Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Telstra tests 400G in Melbourne with Ciena, Ericsson

Telstra, Ericsson, and Ciena demonstrated 400 Gbps speeds over 61.5 GHz spectrum on Telstra’s transmission network in Melbourne, attaining what the companies termed "the highest spectral efficiency per fibre pair ever achieved in a live environment." This implies that a maximum 30.4 terabit per second (Tbps) bandwidth is possible on Telstra’s transmission network in Melbourne. The highest previous mark was 25.6 Tbps.

Ciena said that result was made possible through the deployment of software programmable 400Gbps wavelengths using Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai modem technology on the 6500 Packet-Optical Platform, in combination with Ciena’s Blue Planet Manage Control Plan (MCP) and Liquid Spectrum applications. Ericsson provides end-to-end systems integration.

Telstra has deployed Ciena's programmable coherent modem technology, which offers up to three times data capacity and enables up to 60 percent reduction in power per bit compared to the modem technology currently deployed in the Telstra network.

David Robertson, Director of IP and Transport Engineering at Telstra, says: “Over the next five years we forecast traffic on our network will grow by five times. We are investing in our network and developing these innovations to meet this growing demand by providing unprecedented levels of scale, automation and intelligence. This technology will be deployed in our domestic transmission network and we will look for opportunities to use it in Telstra’s international subsea cable network, which is the largest in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, says: “We are proud to be supporting our long-term partner Telstra with end-to-end systems integration expertise to deliver innovative solutions that will ultimately improve overall efficiency of the network. Deployment of these technologies will help Telstra to prepare for the ever-increasing demand for data. This will give Telstra the ability to predict and address connectivity and capacity challenges as they emerge, enabling them to respond and allocate capacity across paths in real time.”

Steve Alexander, Ciena’s Chief Technology Officer says, “As high-bandwidth applications become further ingrained in our daily lives, the implementation of a more intelligent and adaptive network – one that lets operators eliminate complexity by combining intelligent automation, real-time performance monitoring, and the ability to continuously tune their network – is critical. These accomplishments will prepare Telstra’s network to better respond to customer demands.”

Telefónica launches 5G Technological Cities project

Telefónica introduced its 5G Technological Cities project, which will see the initial deployment of 5G capabilities in the cities of Segovia and Talavera de la Reina. Nokia and Ericsson are named as technology partners.

Telefónica's plan is to build 5G living laboratories over the next three years (2018-2020) in each of these cities.

The company expects 5G will increase the speed and obtain peaks from 1 Gbps to as many as 10 Gbps (more than 3 times the current speed of fibre in the home) and reduce the latency, achieving a minimum of between 1 and 5 milliseconds, as well as providing high capacity, with the possibility of having up to 100 times more connected devices.

Telefónica has a partnership with Nokia (in Segovia) and Ericsson (in Talavera de la Reina) as its technological partners for the 5G network deployment project.

"With the 5G Technological Cities project, Telefónica is turning the technology of the future into reality and providing a constant service for people. This is why we will perform the technological deployment and use cases in parallel, so that we will serve people with the new technologies, one of Telefónica’s clear objectives,” stated Luis Miguel Gilpérez, CEO of Telefónica España.

Windstream extends core network to content and media customers

Windstream has expanded its nationwide core network into the Columbus, Ohio, market.

The carrier reports increased customer demand,  primarily within the content and media industries in this market.

Windstream said it completed its Columbus turn-up of multiple terabyte connectivity within just 30 days from customer order to acceptance – a testament to the company’s agility and commitment to rapidly addressing cloud connectivity and networking needs.

Windstream’s optical SDN footprint now exceeds more than 50 markets across the United States, enabling a rapidly growing number of transport customers – including large enterprise organizations, international carriers, ISPs, hyperscale cloud operators, streaming content providers, etc.

“Our nationwide SDN deployment gives Windstream a solid programmable network that supports intent-based, on-demand automation of wavelength services – ideal for enterprises, content providers, large-scale e-commerce houses and more – in a fast-growing number of markets,” said John Nishimoto, Windstream vice president of transport product management. “In addition to consistently driving down service installation intervals, we’re delivering value to our customers today that networking-as-a-service proponents have been promising for years.”



  • In October 2017, Windstream announced a major expansion of its SDN Orchestrated Waves (SDNow) transport service.

    SDNow, which is a high-speed optical wave service delivered using a centralized, programmable SDN environment – is now available in 50 markets across the U.S., including major cloud connectivity and peering locations in the United States.  The service was first launched in May.

    The Windstream network leverages multi-vendor service orchestration and automated provisioning. This enables customers to order SDNow 10G point-to-point circuits for 1,500 long-haul route combinations, with delivery in 20 days.

    “This SDNow expansion brings the benefits of SDN-provisioned service to even more transport customers across our national footprint – a definite game-changer for Windstream,” said Joseph Harding, executive vice president and enterprise chief marketing officer at Windstream. “With its accelerated 20-day service delivery, SDNow will allow Windstream customers to advance their cloud migration and digital transformation efforts with the increased speed, agility and efficiency required for business innovation and success.”

Cisco to acquire Skyport for ultra secure servers

Cisco announced its intent to acquire Skyport Systems, Inc., a start-up based in Mountain View, California that offers "hyper-secured" servers for delivering trusted computing and policy enforcement at the application edge.  Financial terms were not disclosed.

Skyport's SkySecure converged system brings together zero trust compute, virtualization and a full stack of security technologies. It logs all traffic at a forensically auditable level, enabling users to see where traffic originates, where it is headed, whether it was allowed or not, what policy allowed or blocked it, and when and who put that policy into action. Remote management capability allows users to secure branch infrastructure without firewalls, proxies, MPLS or other security measures.

Skyport Systems team will join Cisco's Data Center – Computing Systems Product Group, which is led by Senior Vice President and General Manager Liz Centoni and the Service Provider – Networking Group led by Senior Vice President and General Manager Jonathan Davidson.

Investors in Skyport included GV (formerly known as Google Ventures), Cisco Investments, Thomvest Ventures, Northgate Capital, InstantScale, Index Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Intel Capital. The company raised at least $67 million in funding over several rounds.

In June 2016, Skyport announced interoperability between its SkySecure platform and Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) solution. The goal is to provide application-layer and system-level security and policy controls needed to extend the trust boundary from a system-level root-of-trust to the network edge. Skyport said its interoperability with Cisco ACI also mobilizes security policies, enabling them to follow workloads throughout their lifecycles, and lets users deploy and maintain secure administrative workstations, jump hosts and multi-zone DMZ architectures as an integral part of an overall security framework.


  

Tigera raises $10 million for secure app connectivity

Tigera, a start-up based in San Francisco, announced $10 million in new funding for its secure application connectivity for the cloud-native world.

Tigera is an open core enterprise software company delivering solutions for secure application connectivity.

Its newly launched enterprise solution, CNX, secures application connectivity using a proprietary ZT-Auth technology, which enables the enterprise to adopt a Zero Trust approach to application connectivity.

Tigera said it has been selected by each of the big four public cloud providers as the network policy provider for their managed Kubernetes offerings. Tigera’s software is integrated into AWS Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes, Microsoft Azure Container Service, Google Container Engine and IBM Cloud Container Service.

Comcast increases dividend 21% and stock repurchases by $5 billion

Comcast increased its dividend by 21% to $0.76 per share on an annualized basis. In accordance with the increase, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.19 a share on the company’s common stock, payable on April 25, 2018 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on April 4, 2018.

The company also said it plans to repurchase at least $5.0 billion of its common stock during 2018, subject to market conditions.

Samsung Foundry builds a collaborative ecosystem

Samsung Electronics is launching an ecosystem program to foster collaboration between the Samsung Foundry and customers. The goal is to deliver competitive and robust System on Chip (SoC) designs based on certified key design components including Process Design Kit (PDK), reference flows with Design Methodologies (DM), Intellectual Property (IP), and ASIC design support.

The Samsung Advanced Foundry Ecosystem (SAFE) program has three elements:

  • EDA/DM: Provides extensively tested PDKs and reference flows (with design methodologies) that are backed by Samsung Foundry’s certification.
  • IP: Provides a full set of silicon qualified, application specific IP offerings from the early stage of process technology development. Customers can view a full list of IP solutions offered through SAFE™ by accessing Samsung Foundry’s B2B site, CONNECT 
  • Design Services: Connects mid- to small-sized companies with qualified ASIC design services and support. Using design service partners of SAFE™, customers will benefit from easy access to process technology information, competitive price conditions, and committed resources for their SoC design success.

F5 posted revenue of $523.2 million - up 1.4% YoY, growing software sales

F5 posted revenue of $523.2 million for its first quarter of fiscal 2018, up 1.4% from $516.0 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2017. GAAP net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2018 was $88.4 million, or $1.41 per diluted share, compared to $94.2 million, or $1.44 per diluted share in the first quarter of fiscal 2017. Excluding the impact of stock-based compensation, amortization of purchased intangible assets, and non-recurring tax expenses, non-GAAP net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2018 was $141.6 million, or $2.26 per diluted share, compared to $130.3 million, or $1.98 per diluted share in the first quarter of fiscal 2017.

“We continue to see momentum with our software offerings, driven by customers deploying our solutions on-premises and in the public cloud,” said François Locoh-Donou, F5 President and Chief Executive Officer. "The organizational changes and go-to-market initiatives we began to put into place last year are gaining momentum and we expect to see increasing benefits as the current year progresses.

“Our recent State of Application Delivery report highlights a number of emerging trends across the global application landscape. It is clear, applications and related services are taking an increasingly important role as digital transformation reshapes the modern enterprise. We are well positioned to benefit from these broader industry trends as customers require more multi-cloud support, IT automation, and application security.”

Sequans teams with SoftBank on LTE-M and NB-IoT in Japan

Sequans has established a technology collaboration with SoftBank to accelerate the deployment of LTE-M and NB-IoT technologies in Japan. Specifically, SoftBank is conducting interoperability testing of Sequans’ Monarch LTE-M/NB-IoT platform with SoftBank’s network equipment.

 “SoftBank is a leader in promoting LTE for IoT in Japan and its efforts to make the technology ready for connecting objects of all kinds shows its commitment to growing the IoT and to accelerating the deployment of LTE for IoT devices on its network,” said Danny Kedar, VP, IoT Business Unit, Sequans. “We are pleased to collaborate with SoftBank and to enrich the ecosystem with LTE for IoT modules specifically designed for SoftBank’s network and customers.”

F5 adds four to its management team

F5 Networks announced four executive hires, reporting directly to President and CEO François Locoh-Donou:

Kara Sprague will serve in the new role of Senior Vice President, General Manager of Application Delivery Controller (ADC), She joins F5 from the global management consulting firm, McKinsey and Company, where in her thirteen-year tenure she held various leadership positions across their technology practice. Most recently she led the Technology, Media, and Telecom Practice for the Western Region.

Ram Krishnan will be Senior Vice President, General Manager of Security. He joins F5 from CloudPassage, where he was the Chief Product Officer of their SaaS-based cloud workload security solution. Previously, Krishnan served as General Manager for HP’s Applications business and led Symantec’s Risk and Compliance business.

Tom Fountain has been named as the Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. He joins F5 from McAfee, where he was Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development. Prior to McAfee, Fountain held multiple leadership roles at Juniper Networks, including General Manager of the company’s Content & Media Business Unit and Vice President of Corporate Strategy.

Ana White has joined F5 as the company’s first Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. She comes to F5 from Microsoft, having successfully led global HR teams for over 18 years across multiple business units. Most recently White acted as GM of Human Resources for Microsoft’s Marketing and Consumer Business organization, with responsibility for their team’s HR strategy, talent management, diversity & inclusion, and organizational capability.

Silicon wars heat up in 2018 – the autonomous vehicle opportunity

Preamble: autonomous vehicles represent an enormous opportunity for the tech industry, including for mobile operators and network equipment suppliers. The first and second parts of this article looked at recent developments at Intel and at Qualcomm, both of which are moving rapidly to consolidate an early lead into a full-fledged platform for autonomous vehicles. This part of the article looks at two other players with newly-announced platforms: NVIDIA and Molex.

NVIDIA building the world's first autonomous machine processor

NVIDIA is pursuing a “holistic” strategy for the autonomous vehicle challenge, choosing to develop silicon, the software stack, the tools, and the development necessary to achieve driverless safety at the ISO 26262 certification level.

At this year’s CES 2018, the company unveiled its NVIDIA AI autonomous vehicle platform for automakers. At the heart of the system is a new NVIDIA Xavier autonomous-machine processor, which the company describes as the most complex system on a chip ever created. The chip, which is expected to begin sampling this quarter, is built around a custom 8-core CPU, a new 512-core Volta GPU, a new deep learning accelerator, new computer vision accelerators and new 8K HDR video processors. The SoC has over 9 billion transistors. Everything on-chip is designed for redundacy and diversity. NVIDIA said it invested $2 billion over four years to develop the chip. Over 2,000 engineers worked on its development.

NVIDIA is not just pitching silicon, but instead talking about process, technologies, and simulation systems, as described below:

Process: Sets out the steps for establishing a pervasive safety methodology for the design, management, and documentation of the self-driving system.

Processor Design and Hardware Functionality: Incorporates a diversity of processors to achieve

fail operation capabilities. These include NVIDIA-designed IP related to NVIDIA Xavier covering CPU and GPU processors, deep learning accelerator, image processing ISP, computer vision PVA, and video processors – all at the highest quality and safety standards. Included are lockstep processing and error-correcting code on memory and buses, with built-in testing capabilities. The ASIL-C NVIDIA DRIVE Xavier processor and ASIL-D rated safety microcontroller with appropriate safety logic can achieve the highest system ASIL-D rating.

Software: including third-party software such as BlackBerry QNX’s 64-bit real-time operating system, which is ASIL-D safety certified, along with TTTech’s MotionWise safety application framework, which encapsulates each application and isolates them from each other, while providing real-time computing capability. NVIDIA DRIVE OS offers full support of Adaptive AUTOSAR, the open-standard automotive system architecture and application framework. The NVIDIA toolchain, including the CUDA compiler and TensorRT, uses ISO 26262 Tool Classification Levels.

Algorithms: The NVIDIA DRIVE AV autonomous vehicle software stack performs functions like ego-motion, perception, localization, and path planning. To realize fail operation capability, each functionality includes a redundancy and diversity strategy. For example, perception redundancy is achieved by fusing lidar, camera and radar. Deep learning and computer vision algorithms running on CPU, CUDA GPU, DLA and PVA enhance redundancy and diversity. The NVIDIA DRIVE AV stack is a full backup system to the self-driving stack developed by the automaker, enabling Level 5 autonomous vehicles to achieve the highest level of functional safety.

Virtual Reality Simulation: NVIDIA has created a virtual reality simulator, called NVIDIA AutoSIM, to test the DRIVE platform and simulate against rare conditions. Running on NVIDIA DGX supercomputers, NVIDIA AutoSIM is repeatable for regression testing and will eventually simulate billions of miles.

Based on this platform, NVIDIA published a flurry of press announcements touting its momentum:

Mercedes-Benz unveiled a new in-car infotainment system that uses AI powered by NVIDIA to transform how drivers and passengers interact with their vehicles. The 3D touch-screen displays can be controlled with a new voice-activated assistant that can be summoned with the phrase “Hey, Mercedes.”

Volkswagen is adopting the NVIDIA DRIVE IX platform.

Uber has selected NVIDIA technology for the AI computing system in its future fleet of self-driving cars and freight trucks.
Baidu and ZF, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, to create a production-ready AI autonomous vehicle platform based on NVIDIA’s DRIVE Xavier, ZF’s new ProAI car computer and Baidu’s Apollo Pilot.

Molex is building the in-vehicle network

Molex, which is well-known in the communications field for its electrical and fibre optic interconnection systems, is also jumping into to the autonomous vehicle field.  This week, the Lisle, Illinois-based company is highlighting its new, 10G Automotive Ethernet Network for connected and autonomous vehicles at CES 2018.

The Molex 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network connects Electronic Control Units (ECUs) throughout a vehicle. It offers secure over-the-air software and firmware updates and diagnostics over IP (Dip) to help avoid the need for vehicle recalls and enabling in-vehicle security and diagnostics over IP.  Molex said its platform is compatible with existing network components, and that it provides flexibility for OEMs to accommodate different vehicle profiles.

The Molex 10 Gbps Automotive Ethernet Network incorporates an Aquantia chip optimized for Multi-Gig Ethernet to support data transfers between Electronic Control Units (ECU). Molex is also working with Silicon Valley-based Excelfore, which provides innovative middleware solutions for in-vehicle and vehicle-to-cloud smart mobility networks. This enables over-the-air (OTA) diagnostics, firmware and software updates to different automotive devices, from different vendors, running different operating systems, across multiple networks.

To connect the network to the car’s entertainment system, Molex has formed a partnership with AllGo Systems. AllGo's OTG and Media Solutions support iPhones and Android phones, as well as other smart devices within the car. The idea here is clearly wired and wireless infotainment in automotive cockpit systems. High-resolution navigation data could also be streamed over the in-car network from a head unit running Android to a digital instrument cluster running QNX. The companies envision multiple 4K high-resolution content streams from a network storage device to the head unit and played back on secondary displays.

Molex is also working with Microchip Technology Inc.  on USB Media Modules and USB power delivery solutions for these automotive infotainment systems. The work focuses on the increasing number of USB ports in vehicles, and how USB can deliver more power and bring driver assistance applications to the head unit display.

Finally, let us not forget security. Molex is working with BlackBerry to protect its 10 Gbps Ethernet Automotive Networking platform. This is being developed using the BlackBerry QNX Neutrino SDP 7.0 RTOS, which provides high performance and enhanced kernel-level security based on its microkernel architecture, file encryption, adaptive time partitioning, a high-availability framework, anomaly detection, and multi-level policy-based access control. Communication between modules and other vehicle ECUs and peripheral devices connected to the network will use the BlackBerry Certicom's Managed PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) Service to securely provision and authenticate. In-vehicle connections can be made via Ethernet IP-based devices or LIN, CAN, USB, and other supported legacy communication protocols. As part of the PKI, BlackBerry Certicom’s is providing an efficient and powerful Elliptic-Curve Cryptography (ECC) solution that can also be extended to communications between the vehicle systems and the cloud.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Verizon will not use tax cut windfall to increase network investments

Verizon Communications reported revenues in fourth-quarter 2017 of $34.0 billion, up 5.0 percent from fourth-quarter 2016. Net income was $18.8 billion in fourth-quarter 2017. EBITDA totaled approximately $9.2 billion.The company reported EPS of $4.56, compared with $1.10 in fourth-quarter 2016. On an adjusted basis (non-GAAP), fourth-quarter 2017 EPS was 86 cents, compared with 86 cents in fourth-quarter 2016.

Verizon said the recently passed tax-reform legislation will have a positive impact to cash flow from operations in 2018 of approximately $3.5 billion to $4 billion, which it plans to strengthen its balance sheet -- not for increased network CAPEX or increased wages.

Full-year consolidated revenues declined approximately 2 percent in 2017 to $126.0 billion, compared with 2016. For full-year 2017, Verizon reported $7.36 in EPS, compared with $3.21 in full-year 2016. In 2017, Verizon made $9.5 billion in cash dividend payments to shareholders.

“Verizon finished 2017 with great momentum, led by some of the best customer growth and loyalty results Verizon Wireless has delivered in recent years,” said Chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam.

“In 2018 we look to drive long-term shareholder value by deploying next-generation network services, leveraging global platforms such as Oath, and using our strategic Humanability approach to turn innovative ideas into realities.”



Highlights for the quarter

  • Oath, Verizon’s media business, generated revenues of $2.2 billion in fourth-quarter 2017, up approximately 10 percent from third-quarter 2017, driven by increased customer advertising spending during the holidays. 
  • In telematics, revenues were more than $230 million in fourth-quarter 2017. IoT revenues increased approximately 17 percent year over year, and 8 percent on an organic basis (non-GAAP).

Wireless results

  • Verizon reported a net increase of 1.2 million retail postpaid connections in fourth-quarter 2017. 
  • Net phone additions of 431,000 included 647,000 smartphones, compared with 456,000 smartphone additions in fourth-quarter 2016. 
  • Total retail postpaid net adds in fourth-quarter 2017 included 193,000 tablet and 550,000 other connected device net adds, led by wearables.
  • Added 40,000 customer accounts in Q4. The company ended 2017 with 116.3 million total retail connections -- 110.9 million postpaid connections and 5.4 million prepaid connections.
  • Total retail postpaid churn was 1.00 percent in fourth-quarter 2017, a year-over-year improvement of 10 basis points.
  • Total revenues were $23.8 billion in fourth-quarter 2017, an increase of 1.7 percent compared with fourth-quarter 2016 and the company’s first year-over-year wireless revenue growth in two years. 

Wireline results

  • Total wireline revenues increased 0.1 percent year over year in fourth-quarter 2017 and 0.6 percent for the full year.
  • Total wireline revenues declined 3.6 percent year over year in fourth-quarter 2017.
  • Total Fios revenues grew 2.3 percent, and consumer Fios revenues grew 1.7 percent, comparing fourth-quarter 2017 with fourth-quarter 2016.
  • In fourth-quarter 2017, Verizon added a net of 47,000 Fios Internet connections and lost a net of 29,000 Fios Video connections, continuing to reflect the shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings. 
  • At year-end 2017, Verizon had 5.9 million Fios Internet connections and 4.6 million Fios Video connections.
  • Wireline operating income was $62 million in fourth-quarter 2017, and segment operating income margin was 0.8 percent. 

Metaswitch's MaX delivers multi-persona collaboration for mobiles

Metaswitch introduced a communications and collaboration product family for mobile operators that delivers multi-persona call capabilities through the mobile native dialer.

The carrier-grade Metaswitch MaX platform lets mobile operators offer an add-on service where the customer can separate business and personal calling identities through the same service and with one device.

MaX can be deployed in three versions:


  • MaX Business allows micro and small businesses to take advantage of MaX’s shared voice and messaging capabilities to connect better with customers. This enables a group of employees with disparate mobile devices to interface with their customers through a common business number and to instantly collaborate internally via business information feeds and channels, thereby maximizing business efficiency, customer satisfaction and lead conversion.
     
  • MaX Family allows mobile-equipped families to create a familiar “fixed line” experience across any number of discrete mobile devices, complete with private message and collaboration feeds and the ability to create disposable numbers and temporary identities. 
  • MaX Prosumer allows individuals currently juggling multiple phones or SIM cards to be well- served by MNOs that can now deliver a sophisticated multi-persona solution across one or more personal devices.


MaX is currently in early trials with multiple mobile operators.

“We developed MaX by Metaswitch from the ground up for mobile network operators, recognizing the pain points of millions of users worldwide who are simply seeking a better mobile experience,” said Ian Maclean, CMO at Metaswitch. “Until now, these users have been forced to rely on over-the-top applications, none of which provide the functionality that MaX offers and all of which bypass the mobile operator’s core voice network. Mobile operators now can provide compelling new alternatives to OTT applications with a platform that serves ongoing innovation and revenue generation.”

Digital Realty data centers provide direct tap to the Oracle Cloud

Digital Realty is adding dedicated and private access to Oracle Cloud through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) FastConnect in 14 major metropolitan areas: Ashburn, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, London, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Phoenix, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Silicon Valley.  Digital Realty has a total of 59 data centers in these 14 markets.

Access to OCI is being made available through Digital Realty's Service Exchange, which is an interconnection platform that facilitates direct, private and secure connections from clients in its data center to multiple cloud service providers. Digital Realty's Service Exchange already provides access to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure – as well as telecommunications providers and other Digital Realty customers worldwide. The switching platform is powered by Megaport's elastic, SDN-based Ethernet fabric. An online portal enables Digital Realty customers to actively manage multiple virtual private connections ("Virtual Cross Connects") to cloud operators and service providers.

Oracle's cloud occupies more than 500,000 square feet across 16 Digital Realty locations.

"Customers require seamless connectivity from their data centers and networks to Oracle Cloud for their most demanding workloads and applications," said Don Johnson, Senior Vice President Product Development, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.  "With Oracle's FastConnect service via Digital Realty, customers can provision the dedicated and private connections they need today and easily scale with their growing business demands."

"Our direct connections to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure build upon our commitment to ensure that our customers have interconnected access to the critical IT resources they need to drive business success," said Digital Realty Chief Technology Officer Chris Sharp.  "The rapid growth of Oracle Cloud is a testament to its strength in the marketplace, and we are extremely pleased to be working closely with Oracle to accelerate its momentum."

Tech Mahindra looks to AT&T FlexWare for #SDN and #NFV connectivity

Tech Mahindra will make available AT&T FlexWare global network infrastructure available to its global clients. Tech Mahindra will use AT&T Flexfare internally as well.

AT&T FlexWare is a global network infrastructure solution that supports virtual network functions (VNFs) on a single device, reducing dependence on physical network appliances.

Tech Mahindra intends to combine AT&T FlexWare with its System Integration and Services Portfolio, and offer the solutions to its global clientele who are undergoing digital transformation. 

Ashish Julka, senior vice president, Tech Mahindra said, “This is another significant milestone in our strategic relationship with AT&T. AT&T FlexWare is a state of the art product which we believe delivers significant value to enterprise customers in their network transformation journey. With Tech Mahindra’s strengths in System Integration combined with a transformative solution from AT&T, it is a win-win for all stakeholders.”

AT&T enhances FlexWare NFV solution and expands availability worldwide


AT&T announced new network connectivity options and security applications for its FlexWare offering, and that it is increasing availability to cover more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

The AT&T FlexWare platform is designed to simplify the delivery and deployment of software-based network functions for business customers. Using the service, businesses can flexibly manage their networks, reduce total costs of ownership and avoid the requirement of utilising proprietary hardware-based solutions. AT&T noted that within a year of launch, over 2,000 FlexWare devices have been sold worldwide to a variety of businesses, both large and small.

With the new enhancements, AT&T FlexWare provides the benefits of network function virtualisation (NFV) to businesses with a broader range of connection types. Specifically, FlexWare now features a range of connectivity options via both AT&T and third party service providers, with options including Ethernet, VPN (MPLS), dedicated Internet and broadband.

In addition, AT&T is adding three new virtual security options for FlexWare. Ads well as Fortinet self-managed and AT&T-managed firewall options, the company has partnered with other companies to offer new software-defined security options as follows: Palo Alto Networks Next-Generation Security Platform (either AT&T- or self-managed); Juniper Networks vSRX Virtual Firewall (self-managed); and Check Point vSEC (self-managed).



  • Separately, Ericsson announced that it is rolling out availability of AT&T FlexWare across its global corporate network to locations including the U.S., Latin America, Middle East and Europe. Ericsson noted that by virtualising its network services using FlexWare it can adapt its network to changing business needs in near real-time, while lowering its cost of network ownership.
  • In addition to the deployment of AT&T FlexWare, Ericsson stated that it is also expanding the reach of its global AT&T managed VPN solution.

Xtera selected for ARBR subsea cable from Brazil to Argentina

Xtera will supply its subsea optical transmission system for the ARBR submarine fibre optic cable system, which is a fully-funded project developed jointly by Seaborn Networks and the Werthein Group.  The 2,700 km open system, 4-fibre pair, 48Tbps, direct PoP-to-PoP subsea cable will connect Argentina and Brazil. The ARBR subsea cable system will allow for direct onward connectivity to New York, via the new Seabras-1 system.

Specifically, the ARBR subsea cable system will utilize Xtera’s submarine repeaters with hybrid EDFA-Raman design. When combined with Xtera’s Open Systems Gateway, this transmission system will provide Seaborn Networks and its customers with freedom of choice for the selection of its preferred terminal supplier.  All these elements, including the Power Feed Equipment, are tightly monitored and managed by Xtera’s Network Management Systems.

“This award further consolidates Xtera’s position as a strong player in the regional submarine market segment and is a significant endorsement of Xtera’s differentiated product offering,” says Stuart Barnes, Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer, Xtera. “Our four pillars of product and service offerings encompass subsea systems technologies, wet and dry upgrades, IP licensing, and OEM / specialist units to selected markets.  Xtera is further defined by its flexible approach to system-partnering and contracting structures that ensure the best value for investment and a solution aligned to each customer’s need.”

“We are thrilled by the opportunity to work with Seaborn Networks on this exciting project,” comments Robert Richardson, Chief Sales Officer, Xtera.  “We pride ourselves on being market disruptors and innovators, and we see these same characteristics in Seaborn.  It is especially rewarding to work with a kindred spirit company, and very satisfying to see a company such as Seaborn making use of our available technology to provide the market with a truly compelling offer.”

Seaborn and Grupo Werthein to build Argentina-Brazil Subsea Cable

Seaborn Networks, an independent developer-owner-operator of submarine cable systems, and Grupo Werthein, a major Argentine investment holding company with significant holdings in the telecommunications sector, announced a binding agreement for the construction of a new subsea optical cable system, named ARBR, connecting Argentina with Brazil.

The new ARBR cable system will additionally provide onward connectivity via Seabras-1, which is currently under construction, to enable a direct route between Argentina and the U.S. The ARBR system will be jointly developed and owned by Seabras Group, an affiliate of Seabras, and Werthein.

Seabras is the sole owner of the Seabras-1 submarine cable system between New York and Sao Paulo in Brazil, which was developed and is operated and owned by Seaborn Networks, in partnership with funds managed and/or advised by Partners Group, a global private markets investment manager.

Seabras noted that it has sold capacity on Seabras-1 to a variety of large and small telecommunications companies and other customers, both via indefeasible rights of use (IRUs) and on short-term lease agreements. As with Seabras-1, Seaborn will act as the operator of the ARBR system. Seabras stated that together the ARBR and Seabras-1 cables represent a total project value of more than $575 million.

The ARBR cable will be a four-fibre pair system with and will offer an initial maximum design capacity of 48 Tbit/s. The system has a scheduled completion date in the second half of 2018. The ARBR cable system's Brazil landing will be located in the existing Seabras-1 cable landing station in Praia Grande, Brazil, enabling direct onward connectivity to New York over Seabras-1. The Argentina landing for the new cable is expected to be in or near Las Toninas, to the south of Buenos Aires.

Netronome offers SmartNIC accelerator for Dell's NFV server

Netronome's Agilio 25GbE SmartNICs and software are being offered through Dell EMC OEM Solutions in a turnkey NFV server solution that accelerates NFV infrastructure and applications (VNFs) by up to 600 percent.

The Netronome NFV Platform is based on Dell EMC PowerEdge R630 servers with dual, 12-core performance-optimized Xeon processors running at 4.30 GHz. The solution features an Agilio 2x25GbE SmartNIC and is upgradeable with Agilio OVS and vRouter software packages. Agilio SmartNICs incorporate 60 to 120 network processing cores to offload network and security processing from servers, accelerating VNFs and other applications while reducing overall server counts.

Agilio 25GbE SmartNIC platform fully and transparently offloads virtual switch and router datapath processing for networking functions such as overlays, security, load balancing and telemetry, enabling compute servers used for server-based networking and cloud computing to save critical CPU cores for application processing while delivering significantly higher performance.

The companies said the Netronome NFV Platform reduces CAPEX by improving server efficiency by up to 20X over traditional COTS servers.

“Dell EMC servers and Netronome SmartNIC technology make this solution a win-win for service providers and enterprises deploying NFV applications,” said Sujal Das, chief strategy and marketing officer at Netronome. “We are excited about this collaboration and the prospects for expanding Netronome’s leadership in the SmartNIC market.”

“Netronome is a pioneer in network processing and the use of SmartNICs to offload servers for higher efficiency,” said Kevin Shatzkamer, vice president, Dell EMC Service Provider Solutions. “With disaggregation in the traditional network software stack moving to servers running network functions, we believe Dell EMC and Netronome can play a major role.”

Dremio raises $25 million for its data analytics

Dremio, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, announced 25 million in Series B funding for its data analytics solutions.

Dremio said it "simplifies and governs the process of achieving interactive speed on data from any source, at any scale, at any time, through a self-service model delivered on an open source platform." Its solution takes advantage of elastic compute resources as well as object storage such as Amazon S3 for its Data Reflection Store. It can be run as an elastic service in the cloud and on-premises.

Apache Arrow was created by Dremio to provide the core data building block for heterogeneous data infrastructures and tools, including Spark, Python, R, BI, RDBMS, NoSQL, and file systems. Arrow is now the de-facto standard for in-memory analytics, with more than 100,000 downloads a month and adoption across a diverse range of projects.

“Dremio makes data self-service for data consumers in the same way that AWS makes infrastructure self-service for developers, but it benefits more than 10 times as many individuals. We are thrilled about the support and confidence we have received from our customers and investors, and we look forward to continuing to change the way data is harnessed by all companies,” stated Tomer Shiran, co-founder and CEO, Dremio.

The funding round was led by new investor Norwest Venture Partners with participation from existing investorsLightspeed Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures. This brings total funding to $40 million.

Dreamio was founded in 2015 by Tomer Shiran (previously MapR, Microsoft, and IBM) and Jacques Nadeau (creator and PMC Chair of Apache Arrow; previously at MapR where he ran the distributed systems team).

Silicon wars heat up in 2018 - Qualcomm pushes into automotive

by James E. Carroll

You might not expect the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to be a showcase opportunity for silicon players such as Intel, Qualcomm or NVIDIA. After all, Mobile World Congress 2018 opens in Barcelona in less than 50 days and it is here that we expect to see the latest cellular and Wi-Fi technologies. But the race is on to build new ecosystems for autonomous vehicles, smart cities, connected homes, etc.

In the automotive sector, Qualcomm holds a strategic position with its LTE modems which are currently used in millions of 2018 models from most of the major auto manufacturers. Through its Mobileye acquisition, Intel holds a strong position with next-gen sensors for autonomous vehicle functions. Meanwhile, NVIDIA established an early lead with SoC solutions for the digital dashboards and instrument panels of high-end autos, and this is leading to opportunities to become the silicon platform for the AI-powered cockpits of future autonomous vehicles. All of the silicon players are aiming for this goal.

Many are predicting that AI-powered autonomous vehicles will become “smartphones on wheels” or “rolling data centres.” Some forecasts put the amount of data generated by an autonomous vehicle at upwards of 4 TB per day, which is not hard to imagine if each vehicle is equipped with a dozen HD video cameras and multiple LIDARs, not to mention the data consumption needs of multiple passengers each playing with their own entertainment system.

Qualcomm is making  inroads with Ford and BYD

Qualcomm and Ford are collaborating on the development of advanced connectivity systems for vehicles using Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.

C-V2X is designed to allow vehicles to communicate directly with other vehicles, pedestrian devices, and roadside infrastructure, such as traffic signs and construction zones, without the involvement of a cellular network, or cellular network subscription.

C-V2X field validations are expected to begin in 1H 2018 in San Diego, along with additional trials in Detroit.

Qualcomm's first C-V2X chipset is expected to be commercially available the second half of 2018.

Qualcomm and Ford are also working on automotive telematics platforms with integrated Qualcomm Snapdragon LTE modems.

Qualcomm also announced a major deal with BYD ( "Build Your Dreams"), the Shenzhen-based manufacturer known for its high volume production of electric automobiles, buses, forklifts, rechargeable batteries, trucks, etc., as well as for having attracted a $230 million investment from Warren Buffet back in 2008. BYD’s stock price has been booming as of late, especially after the Chinese government announced plans to phase out fossil fuel cars in favour of EVs.

Over the next few design cycles the requirements for in-vehicle displays are expected to include the need for sufficient bandwidth to stream high-definition videos onto very high-resolution displays, while supporting audio and video streaming from multiple devices through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. We already see Teslas, Audis, BMWs and many other cars with large digital displays. BYDs electric cars will have to compete.

Under the deal announced this week at CES, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820A Automotive platform will be used for integrated infotainment and digital cluster systems in electric vehicles starting in 2019. The infotainment and digital cluster systems will be integrated into BYD’s single electronic control unit (ECU).

The Snapdragon 820A Automotive platform consists of customized Qualcomm Kryo CPU, Qualcomm Hexagon 680 DSP with Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX) and Qualcomm Adreno GPUs. The platform also supports vehicle sensors, which will be key to computer vision and driver assistance systems. Qualcomm is pursuing this too with its Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine.

“As infotainment systems become more relevant in purchase decisions, it is important that automakers are armed with the industry’s most comprehensive and advanced solutions,” said Nakul Duggal, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies.”

Qualcomm Mesh Network for Smart Homes

There is a lot of CES buzz around smart speaker systems for the home, headphones and earbuds with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa on-board. Many are interesting products with the potential to keep millions -- and someday billions—of consumers firmly attached to the digital empires of the hyperscale players. At the networking layer, all of these gizmos will rely on robust home networks. Today, most home set-ups include some sort of broadband modem connected to a single WiFi hotspot. That’s not enough, say the vendors! Why not build an in-home mesh with a WiFi repeater in every room?

Qualcomm Technologies is currently working on mesh networking with a number of start-ups, including Cognitive Systems Corp., Origin Wireless and Lunera.

  • Cognitive Systems offers its “Aura” WiFi Motion technology available for any product based on the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform.  Aura’s WiFi Motion software enables advanced motion detection using RF motion algorithms and machine learning.
  • Origin Wireless will be using the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform to further expand their motion-detection, vital sign detection, well-being monitoring and home security software to bring new use cases to their suite of smart home solutions.
  • Lunera, an IoT infrastructure company, will be utilizing the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Platform to upgrade the connectivity in their newly announced Lunera Ambient Compute software platform, which can connect billions of IoT devices to the cloud. 


Monday, January 22, 2018

Ciena adds L-Band to its subsea GeoMesh Extreme

Ciena is boosting the horsepower of GeoMesh Extreme submarine solution by adding support for L-Band spectrum. The platform also gains the ability to operate on TE SubCom’s L-Band wet plant system, nearly doubling the information-carrying capacity of a submarine cable.

Specifically, in addition to current C-Band (~ 1530nm to 1565nm) spectrum, Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme solution now opens up the L-Band (~ 1656nm to 1625nm) in the same optical fiber, doubling the carrying capacity of an undersea cable.

Some highlights:

  • The same technology used by Ciena’s C-Band SLTE, which is deployed worldwide, is ported to the new L-Band SLTE to ensure the highest level of performance. Ciena has already deployed in the L-Band over terrestrial networks for many years and will leverage this extensive knowledge, expertise, and field experience to ensure a seamless migration into the L-Band in submarine networks.
  • TE SubCom announced earlier in 2017 that it has demonstrated a new transmission record of 70.4 Tb/s capacity over 7,600 km. This record transmission is made possible utilizing SubCom’s C+L technology, effectively doubles the available transmission bandwidth of the repeater by an unprecedented factor of two in supported capacity per fiber pair when compared to the same number of fiber pairs in traditional C-Band technology.
  • Submarine cable operators will also benefit from Ciena’s advanced Blue Planet MCP solution that allows for managing the Ciena C/L-Band SLTE and TE SubCom C/L-Band wet plant from a single, unified management platform for a seamless, end-to-end, best-in-breed Open Cable.

“Our partnership with TE SubCom has been critical in ensuring that customers can meet demand growth while delivering the highest level of performance. Leveraging L-Band, over and above the traditional C-Band, changes the economics of submarine network connectivity by providing unprecedented improvements in capacity, reliability, and simplicity,” stated Steve Alexander, Chief Technology Officer, Ciena.