Thursday, December 20, 2018

2019 Network Predictions - The campus becomes hot again

Michael Bushong,  Juniper Networks’ VP of Enterprise and Cloud Marketing 

Network automation will hit the curve in the proverbial hockey stick.

Despite years of talking about automation, the vast majority of enterprise operations are still manual, CLI-driven activities. In 2019, adoption will shift from linear to something more aggressive.

This will be driven in part by a general need to automate the network to keep pace with the dynamic application environment that already exists in many enterprises. But the broader DevOps efforts, especially in the cloud arena, will demonstrate what operations could look like outside of the application teams. And enterprises will begin their transformation.

Notably, this means that the automation that emerges will not be the automation that has been talked about for years. Where the last decade has been about removing keystrokes in mundane tasks, the real path forward for network automation will more closely track with the Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) movement. Expect to see the rise of NRE in enterprises (a trend that has already started in the major cloud and service provider properties).

Open source will be more than an alternative business model.

As open source continues to climb in importance in the IT supply chain, enterprises will begin to develop stronger open source policies. This will include everything from procurement practices (which partners will be involved and how will support be handled?) to supply chain (how do you secure the supply chain if no one is inspecting?).

Enterprises outside of the major open source and cloud players will begin to treat open source as just another route to market, implementing appropriate controls, checks, and balances to ensure that products are robust, support is available, and security is more than a hope.

SD-WAN will begin to yield to SD-Enterprise.

It’s not that SD-WAN will become less important in 2019, but as the industry starts applying the principles of SD-WAN more broadly, SD-WAN will start its evolution to SD-Enterprise. Cloud management and intelligent routing across the WAN can be transformative for more than the subset of products currently in market. As campus moves this direction, it seems inevitable that the concept will broaden.

Campus becomes hot again

A few years ago, data center was all the rage. More recently, SD-WAN has revitalized the branch. In 2019, expect campus networking to be in vogue again. Driven by some of the same technologies (SDN, SD-WAN, intent-based networking, and so on), the campus will go through a similar transformation. Vendors have retooled their portfolios in preparation, and most market forecasts showed campus shifting from slow decline to slight growth this year. That trend should continue.

Notably, the embrace of software as the primary vehicle for delivering value also means that the days of refresh cycles being on the order of 5-to-7 years will likely come to an end as well. This should stoke competition in a market that, frankly, has looked more like a monopoly than a vibrant ecosystem at times over the last decade. Times, they are a-changin’.

Ecosystems will replace vertical suppliers

For decades, the networking space has been dominated by large, vertically-integrated stacks. With the rise of cloud and multicloud forcing multi-vendor integration from an operations perspective, it would seem that the vertical approach to the market will begin to give way to an ecosystem strategy.

Importantly, that ecosystem will bring suppliers together that span all of compute, storage, networking, and even applications. Where the past was led by a well-known set of incumbents, suppliers like Nutanix with their hybrid and multicloud solutions and RedHat (now IBM) with their orchestration solutions will take on more prominent roles. This will chip away at the incumbent routes to market, which will begin a one-way move towards a more diverse solutions environment.


2019 Network Predictions - 5G just can’t ‘contain’ itself

by John English, Director of Marketing, Service Provider Solutions, NETSCOUT

5G just can’t ‘contain’ itself 

In 2019 as virtualized network architectures are rapidly adopted to support 5G we expect to see containers emerge as the de-facto platform to run new applications and workloads

The excitement around 5G is building as we hear more news about network deployments, trials and handsets. However, one 5G-related issue that hasn’t yet been crystallized is what form 5G software and innovations will take, and how these new services and applications will be deployed into the network. Unlike 4G/LTE network infrastructure, the architectures that support 5G are virtualized and cloud-based, so the smart money is on application developers, mobile operators and equipment vendors using microservices, and in particular containers, to drive 5G evolution.

It makes sense to use containers to support 5G as they will provide operators with a flexible and easier to use platform to build, test and deploy applications that is now also becoming more secure. This is vital for the development of 5G services at a time when the use cases for 5G are still being defined. Operators will need to be in a position to spin up services as and when needed to support different use cases, by using containers it will be possible to serve customers quickly and efficiently.

Another key aspect is the need to deliver services and applications closer to the end user by utilizing mobile edge computing. This is integral to ensuring the low latency and high-bandwidth associated with 5G and will support use cases across a wide range of verticals including transport, manufacturing and healthcare. However, flexible architectures will be required to support this type of infrastructure throughout hybrid cloud and virtualized environments. As operators move network infrastructure to the edge, the use of containers will become pivotal to supporting 5G applications.

The use of microservices and containers will increase during 2019 as operators’ ramp up their 5G propositions. Despite offering clear advantages, they will also add a new layer of complexity and carriers will need to have clear visibility across their IT infrastructure if they are going to make a success of 5G.

5G will drive virtualization in 2019 

Momentum is building behind 5G. The US and South Korea are leading the charge with the rollout of the first commercial networks; trials are taking place in every major market worldwide; and Verizon and Samsung have just announced plans to launch a 5G handset in early 2019. Expectations for 5G are high – the next-generation mobile standard will underpin mission-critical processes and innovations, including telemedicine, remote surgery and even driverless cars. However, vast sums of money will need to be spent on network infrastructure before any of this can happen, and it's the mobile and fixed carriers who will be expected to foot the bill. This is compounded by the fact that many of the aforementioned 5G use cases have yet to be defined, so carriers are being asked to gamble on an uncertain future.

So, what will the 5G future look like and what will it take to get us there?

One thing is for certain - 5G will drive network virtualization. In 2019, we will see an increasing number of carriers committing to deploying virtualized network infrastructure to support 5G applications and services. Without virtualization, it will be ‘virtually’ impossible to deliver 5G. This is because 5G requires virtualization both at the network core, and critically at the network edge. Puns aside, the days of building networks to support a single use case, such as mobile voice and data, or home broadband, are behind us. If 5G is to become a reality, then the networks of the future will need to be smart and automated, with the ability to switch between different functions to support a range of use cases.

However, moving from the physical world to the virtual world is no mean feat. Carriers are now discovering that their already complex networks are becoming even more so, as they replicate existing functions and create new ones in a virtualized environment. Wholesale migrations aren’t possible either, so carriers are having to get to grips with managing their new virtual networks alongside earlier generations of mobile and fixed technologies. Despite these challenges, 5G will undoubtedly accelerate the virtualization process. Subsequently, no-one will want to be left behind and we will see greater competition emerge between carriers as they commit funds and resources to building out their virtualised network infrastructures.

To justify this spend, and to tackle the challenges that lie ahead, carriers will require smart visibility into their constantly evolving network architectures. Virtual probes that produce smart data, supported by intelligent tools, offer much-needed visibility into the performance of these new networks and the services they support. The invaluable knowledge they provide will be absolutely critical for carriers as they accelerate their use of virtualized infrastructure to successfully deploy 5G.

2019 Network Predictions - Operators must ‘scale or fail’ for 5G

by Heather Broughton, Sr. Director of Service Provider Marketing, NETSCOUT

Operators will ‘scale or fail’ to meet the 5G demand in 2019

5G will be faster, smarter and more efficient than 4G, but in order to meet demand and to support new architectures, networks will have to scale. While most of the scale in the core network will be cloud and software-based, there will still be a need for hardware and equipment at the network edge, and in a 5G environment there will be a lot more equipment. In fact, the number of cell sites will increase dramatically to support and propagate the higher frequency bands that will transmit 5G data traffic over the air. This is when network management tools will come into their own. In 2019 we will see the deployment of automated networks driven by software, and controlled by virtual machines and artificial intelligence.

Network automation and orchestration are by-products of virtualisation and will add another layer of complexity. However, they are also integral to the rollout and sustainability of 5G networks, particularly as network topologies will change to accommodate a combination of small cell and macro cell sites. Small cells in particular will form the bulk of the new RAN (radio area network) and they are expected to increase cellular networks threefold.

If network engineers think they have enough issues to deal with today maintaining 4G/LTE networks, then they may be in for a shock as 5G networks are gradually rolled out. In fact, without having total visibility of these more complex and expansive networks, 5G in the RAN is going to become extremely difficult to manage. If the number of cells were to double or triple, not only would network engineering teams need to have the full confidence in their network management tools to make sure the network is running optimally, but they would also be faced with one heck of a job troubleshooting hundreds, potentially even thousands of cells if an issue arose.

In 2019, carriers will be scrutinising costs per cell site as they look to invest in new infrastructure. They will look to offset any costs by implementing intelligent and automated systems that can support 5G networks. However, carriers need assurances that these systems are providing them with the right information about the uptime and performance of their new networks. The only way to achieve this will be to have complete visibility of these complex new architectures. Having a window into this multi-layered and virtualized environment, and being able to extract smart data in near real-time, will be essential for the ongoing management of new 5G networks.

2019 - The year carriers get to grips with 5G security

The benefits of 5G are clear; the new communications standard will offer carriers and their enterprise customers faster network speeds and performance, ultra-low latency and greater efficiencies. General discussion around carrier trials and deployments tends to focus on increased speeds and the new innovations that 5G will enable, but security rarely comes up. That’s all about to change with 5G security set to become a big issue for the industry and a major talking point in 2019.

To date, it appears that 5G security has almost been treated as an afterthought, rather than a critical aspect of network development. However, behind the scenes this is an issue that the carriers take very seriously. The situation for carriers has altered dramatically, because in a 5G domain, the attack surface becomes much greater. Consequently, the number of opportunities for malicious players to exploit vulnerabilities increases. This is partly due to the adoption of virtualized network infrastructures that will allow carriers to scale and meet the demands of 5G, but also because 5G networks will be configured to support a wide variety of industrial and business use cases. This means that going forward, carriers will be responsible for managing mission-critical systems and devices, in addition to handling high volumes of sensitive data. In a 5G environment, there will be a strong emphasis on securing smart factories, automated production lines and fleets of driverless cars.

The network security stakes get a lot higher

As new 5G network architectures are based on virtualization and distributed cloud models, and a containerized environment to support workloads and applications, it’s apparent that carriers have to deal with a whole new set of complexities. Existing security protocols will need to be scrapped and replaced with robust systems and procedures that account for this new complex environment and the burgeoning 5G value chain; that includes applications developers, device manufacturers, cloud service providers and the carriers themselves. A new built-in resilience is required to limit the attack landscape and to reduce the risk of malicious attacks and perimeter breaches. A pervasive security model that offers comprehensive insight on both service performance management and security offers the best solution to address 5G security. It enables service providers to extract ‘smart data’ that is collected and processed at the source from legacy, virtual and hybrid cloud environments. It’s the closest carriers and their customers will ever get to implementing ‘holistic security’ across their entire IT estate.

Cloud Constellation raises $100M for data centers in orbit

Cloud Constellation Corporation, a start-up based in Los Angeles, announced a funding commitment of $100 million from HCH Group Company for its "SpaceBelt" series of data centers in orbit.

Cloud Constellation’s SpaceBelt is described as "an innovative cloud service for the protection of an organization’s strategic, mission-critical data assets."

The company plans to deploy a network of eight satellites in low earth orbit (LEO) to store mission-critical enterprise, government and military data with the strongest security possible. The idea is to provide global isolation of an organization’s high-value, highly sensitive data assets from the data breach risk of terrestrial networks. The company believes the current costs of launching petabytes of high-performance storage into orbit makes its vision possible.

Clifford W. Beek, CEO and president, Cloud Constellation Corporation, said: “HCH’s financial commitment to SpaceBelt builds on our momentum to execute on our vision to offer global data protection that leverages commercial space.”

Blueprint: An Out-of-This-World Shift in Data Storage

by Scott Sobhani, CEO and co-founder, Cloud Constellation’s SpaceBelt

In light of ongoing, massive data breaches across all sectors and the consequent responsibility laid at executives’ and board members’ feet, the safe storing and transporting of sensitive data has become a critical priority. Cloud storage is a relatively new option, and both businesses and government entities have been flocking to it. Synergy Research Group reports that the worldwide cloud computing market grew 28 percent to $110B in revenues in 2015. In a similar vein, Technology Business Research projects that global public cloud revenue will increase from $80B in 2015 to $167B in 2020.

By taking part in the Cloud, organizations are using shared hosting facilities, which carries with it the risk of exposing critical data to surreptitious elements – not to mention the challenges associated with jurisdictional hazards. Organizations of all sizes are subject to leaky Internet and leased lines. As the world shifts away from legacy systems to more agile software solutions, it is becoming clear that the time is now for a paradigm shift in how to store, access and archive sensitive data.

The Need for a New Storage Model

Enterprises and government agencies need a better way to securely store and transport their sensitive data. What if there was a way to bypass the Internet and leased lines entirely to mitigate exposure and secure sensitive data from hijacking, theft and espionage, while reducing costs both from an infrastructure and risk perspective?

Though it may sound like science fiction to some, such an option is possible, and it’s become necessary for two main reasons:

  • Threatening Clouds – Cloud environments currently run on hybrid public and private networks using IT controls that are not protective enough to stay ahead of real-time cyber security threats. Enterprise data is maliciously targeted, searchable or stolen. Sensitive data can be subjected to government agency monitoring and exposed to acts of industrial espionage through unauthorized access to enterprise computers, passwords and cloud storage on public and private networks.
  • Questions of Jurisdiction – Due to government regulations, critical information could be restricted or exposed, especially when it has regularly been replicated or backed up to an undesirable jurisdiction at a cloud service provider’s data center. Diplomatic privacy rules are under review by governments intent on restricting cross-jurisdictional access and transfer of the personal and corporate data belonging to their citizens. This has created the requirement for enterprises to operate separate data centers in each jurisdiction – financially prohibitive for many medium-sized enterprises.

Storage Among the Stars

What government and private organizations need is an independent cloud infrastructure platform, entirely isolating and protecting sensitive data from the outside world. A neutral, space-based cloud storage network could provide this. Enterprise data can be stored and distributed to a private data vault designed to enable secure cloud storage networking without any exposure to the Internet and/or leased lines. Resistant to natural disasters and force majeure events, its architecture would provide a truly revolutionary way of reliably and redundantly storing data, liberating organizations from risk of cyberattack, hijacking, theft, espionage, sabotage and jurisdictional exposures.

A storage solution of this type might at first seem prohibitively expensive, but costs would run the same or less to build, operate and maintain as terrestrial networks. Further, it would serve as a key market differentiator for cloud service providers who are looking for solutions that provide physical protection of their customers’ critical information. This is because such a system would need to include its own telecom backbone infrastructure to be entirely secure.  While this is extremely expensive to accomplish on the ground, it need not be the case if properly architected as a space-based storage platform.

Sooner than many might think, governments and enterprises will begin to use satellites for the centralized storage and distribution of sensitive or classified material, the storage and protection of video and audio feeds from authorized personnel in remote locations, or the distribution of video and audio gathered by drones.

Escaping Earth’s Orbit

Cyber criminals don’t seem to be slowing their assault on the network, which means data breaches of Earth-based storage solutions will continue. Organizations need to think outside the Cloud in order to keep their critical data secure, both while being stored and in transit. The technology exists today to make satellite storage a reality, and for those who are working hard to stay ahead of malicious actors, it can’t arrive soon enough.

About the author

Scott Sobhani, CEO and cofounder of Cloud Constellation Corporation and the SpaceBelt Information Ultra-Highway, is an experienced telecom executive with over 25 years in executive management positions, most recent as VP for business development and commercial affairs at International Telecom Advisory Group (ITAG). Previous positions include CEO of TalkBox, VP & GM at Lockheed Martin, and VP, GM & senior economist at Hughes Electronics Corporation.

Mr. Sobhani was responsible for closing over $2.3 billion in competitive new business orders for satellite spacecraft systems, mobile network equipment and rocket launch vehicles. He co-authored “Sky Cloud Autonomous Electronic Data Storage and Information Delivery Network System”, “Space-Based Electronic Data Storage and Network System” and “Intermediary Satellite Network for Cross-Strapping and Local Network Decongestion” (each of which are patent pending). He has an MBA from the University of Southern California, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Got an idea for a Blueprint column?  We welcome your ideas on next gen network architecture.
See our guidelines.

Philips sells Laser Diode Division to TRUMPF

Philips will sell 100% of its Photonics GmbH division to TRUMPF. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Philips Photonics, which iss headquartered in Ulm, Germany, designs, manufactures, markets and sells VCSEL-based solutions for data communications, consumer and industrial applications. Its product portfolio ranging from high speed VCSELs (vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers) for data communication to infrared illumination modules for security, surveillance and night vision applications, from single mode VCSELs for sensing applications to intelligent Laser Doppler sensors for accurately measuring velocity and distance. Philips Photonics' laser diodes are manufactured in a high-tech facility in Ulm. Further locations are Aachen, Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and sales offices in Shenzen, Shanghai, and Qingdao in China. Photonics GmbH employs around 280 people.

TRUMPF said the acquisition opens up a new market segment. TRUMPF's existing business includes high-power diode lasers.

"With this acquisition, we want to open up new product fields and expand our existing portfolio at a strategically important point," said TRUMPF boss Nicola Leibinger-Kammüller.

"Since our foundation in 2000, we have grown strongly. More than half a billion cell phones worldwide are equipped with laser diode technology from Philips Photonics," said Joseph Pankert, Business Leader of Philips Photonics. "We are very excited to become part of TRUMPF. This will ensure that the division can continue to grow in a highly innovative company in the future," Pankert continued.

http://www.photonics.philips.com/
https://www.trumpf.com/

Tigo Senegal picks Ericsson for network modernization - 1,000+ sites

Tigo Senegal has selected Ericsson for its nationwide network modernization project, which will bring LTE across the country. The 3-year contract covers upgrades to over 1,000 existing sites using the latest Ericsson Radio System (ERS) technology. The project will also expand Tigo’s mobile backhaul network with Ericsson’s MINI-LINK.

Ericsson will also provide Cloud Packet Core and Cloud Data Management and Policy solutions for the modernization of Tigo’s core network to reduce OPEX and simplify the introduction of new user services. Additional solutions include Ericsson’s Mobile Packet Backbone Network (MPBN) and OSS migration to Ericsson Network Manager.

Mass Thiam, CEO of Tigo, says: “Senegal is on the brink of a huge digital transformation which will open up new business opportunities and revitalize the nation’s economy. To enable and speed up this process, Tigo, with Ericsson as its partner, is rapidly upgrading our legacy network systems to deliver the quality, capacity and overall network performance that our enterprise and subscriber customers demand.”

Rafiah Ibrahim, Head of Ericsson Middle East and Africa says: “Ericsson’s best-in-class LTE solutions will secure Tigo’s network performance and quality while delivering a differentiated experience to their subscribers.  By improving both indoor and outdoor network coverage, Tigo will be able to deliver digital services including mobile data and mobile financial services across the entire Senegalese market.”

Cambridge Mobile Telematics announces $500M backing from Softbank

Cambridge Mobile Telematics (CMT), which is known for its DriveWell platform used by insurers, fleet operators, cellular carriers, and large entreprises to measure driving risk, announced a $500 million investment from the SoftBank Vision Fund.

CMT, which is located steps from the MIT campus, said the investment will boost its growth in automated crash and claims management, video analytics, and safety for emerging vehicle and mobility systems. The investment is subject to regulatory approval.

“CMT is breaking new ground in the application of telematics, machine learning, and behavioral analytics to solve challenging problems in insurance and safety,” said Akshay Naheta, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers. “CMT is uniquely positioned to help insurers develop the insights to better support customers and advance their operations, while promoting long-term improvements in driving standards around the world.”

“Over the past few years, the DriveWell platform has helped make roads safer by making drivers better in a world where crashes are rising due to factors like distracted driving,” said Hari Balakrishnan, CMT’s Chairman and CTO, who founded CMT with Bill Powers (CEO) and Sam Madden (Chief Scientist). “Our rapid growth has been fueled by a culture that values collaboration with our customers and invests in research to improve our solutions and develop new products. This partnership with the Vision Fund is the start of the next stage of our journey to bring safe mobility solutions for people and goods at massive scale.”

CMT has pioneered many innovations since its inception, in 2010, from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. CMT deployed the first service to efficiently gather and process sensory data from phones for auto insurance (2012), use phone sensors to measure phone distraction (2013), and induce better driving with gamification (2014). Together, these innovations created the category of “behavior-based insurance”, also known as “mobile usage-based insurance”. Results from the field are compelling: the driving feedback, rewards, and contests delivered via the DriveWell platform reduce phone distraction by 35% on average with 30 days, and at-risk speeding and hard braking by 20%. These improvements lead to significant measurable reductions in crashes and insurance claims.
  • 2010 - company conceived at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab
  • 2012 -  first service to efficiently gather and process sensory data from phones for auto insurance
  • 2013 - first use phone sensors to measure phone distraction
  • 2014 - first use of phone sensors for better driving with gamification 
  • 2014 - introduced its DriveWell Tag, the first fully wireless “Internet of Things” (IoT) device to measure vehicle dynamics for actuarial scoring and for real-time impact alerts with roadside assistance
  • 2018 - CMT shipped its 6 millionth Tag. 


http://www.CMTelematics.com

Korea Internet Neutral eXchange implements Ciena's Waveserver

Korea Internet Neutral eXchange (KINX) is leveraging Ciena’s Waveserver platform to provide connectivity between its data centers and offer new levels of flexibility and scalability for global leading internet content providers.

KINX is the only carrier-neutral internet exchange provider in Korea, specializing in internet infrastructure, content delivery networks and providing cloud computing services to prominent domestic and international carriers, content providers, multiple system operators, financial institutions and government agencies.

Ciena said its Waveserver platform will serve as the foundation for KINX’s new scalable DC architecture with seamless deployment over KINX’s legacy third-party photonic infrastructure.

Waveserver provides capacity up to 400Gbps in a single rack-unit to conserve footprint and support high-bandwidth services such as video-on-demand and gaming. The platform offers the choice of high-density connections to optimize transmission costs and provide rapid bandwidth scalability for high-speed data transfer, virtual machine migration and disaster recovery/backup applications in data center interconnect.

“Our Waveserver platform will connect KINX’s data centers in Korea, providing high bandwidth and low latency connections to domestic and international internet service providers, while supporting growing traffic demands,” stated Rick Seeto, Vice President and General Manager, APJ, Ciena.

Keysight submits 5G TTCN-31 conformance test case

Keysight Technologies has submitted the industry’s first 5G TTCN-31 conformance test case to 3GPP RAN52 for 5G new radio (NR) device certification.

The 5G NR Non-Standalone (NSA) test case submission was made using Keysight’s 5G Protocol Conformance Toolset, part of Keysight’s 5G Network Emulation Solution portfolio. It is the first 3GPP conformance test case at mmWave frequencies (28 GHz) using an over-the-air (OTA) test methodology. Protocol conformance tests are a key enabler for chipset and device manufacturers to validate the performance of new 5G designs.

“Keysight has yet again achieved a key milestone in helping the industry speed the commercialization of 5G devices,” said Kailash Narayanan, vice president of Keysight’s wireless test group. “Our close collaborations with market makers across the mobile ecosystem, has enabled Keysight to deliver leading 5G solutions for full radio frequency and protocol conformance test capability.”

Earlier this month, Keysight announced that the company’s 5G RF Conformance Toolset was first to gain PTCRB approval for 5G New Radio (NR) device certification.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

2019 Network Predictions

by Angelique Medina, senior product market manager, ThousandEyes

2018 has seen the acceleration of modern infrastructure from public cloud, SaaS, hybrid and SD-WAN. 2019 will see enterprises feeling the impact of this dramatic shift more than ever.

Internet unpredictability impacts become more visible as SD-WAN projects spread and mature

SD-WAN adoption is on the rise, and with it, the enterprise’s growing dependence on the Internet. Before moving to SD-WAN, most enterprises only had to worry about Internet performance from its data centers to key services. With SD-WAN, they’re increasingly leveraging DIA and broadband connectivity and grappling with hundreds or thousands of sites, each of which will have distinct Internet paths to many different cloud-based services. Shifting from a carrier managed service to the Internet, means that there’s an exponential rise in the number of service providers that can potentially impact performance for branch office users. As a large number of enterprises move from deployment into their operations stage in 2019, the impact of Internet unpredictability will become more evident. As a result, more enterprise IT teams will start to develop operational capabilities to deal with Internet-centric issues.

Digital experience will confront the weight of backend multiplicity

Enterprises and SaaS providers are increasingly leveraging third-party APIs and cloud-services as part of their web and application architectures. This distributed, microservices approach to building applications not only provides best-of-breed functions, it enables companies to quickly consume and deliver new services. Applications today might leverage dozens of APIs to handle services such as messaging and voice, maps, and payments, while also connecting to cloud-based services such as CRM, ERP and analytics. Websites are also getting weighed down by the addition of many externally hosted applications. Even a seemingly simple “Buy Now” function on an ecommerce site will invoke many external services, including payment gateways, CRM, analytics, inventory, fulfillment, and potentially many others.

The weight of all of these external dependencies means that websites are going to continue to get slower, while at the same time their risk surface increases. Since these services are not internally operated, isolating the source of a problem when something goes wrong can be challenging, particularly since these services are connected to over the Internet. The question of whether the application or the network is at fault will become “Which application?” and “Which network?”.

Understanding the tradeoff of function over user experience and knowing how every third-party web or app component impacts performance will get even more critical to enterprises and SaaS providers in 2019.

Fragmentation, not bifurcation of the Internet

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, famously predicted that the Internet would bifurcate into a US-led Internet and a Chinese-led Internet by 2028. While we still have plenty of time to see how this prediction plays out, in the near term, the Internet is shifting towards fragmentation. Multiple nation states, including Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, have joined China in creating a walled-off Internet, using a variety of technical, social, and political techniques. As more countries pursue nationalist agendas and choose to opt out of regional or global alignments, we will see increasing Internet fragmentation. This will initially take the form of politically-motivated censorship, but will expand to include the broader curation of connectivity based on politically-prescribed social and cultural norms.

Hybrid starts tilting to the cloud

While the data center will continue to lose ground in favor of cloud, enterprises still early in their cloud journey or who have special security or regulatory constraints will keep hybrid cloud alive. To extend their reach into the enterprise data center, public cloud providers have begun offering on-premises solutions, featuring greater agility, favorable economics, and a single pane of glass for management. While still in its early days, Azure Stack has already announced that it has deployed customers, while newly announced AWS Outpost (scheduled to release in the second half of 2019) has the potential to be highly disruptive to the data center landscape.

2019 will see an increased tilting of hybrid towards public cloud providers, though a lack of maturity may cause an initial freezing of of the hybrid market, particularly for AWS customers, who will want to consider an AWS offering over existing network providers once commercially available.

The Edge gets less “edgy”

Early edge architectures, where the data of billions of IoT devices is notionally processed at central points by infrastructure in public cloud or private data centers, presented challenges, ranging from security to physics (increased latency) and cost (bandwidth). The introduction of intermediary nodes into edge architectures will address the latency and security concerns of a strictly core/edge architecture, moving edge deployments in 2019 from largely theoretical to realizable.

Intermediary nodes are designed to perform some of the processing functions of the cloud closer to the edge, which will help ensure better performance and scale for users and devices and help drive IoT and edge deployments. These nodes are already available from a variety of vendors, including public cloud providers, such as Microsoft. Microsoft has previously stated that they want their Azure cloud data centers be 50ms from everywhere. These new intermediary nodes will help extend the reach of cloud-centric infrastructure to the range of single digit milliseconds and make IoT and edge computing aspirations a reality.

Cyber attacks focus on foundational Internet systems for maximum effect

The pervasive risk associated with offering a digital service has forced most large enterprises and digital businesses to employ sophisticated systems of defense. These systems are designed to handle increasingly large-scale attacks, such as the one launched against GitHub earlier this year. That attack was the largest ever recorded and although it was disruptive, it was successfully mitigated through a highly elastic cloud-based DDoS protector called Prolexic. This and other tools make launching an impactful attack against a high-value target more challenging to pull off, which may be one reason why the number of DDoS attacks is trending downward, particularly in North America and Europe. This doesn’t mean that cyber attacks are going away. Cyber attacks will continue to make headlines in 2019, but they will largely take an indirect approach, exploiting relational weaknesses in foundational Internet systems, such as DNS and BGP routing.

Two incidents this year, one malicious, the other unintentional, underscored the vulnerability of even the most sophistical digital businesses to service disruption. In the case of the malicious incident, Amazon’s DNS service, Route 53, was hijacked, which enabled a cryptocurrency theft and led to many customer sites, including Instagram and CNN, becoming partially unreachable. The attackers who pulled off this digital hijacking and robbery made no attempt to penetrate Amazon’s infrastructure. Instead, they compromised a small Internet Service Provider in Columbus, Ohio, using them to propagate false routes to Amazon’s DNS service. The implicit trust built into Internet routing allowed this attack to take place. The fact that the hijacked service (translating URLs into Internet addresses) is a critical dependency meant that the impact was massive and went far beyond the intended target.

Indirect attacks, taking advantage of critical dependencies outside of the control of the intended target, will continue to grow in 2019, netting more high-profile victims while maximizing the scope of collateral damage.

The operational impact of cloud adoption pushes enterprises to reexamine their management stack mix

Now that SaaS has mainstreamed, with most enterprises shifting their application consumption model from internal to the cloud, we can expect to see a follow-on shift in IT operations stacks in the coming year, as more enterprises begin to realize that the existing toolset is not oriented to address externally-hosted applications.

The traditional IT operations stack is rich with tools, but as the usage of SaaS applications and cloud-based services has increased, the domain of many of these tools is narrowing, exposing gaps in visibility for SaaS applications and their delivery over the Internet. Network tools that collect data from on-premises will see a reduction in usage and budget allocation, making room for cloud-specific tools and technologies designed to provide visibility into networks and services that enterprises rely on (such as ISPs and SaaS apps) but that they do not own or control. This new operations stack will continue to feature traditional toolsets, but its proportional emphasis will favor cloud-focused technologies.

Ovum: 1.3 billion connections by the end of 2023

Global mobile connections will total ten billion by 2023 according to forecasts provided by Ovum and published by 5G Americas. Also, by the end of 2023, global 5G connections are expected to reach 1.3 billion, an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers.

“Growth of LTE is unabated, as LTE added 239 million connections worldwide in the third quarter of 2018,” stated Kristin Paulin, Senior Analyst, Ovum. “Ovum forecasts that LTE will continue to grow well into 2022 and we will see a decline in subscriptions beginning around 2023 due to 5G growth. Regardless, GSM, HSPA and LTE will still be deployed worldwide in 2023.”



Some highlights from Ovum and 5G Americas:

North America

  • North America’s strong leadership in LTE will be replaced with early 5G connections building in 2019 and is forecast to reach 186 million 5G connections by 2023 for a 32 percent share of market.
  • Ovum forecasts 336 thousand 5G connections in North America by the end of 2019 representing 47 percent of total global 5G connections.
  • LTE achieved a penetration rate of 107 percent with 390 million LTE connections as of third quarter 2018, compared to the population of 365 million in North America. This penetration rate compares to the next two highest regions, Oceania, Eastern and Southeastern Asia at 87 percent and Western Europe at 71 percent.
  • 390 million LTE connections for net gain of 51 million new LTE customers year-over-year  
  • LTE is forecast to peak at about 473 million connections at the end of 2020 (including M2M)
  • 32 million 5G connections forecast in 2021 – 6 percent of all North American connections -- growing to 186 million 5G connections in 2023 and 32 percent of all North America connections

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Latin America and the Caribbean continues steady growth of LTE connections and is forecast to reach more than half a billion LTE subscriptions by 2022.  
  • LTE continued its healthy growth with market share increasing from 26 percent to 37 percent year-over-year at the end of September 2018. 
  • 698 million total mobile wireless subscriptions including 257 million LTE connections; 78 million new LTE connections added year-over-year from 3Q 2017 and 17.5 million new LTE connections in 3Q alone
  • By the end of 2022, LTE is forecast to reach 510 million connections (forecast includes M2M) and a 67 percent share of market with total number of connections reaching 767 million


Global

  • Forecasts for LTE continue to show very positive growth with milestones of nearly 4 billion at end of 2018; more than 5 billion by 2020; and about 6 billion in 2022 at which time LTE growth will decline due to the mass market growth of 5G.  In 2023, LTE connections will decline to 5.7 billion when nearly 1 billion GSM connections and 2 billion HSPA connections will remain.
  • 5G will trend upwards beginning in 2019 with less than 1 million global connections; by 2020, this will grow to 37 million and then more than quadruple to 156 million in 2021; by 2022, 5G connections will exceed 500 million and the 2023 forecast puts 5G global connections at 1.3 billion.
  • 972 million new LTE subscriptions year-over-year from 3Q 2017; 35 percent growth
  • 3.7 billion LTE connections out of a total 8.45 billion cellular connections worldwide; worldwide market share for LTE is 44 percent   
  • LTE connections forecast to reach 6 billion by year-end 2022 (forecast includes M2M)
  • LTE global market share forecast to reach 61percent by year end 2022
  • 5G is forecast to reach 1.3 billion connections by the end of 2023


http://www.5gamericas.org/en/

Digital Realty earns ENERGY STAR Certifications for its 24 data centers

Digital Realty earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification for superior energy performance in 24 data centers in 2018.  The certifications indicate Digital Realty data centers rank in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency. 

Digital Realty said its ENERGY STAR-certified data centers are now saving a total of 720,000 megawatt hours relative to industry-average data centers, enough to power 80,000 average U.S. homes for a year and eliminating 535,000 metric tons of C02 emissions. The 24 facilities certified in 2018 total 385,000 kilowatts of data center capacity, representing more than one-third of Digital Realty’s U.S. data center portfolio.

Separately, Digital Realty also announced it has enrolled in a new sustainable energy offering from Salt River Project under which Digital Realty will source a portion of the energy consumed by its Arizona data center portfolio from a new 100-megawatt solar plant to be built in Coolidge, AZ.

Digital Realty Senior Director of Sustainability Aaron Binkley concluded, “Receiving ENERGY STAR certification for a significant portion of our data center portfolio speaks to the expertise of our data center design and operations teams and their sustained focus on achieving high levels of energy performance for our customers.  These certifications are another element of our commitment to deliver to our clients best-in-class global data center solutions that minimize environmental impacts."

Vanu offers Global Wireless Connectivity Maps

Vanu, which supplies access equipment for mobile network operators, announced VanuMaps, a mapping resource capable of detailing where connectivity is lacking and can be provided profitably throughout Africa, select countries in Asia and the rest of the world.

The new mapping tool will enable Vanu’s mobile network operator customers to quickly and accurately identify communities in need and the most effective strategies to address their connectivity challenges. The coverage estimates included in the maps are an aggregation based on tower and terrain data and are not specific to a particular mobile network operator, nor is it known which mobile network operators operate from the towers used to predict coverage on the map.

“Among the larger challenges of supplying mobile coverage to regions where it is currently unavailable is that there has not necessarily been a sufficiently accurate answer to the question: ‘where are the people who lack coverage located?’ That information is critical for us and our mobile network operator customers to identify sites efficiently and to invest with confidence, knowing that a reasonable return is available,” said Andrew Beard, CEO of Vanu, Inc.

“To accurately capture this data, our team developed a series of proprietary software algorithms that are able to produce maps incorporating coverage, population, terrain, propagation and other factors with a level of precision not previously available for these markets. This is essential when implementing a small-cell network architecture. With these maps as a path forward, we will now be able to identify the communities with the most immediate connectivity needs and continue to work with our partners to deploy affordable, power-efficient and reliable mobile networks to those areas.”

 http://www.vanu.com

LightOn raises EUR 2.9 million for optics-based data processing for AI

LightOn, a start-up based in Paris, announced EUR 2.9 million (US$3.3 million) in seed funding for its work in developing optics-based data processing technology for AI.

LightOn is building Optical Processing Units (OPUs) for sensing. The core technology, licensed by PSL Research University, was originally developed at several of Paris’ leading research institutions.

The company said it is already working with OVH, Europe’s leading cloud provider.

The seed funding was provided by several deep technology-focused venture funds, including Quantonationand Anorak.

http://www.lighton.io

CityFibre secures £1.12 billion loan for its full fibre rollout across UK

CityFibre has arranged for debt package of £1.12 billion from seven major financial institutions including ABN AMRO, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Bank plc, Natixis, NatWest, Santander and Société Générale.

CityFibre notes that this is the largest debt financing package dedicated to full fibre rollouts in the UK’s history and represents an important milestone in CityFibre’s plan to improve the country’s digital future.

The debt package will be used to fund the deployment of the first two million homes of CityFibre’s five million homes target and will expand CityFibre’s existing full fibre networks in 37 previously announced towns and cities nationwide. As well as connecting homes, CityFibre’s full fibre network is designed to serve all businesses and public sector sites, provide a superior backbone for mobile operators’ existing locations, enable the rollout of 5G and Internet-of-Things technology and offer transformative, future-proofed connectivity to those joining the Gigabit City Club.

Terry Hart, CityFibre’s Chief Finance Officer, said: “The appetite from these institutions to support our financing is further evidence that CityFibre’s strategy is the right one for the UK. As our networks are rolled out, this will benefit everyone, driving innovation and increasing fibre penetration across the UK, providing the future-proof digital connectivity the UK needs."

CityFibre plans £2.5 billion full fibre network in UK

CityFibre announced a new £2.5 billion full fibre investment plan to extend its network in 37 towns and cities across the UK. The plan is underpinned by significant existing network assets and operations in these municipalities.

CityFibre was acquired in June 2018 by Antin Infrastructure Partners and West Street Infrastructure Partners, a fund managed by Goldman Sachs.

CityFibre said its expanded rollout plan will deliver fibre connectivity to five million homes and corresponds to one third of the Government’s 2025 target of 15 million homes.

Vodafone was named as the first consumer ISP customer for the new network.

CityFibre’s fibre-to-the-home builds are currently underway in Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Aberdeen, with construction due to start in Edinburgh, Stirling, Coventry and Huddersfield before the end of this year and Cambridge, Leeds and Southend-on-Sea shortly afterwards.

UK's Gigaclear picks Ciena for 100G transport network

Gigaclear Network selected Ciena for a 100G transport network across multiple countryside locations in the UK.

The network leverages Ciena’s 6500 Packet Optical platform powered by WaveLogic coherent optics. It also uses Ciena’s  Blue Planet Manage, Control and Plan (MCP) domain controller software, which will automate network and service management and provide real-time visibility into network operations. 

With this new network upgrade, rural regions in the UK including Devon, Somerset, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire will benefit from greater access to high-speed service with rapid backhaul connections from London to Bristol and Northants.

"The proliferation of fiber communities and the need for more backhaul capacity as a result of increased data demands requires Gigaclear to have an adaptive network that lays the foundation for future growth. With an optical network powered by WaveLogic and Blue Planet MCP, Gigaclear will have a programmable infrastructure to intelligently manage its bandwidth, drive innovation and expand services outside of the London metropolitan area," stated Jamie Jefferies, Vice President and General Manager, EMEA, Ciena.

MACOM intros Ultra Low Phase Noise Amplifier

MACOM introduced a new portfolio of wideband, ultra low phase noise amplifiers. The first device in the series (MAAL-011151) is suited for use as a low phase noise amplifier stage for signal generation applications spanning a host of system designs targeting test and measurement (T&M), EW, ECM, and radar.

MACOM said phase noise is a critical specification in defining the frequency stability of a signal source, with significant implications for receiver sensitivity performance. Its new MAAL-011151 minimizes phase noise contribution in providing LO signal gain, enhancing spectral integrity for T&M and communications systems, target acquisition for radar, and aerospace and defense (A&D) applications.

“With the introduction of MACOM’s new MAAL-011151 ultra low phase noise amplifiers, we’re investing in a growing portfolio of signal generation components that encompasses high-performance comb generators, mixers, and more,” said Graham Board, Senior Director of Product Marketing, MACOM. “As we expand this portfolio to include additional discrete amplifiers covering additional frequencies, and integrated low phase noise LO modules, system designers will benefit from seamless device compatibility and exceptional performance across the signal chain, with decades of MACOM application expertise to help them achieve their aggressive design goals.”

https://www.macom.com/products/product-detail/MAAL-011151

Keysight, Qualcomm test 5G NR Standalone Data Transfer

Keysight Technologies and Qualcomm have demonstrated a 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standalone (SA) mode IP data transfer.

The testing, which used Keysight’s 5G network emulation solutions and a mobile smartphone form-factor test device consisting of a 5G modem and antenna modules from Qualcomm, was achieved using a network configuration that combines the latest 3GPP Release 15.3.0 5G NR technologies.

The companies described the achievement an important milestone that enables mobile operators to deploy 5G NR SA mode, which does not rely on an anchor in the LTE network, to deliver enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) services required by many 5G use cases.

“We are delighted that Keysight’s expertise and innovations in 5G solutions are helping us in the next major milestone of achieving IP data transfer in standalone mode,” says Jon Detra, vice president, engineering, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “With 5G commercialization starting in the first half of 2019, Qualcomm Technologies joining forces with Keysight, helps enable the entire mobile ecosystem to make 5G a commercial reality.”

See also