Tuesday, November 19, 2019

MEF targets orchestrated services across automated networks

At its annual members' event in Los Angeles, MEF showcased significant progress in its efforts to bring cloud-like agility, performance, and security to service provider networks. MEF 3.0 initiatives define, deliver, and certify on-demand and assured communications services orchestrated across a global federation of automated networks. Going forward, the combination of standardized overlay SD-WAN services and dynamic underlay connectivity services will enable service providers to offer MEF 3.0 hybrid networking solutions with unprecedented user- and application-directed control over network resources and service capabilities.

Some highlights:

MEF 3.0 Services
The MEF 3.0 service family includes dynamic SD-WAN, Carrier Ethernet, Optical Transport, IP, and security services that will be orchestrated over programmable networks using LSO APIs. MEF has advanced standardization work across each major type of service this year.

  • MEF 3.0 SD-WAN. In August, MEF published the industry’s first global SD-WAN standard to help accelerate market growth. SD-WAN Service Attributes and Services (MEF 70) describes requirements for an application-aware, over-the-top WAN connectivity service that uses policies to determine how application flows are directed over multiple underlay networks.  
  • MEF 3.0 Security. In January, MEF launched a new Application Security for SD-WAN project focused on defining policy criteria and actions to protect applications (application flows) over SD-WAN services.
  • MEF 3.0 CE. In December, MEF enhanced its family of orchestratable MEF 3.0 CE services by publishing several standards related to subscriber and operator services: Subscriber Ethernet Service Attributes (MEF 10.4), Operator Ethernet Service Definitions (MEF 51.1), and Layer 2 Control Protocols (MEF 45.1).
  • MEF 3.0 IP. In May, MEF published its IP Service Attributes (MEF 61.1) standard that is foundational for defining subscriber and operator MEF 3.0 IP services that can be orchestrated across multiple service providers.
  • MEF 3.0 Optical Transport. MEF’s upcoming standard for operator Optical Transport Services (MEF 64) is moving through the final phase of membership and Board approval. This standard defines services that support Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and SONET/SDH subscriber client protocols at the UNI and support OTN operator interconnect at the ENNI, with rates of 2.5G, 10G, 40G, and 100G.

LSO APIs Enabling Service Automation
MEF has made major progress in the development and adoption of standardized LSO APIs for service orchestration across multiple service providers and over multiple technology domains. More than 50 global and regional service providers are at various stages of evaluation, demonstration, implementation, and certification of LSO Sonata APIs to enable frictionless inter-provider commerce.

  • Inter-Provider Service Automation – LSO Sonata. MEF is pleased to announce the availability of LSO Sonata SDK (Software Development Kit) Release 4 with APIs for inter-provider serviceability (address validation, site queries, and product offering qualification), product inventory, quoting, and ordering.
  • Intra-Provider Service Automation – LSO Presto. In recent quarters, MEF has published several LSO Presto standards for orchestration of CE and Optical Transport services over technology domains within provider networks.

Community Activities
MEF has also been working with the broader industry community to make dynamic services orchestrated across automated networks a reality.

  • LSO Developer Community. In August, MEF introduced the LSO Developer Community – composed of software developers and IT staff from MEF member companies – to accelerate production of LSO SDKs that will make it easier for service providers to adopt MEF data models and implement LSO APIs.
  • MEF & ONUG. In October, MEF and ONUG announced they are collaborating to ensure that enterprises are provided with SD-WAN services optimized for digital transformation in the multi-cloud era.

Throughout 2019, MEF has seen significant growth in the number of companies offering MEF 3.0 certified services and technologies. At the same time, MEF has invested heavily in expanding certification programs for MEF 3.0 services, technologies, and professionals.

  • MEF 3.0 Certified Services & Technologies. Twenty-five companies have achieved MEF 3.0 certification to date, including 15 service providers based in multiple geographic regions worldwide and 10 industry-leading technology vendors. 
  • MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata Certification Program. In Q4 2019, MEF commenced the pilot MEF 3.0 LSO Sonata certification program for inter-provider service automation, with an initial focus on automating ordering of MEF 3.0 CE Access E-Line services. Thirteen service providers representing every major geographic region of the world are participating in the pilot, with the first certified companies expected to be announced in Q1 2020.
  • MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Services Certification Program. MEF today formally introduced the MEF 3.0 SD-WAN Services certification program to accelerate implementation of standardized SD-WAN services worldwide. Seven service and technology providers are participating in the pilot phase of the program, with the first certified companies expected to be announced in Q1 2020. 
  • MEF SD-WAN Professional Certification Program. MEF today formally announced the MEF SD-WAN Certified Professional (MEF-SDCP) program. A record number of more than 200 professionals from 80 companies participate in the beta exam phase that recently ended. General availability of the MEF-SDCP exam is scheduled for 15 December, including the availability of associated SD-WAN training by MEF Accredited Training Providers.

“We are gathering at MEF19 to celebrate the tremendous progress to enable service providers to transform their businesses, services, and networks, federate to remove friction in inter-provider commerce, and deliver certified solutions that comply with the highest industry standards,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “In 2020, our focus will be on enabling providers to innovate with highly synergized overlay and underlay network services, accelerate the rollout of MEF 3.0 certified services powered by certified technologies and professionals, and federate with increased implementation of inter-provider LSO APIs worldwide.”

Infinera releases packet optical switch for 5G networks

Infinera introduced an X-haul-optimized packet-optical switch purpose-built for Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN) in 5G and fiber deep applications.

The Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF)-compliant Infinera EMXP-XH800, which is part of Infinera’s XTM Series, enables mobile operators and wholesale providers to deliver Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI), eCPRI, and Ethernet-based X-haul transport services for 4G/5G with lower latency and industry-leading synchronization, including a broad range of Ethernet service and resiliency options. The EMXP-XH800 extends the benefits of the XTM Series’ widely deployed EMXP range for all Ethernet aggregation and backhaul applications, increasing switching capacity, improving the EMXP’s already impressive synchronization performance, and adding capabilities such as TSN to support current and new requirements as more networks evolve to 5G.

The XTM Series with the EMXP-XH800 offers operators 800G of Ethernet aggregation, including 100G/200G coherent dense wavelength-division multiplexing optics, within a hardened street-cabinet-deployable device. With optimization for street cabinets, including right-to-left cooling and all-front access on the 1 rack unit ETSI 300-compliant hardened device, the EMXP-XH800 enables network operators to push high-capacity packet-optical capabilities deep into access networks for any Ethernet-based backhaul application. Taking advantage of the XTM Series’ low power heritage, the EMXP-XH800 has proven to be significantly lower in power than many leading competitors’ solutions, using approximately 200 watts in the most demanding conditions and significantly less under normal operating conditions.

“Introducing the EMXP-XH800 is the natural evolution of Infinera’s packet-optical portfolio, enhancing its existing solutions to better meet the needs of operators as networks advance to 5G,” said Glenn Laxdal, Senior Vice President, Disaggregated, Edge, and Access Solutions, Infinera. “The XTM Series is already successful in networks globally, and with the latest switching capabilities delivered on the EMXP-XH800, we are confident our solution will continue to help our customers launch new services, achieve their business needs, and remain ahead of their competition.”

The EMXP-XH800 has tested positively in customer trials, and will be generally available in Q1 2020.

ADVA demos 1200 Gbps transmission with PSNC

At this week's SC19 in Denver, ADVA demonstrated its 1200Gbit/s optical channel transmission in collaboration with Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Center (PSNC), which is affiliated to the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

The demo leverages the ADVA FSP 3000 TeraFlex terminal using fractional QAM capabilities to boost fiber utilization and channel capacity, TeraFlex will carry 1200Gbit/s channels in a 150GHz window or 800Gbit/s channels in a 100GHz window, delivering an industry-leading spectral efficiency of 8bit/s/Hz. These figures set a new benchmark for a commercially available product. The ADVA FSP 3000 TeraFlex has now been shipping for several months.

“As we approach the Shannon Limit, our compact and open FSP 3000 TeraFlex provides an entirely new route to network capacity expansion. This demo reveals how operators can enhance optical paths and reduce cost per bit right now,” said Christoph Glingener, CTO, ADVA.

“Terabit channels are fast becoming essential. Our network enables Europe’s scientific community to share huge data sets and access the most advanced supercomputing applications. But empowering those researchers to stay at the forefront of discovery requires a new level of reach and spectral efficiency. With this demo, we’re showing how mission-critical long-haul networks like ours, which are not fiber-rich, can meet unprecedented data demand,” commented Artur Binczewski, director, Network Division, PSNC.


Clumio raises $135 million for data management in the cloud

Clumio, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, announced $135 million in series C funding for its SaaS for enterprise backup.  The company first emerged from stealth in August to launch its secure backup as a service,

Series C is led by Mike Speiser, managing director of Sutter Hill Ventures and new investor Altimeter Capital - a global investment firm notable for funding Okta, Twilio, and Snowflake among other SaaS companies. Index Ventures, an existing investor, is also a participant in the round. This more than triples Clumio’s funding to date for a total of $186M through three rounds.

“Enterprise IT can no longer afford the time, complexity and expense of building and managing data protection solutions on-prem or in the cloud,” said Poojan Kumar, Clumio CEO and co-founder. “Unlike legacy backup vendors, Clumio SaaS is born in the cloud. This round of investment allows us to push that advantage as we accelerate our development and go to market strategy while continuing to meet customer requirements for backup, regardless of where the data is.”

In addition, Clumio announced a secure SaaS Backup for AWS. With the addition of Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS) as a data source, Clumio customers can protect volumes in the AWS public cloud alongside their VMware on-prem and VMware Cloud on AWS virtual machines.


Clumio raises $51 million for enterprise backup SaaS

Clumio, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, announced $51 million in venture funding for its SaaS for enterprise backup.

Clumio's newly launched service helps enterprises eliminate hardware and software for on-premise backup and avoid the complexity and cost of running 3rd party backup software in the cloud. The solution protects on-premise, VMware Cloud for AWS, and native AWS service workloads.

Clumio was founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneur Poojan Kumar, co-founder and former CEO of PernixData (acquired by Nutanix, alongside Woon Ho Jung and Kaustubh Patil.

The $51 million in funding was received over two rounds: A Sutter Hill Ventures-led Series A round and a Series B round driven by Index Ventures with significant participation from Sutter Hill Ventures. Several individuals experienced at investing in disruptive technologies also participated including, Mark Leslie, founder of Veritas Technologies, and John Thompson, chairman of the board at Microsoft.

OIF elects Board of Directors and Working Group representatives

OIF announced its new Board of Directors:

  • Nathan Tracy, TE Connectivity, continues to serve on the Board and was re-appointed as President
  • Tad Hofmeister, Google, was re-elected (two-year term) and re-appointed as Vice President
  • Martin Bouda, Fujitsu, continues to serve on the Board and was re-appointed as Secretary/Treasurer
  • Ian Betty, Ciena, was re-elected to the Board (two-year term)
  • Mike Li, Intel, was re-elected to the Board (one-year term)
  • Cathy Liu, Broadcom Inc., was re-elected to the Board (one-year term)
  • Gary Nicholl, Cisco, continues to serve on the Board


  • Ed Frlan, Semtech, was elected as Technical Committee Chair
  • Klaus-Holger Otto, Nokia, was elected as Technical Committee Vice Chair
  • Lyndon Ong, Ciena, was re-elected as Market Awareness & Education Committee Co-Chair, Networking
  • Richard Ward, Intel, was appointed by the Board as Market Awareness & Education Committee Co-Chair, PLL (filling the vacant position)
  • Dave Brown, Nokia, continues to serve as Director of Communications

Technical Committee:

  • Junjie Li, China Telecom, was re-elected as Network Operator Working Group Chair

Western Union designates AWS as preferred strategic cloud provider

Western Union has selected Amazon Web Services (AW)S as its preferred long-term strategic cloud provider.

Western Union plans to move a significant portion of its infrastructure to the cloud. Western Union will be using AWS to build a more seamless and reliable experience for its customers who send money and payments to over 200 countries and territories through its mobile application, website, and agent locations around the globe.

With this move to AWS, Western Union will migrate from current datacenters to a microservices architecture.

Orange Business Services deploys ThousandEyes

Orange is collaborating with ThousandEyes to deliver real-time, end-to-end visibility on both its enterprise networks and the Open Transit Internet (OTI). Performance visibility ensures improved digital experiences across the Internet to Cloud service providers, Internet service providers and content providers.

The ThousandEyes platform allows Orange to monitor quality of experience at both the application and network level, and speed up troubleshooting in case of Internet-related performance issues. Customers will be able to gain insight into the internal and external dependencies that impact the end-user experience.

Orange has already deployed the ThousandEyes platform successfully with customers, including a German industrial manufacturer, who used it to determine the best cloud connectivity solution in China.

"With ThousandEyes intelligence and the Orange Flexible SD-WAN solution, businesses can see, understand and manage digital experience over the public Internet like it's their own private network and embrace Internet and Cloud with confidence,” said Craig Vario, Vice President, Global Channel Sales at ThousandEyes.

“As multi-cloud and software-defined networking become key deployment models for applications and services, understanding the Internet as a delivery path is crucial. With the ThousandEyes platform, Orange Business Services will give its customers the visibility they need to deliver a superior digital experience to users via both the Internet and multi-cloud. We strongly believe that the ThousandEyes platform will be a critical enabler of our Flexible SD-WAN value proposition to our global clients,” adds Anne-Marie Thiollet, Vice President, Connectivity, Orange Business Services.

Liqid showcases software disaggregation for converged servers

Liqid’s composable infrastructure software can now disaggregate traditional, off-the-shelf converged servers into pools of shareable data center resources.

The company says its Liqid Command Center software enables underutilized, static devices such as GPU, NVMe, FPGA accelerators, and Intel Optane memory technology to be redeployed for adaptive use and significantly improved utilization. These powerful resources can be shared widely as required across all major fabric types, including PCIe Gen 3, PCIe Gen 4, Ethernet, and Infiniband.

“Liqid’s sophisticated, multi-fabric composable infrastructure software enables comprehensive, adaptive management and automation of previously fixed data center resources without upending existing data center environments,” said Sumit Puri, CEO & Cofounder, Liqid. “By unlocking traditional converged hardware with Liqid Command Center, IT administrators can optimize their overall footprint substantially and build out disaggregated infrastructure to more effectively prepare for the challenges associated with evolving high performance computing applications that are increasingly driven by artificial intelligence.”

EE expands its 5G rollout

EE activated 5G in 14 new cities and towns across the UK, including Castlereagh, Guildford, Hamilton, Harlow, Hoddesdon, Kimberley, Lisburn, Maidstone, Sydenham, Watford and Wolverhampton, and has switched on its first 5G sites in Liverpool, Glasgow and Huddersfield. Additional sites with new 5G coverage include Bristol Parkway, Cardiff Castle, and London’s Carnaby Street and Camden Market.

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer division, said: “Switching on 5G in more places is helping us deliver the best mobile experience to our customers, keeping them connected to the things that matter most. RootMetrics’ early 5G testing shows that we are a long way ahead in terms of 5G performance, and our engineers are continuing to build new sites every day, on our journey to keeping our customers connected 100% of the time.”

EE launched its first 5G service in May.

Nokia signs its 50th 5G deal -- Spark New Zealand

Nokia signed its 50th commercial 5G contract. Nokia is currently powering 16 live networks globally.

New Zealand operator Spark has selected Nokia as one of the radio access network (RAN) equipment suppliers for its 5G upgrade, Nokia will deploy its AirScale RAN solution at more than 200 sites, allowing Spark to target both consumers and enterprises with new services and offers. Nokia will also deploy other products and services from across its end-to-end portfolio including digital design and deployment services. The agreement follows the launch earlier this year of New Zealand’s first 5G trial customer service. The trial, which took place in Alexandra, South Island, used the latest Nokia radio equipment to offer select business and consumer customers the opportunity to experience high-speed wireless broadband delivered by 5G. Nokia is currently working with Spark to deploy 5G capability to an additional 5 sites before the Christmas period.

Myanmar picks Japanese vendors for infrastructure upgrade

Myanmar has selected Sojitz Corporation, NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), NEC Corporation and NEC Networks & System Integration Corporation (NESIC) to upgrade its communications infrastructure.

Sojitz, which was formed out of the union of Nichimen Corporation and Nissho Iwai Corporation, was named as the principal contractor for the project, which was valued at about 7 billion yen (about 62 million USD).

Under the contract, NTT Com will apply its technological capabilities and expertise in upgrading international internet connection facilities to a maximum capacity of 800 Gbps. NEC will provide optical communication equipment for core communication networks to expand transmission capacity to 1 Tbps, more than three times the current level. NESIC will install DWDM equipment supplied by NEC and carry out design, civil work and installation works of outside plant (optical cable network) total cable length 180km in Yangon and Thilawa SEZ. The company will also supply and install power supply equipment and air conditioning equipment.