Thursday, July 26, 2018

xRAN Fronthaul Control, User and Synchronization spec 2.0 approved

The xRAN Forum (xRAN) announced the approval and release of the xRAN Fronthaul Control, User and Synchronization (CUS) Plane Specification Version 2.0 and the xRAN Fronthaul Management Plane (MP) Specification Version 1.0.

The approvals allow vendors to develop new RRUs and BBUs for a wide range of deployment scenarios, which can be easily integrated with virtualized infrastructure & management systems using standardized data models.

The second major version of CUS-plane specification incorporates several enhancements over the first
version including:
• Support for 2 radio categories (A and B) to enable both simple and more complex functionality leveraging largely the same interface specification
• Additional compression modes to provide increased fronthaul bandwidth savings
• Support for critical items such as synchronization and timing to enable commercialization and interoperability in deployments
• Support for additional LTE system features like LAA, NB-IOT, including improved efficiency in parsing of U-plane packets

The first version of M-plane specification provides an open multi-vendor M-plane model for radios based on standardized modern protocols like NETCONF/YANG and includes key capabilities:
• Support for features and capabilities in v1.0 of CUS specification and several enhancements in v2.0 of CUS specification
• Flexible management architecture providing support for traditional hierarchical and hybrid (multiple NETCONF clients or EMS can directly communicate with radio) deployment models
• A comprehensive YANG model developed for 4G & 5G radios building upon industry accepted data models

The xRAN Forum, was established in October 2016 with the mission to enable best-of-breed RRUs and BBUs for a wide range of deployment scenarios, is in the process of merging with the C-RAN Alliance to form the ORAN Alliance, which is backed by AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO, and Orange.

Interview - Disaggregating and Virtualizing the RAN

The xRAN Forum is a carrier-led initiative aiming to apply the principles of virtualization, openness and standardization to one area of networking that has remained stubbornly closed and proprietary -- the radio access network (RAN) and, in particular, the critical segment that connects a base station unit to the antennas. Recently, I sat down with Dr. Sachin Katti, Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science departments at Stanford...

Spirent debuts 400G Ethernet test solution

Spirent Communications introduced an 8-port 1U-high rack-mountable solution for testing 400/200/100/50 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE).

The new pX3 400G Appliance, which is the world’s highest density QSFP-DD tester, is designed to validate the forwarding performance and quality of service of ultra-high-scale, next-generation-enabled, multi-terabit routers and switches, all contained in a single rack space.

The pX3 400G appliance offers 8 ports. Spirent says up to 255 pX3 units can be interconnected to provide synchronized timing for a total of 2,040 ports. These appliances will interoperate with and complement Spirent’s extensive high speed Ethernet test modules and chassis offerings.

“As the demand for more data and higher speeds continues to increase, Spirent is continually developing new solutions for testing 400G capabilities throughout the network,” said Spirent’s General Manager of Cloud and IP, Abhitesh Kastuar. “Spirent’s latest high port density product provides our customers a lower cost of ownership per port than any other provider of test equipment on the market.”

MEF 3.0 Progress Report -- Layer 1, intercarrier APIs, SD-WAN, more

Kevin Vachon, COO of MEF, provides a progress report on MEF 3.0,  which is the global services framework for “defining, delivering, and certifying agile, assured, and orchestrated communication services across a global ecosystem of automated networks.”

This week's MEF Annual Members' Meeting in Nashville was highly productive, featuring advancements in all of the following areas: Layer 1 specifications; Layer 3 specifications; SD-WAN; Carrier Ethernet work; LSO inter-carrier APIs; first MEF 3.0 certified companies;  professional certification program; planning work for the MEF18 event and Proof-of-Concepts (PoC) showcase this autumn.

See video:

SD-WAN market adoption - a perspective from Comcast Business

The market has really begun to embrace SD-WAN, says Kevin O'Toole, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Comcast Business, in order to cut their costs and unlock the power of new last-mile access networks. MEF is working on standards to support the evolution of SD-WAN.

Filmed at the MEF Annual Members' meeting in Nashville.

See video:

Intel reports record Q2 sales - strength in data centers

Intel reported record second quarter revenue of $17.0 billion, up 15 percent YoY and driven by strength across the business and customer demand for Intel platforms.

Intel's data-centric businesses grew 26 percent, approaching 50 percent of total revenue.

PC-centric revenue was up 6 percent on strength in the commercial and enthusiast segments.

“After five decades in tech, Intel is poised to deliver our third record year in a row. We are uniquely positioned to capitalize on the need to process, store and move data, which has never been more pervasive or more valuable,” said Bob Swan, Intel CFO and Interim CEO. “Intel is now competing for a $260 billion market opportunity, and our second quarter results show that we’re winning. As a result of the continued strength we are seeing across the business, we are raising our full year revenue and earnings outlook.”

  • Intel noted the workload optimization trend in the data center is also fueling demand for FPGAs. Intel's Programmable Solutions Group (PSG) revenue grew 18 percent.
  • Intel's memory (NSG), Internet of Things Group (IOTG) and Mobileye businesses each achieved record quarterly revenue. 
  • Mobileye revenue grew 37 percent year-over-year as the adoption of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) increases.

AWS hits Q2 sales of $6.105 billion, up 49% yoy

In its quarterly report for the three months ended June 30, 2018, Amazon disclosed that AWS sales amounted to $6,105 for the period, up 49% from $4,100 a year earlier.

Quarterly news highlights for AWS

  • New enterprise customers announced during the quarter include Ryanair, Epic Games, zulily, 21st Century Fox, Verizon and its subsidiary Oath, Major League Baseball, and Formula One.
  • AWS announced the general availability of Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS), a fully managed service that makes it easy to deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications using Kubernetes on AWS. 
  • AWS announced the general availability of DeepLens, a deep learning-enabled wireless video camera built to give developers hands-on experience with machine learning. 
  • AWS announced the general availability of Amazon Neptune, a fast, reliable, and fully-managed graph database service. With Amazon Neptune, customers can efficiently store and navigate highly-connected data, allowing developers to create sophisticated, interactive graph applications that can query billions of relationships with millisecond latency.
  • AWS announced pay-per-session pricing for Amazon QuickSight, the first business intelligence service with pay-per-session pricing. Amazon QuickSight is a fast, cloud-powered, business analytics service.
  • AWS announced a new Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance for AWS Snowball Edge devices (SBE1). AWS Snowball Edge is a 100TB data transfer device with on-board storage and compute that can be used to move large amounts of data into and out of AWS, as a temporary storage tier for large local data sets, or to support independent local workloads in remote locations. 
  • AWS announced the general availability of C5d Instances with Local NVMe Storage and I3 Bare Metal Instances, two new features which are part of the Amazon EC2 service within AWS’s compute portfolio. C5 Instances with Local NVMe Storage bring customers high-speed, ultra-low latency local storage to compute-intensive C5 instances. 
  • AWS announced thousands of enterprise customers are running SAP workloads on AWS. Businesses 
  • In its second year of availability, the number of databases migrated to AWS using the AWS Database Migration Service has grown to more than 80,000 databases.
  • AWS announced the general availability of Amazon Sumerian, a new managed service that allows developers to create and publish augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 3D applications.

Nokia posts dip in Q2 revenues and profitability

Nokia reported net sales in Q2 2018 of EUR 5.3 billion, down 5% compared to EUR 5.6 billion in Q2 2017. On a constant currency basis, net sales would have been down 1%. Non-IFRS diluted EPS in Q2 2018 was EUR 0.03, compared to EUR 0.08 in Q2 2017.

Nokia’s Networks business net sales were EUR 4.7 billion, with operating profit of EUR 69 million

  • The company expects commercial 5G network deployments to begin near the end of 2018. 
  • Strong momentum continued with large enterprise vertical and webscale customers, with double-digit year-on-year growth in net sales.
  • Approximately 40% of sales pipeline now comprised of solutions, products and services from multiple business groups.

Nokia Technologies net sales were EUR 361mn, with operating profit of EUR 292mn

  • Strong track record maintained, with 23% year-on-year growth in recurring licensing net sales and 27% year-on-year operating profit increase in Q2, primarily related to license agreements entered into in 2017.
  • Nokia Technologies continued to make good progress on new licensing agreements; no major agreements were announced in Q2.

Rajeev Suri, President and CEO, Nokia commented:

"Nokia’s Q2 2018 results were consistent with our view that the first half of the year would be weak followed by an increasingly robust second half. Pleasingly, I am able to confirm that we expect to deliver 2018 results within the ranges of our annual guidance."

"Our view about the acceleration of 5G has not changed and we continue to believe that Nokia is well-positioned for the coming technology cycle given the strength of our end-to-end portfolio. Our deal win rate is very good, with significant recent successes in the key early 5G markets of the United States and China."

"The installed base of our superb high-capacity AirScale product, which enables customers to quickly upgrade to 5G without a hardware swap, is growing fast. And, the strength of our end-to-end portfolio remains a differentiator. When you look at our sales pipeline, 40% of it is now comprised of end-to-end deals. That is the highest level we have seen to-date. "

CyrusOne buys land for another data center in northern VA

CyrusOne has purchased land and a newly-built, powered shell for an enterprise data center in Sterling, Virginia -- its fourth data center campus in the region. The first phase of the facility should be ready in Q1 2019. It will eventually provide 33 megawatts of available power.

The new data center brings CyrusOne’s total power capacity in Northern Virginia to over 160 megawatts.

"Hyperscalers demand warp speed, and we’re proud to be accelerating from zero to 160 in Northern Virginia, driven by demand from cloud and enterprise customers," said Tesh Durvasula, chief commercial officer, CyrusOne. "Our land acquisition, development, construction, and capital markets teams continue to execute at a level unmatched in the industry to produce the inventory necessary to meet the ongoing need for new capacity in Northern Virginia and other key markets."

CyrusOne operates 45 data center facilities across the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Alibaba Cloud opens 2nd availability zone in Malysia

Alibaba Cloud launched its second cloud availability in Malaysia.

The new zone complements Availability Zone A, which was launched last year.

Alibaba Cloud also plans to open the first cloud-based Anti-DDoS Scrubbing Center in Malaysia in August.

“I welcome Alibaba Cloud’s effort to further support and enhance Malaysia’s digital economy. The world moves ever closer towards e-commerce and we see a considerable surge in demand by local industries to participate in this new economy on a global platform. Malaysia is now pushing ahead with efforts to strengthen its infrastructure with a view towards making access to the Internet a basic human right and categorising facilities which enhance access to broadband as a public utility,” said Gobind Singh Deo, Malaysia’s Minister of Communications and Multimedia.

Standards organizations to address Ethics in Autonomous and Intelligent Systems

A new Open Community for Ethics in Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (OCEANIS) has been formed to focus on standards as a means to address ethical matters in autonomous and intelligent systems.

IEEE and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) are founding members.

In addition to IEEE-SA, Founding Members include:

  • Austrian Electrotechnical Association (OVE)
  • Austrian Standards International (A.S.I.)
  • British Standards Institution (BSI)
  • China Electronic Standardizations Institute (CESI)
  • International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
  • Ecuadorian Service for Standardization (INEN)
  • National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI)
  • Turkish Standards Institute (TSE)
  • Verband und Deutsche Kommission Elektrotechnik Elektronik Informationstechnik (VDE/DKE)

Konstantinos Karachalios, managing director for IEEE-SA, says, “IEEE-SA’s initiative in the establishment of OCEANIS aligns with IEEE’s tagline and with the rationale behind IEEE's Global Initiative on Ethics of Autonomous and Intelligent Systems. We are convinced that the complex ethical issues emerging in the development and deployment of such systems can only be addressed through processes that correspond to the envisioned principles, not through agreements behind closed doors. IEEE has already initiated an entirely new series of standardization projects open to any interested person and carried out through our rules-based and transparent process.”

The IEEE has announced the publication of the new IEEE 802.3bv, Standard for Ethe