Thursday, November 1, 2018

MEF18: Executing on the MEF 3.0 Framework



One year ago, MEF 3.0 set out a bold framework for carrier network transformation. Over the past 12 months, the MEF community has really executed on this vision, says Pascal Menezes, Chief Technology Officer, MEF.

This execution includes innovations at layer 1 optical transport, layer 2 Carrier Ethernet services, and automated, managed access E-Line services. Additional, MEF is working on IP service overlays. MEF has also just delivered draft specifications for SD-WAN services.

https://youtu.be/UgBBu53Oou0

MEF18: Networking specs at the speed of software



This week, MEF released its Sonata LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) API in both specification form and as a sofware development kit (SDK). Most people have no idea how big a deal this really is, says Dan Pitt, Senior Vice President, MEF.

This means that the specification is not final. It won't be final under the SDK has generated feedback from developers. The notion that MEF can issue specifications that are not perfect, but open to improvements through iteration, is quite powerful. This is standards development at the speed of software. Think of it as the industry's first DevOps approach to standards development.

https://youtu.be/pEuR1W4TkoQ

Broadcom samples first 7nm 400G PAM-4 PHY

Broadcom began sampling its 7nm 400G PAM-4 PHY device for hyperscale data center and cloud infrastructure.

The BCM87400 device, which leverages Broadcom’s 7nm Centenario 112G PAM-4 DSP platform, provides 400G 8:4 gearbox performance.

Broadcom says its 7nm 400G PHY solution delivers significant power savings compared to existing 16nm PHYs, thereby enabling sub-8W optical modules, compared to 12W power dissipation current generations 16nm PHYs.

7nm Centenario PAM-4 DSP Highlights

  • Industry leading DSP performance and power efficiency enabling DR4/FR4 optical modules to meet IEEE standards and MSA specifications
  • DSP platform supporting DR/FR optical modules for legacy switch applications
  • Client-side interface compliance to CEI-28G/56G LR specification supporting long reach (LR) channels
  • IEEE 802.3bs standard-compliant KP4 and end-to-end FEC bypass operation
  • Proven PAM-4 architecture supporting multiple optics front ends including EML, DML and silicon photonics
  • Optimized design with proven interoperability with Broadcom switch ASICs and ASSPs using 28Gbaud PAM-4 and NRZ SerDes architecture

“With the general availability of 12.8-Tb/s switches such as Broadcom’s Tomahawk 3, hyper-scale data center operators and cloud providers will be leveraging the 400GbE ports in these switches to address increasing demand for higher bandwidth. Our low power 7nm Centenario PAM-4 DSP is essential to support high density 400G connectivity using QSFP-DD and OSFP optical modules, accelerating the adoption of 400GbE network infrastructure,” said Lorenzo Longo, senior vice president and general manager of the Physical Layer Products Division at Broadcom. “The currently available 16nm 400G PHYs have been used to enable engineering prototypes and testing of 100G per lambda optical components. Our 7nm Centenario 400G PHY enables high volume deployment of 400G optical modules in hyper-scale data centers.”

Optech intro 400G QSFP-DD SR8 Optical Transceiver

Taiwan-based Optech introduced a 400GBase QSFP-DD SR8 transceiver that supports connections of up to 100 meters over multi-mode fiber and uses MPO connectors.

Key specs:

  • 8 channels 850nm VCSEL transmitter
  • Reach distance up to 70 meters with OM3
  • Reach distance up to 100 meters with OM4
  • MPO Connector
  • Power Consumption 9.0W
  • Single 3.3V power supply
  • Temperature range: 0 to 70°C
  • Compliant with the QSFP-DD MSA

The 400G QSFP-DD SR8 transceiver supports different configurations (50G/100G/200G) and is also offers backward compatibility with the 100G QSFP28 SR4 and 40G QSFP+ SR.

Interxion's European data centres at 79% utilisation after big expansion

Interxion, which operates more than 50 data centres in 11 European countries, cited growing demand from major cloud and content platforms as the key driver for its business in Q3 2018.
The company serves over 700 connectivity providers, 21 European Internet exchanges, and most leading cloud and digital media platforms across its footprint,

Interxion reported that its data centre utilisation rate, which is the ratio of revenue-generating space to equipped space, was 79% at the end of the third quarter of 2018, compared with 82% at the end of the third quarter of 2017 and 80% at the end of the second quarter of 2018.

Although the utilisation rate is slightly lower than a year ago, the completed major expansions of its facilities over the past year. Equipped space at the end of the third quarter of 2018 was 140,300 square metres, compared with 118,900 square metres at the end of the third quarter of 20176 and 132,600 square metres at the end of the second quarter of 2018.

“Growing demand from the major cloud and content platforms for Interxion’s highly-connected data centres is driving strong bookings and steady revenue growth,” said David Ruberg, Interxion’s Chief Executive Officer. “The underlying demand drivers are secular in nature and, accordingly, we have enhanced our balance sheet and expanded capacity in key markets to meet this demand.”

During the third quarter, Interxion completed the following capacity additions:

  • 3,300 sqm expansion across two data centres in Amsterdam;
  • 2,400 sqm expansion across two data centres in Frankfurt, including the opening of FRA13;
  • 600 sqm expansion in Marseille;
  • 1,200 sqm expansion in Vienna; and
  • 200 sqm expansion in Zurich.

Interxion's revenue in the third quarter of 2018 was €142.2 million, a 14% increase over the third quarter of 2017 and a 2% increase over the second quarter of 2018. Recurring revenue was €134.8 million, a 15% increase over the third quarter of 2017. Net income was €10.9 million in the third quarter of 2018, a 16% increase over the third quarter of 2017



  • In August, Interxion announced dedicated access to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) across its European footprint through Cloud Connect, Interxion’s multi-cloud interconnection platform. With Google Cloud deploying its Cloud Interconnect points of presence (PoPs) in Interxion’s Paris Marseille, Frankfurt and Stockholm data centres, customers can now directly connect to Google Cloud Platform from these locations. Moreover, because Interxion is a partner of Google Cloud’s newly launched Partner Interconnect service, customers can also connect from any of Interxion’s data centres across Europe via Cloud Connect. Customers using this service benefit from fully redundant, instant access to GCP from multiple metropolitan areas, ensuring a 99.99% availability SLA without the complexity and costs of having to build a networking solution themselves. 
  •  Interxion’s Cloud Connect already provides connectivity to Microsoft Azure, AWS, Oracle Cloud and IBM Cloud.

Equinix sees interconnection revenue growth outpacing colocation growth

Equinix reported that interconnection revenues growth continued to outpace colocation revenue growth in Q3, reflecting what it calls a movement towards "Interconnection Oriented Architecture" strategies and the adoption of hybrid multicloud as the preferred IT deployment model. Interconnection revenues grew 2.5% over Q2, while colocation revenues grew 1.8%.  On an annual basis, Equinix's interconnection revenue grew 12.8%, while colocation revenue grew 10.3%.

Cross connects between customers increased to more than 294,000, and the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric platform now serves more than 1,300 customers.

In Q3, Equinix completed nine expansion projects in eight markets including Culpeper, Frankfurt, Houston, Melbourne, Miami, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore and two in São Paulo. The company has 30 expansion projects currently underway across 21 markets in all three regions, including seven newly announced expansions in Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Madrid, Osaka, Seattle and Warsaw.

In Q3, more than 59% of revenues came from customers deployed across all three regions, and 85% came from customers deployed across multiple metros.

Overall for Q3, Equinix reported revenue of $1.284 billion, a 2% increase over the previous quarter. Net income amounted to $125 million, an 85% increase over the previous quarter, including $9 million of integration costs for acquisitions.

Charles Meyers, who was appointed CEO of Equinix in September, stated "I am extremely proud of our track record of success in my eight years as a member of the leadership team, and that track record continues this quarter with our 63rd quarter of consecutive revenue growth. Since 2010, we have more than quadrupled the size of our business, and we have invested $22 billion in capital to build the world's leading interconnection platform, positioning us as the trusted center of a cloud-first world. As CEO I will build on this strong foundation, and we will remain focused on extending our core sources of differentiation: superior global reach; market-leading network and cloud density; the industry's most comprehensive interconnection portfolio; scaled digital ecosystems; and an unwavering commitment to service excellence."

Arista hits Q3 revenue of $563 million, up 29% yoy

Arista Networks reported record revenue of $563.3 million for the third quarter of 2018, an increase of 8.4% compared to the second quarter of 2018, and an increase of 28.7% from the third quarter of 2017. GAAP net income of $168.5 million, or $2.08 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $133.7 million, or $1.68 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP net income of $171.3 million, or $2.11 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $128.2 million, or $1.62 per diluted share, in the third quarter of 2017. GAAP gross margin of 64.2%.

Commenting on the company's financial results, Ita Brennan, Arista’s CFO, said, “The business continued to execute well across key financial metrics in the quarter, with continued healthy revenue growth and earnings expansion.”

https://s21.q4cdn.com/861911615/files/doc_presentations/2018/11/2018-Highlights-Q3.pdf



Syntiant raises $25 million for battery-powered AI silicon

Syntiant, a start-up based in Irvine, California, raised $25 million in Series B funding for its deep neural network processors for battery-powered devices.

Syntiant said its forthcoming neural decision processors (NDPs) will use an analog neural network that can offer orders of magnitude lower power by extreme memory efficiency along with massively parallel computation with modest precision. The processsors are targetted at applications as small as hearing aids and IoT, to as large as smart speakers and mobile phones.

The funding was led by M12, Microsoft Corp.’s venture fund, and included the Amazon Alexa Fund, Applied Ventures, Intel Capital, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.

“We are both humbled and excited to be supported by several of the world’s greatest technology companies,” said Kurt Busch, CEO of Syntiant. “With participation from existing and new investors, and deeper guidance from our expanded board with the additions of Samir Kumar and Bret Johnsen, we will be able to commercialize Syntiant’s neural network technology for battery-powered devices to truly enable pervasive artificial intelligence.”

  • Syntiant is headed by Kurt Busch, who previously led Lantronix. Before that, he was a senior vice president and general manager of high performance analog business unit at Mindspeed Technologies, acquired by MACOM.

AT&T signs California for FirstNet services

AT&T has finalized a contract with the State of California that enables state and local public safety entities to procure FirstNet services.

FirstNet is the nationwide communications platform dedicated to America's public safety community. It's being built with AT&T, in public-private partnership with the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet Authority).

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Cisco launches 400G data center switches

Cisco launched its portfolio of Nexus 400 Gigabit Ethernet (400G) switches for large cloud data centers. Field testing is expected in December and general availabity is targeted for the first half of 2019.

Beyond bringing just a new level of speed to the network, Cisco said its Nexus 400G platforms deliver:
  • Superfast policy, segmentation and whitelisting;
  • Real-time visibility into packets, flows and events – beyond just data sampling and system telemetry;
  • Smart buffering for big data or storage and machine learning workloads with dynamic packet prioritization; and
  • Lowest latency, with an ability to prioritize critical traffic on demand.

Cisco is supporting QSFP-DD (Quad Small Form Factor – Double Density) modules as "the ideal 400G connectivity option: for all next-generation cloud and other hyperscaledata centers.

Cisco said it is also working to take BiDirectional (BiDi) Optical Networking to the 400 Gigabit Ethernet realm, enabling re-use of existing fiber cabling infrastructure when upgrading to higher speed interfaces.

Several models are initially offered.

Cisco Nexus 3400-S -- a 400G programmable switch with 50 Gbps PAM4 Serial-Deserializers (SerDes). It leverages a 12.8-Tbps ASIC for 32 ports of 400G using Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable – Double Density (QSFP-DD) modules that are backward-compatible with QSFP+, QSFP28, and QSFP56. The Cisco Nexus 3432D-S supports break out for 2x200/50G, 4x100/50G/25G, and 8x50G, supporting up to 128 ports of 100G or up to 168 ports of 50G. At 400G, the Cisco Nexus 3400-S claims the lowest latency in the industry, of 370ns at high-power efficiency.

Cisco Nexus 3408-S is powered by a 12.8-Tbps ASIC with 50 Gbps PAM4 SerDes. It has the following hardware configuration: 4RU, 8-slot chassis; 16 ports of Quad-Small-Form-Factor 28
(QSFP28); 4 ports of Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable – Double Density (QSFP-DD);

Cisco Nexus 9300-GX switches, also part of the fixed Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches series, offers 16 x 400/100-Gbps QSFP-DD ports or 28 x 100/40-Gbps Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable (QSFP28) and 8 x 400/100-Gbps QSFP-DD ports. The platform introduces a fully backward-compatible 400G optical interface Quad Small Form-Factor Pluggable – Double Density (QSFP-DD) to transparently migrate existing data center fabrics from 40-Gbps and 100-Gbps speeds to 400 Gbps. The platform provides investment protection for customers, delivering highly flexible layer 2 and layer 3 scalability, and performance to meet the changing needs of virtualized data centers and automated cloud environments. Cisco provides two modes of operation for Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches. Organizations can deploy Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI) or Cisco Nexus switch environments (Cisco NX-OS mode).

"Our 400G switches do more than just bring a new level of speed to customers. They support the delivery of the signature capabilities that customers expect for their modern data-driven workloads and cloud environments,” said Roland Acra, SVP, General Manager Data Center Business Group. “Superfast policy, segmentation and whitelisting. Real-time visibility into packets, flows and events. Smart buffering for big data and machine learning workloads. The ability to prioritize critical traffic on-demand. These are the things that Cisco has delivered to our customers across multiple generations of Nexus switches. And we are doing so again with our new 400G portfolio.”

Progress at MEF: the Chairman's Perspective



The MEF18 event in Los Angeles revealed the progress of the industry in implementing the MEF 3.0 global services framework, which was launched a year ago, says Mike Strople, Managing Director at Zayo and Chairman of MEF.

In particular, it is exciting to see the LSO Sonata APIs and SDK, as well as progress with SD-WAN.

https://youtu.be/VOs8it36tv0

Netronome proposes open "chiplets" for domain specific workloads

Netronome unveiled its open architecture for domain-specific accelerators .

Netronome is collaborating with six leading silicon companies, Achronix, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, Kandou, NXP, Sarcina and SiFive, to develop this open architecture and related specifications for developing chiplets that promise to reduce silicon development and manufacturing costs.

The idea is fo chiplet-based silicon to be composed using best-of-breed components such as processors, accelerators, and memory and I/O peripherals using optimal process nodes. The open architecture will provide a complete stack of components (known good die, packaging, interconnect network, software integration stack) that lowers the hardware and software costs of developing and deploying domain-specific accelerator solutions. Implementing open specifications contributed by participating companies, any vendor’s silicon die can become a building block that can be utilized in a chiplet-based SoC design.

“The end of Moore’s Law will increase the use of domain-specific accelerators to meet power-performance requirements in cloud infrastructure, network infrastructure and IoT/wireless edge applications,” said Bob Wheeler, principal analyst, The Linley Group. “With its modular approach, the open domain-specific accelerator architecture could change the chiplet paradigm from single-vendor solutions to a world of choice, thereby enabling OEMs and operators to develop and deploy advanced SoC solutions.”

“Netronome’s domain-specific architecture as used in its Network Flow Processor (NFP) products has been designed from the ground up keeping modularity, and economies of silicon development and manufacturing costs as top of mind,” said Niel Viljoen, founder and CEO at Netronome. “We are extremely excited to collaborate with industry leaders and contribute significant intellectual property and related open specifications derived from the proven NFP products and apply that effectively to the open and composable chiplet-based architecture being developed in the ODSA Workgroup.”

https://www.netronome.com/

Wave Computing outlines its AI-enabled MIPS strategy for network edge

Wave Computing outlined its strategy for an AI-enabled MIPS offering and ecosystem. The company announced a new AI-enabled licensing roadmap and a broader 3rd party ecosystem.

The company said it will pursue a multi-pronged strategy to enable new use cases for AI based on MIPS architecture.

“Wave Computing’s MIPS technology is a key component of the Data Processing Unit we are developing as a fundamental new building block of next-generation data centers. We expect Fungible’s solution to be pivotal in powering modern data-centric applications such as AI and analytics” says, Pradeep Sindhu, CEO of Fungible, Inc.

“We are well underway in executing on our strategy to bring AI to All. This means delivering AI computing systems for datacenter and customer premise applications, licensable solutions for next-generation SoCs and AI application software for end customers in multiple markets. Since acquiring MIPS in June, we have been blown away by the overwhelmingly positive responses by customers and partners. This underscores the tremendous market opportunity for a common, AI-based development environment and associated suite of solutions. We’ve never been more optimistic on the value MIPS offers, and look forward to extending the market share of MIPS-based designs by enabling native AI performance for edge SoCs,” said Derek Meyer, CEO of Wave Computing.

Under the plan, the company is expanding its IP team globally, including hardware, software, marketing and sales staff.  It continues to invest in its 64-bit, scalable multi-threaded MIPS technology roadmap for embedded applications.

Wave Computing will offer new solutions ranging from CPU cores for edge applications to more robust implementations for emerging AI training and inferencing applications. Wave is also addressing the future of functional safety in autonomous vehicles by building on its ISO26262 certification and introducing advanced lock-step functionality for its MIPS cores.

  • In August, Wave Computing announced a strategic partnership with Broadcom to bring its dataflow processing unit (DPU) to market at the leading-edge 7nm process node. Specifically, Wave will leverage Broadcom’s design platform, productization skills, and 7nm 56Gbps and 112Gbps SerDes. The device will be fabbed using TSMC's 7nm process.

  • In June, Wave Computingacquired MIPS Tech, Inc. (formerly MIPS Technologies), a global leader in RISC processor Intellectual Property (IP) and licensable CPU cores.


Caltech research investigates metasurface optics for bending light

Researchers at Caltech are experimenting with metasurface optics to bend and focus light in a finely controllable way by using carefully designed microscopic structures on an otherwise flat surface.

In a paper published by Nature Communications on October 10, the researchers describe a technology called "folded metasurface optics," which is a way of printing multiple types of metasurfaces onto either side of a substrate, like glass.

http://www.caltech.edu/news/folded-optical-devices-manipulate-light-new-way-84235

Sprint expands SD-WAN worldwide

Sprint announed the worldwide expansion of its Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) services worldwide.

"With just one dedicated Sprint team and one simple portal in the cloud, an enterprise is now able to more intelligently manage all of its network resources across the globe with the geographic expansion of our SD-WAN services," said Mike Fitz, vice president of the Sprint Global Wireline Business Unit. "Intuitive cloud-based management allows thousands of applications to be easily managed across any network to any destination, all anchored by Sprint's worldwide, Tier 1 wireline network. The result is better network availability, unparalleled monitoring, superior converged application support, an improved user experience and overall reduced operational costs."

Aerohive reports record EPS and subscription revenue

Aerohive Networks reported total revenue for the third quarter of fiscal year 2018 of $40.6 million, compared with $39.3 million for the third quarter of 2017. Subscription and support revenue was $11.7 million, or 29% of total revenue, for the third quarter of fiscal year 2018, compared with $10.1 million, or 26% of total revenue, for the third quarter of 2017.

On a GAAP basis, net loss was $2.4 million for the third quarter of fiscal year 2018, compared with a net loss of $5.1 million for the third quarter of 2017. GAAP gross margin was 65.6% for the third quarter of fiscal year 2018, compared with 66.6% for the third quarter of 2017.

On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $1.5 million for the third quarter of fiscal year 2018, compared with a net loss of $0.1 million for the third quarter of 2017. Non-GAAP gross margin was 66.1% for the third quarter of fiscal year 2018, compared with 67.5% for the third quarter of 2017.

“Today we reported financially strong third quarter results with record subscription and support revenue and gross margins, as well as record high EPS and deferred revenue,” stated David Flynn, President and Chief Executive Officer. “These results demonstrate our progress moving to a SaaS-like business model and underscore our focus on profitability. We are pleased to return to growth in the second half, and while we are not yet seeing the growth levels that we aspire to, we are encouraged that our improved product offerings are bringing us into more large opportunities, suggesting progress toward our long-term goals.”

EKINOPS intros OneAccess 10G Ethernet Access Device

EKINOPS introduced its OneAccess 10G Ethernet Access Device (EAD) for high-speed Ethernet services to Enterprise and wholesale customers.

The OneAccess 1651 EAD, which will be commercially available in Q1 2019, will enable operators to monitor thousands of Ethernet links centrally and generate service activation birth certificates without the need for deploying test equipment at the customer site.

EKINOPS said its new OneAccess 1651 EAD also enhances the L2 aggregation capabilities in optical transport deployments. The new combined solution draws on Ethernet packet multiplexing and grooming, enabling operators to transport Ethernet connections in a more efficient and flexible way over the optical network. This innovative pairing is the first joint development project by Ekinops’ Access and Optical Transport business lines.

“EKINOPS presence at the MEF18 conference allies perfectly with the focus of the event: to enable orchestrated communication services for the digital economy,” comments Pravin Mirchandani, CMO, Ekinops, France. “Our new Ethernet product will lower the cost of Cloud-enabling businesses for operators and CSPs everywhere. We are delighted also to report on the first example of how our newly combined access and optical transport specialisms are innovating to respond to the needs of operators; this time by increasing capacity on the optical network. Our commitment to openness in virtualization solutions continues to chime with operators globally, and is enabling them to migrate to NFV flexibly and at a pace they define, free from vendor-lock in.”

AT&T brings LTE to Mexico City’s Metro Line 2

AT&T has activated its LTE network in Line 2 of the Mexico City Metro, bringing connectivity to more than 800,000 daily users of this route. AT&T has also enabled free Wi-Fi in all 24 stations of the route. Line 2 is the 4th connected line by the company as part of the Mexico City Metro connectivity project to help reduce the digital gap in the country.

Line 2 is on average 6 meters deep. It runs from Cuatro Caminos to Tasqueña, and it has 24 stations; 14 of them are underground and 10 above ground. In addition, this line has some emblematic stations that go through Mexico City’s Historical Downtown, such as Hidalgo, Bellas Artes and Zócalo.

See also