Saturday, December 9, 2017

Megaport activates Direct Connect to IBM Cloud

Megaport, which provides SDN-based Elastic Interconnect Services, has begun offering direct, secure connectivity to IBM Cloud from any of the 179 data centres globally where it is present.

"IBM Cloud has a long and rich history within the enterprise space," said Vincent English, Chief Executive Officer, Megaport. "Clients who want to build next-generation applications now have direct, scalable access to cloud infrastructure that is tuned for AI and big data. Our connectivity model bypasses the public internet and serves enterprises moving to the cloud while improving performance and network reliability to critical business applications. As a result, customers can optimise workloads and scale between on-premises infrastructure and the cloud."

"Enterprises have moved well past using the cloud simply for cost-savings, and are now embracing higher value cloud-native services to create new business opportunities," said Kit Linton, Vice President of Network, IBM Cloud. "Megaport is enabling direct connectivity to IBM Cloud Direct Link to provide a reliable way for global enterprises to expand their reach, drive innovation and embrace a cloud strategy that seamlessly connects public and private infrastructure."

Toshiba boosts conventional HDD to 14TB

Toshiba introduced an enterprise hard disk drive (HDD) with a record capacity of 14 TB and based on Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) technology. The drive uses a 9-disk, helium-sealed design and is aimed at cloud-scale and enterprise storage applications. A 12 TB, 8-disk version of the drive will also be available.



DE-CIX hits a peak load of 6 Tbps for first time

On December 6th, the DE-CIX Internet Exchange in Frankfurt, Germany hit exceeded the 6 Tbps threshold of peak load for the first time.

The DE-CIX Internet exchange in Frankfurt boasts over 700 networks connections. Access is available in 20+ data centers in the metro area. Exchange traffic flows over the DE-CIX Apollon platform.

Kansas City Power & Light picks Nokia

Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) has selected Nokia to enhance the microwave communications network that supports a range of mission-critical services for the utility's power transmission and distribution grid.

Nokia said that for this project it is introducing the latest microwave packet radio technology as an overlay to existing equipment.

KCP&L is deploying Nokia's Wavence microwave packet radio family of technologies (formerly known as the 9500 Microwave Packet Radio), which will enable the utility to support all of its grid control applications alongside its legacy data services using a single, converged network. The current deployment, covering 40 sites, is already underway and is to be completed before the end of 2017.  A second phase consisting of 29 additional sites will follow shortly after.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

IBM unveils POWER9 server with PCIe 4.0

IBM unveiled its next-generation Power Systems Servers based on its newly designed POWER9 processor and designed for compute-intensive AI workloads and frameworks, such as Chainer, TensorFlow and Caffe, as well as accelerated databases such as Kinetica.

The new POWER9-based AC922 Power Systems are the first to embed PCI-Express 4.0, next-generation NVIDIA NVLink and OpenCAPI, which combined can accelerate data movement, calculated at 9.5x faster than PCI-E 3.0 based x86 systems.

IBM calculates that its new POWER9 systems are capable of improving the training times of deep learning frameworks by nearly 4x.

“Google is excited about IBM's progress in the development of the latest POWER technology," said Bart Sano, VP of Google Platforms "The POWER9 OpenCAPI Bus and large memory capabilities allow for further opportunities for innovation in Google data centers." 

"We’ve built a game-changing powerhouse for AI and cognitive workloads,” said Bob Picciano, SVP of IBM Cognitive Systems. “In addition to arming the world’s most powerful supercomputers, IBM POWER9 Systems is designed to enable enterprises around the world to scale unprecedented insights, driving scientific discovery enabling transformational business outcomes across every industry.”


Broadcom hits revenue of $4.8 billion, up 9%

Broadcom reported Q4 2017 revenue of $4,844 million, an increase of 9 percent from $4,463 million in the previous quarter and an increase of 17 percent from $4,136 million in the same quarter last year.

Gross margin was $2,383 million, or 49.2 percent of net revenue, compared with gross margin of $2,149 million, or 48.2 percent of net revenue, in the prior quarter, and gross margin of $2,171 million, or 52.5 percent of net revenue, in the same quarter last year.

“On the heels of very strong fiscal 2017 financial results, and continuing momentum into the new fiscal year, we are increasing capital returns to our shareholders and have raised our interim quarterly dividend by 72%,” said Hock Tan, President and CEO of Broadcom Limited. “We also closed the acquisition of Brocade early in the first fiscal quarter of 2018, adding to our very successful track record of highly accretive M&A.”

MEF 3.0 Certifications - Career Opportunities



One of the challenges with SDN and NFV, especially with operators, is the need to transform the entire organization, says Marc Cohn. This video covers new certification programs being developed for MEF 3.0.  There are plans to broaden the certifications across multiple domains. One goal is to help people leverage this knowledge into career opportunities.

See video: https://youtu.be/JkQLqmThs1A


Fortinet presents Secure SD-WAN at #MEF17



Fortinet has just released an SD-WAN solution that provides tight integration of security from Layer 3 to Layer 7.  This makes connectivity to the cloud much more secure, says Sony Kogin, Director of Service Provider Marketing, Fortinet.

See video:  https://youtu.be/3ytpBXHB6u4


Defining Security as a Service - #MEF17



How do you provide services across secure Service Provider boundaries? Fortinet is working with other MEF members to define Security-as-a-Service, explains Richard Orgias, Director of Segment and Audience Marketing, Fortinet.

See video: https://youtu.be/wHwpqRUy2fc


T-Mobile US authorizes $1.5 billion stock repurchase program

T-Mobile US' Board of Directors authorized a stock repurchase program for up to $1.5 billion of T-Mobile’s common stock through December 31, 2018.

Deutsche Telekom is also expected to purchase another $500 million in T-Mobile's common stock on the common market.

 “Since launching Un-carrier, T-Mobile has delivered unmatched growth and continues to take share in a rapidly changing and competitive wireless industry. This repurchase program underscores our Board of Directors' and management team’s confidence in our business and our commitment to creating value for shareholders,” said John Legere President and CEO of T-Mobile. “Our strong balance sheet and cash flow generation give us the ability to return capital while continuing to make significant investments in our network and operations. 2018 is going to be another exciting year in wireless and we can’t wait to get started.”

Ciena posts quarterly revenue of $744 million, tax benefit of $1.13 billion

Ciena reported revenue of $744.4 million for its fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, ended 31-October-2017, as compared to $716.2 million for the fiscal fourth quarter 2016. For fiscal year 2017, Ciena reported revenue of $2.80 billion, as compared to $2.60 billion for fiscal year 2016.

Ciena's fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year 2017 results reflect a tax benefit of $1.13 billion related to the reversal of a deferred tax asset valuation allowance. As a result, GAAP net income for Q4 was $1.16 billion, or $7.32 per diluted common share, which compares to a GAAP net income of $36.6 million, or $0.25 per diluted common share, for Q4 2016.

For fiscal year 2017, Ciena had a GAAP net income of $1.26 billion, or $7.53 per diluted common share, which compares to a GAAP net income of $72.6 million or $0.51 per diluted common share for fiscal year 2016.

Revenue by Geography
North America   $440.5
EMEA                $110.7
CALA                 $43.5
APAC                 $149.7

Separately, Ciena's Board of Directors authorized a program to repurchase up to $300 million of the company’s common stock through the end of fiscal 2020.


KPN appoints Maximo Ibarra as CEO

Royal KPN announced the appointment of Mr. Maximo Ibarro as CEO and as chairman of KPN's Board of Management. He replaces Mr. Eelco Blok in both positions.

Ibarra previously led the merger of Wind and Tre Italia, Italy's two biggest telcos. Previously he was CEO of Wind.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Broadband Forum targets PON Virtualization for 5G Fronthaul

The Broadband Forum and NTT are undertaking a project to standardize the virtualization of PON networks to support the delivery of Time Critical Applications (TCAs), such as 5G fronthaul.

The project, which was initiated by Forum member NTT, is called PON Abstraction Interface for TCAs. It looks at how SDN and NFV can be applied to Optical Line Terminals to disaggregate PON functions to functional modules with open interfaces. The first phase will define the disaggregation policy and functional requirements of interfaces to disaggregate PON functions which need time-critical processing, while the second phase will define the detailed specifications of the interfaces as Application Programming Interface (API) sets.

“As users’ usage changes, both in regard to the different services required and the amount of data coursing through fiber networks, operators need to update their PON networks, including by adding TCAs,” said Akihiro Otaka, Executive Manager at NTT Access Network Service Systems Laboratories. “This used to require the remake of PON equipment for each service, but should be done via a software upgrade in the near future to improve cost-effectiveness. With demand for this increasing, it is important we ensure there are standards in place to achieve a vendor-agnostic system and ensure mass deployment of this new system architecture, which is essential if we are to deliver agile and flexible next-generation broadband networks for emerging services.”

“As we work to meet the demand for new services, faster connectivity and more bandwidth, our focus is shifting from the fixed network to a holistic broadband network,” said Robin Mersh, CEO of Broadband Forum. “We know fiber will play a huge role in the delivery of 5G and this project looks to define that role and make it possible for operators to offer fronthaul services, among others, via their PON networks. This makes the work important not just for the broadband industry but the telecoms market as a whole and it can only be achieved on a wide scale through collaboration and standardization.”

MONET subsea cable enters service connecting U.S. and Brazil

The Monet subsea cable system, which links the U.S. and Brazil, is complete and ready for commercial service.

The 100Gbps-capable cable system offers an initial 64 Tbps of capacity.  The 10,556km cable has shore landings in Boca Raton, Florida; Fortaleza, Brazil; and Praia Grande, Brazil.

Monet is owned by Algar Telecom (Brazil), Angola Cables (Angola), Antel (Uruguay), Google and TE SubCom, a TE Connectivity Ltd. company.

Antonio Nunes, chairperson of the Monet Executive Committee said: “We are proud to have completed this project with SubCom in the most efficient manner possible. The open cable approach enabled each Monet party to meet its respective network objectives while still benefitting from the strengths of a joint build partnering model. Each of the parties, working with TE SubCom, was able to create a network that should meet our technology and cost needs well into the future.”

“The successful implementation of Monet is the result of excellent teamwork between TE SubCom and the purchasers to mitigate project risks. TE SubCom is proud to have delivered on time a flexible, highly reliable system to this distinguished group of customers,” stated Debra Brask, vice president of Project Management of TE SubCom.

Equinix Brings Submarine Cable Connections to its Data Centers

Equinix's data center in Miami will host the Florida cable landing equipment of the Monet submarine cable system.

The Monet submarine cable, which will deliver 60 terabits of capacity between the U.S. and Brazil, is owned by Algar Telecom (a Brazilian telecom company and ISP), Angola Cables, Antel (the Uruguayan telecom company) and Google, which is also the U.S. landing party for Monet. Construction of the system is underway and is expected to be completed in 2017.

The Monet cable will terminate in the U.S. at Equinix's MI3 International Business Exchange (IBX) data center. In Brazil, Monet will land in Fortaleza and Praia Grande near São Paulo. Landing facilities in those markets are to be provided by Angola Cables in Fortaleza and Google in Praia Grande.

Equinix said this represents an industry first for deploying an open submarine cable architecture together with an integrated cable landing station; colocation and interconnection inside a network-dense, multi-tenant data center.

Current submarine cable projects that Equinix is engaged with and has publically announced include:  Southern Cross Cable Network (California - Sydney); Aqua Comms (New York - London); Hibernia Express (New York - London); Cinia (Germany - Finland); Trident (Australia - Indonesia - Singapore); Globenet (Florida - Brazil); Asia Pacific Gateway (China - Hong Kong - Japan - South Korea - Malaysia - Taiwan - Thailand - Vietnam - Singapore); Hawaiki Cable Limited (U.S. – Australia – New Zealand); Gulf Bridge International (Middle East - Europe); FASTER (U.S. West Coast - Japan); Seaborn Networks (New York - Sao Paulo); and Monet (Florida - Brazil).

VeloCloud offers Seamless Addition of SD-WAN to AWS

VeloCloud Networks' Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN is enhancing the ability for enterprises to connect to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Specifically, VeloCloud is leveraging AWS to offer a range of flexible deployment options for customers, including topology designs that require minimal changes to their existing networks. Enterprises now have the flexibility of including Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) as a part of VPN, either through globally distributed VeloCloud hosted Gateways and existing VPN hubs on AWS, or by deploying Virtual VeloCloud Edges on AWS. These solutions eliminate tunnel complexity and deliver security for both Internet only and Hybrid sites. Additionally, Service Providers or partners can host multi-tenant VeloCloud Partner Gateways on AWS for secure and reliable access to their hosted applications.

“VeloCloud SD-WAN has, from the beginning, been characterized by powerful optimization, performance and security capabilities combined with unmatched flexibility and simplicity for implementation and management of enterprise WAN,” said Steve Woo, VP of Products and Co-Founder of VeloCloud Networks. “The increasing integration of VeloCloud SD-WAN with AWS together with the uniquely flexible deployment options further differentiates our solution in the market.”

VMware to acquire VeloCloud for SD-WAN

VMware agreed to acquire VeloCloud Networks, a start-up offering SD-WAN technology for enterprises and service providers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

VeloCloud, which is based in Mountain View, California, says its SD-WAN solution is distinguished by supporting data plane services in the cloud, in addition to on-premise deployments; enabling policy-based access to cloud and data center applications. VeloCloud SD-WAN includes: a choice of public, private or hybrid cloud network for enterprise-grade connection to cloud and enterprise applications; branch office enterprise appliances and optional data center appliances; software-defined control and automation; and virtual services delivery. The solution aggregates multiple access lines (cable modem, DSL, LTE) into a single secure connection that is defined and controlled in the cloud.

VeloCloud was founded in 2013. The company is headed by Sanjay Uppal, who previously ran OnMobile Global.  He also spent time at Citrix through the acquisition he negotiated with Caymas where he was President and CEO. At Citrix, he defined the product strategy and go to market for the Access Management, Delivery Controller and WAN acceleration product lines.  VeloCloud co-founders also include Ajit Mayya (previously Sr. Director of Engineering in the Cloud and Infrastructure Management division of VMware) and Steve Woo (previously head of cloud strategy at Aerohive Networks).

VMware said the VeloCloud acquisition will enable it to build on the success of its NSX network virtualization platform to address end-to-end automation, application continuity, branch transformation and security from data center to cloud to edge.

GBI - Transforming Subsea Systems with SDN



GBI, which stands for Gulf Bridge International, is well-known for its subsea cable system extending from the Arabian Gulf to the United Kingdom to the west and Singapore to the east. In this video, Rick Hillson, VP of Next Gen Architecture for GBI, talks about transforming this system with #SDN and #NFV.

See video: https://youtu.be/O09truKmCkU




Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform

Qualcomm introduced its latest generation Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, promising the performance for eXtended reality (XR), on-device artificial intelligence (AI), lightning-fast connectivity, and featuring a new secure processing unit (SPU) for protecting mobile devices.

The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform includes an integrated Qualcomm Spectra 280 image signal processor (ISP) and Qualcomm Adreno 630 visual processing subsystem for cinematic video capture by flagship mobile devices. It is designed to deliver innovations for new XR experiences that span virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Snapdragon 845 is the first mobile platform to enable room-scale 6 degrees of freedom (6DoF) with simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM)—for features such as wall-collision detection. Additionally, Snapdragon 845 introduces “Adreno foveation,” which substantially reduces power consumption, improves visual quality and boosts XR application performance, as compared to the previous generation.

“As leaders in mobile technology, we will transform the mobile experience with comprehensive advancements in visual processing, AI, security and connectivity,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is the next horizon of innovation and is going to transform the way people use their mobile devices to make their lives better.”

The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is currently sampling.  Key specs:

Qualcomm Spectra 280 ISP

-Ultra HD premium capture

-Qualcomm Spectra Module Program, featuring Active Depth Sensing
-MCTF video capture

-Multi-frame noise reduction

-High-performance capture up to 16MP @60FPS

-Slow motion video capture (720p @480 fps)

-ImMotion computational photography

Adreno 630 Visual Processing Subsystem

-30% improved graphics/video rendering and power reduction compared to previous generation

-Room-scale 6 DoF with SLAM

-Adreno foveation, featuring tile rendering, eye tracking, multiView rendering, fine grain preemption
-2K x 2K @ 120Hz, for 2.5x faster display throughput

-Improved 6DoF with hand-tracking and controller support

Qualcomm® Hexagon™ 685 DSP

-3rd Generation Hexagon Vector DSP (HVX) for AI and imaging

-3rd Generation Qualcomm All-Ways AwareTM Sensor Hub

- Hexagon scalar DSP for audio

Snapdragon X20 LTE Modem

- Support for 1.2 Gbps Gigabit LTE Category 18

- License Assisted Access (LAA)

- Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) shared radio spectrum

- Dual SIM-Dual VoLTE (DSDV)

Connectivity

Multigigabit 11ad Wi-Fi with diversity module
Integrated 2x2 11ac Wi-Fi with Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) support
11k/r/v: Carrier Wi-Fi enhanced mobility, fast acquisition and congestion mitigation
Bluetooth 5 with proprietary enhancements for ultra-low power wireless ear bud support and direct audio broadcast to multiple devices
Secure Processing Unit

- Biometric authentication (fingerprint, iris, voice, face)

- User and app data protection

- Integrated use-cases such as integrated SIM, Payments, and more

Qualcomm Aqstic Audio

Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec(WCD934x):
Playback:

Dynamic range: 130dB, THD+N: -109dB
Native DSD support (DSD64/DSD128), PCM up to 384kHz/32bit
Low power voice activation: 0.65mA
Record:

Dynamic range: 109dB, THD+N: -103dB
Sampling: Up to 192kHz/24bit
Qualcomm® Quick Charge™ 4+

Kryo 385 CPU

-Four performance cores up to 2.8GHz (25 percent performance uplift compared to previous generation)

- Four efficiency cores up to 1.8GHz

-2MB shared L3 cache (new)

-3MB system cache (new)

10-nanometer (nm) LPP FinFET process technology

Digital Realty brings on more wind power

Digital Realty, which operates 182 data centers throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, announced two new long-term agreements to source approximately 324,000 additional megawatt-hours of renewable wind and solar power annually for the company’s Chicago and Ashburn data centers.

In Chicago, Digital Realty has signed a contract with Leeward Renewable Energy for an anticipated 276,000 megawatt-hours of renewable wind power annually.

In Virginia, Digital Realty has signed SunEnergy to supply 48,000 megawatt-hours of renewable solar power annually for its Ashburn data centers. Both projects are expected to come online in next year.

With these resources, Digital Realty will have contracted for approximately 721,000 megawatt-hours of renewable generation annually through long-term contracts, avoiding approximately 515,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. The company says it currently procures approximately 400,000 megawatt-hours of wind power annually, which offsets 100% of its U.S. colocation and interconnection energy usage, reducing the company's carbon footprint by approximately 275,000 metric tons per year. 



Radisys enters partnership with NS Solutions of Japan

Radisys is partnering with NS Solutions Corporation, an information technology solution provider in Japan, to deliver SDN, NFV and security solutions to leading communications service providers in Asia.

The companies will jointly develop solutions based on Radisys’ FlowEngine that will allow CSPs to easily introduce new services with greater speed and agility, provide holistic management, and increase granular security to combat cyber threats, all while realizing a huge reduction of CapEx and OpEx.

“We’re pleased to partner with Radisys to deliver innovative SDN solutions to our CSP customers and enhance our ability to support CSP network requirements in Japan,” said Masayuki Iida, Director, Systems Engineering Department-I Telecom Solutions Division, NS Solutions. “Radisys’ industry-leading FlowEngine TDE-2000 platform will enable us to help our customers introduce disruptive applications rapidly with new SDN architectures.”

Radisys’ FlowEngine TDE-2000 intelligent traffic distribution platform delivers Service Function Chaining and Load Balancing capabilities via a unique SDN spine and leaf architecture. The architecture collapses multiple appliances, previously needed to deploy these capabilities, into a single compact 1RU form factor with integrated management. It can be controlled by a variety of SDN controllers, including ODL and ONOS.

6WIND offer replacement for Brocade Vyatta Virtual Routers

6WIND, the Paris-based developer of high-performance packet processing software and software appliances for Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) servers, has extended its Brocade vRouter replacement program through the first half of 2018.

The 6WIND Turbo Router, which is a high-performance software router for bare metal and virtual machine deployments, can be used as an alternative to Brocade’s Vyatta vRouter, which is now end-of-support. 6WIIND's offer now also applies to VyOS virtual routers. The 6WIND Turbo Router is based on DPDK (Data Plane Development Kit) for performance. It separates its full-featured data plane and control plane for use case flexibility. Management options include CLI, XML or Linux-based tools.

“We are pleased to extend our Brocade vRouter replacement campaign into 2018 while increasing our offer to include VyOS users,” said Eric Carmès, Founder and CEO of 6WIND. “Early results show that 6WIND immediately solves incumbent vRouter performance, feature and support challenges while also giving an alternative to hardware routers.”