Friday, August 3, 2018

Microsemi samples NVMe Gen 4 PCIe controller

Microsemi, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Microchip Technology, introduced its Flashtec NVMe 3016 Gen 4 PCIe controller.

The device serves high-reliability, high-performance PCIe Gen 4 NVMe solid state drives (SSDs) and is capable of delivering greater than 8 GB per second throughput and more than 2 million IOPS.

It supports enterprise features going beyond the NVMe 1.3 protocol with the latest in security, encryption, virtualization and high availability support. Fast design of PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSDs is enabled with Flashtec firmware development acceleration tools, including an architectural simulator to enable development and debug of firmware independent of silicon.

Microsemi notes triple level-cell (TLC) and quad level-cell (QLC) NAND technologies targeted at the high growth storage end point markets, such as data center, server and storage.

"We're excited to sample our new Flashtec NVMe 3016 controller to enable the next generation of high-performance PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSDs," said Pete Hazen, vice president of Microsemi's Data Center Solutions business unit. "We're working closely with our customers to enable industry-leading solutions based on our highly flexible and programmable controller platform, and to accelerate time to market through our architectural and firmware development tools and support."

Sampling is underway.

Three UK posts 2% revenue growth in 1H18, signs Huawei for 5G

Three UK reported revenue of £1.19 billion for the first half of 2018, up 2% from 1H17.

Customer service margin was £729 million, up 1%, and EBITDA was £364 million, up 7%.

Operational highlights:

  • 6% growth of the active contract customer base; total customer base now 10.1 million
  • Contract handset churn at lowest ever level of 1%, a 9% improvement
  • Usage per customer of 7.6GB per month, up 10% from 6.9GB
  • 84% of customer base using 4G and 75% of data usage on 4G network
  • The company secured 20MHz at auction to add to its 5G spectrum portfolio
  • The company signed an agreement with SSE to unbundle BT local telephone exchanges to facilitate fibre optic connections of masts to datacentres.
  • Three UK is the first UK network to stop selling 3G-only handsets


Three UK also confirmed that it has awarded a new contract to Huawei for its 5G network roll-out.

“Over the course of 2018, we will accelerate the rollout of our 5G network and the opportunity this brings to both our existing and prospective base of customers and partners. All the key components that are needed for a successful 5G service have been procured over the last few years and I am excited by the prospect of trialling 5G soon, working together with our new IT and Core network infrastructure.

Audi looks at 5G for enhancing its production facilities

Audi is evaluating 5G as a future-proof communication technology that can meet the high demands of automotive production. Audi and Ericsson have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and in the coming months, experts from both companies will run field tests in a technical center of the “Audi Production Lab” in Gaimersheim, Germany.

Frank Loydl, Chief Information Officer at AUDI AG, says: “The fully networked factory will have a significant impact on the production of the future. A powerful network architecture that can respond in real time is of decisive importance for us. As part of the project with our partner Ericsson, we are testing the opportunities offered by 5G technology for industrial applications in the smart factory.”

In addition to the Ingolstadt plant, Audi and Ericsson are exploring whether 5G can be used in other Audi Group factories.

Erik Ekudden, Group CTO at Ericsson, says: “Ericsson is already running 5G industry programs all over the world to help manufacturers boost productivity and create new business opportunities. This project is a great opportunity to see what is possible when we bring 5G into an automobile production environment to truly enable smart wireless manufacturing.”

Microsoft Azure adds size-flexible, Virtual Machine Instances

Microsoft announced instance size flexibility for Azure Reserved Virtual Machine Instances, a new feature that makes reserved instance purchasing and management even simpler by applying reservation discounts to different This means users no longer have to deploy the exact same VM size to get the benefit of purchased Azure Reserved Instances (RI) as other VM sizes within the same VM group also get the RI discount.

Instance size flexibility will be enabled by default for any existing Azure Reserved Instance with shared scope.

https://azure.microsoft.com

Thursday, August 2, 2018

BELLA advances with 25-year IRU for Europe to Latin America

GÉANT and RedCLARA, the Latin American Research and Education Network, have entered into an Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) contract with EllaLink, for spectrum on a direct submarine cable connecting Europe and Latin America.

GÉANT is Europe’s leading collaboration on network and related infrastructure and services for the research and education community.

The transatlantic capacity was procured on behalf of the Building the Europe Link with Latin America (BELLA) Consortium. Beneficiaries include the European and Latin American research and education communities for the next quarter of a century, in areas such as astronomy, particle physics, and earth observation. With funding from the European Union (EU) and the Latin American NREN community, the IRU represents a key financial element in the building of the EllaLink cable, which is expected to be operational in late 2020.



GÉANT and RedCLARA were first interconnected in 2003 under the EU-funded ALICE project to support scientific and academic collaboration between the two continents. Since then connections speeds have grown by over 1,600% from 622 Mbps to the current 10 Gbps. However, there is no direct submarine cable capable of supporting research and education data needs between Europe and Latin America, limiting capacity and cost-effectiveness.

Erik Huizer, GÉANT CEO said, “I am delighted to see the culmination of work with our BELLA Consortium colleagues leading to the signature of the BELLA contract with EllaLink. Obtaining spectrum on an intercontinental submarine cable, which we can deploy and upgrade with our Latin American partners in line with research and education connectivity requirements, is a completely new model for our international connections, and will provide us with the flexibility and cost efficiencies we need to meet our users’ needs. It will be exciting to watch the deployment of a submarine cable at close hand and we look forward to seeing bits between GÉANT and RedCLARA being exchanged for the first time on a physically direct path between the two continents in 2020”.

Luis Eliécer Cadenas, Executive Director of RedCLARA, and co-chair of the BELLA Consortium, said, “This milestone is a key achievement for the Latin American research and education community. We are opening a direct collaboration channel with Europe, guaranteeing security and quality of service for the many scientific and educational applications that we expect to offer. RedCLARA is engaged in building the data communications infrastructure for research and education that will foster regional development. The BELLA subsea cable is a first stone in building this capacity”.

EllaLink submarine cable system to connect Brazil to Europe

EllaLink, a proposed submarine cable system promises to bring the most direct fiber connectivity between Brazil and Europe.

EMACOM - Telecomunicações da Madeira - announced the signing of a contract to develop the system with direct links to the islands of Madeira. The expected ready-for-service is 2020.

EllaLink will be a 3 fiber pair systems linking Southern Europe (Sines – Lisbon – Madrid) to LATAM (Fortaleza – Sao Paulo). Three intermediate branches are also being planned to land in Cabo Verde, the Canary Islands and Madeira. The main section of the cable traveling from Sines to Fortaleza is approximately 5900 km.

http://www.eulalink.com
http://www.eem.pt

Verizon lists moto x3 5G upgradable smartphone for $480

Verizon will begin selling Motorola's new moto z3 and 5G moto mod smartphones, which will be able to use Verizon's forthcoming 5G mobile service network when it launches in 2019. The moto z3 will connect to Verizon’s mobile 5G service over millimeter wave spectrum.

The moto z3 features all-day battery life, TurboPower charging, dual 12-MP, depth-sensing smart cameras that work with Google Lens and a nearly borderless 6” Super AMOLED display. The moto z3 will be available in the U.S. exclusively through Verizon starting on August 16 at $20 a month for 24 months on Verizon’s device payment plan ($480 retail; 0% APR).

Verizon plans to launch 5G residential broadband service in four markets in the U.S. – including Houston, Los Angeles, Sacramento and one additional city, to be named – in the second half of 2018, followed by a mobile 5G solution in 2019.

FCC sets 28 GHz auction for 5G for November 14

The FCC announced application and bidding procedures for the upcoming Spectrum Frontiers auctions of Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licenses in the 28 GHz (27.5-28.35 GHz) and 24 GHz (24.25-24.45, 24.75-25.25 GHz) bands.

Two auctions will be held with different bidding procedures to accommodate differences in the characteristics of the licenses in the two bands:

  • Auction 101:  The auction of the licenses in the 28 GHz band will employ the standard simultaneous multiple round auction format.  The 28 GHz licenses will be offered in two 425 megahertz blocks by county.
  • Auction 102:  The auction of the licenses in the 24 GHz band will employ a clock auction format, beginning with a clock phase that will allow bidding on generic blocks in each Partial Economic Area in successive bidding rounds.  There will then be an assignment phase to allow winners of the generic blocks to bid for frequency-specific license assignments.  The 24 GHz licenses will be offered in seven 100 megahertz blocks.  

The bidding for the 28 GHz UMFUS licenses (Auction 101) will commence on November 14, 2018, and the bidding for the 24 GHz licenses (Auction 102) will commence after the bidding concludes in Auction 101.

Certain auction rules, such as the prohibition on certain communications, will apply across both auctions.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued the following statement:

"This is the latest in a long line of FCC efforts to make high-band spectrum available for flexible wireless use—efforts like the 2017 and 2018 Spectrum Frontiers Orders.  And we’re not stopping with these two auctions.  In the second half of 2019, we intend to hold an auction of three more millimeter-wave spectrum bands: 37 GHz, 39 GHz, and 47 GHz.  Between that auction and the auctions for which we establish procedures today, we’ll push almost 5 gigahertz of spectrum into the commercial marketplace over the course of the next seventeen months.  We’re also reforming our wireless infrastructure rules to ensure that the small-cell and fiber-based networks of the future can be built, for all the 5G spectrum in the world is pointless without 5G networks to make use of it.  These are the kinds of aggressive actions we need to take to promote innovation, investment, and United States leadership in 5G."

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-establishes-procedures-first-5g-spectrum-auctions

Cisco pays $2.3 billion for Duo Security and multi-factor authentification

Cisco agreed to acquire Duo Security, a start-up based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for $2.3 billion in cash and assumed equity awards.

Duo Security specializes in unified access security and multi-factor authentication delivered through the cloud. Duo Security's solution verifies the identity of users and the health of their devices before granting them access to applications.

Cisco said the acquisition enables it to extend intent-based networking into multicloud environments. Cisco currently provides on-premises network access control via its Identity Services Engine (ISE) product. Duo's software as a service-based (SaaS) model will be integrated with Cisco ISE to extend ISE to provide cloud-delivered application access control. Duo's technology will also add trusted identity awareness into Cisco's Secure Internet Gateway, Cloud Access Security Broker, Enterprise Mobility Management, and several other cloud-delivered products.

"In today's multicloud world, the modern workforce is connecting to critical business applications both on- and off-premise," said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco's networking and security business. "IT teams are responsible for protecting hundreds of different perimeters that span anywhere a user makes an access decision. Duo's zero-trust authentication and access products integrated with our network, device and cloud security platforms will enable our customers to address the complexity and challenges that stem from multi-and hybrid-cloud environments."

Duo was founded by Dug Song, Jon Oberheide.

Duo has raised $119 million in venture capital. Investors in Duo included Benchmark, Index Ventures, Geodesic Capital, Meritech Capital Partners, Google Ventures, Redpoint, Lead Edge Capital, true ventures, and workday.

Arista hits $2 billion annual revenue rate, acquires Mojo for WiFi

Arista Networks reported revenue of $519.8 million for its second quarter of 2018, an increase of 10.0% compared to its first quarter of 2018, and an increase of 28.3% from the second quarter of 2017. GAAP gross margin was 64.2%.

GAAP net income of $150.7 million, or $1.86 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $102.7 million, or $1.30 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP net income of $155.7 million, or $1.93 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $105.5 million, or $1.34 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2017.

“Arista is one of the fastest networking companies to achieve a $2 billion annual revenue rate, driven by its industry leadership in software-defined networking,” stated Jayshree Ullal, Arista President and CEO. “In Q2 2018 we comfortably surpassed the $500 million revenue mark with record profitability.”

Arista agreed to acquire Mojo Networks for its Cognitive WiFi and cloud-managed wireless networking.

“We are excited about Arista's first acquisition transaction and its significance to Arista's cognitive campus vision. We welcome the Mojo Networks employees to the Arista family,” stated Ms. Ullal. Financial terms were not disclosed. Mojo is based in Mountain View, California.


FCC targets faster access to utility poles for new uses

The FCC adopted new rules aimed at promoting broadband and fiber backhaul buildouts by speeding the process and reducing the costs of attaching new network facilities to utility poles.

The new “one-touch, make-ready” allows the party seeking to attach new equipment to a pole to prepare the pole quickly, rather than spreading the work across multiple parties. The FCC estimates that "one-touch, make-ready" could result in approximately 8.3 million incremental premises passed with fiber and about $12.6 billion in incremental fiber capital expenditures.  The process will not apply to more complicated attachments, or above the “communications space” of a pole, where safety and reliability risks are greater, but the Order improves current processes for attachments in these spaces.

The FCC also clarified that it will preempt, on a case-by-case basis, state and local laws that inhibit the rebuilding or restoration of broadband infrastructure after a disaster.  The FCC declaratory ruling further states that state and local moratoria on telecommunications services and facilities deployment are barred by the Communications Act because they “prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting the ability of any entity to provide any interstate or intrastate telecommunications service.”

Nutanix to acquire Mainframe2 (Frame) for cloud-based Windows desktops

Nutanix agreed to acquire Mainframe2 (Frame), which specializes in cloud-based Windows desktop and application delivery. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Frame is a global, infrastructure-independent platform built to deliver Windows applications from the cloud. Frame supports multi-cloud delivery models, allowing IT teams to deliver virtual desktops from public clouds and their own enterprise datacenter – with common tooling and management constructs. The company is based in San Mateo, California.

Frame is a global, infrastructure-independent platform built to deliver Windows applications from the cloud.

"Companies desperately need a cloud-native desktop solution for their multi-cloud environments which combines the performance of on-prem offerings with the flexibility and cost optimization of the cloud. That’s why we built Frame,” said Nikola Bozinovic, Founder and CEO at Frame. “Nutanix shares our vision of simplifying critical IT functions so companies can save money, save time and still achieve exceptional performance no matter their underlying infrastructure, and we’re so proud to be joining the family."

“Frame’s cloud-native technology represents everything we believe to be true in the market - customers want easy-to-use, high performance and cost optimized solutions that just work across the entirety of their infrastructure,” said Sunil Potti, Chief Product and Development Officer at Nutanix. “We are committed to providing our customers with a robust multi-cloud DaaS offering through Frame while working with our partners to enable best-in-class enterprise VDI. We are delighted to add the Frame technology, and the innovative thinkers behind it, to our family.”

FCC approves compensation for low-power entities regarding incentive spectrum auction

Responding to a recent Congressional directive, the FCC announced rules to reimburse certain Low Power TV (LPTV), TV translator, and FM stations for costs incurred as a result of the spectrum incentive auction. 

Full power, Class A, and MVPD already receive compensation for certain costs incurred by the incentive auction. The list of eligible entities is now being expanded.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Open source Istio cloud service mesh reaches 1.0 release

The Google-inspired, Istio open-source project announced its 1.0 release.

Istio is intended to be a service mesh that collects logs, traces and telemetry, and adds security and policy without embedding client libraries. The software offers APIs for integrating with systems for logging, telemetry and policy.

Google describes Istio as a key step toward delivering its Cloud Services Platform. Istio could be used for measuring traffic between services: requests per second, error rates and latency.

Google notes that IBM is a key collaborator and co-founder of Istio, and Lyft’s Envoy proxy is a key component of the project. Datadog, SolarWinds, Sysdig, Google Stackdriver and Amazon CloudWatch offer plugins to integrate Istio with their products. Other companies supporing Istio include Cisco, Red Hat, and VMware.

https://cloud.google.com/istio/

https://istio.io/

Sprint now has over 15,000 small cells up and running

Sprint's CTO, John Saw, published an update on the company's next-gen network buildout. Here are some highlights:

  • Upgraded thousands of macro sites for all three of its spectrum bands (800 MHz, 1.9 GHz and 2.5 GHz).
  • Expanded 2.5 GHz to nearly two-thirds of its macro sites, up from approximately half of sites covered just a few quarters ago.
  • Current has more than 15,000 small cells on-air with its combination of strand mounts and mini macros to expand 2.5 GHz coverage.
  • Deployed approximately 7,000 strand mount 2.5 GHz small cells on cable infrastructure in Q1. Since the quarter ended, efforts have continued to accelerate, and today Sprint has more than 10,000 strand mount small cells deployed. 
  • Distributed more than 65,000 2.5 GHz Sprint Magic Boxes to improve indoor data speeds on average by 200%.  To date, Sprint has distributed more than 260,000 Sprint Magic Boxes to businesses and homes in more than 200 cities. Announced a new version of the Sprint Magic Box designed for the hospitality industry.
  • Speedtest Intelligence data from Ookla shows Sprint's 4G LTE network is the most improved network in the U.S. with national average download speeds up 30.9 percent year-over-year, more than any other national carrier.
  • In its first quarter of FY18, Sprint continued field testing and optimizing Massive MIMO radios in locations such as Dallas, Los Angeles and New York City. Some sites are now running commercial traffic and the initial performance results are very promising. Today we're seeing a more than 4X increase in speed on these sites, as well as increased coverage and cell edge performance.
  • In the first half of 2019, Sprint plans to launch mobile 5G in nine markets initially – Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. 


http://newsroom.sprint.com/sprints-next-gen-network-build-gains-momentum.htm

Sprint adds to its list of first 5G cities

Sprint named three additional cities where it plans to deploy 5G in the first half of 2019. Sprint's full list of first 5G markets now includes Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix,and Washington, D.C.

"Today we have a great LTE network, and with Sprint 5G, we’ll deliver for our customers mobile data speeds that are up to 10 times faster, with significantly improved reliability and coverage," said Kevin Crull, Sprint’s chief strategy officer, who today is presenting his keynote address at 5G North America. "This next generation of wireless technology will create incredible new connections to people and things, and services and experiences that are so unique they will make an impact on the lives of our consumers."

Sprint's 5G approach leverages its 2.5 GHz spectrum and Massive MIMO cell sites, which are capable of delivering up to 10 times the capacity of current LTE systems. The radios support split-mode, enabling Sprint to deliver 4G LTE and 5G on the same radio simultaneously.

Sprint's service revenue grows again after four years

Sprint's wireless service revenue grew sequentially for the first time in more than four years and postpaid ARPU grew sequentially for the first time in nearly five years.

For the quarter, Sprint reported net income of $176 million, operating income of $815 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $3.3 billion.

"Sprint continued to deliver solid results this quarter while embarking on our transformative merger with T-Mobile," said Sprint CEO Michel Combes, "By balancing growth and profitability, we were able to grow wireless service revenue sequentially, continue to add retail phone customers, generate net income for the third consecutive quarter, and improve the network."

Some highlights:

  • Sprint ended the quarter with 54,567,000 connections, down slightly from the preceding quarter but up from 53,698,000 a year earlier. The company serves 32,187,000 post paid connections, 9,033,000 prepaid connections, and 13,347,000 wholesale connections.
  • Prepaid service revenue grew both sequentially and year-over-year.
  • CAPEX for the quarter was $1.1 billion, up from $800 million in the previous quarter

Luna divests its Optoelectronics division to OSI

Luna Innovations has sold its Optoelectronic Solutions (OPTO) business to OSI Optoelectronics, a subsidiary of OSI Systems, for up to $18.5 million.

Luna’s OPTO division designs and manufactures fully integrated photonic solutions. Luna acquired the business in 2015 as part of its merger with Advanced Photonix. The division reported revenue of $13.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2017. As part of the transaction, employees associated with the OPTO division located in Camarillo, CA and Montreal, Quebec, are expected to transfer to OSI.

Luna said it plans to use transaction proceeds to invest in its core fiber optic based test and measurement platform.

OSI Systems is a vertically integrated designer and manufacturer of specialized electronic systems and components for critical applications in the homeland security, healthcare, defense, and aerospace industries.

“The transaction demonstrates strong execution of our strategy to focus our business on our core, fiber optic based test and measurement technology platform,” said Scott Graeff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Luna.

“The addition of Luna’s Optoelectronic Solutions business is well aligned with our focus on expanding and enhancing our product portfolios,” said Manoocher Mansouri, OSI Optoelectronics’ President. “As a leader in this area, this acquisition is expected to be a complementary addition with its highly regarded, customized solutions.”






T-Mobile US reveunues rise 4% to $10.6 billion

T-Mobile U.S. said its Q2 total revenues rose 4% to $10.6 billion -- service revenues were up 7% to $7.9 billion, leading the industry for growth the 17th consecutive quarter.  Net income was up 35% to $782 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) came in at $0.92.

“T-Mobile just recorded its best Q2 in company history,” said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile. “That means 21 quarters with over one million net adds, record-high service revenues, industry-leading postpaid phone net additions, and record-low postpaid phone churn. Our business is strong, our strategy is working and we won’t stop!”

Some highlights:

  • Total net customer additions were 1.6 million in Q2 2018, bringing the total customer count to 75.6 million. 
  • Branded postpaid net customer additions were 1.0 million in Q2 2018, up 200,000 from Q2 2017. Strength in postpaid phone net additions and postpaid other net additions, driven by wearables, drove the year-over-year increase.
  • Branded postpaid phone net customer additions were 686,000 in Q2 2018, up 153,000 from Q2 2017. This marks the 18th consecutive quarter in which T-Mobile has led the industry in this category. Sequentially and year-over-year, branded postpaid phone net customer additions increased due to continued growth in existing and Greenfield markets, the growing success of new customer segments such as T-Mobile for Business, T-Mobile ONE Unlimited 55+, and T-Mobile ONE Military, as well as record-low churn.
  • Branded postpaid other net customer additions were 331,000 in Q2 2018, up 47,000 from Q2 2017. Year-over-year the increase was due to higher gross customer additions from connected devices, specifically the Apple watch, partially offset by lower DIGITS gross customer additions and higher deactivations from a growing customer base.
  • Branded postpaid phone churn was a record-low of 0.95% in Q2 2018, down 15 basis points from Q2 2017, primarily due to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty from ongoing improvements to network quality, industry-leading customer service and the overall value of our offerings in the marketplace.
  • Branded prepaid net customer additions were 91,000 in Q2 2018, down 3,000 from Q2 2017.
  • Branded prepaid churn was 3.81% in Q2 2018, down 10 basis points compared to Q2 2017.


Apstra publishes Intent-Based Taxonomy model

Apstra published an Intent-Based Taxonomy model to help network operators cut through the marketing hype.

“We are introducing a model intended to help CTOs and network operators evaluate and differentiate the maturity of IBN solutions with an objective set of criteria, beginning with Level 0 (low maturity/incomplete) offerings going up to Level 3 (mature/complete) offerings which enable companies to leverage full benefits of IBN approach,” said Sasha Ratkovic, CTO and Founder of Apstra.



Level 0 IBN: Basic Automation

These offerings have the ability to:

  • Generate device configurations from declarative specifications. For example: scripts running Ansible modules or other declarative libraries such as NAPALM.
  • Support a heterogeneous infrastructure.
  • Ingest real-time network status in a protocol- and transport-agnostic way.
  • At this level there is no presence of a single source of truth, which is a fundamental aspect of a mature IBN implementation, as it enables reasoning whether or not the intent has been met.

Level 1 IBN: Single Source of Truth

An implementation classified as Level 1 implements a single source of truth containing the intent and the network operational state. It contains data and state artifacts related to all aspects of a network service lifecycle: design, build, deploy, and validate. Level 1 can give you answers to important questions about the state of your intent and your infrastructure.

Level 2 IBN: Real-Time Change Validation

Building on top of Level 1, Level 2 IBN solution enables you to ask the right questions, at the right time to help assess the impact of business rule or policy changes, as well as the operational status changes and failures in real time.

Level 3 IBN: Self Operation

Does the IBN solution validate and close the loop between the intent and operational state by providing observability, and deliver corrective actions on a path to self-operating networks? This step is impossible to tackle if one has not built solid foundations in Levels 2 and 3.

http://blog.apstra.com/intent-based-networking-taxonomy?hs_preview=QVPEvKsI-5993347491