Tuesday, July 23, 2019

VeEX intros 400GE QSFP-DD PAM4 test module

VeEX introduced a dual-port 400GE QSFP-DD PAM4 test module for the MPA® Multi-Protocol Analyzer Series platform.

The new MPM-400AR module provides up to 800G of throughput to address the high capacity testing demands of the PAM4 Ethernet/transport market. The unit supports dual simultaneous and independent 400G QSFP-DD ports along with dual QSFP56 and SFP56 ports, enabling flexible testing capabilities for a wide range of optical transceivers, port and data rates all in the same module.

“At VeEX we strive to provide innovative test solutions and technology support to facilitate the industry’s demanding testing challenges of delivering next-generation products and services. The new MPM-400AR is the result of such commitment,” said Keith Cole, Vice President of Product Marketing, NEMs for VeEX. “Building upon our existing CFP8 test module (MPM-400G) and the first and only 400G handheld test set in the market (RXT-6400), the MPM-400AR raises the bar for native 400G PAM4 testing, in a compact, scalable, yet powerful rack-mount form factor.”

Used in the modular MPA platform with existing 10/100G application modules, the MPM-400AR provides simultaneous, independent, multi-port test capabilities, supporting all common and emerging transceiver form factors, from 400 Gbps to 10 Mbps. Test automation is key for high volume applications and multiple APIs are supported, including native Python, providing NEMs R&D/SVT labs, manufacturing, and service providers with a comprehensive all-in-one toolset for verification of PAM4 Ethernet/transport technologies.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Cloud Native - Kubernetes becomes the universal abstraction layer

Kubernetes, which is sometimes described as "the Linux of the cloud," is poised to play a major role in next-gen carrier infrastructures, says Dan Kohn, Executive Director, Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which is part of The Linux Foundation.

Over time, virtual network functions (VNFs) will evolve to become cloud-native network functions (CNFs). In this world, Kubernetes can become the universal abstraction layer.



A "2019 Next-Generation Central Office Report" from AvidThink is available for download. It covers the evolution in NGCO, recent trends, and key projects like CORD and VCO, as well as the role of the NGCO in new applications in edge computing and SD-WAN/vCPE.

https://nginfrastructure.com/

Verizon launches MPLS-based connectivity to Equinix data centers worldwide

Verizon launched a Software-Defined Interconnect (SDI) solution that provides Private IP network direct connectivity to 115 Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centers around the globe within minutes. 

Verizon's SDI solution leverages an automated Application Program Interface (API) to quickly and simply integrate pre-provisioned Verizon Private IP bandwidth via the Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) while eliminating the need for dedicated physical connectivity.

“SDI is an addition to our best-in-class software-defined suite of services that can deliver performance ‘at the edge’ and support real-time interactions for our customers,” said Vickie Lonker, vice president of product management and development for Verizon. “Think about how many devices are connected to data centers, the amount of data generated, and then multiply that when 5G becomes ubiquitous. Enabling enterprises to virtually connect to Verizon’s private IP services by coupling our technology with the proven ECX Fabric makes it easy to provision and manage data-intensive network traffic in real-time, lifting a key barrier to digital transformation.”

Verizon notes that its private Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network is seeing high double-digit traffic growth year-over-year, and the adoption of colocation services continues to proliferate as more businesses grapple with complex cloud deployments to achieve greater efficiency, flexibility and additional functionality in data management.

Verizon manages 500,000+ network, hosting, and security devices and 4,000+ networks in 150+ countries.

Equinix opens eleventh data center in Tokyo

Equinix opened its eleventh International Business Exchange™ (IBX) data center in Tokyo, Japan.

The first phase of Equinix TY11 provides a capacity of 950 cabinets and colocation space of approximately 39,800 square feet (approximately 3,700 square meters). Upon completion of the planned future phases, the facility is expected to provide a total capacity of more than 3,500 cabinets and colocation space of more than 153,800 square feet (approximately 14,300 square meters), becoming the largest IBX data center to date in Japan. TY11 is situated in Ariake, a district in Koto ward, which is close to key venues for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Equinix now operates a total of 11 data centers in Tokyo and two in Osaka.

In Asia-Pacific, Equinix now operates 42 IBX data centers across 12 markets. Globally, Equinix operates more than 200 IBX data centers across 52 markets and 24 countries.

Washington Post: Huawei assisted with North Korea's mobile network

Huawei played a key role in building and maintaining North Korea's first commercial wireless network, according to The Washington Post, by partnering with a Chinese state-owned firm, Panda International Information Technology Co. Ltd.

A key question is whether equipment supplied for the project used U.S. components in violation of U.S. export controls. The article cites an unnamed, former Huawei employee as its source

NTT DATA Becomes a Google Cloud Premier Partner

NTT DATA Services is now a Google Cloud Premier Partner, the highest status a Google Cloud partner can achieve. The companies will undertake joint go-to-market strategy to provide consulting, implementation and managed services to clients seeking digital transformation.

“Being named a Google Cloud Premier Partner highlights our commitment to innovative, strategic relationships that allow us to deliver cloud insights and solutions that drive meaningful outcomes for our clients. Google Cloud’s ecosystem of partners will be strengthened by our vertical industry expertise and technical knowledge, as well as our cloud intellectual property, accelerators and tools,” said Eric Clark, Chief Digital Officer, NTT DATA Services. “Our relationship with Google Cloud underscores our ability to assess cloud maturity, create a strategic plan and architect a cloud transformation that helps maximize business value with responsive, performance-driven digital technology."

Skyworks launches component portfolio for 5G base stations

Skyworks Solutions launched its portfolio of proprietary solutions for next-generation 5G wireless infrastructure applications.

Skyworks’ portfolio includes high-efficiency amplifiers, switch LNAs, compact circulators and isolators, as well as more fully integrated solutions for sub-6 GHz and millimeter-wave frequencies ─ all designed to meet the high-performance requirements of 5G base stations.

Skyworks said its suite of miniature circulators provides significant size advantages and leverages proprietary internal ferrite core procedures for improved isolation and reduced insertion loss. The company’s high power switches incorporate patented design techniques to deliver products with fast switching speeds, increased power handling capabilities at extreme operating temperatures and low insertion loss.

“Skyworks has strategically aligned our product development roadmap with 5G platforms,” said David Stasey, vice president and general manager of diversified analog solutions for Skyworks. “We are well-positioned to capitalize on emerging opportunities and are leading the way in semiconductor integration as carriers upgrade their wireless networks.”

http://www.skyworksinc.com/

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Next Gen Central Office (NGCO) - Red Hat perspective on the Network Transformation Journey

The Next Gen Central Office (NGCO) is bringing a lot of change not just at the technical level but also at the cultural level, says Mark Wohlfarth, VP, Global CSP Sales, Network Ecosystem, Red Hat.

NGCO is really about Open Platforms,  Open Collaboration, and Open Innovation.

A "2019 Next-Generation Central Office Report" from AvidThink is available for download. It covers the evolution in NGCO, recent trends, and key projects like CORD and VCO, as well as the role of the NGCO in new applications in edge computing and SD-WAN/vCPE.

https://nginfrastructure.com/


VMware to acquire Bitfusion for virtualized hard acceleration

VMware has agreed to acquire Bitfusion, a pioneer in virtualization of accelerated compute with a strong focus on GPU technology. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bitfusion offers a software platform that decouples specific physical resources from the servers they are attached to in the environment. This enables better sharing of GPU resources among isolated GPU compute workloads, even allowing sharing to happen across the network.

For example, the platform can share GPUs in a virtualized infrastructure, as a pool of network-accessible resources, rather than isolated resources per server. Additionally, the platform can be extended to support other accelerators like FPGAs and ASICs. In many ways, Bitfusion offers for hardware acceleration what VMware offered to the compute landscape several years ago. Bitfusion also aligns well with VMware’s “Any Cloud, Any App, Any Device” vision with its ability to work across AI frameworks, clouds, networks, and formats such as virtual machines and containers.

VMware said the acquisition of Bitfusion will bolster its strategy of supporting AI- and ML-based workloads by virtualizing hardware accelerators. VMware plans to integrate Bitfusion into the vSphere platform.

Bitfusion is based in Sunnyvale, California and Austin, Texas.

https://bitfusion.io/

Ixia intros Cloud Peak NFVi Benchmarking Solution

Ixia, which is a division of Keysight Technologies, introduced its "Cloud Peak" benchmarking solution for Network Functions Virtualization infrastructure (NFVi).

Cloud Peak offers service providers the following key benefits:

  • Simplified NFVi benchmarking via a web-based, easy-to-use automation solution
  • An Open Platform for NFV (OPNFV) that integrates the powerful, but complex OPNFV Yardstick framework for infrastructure compliance
  • Elastic workloads that scale from testing a single server to a datacenter
  • Powerful analytics that provide extensive reporting and real-time dashboards
  • Cloud Peak delivers a rigorous set of methodologies to understand the capabilities and performance of an infrastructure under varied conditions, to evaluate design tradeoffs, upgrades and component swaps, and to identify performance bottlenecks. 
  • Cloud Peak’s first release focuses on VMware vCenter and OpenStack, the leading carrier platforms for NFV and VMWare NFV infrastructure.

“NFVi adds a new layer of complexity, yet it enables service providers to accelerate NFV deployment and realize its business benefits,” said Sunil Kalidindi, vice president of product management for Keysight’s Ixia Solutions Group. “With NFVi, the burden of system-level testing shifts from the network equipment provider to the service provider who needs to integrate the virtual network functions with their own customized server infrastructure. Cloud Peak enables the service provider to characterize the infrastructure to understand what it can handle, how to improve it, and if it is reaching its capacity.”

http://www.keysight.com

AirBorn launches Space-rated Active Optical Cable

AirBorn launched its Space-rated Active Optical Cable (SAOC), its next-generation space interconnect and the first fully tested and qualified active optical cable available for this application today.

AirBorn said its SAOC takes a standard copper signal and translates it to a fiber optical signal within the connector body. The SAOC eliminates the need for a specialized transceiver and time spent polishing and terminating fiber. It installs like a traditional copper cable but yields the same benefits of speed, distance, and EMI protection engineers have come to expect from fiber optic cabling. A single-connection interface accommodates both traditional copper cabling and SAOC®, giving system designers flexibility.

“The SAOC technology further demonstrates AirBorn’s commitment to solving our customers’ challenges through continuous innovation,” AirBorn CEO Cindy Lewis said. “This technology places AirBorn at the forefront of innovation for the ever-expanding space exploration market.”

“A prime contractor in the space industry knew we had active optical cable technology in house and asked if we could design and qualify a ruggedized version for spaceflight,” explained David Koenig, Vice President for AirBorn’s Space Business Unit. “Our team accepted the challenge and through continuous collaboration, developed a technology that exceeded our customer’s needs as we worked through to a flight-ready design. Now, SAOC® is launched into the market and stands ready to be specified into equipment destined for space.”

https://www.airborn.com/

Running SAP HANA with Intel Optane DC persistent memory delivers boost

Intel and SAP announced a multiyear technology partnership focused on optimizing Intel’s Xeon Scalable processors and Optane DC persistent memory for SAP’s end-to-end enterprise software applications, including SAP S/4HANA.

The companies claim that running SAP HANA–based applications within Intel Optane DC persistent memory may significantly reduce the complexity and risk of running real-time in-memory applications by providing persistent data that is more resilient to computer outages, without compromising security. SAP HANA customers deploying Intel Optane DC persistent memory are capable of reducing data recovery times from 50 minutes to 4 minutes on a 6TB SAP HANA instance1. Intel Optane DC persistent memory delivers significantly denser memory, which enables customers to do more data processing within the same server – intended for cost savings and enabling new capabilities for customers converting to SAP S/4HANA.

“For more than a decade, Intel and SAP have engaged closely on developing differentiated breakthrough technologies that make organizations run more efficiently, and with today’s news we will further accelerate our technology collaboration and grow the value that we deliver to our customers. Broadening our technology collaboration with SAP means our mutual customers will be able to achieve faster insights from the largest data challenges, delivering a competitive edge,” stated Navin Shenoy, Intel executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group.

https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-sap-broaden-technology-partnership-power-enterprises-digital-transformation/#gs.qpsd6m

Qualcomm to appeal EC ruling

Qualcomm will appeal the recent ruling from the  European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition that Qualcomm engaged in predatory pricing practices for some sales of three cellular baseband chipsets to two customers.  The violations were found to have occurred during a few calendar quarters between 2009 and 2011. The EC subsequently has fined Qualcomm 242 million euros. 

Qualcomm said its will appeal the finding to the General Court of the European Union. Qualcomm intends to provide a financial guarantee in lieu of paying the fine while the appeal is pending.

“The Commission spent years investigating sales to two customers, each of whom said that they favored Qualcomm chips not because of price but because rival chipsets were technologically inferior.  This decision is unsupported by the law, economic principles or market facts, and we look forward to a reversal on appeal,” said Don Rosenberg, executive vice president and general counsel of Qualcomm.

 “The Commission’s decision is based on a novel theory of alleged below-cost pricing over a very short time period and for a very small volume of chips. There is no precedent for this theory, which is inconsistent with well-developed economic analysis of cost recovery, as well as Commission practice. Contrary to the Commission’s findings, Qualcomm's alleged conduct did not cause anticompetitive harm to Icera, the company that filed the complaint. Icera was later acquired by Nvidia for hundreds of millions of dollars and continued to compete in the relevant market for several years after the end of the alleged conduct. We cooperated with Commission officials every step of the way throughout the protracted investigation, confident that the Commission would recognize that there were no facts supporting a finding of anti-competitive conduct.  On appeal we will expose the meritless nature of this decision.”         

Hurricane Electric adds POP in Scotland

Hurricane Electric has added a new point of presence (PoP) at the Pulsant data center, near Edinburgh, Scotland.

This PoP is Hurricane Electric’s first in Scotland, 11th in the UK, and 68th serving the European market. This PoP will provide enterprises in and around Edinburgh with improved fault tolerance, load balancing and congestion management in the delivery of next generation IP connectivity services.

“Edinburgh is the second largest financial services center in the UK and fourth in Europe, as well as a significant educational and technology hub and we’re thrilled to provide Pulsant’s customers cost-effective, high-speed connectivity,” said Mike Leber, President of Hurricane Electric. “We’re committed to providing connectivity to users on six continents and this new PoP is Hurricane Electric’s 201st around the world.”

AT&T reminisces about Nixon's call to the moon

In light of this week's 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon, AT&T looked back on its role in the U.S. space program.

Shortly after President John F. Kennedy kicked off the Apollo program, AT&T established an independent company called BELCOMM, whose mission was to support NASA. AT&T also provided the critical communications platform for NASA and the astronauts throughout the mission, including the historic phone call between President Richard Nixon and the Apollo 11 astronauts on the lunar surface.

https://about.att.com/innovationblog/2019/07/nasa_apollo_50th.html


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Next Gen Central Office (NGCO) - Service agility in the 5G core

With a cloud-native core, the network is able to respond faster to deliver capacity exactly where it is needed, explains Sandro Tavares,  Head of Campaign Strategy, Nokia.

The new core architecture is really about complementing 5G possibilities.

A "2019 Next-Generation Central Office Report" from AvidThink is available for download. It covers the evolution in NGCO, recent trends, and key projects like CORD and VCO, as well as the role of the NGCO in new applications in edge computing and SD-WAN/vCPE.

https://nginfrastructure.com/


Top 5 Clouds account for 65% of optical transceivers for data centers

Alibaba, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Microsoft accounted for more than 65% of all Ethernet transceivers sold for applications in mega data centers in 2018, according to a new report from LightCounting.



This market segment grew by more than 50% in 2016 and more than 70% in 2017. However, the demand for optics from some of these key cloud customers started to slow down in the second half of 2018. The report cites several factors contributing to the slowing demand for optics from the cloud companies in 2019, including:

  • Excess inventory of 100GbE accumulated by the end of last year.
  • Transition to new switches based on Tomahawk 3 ASICs and some constraints in the supply chain related to it.
  • Uncertainty in continuing economic growth and escalating trade war between the US and China.
  • New regulations and penalties faced by the leading Cloud companies in the US and Europe related to data privacy and monopolistic practices of these very large vendors.

LightCounting says the first two issues in the list above are temporary and these may be resolved in the second half of 2019, but the third and especially the fourth one may limit growth of the largest cloud companies in the years to come.

Nevertheless, LightCounting expects that demand for optics from the cloud companies will return to growth in 2020-2024. Sales of new products including 100GbE DR1, 200GbE, 2x200GbE and 400GbE DR4 (including 4x100GbE) modules will lead this growth. Several new DWDM and AOC products will contribute to this trend.

https://www.lightcounting.com/News_071819.cfm


SK Telecom surpasses 1 million 5G subscriptions

SK Telecom has surpassed 1 million 5G subscriptions. The carrier launched its commercial 5G service in April.

SK Telecom also highlighted its "5G Cluster" - an advanced 5G environment for AR, VR, and AI. The company plans to build ‘5G Cluster’ in business districts, parks, factories, and etc. to provide differentiated 5G service and benefits in both of B2C and B2B sectors. Plans include:

  • a "5G League of Legends (LoL) Park" at Jonggak, Seoul, starting from July 25. At ‘5G LoL Park’, customers can view messages from supporting fans nationwide with Augmented Reality (AR) by facing their smartphones toward a certain location. Customers can also enjoy VR live broadcasting and VR playback during the games.
  • a service that allows customers to meet a variety of animals, including giant cats and wyverns, using AR in Olympic Park and Yeouido Park, Seoul. For example, if customers hold their smartphones toward ‘The Lone Tree’ in Olympic Park, a giant cat will appear on smartphone screen in AR.
  • the transformation of Jamsil Students' Gymnasium into a 5G Stadium. SK Telecom will further expand 5G experience spaces with immersive media by the end of this year.
  • integration of the 5G network and ‘Mobile Edge Computing’ (MEC) solution to create a ‘5G Smart Factory’. T
  • SK Telecom plans to build a total of 12 ‘Mobile Edge Computing’ (MEC) in 5G networks located at key regions nationwide. In particular, the company will provide dedicated 5G edge cloud service for enterprises that are in need of security and ultra-low latency communications, including manufacturing, media, finance, and game industry.

“With ‘5G Cluster’ as our key focus, SK Telecom will provide customers with outstanding service and pleasure that are beyond the imagination,” said Yoo Young-sang, Executive Vice President and Head of MNO Business of SK Telecom. “We will strive to create added values to different industries and regions.”

SK Telecom's 5G network is live with 34,000 base stations deployed

SK Telecom has activated a total of 34,000 5G base stations across Korea.

In a press conference at its headquarters in Seoul, SK Telecom marked "the beginning of the age of Hyper-Innovation with 5G".

The company's 5G network initially targets the nation's most data traffic-concentrated areas, including main areas of 85 cities nationwide (Seoul, six metropolitan cities, etc.), university districts, KTX, sports stadiums, expressways, subway lines (Seoul and Seoul Metropolitan Area) and beaches. SK Telecom is also expanding in-building coverage centered around 120 department stores, shopping malls and airports. In the second half of 2019, SK Telecom will expand 5G network coverage to subway systems nationwide, national parks and festival sites.

SK Telecom’s 5G network supports downlinks up to 2.7 Gbps.

New 5GX price plans go into effect on April 5, 2019. Four plans are offered.

  • Slim offers 8GB of data (1Mbps speed after data cap) at KRW 55,000 month 
  • 5GX Standard comes with 150GB of data (5Mbps after data cap) at KRW 75,000 per month.
  • 5GX Prime comes with 200GB of data at KRW 95,000 per month
  • 5GX Platinum comes with 300 GB of data at KRW 125,000 per month

SK Telecom said its 5G pricing structure offers the same amount of data at lower prices compared to its LTE service.

https://www.sktinsight.com/111031

TE intros QSFP-DD connectors, cages and cable assemblies for 400G

TE Connectivity (TE) introduced its new Quad Small Form Factor Pluggable Double Density (QSFP-DD) connectors, cages and cable assemblies, which address next-generation data center needs by increasing density through an existing QSFP form factor to reach speeds up to 400 Gbps. This 8 lane solution is designed for both 28G NRZ and 56G PAM-4 protocols, with a roadmap to 112G PAM-4 for future system upgrades.

“As the world marches toward next generation connectivity in data center equipment, designers need new connector and cable assembly solutions to support this change,” said Zach Galbraith, product manager at TE Connectivity.  “We are excited to be one of the premier suppliers bringing QSFP-DD products to our customers, enabling 400 Gbps data rates through a single port. These products can provide much-needed flexibility to the industry’s end users, platform designers and system integrators.”

TE notes that its -DD products are backward-compatible. The new QSFP-DD products leverage proprietary zipper fin heatsink technology allowing them to work cost-effectively in 15-18W applications.

TE offers a broad QSFP-DD portfolio which includes 1x1 through 1x6 cages and surface mount (SMT) connectors on a 0.8mm pitch, along with various lengths and wire sizes of straight and breakout passive copper cable assemblies. Customer specific designs with different lightpipes, heatsinks and cable assemblies are also available, supported by TE signal integrity experts.

https://www.te.com/usa-en/products/connectors/pluggable-connectors-cages/qsfp-dd.html?tab=pgp-story

Video: The Road to On-Board Optics w Nathan Tracy of TE Connectivity



One minute video: Nathan Tracy at TE Connectivity discusses how COBO utilizes TE's high-speed connector and how the two companies form an industry partnership to enable new aggregate bandwidth rates for next-generation optical data centers.

https://youtu.be/_QNJqZY_RGg

Microsoft's cloud revenue up 39% yoy, Azure up 64% yoy

Microsoft reported revenue of $33.7 billion for the quarter ended June 30, 2019, up 12% compared to a year earlier. Net income was $13.2 billion GAAP and $10.6 billion non-GAAP, and increased 49% and 21%, respectively.

Azure revenue grew 64% yoy.

"Q4 commercial cloud revenue increased 39% year-over-year to $11.0 billion, driving our strongest commercial quarter ever,” said Amy Hood, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Microsoft.

Revenue in Productivity and Business Processes was $11.0 billion and increased 14% (up 17% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Office Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 14% (up 16% in constant currency) driven by Office 365 Commercial revenue growth of 31% (up 34% in constant currency)
  • Office Consumer products and cloud services revenue increased 6% (up 8% in constant currency) and Office 365 Consumer subscribers increased to 34.8 million
  • LinkedIn revenue increased 25% (up 28% in constant currency) with record levels of engagement highlighted by LinkedIn sessions growth of 22%
  • Dynamics products and cloud services revenue increased 12% (up 15% in constant currency) driven by Dynamics 365 revenue growth of 45% (up 48% in constant currency)

Revenue in Intelligent Cloud was $11.4 billion and increased 19% (up 21% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Server products and cloud services revenue increased 22% (up 24% in constant currency) driven by Azure revenue growth of 64% (up 68% in constant currency)
  • Enterprise Services revenue increased 4% (up 6% in constant currency)

Revenue in More Personal Computing was $11.3 billion and increased 4% (up 6% in constant currency), with the following business highlights:

  • Windows OEM revenue increased 9% (up 9% in constant currency)
  • Windows Commercial products and cloud services revenue increased 13% (up 16% in constant currency)
  • Surface revenue increased 14% (up 17% in constant currency)
  • Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs increased 9% (up 10% in constant currency)
  • Gaming revenue declined 10% (down 8% in constant currency) with Xbox software and services revenue down 3% (down 1% in constant currency)