network assets in the Asia Pacific region.

The deployment on the Colt IQ Network began in September 2017 and includes installations in Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as help strengthen intercontinental connections into Europe.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ciena noted that Colt is also using its Unified Management solution, which provides greater network control across domains and network layers, reducing troubleshooting and ensuring efficient use of resources.