Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Verizon joins the ONAP Project

Verizon has joined the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) project as a Platinum member.

The ONAP project, which is administered by The Linux Foundation, is working to deliver a neutral automation platform for network, infrastructure and services across service providers, cloud providers and enterprises as they seek to efficiently deliver on-demand services leveraging existing investments.

Verizon said participation in ONAP could help it to simplify and accelerate the onboarding of virtualized network functions while gaining greater agility in network management, service creation and provisioning.

"Future experiences powered by intelligent and automated networks is one of the biggest opportunity areas for carrier networks,” said Ed Chan, senior vice president and Chief Technology Architect at Verizon. “Verizon is working together with partners to accelerate virtualization and automation across the industry through ONAP.”

“We are thrilled Verizon is joining ONAP,” said Arpit Joshipura, General Manager of Networking and Orchestration, The Linux Foundation. “By participating in ONAP development, the world’s most influential carriers will greatly accelerate SDN/NFV services, virtual functions, and edge computing and 5G applications. Open standards and technologies like ONAP are advancing data networking faster and more economically than ever before.”


Google commissions own subsea cable from CA to Chile

TE Subcom has been awarded a contract by Alphabet, the parent company of Google, to build a subsea cable from California to Chile. A ready-for-service date is expected in 2019.

The Curie Submarine Cable will be a four fiber-pair subsea system spanning over 10,000 km from Los Angeles to Valparaiso. It will include a branching unit for future connectivity to Panama.

The project is believed to be the first subsea cable to land in Chile in 20 years.

“We’re proud to provide comprehensive services to Google on this project. Leveraging existing TE SubCom infrastructure through our SubCom Global Services (SGS) options put us in position to be a true partner to them. Our role in the continued growth of global connectivity and information sharing is a point of substantial pride for the TE SubCom team,” said Sanjay Chowbey, president of TE SubCom.

Google joins Havfrue and HK-G subsea cable projects

Google announced its participation in the HAVFRUE subsea cable project across the north Atlantic and in the Hong Kong to Guam cable system, both of which are expected to enter service in 2019.

In addition, Google confirmed that it is on-track to open cloud regions (data centers) in the Netherlands and Montreal this calendar quarter, followed by Los Angeles, Finland and Hong Kong.

HAVFRUE is the newly-announced new subsea cable project that will link New Jersey to the Jutland Peninsula of Denmark with a branch landing in County Mayo, Ireland. Optional branch extensions to Northern and Southern Norway are also included in the design. The HAVFRU system will be owned and operated by multiple parties, including Aqua Comms, Bulk Infrastructure, Facebook, Google and others. Aqua Comms, the Irish cable owner/operator and carriers’ carrier, will serve as the system operator and landing party in U.S.A., Ireland, and Denmark. Bulk Infrastructure of Norway will be the owner and landing party for the Norwegian branch options. The HAFVRUE subsea cable system will be optimized for coherent transmission and will offer a cross-sectional cable capacity of 108Tbps, scalable to higher capacities utilizing future generation SLTE technology. SubCom will incorporate their Wavelength Selective Switching Reconfigurable Optical Add Drop Multiplexer (WSS-ROADM) for flexible wavelength allocation over the system design life. It is the first new cable system in almost two decades that will traverse the North Atlantic to connect mainland Northern Europe to the U.S.A. TE Subcom is the system supplier.

The 3,900 kilometer Hong Kong - Guam Cable system (HK-G) will offer 48 Tbps of design capacity when it comes into service in late 2019. It features 100G optical transmission capabilities and is being built by RTI Connectivity Pte. Ltd. (RTI-C) and NEC Corporation with capital from the Fund Corporation for the Overseas Development of Japan's ICT and Postal Services Inc. (Japan ICT Fund), along with syndicated loans from Japanese institutions including NEC Capital Solutions Limited, among others. In Hong Kong, the cable is slated to land in Tseung Kwan O (TKO) and will land in Piti, Guam at the recently completed Teleguam Holdings LLC (GTA) cable landing station. HK-G will land in the same facility as the Southeast Asia - United States Cable System (SEA-US).

Google also noted its direct investment in 11 cables, including those planned or under construction:

Cable            Year in service             Landings
Curie             2019                            US, Chile
Havfrue         2019                            US, IE, DK
HK-G            2019                            HK, GU
Indigo            2019                            SG, ID, AU
PLCN            2019                            HK, LA
Tannat            2018                           BR, UY
Junior            2018                            Rio, Santos
Monet            2017                            US, BR
FASTER        2016                            US, JP, TW
SJC                2013                            JP, HK, SG
UNITY          2010                            US, JP


AT&T completes software-based XGS-PON field trials

AT&T completed field trials of a 10 Gbps XGS-PON virtualized network using Open Source Access Manager Hardware Abstraction (OSAM-HA) software in Atlanta and Dallas.

OSAM-HA, which was previously known as Virtual Optical Line Termination Hardware Abstraction (VOLTHA), enables a virtualized Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) function to manage subscribers. OSAM is a vendor agnostic operational suite for managing consumer and business broadband access network elements and capabilities; separate from vendor-specific Access Element Management Systems (EMS).

XGS-PON is a fixed wavelength symmetrical 10Gbps passive optic network technology.  During the trials, the XGS-PON system tested multi-gigabit high-speed Internet traffic and provided a seamless AT&T DIRECTV NOW video experience to participants.

One observation from the trial is that AT&T found it possible for GPON and XGS wavelengths to coexist across a single fiber interface.

“Our network is constantly evolving. We’ll continue to execute our software-based network strategy to technologies like 5G, virtualized RAN, and G.FAST over time. Ultimately, instead of deploying islands of technology that have SDN control, we want to orchestrate the entire end-to-end network through ONAP,” said Eddy Barker, assistant vice president, Access Architecture and Design, AT&T.

ONAP stands for Open Network Automation Platform. It’s our virtual access project within the Linux Foundation and will use the first iteration of OSAM-HA technology.

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.






A big win for Amazon - Comcast names AWS its preferred public cloud provider

Comcast Cable named AWS as its preferred public cloud infrastructure provider.

Comcast’s primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal, are currently running workloads on AWS.

Comcast Cable plans to migrate additional workloads onto AWS infrastructure to build new applications on the platform.  One example is Comcast's X1 Platform and voice-control technology which lets users talk into the remote control to select content.

“For industry leaders like Comcast Cable, the quest to anticipate and exceed consumers’ media and entertainment needs is never-ending,” said Mike Clayville, Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales at AWS. “Comcast Cable’s goal has always been to stay a step ahead of the competition. In order to do that, they wanted solutions that were agile, flexible and ready for what’s next. Together, AWS and Comcast Cable collaborated to enable them to confidently move core business workloads, build new applications with ease, and gain the agility they required by using AWS.”

Hurricane Electric deploys Coriant for Silicon Valley data center interconnect

Hurricane Electric, which operates the world’s largest IPv6-native Internet backbone, has deployed the Coriant Groove G30 Network Disaggregation Platform in a Data Center Interconnect (DCI) application for its Silicon Valley transport network.

The Coriant Groove G30 is being used to scale capacity between key data center locations in San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, and Fremont.

The solution supports efficient multi-terabit optical transmission over dark fiber metro and regional applications. It will also enable Hurricane Electric to extend multi-terabit connectivity between regions using alien wavelength service applications.

“We continue to enhance our network infrastructure to meet the throughput and low latency requirements our global customers require to deliver a best-in-class Internet experience,” said Mike Leber, President, Hurricane Electric.

UNH-IOL tests 1000BASE-T1 in automotive Ethernet

The University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) is adding two new services to its Automotive Ethernet Test Services menu:

  • 1000BASE-T1 Physical Medium Attachment (PMA) sublayer testing and 
  • 100BASE-T1 interoperability testing. 

“With the standardization of single-pair Gigabit Ethernet (1000BASE-T1) coming two years ago, chip manufacturers and silicon vendors are now tasked with ensuring their offerings can provide reliable and resilient functionality in environments where noise and electromagnetic interference concerns must be thoroughly addressed,” said Curtis Donahue, Senior Manager, Ethernet Technologies UNH-IOL. “Ethernet is established as the base solution for advanced automotive applications, such as self-driving cars and assuring reliable network interconnectivity. Launching the 1000BASE-T1 test service at the UNH-IOL sets the stage for allowing silicon vendors and Tier 1 automotive suppliers to streamline product developments and advance technologies that will help drive further innovation in the industry.”

Ericsson to take US$1.8B accounting charge

Ericsson will take an accounting charge of SEK 14.2 billion (approximately US$1.75 billion) following an impairment testing of its restated financial numbers and changes to the U.S. income tax code. The company said much of the write-down from its balance sheet is goodwill associated with investments made 10 years ago or more. The drop in the U.S. corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21% effective this year also results in a revaluation of the company's U.S. deferred tax assets.

The write-down is distributed as follows for Ericsson's business units:

  • Segment Digital Services: impairment of SEK 6.7 b. of goodwill and SEK 0.4 b. of intangible assets
  • Segment Other: impairment of SEK 6.0 b. of goodwill, SEK 0.3 b. of intangible assets, and SEK 0.4 b. of fixed assets
  • Segment Managed Services: impairment of SEK 0.3 b. of deferred costs related to termination of certain transformation activities
  • Segment Networks: impairment of SEK 0.2 b. of capitalized development expenses related to technologies that are no longer planned to be used

Ericsson borrows $370M to fund 5G R&D

In late December, Ericsson signed a credit agreement with the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) for US$220 million, maturing in 2023, and with AB Svensk Exportkredit (SEK) for US$150 million, maturing in 2025. Of these new funds, $98 million will replace credit with NIB that was set to mature in 2019. Ericsson said the remaining amount will be used to strengthen its balance sheet and to support R&D activities to further develop 5G and other mobile innovations.

Ericsson invested SEK 31.6 billion in R&D in 2016 (US$3.9 billion).

Ericsson sets 2020 financial targets

Ericsson outlined key elements of a transformation plan to stabilize the company and improve its margins by the 2020 timeframe. The restructuring is taking longer than the company initially expected due to a weaker than expected Radio Access Network equipment market that will have significant compound effect over the coming years. The exchange rate of the Swedish krona against the USD is making the situation even more challenging.

During its Capital Markets Day event in Sweden, Ericsson executives reaffirmed that the corporate mission is "to enable the full value of connectivity for its service provider customers."

Some group financial targets

  • achieve net sales of SEK 190 – 200 b. by 2020
  • achieve more than 12 % operating margin on a sustainable basis beyond 2018, excluding restructuring costs.
  • achieve a gross margin of 37 – 39% and an operating margin of at least 10% for the Group in 2020, excluding restructuring charges. This target does not factor in any significant 5G sales during this time period.

Some other takeaways from the meeting

  • Ericsson expects that the Radio Access Network equipment market will decline by -2% during 2018, and by -1% during 2019. In 2020, the market is expected to remain flat with no further decline.
  • Beginning in Q4 2017, Ericsson will report its results in four segments: Networks, Digital Services, Managed Services and Other. 
  • Ericsson is expected weaker short-term performance in segment IT & Cloud, due to past contract commitments.
  • The Cisco-Ericsson partnership will not reach its goal of $1 billion in sales in 2018.
  • Ericsson is looking to sell its Media business.

Chayora begins construction of hyperscale data centers in China

Chayora Limited has begun construction of a 300MW, 32-hectare (80 acre) data center campus in Beichen, Tianjin, China. The facility, which is designed for up to full 2N resilience and redundancy with dedicated substations for a 25MW IT load, will use prefabricated modular data centre design and construction techniques. The first building on the campus is expected to be ready by the end of the end.

The Hong Kong-based data centre infrastructure company said its Tianjin campus, when completely built-out, will comprise six large 3000 rack data centres and three smaller 1000 rack high performance computing facilities. 

Later this year, Chayora plans to begin construction of a second, 280MW hyperscale campus in the greater Shanghai region. This data center will be newly-built and designed from the ground up to international standards.

“The continued development of China and its importance to the global economy was underlined by China’s leadership at the 19th National People’s Congress in Beijing in October,” says Oliver Jones, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Chayora.  “The creation of world-class technology infrastructure will play a key part in underpinning these goals and Chayora is committed to supporting this achievement.”

PTC'17: Internationalising Data Centres for China



China is likely to become the world's largest data centre market. Chayora is a world-class infrastructure developer based in Hong Kong with a primary focus on building data centre platforms in China.

In this video, Chris Miller, Global Client Director at Chayora, discusses the company's operational strengths and prospects for growth in China.

Filmed at PTC'17 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Connected2Fiber raises $8M for B2B SaaS for connectivity

Connected2Fiber, a start-up based in Boston, announced $8 million in additional funding for its SaaS platform, which used by B2B connectivity providers to manage and transform market data.

Connected2Fiber purpose-built SaaS platform, The Connected World, that helps B2B connectivity providers engage buyers through the funnel.  Its location management platform enables sales and marketing teams to see serviceability and create OnNet and NearNet building lists in the data formats required by their customers and partners, and directly integrates into top procurement tools.

Connected2Fiber cited a number of milestones since entering the market in 2015:

  • Five of the top 10 largest MSO’s are currently using Connected2Fiber as a component of their go to market strategy.
  • Connected2Fiber customers have published more than 5,000 automated building lists to convey serviceability to their prospects, partners and customers.
  • Connected2Fiber covers more than 4 million unique locations connected by its clients’ network, including OnNet, NearNet and OffNet reach.

The new Series A funding came from Ascent Venture Partners, Nauta Capital, NXT Ventures and Osage Venture Partners.

Aquantia appoints Parvarandeh as COO

Aquantia has appointed Pirooz Parvarandeh as Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Faraj Aalaei, Aquantia’s Chairman and CEO.

Parvarandeh was formerly the Group President and the first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Maxim Integrated where he spent 27 years building leading-edge technology businesses, helping scale the company from 150 employees, when he joined, to over 8,000 employees and revenues of $2.4 billion when he left.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Deutsche Telekom completes next wave of FTTC + vectoring rollout

Deutsche Telekom completed its next wave of FTTC (fiber to the cabinet) and vectoring upgrades. As a result, more than 358,000 households in 207 cities and 122 communities can now connect to the Internet with up to 100 Mbps download and 40 Mbps upload.

"We are the only company pursuing comprehensive broadband expansion," says Tim Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom. "Some of our upgrade projects serve tens of thousands of households, while others serve just a handful. For us, every line counts... No other company is investing as much in broadband expansion in rural areas as Deutsche Telekom."

The next FTTC commissioning wave will take place on February 15. With this upgrade, copper lines running between local exchanges and street cabinets are being replaced with fiber-optic cables. Vectoring is used to increase performance over the remaining copper cable into the home. Later this year, DT is looking to deploy super-vectoring, which could push downstream speeds to 250 Mbps.

Pony.ai raises $112M for autonomous driving - former Baidu and Google X

Pony.ai, a start-up based in Fremont, California with R&D in Beijing, announced $112 million in venture funding for its autonomous driving solutions.

The Series A funding was co-led by Morningside Venture Capital and Legend Capital. Seed round lead-investor Sequoia China and investor IDG Capital also participated in the round, along with Hongtai Capital, Legend Star, Puhua Capital, Polaris Capital, DCM Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Silicon Valley Future Capital and other funding sources. Miracle Capital was the exclusive financial advisor in this round.

Pony.ai is headed by James Peng, co-founder and CEO, who was previously Chief Architect at Baidu, where he oversaw the technical direction of the autonomous driving division and other key areas such as big data and monetization platforms. Dr. Peng started his career at Google after earning a PhD from Stanford University, and he also holds a BS degree from Tsinghua University. Tiancheng Lou, co-founder and CTO, worked on autonomous driving at both Google X (before it became Waymo) and Baidu.  Dr. Lou holds a BS and PhD in Computer Science from Tsinghua University.

Pony.ai is developing level 4 autonomous driving technology. Its test vehicles are already running on Bay area roads.

Pony.ai said it is also making considerable progress in Guangzhou, China, where it began testing its fleet of autonomous driving vehicles on public roads this past December.

“We are excited and honored to welcome our new group of investors to the team and are grateful for their support!” says co-founder and CEO, James Peng. “Autonomous driving has the potential to bring about massive benefits to society, and we hope to work closely with our outstanding investors to realize this future.” Co-founder and CTO, Tiancheng Lou, adds: “We very much look forward to working with our investors to achieve our mission of bringing the safest and the most reliable autonomous driving technology to market!”

Nokia wins 5-year managed services deal with Optus in Australia

Optus awarded a five-year contract to Nokia to manage and maintain key components of its network infrastructure, operations and field maintenance in Australia. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the contract, Nokia and Optus will develop a Network Operations Centre (NOC), building on global best practices and leveraging local talent to deliver higher performance networks.

To improve efficiency, Optus will tap Nokia's Global Delivery Model to streamline its network operations. Nokia will also leverage its extensive global services expertise to help Optus bundle, standardize and automate its processes. Nokia said it will provide network operations and software services, and deploy robotics, artificial intelligence and extreme automation to help Optus standardize and scale its operations, while Nokia Field Services will manage all components of work associated with mobile base station equipment and facilities.

Renewed growth in servers and Ethernet switching

There are renewed signs of strength in several key industry segments, including servers and switches.
You might think that all of the action is concentrated in public clouds and that the only vendors benefitting from this shift are white box vendors from Asia. But that is not what the Q3 2017 data shows. Certainly, the public cloud is growing by leaps and bounds and ODMs from China and Taiwan are shipping in ever greater volume.
However, a few of the top name brand server vendors, especially Dell, IBM and Cisco (to a lesser extent) are finding renewed growth beyond the handful of hyperscale public cloud projects. This seems to indicate that large corporate data centers are entering a refresh cycle. Intel continues to dominate this sector. Demand for x86 servers increased 20.4% in 3Q17 with $15.4 billion in revenues. Non-x86 servers grew 15.1% year over year to $1.5 billion.
IDC finds that vendor revenue in the worldwide server market increased 19.9% year over year to $17.0 billion in 3Q17.
Top 5 Companies, Worldwide Server Vendor Revenue, Market Share, and Growth, Third Quarter of 2017 (Revenues are in Millions)
Company


3Q17 Revenue


3Q17 Market Share


3Q16 Revenue


3Q16 Market Share


3Q17/3Q16 Revenue Growth
1. HPE / New H3C Group


$3,317.4


19.5%


$3,355.4


23.7%


-1.1%
2. Dell Inc


$3,070.4


18.1%


$2,226.7


15.7%


37.9%
3. IBM


$1,093.7


6.4%


$864.4


6.1%


26.5%
3. Cisco


$992.5


5.8%


$928.0


6.6%


6.9%
5. Lenovo


$861.2


5.1%


$985.0


7.0%


-12.6%
ODM Direct


$4,118.7


24.3%


$2,834.5


20.0%


45.3%
Others


$3,528.7


20.8%


$2,965.5


20.9%


19.0%
Total


$16,982.6


100.0%


$14,159.5


100.0%


19.9%
IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Server Tracker, November 2017

It is good to see this growth is shared by major geographies. IDC breaks down the growth rate as follows:
Server shipment revenue growth (yoy)
·         Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) +30.6%
·         China +23.9%
·         Japan +8.5%
·         U.S. +19.7%
·         EMEA + 19.5%
·         Canada +14.5%
·         Latin America +2.4%.
Servers require switches, so it is not surprising to see this market segment growing in step with the server shipments.

Dell’Oro Group recently reported that Ethernet Switch – Layer 2+3 market revenue reached an all-time record in 3Q17, posting the highest year-over-year growth in five years. The positive results were driven by both campus switching and data centre switching. Cisco did will with its new Catalyst 9K switches and Intent-based networking paradigm. Arista did exceptionally well as evidenced by its most current quarterly financial report and despite the ongoing legal battle with Cisco.

“We are starting to see signs for recovery in the Campus Switching market,” said Sameh Boujelbene, Senior Director at Dell’Oro Group. “Softness in campus switching has been weighing on the Ethernet Switch market over the past two years. It has been outweighing strength in Data Center switching until now as Cisco and HPE captured most of the growth in North American and European campus switching markets during the quarter, while Chinese market remained dominated by Huawei and H3C,” stated Boujelbene.

IDC also reported a strong Q3 for the worldwide Ethernet switch market (Layer 2/3). The IDC figures show $6.75 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2017 (3Q17), an increase of 7.4% year over year.

See also