Tuesday, November 14, 2017

MEF 3.0 is Transformational



MEF 3.0 is now a reality, bringing the transformational services based on SDN and coming over IP and Carrier Ethernet, says Alessandro Talotta, Chairman and CEO of Telecom Italia Sparkle.

See video: https://youtu.be/a4bT5_gewqs




Google launches Cloud Spanner Multi-Region with Five 9s SLA

Google announced the general availability of its Cloud Spanner Multi-Region configurations, which enables application developers to achieve synchronous replication of transactions across regions and continents.

Google describes Cloud Spanner as "the first and only enterprise-grade, globally distributed and strongly consistent database service built specifically for the cloud that combines the benefits and familiarity of relational database semantics with non-relational scale and performance."

So, regardless of location, Cloud Spanner can read and write up-to-date (strongly consistent) data globally and do so with minimal latency for end users. Google is promising a 99.999% availability SLA with no planned downtime.

Google Cloud Spanner also ensures database resiliency in the even of regional failure.

Didi Chuxing opens Silicon Valley Lab

Didi Chuxing, the leading ride sharing service in China, opened a U.S. research facility in Mountain View, California.  The offices encompass 36,000 square feet and offer capacity for more than 200 employees.

DiDi Labs, which was officially launched in March 2017, focuses on AI-based security and intelligent driving technologies.

Bob Zhang, CTO of Didi Chuxing, said at the campus opening, “It’s been an exciting year for DiDi Labs. Our talented team is growing fast and making important contributions across our key tech areas, from smart-city transportation management, AI ride-matching, to security and new product innovation. ”

Didi Chuxing now has over 450 million users and is handling over 25 million daily rides.

DiDi acquired Uber China in August 2016.

CoreSite brings AWS Direct Connect to its Denver data center

CoreSite announced AWS Direct Connect service in its Denver campus (DE1 and DE2), which is located in the center of the city.

CoreSite noted the presence of over 75 network, cloud, and IT service providers within these two data centers.

AWS Direct Connect enables customers to directly access AWS over a private, enterprise-grade network connection.

With this expansion, CoreSite customers have direct access to all AWS Regions globally, with native connectivity to AWS Direct Connect now available in five markets including Denver, Los Angeles, New York, Silicon Valley, and Northern Virginia. In addition, connectivity to AWS Direct Connect is available across seven major markets, including Boston and Chicago, through the CoreSite Open Cloud Exchange.

AT&T extends its 5G trial to Minneapolis

AT&T will extend its 5G Evolution trial in parts of Minneapolis in the coming months, including near the host stadium for the upcoming Super Bowl.

Minneapolis is one of 20 markets where the technology trial is expected to begin by the end of the year.

This includes upgraded cell towers with network upgrades that include ultra-fast LTE Advanced features like 256 QAM, 4x4 MIMO, and 3-way carrier aggregation.

“We’re excited about launching this new wireless network in Minneapolis in the coming months as we move towards standards-based mobile 5G,” said Marachel Knight, senior vice president, Wireless Network Architecture and Design. “The upgrades we’re making today in Minneapolis are the foundation for the future of next generation connectivity in this city.”

MACOM reports network infrastructure slowdown in China

MACOM reported revenue of $698.8 million for its fiscal year ended September 29, 2017, an increase of 28.4%, compared to $544.3 million in fiscal year 2016. Gross profit was $326.9 million, an increase of 16.1%, compared to $281.6 million in fiscal year 2016. Fiscal year 2017 gross margin was 46.8%, compared to 51.7% in fiscal year 2016.

FY 17 fourth quarter revenue was $166.4 million, an increase of 9.0%, compared to $152.7 million in the previous year fiscal fourth quarter and a decrease of 14.5% compared to $194.6 million in the prior fiscal quarter. Gross profit was $86.9 million, an increase of 6.2% compared to $81.8 million in the previous year fiscal fourth quarter, and a decrease of 6.2% compared to $92.6 million in the prior fiscal quarter.

"As expected, fiscal Q4 was a very challenging quarter, as we navigated through a hard pause in network infrastructure demand in China, impacting our entire range of Networks businesses," remarked John Croteau, President and CEO of MACOM. "Networks was down 25% sequentially, though it still grew 3% year on year. Somewhat offsetting the decline in Networks, we had a very strong quarter in our A&D and multi-market businesses, which grew 32% and 16% year-over-year, respectively.

"In the December quarter, we expect Networks demand to remain soft, and the A&D and Multi-market businesses to return to more normalized levels. We expect the December quarter will be the bottom of the down-cycle in network infrastructure, which appears to be on the verge of turning.

"We see 2018 providing a more positive environment. In addition to expecting a cyclical recovery in Telecom networks, we’ve expanded our customer footprint, and several of our secular growth drivers look to be approaching major inflection points as we secure deals with industry franchise players. We believe we are poised to be a major beneficiary of the upgrade from 40G to 100G CWDM that’s well underway inside the Data Center."

Monday, November 13, 2017

AT&T and Verizon strike a deal to build cell towers with Tillman

AT&T and Verizon reached an infrastructure sharing agreement in which they will work with a third party, Tillman Infrastructure, to build hundreds of cell towers.

Tillman will build, own and operate the towers, small cells and smart cities infrastructure. AT&T and Verizon have committed to leasing and co-anchoring the co-located towers. Construction will begin in Q1 2018. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The three companies see the potential for significantly more new site locations in the future.

“We continue to focus on technology innovation and investing in the latest software platforms to provide the best possible customer experience on our network,” said Nicola Palmer, Chief Network Officer for Verizon Wireless. “At the same time, it is imperative to reduce operating costs. We are reviewing all of our long-term contracts as they come up for renewal and we are excited to develop new vendor partners to diversify our infrastructure providers.”

“We need more alternatives to the traditional tower leasing model with the large incumbents. It’s not cost-effective or sustainable. We’re creating a diverse community of suppliers and tower companies who will help increase market competition while reducing our overhead,” said Susan Johnson, SVP of Global Supply Chain, AT&T. “We look forward to working with Verizon as we establish site locations and sign new lease agreements with additional suppliers in the coming years.”

“Tillman is excited about the opportunity to work with AT&T and Verizon in order to further develop the cell tower model of the future,” said Suruchi Ahuja, CFO of Tillman Infrastructure. “Over the past year we have built a strong team at Tillman and are committed to rapidly building a leader in wireless infrastructure in the U.S. in order to best serve carriers and the broader communities in which we will enable connectivity.”

Verizon offers SD-WAN for wholesale customers

Verizon Partner Solutions (VPS) has launched a Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) solution for wholesale customers.

Verizon said the new service provides its wholesale customers with better control of network operational costs while improving bandwidth efficiency.

Key features of Verizon Partner Solution’s SD-WAN

  • Transport independence: IPsec overlay and traffic distribution over multiple paths, with built-in load balancing and automatic fail-over capability.
  • Application optimization: centralized network visibility and control, as well as quality of service and bandwidth management with traffic shaping.
  • Intelligent path control: policy-based routing, which assigns a traffic path based on source, destination or application; and dynamic path selection, which chooses a traffic path per-application based on loss, latency and jitter.
  • Secure connectivity that features intuitive, AES encryption to maintain data privacy.
  • Centralized SDN control and policy management that helps Enterprise scale efficiently

“Verizon’s SD-WAN solution essentially gives enterprises the best of both worlds - the power of the Internet and the performance and reliability of a private IP network - to help them keep up with the continued growth of network traffic,” said Eric Cevis, Verizon Partner Solutions. “Network traffic demand continues to increase due to SaaS applications, cloud migrations, video and IoT. SD WAN improves bandwidth usage and enables the network to act as a sensor to enhance delivery of applications.”

Video: Welcome to MEF17 - Nan Chen



 Nan Chen gives an overview of this week's MEF17 event in Orlando, Florida.

See video: https://youtu.be/WhRkEBzdG4Q


Video: SDN is Real - Michael Howard



When we look back at 2017, we'll say it was the year that SDN became real - says Michael Howard, Senior Research Director at IHS Markit - Technology. Many operators now have real deployments with real SDN and NFV customers.

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


NTT Com and Dimension Data to integrate their clouds

Dimension Data, the global technology solutions and services provider, and NTT Communications, the ICT solutions and international communications business within NTT Group, will create a single ‘cloud powerhouse’ by bringing together their cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) capabilities under the management of NTT Communications.

Dimension Data is a subsidiary of the NTT Group based in South Africa and with operations in 48 countries.

Both NTT Communications and Dimension Data will retain their existing strategic partnerships under the new structure.

NTT Communications said it will be able to deliver new hybrid IT solutions that offer greater visibility, automation, management and governance.

Katsumi Nakata, Senior Executive Vice President, NTT Communications said: “We’re excited that our augmented capabilities and broadened footprint will take us to the next level in global cloud IaaS platform, coupled with one of the largest software-defined network services that connect over 190 countries worldwide, more than 140 global data centres, and the world’s leading Tier 1 IP network. We are confident that we will continue to deliver superior results and contribute significantly to the success of both our clients and our cloud business.”

Dimension Data Group Chief Executive Officer, Jason Goodall said: “Combining our cloud IaaS assets provides enterprises on their hybrid IT journey with a unique combination of services and expertise, on a global basis. We’ll deliver services at-scale and provide a level of innovation not currently available in the managed cloud-based hybrid IT solutions space.”

Mellanox: Infiniband powers most Supercomputers

InfiniBand solutions accelerate 77 percent of the new high-performance computing systems on the TOP500 list deployed since the previous list (June 2017 to November 2017), according to Mellanox Technologies.

Some highlights:

  • Mellanox accelerates the fastest supercomputer on the list
  • InfiniBand connects 2 of top 5 systems - #1 (China) and #4 (Japan)
  • InfiniBand connects 6 times more new HPC systems versus proprietary interconnects (June’17 - Nov’17)
  • InfiniBand connects 15 times more new HPC systems versus Ethernet (June’17 - Nov’17)
  • InfiniBand connects 77% of new HPC systems (June’17 – Nov’17)
  • Mellanox connects 39 percent of overall TOP500 systems (192 systems, InfiniBand and Ethernet)
  • InfiniBand connects 33 percent of the total TOP500 systems (164 systems)
  • InfiniBand connects 60 percent of the HPC TOP500 systems
  • 25G Ethernet first appearance on the Nov’17 TOP500 list (China Hyperscale companies) - 19 systems
  • Mellanox connects all of 25G, 40G and 100G Ethernet systems on the Nov’17 TOP500 list
  • InfiniBand is the most used high-speed Interconnect on the TOP500

“Due to its smart acceleration and offload advantages, InfiniBand connects the vast majority of the new TOP500 high-performance computing and deep learning systems deployed in the last 6 months. Furthermore, InfiniBand accelerates the fastest supercomputer in the world and in China, the fastest supercomputer in Japan, and has been selected to connect the fastest supercomputers in Canada, and in the US. By delivering highest applications performance, scalability and robustness, InfiniBand enables users to maximize their data center return on investment and improve their total cost of ownership by 50 percent,” said Eyal Waldman, president and CEO of Mellanox Technologies.

“We are also happy to see our 25 Gigabit and above Ethernet solutions on the TOP500 list, representing the adoption of our Ethernet NICs, switches and cables in hyperscale and cloud companies, as they deliver highest efficiency to these platforms. Finally, we are excited to showcase our HDR 200Gb/s switch systems portfolio at the Supercomputing’17 conference, as we plan to release our HDR InfiniBand solutions in the first half of next year, further increasing the technology advantage of Mellanox in high-performance computing, cloud, Web2.0, database, deep learning and compute and storage platforms.”

NTT Communications to Acquire Secure-24

NTT Communications (NTT Com) agreed to acquire Secure-24 Intermediate Holdings, Inc. (Secure-24), a U.S.-based leading provider of comprehensive managed services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Secure 24, which is based in Southfield, Michigan, uses proprietary automated operation tools to deliver managed security services.

NTT Com and NTT Group companies including Dimension Data expect to combine Secure-24 services to enhance their ability to meet hybrid IT requirements, including Secure-24’s portfolio of managed application and database services, including SAP, SAP HANA, Oracle, Hyperion, JD Edwards, Microsoft, Epic, custom, industry and other mission-critical applications.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Google chops latency of its Andromeda SDN stack by 40%

Google released a new edition of its Andromeda SDN stack that reduces network latency between Compute Engine VMs by 40% over the previous version.

Andromeda 2.1, which underpins all of Google Cloud Platform (GCP), introduces a hypervisor bypass that builds on virtio, the Linux paravirtualization standard for device drivers. This enables the Compute Engine guest VM and the Andromeda software switch to communicate directly via shared memory network queues, bypassing the hypervisor completely for performance-sensitive per-packet operations.

Google noted that is has cut the latency of its SDN stack by nearly a factor of 8 since it first launched Andromeda in 2014.

https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/2017/11/Andromeda-2-1-reduces-GCPs-intra-zone-latency-by-40-percent.html

TRON Forum transfers IoT OS to IEEE

The TRON Forum, which supports a development project called TRON Project that addresses real-time architecture for embedded systems, will transfer ownership of the TRON ┬ÁT-Kernel 2.0 to the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA). This effectively transfers a leading real-time operating system (OS) title for 16- and 32-bit microprocessors deployed throughout the IoT ecosystem to IEEE.

The arrangement also provides a license to TRON Forum for use of the intellectual property.

“In our ongoing efforts to foster openness and the broad utilization of globally-recognized technical standards, the IEEE-SA continues to seek collaborative agreements that help advance technology for humanity,” said Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director for the IEEE-SA. “This agreement with the TRON Forum will pave the way for development of new standards in line with the goal of both our organizations to promote open innovation frameworks. We look forward to our continued work and cooperation.”

The TRON Project is a project launched in 1984 by Prof. Ken Sakamura, now dean of the Faculty of Information Networking for Innovation and Design (INIAD) at Toyo University. The Project aims to build an open architecture for embedded systems.

http://www.ieee.org
http://www.tron.org

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Qualcomm unveils its 10nm Centriq 2400 server processor

Qualcomm introduced its Centriq 2400 10nm server processor designed to bring greater efficiencies to data centers.

The new processor, which was developed by the Qualcomm Datacenter Technologies (QDT) team over a five-year period, is based on the Qualcomm Falkor CPU, QDT’s own Armv8-based custom CPU core design.

Qualcomm says its Centriq 2400 delivers better performance per watt than competing Intel x86 server processors. According to tests cited by the company, an Intel Xeon Platinum 8176, which has similar performance as the new Centriq 2400 processor, burns over 2.5x as much electricity.

Qualcomm also optimized its design to run cloud software. Key characteristics include:
  • High aggregate throughput performance with high per-thread performance under load
  • A large number of hardware threads that multi-threaded software can fully utilize
  • Quality of service (QoS) features to ensure resources are allocated fairly (i.e., avoiding the ‘noisy neighbor’ issue)
  • High energy efficiency to maximize compute density and reduce operating costs
  • Low acquisition costs
  • Better performance-per-dollar versus Intel’s highest-performance Skylake processor: the 48-core Qualcomm Centriq 2460 processor has a list price of $1,995.
Key applications/workloads for Qualcomm Centriq 2400 processors are expected to include web front end, NoSQL databases, big data analytics, content delivery networks, video and image processing applications, image recognition, health-and life-sciences applications, and software defined NVMe storage farms.

T-Mobile shows off LTE-Advanced powered by Qualcomm

Qualcomm Technologies and T-Mobile held a press event in San Jose, California to demonstrate Gigabit Class LTE on T-Mobile’s network and flagship smartphones powered by Snapdragon Gigabit LTE modems.

T-Mobile also confirmed that its LTE Advanced network - powered by carrier aggregation, 4X4 MIMO and 256 QAM – will be expanded from to 920 markets nationwide. It is currently live in 430 of those markets. T-Mobile also unveiled plans to launch License Assisted Access (LAA), another advanced LTE technology which taps into unlicensed spectrum, on small cells this year to further densify the network for even more capacity and speed.

“This is what I’m talking about when I say T-Mobile has America’s best unlimited network and the only one purpose built for unlimited”, said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer for T-Mobile. “Not only do we have a nationwide LTE footprint that’s every bit as broad as the Duopoly’s, and the fastest according to multiple third parties -- it also keeps getting faster. Gigabit Class LTE technology is part of the secret sauce behind our success – and why others are struggling under the weight of unlimited – and we’re only continuing to advance with LAA on the horizon.”

“Global momentum for Gigabit Class LTE is continuing to pick up around the world, and we’re delighted thatT-Mobile is planning to deliver gigabit connectivity to millions of consumers in the United States,” said Mike Finley, senior vice president and president, Qualcomm North America and Australia, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


Ciena expands Packet Networking Portfolio

Ciena is expanding its packet networking portfolio with capabilities that put compute power and high-capacity connectivity closer to end users.

Specifically, Ciena is introducing three new edge products and adding more capacity to its 8700 platform. The new features include:

  • Edge Access: the new 3926m is a full-featured, carrier-grade platform for 10GbE service delivery that includes an expansion slot for modules supporting third party Virtual Network Functions (VNFs). It could be used for Ethernet business service demarcation supporting added functions, such as third-party vRouter or vEncryptor services. Also offered is a TDM circuit emulation module to support network modernization efforts. 
  • Edge Access: a new 3928 Service Delivery Switch comprises a cost-effective 10GbE NTE that maintains the carrier-class feature set needed for efficient and reliable service delivery. Dual powered AC and DC variants with extended temperature options are available to address a variety of indoor and outdoor environments. 
  • Edge Aggregation: New 5170 Service Aggregation Switch that enables cost-effective delivery of carrier class 100GbE services direct to the customer premise along with dense 10GbE service aggregation in a compact, 1RU form factor. The 5170 is designed with an x86 server which powers Ciena’s Service Aware Operating System (SAOS) software and its open VNF hosting capabilities. 
  • Edge Aggregation: Adding more than double the capacity to the existing 8700 Packetwave platform in a space- and power-efficient chassis that gives service providers the scale required to rapidly and cost-effectively deploy more packet-based services. This capability is ideal for services of up to 100Gbps in support of enterprise business services, mobile backhaul and data center interconnect. 

Ciena said its SAOS delivers secure, zero-touch provisioning as well as consistent system and service attributes across all Ethernet and MPLS access and aggregation applications. Blue Planet adds multi-vendor service and virtual function orchestration that leverages the power of open, programmable networks.

“It's no secret that supporting the unpredictable bandwidth demands of today’s web-scale world is a priority and challenge for any company that operates a network. By bringing bandwidth closer to the point of end-user demand, our new packet networking capabilities make overcoming that challenge less daunting,” stated Scott McFeely, Senior Vice President, Networking Platforms, Ciena.

Aerohive brings Smarter RF Optimization for Wi-Fi

Aerohive Networks is introducing advanced spectrum analysis capabilities for diagnosing and mitigating network performance issues resulting from RF interference.

Aerohive's advanced spectrum analysis can be used to determine the extent and source of RF interference. Spectrum Intelligence as a troubleshooting feature is complemented by the Aerohive Channel Selection Protocol (ACSP), as a channel-optimization capability.

Aerohive plans to integrate the Spectrum Intelligence feature with other troubleshooting tools and by adding machine learning functionality with the goal of providing integrated diagnostics and optimization capabilities.

Reliance's Global Cloud Xchange plans terabit subsea system

Global Cloud Xchange (GCX), which is a subsidiary of Reliance Communications (RCOM), is launching a “Cloud and Fiber Initiative” featuring a new submarine cable system connecting the most populated areas in the world.

The new "EAGLE express" cable system will avoid the outage-prone Malacca Strait, instead choosing another route that will be the fastest on the market, according to the company. EAGLE will go east from Mumbai via Thailand to Hong Kong, running approximately 7,750 km with landing points in Singapore and other branching units delivering high-speed capacity to and from its India hub.  EAGLE going west will route from Mumbai via the Middle East to Italy with almost 8,900 km of diverse routing and landing points within the Mediterranean and low latency subsea routing from Europe to India and beyond.

The new cable network will be four/six fiber pair systems with an initial design capacity of 12-24Tbps per fiber pair, using next-generation Coherent Submarine Fiber. It will also feature flexible landing station technology and will allow companies to rent and own subsea capacity from speeds of 10 Gbps to several 100s of Gbps between India and key technology centers across Asia, Middle East, and Europe. The anticipated ready-for-service date is late 2020.

Key partnerships are being finalized and vendor selection discussions are underway.