Monday, October 4, 2021

Facebook hit by 6 hour outage

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were hit by a global outage on Monday beginning at approximately 15:50 UTC and continuing for almost 6 hours. In July, Facebook reported 3.51 billion people are using at least one of its apps every month. 

Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer attributed the outage to networking issues and offered the company's apologies. 

In a blog post, Facebook Engineering Group's Santosh Janardhan said the root cause of the outage was a faulty configuration change on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between data centers. The disruption cascaded across Facebook's application, including internal tools the company uses to manage its infrastructure.

Cloudflare said the issue appeared more serious than a DNS misconfiguration because it appeared as if Facebook had stopped announcing the BGP routes to their DNS prefixes, making their infrastructure IPs suddenly were unreachable as "if someone had pulled the cables from their data centers all at once and disconnected them from the Internet."

Multicore fiber promises 4X capacity boost in submarine cables

NEC's subsidiary OCC Corporation and Sumitomo Electric Industries have completed the first trial of uncoupled 4-core submarine fiber cable, and verified its transmission performance to meet the exacting demands of global telecommunications networks.

The uncoupled 4-core fiber is being deployed within the OCC SC500 series LW (Lightweight) cable, which has a 17mm outer diameter and withstands 8,000 meter water depth. This cable can accommodate up to 32 fibers. With multicore fiber, the number of cores can be increased without increasing the cable diameter, with corresponding benefits in the cost per bit of the cable system.

NEC and OCC have demonstrated that the cable's optical transmission performance in the water fully meets the exacting requirements of modern long-haul submarine cables. They further showed that the process of cabling Sumitomo Electric's multicore fiber has no effect on its optical characteristics, achieving excellent attenuation properties.

This research was supported by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), Japan, under the initiative "Research and Development of Innovative Optical Network Technology for a Novel Social Infrastructure" (JPMI00316).

US Conec and Fujikura target very small fiber connectors

 Fujikura and US Conec have reached an agreement for licensing and collaboration that enables both companies to manufacture intermateable multi-fiber and duplex VSFF (Very Small Form Factor) connectors. These next gen connectors target 400G and up pluggable transceivers or co-packaged optics for carriers and data centers. 

The MMC, a multi-fiber connector employing a reduced-size 1x16-fiber MT-style ferrule (TMT), improves MPO port density by a factor of three, supporting higher density cabling infrastructure with very low insertion loss performance. The new TMT ferrule has now been tooled by both US Conec and Fujikura with full intermateability eliminating assurance of supply concerns. The TMT ferrule uses the proven alignment structure of the MT-16 ferrule which is deployed today in MPO-16 connectors and is compatible with standard fiber-optic cabling technology employing 125 µm diameter optical fibers with 250 µm pitch. 

US Conec's ELiMENT MDC connector, a duplex fiber-optic connector with proven 1.25 mm diameter ferrule technology specified in the SFP-DD, QSFP-DD and OSFP pluggable transceiver MSAs, has the same footprint as the MMC and provides three times the density over the duplex LC format while supporting port breakout architectures for emerging transceiver designs. The collaboration to develop and deliver MMC and MDC connectors maximizes the synergy between Fujikura and US Conec while enabling a multi-vendor supply chain.

"The MMC and MDC connector formats usher in a new era of connectivity by delivering unmatched density, simple insertion/extraction, field configurability and optimal carrier grade performance," said Joe Graham, President of US Conec. "The collaborative effort between US Conec and Fujikura ensures robust supply chain demands are met while opening the door to rapid high-volume deployments with leading edge connector technology."

"We dedicate ourselves to providing exceptional value for our customers and contributing society with "Tsunagu" technologies such as cutting edge of optical fibers, fiber-optic cables, multi-fiber connectivity and so on," said Naoki Okada, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Fujikura. "A combination of Fujikura's game-changing technology, 6,912-fiber ultra-high density fiber-optic cables – WTC® (Wrapping Tube Cable) with SWR (Spider Web Ribbon) and the MDC & MMC connectors provides optimal solutions."

PacketFabric acquires RStor

PacketFabric has acquired privately-held RStor, a cloud-based provider of data mobility solutions based in Saratoga, California. Financial terms were not disclosed.

RSTOR offers a cloud-based object storage and data mobility system.

PacketFabric’s Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) platform orchestrates on-demand connectivity across colocation facilities, cloud providers, and private network interconnection across the globe. 

“Data is the currency of digital business success. The agility and velocity of data in motion is key to unlocking its value,” said PacketFabric CEO Dave Ward. “But optimal data mobility across a cloud-based architecture requires two key ingredients–an agile network and super-positioned data infrastructure. By integrating RSTOR’s storage infrastructure and data mobility technology at the edge of PacketFabric’s carrier-class Network as a Service platform, we can help enterprises build an agile and high-performance cloud data core.”

“RSTOR has built and grown its business around the idea of allowing customers to control their data as they transition from on-premises to hybrid and then multi-cloud architectures,” said RSTOR Founder and CEO Giovanni Coglitore. “PacketFabric’s on-demand, low-latency network has been a foundational element in our solution, allowing RSTOR the agility and cost-efficiency in moving data into, out of, and between clouds. The complete integration between our data mobility cloud and PacketFabric’s network platform is the logical step in our journey to maximize the value that our customers are already enjoying.”

PacketFabric appoints Dedicoat as chair, former Cisco EVP WW sales

PacketFabric appointed Chris Dedicoat, the former executive vice president of worldwide sales for Cisco, as chairman of the PacketFabric board.

Dedicoat has more than 25 years of sales and marketing experience in the networking, hardware, software and technology industries. His innovative and effective sales strategies contributed to Cisco’s leadership position in the market. Dedicoat currently sits on the board of directors for RStor, a leading provider of cloud services across any multicloud environment.

"Chris has had an incredible track record over his career and with his vast experience and global business presence, we are beyond excited to have him join our team and chair our board,” said Dave Ward, CEO PacketFabric.

PacketFabric’s highly scalable SDN platform is a private Layer 2 NaaS that delivers instant and secure connectivity at speeds from 50Mbps to multi-100Gbps.

Telstra tunes in Microsoft Azure Peering Service

Telstra will now serve as a selected carrier for Microsoft Azure Peering Service, a networking service that enhances customer connectivity, and Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams, a new approach to operator-provided calling in Teams.

Microsoft Azure Peering Service provides reliable and optimized internet connectivity to Microsoft cloud services such as Microsoft 365, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Azure. This offering is integrated with Telstra Global Internet Direct (GID) to ensure robust connectivity service and secure access through a single network. Telstra is now offering Azure Peering Service to customers in Asia, with plans to expand availability to Europe and the United States next calendar year. 

Building on the momentum from the launch of Telstra Calling for Microsoft Teams in August last year, Telstra has streamlined calling for users by providing a simplified and unified collaboration experience for organizations through Operator Connect for Microsoft Teams.

“Microsoft Azure Peering Service provides direct access between Telstra and Microsoft’s networks – providing users with robust connectivity service at a location nearest to them, thereby reducing latency when accessing Microsoft’s workplace services. By leveraging Telstra’s connectivity and professional services capabilities and Microsoft’s focus on intelligent cloud services, we aim to help organizations across the region and globally enable a modern work experience,” said Sanjay Nayak, Telstra Executive of Fixed Connectivity Products.


ETSI forms Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces group

ETSI  launched a new Industry Specification Group on Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (ISG RIS). 

RIS is defined as a system node leveraging smart radio surfaces with thousands of small antennas or metamaterial elements to dynamically shape and control radio signals in a goal-oriented manner, either indoor or outdoor. RIS can be configured to operate at any part of the radio spectrum, including frequencies from sub-6 GHz to THz, and may use tools from Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) to enable systems operation and optimization.

ETSI forecasts technology will effectively turn the wireless environment into a service, inspiring a host of new use cases, including localization and sensing. As an example, an RIS can reconfigure the radio environment to sense human posture and detect someone falling, a very useful application for elderly care. RIS, thanks to its associated characteristics, is expected to serve as a key technology in future wireless systems, including for 6G.

"Transforming the wireless environment from a passive into an intelligent actor, RIS will create innovation opportunities and progressively impact the evolution of wireless system architecture, access technologies, and networking protocols. There are however many technical challenges that need to be adequately addressed before RIS can be adopted into future standards, towards commercialization of the technology, and the ETSI ISG RIS aims to identify and address some of these challenges”, says Arman Shojaeifard, Chair of ISG RIS.

Ericsson tests lasers to deliver electricity to base stations

Ericsson conducted a proof-of-concept (PoC) demonstration that used a laser to beam high-intensity light to a radio base station. The light beam was captured at the base station and transformed to electricity.

The base station site was completely ‘powerless’ until wirelessly powered over the air through a laser beam.

The demo was performed in Seattle using an Ericsson Streetmacro 6701 – a 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) radio base station. It was achieved using PowerLight’s laser technology to transmit hundreds of watts over hundreds of meters through the air.

Kevin Zvokel, Head of Networks for Ericsson North America, says: “Both PowerLight and Ericsson are focused on innovation. This opens new possibilities for Ericsson and our customers. The ability to safely transfer power across distances without having to be connected to the power grid eliminates one of the big obstacles we have when building new cell sites. The time savings and flexibility gains will make this an attractive solution for our customers.”

Claes Olsson, Executive Chairman, PowerLight Technologies, says: “Most people are aware that wireless charging technology is available today for small electronic devices, such as cell phones and watches. This breakthrough demonstration, which utilized the best innovative technology from PowerLight and Ericsson, underscores the major leaps we have made recently toward the commercialization of safe, wireless power transmission for larger-scale systems. PowerLight is developing systems today to transfer kilowatts of safe power over distances of kilometers that will be commercially available in the next few years.”

Denmark's TDC NET deploys XGS-PON with Nokia

TDC NET has selected Nokia as sole supplier of XGS-PON technology for connecting more than one million homes and businesses in Denmark.

The rollout, which features the Nokia ISAM FX series access node (OLT), will start in Copenhagen, Odense, Aarhus and Alborg \for selected existing customers as well as new fiber addresses.

TDC NET has built an open network used by service providers to package broadband services to their own customers. In addition to providing a platform for residential broadband, TDC NET is moving towards a converged network that will use both GPON and XGS-PON technology for consumers and to support enterprises with ultra-broadband services. 

Michael Fränkle, Executive Vice President, Head of Technology at TDC NET said: “The demand for higher speeds is exponentially increasing. With Nokia’s ISAM FX converged platform we will be able to serve residential customers and enterprises from the same platform and deliver the Gigabit experience they need in their daily life and to run their business. Fiber deployment is a key contribution to our strategy. Nokia’s superior technology will play a key role in realizing this for the benefit of our customers.”

Sandy Motley, President, Fixed Networks at Nokia said: “The Quillion chipset used in our access nodes enables high capacity, low latency and high precision synchronization which is especially crucial for 5G transport and which will be an important use-case for TDC NET’s deployment. We are incredibly proud to have been selected as the sole supplier for the GPON/XGS-PON network which has the potential to be upgraded for 25Gb/second systems.”

Tarana supplies fixed wireless for Rural Telecommunications of America

Tarana Wireless, a start-up based in Milpitas, California, confirmed that it will supply its fixed wireless access solutions to Rural Telecommunications of America (RTA).

RTA successfully completed testing and will begin deploying Tarana equipment to its gigFAST NETWORK service areas across 21 states of operation in October 2021. RTA validated claims by Tarana’s engineering teams responsible for its G1 platform. RTA found that in many cases G1 delivers speeds to their residential and business subscribers that will rival fiber-to-the-home services.

Donald Workman, RTA Co-Founder and COO, said: “This technology is a true game changer in the world of fixed wireless. The speeds were spot on with our test cases. More importantly our teams discovered the latency to remain consistently low in the most challenging environments such as non-line of sight and heavily wooded areas. This is a significant factor for our subscribers to have consistent quality video experiences. We are extremely excited to have Tarana as part of our arsenal and the ability to provide our most remote subscribers with gigFAST INTERNET.”

Tarana CEO Basil Alwan added, “Unlike traditional fixed wireless gear that’s just a stopgap on the road to fiber, G1 delivers high-performance ‘end-game’ broadband to residential and business subscribers alike. Selection by RTA is another strong indicator that G1 is indeed delivering on that promise. We are thrilled to help RTA expand with performance and reliability previously only attainable with expensive fiber.”