Thursday, November 15, 2018

OIF project tackles Requirements for Integrated Packet Optical SDN

The OIF announced its newest project — “Requirements for Integrated Packet Optical SDN.” The goal is to outline requirements for a multi-layer SDN reference architecture as a use case for packet optical transport networks.

The project will generate functional requirements, a reference architecture and use cases for packet/optical networks guided by the vision to enable agile, open network solutions that simplify operations and optimize resource utilization.

“Most of the existing SDN standards work, including OIF’s recent SDN Transport Application Programming Interface (T-API) multi-vendor interoperability demo, addresses the technical details,” said Junjie Li of China Telecom and OIF Network Operator Working Group Chair. “However, it is critical to also work across layers and build a standardized universal open framework at the solution level that will normalize architecture, interfaces and behaviors to advance the industry as a whole.”

http://www.oiforum.com

1-minute Video: Cisco on new 5G opportunities for Service Providers



5G is opening new opportunities for Service Providers initially in 3 areas, says Michael Glickman, SVP, Global Service Provider Segment, Cisco. These include (1) SDWAN (2) applications that leverage networking slicing (3) uniting enterprise networking with 5G access.

https://youtu.be/jm8f_v9tVFI

Nokia updates CloudBand Infrastructure Software

Nokia announced a significant update to its CloudBand Infrastructure Software, which gives CSPs the capability to unify their Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure/Virtualized Infrastructure Manager, or NFVI/VIM, in order to support centralized and distributed edge cloud deployments and workloads.

The new release streamlines operational procedures by providing a single NFVi/VIM for all cloud deployment needs, such as support and management for both VM and containerized workloads.

Nokia CloudBand Infrastructure Software includes OpenStack software directly from the open source community to address several challenges facing OpenStack adopters; for example, providing timely maintenance and feature updates and localized infrastructure security compliance. It also includes full Software Defined Networking domain controller pre-integration to give customers an end-to-end solution with lower integration costs and improved time-to-market.

Guy Shemesh, Head of CloudBand at Nokia, said: "Nokia's latest CloudBand Infrastructure Software improves on OpenStack's operational state and removes risk and complexity for CSPs. CloudBand Infrastructure Software supports a combination of IT and Telco network cloud deployments, including stringent radio requirements, as well as Enterprise cloud needs. It is the best-in-class solution for converged cloud management solutions. This next-level solution is being swiftly rolled out for Nokia customers."

Nokia cited a number of major deployments in for its CloudBand management and orchestration (MANO), including CloudBand Infrastructure Software, such as StarHub; BSNL to support the roll out of 4G and Voice over LTE services in India; and T-Mobile to support their nationwide, multi-band 5G network rollout across the United States.


ADVA supplies in-service fiber monitoring to Pilot

Pilot, which provides fiber-based business connectivity services in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, is utilizing the ADVA ALM to instantly isolate faults in the fiber plant and take immediate targeted action.

ADVA said it is able to offer real-time insight into the integrity and performance of Pilot's fiber infrastructure, significantly improving the robustness and efficiency of its network. The solution is already deployed throughout New York and is being rolled out in Pilot's Washington DC and Philadelphia networks. The ADVA ALM will also be used to assure Pilot's next-generation GPON architecture, ensuring the fiber infrastructure meets the demands of the network. ADVA's partner M2 Optics, a provider of custom optical infrastructure and test solutions, also played a key role in the project, implementing the solution and providing network design expertise.

Pilot is one of the first service providers to utilize the high-density 64-port variant of the ADVA ALM.

"For a service provider as dedicated to always-on availability as Pilot, our ALM is the ultimate solution. Uniquely affordable and space-efficient, it delivers comprehensive fiber assurance 24/7. Now Pilot can be certain of detecting degradations and initiating countermeasures before services are affected and SLAs are violated," commented James Nachazel, VP, sales, North America, ADVA. "With our ALM, it's easy to separate faults in active devices from problems in the fiber plant. Another key advantage of our ALM is its transparent, service-agnostic monitoring, which is completely independent of transported data. That means it delivers total assurance with no interference to applications."

https://pilotfiber.com/
https://www.advaoptical.com

Ciena enhances its channel partner program

Ciena has enhanced its channel partner program by embracing customization, personalization, and strategic business planning for its partners.

The company says its new Ciena Partner Network (CPN) will better align with the rapidly changing IT landscape. The goal is to provide greater flexibility and customization to all partners inclusive of managed service providers, resellers, integrators, distributors, or service partners.

“Our new partner program complements our Adaptive Network approach to help Ciena clients and partners adapt to changing market conditions. By moving away from the traditional program structure to a more collaborative, personalized and empowering approach, our CPN program delivers unprecedented flexibility and customization that harnesses the unique value of each partner,” Sandra Glaser Cheek, Vice President, Global Partners and Alliances at Ciena.

Habana Labs raises $75M for AI processors, including Intel investment

Habana Labs, a start-up based in Tel-Aviv, Israel, raised $75 million in an oversubscribed series B funding for its development of AI processors.

Habana Labs is currently in production with its first product, a deep learning inference processor, named Goya, that is >2 orders of magnitude better in throughput & power than commonly deployed CPUs, according to the company. Habana is now offering a PCIe 4.0 card that incorporates a single Goya HL-1000 processor and designed to accelerate various AI inferencing workloads, such as image recognition, neural machine translation, sentiment analysis, recommender systems, etc.  A PCIe card based on its Goya HL-1000 processor delivers 15,000 images/second throughput on the ResNet-50 inference benchmark, with 1.3 milliseconds latency, while consuming only 100 watts of power. The Goya solution consists of a complete hardware and software stack, including a high-performance graph compiler, hundreds of kernel libraries, and tools.

Habana Labs expects to launch an training processor - codenamed Gaudi - in the second quarter of 2019.

The funding round was led by Intel Capital and joined by WRV Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Battery Ventures and others, including existing investors. This brings total funding to $120 million. The company was founded in 2016.

“We are fortunate to have attracted some of the world’s most professional investors, including the world’s leading semiconductor company, Intel,” said David Dahan, Chief Executive Officer of Habana Labs. “The funding will be used to execute on our product roadmap for inference and training solutions, including our next generation 7nm AI processors, to scale our sales and customer support teams, and it only increases our resolve to become the undisputed leader of the nascent AI processor market.”

“Among all AI semiconductor startups, Habana Labs is the first, and still the only one, which introduced a production-ready AI processor,” said Lip-Bu Tan, Founding Partner of WRV Capital, a leading international venture firm focusing on semiconductors and related hardware, systems, and software. “We are delighted to partner with Intel in backing Habana Labs’ products and its extraordinary team.”

https://habana.ai/

Kaloom raises $10 million for its software-defined fabric for whiteboxes

Kaloom, a start-up based in Montreal with offices in Santa Clara, California, announced $10 million in Series A1 funding for its Software Defined Fabric (SDF) for automating and optimizing data center networks based on open networking white box switches.

The latest financing was led by the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, and Somel Investments, with the participation from MBUZZ Investments. This cash infusion brings Kaloom’s total investments to $20.7 million.

“We see a strong need among current beta and other potential customers to do something ‘bottom up’ with the networking fabric, where the switches self-discover and self-provision themselves automatically in a network that ultimately supports programmability,” said Laurent Marchand, CEO and founder of Kaloom. “The latest funding round is validation of Kaloom’s approach and where we believe the industry is moving; enabling us to grow faster than planned and respond to growing customer demand.”

“In a very short period, Kaloom has developed world class software for data centers. We are excited to see such strong interest in the company and its solution and see a bright future with Kaloom. After our initial investment for Kaloom’s launch in 2017, we are pleased to continue to support the company’s growth,” said Gaétan Morin, President and CEO of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ.

Kaloom also announced tha appointment of Mike Rymkiewicz as its new vice president of sales, and Thomas Eklund as Kaloom’s vice president of marketing.

  • Kaloom's SDF, which is designed to virtualize the data center, leverages P4-based programming capabilities initially in switching silicon from Barefoot Networks. A physical data center can be partitioned into multiple independent and fully isolated virtual data centers (vDCs). Each vDC operates with its own Virtual Fabric (vFabric), which can host millions of IPv4 or IPv6 based tenant networks. Its software-defined fabric offer interfaces to standard orchestration systems and SDN controllers such as Openstack (ML2), Kubernetes Container Networking Interface (CNI) and OpenDaylight (NETCONF). Initially, supported white boxes include Accton, Delta and Foxconn, which have been designed for hyperscale and distributed data centers. The SDF features self-forming and self-discovery capabilities, as well as zero-touch provisioning of the virtual network and virtual components with automated software upgrades.
  • The Kaloom Software Defined Product Family consists of the following components:
    Kaloom Software Defined Fabric
    Kaloom vRouter
    Kaloom vSwitch
    Kaloom vGW (virtual gateway)


Intel adds $15 billion to stock repurchase authorization

Intel's board of directors approved a $15.0 billion increase in its authorized stock repurchase program. The company had $4.7 billion remaining under its existing repurchase authorization as of Sept. 29, 2018.

The company notes that it has returned approximately $177 billion to stockholders through dividends and stock repurchases from 1990 through the third-quarter of 2018.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

FCC begins 5G spectrum auctions

The FCC commenced its first 5G spectrum auctions.

Auction 101:  The auction of the licenses in the 28 GHz band uses a simultaneous multiple round auction format.  The 3,072 Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS) licenses in the 27.5–28.35 GHz (28 GHz) band.will be offered in two 425 megahertz blocks by county.  http://www.fcc.gov/auction/101/factsheet.

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.  http://www.fcc.gov/auction/102/factsheet

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel issued the following statement:

“Today, we finally get out of the starting gate with our first 5G spectrum auction.  In doing so, we follow the lead of South Korea, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Ireland, and Australia.  But we put ourselves back in the running for next-generation wireless leadership. From here on out, we need to do more than just join the pack with an auction in 2018.  If we want to lead, we need a pipeline of both millimeter wave and mid-band spectrum for 5G.  That means making transparent our plans for every subsequent auction.  We can do this with something simple:  a calendar.  Let’s publish a calendar that states clearly to the entire wireless ecosystem—from existing providers to new spectrum interests to manufacturers and consumers—just when and how the FCC will auction new airwaves to support 5G services.”


The Linux Foundation releases first Acumos AI Athena

The LF Deep Learning Foundation, a project of The Linux Foundation, announced the first software release of the Acumos AI Project - Athena.

Acumos AI standardizes the infrastructure stack and components required to run an out-of-the-box general AI environment.

Major highlights of the Athena release include:

  • One-click deployment of the platform utilizing Docker or Kubernetes;
  • The ability to deploy models into a public or private cloud infrastructure or in a Kubernetes environment on users’ own hardware including servers and virtual machines;
  • A design studio, which is a graphical interface for chaining together multiple models, data translation tools, filters and output adapters into a full end-to-end solution;
  • Use of a security token to allow simple onboarding of models from an external toolkit directly to an Acumos AI repository;
  • Decoupling of microservices generation from the model onboarding process to easily repurpose models for different environments and hardware; and
  • An advanced user portal with the ability to personalize marketplace view by theme, data on model authorship as well as to share models privately or publicly and user experience upgrades.

The next Acumos AI release which is expected in mid-2019, will add model training as well as data extraction pipelines to make models more flexible. Additionally, the next release will include updates to assist closed-source model developers, including secure and reliable licensing components to provide execution control and performance feedback across the community.

“The Acumos Athena release represents a significant step forward in making AI models more accessible for builders of AI applications and models along with users and trainers of those models and applications,” said Scott Nicholas, senior director of strategic planning at The Linux Foundation. “This furthers the goal of LF Deep Learning and the Acumos project of accelerating overall AI innovation.”

“Orange has been actively involved in Acumos since April 2018 through a Project Team Leader for the model onboarding module to manage and drive evolutions in the onboarding capabilities. This involvement shows the willingness of Orange to take part and promote the AI ecosystem in the telecom domain. Orange also considered the coherency of integrating Acumos in the continuity of all the works performed in the network automation LFN/ONAP project. Acumos is seen as a common platform that can bridge existing AI technologies and new ones through its openness. It can also favor cross business AI-based developments through its federative approach and thanks to its marketplace.” - François Jezequel, Head of ITsation, Procurement and Operators, Orange

https://wiki.acumos.org/display/REL/Athena+Release
https://www.deeplearningfoundation.org

The Acumos AI Project moves to the Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation launched the Acumos AI Project, a federated platform for managing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) applications and sharing AI models.

AT&T and Tech Mahindra contributed the initial Acumos code.

"An open and federated AI platform like the Acumos platform allows developers and companies to take advantage of the latest AI technologies and to more easily share proven models and expertise," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation. "Acumos will benefit developers and data scientists across numerous industries and fields, from network and video analytics to content curation, threat prediction, and more."

Cisco posts quarterly revenue of $13.1 billion, up 8%

Cisco reported total revenue of $13.1 billion for its first quarter (ended October 27, 2018), up 8%, with product revenue up 9% and service revenue up 3%. GAAP net income was $3.5 billion or $0.77 per share, and non-GAAP net income of $3.5 billion or $0.75 per share.

Some highlights:
  • Revenue by geographic segment was: Americas up 5%, EMEA up 11%, and APJC up 12%. 
  • Product revenue performance was generally broad-based with growth in Applications, up 18%, Security, up 11%, and Infrastructure Platforms, up 9%.
  • There was a continued strong customer ramp of Catalyst 9000 family of switches.
  • There was a double-digit growth in Security
  • On a GAAP basis, total gross margin, product gross margin, and service gross margin were 62.3%, 61.6%, and 64.6%, respectively, as compared with 61.2%, 60.1%, and 64.5%, respectively, in the first quarter of fiscal 2018.
"We had a strong start to fiscal 2019 and we believe our opportunity has never been greater,” said Chuck Robbins, chairman and CEO of Cisco. “Our customers are looking to Cisco as a trusted partner to help them operate in a multi-cloud world and to transform their businesses. Our strategy is working and we are well positioned with our growing and differentiated portfolio across multiple domains to bring our customers a more secure, automated and simple IT infrastructure."




Southern Cross Cables to deploy Ciena’s GeoMesh Extreme

Southern Cross Cables is deploying Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai tunable coherent optics and the 6500 T-series to enhance the scale, programmability and intelligence of its network.

Ciena said Southern Cross Cables is the first subsea deployment its WaveLogic Ai over compensated cable and includes the first deployment of 200Gbps wavelengths between Sydney and Auckland. Ciena’s WaveLogic Ai allows Southern Cross to monitor links in real-time, so it can determine the ideal capacity for each channel across any path. WaveLogic Ai also provides massive scalability by allowing Southern Cross to add an additional 6.4Tbps of wavelength expansion across its subsea and terrestrial networks.

Southern Cross’ existing programmable infrastructure is further enhanced with the introduction of the Ciena 6500 T-Series platform that scales to 24Tbps OTN switching capacity for efficient traffic grooming and includes Ciena’s advanced multi-layer control plane software to maximize network resiliency.

In addition, Southern Cross’ utilisation of Ciena’s Blue Planet Manage, Control, and Plan (MCP) software for improved network visibility through real-time software control, along with big data analytics and advanced network functionality through the Blue Planet Network Health Predictor, Performance Portal and Blue Planet V-WAN services underpin its position as one of the most flexible, and customer responsive submarine cable providers in the world.

“Our customers’ needs are changing almost daily as they move towards the cloud and larger web-scale data flows, particularly between continents,” said Southern Cross Cable Network Director of Marketing and Sales, Craige Sloots.

“Southern Cross Cables is setting a new industry benchmark by creating a more intelligent and programmable network that can adapt and quickly respond to dynamic customer demands,” said Rick Seeto, Ciena’s Vice President and General Manager, Asia/Pacific and Japan, Ciena.

https://www.southerncrosscables.com
http://www.ciena.com


  • The Southern Cross Cable Network comprises two submarine communications cables which were first commissioned in November 2000 and January 2001 at a cost of US$1.3 billion. They provide Australasian broadband users with international connections to seven key locations on the US West coast where global Internet hubs are located. The Southern Cross NEXT project will be a third high capacity express route, providing data-centre connectivity between Sydney, Auckland, and Los Angeles, along with enhanced Pacific Island capability and is currently on target for completion in 2020. The Southern Cross Cable Network is owned by Spark NZ (50%), Singtel-Optus (40%) and Verizon Business (10%). 

Verizon completes 5G NR smartphone data transmission over 28 GHz

Verizon completed the world’s first 5G data transmission on a smartphone on a commercial 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) network using its 28 GHz spectrum.

The test was completed with a moto z3 paired with a 5G moto mod, the world’s first 5G-upgradeable smartphone, in Providence, RI. Samsung Electronics America and Qualcomm collaborated on the test.

The companies performed several tests over the 5G connection, including browsing the internet and placing a video call. The moto z3 with 5G moto mod is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem, along with the  QTM052 mmWave antenna modules.

"In the past two years, we have consistently led the world in 5G, including launching the world’s first commercial 5G service last month. This successful test, using an actual smartphone, widens our lead,” said Bill Stone, vice president, Technology Development and Planning for Verizon. “We will be the first to offer a 5G upgradeable smartphone on our network in 2019.”

“This test is also one step closer to getting upgraded speed and connectivity that will affect all aspects of our daily lives. 5G will be a transformational leap in wireless, and we are excited to be a part of it,” Shakil Barkat, vice president, Global Product Development at Motorola.

Bell's Virtualized Services Platform - the software-defined edge


Jeremy Wubs gives an overview of Bell's newly launched Virtual Network Services platform - a first for Canada -- an the entry point for many new software-defined capabilities at the edge.

https://youtu.be/o5U5s31X5X8


Analyst perspective: Cisco Partner Summit 18 - Ovum's Mike Sapien



Cisco continues to strengthen its partnership strategy and now finds that approximately 92% of sales involve partners -- an impressive evolution for the company says Mike Sapien, Chief Analyst, Ovum.

https://youtu.be/Fd9-xRFD4us

Telenor picks Ericsson for 5G core network transformation

Telenor has selected Ericsson to transform its core network in Sweden, Denmark and Norway by deploying Ericsson Cloud Core solutions for 5G across multiple data centers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the terms of the Network Function Virtualization contract, Ericsson’s full portfolio of network function solutions and related services will be harnessed to deploy Ericsson Cloud Core solutions for 5G across multiple data centers for Telenor. This includes Policy Control, virtual IMS (vIMS) and virtual User Data Consolidation (vUDC) as well as lead system integration and support services.

Morten Karlsen Sørby, Telenor’s Executive Vice President and Acting Cluster Head Scandinavia says: “Ericsson’s portfolio of VNF enables Telenor to become more agile while reducing costs through improved operations. This transformational deal is an important step towards future-proofing our core network as we look towards 5G. It provides us with state-of-the-art virtual core applications that serve mobile and fixed access and extend the lifecycle of our legacy network.”

Arun Bansal, Ericsson’s Head of Europe & Latin America says: “Ericsson is a long-term partner to Telenor in Scandinavia, supporting the company across multiple engagements in fixed and mobile networks in the region. This deal strengthens that partnership by evolving Telenor’s existing network to the cloud, ensuring continued exceptional services to their customers. As we move together towards 5G it also opens up new opportunities in the IoT space.”

http://www.ericsson.com/press

VIAVI debuts large-scale 5G Base Station Analyzer

Viavi Solutions introduced its CellAdvisor 5G base station analyzer for use by mobile service providers globally for validating and troubleshooting 5G radio access.

The principal test functions of the CellAdvisor 5G include:

Real-time spectrum and interference analysis with persistence display for FR1 and FR2
5G carrier scanner measuring carrier power up to eight wide-band carriers’ power as well as strongest beam power level and its corresponding identifier (ID)
5G beam analyzer assessing individual beams’ IDs, their power levels and corresponding signal to noise ratios
5G route map for coverage verification mapping, in real-time, the physical cell identity (PCI) and its associated beam ID together with beam strength, as well as making coverage data available for post-processing.

Key features include: support for beamforming analysis, massive MIMO and carrier aggregation; spectrum and interference analysis in Frequency Region 1 (FR1, sub-6 GHz) and Frequency Region 2 (FR2, millimeter wave); flexibility to support wider channel bandwidth configurations (5 MHz to 100 MHz in FR1, and 100 MHz to 400 MHz in FR2); touchscreen functionality; and cloud-based asset and configuration management via the StrataSync platform.

“VIAVI has taken an early lead in 5G testing, and continues to expand its investments,” said Kevin Oliver, Vice President and General Manager, Converged Instruments and Virtual Test, VIAVI. “Virtually every 5G base station in the field today has been verified in the lab using VIAVI instruments and systems. Now, as a number of leading carriers are moving from the lab to large-scale field deployments, CellAdvisor 5G will be the fundamental tool that technicians and contractors will need to install and maintain these 5G deployments.”

http://www.viavisolutions.com

Deutsche Telekom enhances its Open Telekom Cloud

Deutsche Telekom released a new version of Open Telekom Cloud, its OpenStack-based public cloued, featuring Workspace Service and Mongo DB encryption as well as additional security and management capabilities.

The Open Telekom Cloud has simplified the creation and operation of backup and disaster recovery solutions, providing the ability for systems and data to be easily mirrored across the Open Telekom Cloud's data centers in Magdeburg and Biere. DT guarantees availability of 99.95 percent for The Open Telekom Cloud.

Additional updates:

  • Support for Suse 15.
  • The Volume Backup Service now backs up data on an hourly basis.
  • The Cloud Server Backup Service can now also perform hourly backups. 
  • The Open Telekom Cloud’s Private Line Access Service (PLAS) has now been extended with IntraSelect by a Layer 3 connection option – for even faster connections.
  • The Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), the Document Database Service (DDS) and the NAT Gateway function can now also be tagged using the tagging service.
  • It is now possible to integrate Bare Metal hosts into a container cluster. In addition, the new functions now make the Cloud Container Engine even more convenient for the user.
  • Relational Database Service (RDS): The functionality of the PostgreSQL database can now be extended using various plug-ins.
  • Support for the KVM Hypervisor, MapReduce service cluster and data import from Object Based Storage (OBS). 
  • Identity & Access Management (IAM): Access Control Lists (ACLs) now enable even more detailed access control to the programmable interfaces (APIs) and the graphical user interface within the IAM.


Riverbed passes 1K SD-WAN customers, adds routing and subscription pricing

Riverbed announced that its SD-WAN solution is now used by more than 1,000 customers worldwide.

Riverbed also announced a new SD-WAN release with the following enhancements:

  • Enterprise-class routing
  • Subscription-based pricing for SD-WAN-only and SD-WAN + WAN Optimization customers.
  • In-field upgrades: Existing customers have access to an enhanced in-field upgrade to expand the capabilities of prior investments to include advanced SD-WAN, network security services and WAN Optimization.

“Organizations across every industry are striving to digitally transform their business in order to stay competitive. Consequently, limitations of legacy networks have become roadblocks to truly fulfilling these digital strategies,” said Paul O’Farrell, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Riverbed’s Cloud Infrastructure Business Unit. “By delivering a next-gen architecture with new flexible subscription pricing and enhanced routing capabilities, Riverbed has raised the bar in helping businesses accelerate their digital transformation initiatives and implement a software-defined networking approach for increased agility, greater efficiency and ultimately, better financial results. And now with 1,000 SD-WAN customers worldwide, Riverbed has established itself as a true leader in the SD-WAN market.”

Keysight to supply 5G test solutions to China Mobile

China Mobile has selected Keysight Technologies’ suite of 5G test solutions to accelerate their commercial deployment of 5G technology.

Keysight’s 5G test solutions span across design, development, deployment and optimization, and cover Layer 1 to 7. These end-to-end solutions use common software and hardware platforms compliant to the latest 3GPP standards to enable mobile operators and their ecosystems to quickly and accurately validate new 5G mobile devices, base stations as well as the 5G core network (5GC).