Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Dell'Oro: Sustained growth for the Optical Transport Market

The Dell'Oro Group is forecasting the Optical Transport market, largely comprised of DWDM systems, to expand in 2020 and for the next five years, reaching nearly $18 billion.

Some highlights from Dell'Oro's Optical Transport five-year forecast:

  • By 2024, nearly 30 percent of wavelength shipments will be from an 800 Gbps-capable line card. More than half of these line cards are expected to be used at 400 Gbps.
  • The next wavelength speed following 800 Gbps will be 1200 Gbps (1.2 Tbps). Based on the timing of past coherent DSP introductions and first-line card shipments, we anticipate 1.2 Tbps-capable line cards to enter the market in the 2023-2024 time period (but more likely in 2024).
  • Demand for Optical Transport gear for data center interconnect (DCI) is expected to take a turn in the near future.
  • Disaggregated WDM transponder unit sales are a bright spot of growth, annually growing at a double-digit percentage rate.
  • 400ZR will moderate the market’s growth.

https://www.delloro.com/news/optical-transport-market-to-expand-for-many-more-years-reaching-nearly-18-billion/

Equinix builds flagship data center in Milan

Equinix is building a new state-of-the-art colocation data center in Milan, Italy.

Known as ML5 and due to open in Q1 2021, the International Business Exchange (IBX) data center will host advanced interconnection services, including Equinix Cloud Exchange Fabric (ECX Fabric) and Equinix Internet Exchange.

The facility is situated in North-West Milan, which will provide customers with direct access to Equinix's industry-leading software-defined networking service, ECX Fabric, enabling virtual interconnections to some of the largest cloud providers in the world, such as: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Google Cloud.

The $51 million first phase of ML5 is expected to provide a capacity of 500 cabinet equivalents and colocation space of approximately 15,000 square feet (1,400 square meters). Upon completion of the planned future phases, ML5 is expected to provide total capacity of more than 1,450 cabinet equivalents and colocation space of more than 45,000 square feet (4,200 square meters).

The ML5 IBX is the fourth data center for Equinix in Italy.


Windstream reports Q2 revenue of $1.2 billion

Windstream reported Q2 preliminary total revenues and sales of $1.185 billion, operating income of $24.8 million and Adjusted OIBDAR of $424 million, representing the third consecutive quarter of sequential growth in Adjusted OIBDAR as total cash operating costs fell by 9 percent year-over-year. Adjusted OIBDAR margin was 35.8 percent, an increase of 80 basis points year-over-year and an increase of 60 basis points sequentially.

Adjusted OIBDAR excludes approximately $4.5 million in COVID-19 related costs, which primarily consisted of pay premiums for its field technicians.

For the first six months of the year, the company's Kinetic division added over 40,000 net new broadband subscribers, surpassing the company’s previous full-year guidance of 40,000 new broadband subscribers. As a result, the company is increasing its 2020 full-year guidance to 60,000 net broadband subscribers.

Kinetic high-speed data revenues have now grown for two consecutive quarters. As a result, Kinetic’s total consumer revenues also grew sequentially and Kinetic service revenues reached $502 million during the quarter. Kinetic segment contribution margin of $291 million in the quarter includes the COVID-19 costs incurred.

Enterprise service revenues were $577 million in the quarter as strategic revenues reached 15 percent of total Enterprise service revenues during the quarter, an increase of 24 percent year-over-year. Enterprise segment contribution margin was 20.4 percent, essentially flat year-over-year and up 150 basis points sequentially.

Wholesale service revenues totaled $86 million in the quarter and segment contribution margin was $62 million, essentially unchanged from the first quarter of 2020.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Debunking the Top 10 Myths of DPDK

The Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK) software is a set of Linux user-space libraries and drivers that accelerate packet-processing workloads running on all major CPU architectures.

In this video, Jim St. Leger, Director, Open Source Strategy and Marketing, Intel, dispels popular myths and misconceptions around DPDK.

Myth #10 (1:10): DPDK is code complete
with Wang Yong, Hardware Engineer, ZTE

Myth #9 (1:51): DPDK is just for hardware
with Edwin Verplanke, Solution Architect, Intel

Myth #8 (2:40): DPDK is a closed community
with Harini Ramakrishnan, Program Manager II, Microsoft

Myth #7 (3:21): SmartNICS will kill DPDK
with Georgii Tkachuk, Performance Engineer, Intel

Myth #6 (4:04): Intel controls DPDK
with Honnappa Nagarahalli, Principal Software Engineer, Arm

Myth #5 (5:05): DPDK is only for telcos
with Yasufumi Ogawa, Research Engineer, NTT Service System Lab

Myth #4 (5:47): DPDK is not green
with Jingjing Wu, Software Engineer, Intel

Myth #3 (6:32): DPDK is Linux
Jill Lovato, Senior Manager, Communications, the Linux Foundation

Myth #2 (7:35): DPDK is not for containers
with Muthurajan Jayakumar “M Jay,” Technical Marketing Engineer, Intel

Myth #1 (8:40): DPDK is software dataplane only
with Trishan de Lanerolle, Technical Program Manager, the Linux Foundation, and Thomas Monjalon, Engineer, Mellanox (NVIDIA).

https://youtu.be/eh_lqzRDJho

Also available is a Myth-busting DPDK in 2020 Report, which may be downloaded here: https://ngi.how/dpdk-myths-20

Fortinet acquires OPAQ Networks for SASE

Fortinet has acquired OPAQ Networks, a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) cloud provider based in Herndon, Virginia. Financial terms were not disclosed.

OPAQ’s Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) cloud solution protects organizations’ distributed networks – from data centers, to branch offices, to remote users, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Fortinet said OPAQ’s patented ZTNA solution enhances its own SASE offering to form the best-in-class SASE cloud security platform with the industry’s only true Zero Trust access and security by providing industry-leading next-generation firewall and SD-WAN capabilities, web security, sandboxing, advanced endpoint, identity/multi factor authentication, multi-cloud workload protection, cloud application security broker (CASB), browser isolation, and web application firewalling capabilities.

Ken Xie, Founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO, states: "The recent SASE market momentum further validates our Security-driven Networking approach and underscores what we’ve been saying for years. In the era of hyperconnectivity and expanding networks, with the network edge stretching across the entire digital infrastructure, networking and security must converge. In fact the acquisition of OPAQ actually further enhances our existing SASE offering. Now, we will deliver the most complete SASE platform on the market with the broadest security and industry-leading SD-WAN and networking offerings that can all be delivered to customers and partners through a flexible, cost efficient and patented zero-trust cloud architecture."

SoftBank picks Ericsson for cloud native dual-mode 5G Core

SoftBank has selected Ericsson for its 5G Standalone Network, including Ericsson Cloud Packet Core, Ericsson Cloud Unified Data Management and Policy, as well as Ericsson NFVI.

Ericsson said it will deliver zero-touch operation, including continuous delivery and integration processes (CI/CD), by leveraging container-based microservice architecture and automation capabilities.

Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G Core provides SoftBank with capabilities that enable the development of new 5G use cases for mobile broadband users, as well as for enterprises and industry partners. Ericsson and SoftBank have been continuously collaborating in developing and deploying 5G technologies throughout the Japanese market including 5G RAN and 5G EPC. In May 2019, Ericsson was selected by SoftBank as its primary 5G radio access network (RAN) vendor.

Keiichi Makizono, Senior Vice President, CIO of SoftBank, says: “Japan is a leading 5G telecom market and together with Ericsson we are building a new platform of innovation for the country. Under our new agreement, we will extend our long-term partnership and provide a high quality and future-proof platform enabling a new wave of innovation for Japanese society.”

Luca Orsini, Head of Ericsson Japan, says: “Ericsson’s cloud native dual-mode 5G Core provides the cutting-edge container-based microservice architecture that will help SoftBank to both develop new business models towards consumers, enterprise and industry partners as well as to move onto the next level of network operational efficiency.”

Ericsson currently has 99 commercial 5G agreements or contracts with unique operators and supports 54 live 5G networks worldwide.

Softbank picks Ericsson and Nokia for 5G

SoftBank Corp. awarded major 5G contracts to Ericsson and Nokia, marking a significant change in its preferred vendors. Huawei has been a supplier of 4G infrastructure for Softbank.

Ericsson was selected by SoftBank as a primary 5G vendor for the deployment of a multi-band 5G network in Japan following a series of successful joint proof-of-concept activities that began in 2015. Under a new agreement, Ericsson will provide SoftBank with radio access network equipment, including products from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio. This will enable SoftBank to launch 5G services on their newly granted 3.9-4.0 GHz and 29.1-29.5 GHz bands for 5G New Radio (NR).

Nokia also confirmed that it was selected to supply its 5G AirScale solution to Softbank for deployment across Japan. Nokia's 5G AirScale supports multiple frequencies, in both distributed and centralized architectures, giving SoftBank tremendous flexibility in its network evolution. Nokia has also been a long term supplier to Softbank. Nokia also noted that it now has 38 5G commercial contracts, including 20 with named customers.

Nokia deploys Self-Organizing Network software for Telstra

Telstra will deploy Nokia’s EdenNet SON solution to automate its radio access network (RAN) configuration management, improving network performance and efficiency to support the increased demands of 5G. The agreement will see Telstra roll out Nokia’s SON solution on its multi-vendor, nationwide 3G, 4G and 5G RAN. It will be delivered across model, staging, and production environments. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia’s EdenNet SON is an open, 3GPP standards-based platform that enables mobile operators to efficiently realize the full potential of their existing networks, as well as drive transformation to 5G. As a centralized solution, the cognitive EdenNet SON platform eliminates complexities from multi-vendor, multi-technology and multi-layered networks.

Ashley Hunter, Network Engineering Executive, Telstra, said: “Telstra is a world leader in adopting new radio and platform technologies, and Nokia’s EdenNet SON solution will help enable us to automate our network configuration and operations to improve cycle time, repeatability, reliability and cost. Nokia’s Open SON framework APIs hide the complexity of the underlying network, allowing Telstra to focus on automating the configuration of our network to help provide greater reliability, faster speeds and peace of mind for our customers.”

FCC to support infrastructure rules protecting historic properties

The FCC announced an agreement with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) to support wireless infrastructure builds while continuing to protect historic properties.

The agreement amends the Nationwide Programmatic Agreement for the Collocation of Wireless Antennas (Collocation NPA) that the FCC, ACHP, and NCSHPO entered into in 2001.  The Collocation NPA establishes streamlined reviews for infrastructure projects covered by that agreement.

The amendment updates the review process for collocation (or adding wireless equipment at existing tower sites).  Previously, a collocation project that involved any excavation outside of the current tower site would not qualify for the streamlined review process established by the Collocation NPA.  That conflicted with the streamlined review process that applies when providers are taking down and replacing a wireless structure—a process that allows for deployment and excavation up to 30 feet outside of the existing site.  Today’s amendment resolves that inconsistency by bringing the Collocation NPA into conformance with the tower replacement review.

“This is a vitally important agreement to ensure our infrastructure policies can meet the challenges and opportunities of 5G,” said Commissioner Brendan Carr, who has led the Commission’s wireless infrastructure modernization efforts.  “It represents a commonsense approach to encouraging collocations where tower replacements are not necessary.  The FCC team and our partners at ACHP and NCSHPO worked closely, and I want to extend my thanks and appreciation for the time and good-faith efforts that enabled us to reach this agreement.”

South Africa's rain launches Stand Alone 5G with Huawei

rain, South Africa’s data-only mobile network, launched the first Standalone 5G (SA 5G) network in the country using equipment from Huawei.

rain's Standalone 5G is currently available in Cape Town covering areas including Sea Point in Cape Town, Claremont, Goodwood, Bellville, Durbanville, and Cape Town City Centre.

"Standalone 5G will further improve 5G network performance with increased the uplink rate, lower latency, and improved reliability, ushering in high-end cloud VR and cloud gaming services, more diversified enterprise and home broadband services, " said rain Chief Marketing Officer Khaya Dlanga.

"SA 5G will demonstrate how 5G is powerful in realizing South Africa’s 4IR future. Powered by Huawei’s world’s leading 5G solutions, our SA 5G will enable the industries ‘digital transformation in the future, such as smart healthcare, smart ports, smart mining and smart manufacturing in South Africa. We will work with the trustworthy strategic partner to further expand our 5G networks and bring the best service and experience to our customers," Khaya added.

WSJ: China May Retaliate Against Nokia and Ericsson

Chinese Commerce Ministry is considering imposing export controls on Nokia and Ericsson China-made products if the EU decides to ban Huawei from participating in 5G deployments, according to The Wall Street Journal. This follows the new restrictions on Huawei imposed by the UK. The U.S. government is increasing its campaign to get other European countries to restrict Huawei.


https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-may-retaliate-against-nokia-and-ericsson-if-eu-countries-move-to-ban-huawei-11595250557

IBM's Q2 revenue drops 5.4%

IBM reported Q2 revenue of $18.1 billion, down 5.4 percent (down 1.9 percent adjusting for divested businesses and currency). GAAP EPS from continuing operations was $1.52.

“Our clients see the value of IBM’s hybrid cloud platform, based on open technologies, at a time of unprecedented business disruption," said Arvind Krishna, IBM chief executive officer. "We are committed to building, with a growing ecosystem of partners, an enduring hybrid cloud platform that will serve as a powerful catalyst for innovation for our clients and the world.”

“Our prudent financial management in these turbulent times enabled us to expand our gross profit margin, generate strong free cash flow and improve our liquidity position," said James Kavanaugh, IBM senior vice president and chief financial officer. "We have the financial flexibility to continue to invest in our business and return value to our shareholders through our dividend policy.”

Some highlights:

  • Cloud & Cognitive Software (includes Cloud & Data Platforms which includes Red Hat, Cognitive Applications and Transaction Processing Platforms) — revenues of $5.7 billion, up 3 percent (up 5 percent adjusting for currency), with growth in Cloud & Data Platforms, up 29 percent (up 30 percent adjusting for currency) led by Red Hat. Cognitive Applications and Transaction Processing Platforms declined. Cloud revenue more than doubled.
  • Global Business Services (includes Consulting, Application Management and Global Process Services) — revenues of $3.9 billion, down 7 percent (down 6 percent adjusting for currency), driven by declines in Application Management and Consulting. Cloud revenue up 12 percent (up 13 percent adjusting for currency). Gross profit margin up 240 basis points.
  • Global Technology Services (includes Infrastructure & Cloud Services and Technology Support Services) — revenues of $6.3 billion, down 8 percent (down 5 percent adjusting for currency). Cloud revenue up 18 percent (up 20 percent adjusting for currency).
  • Systems (includes Systems Hardware and Operating Systems Software) — revenues of $1.9 billion, up 6 percent, led by IBM Z, up 69 percent (up 68 percent adjusting for currency). Storage Systems revenue up 2 percent (up 3 percent adjusting for currency); Power declined. Cloud revenue up 22 percent. Gross profit margin up 430 basis points.
  • Global Financing (includes financing and used equipment sales) — revenues of $265 million, down 25 percent (down 23 percent adjusting for currency), reflecting the wind-down of OEM commercial financing. Gross profit margin up 360 basis points. 

2021 SPIE Photonics West rescheduled for March in San Francisco

SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, has rescheduled its 2021 Photonics West conference and exhibition. The event will take place 6-11 March 2021, in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. The co-located SPIE AR | VR | MR event has been rescheduled for the same week.

“For the photonics community, the conference and tradeshow calendar begins with Photonics West,” said SPIE Senior Director of Technical Programs Marilyn Gorsuch. “This year, that excitement and buzz will be bottled up until March. SPIE knows that in-person conferences are critical opportunities to reconnect with colleagues, share research, and find new solutions. We are working to create the best Photonics West possible with all the exciting events the photonics community has come to expect from us, from BiOS Hot Topics, the Prism Awards and our industry exhibitors, to plenaries from our high-profile LASE and OPTO researchers. We are looking forward to showcasing the best in photonics science and engineering as we welcome our community to San Francisco in March.”

Sunday, July 19, 2020

LightCounting: Sales of optics to cloud companies on pace

Despite supply chain disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, sales of optical components and modules to cloud companies seem to remain on track, according to LightCounting's new 2020 Mega Datacenter Optics Report.

The report provides sales projections of more than 50 product categories of Ethernet optical transceivers, DWDM optics, Active Optical Cables (AOCs) and Embedded Optical Modules (EOMs), segmented into three main applications: telecom, enterprise and cloud. The Cloud segment includes optics used inside the mega-datacenters of Cloud companies as well as in DCI routes.

"The COVID-19 pandemic brought in a new set of disruptions in early 2020. Many projects were delayed, including construction of new datacenters. Facebook postponed planned deployments of 200GbE until 2021, but ongoing deployments of 400GbE at Amazon and Google seem to remain on schedule and the market for Ethernet transceivers as a whole is expected to show modest growth in 2020. Demand for 100GbE optics from Chinese Cloud companies is likely to set a new record this year."

"With growing anti-globalization sentiment around the world, we expect that regional and national Cloud companies will take a lead in providing Cloud services. It will take many years for these companies to reach the scale of the leading American and Chinese Cloud giants, which translates to a bit slower growth for sales of optics to the Cloud segment. Emerging AI applications and growth in edge datacenters create additional demand for high speed optics, including AOCs and DWDM connections."


https://www.lightcounting.com/light-trends/sales-optics-cloud-companies-seem-be-largely-immune-covid-19/

Microsoft expands Azure Virtual WAN capabilities

Microsoft Azure is adding the ability to deploy and run third-party Network Virtual Appliances such as SD-WAN natively within the Azure Virtual WAN hubs.

Azure Virtual WAN provides a service architecture to take full advantage of Microsoft's fast global network. Virtual WAN makes it easy to connect Virtual Networks (VNets), Azure ExpressRoute, VPN, and now SD-WAN in "virtual hubs."

Microsoft says its connectivity agnostic approach allows full transit between branches, sites, mobile users, and services using Azure's global infrastructure.

Barracuda is the first Virtual WAN partner to integrate its SD-WAN natively within the Azure Virtual WAN hubs.



Microsoft Azure is also announcing the general availability of hub-to-hub connectivity, custom routing, Firewall Manager, and several other connectivity capabilities in Azure Virtual WAN.

New Virtual WAN Partners Cisco SD-WAN powered by Meraki and VMware now supporting automation of IPsec connectivity between their branch VPN/SD-WAN devices and Azure Virtual WAN VPN service.

https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/running-sdwan-virtual-appliances-natively-in-azure-virtual-wan/

Multi-access Edge Computing spec expected in Q3

The 5G Future Forum expects to release its first specification for Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) in the third quarter of 2020.


  • The “MEC Experience Management” technical specification defines a set of intent-based APIs for functional exposure of edge and workload discovery with potential expansion to include future MEC functions and capabilities which are driven by network intelligence
  • The “MEC Deployment” technical specification defines the set of specifications to enable hyperscalers and service providers to deploy and integrate global MEC physical frameworks, including facilities (e.g. power and cooling), monitoring, operational considerations, and security.

The 5G Future Forum was established in January 2020 by América Móvil, KT Corp., Rogers, Telstra, Verizon, and Vodafone to develop 5G interoperability specifications to accelerate the delivery of 5G and MEC solutions around the world. Over the past six months, the Forum’s founding members have been working to create the governance structure for the 5GFF, as well as develop both technical and commercial workstreams.

The specifications will be released in August 2020. Following release of the specifications, the Forum anticipates expanding its membership to qualified new entrants. Other topics are being planned among the existing members with publication timeframes to be communicated shortly.

“The 5G Future Forum was set up to unlock the full potential of 5G and MEC applications and solutions around the globe,” said Rima Qureshi, chief strategy officer, Verizon. “5G is a key enabler of the next industrial revolution, where technology should transform how we live and work through applications including machine learning, autonomous industrial equipment, smart cars and cities, Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented and virtual reality. The release of these first specifications marks a major step forward in helping companies around the world create a seamless global experience for their customers.”

NTT Ltd. expands cloud exchange in U.S. with Packet Fabric

NTT Ltd.’s Global Data Centers division, one of the world’s largest data center providers, is now offering data center customers in the U.S. access to cloud exchange services from PacketFabric. NTT’s Cloud Connect portfolio enables customers to integrate public clouds with their enterprise applications running in NTT’s data centers.

PacketFabric’s Network-as-a-Service platform leverages an automated SDN-based network architecture and a private, secure network to enable dynamic, real-time connectivity services between colocation facilities at terabit-scale. PacketFabric facilitates private network connectivity between more than 170 colocation facilities across 24 global markets and enables cost-effective, scalable network deployment via its Application Program Interface (API) and web-based portal.

NTT’s Cloud Connect portfolio provides a range of connectivity options and solution partners, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, and Oracle Cloud, as well as hundreds of other clouds and networks.

“We are truly a cloud exchange-neutral data center that offers our customers best-in-class cloud connectivity solutions,” said Doug Adams, President and CEO of NTT Ltd.’s Global Data Centers Americas division (formerly known as RagingWire Data Centers). “With options such as PacketFabric to choose from, hyperscale and enterprise companies will find a cloud exchange provider that provides the best experience for them.” 

“Our customers appreciate having broad points of presence, and connectivity speeds from 50 Mbps up to 100 Gbps,” said Shoieb Yunus, Director of Network Strategy at NTT Ltd.’s Global Data Centers Americas division. “They can enjoy those benefits by accessing PacketFabric through our Cloud Connect portfolio.”

“We’re excited to partner with NTT and provide PacketFabric’s Network-as-a-Service solution to its expanding customer base,” said Dave Ward, CEO at PacketFabric. “Our platform is built for today’s enterprise customers who want to get to market faster and our collaboration with NTT will greatly expand access to our network fabric.”

NTT operates the third-largest data center platform in the world, with over 160 data centers spanning more than 20 countries and regions. NTT Ltd.’s Global Data Centers Americas division operates data centers in Ashburn, Virginia; Dallas, Texas; and Sacramento, California, with new data center campuses under construction in Silicon Valley, California; Chicago, Illinois; and Hillsboro, Oregon.

PacketFabric appoints Dave Ward as CTO

PacketFabric, which operates a Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform for providing data center interconnects, named Dave Ward as its new CEO.

Ward joins PacketFabric from Cisco, where he was the company’s Chief Technology Officer of Engineering, Chief Architect and a Senior Vice President at Cisco’s Networking and Security Business.

While at Cisco, Ward and his engineering teams built numerous hardware and software products, including networking orchestration and automation, virtualized and cloud-native services, cloud networking and security products, 5G Networking and system architectures, and IoT-based solutions for smart cities, healthcare, conservation, media and entertainment.  He joined Cisco in 1999 when the company acquired the Internet Engineering Group.

Ward is also one of two individuals to be both Cisco and Juniper Fellows working on the operating system and next-generation routing systems, including ASICS, Optics, and network APIs and SDN.

“I could not be more excited to join PacketFabric at this critical juncture in the company’s trajectory. During a career spanning over two decades in the telecommunications and networking sectors, I’ve been privileged to drive innovation for Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks. PacketFabric is fundamentally rethinking enterprise and service communications in a way that others have not. I’ve been very impressed with PacketFabric’s technology, go-to- market and business models, strong customer feedback and unique talent. I believe PacketFabric can lead and positively disrupt the next phase of transformation for the networking industry. I’m honored excited to lead the company at this critical time in Internet history,” stated Ward.

Graphcore debuts 2nd gen AI processor, blade and data center fabric

Graphcore, a start-up based in the UK, introduced its second-generation Intelligence Processing Unit (IPU) platform with greater processing power, more memory and built-in scalability for handling extremely large Machine Intelligence workloads.

The IPU-Machine M2000 is a plug-and-play Machine Intelligence compute blade that delivers one PetaFlop of Machine Intelligence compute and includes integrated networking technology. Each blade is powered by four of Graphcore' new 7nm Colossus Mk2 GC200 IPU processors. Each chip contains more than 59.4 billion transistors on a single 823sqmm die. TSMC is Graphcore fab partner. Each IPU has 900MB of ultra-high-speed SRAM In-Processor Memory.

Multiple blades can work in unison in massive datacenter-scale systems of up to 64,000 IPUs - an "IPU-POD" that a maximum configuration would represent 16 ExaFlops of Machine Intelligence compute power.

Graphcore has developed its own low-latency IPU-Fabric technology to connects IPUs across the entire datacenter. A dedicated IPU-Gateway chip delivers 2.8 Tbps of bandwidth for each IPU-Machine M2000. The overall bandwidth grows to many Petabits/sec when multiple IPU-Machine M2000 systems are connected together.

https://www.graphcore.ai/posts/introducing-second-generation-ipu-systems-for-ai-at-scale

Singapore's Transcelestial raises US$9.6M for free space optics

Transcelestial, a start-up based in Singapore, has raised US$9.6 million in Series A funding for its work in free space laser communications.

The funding round was co-led by EDBI, a Singapore Government investment arm, and Wavemaker Partners. The round included participation by new investors Airbus Ventures, Cap Vista, the strategic investment arm of the Defence Science and Technology Agency of Singapore, Partech and Tekton Ventures, with participation from existing investors Entrepreneur First and SEEDS Capital, an investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, and 2 previous angels.

Transcelestial has built a proprietary Wireless Laser Communication (a.k.a Wireless Fibre Optics) technology which combines the speed of fibre optics with the flexibility of radio waves in order to overcome some of these bottlenecks.  The company's CENTAURI network device creates a wireless distribution network between buildings, traditional cell towers, street-level poles and other physical infrastructure. At launch, there are two versions of devices available - 1 Gbps Full Duplex (4G & Enterprise ready) and 10 Gbps Full Duplex (5G-ready). Higher bandwidth capabilities will be unlocked and available for order shortly.

“With the Series A capital raise, we are now working actively to get CENTAURI in the hands of customers globally within the next 12 months. In order to deliver on this global promise, we have set up a manufacturing capability which will scale into the world’s largest for production of CENTAURI class Wireless Fibre Optics devices. This will bring our groundbreaking proprietary technology of real time optical alignment and weather compensation to within a commercial price point,” said Dr. Mohammad Danesh, CTO and Co-Founder of Transcelestial.

Transcelestial is also developing a constellation of small satellites in Low Earth Orbit with the aim of delivering an ultra high speed backbone network connectivity.

“At Airbus Ventures we’ve been particularly impressed to see how Rohit, Danesh, and the Transcelestial team have built crucial connectivity elements that have immediate application in these challenging times, and now have a solid basis to develop these capabilities toward a game-changing leap in connectivity delivered from Low Earth Orbit,” comments Thomas d’Halluin, Airbus Ventures Managing Partner based in Menlo Park California.  Adds Dr. Lewis Pinault, Partner for Asia Pacific based in Tokyo, “as our first investment in Singapore we’re pleased to have such a marquee company as Transcelestial to help us widen our presence in the region, and we look forward to opening our new offices in Singapore in close partnership with the outstanding co-investors Transcelestial has attracted.

“Space-based laser communications is the future of Internet connectivity happening right at our doorstep. With the backdrop of burgeoning growth in Southeast Asia, we believe that Transcelestial’s Wireless Laser Communication Technology will disrupt and enable unprecedented connectivity within the region and beyond. More than that, we see Transcelestial playing a key role in putting Singapore Spacetech on the map, and seeding the growth of the regional Spacetech ecosystem as well,” said Chng Zhen Hao, CEO of Cap Vista.

http://www.transcelestial.com

Cloudflare outage blamed on router config error

On Friday, 17-July-2020 Cloudflare suffered a major outage in several geographies, impacting websites across the world. The company provides DNS, DDoS mitigation, and content delivery network (CDN) services.

The outage last 27 minutes and Cloudflare saw a 50% drop in traffic across its network.

Cloudflare blamed the outage on a router configuration error by its network engineering team. The error caused all traffic across the Cloudflare backbone to be sent to Atlanta, quickly overwhelming the Atlanta router and causing Cloudflare network locations connected to the backbone to fail.

The affected locations were San Jose, Dallas, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, DC, Richmond, Newark, Atlanta, London, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Stockholm, Moscow, St. Petersburg, São Paulo, Curitiba, and Porto Alegre.

Details are posted here:

https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-outage-on-july-17-2020/

Verizon and IBM work on 5G and edge computing

Verizon Business and IBM are collaborating on 5G and edge computing innovation to help enable the future of Industry 4.0. The companies plan to combine the high speed and low latency of Verizon’s 5G and Multi-access Edge Compute (MEC) capabilities, IoT devices and sensors at the edge, and IBM’s expertise in AI, hybrid multicloud, edge computing, asset management and connected operations.

“The industrial sector is undergoing unprecedented transformation as companies begin to return to full-scale operations, aided by new technology to help reduce costs and increase productivity,” said Bob Lord, Senior Vice President, Cognitive Applications, Blockchain and Ecosystems, IBM. “Through this collaboration, we plan to build upon our longstanding relationship with Verizon to help industrial enterprises capitalize on joint solutions that are designed to be multicloud ready, secured and scalable, from the data center all the way out to the enterprise edge.”

“This collaboration is all about enabling the future of industry in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said Tami Erwin, CEO, Verizon Business. “Combining the high speed and low latency of Verizon’s 5G UWB Network and MEC capabilities with IBM’s expertise in enterprise-grade AI and production automation can provide industrial innovation on a massive scale and can help companies increase automation, minimize waste, lower costs, and offer their own clients a better response time and customer experience.”