Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Internet2 completes migration to its 5th gen optical backbone

Internet2, which serves 323 U.S. universities, 59 government agencies, 46 regional and state education networks, has migrated its research and education (R&E) network traffic to its fifth-generation backbone.

The new network’s optical layer now supports up to 32 terabits per segment with a new generation of transponders in increments of 400-800 Gbps. NGI’s new packet layer provides 8-16 petabits per second of port capacity per location. NGI delivers new software-driven advanced capabilities while also creating a greener footprint, with an expected 70 percent reduction in power consumption achieved through the latest hardware advancements.

“The technological advancements being enabled on the Internet2 network – together with software, tools, and security resources that have been developed in collaboration with community members – are providing next-generation capabilities that propel academic and research collaborations,” said Howard Pfeffer, Internet2 president and CEO. “A comprehensive upgrade of this scale allows us to support our community’s R&E infrastructure needs now and into the future – from K-12 students with connected devices, to faculty teaching classes and lab components, to scientists collaborating with colleagues all over the country and the world.” 

Internet2’s new infrastructure includes 12,000 miles of new single-mode ultra optical fiber across the U.S., along with power- and space-saving optical and routing equipment .

In 2021, Internet2 moved over two and three-quarters exabytes of data. 

Key vendors include Cisco, Ciena, Lumen, and General Datatech (GDT). 

“Ciena and Internet2 have a long history of success in building network architectures that fuel the next generation of scientific discovery,” said Steve Alexander, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Ciena. “Years ago, we teamed up with Internet2 to create America’s first 100G national research and education network and we look forward to supporting this next phase of their network evolution.”

“This initiative is a clear example of Cisco’s commitment to education and our focus on driving industry innovation,” added Renee Patton, Cisco’s global director of education and healthcare. “Our work with Internet2 is a model for the future of research and education globally. With innovative approaches such as this, we are working together to power inclusive exploration and learning for all.” 

“Lumen has been a key partner to Internet2 for years and provides the fiber backbone that powers their recent upgrade to Next Generation Infrastructure,” commented Sonia Ramsey, regional vice president of the Lumen state and local government and education market. “Internet2’s super high-speed network is built on the Lumen optical fiber and colocation infrastructure that quickly and securely connects important research and development groups and academic institutions in more than 40 cities. These ultra-fast connections are designed to increase scientific collaboration among diverse organizations across the U.S.”


Juniper enhances its AI-driven SD-WAN capabilities

Juniper Networks has enhanced its SD-WAN offering with full Session Smart Routing operations delivered via Mist cloud powered by AI. In addition, Juniper has expanded its SSR portfolio with enhanced IDS/IPS and URL filtering capabilities and made it easier to get SSR up and running with new cloud-ready appliances with Zero Touch Provisioning. 

Juniper said its AI-driven SD-WAN solution will now support day 0/1 SSR operations including many of the configuration elements found in the current on-prem Session Smart Conductor, such as the definition and enforcement of routing and security policies, peer path configuration and more. The goal is full lifecycle management of the entire branch networking stack, with centralized operations and self-driving actions to optimize user experiences and lower costs.

“Juniper is executing on a simple vision – AI-driven operations deliver the best user experiences from client to cloud,” said Sudheer Matta, VP of products at Juniper. “Nowhere is this more important than in the WAN edge, so Juniper has put considerable energy into advancing the first truly AI-driven SD-WAN solution born in the modern cloud. SSR is key to this mission, as it brings unique simplicity, scale, security and performance to WAN edge environments. Combined with our award-winning wireless and wired portfolios driven by Mist AI, this enables the best end-to-end experiences across the board.”

Juniper's software-based Session Smart Routers are capable of running on any x86 platform (including the Juniper NFX Series of universal CPE devices). To further simplify the procurement and onboarding of branch sites, Juniper is launching a new series of SSR-branded appliances that are fully operated from the Mist Cloud.

The SSR solution also adopt zero-trust principles – i.e., no traffic is passed unless SSR policies are met (bidirectionally). New capabilities with this release also include a Branch Security Pack that adds URL Filtering and Intrusion Detection/Prevention System (IDS/IPS). This is achieved without the need for additional security appliances.


Juniper integrates Mist AI with SD-WAN and Secure Branch Gateway

Less than 2 months after completing its acquisition of 128 Technology, Juniper announced several new products integrate 128 Technology and further its vision of end-to-end AI-driven automation, insights and actions from client-to-cloud. The releases combine Mist AI with 128 Technology’s Session Smart SD-WAN technology to deliver integrated AIOps, security and troubleshooting across the WLAN, LAN and WAN. 

  • The latest additions to Juniper’s AI-driven enterprise include:

    • WAN Assurance and Marvis™ Virtual Network Assistant (VNA) for Session Smart SD-WAN. Ingesting telemetry data from Session Smart Routers into the Mist AI engine enables customers to set, monitor and enforce service levels across the WAN, proactively detect anomalies and gain enhanced insight into WAN conditions to assure optimal user experiences.

    • Enhanced SRX operations driven by Mist AI. The SRX Series of secure branch gateways can now be onboarded and configured using Mist AI and the cloud. With zero touch provisioning (ZTP) and automated workflows, Juniper simplifies deployment of these devices.
    • New EX4400 secure access switch. The latest addition to the EX Series portfolio is optimized for the cloud with best-in-class security and AIOps.

    “Juniper is consistently recognized for our experience-first approach to networking, where AI-driven automation, insight and actions simplify operator experiences and optimize end-user experiences from client-to-cloud,” said Jeff Aaron, VP Enterprise Product Marketing. “These latest product enhancements underscore our sustained commitment to executing on this vision, as well as our unique ability to rapidly deliver new solutions that drive real value to both customers and partners.”


     Juniper to Acquire 128 Technology - focus on AI-driven WANs

    Juniper Networks agreed to acquire 128 Technology, a software-based networking company based in Burlington, Mass., for $450 million in cash and the assumption of outstanding equity awards. Juniper has also coordinated for 128 Technology to issue retention focused restricted stock units, which will be assumed by Juniper.

    128 Technology’s session-smart networking enables enterprise customers and service providers to create a user experience-centric fabric for WAN connectivity. Routing decisions are based on real-time user sessions and agile business policies instead of static network policies configured on a per tunnel basis. The company, which was founded in 2014 and launched in 2016,  is headed by Andy Orly, co-founder and CEO.

     Juniper said the deal will enhance its AI-driven enterprise network portfolio by uniting 128 Technology’s Session Smart networking with Juniper’s campus and branch solutions driven by Mist AI. 128 Technology will be integrated with Juniper’s AI-Driven Enterprise business unit, which includes wired and wireless access and SD-WAN, all driven by Mist AI. The combined portfolio will give customers a unified platform for optimized user experiences from client-to-cloud.

    “The acquisition of 128 Technology will enable Juniper to accelerate in a key area where we are seeing enormous success – the AI-driven enterprise,” said Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks. “Both companies share a common vision of putting user experiences above all else and leveraging automation with proactive actions to simplify IT operations. With 128 Technology, we are adding a highly differentiated technology into our award-winning arsenal of campus and branch solutions driven by Mist AI to deliver even more customer value while further accelerating Juniper’s continued growth in the enterprise.”

    “128 Technology has brought to market a groundbreaking session-based routing solution that gives rise to experience-based networking. This allows our customers to realign their network with the requirements of a digital future that includes cloud, mobility and virtualization,” said Andy Ory, Co-Founder and CEO of 128 Technology. “The combination of our Session Smart Router with Juniper’s AI-driven enterprise portfolio, expansive channel and world-class support will dramatically accelerate our vision to transform networking and make a big impact on a very large, yet still highly under-served, WAN-Edge market.”

    AT&T and Verizon agree to delay C-Band rollouts near airports

     Less than 24 hours before their expected commercial launch of 5G in mid-band spectrum, Verizon and AT&T agreed to delay deployment around key airports. An AT&T spokesman, who expressed frustration at FAA's certification process, said the concession would delay rollout to a "limited number of towers" around certain airport runways.

    In a statement, President Biden said his team "has been engaging non-stop with the wireless carriers, airlines, and aviation equipment manufacturers to chart a path forward for 5G deployment and aviation to safely co-exist – and, at my direction, they will continue to do so until we close the remaining gap and reach a permanent, workable solution around these key airports."

    Federal Communications Commission Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel stated "The FAA has a process in place to assess altimeter performance in the 5G environment and resolve any remaining concerns.  It is essential that the FAA now complete this process with both care and speed."

    Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airlines, Air India and Emirates cancelled flights to the United States scheduled for January 19th due to expected delays at U.S. airports due to the 5G situation.

    GSMA: Aircraft altimeters and 3.5 GHz 5G services

    Some 60 countries already have live 5G deployments in 3.5 GHz with no instances of interference between 5G and altimeters to date, according to the GSMA. In a press statement, GSMA states that the technical information being used by the U.S. FAA and airlines to generate concern "shows improbable worst-case scenarios."

    GSMA also notes that the mobile industry has a long and proven track record of working with national governments and international bodies to ensure co-existence with other spectrum users. 


    T-Mobile US hits 1 Gbps upload with 5G carrier aggregation

    T-Mobile US recently exceeded 1 Gbps on upload by combining its 2.5 GHz spectrum with millimeter wave using a smartphone test device powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System. Ericsson supported the tests.

    T-Mobile also noted thatn Ookla’s Q4 US Speedtest Global Market Analysis measuring nationwide network performance, it took the top spot in all six network performance categories measured: Fastest Provider, Latency, Consistency, 5G Performance, 5G Availability, and 5G Consistency. T-Mobile noted a nearly 40% increase in median 5G download speeds from Q3, now clocking in at 187 Mbps nationwide. 

    “Today’s wins confirm what over a dozen other studies have found in the last year: T-Mobile 5G is #1 in performance and coverage,” said Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile. “Our competitors are years behind and scrambling to catch up. We’ll keep blazing ahead, reaching more and more people with Ultra Capacity 5G and spearheading new technologies. This is what you get when you combine the best 5G network with the hardest working team in the industry.”

    MIPI Alliance's A-PHY v1.1 spec doubles data rate to 32 Gbps

    The MIPI Alliance released the next version of its automotive serializer-deserializer (SerDes) physical-layer interface for mobile and mobile-influenced applications.

    MIPI A-PHY v1.1 doubles the maximum available downlink data rate from 16 Gbps to 32 Gbps and includes other enhancements to help automotive OEMs and their suppliers implement high-performance image sensors and displays in next-generation vehicles. The higher performance is enabled by Star Quad (STQ) cables that provide dual differential pairs of conductors within a single shielded jacket. This enables two A-PHY ports over a single cable, saving cost, weight and complexity compared with using two separate coaxial or shielded twisted pair cables.

    A-PHY offers a reach of up to 15 meters, unprecedented reliability with an ultra-low packet error rate of 10-19 over a vehicle's lifetime, high noise immunity and ultra-low latency. It also forms the foundation of MIPI's Automotive SerDes Solutions (MASS), an end-to-end framework for connecting cameras, sensors and displays with built-in functional safety, security and data protection.

    Version 1.1 also adds optional PAM4 encoding for A-PHY downlink gears G1 and G2, with data rates of 2 Gbps and 4 Gbps, respectively. PAM4 encoding features lower modulation bandwidth for sub-1 GHz operation, allowing manufacturers to migrate to A-PHY while using either legacy cables on current platforms or lower-cost cables on new platforms.

    The new version also adds a faster uplink gear with an available data rate of up to 200 Mbps, twice the rate of the existing uplink gear, providing more bandwidth for command and control of automotive peripherals. A-PHY v1.1 is fully interoperable with A-PHY v1.0, and devices using both specifications can coexist on the same network.

    The MIPI alliance said these enhancements enable automotive manufacturers to design next-generation applications that use the latest camera and display technologies, including higher-performance instrument clusters and infotainment displays, interior driver and passenger monitoring systems, virtual side mirrors and other ADAS, IVI and ADS applications.

    "The MIPI Alliance's adoption of A-PHY v1.1 unleashes unprecedented bandwidth and increased implementation flexibility to enable the development of safer, more connected and autonomous vehicles," said Joel Huloux, chairman of MIPI Alliance. "A-PHY continues to evolve to meet the automotive industry's ever-increasing need for high-performance, end-to-end connectivity solutions with high reliability, resiliency and interoperability."

    • MIPI A-PHY, originally released in September 2020, is the first industry-standard, long-reach, asymmetric SerDes interface to provide high-performance links between automotive image sensors and displays and their associated electronic control units (ECUs). It was developed to simplify the integration of greater numbers of onboard sensors and displays for applications such as advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), digital cockpits, in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and autonomous driving systems (ADS).


    5G global connections now exceed 438 million

    5G global connections now exceed 438 million, according to the 5G Americas trade group.

    Chris Pearson, President of 5G Americas, states: "After three years of 5G network deployments, the industry is moving toward the enhancement phase of this generation of wireless cellular. These networks are beginning to change the technology landscape for new applications with their high data speeds and very low latencies."

    Cellular Communications in a 5G Era” is an annual update to previous versions, which provides a complete overview and reference source for 5G and 4G LTE networks to date, which had been created by Rysavy Research. Topics in this white paper include:

    • Overview of 5G’s impact and intensifying role on networks and industries
    • Statistics demonstrating how 5G is the fastest growing generation of cellular wireless technology ever deployed
    • Factors impacting 5G network rollout, including architecture, spectrum, standards, and technologies
    • Updates on 5G and 4G LTE enhancement timelines
    • Discussion of 5G use cases across different vertical industries, including smart cities, manufacturing, automotive, and many more
    • Further details on improvements in voice, industrial IoT, and public safety services
    • Additionally, the white paper covers updated developments on spectrum use and availability, cellular V2X communications, key supporting technologies like fixed wireless access, virtualization, cloud-native, open RAN, and edge networking, as well as AI and machine learning.


    SpaceX completes 2nd Starlink mission of 2022

    SpaceX successfully launched 49 Starlink satellites to low Earth orbit  Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 

    The Falcon 9 booster supporting this mission previously launched GPS III-3, Turksat 5A, Transporter-2, and six Starlink missions. The booster was recovered on the A Shortfall of Gravitas droneship in the Atlantic. Each of Falcon 9’s fairing halves previously supported one Starlink mission.

    Keysight supplies 5G device test solution to KT

    KT Corporation, formerly Korea Telecom, selected Keysight’s 5G device test solution to verify advanced 5G new radio (NR) features critical in delivering 5G services.

    Specifically, KT has selected Keysight’s Protocol Research & Development (R&D) Toolset to accelerate the launch of 5G mobile devices that support the latest 5G NR specifications defined by 3GPP, the global standards organization. This includes 3GPP Release 16 specifications, which device makers use to support advanced 5G features.

    “Keysight is pleased to strengthen our collaboration with KT, a company currently supporting more than five million 5G subscribers in Korea,” said Cao Peng, vice president and general manager for Keysight’s wireless test group. “Keysight’s early availability of 3GPP Rel-16 test and conformance verification capabilities enables KT to deliver advanced wireless connectivity services, benefitting both consumers and enterprises.”

    Keysight’s Protocol R&D Toolset uses a flexible user interface that enables KT to create and execute test cases that verify 5G NR signaling protocols. The toolset also enables KT to debug errors and fully analyze results in frequency range 1 (FR1) spectrum for both 5G NR non-standalone (NSA) and SA mode.