Tuesday, July 10, 2018

AT&T to acquire AlienVault for cyber threat intelligence

AT&T agreed to acquire AlienVault, a privately held company based in San Mateo, California that specializes in enterprise-grade security solutions for small and medium-sized businesses. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AT&T said it intends to integrate AlienVault’s threat intelligence with its cybersecurity solutions portfolio.

“Regardless of size or industry, businesses today need cyber threat detection and response technologies and services,” said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO, AT&T Business. “The current threat landscape has shifted this from a luxury for some, to a requirement for all. AlienVault’s expertise in threat intelligence will improve our ability to help organizations detect and respond to cybersecurity attacks. Together, with our enterprise-grade detection, response and remediation capabilities, we’re providing scalable, intelligent, affordable security for business customers of all sizes.”

“We’re thrilled to join forces with AT&T. They bring a robust cybersecurity portfolio with an industry-leading technology ecosystem,” said Barmak Meftah, president and CEO, AlienVault. “This deal accelerates our ability to deliver on the AlienVault mission, which is to democratize threat detection and response to companies of all sizes.”



Toshiba debuts 14TB HDD for data centers

Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corp. announced 14TB and 12TB HDD SATA models for data center storage.

The MG07ACA Series features both 14TB 9-disk and 12TB 8-disk models. The helium-sealed 3.5-inch mechanical design realizes better storage density and a lower HDD operating power profile, achieving a 40% increase in maximum capacity and 50% better power efficiency (W/GB) over 10TB HDD models.

The drives have been qualified for installation on select Supermicro storage servers.

“As we continue to develop solutions to meet the growing capacity needs of enterprise and cloud data center customers, Toshiba is pleased to be working with Supermicro on solutions utilizing our new MG07ACA Series helium-sealed HDD,” said Shuji Takaoka, General Manager of Storage Products Sales & Marketing Division at Toshiba Electronic Devices & Storage Corporation. “Toshiba’s innovative, power-efficient 9-disk design delivers the highest capacity available in the market today using conventional magnetic recording, and matches up well with Supermicro’s highly-regarded lineup of server and storage solutions.”

EXFO posts sales of $72 million

EXFO reported sales of US$72.2 million for the third quarter of its fiscal 2018, up from US$58.5 million in the third quarter of 2017. The IFRS sales included a US$8.6 million contribution from recently acquired Astellia

IFRS net loss in the third quarter of fiscal 2018 totaled US$6.0 million, or US$0.11 per share, compared to US$4.3 million, or US$0.08 per share, in the third quarter of 2017. IFRS net loss in the third quarter of 2018 included US$4.1 million in after-tax amortization of intangible assets, US$0.4 million in stock-based compensation costs, US$0.9 million for acquisition-related fair value adjustment of deferred revenue and a foreign exchange gain of US$0.2 million.

Gross margin before depreciation and amortization amounted to 59.9% of sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2018 compared to 58.0% in the third quarter of 2017.

"I am pleased our organic business and newly acquired Astellia delivered healthy growth in the third quarter and after nine months into fiscal 2018," said Philippe Morin, EXFO's Chief Executive Officer. "This solid execution across the combined organization demonstrates that EXFO is on the right path to profitable growth. Looking ahead, we are strategically transforming our monitoring and analytics business to offer a highly differentiated solution as the communications industry migrates to NFV and 5G architectures."

Monday, July 9, 2018

IHS Markit: Flourishing on-prem enterprise data center market

The on-premise, enterprise data center market is flourishing, according to the newly released Data Center Strategies and Leadership North American Enterprise Survey from IHS Markit.

“Application architectures are evolving with the increased adoption of software containers and micro-services coupled with a Dev/Ops culture of rapid and frequent software builds. In addition, we see new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) incorporated into applications. These applications consume network bandwidth in a very dynamic and unpredictable manner and make new demands on servers for increased parallel computation,” said Cliff Grossner Ph.D., senior research director and advisor for cloud and data center at IHS Markit.

Some highlights of the report:


  • Respondents expect a greater than 2x increase in the average number of physical servers in their DCs by 2019.
  • Top DC investment drivers are security and application performance (75% of respondents) and scalability (71%).
  • 9% of servers are expected to be 1-socket by 2019, up from 3% now.
  • 73% of servers are expected to be running hypervisors or containers by 2019, up from 70% now.
  • Top DC fabric features are high speed (68% of respondents), automated VM movement (62%), and support for network virtualization protocols (62%).
  • 53% of respondents intend to increase investment in software-defined storage, 52% in NAS, and 42% in SSD.
  • 30% of respondents indicated they are running general purpose IT applications, 22% are running productivity applications such as Microsoft Office, and 18% are running collaboration tools such as email, SharePoint, and unified communications in their data centers.
  • Cisco, Dell, HPE, Juniper, and Huawei were identified as the top 5 DC Ethernet switch vendors by respondents ranking the top 3 vendors in each of 8 selection criteria.


Facebook presentation: Optics Inside the Data Center

Mark McKillop, Network Engineer at Facebook, and Katharine Schmidtke, Sourcing Manager of Network Hardware at Facebook, talk about challenges in Facebook's optical networks, both in backbone and in data centers.

The first part of the video covers the optical systems used to connect Facebook's POPs and data centers.

The second part discusses optical scaling challenges inside the data centers, including the potential for onboard optics in future systems.

This 30-minute video presentation was recorded at Facebook's Networking@Scale 2018 event in June in California.

See video:
https://www.facebook.com/atscaleevents/videos/2090069407932819/

Facebook's announced data centers:

U.S
Prineville, Oregon
Los Lunas, New Mexico
Papillon, Nebraska
Fort Worth, Texas
Altoona, Iowa
New Albany, Ohio
Henrico County, Virginia
Forest City, North Carolina
Newton County, Georgia

Europe
Clonnee, Ireland
Lulea, Sweden
Odense, Denmark



Facebook looks to Spiral for self-tuning, real-time services

Facebook's engineering group is developing a small, embedded C++ library called Spiral to providing the self-tuning of its data infrastructure necessary to fine-tune thousands of micro services.
Machine learning is used with Spiral to create data-driven and reactive heuristics for resource-constrained real-time services.

Facebook says software maintenance increasingly requires self-tuning capabilities because it is simply "too difficult to rewrite caching/admission/eviction policies and other manually tuned heuristics by hand."

https://code.fb.com/data-infrastructure/spiral-self-tuning-services-via-real-time-machine-learning/


Samsung begins production of 5th gen 256Gb V-NAND memory

Samsung Electronics has begun mass producing its fifth-generation V-NAND memory chips.

The new memory is the first to use the "Toggle DDR 4.0" interface, which offers a data transfer speed of 1.4 Gbps between storage and memory -- a 40% increase from Samsung's 64-layer predecessor. Samsung said its new V-NAND also has the fastest data write speed to date at 500-microseconds (μs), which represents about a 30% improvement over the write speed of the previous generation, while the response time to read-signals has been significantly reduced to 50μs.

Samsung’s fifth-generation V-NAND packs more than 90 layers of ‘3D charge trap flash (CTF) cells,’ the largest amount in the industry, stacked in a pyramid structure with microscopic channel holes vertically drilled throughout. These channel holes, which are only a few hundred-nanometers (nm)-wide, contain more than 85 billion CTF cells that can store three bits of data each. This state-of-the-art memory fabrication is the result of several breakthroughs that include advanced circuit designs and new process technologies.

“Samsung’s fifth-generation V-NAND products and solutions will deliver the most advanced NAND in the rapidly growing premium memory market,” said Kye Hyun Kyung, executive vice president of Flash Product and Technology at Samsung Electronics. “In addition to the leading-edge advances we are announcing today, we are preparing to introduce 1-terabit (Tb) and QLC (quad-level cell) offerings to our V-NAND lineup that will continue to drive momentum for next-generation NAND memory solutions throughout the global market.”

Radisys releases decomposed Virtual Media Server for NFV

Radisys released a decomposed Virtual Media Server for NFV that enables service providers to scale control and media elements independently. Decomposing the architecture allows application developers and service providers to support tens of millions of subscribers through application servers that leverage a large pool of media server resources for services such as conferencing, speech recognition, and real-time video.

Radisys said its MediaEngine Virtual Media Server simplifies application development and deployment, significantly lowering cost of service delivery and accelerating time-to-market for new services.

Key new capabilities include:

  • Support for new NFV-ready management solutions such as ONAP and OpenStack. This enables service providers to deploy media applications on demand in a network – for example delivering edge media for real-time video to devices in a concert or sports arena, with network resources being able to be re-deployed once the event is over, all while keeping the traffic local to minimize end-to-end network bandwidth consumption.
  • New advanced revenue-generating media applications, such as deep media analytics and reporting for on-demand media optimizations, and for integrated speech recognition for speech-enabled applications.
  • Hardware accelerated virtualized real-time voice and video services using Web/4G/LTE networks and advanced media optimizations at the edge using Multi-Access Edge Computing platforms.
  • NFV-compliant MediaEngine Management Software to simplify multi-node MediaEngine management deployed in public and private clouds.

“The evolution of the MediaEngine Virtual Media Server to enable on-demand media anywhere in the network is transformational in matching the dynamic needs of service providers and their customers with the industry’s leading economics for one of the most demanding functions in carrier and cloud networks,” said Al Balasco, vice president, MediaEngine, Radisys. “We’re enabling our customers to achieve massive savings in CapEx and OpEx when deploying the Virtual Media Server to support millions of subscribers in a server footprint that is typically half to one-tenth the footprint of alternative solutions. Not only does this reduce costs for existing services, it also makes economically viable a range of previously cost-prohibitive services, further expanding service providers’ ability to offer new services and differentiate in the market.”


Google Cloud adds cost forecast tool

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) introduced a cost monitoring and forecasting tool to help customers manage their bill.

The tool tracks all services and projects managed inside of GCP.

https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/


Seaborn adds Mehmet Akcin to Board

Seaborn Networks, a leading developer-owner-operator of submarine fiber optic cable systems, has added Mehmet Akcin to its Board of Advisors.

Mehmet is one of Silicon Valley's most innovative engineering executives, with 15 years of experience and 6 patents granted to his name while working at Microsoft. His areas of expertise include submarine cables, IP backbones, Domain Name Systems, network security and content delivery networks. Until June 2018, he served as Senior Director, Global Infrastructure Planning and Acquisitions group at Oath (formerly known as Yahoo!), a subsidiary of Verizon Communications Inc. Previously, he worked at Microsoft as a Director in the Global Network Acquisition Group and as Chief Engineer at Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

Sunday, July 8, 2018

NEC selected for Bay to Bay Express subsea cable system

NEC has been selected to build a high-performance submarine cable connecting Singapore, Hong Kong and the United States.

A consortium composed of China Mobile International, Facebook and Amazon Web Services is backing the Bay to Bay Express Cable System (BtoBE).

Construction of the nearly 16,000-kilometer optical submarine cable is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2020.

NEC said the BtoBE system will utilize multiple pairs of optical fiber and achieve round trip latency of less than 130 milliseconds.

"NEC is honored to be selected by the BtoBE consortium as the turn-key system supplier for this world record-breaking optical fiber submarine cable system that covers the longest distance without regeneration. The BtoBE, landing at three locations spanning across the Pacific Ocean, is designed so that once completed, it can carry at least 18Tbs of capacity per fiber pair," said Mr. Toru Kawauchi, General Manager of the Submarine Network Division at NEC Corporation. "The BtoBE will provide seamless connectivity and network diversity, while serving to complement other Asia-Pacific submarine cables, among others."

https://www.nec.com/en/press/201807/global_20180709_03.html



DOCOMO tests live, 360° 8K video streaming

NTT DOCOMO is previewing the world's first 8K virtual reality (VR) live video streaming and viewing system 360° 8K video.

DOCOMO said its 8K VR system uses FPGAs for extra-fast processing and an algorithm for high-density mounting (maximizes FPGA processing) at 30 frames per second (fps).  A head-mounted display is used to view the 360° 8K video. The system stitches together five 4K fisheye videos from five outward-facing cameras in real time at 30fps. It leverages an 8K H.264 encoder for real-time compression, the real-time Panorama Cho Engine encoder to divide the 360° 8K video into multi-direction tiles, and a server to transmit tiles according to the user's viewing direction.

This system will be exhibited at DOCOMO 5G Open Lab Yotsuya.

O-RAN approves architecture, sets WGs, elects AT&T's Fuetsch as chair

The O-RAN Alliance has approved its overall O-RAN architecture plan and established an initial set of seven working groups to drive the work forward. These are:

WG1: Use Cases & Overall Architecture
WG2: Radio Intelligent Controller (RIC) (non-Real Time) & A1 Interface
WG3: RIC (near-Real Time) & E2 Interface
WG4: Open Fronthaul (FH) Interface
WG5: Stack Reference Design and F1/V1/E1/X2
WG6: Cloudification and orchestration
WG7: White Box Hardware

At its recent meeting at Mobile World Congress Shanghai, the O-RAN Alliance also elected Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs, as chair of the Board. In addition, Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation at Deutsche Telekom, was appointed as Operations Officer; and Bharti Airtel, China Telecom, KT, Singtel, SK telecom, Telefonica, and Telstra were approved as new Board members. This expands the number of Board Directors to 12.

“We are on a journey to transform the way that communications networks are built,” said Andre Fuetsch, chairman of the O-RAN Alliance and president, AT&T Labs. “Last year in AT&T we reached virtualisation of 55% of our core network, and we joined the industry in launching ONAP to extend the reach of open virtualisation and automation. The Open Networking Foundation is extending virtualisation beyond the core, to re-architect the central office and access technology. And now we are taking the next major step of this journey, to open and virtualise global wireless networks, with the founding and expansion of the O-RAN Alliance. The O-RAN Alliance will drive intelligent, open software-defined networks and virtualisation elements that will help 5G networks achieve their full potential and unlock new experiences for consumers and businesses around the world.”
“To realise the full potential of 5G, it is essential that we evolve the full end-to-end system architecture to be more flexible, agile and efficient.  We look forward now to intensifying the work with our industry partners in the O-RAN Alliance to push more openness, intelligence and programmability into the radio access network and accelerate the transformation of mobile networks,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, Operations Officer of the O-RAN Alliance and SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation at Deutsche Telekom.

xRAN Forum merges with C-RAN Alliance, seeking innovation in radio access

Two industry organizations are combining their efforts to drive innovation in radio access networks.

The xRAN Forum will merge with the C-RAN Alliance to form the ORAN Alliance, which is backed by AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO, and Orange.

  • The key principles of the ORAN Alliance include:
  • Leading the industry towards open, interoperable interfaces, RAN virtualization, and big data enabled RAN intelligence.
  • Maximizing the use of common-off-the-shelf hardware and merchant silicon and minimizing proprietary hardware.
  • Specifying APIs and interfaces, driving standards to adopt them as appropriate, and exploring open source where appropriate.

“xRAN Forum members have made excellent progress this year and we expect completion of the first open, interoperable front haul specification in March,” said Dr. Sachin Katti, Professor at Stanford University and Director of the xRAN Forum. “We are advancing both a southbound interface specification to an open RAN and a northbound interface specification, delivering applications access to rich controller functions and abstracted RAN control. Going forward, we believe there will be strong, complimentary collaboration with our new colleagues from the C-RAN Alliance.”

“The xRAN Forum was created to accelerate the delivery of products that support a common, open architecture and standardized interfaces that we, as operators, view as the foundation of our next-generation wireless infrastructure,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Research & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “xRAN members have made strong progress this year, and we are confident that by building on the xRAN architecture in combination with the RAN virtualization focus brought by the C-RAN Alliance, we are well positioned to achieve the joint objectives of the ORAN Alliance.”

"Our industry is approaching an inflection point, where increasing infrastructure virtualization will combine with embedded intelligence to deliver more agile services and advanced capabilities to our customers. The xRAN Forum has been at the forefront of defining the next generation RAN architecture for this transformation," said Andre Fuetsch, CTO and President AT&T Labs. "This is a global change that will impact all network operators. It will be accelerated by the merger of the xRAN Forum and the C-RAN Alliance into the ORAN Alliance, which promises to be a strong global forum."

Nokia to set up R&D lab with China Mobile in Hangzhou

Nokia and China Mobile signed a MoU to establish a joint laboratory in Hangzhou, China to study the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning to 5G.

The new laboratory promises to foster an open RAN and 5G ecosystem working with third parties. The team will use the Nokia AirScale Cloud RAN, AirFrame OpenRack, open edge server and ReefShark chipsets, as well as Nokia-developed AI middleware to access embedded intelligence. Nokia and China Mobile will also conduct technology field trials and demonstrations.

China Mobile will lead the research in terms of scenario selection, requirements confirmation, open API standardization and solution definition.

"China Mobile has been paying attention to the application of artificial intelligence for a long time, and making effort to build an open and collaborative 5G+AI  ecosystem. With the signing of this MoU, we are pleased to t initiate the collaboration on the research of big data and machine learning technologies applying to 5G RAN network, and make joint effort in the O-RAN alliance which was kickoffed recently to enhance the intelligence of 5G network, reduce the complexity, and explore the new capabilities of network," says Yuhong Huang, Deputy General Manager of China Mobile Research Institute.

ZTE names XU Ziyang as new president

ZTE confirmed the appointment of Mr. Xu Ziyang as the President of the company, and the appointments of Mr. Wang Xiyu, Mr. Gu Junying, and Ms. Li Ying as Executive Vice President of the company. Ms. Li Ying will also serve concurrently as Chief Financial Officer.

Mr. Xu Ziyang (徐子陽), born in 1972, graduated from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. He joined ZTE in 1998 and served as a programmer, section chief of GSM product line development department of Nanjing Research and Development Center, head of PS development department, deputy general manager of core network, and product general manager of core network.  From 2011 to 2013, Mr. Xu acted as general manager of MKT fourth branch of the company in charge of European and United States systems products. From 2014 to 2016, Mr. Xu acted as general manager of ZTE Services Deutschland Gmbh. Since 2016, Mr. Xu has been acting concurrently as assistant to the President of the Company and product general manager of the CCN core network product line products of wireless operation department of the company.

ZTE emphasized that Mr. Xu has not been subject to any penalties by China Securities Regulatory Commission or any other disciplinary sanctions by any other stock exchange. Nor has Mr. Xu been the subject of any judicial investigations.

Orange brings 5G tests in 3.7 - 3.8GHz to Marseille

Orange has received regulatory approval to begin 5G testing in the 3.7 - 3.8GHz frequency band in the city of Marseille.

Orange will use equipment from Nokia for this trial deployment.

Orange's 5G strategy has three components: improved high-speed mobile broadband, high-speed fixed broadband access and new uses - notably through connected objects to support the digital transformation of different business sectors.

Carrier Blockchain Study Group gains members

The Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG), which was formed in September 2017, added several new members including Axiata, Philippine-based PLDT, Indonesia-based PT.Telekomunikasi Indonesia International, Turkcell, Vietnam-based Viettel, and Kuwait-headquartered Zain Group.

The Consortium is also announcing the creation of an additional blockchain working group that will focus on global remittance services. Blockchain technology is well suited for these types of transactions; streamlining processes to better serve consumers. The blockchain platform and solutions proposed by the CBSG Consortium are specifically designed for telecom carriers and will help them create and extend their services beyond traditional markets and borders.

Russia's MTS demos 5G in St. Petersburg

Russia's Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) demonstrated a series of 5G scenarios including HD video calls, ultra-low latency video games and high-definition video streaming at an exhibition at Popov Central Museum of Radio Communications, one of the world’s oldest museums of science and technology, in St. Petersburg.

The demonstration utilized Samsung’s 5G end-to-end solutions including 5G routers (CPE, Customer Premise Equipment) and prototype tablets, the 5G radio access unit, virtualized RAN and the virtualized core network.

“Our goal is to adapt new technologies to commercial use in cooperation with industry-leading vendors. Today’s trial with Samsung Electronics demonstrates that 5G is not an academic theory, but presents a nearly ready set of practical network solutions that will allow customers to manage a broad range of everyday tasks and open new opportunities that are unachievable on 4G,” commented Pavel Korotin, Director of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region, MTS.

http://www.mtsgsm.com
https://news.samsung.com

See also