Thursday, August 13, 2020

MEF targets Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) definitiions

Building on its existing SD-WAN and MEF 3.0 network services standardization work, MEF has announced plans to define Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) services.

SASE is a developing market that combines network connectivity and security functions with subscriber policies to meet a higher level of performance and assurance required by the modern enterprise.

MEF said its work in the SASE domain extends its mission to achieve industry consensus on a standardized, converged software-defined networking, security, and policy framework that can be used by enterprises and service providers to transform consumption of cloud services and applications in the form of SASE services.

MEF's framework to standardize SASE services will be based on existing SD-WAN, security, automation, and other standardization work within MEF. The new SASE Services Definition (MEF W117) project that will leverage this standardization work, including:

  • SD-WAN Service Attributes & Service Framework (MEF 70 and MEF W70.1)
  • Application Security for SD-WAN Services (MEF W88)
  • Zero Trust Framework and Service Attributes (MEF W118) - new
  • Universal SD-WAN Edge (MEF W119) - new
  • Performance Monitoring and Service Readiness Testing for SD-WAN Services (MEF W105)
  • MEF Services Model: Information Model for SD-WAN Services (MEF 82)
  • LSO Legato Service Specification - SD-WAN (MEF W100)
  • Intent Based Orchestration (MEF W71)
  • Policy Driven Orchestration (MEF W95)

“MEF has a proven track record of standardizing abstract constructs, attributes, and architectures for network services such as SD-WAN, Carrier Ethernet, Optical Transport, and IP,” said Nan Chen, President, MEF. “By achieving consensus on what a converged networking and security framework and associated SASE services should look like, MEF can empower technology and service providers to focus on providing a core set of common capabilities and then building their own innovative, differentiated offerings beyond those core features.”

“The SASE concept adjusts for a fundamental change in how enterprise users access business systems and the associated increased demand for lower-latency edge compute capabilities closer to the user,” said Pascal Menezes, CTO, MEF. “The well-defined and static network edge of the past is being replaced by more users working outside corporate walls and accessing business systems beyond corporate data centers. SASE shifts the focus from site-centric to user-centric security. The user can be anything (human, IoT, etc.) and anywhere, and security and network functions can be distributed away from the enterprise data center to maximize the availability of high performance edges (e.g. PoPs) and security clouds.”

MEF SASE Services Framework white paper

AWS intros "Braket" access to quantum hardware

AWS introduced a fully managed service that provides a development environment and access to quantum processors from multiple vendors, including systems from D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti.

The new Amazon Braket service lets users test and troubleshoot quantum algorithms on simulated quantum computers running on computing resources in AWS. When ready, customers can use Amazon Braket to run their quantum algorithms on their choice of quantum hardware from D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti. Both simulated and quantum hardware jobs are managed through a unified development experience, and customers pay only for the compute resources used.

“As we see quantum computing technologies make more meaningful progress, thousands of customers are asking for ways to experiment with quantum computers to explore the technology’s potential and contribute to its development,” said Bill Vass, Vice President, Technology, at AWS. “The cloud will be the main way that customers access quantum computers and combine those systems with high-performance classical computing for certain types of computationally-intensive research. Amazon Braket makes it easy for organizations to begin experimenting with quantum computing today—from those just beginning to explore the possibilities to those that are already familiar with different quantum technologies and are ready to use it as a research tool. Our goal for Amazon Braket is to be a catalyst for innovation across the quantum community, bringing together hardware and software developers, researchers, and end users.”

Amazon Braket is available today in US East (N. Virginia), US West (N. California), and US West (Oregon) AWS Regions, with more regions planned for the future.

Facebook plans next data center in Gallatin, Tennessee

Facebook plans to build its next data center in Gallatin, Tennessee, which is located about 30 miles northeast of Nashville in Sumner county.

The 982,000 square foot campus is expected to use 80% less water than the average data center, be LEED Gold certified, and be supported by 100% renewable energy.

Facebook estimates its total investment in the project at $800 million.

Facebook switches on Henrico Data Center in Virginia

Facebook’s Henrico Data Center in Virginia is now serving traffic.

Construction of the new 2.5 million-square-foot campus first began in 2017. Once fully built-out, the campus will represent an investment of $1 billion. The facility is supported by 100% solar energy from projects in Virginia.

Deutsche Telekom posts flat Q2 revenue at home, some COVID impact

Deutsche Telekom reported Q2 revenue of 27.0 billion euros, up 37% yoy after the inclusion of Sprint but down 0.6 percent in organic terms as the coronavirus pandemic impacted Systems Solutions and roaming revenues.

"The merger in the United States is a historic step for the Group”, said Tim Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom. “Our figures are formidable and our strong business operations in Germany and the rest of Europe also play a part in this."

Some highlights:

  • In Germany, Deutsche Telekom recorded its most successful quarter in broadband business in two years, measured in terms of net customer additions. 
  • Between April and June, the number of broadband customers increased by 87,000, thus outperforming all competitors. 
  • 386,000 customers switched to fiber-optic-based lines (FTTH, FTTC/vectoring). A total of 15.2 million of these lines now exist, which is 1.8 million more than a year earlier.
  • In mobile business, roaming revenues lost on account of the travel restrictions had an impact. As a result, mobile service revenues were down 1.1 percent year-on-year in the second quarter. 
  • Excluding the negative effects of the coronavirus restrictions, mobile service revenues increased by around 2 percent.
  • Despite the negative effect of the pandemic on roaming revenues, total mobile revenue in the Germany operating segment increased by 1.1 percent in the second quarter compared with the prior-year period to 5.4 billion euros. 
  • At the same time, adjusted EBITDA AL grew 3.0 percent to 2.2 billion euros. 
  • In Europe, total mobile revenue decreased by 2.0 percent in the second quarter in organic terms to 2.8 billion euros. Strict cost discipline helped to prevent this trend being reflected in earnings. Adjusted EBITDA AL increased by 1.1 percent year-on-year in organic terms to 1.0 billion euros, marking the tenth quarter of growth in succession. DT's national companies recorded 174,000 mobile contract net additions. The broadband customer base grew by 69,000 between April and June. In addition, the companies gained 265,000 new users of converged fixed-mobile products, a year-on-year increase of more than 30 percent in the FMC customer base.
  • As a result of the pandemic, T-Systems saw a slowdown in new deals closed with corporate customers. Many new IT projects were suspended or stopped. Customers are focusing on securing the continuity of their business and preparing for the period after the pandemic. Below the line, order entry declined by 24.0 percent year-on-year in the second quarter to 1.4 billion euros. The growth areas public cloud and security each recorded substantial double-digit growth.

Telstra hit by bushfires and COVID-19 pulls forward 5G spending

Citing difficulties stemming from the Australian bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, Telstra a 5.9 percent drop in FY20 income to AUS$26.2 billion. NPAT decreased 14.4 percent to $1.8 billion. Reported EBITDA was $8.9 billion. After adjusting for lease accounting on a like-for-like basis, EBITDA decreased 0.3 percent to $8.4 billion.

CEO Andrew Penn said: "2020 is proving to be an enormously challenging year for everyone – for governments, businesses, communities, and for all of us as individuals. The emotional, mental, and economic stresses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and necessary restrictions are profound. Through this extraordinary disruption – both the COVID-19 and bushfire crises, Telstra was challenged to adapt, to find new ways of supporting our customers, our people and the country in a time of need. I am very proud of the way our team responded, while dealing with the implications on themselves personally. The COVID-19 period has also highlighted that connectivity has never been more critical. We have witnessed a huge acceleration in the digital economy, an area now critical to a fast economic recovery where Telstra has a key role to play."

“nbn wholesale pricing remains the largest negative impact on our fixed business. Without some sort of longterm change leading to improvement in RSP economics, the risk of retail price increases, reduced customer experience or customers moving onto other networks such as 5G will increase. In Telstra’s case the profitability of reselling the nbn is negligible at best – that is not sustainable,” said Mr Penn.

“Earlier this year we decided to bring forward $500 million of capital expenditure planned for the second-half of FY21 into calendar year 2020. This is enabling us to accelerate our 5G rollout further while injecting much-needed investment into the economy. As a result, late last month I announced that we have increased our ambition and plan to cover 75 percent of the population with our 5G network by June next year.”

Some highlights:

  • Telstra’s multi-brand strategy continued to deliver subscriber growth, particularly in mobile where it added 240,000 retail postpaid handheld mobile services, including 154,000 from Belong. It also added 171,000 retail prepaid handheld unique users, 347,000 Wholesale services and 652,000 IoT services.
  • Overall mobile revenue declined $461 million in FY20. Reported postpaid handheld ARPU declined 8.2 percent or 6.8 percent excluding the impact of COVID-19 on international roaming.
  • In the fixed business, revenue continued to be impacted by nbn migration, alongside the continued decline of voice and legacy services and operational issues. Through a focus on differentiated customer experiences including the Telstra Smart Modem, the company continued to have a market-leading share with 46 percent of the estimated nbn market (excluding satellite).
  • During the year Telstra reduced underlying fixed costs5 by $615 million, or 9.2 percent. This brought underlying fixed cost reductions achieved since FY16 to $1.8 billion and put Telstra on track to achieve its $2.5 billion net cost reduction target in FY22.

  • Telstra has announced 12,000 indirect role reductions and 7,300 direct workforce role reductions since it launched T22 in June 2018. As at the end of June 2020, the direct workforce was around 5,700 lower than two years ago. This figure includes 1,600 new roles recruited like software engineering and cyber security – and some additional roles brought on board in response to COVID-19 to mitigate workforce offshore capacity issues.

Telstra plans to expand its network infrastructure in the U.S. by increasing bandwidth capa