Tuesday, August 20, 2019

SCMP: Huawei's founder expects no relief from US export curbs

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei does not expect relief from US export curbs because of the political climate in Washington, according to an interview published on Wednesday by the South China Morning Post.

Moreover, Ren does not want relief if it means that China must make concessions in the trade war. Ren expressed confidence that Huawei will thrive by developing its own technology ratner that relying on U.S. vendors.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/3023643/huawei-founder-ren-zhengfei-doesnt-want-relief-us-sanctions-if-it-means

Juniper raises $500m to refinance pending notes

Juniper Networks announced the priced of $500 million of 3.750% Senior Notes due 2029. The 2029 Notes were issued at 99.951% of par value, bear interest at an annual rate of 3.750% and will mature on August 15, 2029.

Juniper estimates that the net proceeds of the sale of the 2029 Notes, after deducting the underwriter discount and estimated offering expenses, will be approximately $495.3 million.

The company intends to to use the net proceeds from the offering of the 2029 Notes, together with cash on hand, to purchase all of its outstanding 3.300% Senior Notes due 2020 and 4.600% Senior Notes due 2021.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Cerebras Wafer Scale Engine packs 1.2 trillion transistors

Cerebras, a start-up based in Los Altos, California, unveiled its Wafer Scale Engine - a record-setting AI processor boasting a die size of 46,225 square millimeters and containing more than 1.2 trillion transistors. The chip is 56X larger than the largest graphics processing unit and contains 3,000X more on-chip memory.

Key specs

  • 400,000 Sparse Linear Algebra (SLA) cores
  • 18GB on-chip SRAM, all accessible within a single clock cycle, and provides 9 PB/s memory bandwidth. 
  • 100 Pb/s interconnect bandwidth in a 2D mesh
  • Manufactured by TSMC on its 16nm process technology

The SLAC cores are flexible, programmable, and optimized for the sparse linear algebra, which underpins neural network computation. The cores are linked together with a fine-grained, all-hardware, on-chip mesh-connected communication network called Swarm.

“Designed from the ground up for AI work, the Cerebras WSE contains fundamental innovations that advance the state-of-the-art by solving decades-old technical challenges that limited chip size—such as cross-reticle connectivity, yield, power delivery, and packaging,” said Andrew Feldman, founder and CEO of Cerebras Systems. “Every architectural decision was made to optimize performance for AI work. The result is that the Cerebras WSE delivers, depending on workload, hundreds or thousands of times the performance of existing solutions at a tiny fraction of the power draw and space.”

The Cerebras product unveiling occurred at this week's Hot Chips Conference at Stanford University.

http://www.cerebras.net

U.S. adds 46 more Huawei offices and affiliates to Entity List

The U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed a 90-day extension allowing vendors to continue the shipment of certain U.S. technology products to Huawei.

"As we continue to urge consumers to transition away from Huawei’s products, we recognize that more time is necessary to prevent any disruption,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “Simultaneously, we are constantly working at the Department to ensure that any exports to Huawei and its affiliates do not violate the terms of the Entity Listing or Temporary General License.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce also added 46 additional Huawei affiliates and international offices to the Entity List. This includes Huawei affiliates in Australia, Bahrain, Belarus, China (Hui Tong Business Ltd.; Shanghai HiSilicon Technologies Co.; Shenzhen HiSilicon Technologies Co.), Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, and UK (or Integrated Photonics Ltd.; Huawei Technologies, and Huawei Software Technologies Co.).

The Department also noted that, since May, it has added over one hundred persons or organizations to the Entity List in connection to Huawei.

https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2019/08/department-commerce-adds-dozens-new-huawei-affiliates-entity-list-and

ADTRAN intros PoE Gigabit switches

ADTRAN announced its SDX 8110 series of Power over Ethernet (PoE) Gigabit switches featuring improved statistics reporting and a high level of traffic control for managing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) into the Local Area Network (LAN).

This increased flexibility enables service providers to simplify LAN management while supporting the increased penetration of IP phones, Wi-Fi access points and IoT devices within the enterprise.

The new PoE switches are available in 8, 24 and 48 port configurations and offer non-blocking Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching capacity up to 90 Gbps. The switches deliver 802.3at (POE+), 802.3af (PoE) and Legacy PoE support.

ADTRAN said that, in addition to the improved PoE budget, the SDX 8110 series offers service providers and customers increased control over traffic allowing them to extend SLAs into the LAN utilizing improved QoS capabilities. These Gigabit Ethernet switches add per-port and per-queue traffic shaping capabilities along with support for per-port and per-queue policing. Traffic matching capabilities have also been expanded to include QoS control lists that are used to match Ethernet frames, including both outer and inner tag parameters, and then manipulate various QoS, VLAN and policy settings in the IP packet or Ethernet frame.

“Improved traffic and PoE statistics give managed service providers visibility deep into the customer network to more easily monitor and diagnose problems,” ADTRAN Enterprise Product Line Manager Brian Lenahan said. “Expansion of ADTRAN’s SMB/Enterprise switch portfolio will continue with additional products planned for release over the next nine months.”

https://portal.adtran.com/pub/Library/Data_Sheets/Default_Public/6171081xxPF2-8_Datasheet_SDX8110_Series.pdf

Keysight joins 6G Flagship Program

Keysight Technologies has joined the multi-party 6G Flagship Program, an initiative supported by the Academy of Finland and led by the University of Oulu, Finland.

The parties envision that next generation beyond 5G  will leverage spectrum above millimeter waves called terahertz waves, from 300 GHz to 3 THz, enabling data rates of up to one terabit per second and ultra-low latencies.

Keysight said its technical expertise and solutions across these frequency bands, as well as in high-speed digital technologies, cybersecurity, device characterization, and network test, will accelerate research in all four strategic areas of the program: wireless connectivity, distributed intelligent wireless computing, device and circuit technologies, and vertical applications and services.

“We’re excited to join the 6G Flagship Program as one of its founding members to begin groundbreaking 6G research,” said Satish Dhanasekaran, senior vice president of Keysight and president of Keysight’s Communications Solutions Group. “The program signals the start of a new era of wireless technology that will push the boundaries of high-speed and high-bandwidth applications. As the only test and measurement provider invited to take part of the program, Keysight is showcasing the unique role we play in solving design challenges ahead of a technology wave.”

“We’re excited to continue our close collaboration with Keysight to establish the world’s first 6G multi-disciplinary research initiative with broad support in both industry and academia,” said Matti Latva-aho Academy Professor, Director of the 6G Flagship Program at the Centre for Wireless Communications (CWC), University of Oulu.

https://www.keysight.com/us/en/solutions/5g.html
https://www.oulu.fi/6gflagship/

First subsea fiber cable to be landed on St Helena island

The first fiber optic cable is expected to be landed on St. Helena, an island in the South Atlantic ocean that is a British Overseas Territory.

The fiber connection will be a spur from the main trunk of the Equiano cable, a new private subsea cable backed by Google that will connect Africa with Europe. The spur will be 1,140km long.

St. Helena is located 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) east of Rio de Janeiro and 1,950 kilometres (1,210 mi) west of the nearest point in Africa (the mouth of the Cunene River on the border between Namibia and Angola). The island has a population of 4,500.

http://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/subsea-cable-to-be-landed-on-st-helena/?highlight=equiano


Google announces Equiano cable from Portugal to South Africa

Google unveiled plans for new private subsea cable connecting Lisbon, Portugal and Cape Town, South Africa with branching units along the west coast of Africa.

The Equiano subsea cable, which is named for Olaudah Equiano, a Nigerian-born writer and abolitionist who was enslaved as a boy, will include a branching unit to Nigeria.

Google plans to use state-of-the-art space-division multiplexing (SDM) technology to achieve approximately 20 times more network capacity than the last cable built to serve this region.

The cable will be the first to incorporate optical switching at the fiber-pair level, rather than the traditional approach of wavelength-level switching. Google says this design will greatly simplify the allocation of cable capacity.

Equiano is fully funded by Google. Alcatel Submarine Networks was awarded a contract in Q4 2018. The first phase of the project, connecting South Africa with Portugal, is expected to be completed in 2021.

ADTRAN announces cloud-based CAF test for rural carriers

ADTRAN announced its fully-managed, cloud-based performance test solution for network operators that utilize the Connect America Fund (CAF) program and who will be required to submit testing results as part of their annual compliance in the first quarter of 2020.

To help ensure that the funds allocated are used for broadband service delivery in rural areas, the FCC has adopted Performance Monitoring and Measurement requirements to ensure greater accountability for recipients of Connect America Fund (CAF) high-cost universal service support, including price cap carriers, rate-of-return carriers, rural broadband experiment (RBE) support recipients, Alaska Plan carriers, and CAF Phase II auction winners.

The new service is an expansion of the ADTRAN CAF performance testing solution announced earlier this year. Since February, more than 30 CAF recipients have chosen ADTRAN’s network performance testing solution to comply with FCC reporting requirements.

ADTRAN said its managed testing solution takes care of each aspect of FCC compliance from initiating the test to collecting data to report creation and submission to the FCC in the format needed. It removes the administration burden related to CAF test compliance and utilizes the ADTRAN Speed Test Server Network as a cloud-based, managed service. The solution includes the SmartRG Device Manager Software to serve as the test controller and the SmartRG Gateways as the test clients and is available across the entire SmartRG portfolio of gateways.

“We developed this one-stop, fully-managed subscription service to give our customers peace-of-mind by offering a turnkey option that off-loads the entire testing process, so they can focus on what they do best—providing a superior subscriber experience,” ADTRAN Services Portfolio Manager Derek Foster said. “We know there is still some uncertainty with the FCC, which causes concern for our customers and that’s why we developed a simple and affordable compliance service.”

https://www.adtran.com/index.php/adtran-announces-fully-managed-cloud-based-caf-performance-test-solution

Rivermeadow raises funding for its multi-cloud migration solution

Rivermeadow Software, a start-up based in Los Gatos, California, announced a secondary investment from CloudScale Capital Partners.

RiverMeadow provides an integrated, end-to-end multi-cloud migration platform and services to reduce the time, cost and risk associated with moving physical, virtual and cloud-based workloads into and between public, private and hybrid clouds. The solution encompasses discovery, assessment, cloud migration, and optimization.

In addition, Matt Bross has joined  RiverMeadow’s Technical Advisory Board.

https://www.rivermeadow.com

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Reuters: Commerce Department to grant 90-day extension

Reuters reported that the U.S. Commerce Department will grant a 90-day extension allowing U.S. vendors to continue shipping to Huawei Technologies under certain conditions.

In May, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a 90-day, temporary general license allowing U.S. vendors to continue delivering products and services to Huawei Technologies and its affiliates. This first Temporary General License runs from May 20, 2019 through August 19, 2019.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-huawei-tech-usa-license-exclusive/exclusive-u-s-set-to-give-huawei-another-90-days-to-buy-from-american-suppliers-sources-idUSKCN1V701U


VMware to acquire Veriflow for network visibility/assurance

VMware announced its planned acquisition of Veriflow, a start-up offering tools for network verification, assurance, and troubleshooting. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Specifically, Veriflow provides:

  • Network modeling in software;
  • Verifying network connectivity and application availability as well as segmentation assurance; and,
  • Preflight modeling and What-If capabilities to analyze proposed network changes, thus reducing network outages and maintenance windows.

Earlier this year, VeriFlow introduced its CloudPredict SaaS version which offers visibility and assurance across public cloud network deployments. The SaaS is built on the Veriflow verification and analytics platform.

Veriflow is backed by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Menlo Ventures, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense.

https://www.veriflow.net/

Microsoft launches Azure Ultra Disk Storage

Microsoft announced the general availability (GA) of Azure Ultra Disk Storage — a new, high-performance managed disk promising sub-millisecond latency for the most demanding Azure Virtual Machines and container workloads.

The new storage service is aimed at applications like SAP HANA, top tier SQL databases such as SQL Server, Oracle DB, MySQL, and PostgreSQL, as well as NoSQL databases such as MongoDB and Cassandra.

Ultra Disk Storage specs

  • Sizes ranging from 4 GiB up to 64 TiB with granular increments
  • It is possible to dynamically configure and scale the IOPS and bandwidth on the disk independent of capacity.
  • Up to 300 IOPS per GiB, to a maximum of 160K IOPS per disk
  • Up to a maximum of 2000 MBps per disk

Ultra Disk is now available in East US 2, North Europe, and Southeast Asia.

With the introduction of Ultra Disk Storage, Azure now offers four types of persistent disks—Ultra Disk Storage, Premium SSD, Standard SSD, and Standard HDD.



Telstra posts declining sales/profits, focuses on T22 strategy

Citing negative headwinds from nbn, Telstra last week reported total FY 2019 income of A$27.8 billion, down 3.6 percent year over year. EBITDA decreased by 21.7 percent to $8.0 billion.

Regarding the impact of the nbn, Telstra absorbed around $600 million of negative recurring EBITDA headwind in the period. Underlying EBITDA decreased approximately 4 percent excluding the in-year nbn headwind.

To date, Telstra estimates the nbn has adversely impacted EBITDA by approximately $1.7 billion since FY16, and estimates it is around 50 percent of the way through the recurring financial impact of the nbn.

Telstra CEO Andrew Penn said the company is fully committed to its T22 strategy one year in and that it is making strong progress on its implementation.

“FY19 has been a pivotal year for Telstra. Notwithstanding the intense competitive environment and the challenging structural dynamics of our industry, it is a year in which I believe we can start to see the turning point in the fortunes of the company from the changes we have embraced,” Mr Penn said. “We completed our strategic investment program announced in 2016 to digitise our business and create the networks for the future, delivering over $500 million of EBITDA benefits. We passed the halfway mark of customers migrating onto the nbn network. We launched 5G, the next generation of telco technology and the platform for future growth for us and our customers. And at the start of the year we commenced our T22 strategy, where we have made very significant progress."

Telstra said it has removed  $456 million in underlying costs in the year.

"This means we have achieved $1.17 billion in reductions since FY16 and we are on track to achieve our $2.5 billion net cost reduction target by FY22," Mr Penn said. “Our cost out drivers have included simplification and digitization and this has led to reductions in direct and indirect labour costs as well as non-labour related costs. Examples include 900,000 fewer truck rolls over the year enabling us to reduce our fleet vehicles by 14 percent, and we have also reduced our property footprint by 8 percent."




Some highlights:

  • Telstra Consumer and Small Business - income decreased by 1.6 percent to $14,271 million, largely impacted by a 6.3 percent decline in fixed as a result of ongoing standalone fixed voice decline. Mobile services revenue decreased by 2.3 percent as declining Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) offset customer net additions. Network Applications and Services (NAS) revenue continued to grow, increasing by 13.9 percent, primarily driven by growth in unified communications.
  • Mobile broadband revenue decreased by 14.0 percent to $673 million after a decline in ARPU and reduction of 266,000 customer services in postpaid and prepaid. IoT revenue grew by 19.4 percent to $203 million, increasing customer services by 561,000 due to the introduction of new IoT products
  •  Telstra now serves a a total of 2,605,000 nbn connections, an increase of 659,000. nbn market share is now 49 percent (excluding satellite)
  • Telstra Enterprise - income increased by 0.3 percent to $8,243 million as growth in international offset a decline in domestic. Telstra Enterprise domestic income decreased by 2.1 percent as growth in NAS and mobility was offset by industry ARPU decline in Data & IP and ongoing decline in ISDN. Telstra Enterprise international income grew by 9.0 percent mainly due to growth in higher-margin Data & IP and a positive impact from the depreciation of the Australian dollar (AUD).
  • Networks and IT  - responsible for the overall planning, design, engineering architecture and construction of Telstra networks, technology and information technology solutions. It primarily supports the revenue-generating activities of other segments. Networks and IT income decreased by 6.7 percent to $70 million.
  • Telstra InfraCo - income excluding internal access charges decreased by 6.3 percent to $3,057 million due to expected declines from Telstra Wholesale fixed legacy and nbn commercial works, partly offset by increased recurring nbn DA receipts. Including internal access charges, income increased by 51.6 per cent to $4,948 million. Internal access charges were recognised from 1 July 2018 following the establishment of Telstra InfraCo as a standalone business unit, therefore there were no access charges in FY18.
  • Telstra InfraCo is now fully operational as a standalone infrastructure business unit within Telstra. Telstra InfraCo controls assets with a book value of around $11 billion and is responsible for key network assets including data centres and exchanges, most of the fibre network, the copper and hybrid fibre coaxial networks, international subsea cables, poles, ducts and pipes.

Telstra creates property trust to monetize assets

Telstra has created an unlisted property trust that will own 37 existing exchange properties.

A Charter Hall-led consortium will acquire a 49 percent stake in the new property trust for $700 million, reflecting a capitalisation rate of 4.4 percent and valuing the entire property trust at $1.43 billion. Telstra will retain ownership of a 51 per cent controlling interest in the property trust and retain operational control of the properties.

Telstra describes the exchanges as relatively high-value ones in which it expects to maintain a presence long term. The exchanges represent a significant portion of the value attributable to Telstra exchanges. Telstra will sign long-term triple-net leases with the property trust. The leases will have a weighted average lease expiry of 21 years, with multiple options for lease extension to accommodate ongoing requirements.

Telstra said the announcement reflects continued progress on the fourth pillar of its T22 strategy to monetise up to $2 billion of assets to strengthen its balance sheet.

Telstra sells 3 data centers, exits Ooyala

Telstra announced the sale of three international data centres for $160 million,  yielding a nine times EBITDA multiple and $110 million gain on sale.  Media reports identified the buyer as I-Squared Capital, a private equity fund.

Telstra also announced the sale of its Edison Exchange in Brisbane for $57 million. The company has also restructured its Telstra Ventures arm and exited its Ooyala business.

In 2014, Telstra acquired Ooyala, a Silicon Valley-based provider of video streaming and analytics, for US$270 million. Telstra had previously invested US$61 million in Ooyala over the past two years. Ooyala harnesses the power of big data to help broadcasters, operators and media companies build more engaged audiences and monetize video with personalized, interactive experiences for every screen.

DOCOMO invests in Light Field Lab for holographic displays

NTT DOCOMO Ventures has made an equity investment in LIGHT FIELD LAB, Inc. (LFL), a start-up developing display technology that enables a holographic objects to float in space without head-mounted accessories.

LFL’s projection technology is a new advancement in 3D holographic displays, enabling the control of billions of rendered photons of light which intersect in air to form real looking objects with full color and motion. LFL has been developing original light field technology to illustrate realistic 3D holographs.

NTT said the investment in LFL aligns with its own development of VR/AR technologies and 5G.

MIT researchers target “risk-aware” cloud traffic engineering

Researchers at MIT, working in collaboration with Microsoft, have developed a “risk-aware” mathematical model for improving the performance and resiliency of cloud infrastructure.

The model takes into account failure probabilities of links between data centers worldwide and then allocates traffic through optimal paths to minimize loss, while maximizing overall usage of the network.

The researchers believe their model can deliver three times the traffic throughput compared to traditional traffic-engineering while maintaining the same high level of network availability.

http://news.mit.edu/2019/reduce-cost-cloud-infrastructure-0819


Friday, August 16, 2019

Expanding Lifecycle Service Orchestration Globally



MEF Annual Meeting – July/Aug 2019, Jeremy Wubs, SVP, Marketing for Bell Business Markets, Bell Canada, highlights the importance of MEF LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration) Sonata APIs for enabling service providers to extend their service reach outside their own network footprints in partnership with other service providers.

“We have, over the last year, launched a new service – Bell Virtual Network Services (VNS)…In order to that, we had to make some pretty significant investments in orchestration. Now, as we look to evolve that, how do we go and take some of the orchestration capabilities outside the country, how do we expand that on a global basis? Without there being a set of clear, well-proven standards, there actually is no way to do that. So, the LSO work and the evolution of the MEF work that’s happening around LSO is a really great opportunity and model for us to do that.”

“What really excites me about MEF and how it’s transforming and changing is the focus on IP, SD-WAN, security, and applications. We look at where the industry is going. Our services are changing and transforming. They need to be more flexible. And MEF is really paving the way for a set of frameworks and foundations that are going to help us not just do it in Canada but actually to scale it globally…The ability to be part of an organization that is thinking how do we not just transform our networks but scale them and evolve them on a global basis is one of the really valuable benefits of being part of MEF.”

Explore MEF 3.0 inter-provider LSO Sonata API innovations and engage with industry-leading service and technology experts such as Jeremy Wubs, attend MEF19 (http://www.MEF19.com), held 18-22 November 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Learn more about standardized MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata APIs at https://www.mef.net/introducing-lso-sonata


See also